Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car starts, but car won't go into gear

asked by on

Car would not start. I replaced the battery, and car starts, but I cannot put the car into gear and the headlights do not work.

A: If in fact the headlights and the shifting ...

If in fact the headlights and the shifting issue were a result of changing the battery, the only circumstance that I can think of would be a voltage spike. Was the ignition key on when you connected the battery? Did you accidentally put the battery in the wrong way? Did this happen immediately or after the car was running? Alternators that are producing too much voltage can destroy a battery, blow fuses, and burn out bulbs quickly, headlights usually blow first. There is a electric solenoid that releases the shifter when you apply the brake. Somewhere on the shifter bezel there is a plastic tab you can remove and take a small screwdriver or other tool to manually release the shifter lock. Check all your fuses or have a mechanic inspect and repair your car's headlight problem.

As for the gear shifting issue, this can potentially be a separate problem with many potential causes. If you need help, a qualified mechanic from YourMechanic would be able to come out and diagnose your car's gear shifting issues.

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: Car not starting due to possible battery issues.

Many different problems, including the battery, can prevent a vehicle from starting. If the vehicle does not start and does not crank, suspect a problem with the charging/starting system. If you are uncertain as to the cause of your vehicle...

Q: Transmission leak stuck choppy - 2005 Mercedes Benz C55 AMG

Hello. From the symptoms you describe, it would appear that the vehicle is experiencing issues that have put it into limp, power reduction mode. If the TCU requires replacement, it can usually be found in the engine bay on the...

Q: Winter Tires and Wheel Sizing

Hi There, You are correct in that a smaller tire will generally perform better in extreme cold weather conditions. A smaller and narrower tire has better grip and performance in snow or ice. This is both because the smaller tire...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...