What if your car won't go in reverse but you don't know how to fix it? Here are some ways to fix it

Do you struggle to reverse your car? This may seem like an expensive repair, but it is not.

You can have the transmission go in reverse for many reasons.

Let’s dive straight into it!

The most common reason why your car won’t go in reverse is due to a low transmission fluid level. You can also have a problem with the range sensor and/or gear lever sensors. This could be due to a malfunctioning gear shifter mechanism in a manual car.

While these are far from all the possible causes, it’s the most common ones. Here is a more detailed list of the most common causes of a car that won’t go in reverse.

Índice de Contenido
  1. 8 Causes Why Your Car Won’t Go in Reverse
    1. 1. Automatic Low Transmission Fluid Level
    2. 2. Automatic Transmission Range Sensor
    3. 3. Gear Lever Sensor (Automatic)
    4. 4. Automatic Faulty Valve Bodies
    5. 5. Manual: Faulty gear shifter mechanism
    6. 6. Faulty Shifter Cables Manual
    7. 7. Faulty Clutch Manual
    8. 8. Broken Teeth in Reverse Gear (Manual & Automatic)

8 Causes Why Your Car Won’t Go in Reverse

1. Automatic Low Transmission Fluid Level

Check Transmission Fluid Level

Transmission fluid is what your car uses to transmit the power from your engine so that the wheels can turn. It could cause the fluid to be too low to allow your car to move.

Usually, when you have a low transmission level, it will not make your car go forward either, which I guess your car does because you only searched for why it won’t go into reverse.

The easiest way to find out the cause of the problem is to test the transmission fluid. It is possible to replace the transmission fluid if it looks very black or dirty. You may have a damaged transmission if you see any metal pieces in your fluid.

2. Automatic Transmission Range Sensor

Transmission Range Sensor

Most cars include a transmission-range sensor located on the outside gearbox. The sensor detects which gear was selected and matches the sensor located on the outside of the gearbox.

This sensor may be misunderstood or not reading the correct information. If it does, the transmission will go in reverse and do nothing.

The easiest way to find this out is to check the transmission control module‘s values to the engine control unit. To ensure that the TCM recognises the position of the gearstick in R, you can check the live data.

This sensor is adjustable on some cars. You will often need to use a diagnostic instrument to adjust the sensor.

The sensor may also be fitted inside your transmission. It might prove more challenging to replace.

3. Gear Lever Sensor (Automatic)

Gearbox Lever

The TCM also receives information from the gear stick about which gear was selected. It will move your car if it senses your car in Neutral.

A diagnostic tool is an ideal way to check the information that the transmission control module has from the gearstick.

In some cases the sensor may be integrated into the gearstick. If this happens, the entire gearstick unit must be replaced.

Some models of cars don't have a sensor for the gear stick. They only use the transmission range sensor. To ensure you don't replace any parts, it is important to verify this prior to any repairs.

4. Automatic Faulty Valve Bodies

Transmission Valve Body

The automatic transmission's valve body controls the shiftings as well as other functions. Bad valve bodies can lead to a variety of symptoms.

A shift solenoid, which is usually found in the body of your valve body, can sometimes cause your car to not go into reverse. In some cars, you can change only the shift solenoid. However, in others models of car, the whole valve must be replaced.

It is expensive to replace a valve body.

5. Manual: Faulty gear shifter mechanism

Gearbox Stick

Now we went through the most common causes of an automatic transmission, so let’s check out the causes of a manual transmission.

The most common cause of a manual transmission that won’t go into reverse is a faulty shifter mechanism or faulty shifter cables.

It is found in the gearshifter. If you haven’t adjusted the shifter for a while, you may need to do it.

To find out if your manual has an adjustable shifter, and how to fix it, check the repair manual.

6. Faulty Shifter Cables Manual

Shifter Cable

Steel cables are often found in front-wheel drive cars. They connect to the transmission via the gear stick. The steel cables are often adjustable to allow for smooth shifting.

If you haven’t adjusted these adjustments for a very long time, it may cause it to not going into some gears, like the reverse, for example.

To find out more about how to adjust these cables, check your repair manual. Sometimes, the adjustment is located at the shifter arm on the gearbox or in the car’s gear shifter.

Rear-wheel-drive and 4wd vehicles may have the shifter built into the gearbox. In these cases, the cables are not required.

7. Faulty Clutch Manual

Clutch Car

It is a very expensive repair and something that you don't want to have happen.

If your clutch is defective, you may experience difficulty shifting. Sometimes, a bad clutch will cause all gears to shift slower. In some instances, however, only the reverse can be affected.

An old car may have a cable pulling its clutch. You will need to correct it according to the instructions in the repair manual.

A bad clutch could cause shifting problems and very slow clutch pedal response.

8. Broken Teeth in Reverse Gear (Manual & Automatic)

Broken Transmission Gear

It is your last chance and it's the cause you don't want.

To allow the car to go in reverse it must connect a reverse gear. Your car might not go in reverse if the reverse gear is damaged.

Reparing the reverse drive is expensive. It's often worth replacing the entire transmission or gearbox with one that is used.

But this is very rare and you must look at all causes thoroughly before trying to fix the problem.

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