Uh-oh. You’re sitting in your car, ready to hit the road, but when you try to shift into gear, nothing happens. It’s frustrating, it’s inconvenient, and it’s definitely not how you wanted to spend your day. But before you start worrying about costly repairs or calling a tow truck, take a deep breath and read on. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of diagnosing and fixing a car that won’t go into gear, even if you don’t have any experience with cars. So buckle up and let’s get started!
- Basic Checks: For all skill levels
- Advanced Checklist
Basic Checks: For all skill levels
Check the Transmission Fluid.
One of the most common causes of gear-shifting problems is low or dirty transmission fluid. To check the fluid level, locate the transmission dipstick (usually near the back of the engine) and pull it out. Wipe it clean with a rag, reinsert it, and pull it out again to get an accurate reading. If the fluid level is low, add more fluid (consult your owner’s manual for the correct type and amount). If the fluid is dirty or has a burnt smell, it may need to be changed. Consult a mechanic for assistance with this task.
Inspect the Shifter Cable.
Another possible cause of gear-shifting problems is a faulty shifter cable. This cable connects the gear shifter to the transmission and allows you to shift gears. If the cable is worn or damaged, it may not be able to move the transmission into the correct gear. To inspect the shifter cable, locate it under the hood (usually near the transmission) and check for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, it may be necessary to replace the cable. Consult a mechanic for assistance with this task.
Look for Damaged or Worn Out Parts.
When your car won’t go into gear, it’s important to check for damaged or worn out parts. One common culprit is the shifter cable, which can become worn or damaged over time. To diagnose this issue, locate the cable under the hood and inspect it for any signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, it may be necessary to replace the cable. Other parts to check include the clutch, transmission fluid, and shift solenoid. If you’re unsure how to diagnose or fix the issue, it’s best to consult a mechanic for assistance.
Check the Clutch Pedal and Hydraulic System.
If your car won’t go into gear, it’s important to check the clutch pedal and hydraulic system. The clutch pedal is responsible for disengaging the clutch when you shift gears, so if it’s not working properly, your car won’t be able to shift. Check to see if the pedal feels loose or if there’s any resistance when you press it down. If the pedal feels loose, it may be due to a worn clutch cable or hydraulic system. If there’s resistance, it could be due to a problem with the clutch master cylinder or slave cylinder. In either case, it’s best to have a mechanic inspect and repair the issue. You can also check the fluid reservoir to ensure you have clutch fluid (if it is a hydraulic system).
Take Your Car to a Professional Mechanic.
While there are some DIY fixes you can try for a car that won’t go into gear, it’s always best to take your car to a professional mechanic. They have the expertise and tools necessary to properly diagnose and fix the issue, ensuring that your car is safe and reliable to drive. Don’t risk causing further damage to your car by attempting to fix the issue yourself, especially if you’re not familiar with the inner workings of your vehicle. Trust a professional to get your car back on the road in no time.
These checks are for if you have a greater understanding on how transmission systems work:
Check the Clutch Pedal
One common reason why a car won’t go into gear is a problem with the clutch pedal. Here’s what to look for:
- Make sure the clutch pedal is fully depressed before trying to shift and is not obstructed.
- Check the clutch cable or hydraulic system to make sure it’s functioning properly, fluid levels, ensure the slave cylinder is moving, no leaks.
- If the clutch pedal feels spongy or soft, there may be air in the system that needs to be bled out.
Check the Shifter Linkage
Another possible culprit is the shifter linkage. Here’s what to do:
- Locate the linkage under the hood and check for any obvious signs of damage or wear.
- Test the linkage by moving the shifter while someone else watches the linkage to see if it’s moving properly.
- If the linkage is damaged, it may need to be replaced.
Check the Clutch Disc
If the clutch disc is worn or damaged, it can cause problems with shifting. Here’s how to check:
- Locate the clutch disc under the hood and inspect it for any signs of damage or wear.
- If the clutch disc is damaged, it will need to be replaced.
Check the Synchro Rings
If the synchro rings are damaged or worn, it can make it difficult to shift into certain gears. Here’s what to do:
- Locate the synchro rings under the hood and inspect them for any signs of damage or wear.
- If the synchro rings are damaged, they will need to be replaced.
Q: How much does it cost to fix a car that won’t go into gear?
A: The cost will depend on the specific problem that’s causing the issue. Some repairs, like adding transmission fluid, can be done for relatively cheap. Others, like replacing the clutch disc, can be more expensive.
Q: Can I fix a car that won’t go into gear myself?
A: Some problems, like adding transmission fluid or checking the clutch pedal, can be done by the average car owner. However, more complicated repairs may require the help of a professional mechanic.
Q: What should I do if my car won’t go into gear while driving?
A: Pull over immediately and turn off the engine. Call a tow truck to have the car taken to a mechanic, as driving with this issue can cause further damage to the transmission
In conclusion, a car that won’t go into gear can be a frustrating problem to deal with, but it’s not always a sign of a major issue. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can diagnose the problem and potentially fix it yourself, saving you time and money. Remember to always prioritize safety and consult with a professional mechanic if you’re unsure about any aspect of the repair process. With a little bit of knowledge and patience, you can get back on the road in no time.
So if you find yourself with a car that won’t go into gear, don’t panic! Just take a deep breath, follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to diagnosing and fixing the issue. And who knows? You might even surprise yourself with your newfound mechanical skills!