Q: Car stuck in reverse kinda

asked by on October 07, 2016

Yesterday i was changing my radio bezel so i had everything removed (including cig lighter) and i had dropped a small clip and i reached to get it and as i was reaching for it my hand moved the line thing that connects to the PRNDL, but i didnt move it so much that i think i messed something up, i barely grabbed/ moved it. Anyways about 3 hours after changing the bezel and putting everything back togethor i wanted to go to the store, and so i put it in reverse but it didnt work so i tried putting it into nuetral then reverse again and it worked, but when i put it in drive it was still in reverse, so i wanted to put it in nuetral to push it back in my driveway but not even nuetral worked, it was still stuck in reverse. i had to put it on the L for it to drive forward. I should also note that the car had not been moved at all that afternoon, so it was working fine before i changed out the radio bezel which leads me to think i messed something up. Im new with cars so i know nothing.

Car does not shift from park to drive Inspection $79.99 - $89.99 Get a Quote

The symptoms you describe suggests that the linkage between the shifter and the "gear position indicator" (PRNDL) is no longer correctly connected, and possibly the neutral safety switch/transmission range selection sensor (don’t know which since you did not indicate the year, make and model of your vehicle) has lost it’s alignment with the shift linkage. All modern automatic transmission vehicles won’t start if not in Park or Neutral.

I would recommend having YourMechanic perform a shifting issue inspection to properly diagnose this problem, provide an accurate assessment of damage, and estimate the cost of repairs. YourMechanic can dispatch a mobile, professional mechanic to your location for this diagnostic and repairs.

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

What others are asking

problems with changing gears

Hi there. If the transmission works fine most of the time then the transmission itself should be fine. Most of the time this is caused by an issue with the valve body in the transmission or a speed sensor problem....

Gears freezing up stiff on 2005 Audi A3 Quattro

Hello. Most of the time this is caused by a failing clutch or the hydraulic system that may be failing. I usually start by checking the transmission fluid first. If the fluid is old or burnt and broken down, then...

My transmission pops out of gear.

The software update that was performed on your vehicle maybe for a vehicle with a different transmission. Check the version of software that was installed in your car and verify what model that it refers to for your transmission.

Knocking noise after putting car into park while moving

Hey, thanks for writing in to YourMechanic. The parking mechanism inside the transmission is designed to hold the vehicle from moving when you park it and is not designed to stop the vehicle at all. You most likely bent or...

I can't go in reverse

The transmission in your vehicle requires special tools to check and fill the transmission fluid level. It does not have a dedicated dipstick to check transmission fluid level. You can attempt to have the transmission serviced but with the age...

Transmission gets stuck, reverse issues, delay in shifting

Hello. From your description it sounds like the transmission is beginning to fail. The second clutch pack fails or the sun shell cracks keeping the gear from engaging. I typically remove the transmission pan and inspect the fluid. If there...

What would cause my transmission to not shift

One cause to rule out is low fluid level or a plugged transmission fluid filter. Delayed shifts can also be caused by internal hydraulic leaks in the valve body or failing internal transmission seals found on clutch pack pistons and...

My car is taking off in second gear

Is the Check Engine Light on or could a fault code be stored in the computer? To see if there is a fault code stored in the computer without the presence of an illuminated Check Engine Light, the car will...

The interior lights won't turn on and the shift lock is stuck.

Check the fuses on the inside the panel in the cab. Look for any blown fuses and replace the fuses with new ones. If the fuses are good, then there could be an electrical issue within the cab. Look for...

Related articles

Understanding Main Gears Vs. Planetary Gears
Aspiring Aspiring mechanics spend hours learning about how main gears and planetary gears work in a car transmission, so a full dissertation simply isn’t possible within this relatively brief article. If you’re curious about how they work, though, this brief...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Transmission Position Sensor (Switch)
Common signs include the car not starting or moving, transmission going into a different gear than selected, and the vehicle going into limp mode.
How to Replace Timing Gears
Timing gears control are connected to the crankshaft and the camshaft and how much fuel and air enter the cylinder to ensure your car runs smoothly.