Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car not shifting from park into reverse or drive

asked by on

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.

A: Your shifter has a mechanical connection to...

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Difficulty shifting into third gear

Hello. There could be a problem with the shifter cable or the shifter linkage from the transmission to the shifter. There also could be a problem with the slave cylinder, causing it to be hard to shift at times. A...

Q: Oil sending unit life

It may be possible that the oil pressure sending unit is bad or the connection is bad. The oil pressure should be checked to make sure the oil pressure is within specifications. If the pressure stays in specified range then...

Q: Wheel bearing grinding

The grinding noise is most likely your brake pads grinding the rotor surface. Look through the wheel at your brake assembly and take note of the brake pad thickness. If it is down to the metal it will grind the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...