Q: Car not shifting from park into reverse or drive

asked by on January 27, 2016

The shifter handle for my automatic transmission stopped working. It moves, but doesn't go from Park into Reverse or Drive. It doesn't seem to be linking up like it should.

Your shifter has a mechanical connection to the transmission by a cable. When you move the shifter it pulls on a cable and moves the shift assembly on the transmission to put it in the correct gear. If you can move the shifter, but do not feel any resistance and nothing happens, then most of the time it is because this cable broke. Most of the time it breaks at the transmission. It is easiest to check that end first and then if that is fine then the shifter assembly will need to be taken apart to check that end. If you are not comfortable with this, you should enlist the help of a certified mechanic to diagnose your gear shifter issue, like one fromYourMechanic.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Reverse doesn't work

Hello. You can visually observe the manual shift lever on the transmission as an assistant puts it into reverse. You should see the lever move into position. The positions are all within detents so there is a positive stop feel....

All dash lights were on for two days and now there is no power, no crank, and shorts when jumping.

If you were able to start and drive the vehicle for two days with all the warning lights on before this, did you notice any other issues during this time? You are going to want to start by replacing the...

Rattling from whole front side underneath car becomes louder when driving bumpy roads

Noises in the front suspension are usually a result of worn out rubber parts. There are many moving parts connecting the wheels to the car and in most cases there is a rubber or plastic part at the point of...

Related articles

How Long Does a Shifter Interlock Solenoid Last?
Moving Moving the gear shift from park to drive or reverse lets you move the car when you’re ready, but what happens if you bump the shifter accidentally and aren’t ready to roll? In older cars, this was a very...
How to Buy a Good Quality Gearshift
The The gear shift, also known as the gear lever or stick, makes it possible to shift gears when driving a manual transmission vehicle. It is attached right to the shift assembly. It has an important job to do, but...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If Safety is #1
Maybe Maybe you’re a parent buying the first car for your teenager, or perhaps you’re a new parent and the safety of your little one is of the utmost importance. Or perhaps you're a safety-minded individual looking to make a...