Reasons Why Your Car Isn’t Shifting Gears

The ability to shift gears is essential to being able to drive properly. It allows the vehicle to use the engine’s power in various ways in order to adapt to changes in driving conditions. If your vehicle is unable to shift gears, it is important to identify and resolve the issue immediately to ensure that the car is suitable for the road. Here are some of the potential reasons why your car isn’t shifting gears.

Video Overview

Bad Transmission Solenoid

The inability to shift gears is a common symptom of malfunctioning solenoids. Transmission solenoids control the flow of transmission fluid in an automatic transmission system and greatly impact gear selection. If the solenoids in a transmission aren’t working properly, they will impede the proper amount of fluid pressure from being sent to the intended gear which will prevent it from being activated. As a result, the vehicle may not be able to shift gears.

Faulty Torque Converter

A vehicle’s torque converter is responsible for transferring the rotational force of a vehicle’s engine into hydraulic pressure. Such pressure directly supplies the power which is necessary in order for the transmission to shift gears. Thus, if there is an issue with a vehicle’s torque converter, the transmission may not have the ability to shift gears.

Low or Contaminated Transmission Fluid

Another potential reason why your car isn’t shifting gears could be because the fluid in your transmission is low or contaminated. Both automatic and manual vehicles rely on ample amounts of quality transmission fluid in order to change gears properly.

If transmission fluid levels are too low or the transmission fluid has become contaminated, then the transmission may not be able to create the amount of hydraulic power needed to shift. As a result, the vehicle may become stuck in one gear.

Severed or Damaged Shift Linkage

In order to shift gears, certain transmissions rely on a shift linkage wire which is needed to allow the shift knob and transmission to communicate with one another. If this wire becomes severed or damaged in some way, the shifter won’t be able to signal to the transmission that it needs to change gears. As a result, your vehicle may become stuck in a single gear. If you have an electronically controlled transmission, however, a shift linkage wire may not be required.

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