Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What could it be when the transmission won't engage in either gear

asked by on

First my o/d light started flashing on my 04 explorer and now it will not engage in reverse or drive, the motor doesn't seem to idle down when gear is engaged. I just need a full check list of what to check before I start the removal and replacement

My car has 140000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello, thank you for writing in. When dealing with an unresponsive automatic transmission, always start with checking the fluid level. If the fluid is not full, then you need to inspect for a leak, and repair that damage first. There may have been more damage done to the unit with low fluid levels, and further inspection may be needed. If it is full then the fluid is not being pressurized, the linkage may be damaged (internally or externally), a damaged input shaft, a torque converter failure, or the transmission has failed. Check into the pump first. You can also open up the transmission pan and inspect the bottom portion of the unit, as well as check for any signs of mechanical failure in the form of metal shavings or chunks in the fluid pan you removed. Take further diagnostics from there. For more help resolving the issue, contact our service department to schedule an appointment.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Gear shift lever not shifting out of park

Hello, the first thing to check would be the operation of the stop lamp switch. When you press the brakes does the stop lamp illuminate? If they do, good that tells you that the switch is good. Now if it...

Q: I got a 97 Chevy Cavalier can I put a 2001 motor and transmission into it

Hi there, thanks for writing in. If you replace your 1997 motor with a 2001 one, you will find that the wire harnesses and sensors have changed along with the transmission. The engine intake and fuel injection is different and...

Q: Oil

Hi there. In general, putting too much oil in a vehicle will cause oil to blow by past piston rings or valve guides in the cylinder head due to extra volume of oil inside the combustion chamber. Eventually the extra...

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...
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...