Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car turns on, able to shift but wont move

asked by on

My GMC Envoy has been working fine and I drove it earlier today to run some errands and parked it at home. 4hrs later my wife gets in to use it, starts it up fine, tries to go in reverse and the car doesn't move. The engine revs up but wont move forward or reverse. One thing I did notice is that when I shifted the gear its was a lot smoother when transitioning from Park to the other shifts than any other time. On the dashboard the vehicle still says Park when I shift the gears and also when I shift it isn't allowing me to push my vehicle, its almost as if it is stuck in park even after shifting. Trans Oil is good.

My car has 153000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

A: Great description. It sounds like you have ...

Great description. It sounds like you have a problem with the shifter cable. The cable either broke, or the end of it popped off. The cable runs from the shifter to a linkage arm on the transmission. The ends of the cable are plastic, and snap on to a steel ball. Wear on the plastic, or rust on the ball and it can come off.

The transmission range sensor is on the transmission. The fact the the indicator says "P" and you cannot roll the car supports this theory. I would have this repaired on the spot, or have the vehicle towed to get it repaired. A knowledgeable mechanic may be able to manually put the car in drive with you sitting in it, but do this as a last resort. You would not be able to put it back in park or reverse when needed, or restart the engine if it were shut off. The tow truck driver will need to manually take it out of park too if you decide to go that route. Alternatively, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to inspect the shifting issue and assist with resolving the problem.

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

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

Q: Can 2 serpentine belts need replacing within 11 years and can the alternator suddenly fail without warning ?

Hello. There is a huge variance in manufacturer estimates of serpentine belt lifetime. This is understandable because operating conditions vary, vehicle designs vary and the belt material will degrade at different rates. You should get at least 50,000 miles out...

Q: Coil pack

Hello, A coil pack will generally start to fail intermittently causing a loss of spark for brief periods of time which will of course cause the car not to start. In some cases the loss of spark may happen also...

Q: My truck doesn't shift through all the gears or downshift when I come to a stop

This may be related to a faulty transmission control module. The transmission control module (TCM) helps regulate fuel efficiency and power while storing information about the transmission system in its memory. A faulty transmission control module may cause a delay...

Related articles

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...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...