Q: Shifter knob locked into neutral

asked by on

I drive a 1998 jeep wrangler 4cyl with a manual transmission. I accidentally left my jeep in 4x4 High and drove down the highway for a day. When I attempted to downshift the shifter knob would not go into gear. It will not leave neutral no matter what gear I try to put it in whether the car is started or turned off. The engine still turns over and the wheels still turn because I had to push it off the road. What could be the problem?

My car has 189000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Hi there. Try shutting off the engine and turning on the power but do not start the engine. Leave the transmission in neutral and try to shift the transfer case into neutral. If you can put it into neutral, then crank the engine over and start it. Put the transmission in gear with the clutch in and slightly let off the clutch, but not all the way. Then push in the clutch all the way and try to shift the transfer case into 2H. If the transfer case goes into gear, then let off the clutch and see if the vehicle moves. If the vehicle moves without any issues or noises, then your vehicle is okay. If your vehicle does not move, then there could be an issue with the transfer case or the front axle. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you diagnose your[vehicle not moving when the transfer case is in gear.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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. Shifter knob locked into neutral

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: Dealer selling a jeep want to know if its worth it.

At $10,000 the vehicle is overpriced by at least 20%, even if it is in good condition and what you are describing is not good condition inasmuch as it has two serious leaks. Although I have not seen the vehicle,...

Q: I have a 1990 Chevy 4x4 short wheel base step side with an automatic transmission.

If the front drive shaft is spinning and not able to be engaged, then the chain in the transfer case could be broken. For the transmission to be in neutral in all the gears, but lock up in the park...

Q: Can't shift out of Park

The shift mechanism has a solenoid that is part of the mechanism, which may have broken the small lever that releases the lock that enables the shifter to get out of Park. The fix is to replace the shifter assembly....

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...
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...