Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Malfunction indictor lamp comes on and car won't move

asked by on

For the past several years, I have had this same ongoing problem regarding the transmission, shifting, and gears. After trying to shift into Drive, the malfunction indicator lamp comes on and the car won't move. It will rev in place, like when in neutral. The first repair job replaced the electrical led light assembly and the front wiring assembly harness. The 2nd work was performed 2 weeks after that when the transmission inhibitor switch was replaced, as well as the cruise control switch. Yesterday, while driving I had the same problem. While pulling out of a parking space, I went into Drive and lost the shifting/acceleration capability. I then put the car back into Park for just a few moments and then tried again. The gear then popped into Drive. This intermittent problem has been happening since yesterday. The malfunction indicator lamp has been on continually since then. Is this problem fixable and would you please give me advice on how to proceed?

A few different things have the potential to cause the transmission faults you have described. The most common would be a transmission position sensor/range switch, neutral safety switch, shift solenoid, low fluid level, or the transmission itself.

I’d recommend getting some help from a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who will be able to diagnose the cause of your warning light and perform any repairs required.

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Malfunction indictor lamp comes on and car won't move

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: Ac only cold at idle or low rpms

Hi Ricardo. Thanks for writing to us today. There are a few things that could cause this issue such as debris that is causing air to deflect from the compressor to cool it down or a clogged cabin filter. An...

Q: Gas pedal won't work

The adjustable pedal mechanism sensor may be defective, require replacement, and have the codes cleared. Ford had a bulletin that covered this problem in 2005, and offered a free replacement of this sensor. This bulletin is no longer active, but...

Q: my car got a new fuel pump in saturday and when i cranked my car it started put putting and immediately cut off... whats the prob?

Hello there, thank you for asking about your 2004 Kia Amanti. There are a couple of other things that can cause your symptoms. A failing engine speed sensor like a crankshaft position sensor can cause the vehicle to stall when...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...