Why my car gear not shifting

Why Your Automatic Car Isn’t Shifting Gears? Tips & Tricks

When your automatic car refuses to shift gears smoothly, it can be frustrating and worrisome. Several factors can contribute to this issue, such as the car not shifting gears when accelerating, the car won’t go into gear when the engine running, or experiencing transmission problems.

In this article, we will explore common reasons why your automatic car may encounter difficulties shifting gears. And provide some helpful tips and tricks to address the problem effectively.

1-Transmission Fluid

One of the primary reasons why your automatic car may struggle to shift gears is the insufficiency of this fluid. Low fluid levels can hinder the smooth operation of the transmission system, causing delayed or improper gear shifting.

To address this issue, locate the fluid dipstick (refer to your car’s owner’s manual). Check the fluid level, and add more if necessary.

If you notice a significant decrease in fluid levels, it is advisable to have your vehicle inspected for potential leaks that may require professional attention.
Automatic transmissions require fluid to work properly.

Another reason why your automatic car isn’t shifting gears can be the dirty fluid. Over time, dirt, debris, and other tiny particles can accumulate in this fluid, affecting its properties.

The fluid should be light red/pinkish color. Dirty fluid (deep red to dark brown) loses its ability to properly lubricate and cool internal parts, causing excess wear and premature part failure.

This can cause the vehicle to die when you shift into drive or reverse, allow a loss of power, transmission slip, rough shifts, or even prevent the car from shifting into gear at all.

Replacing dirty fluid according to the recommended maintenance schedule for your vehicle will help ensure the system’s longevity.

2-Faulty Solenoid

The solenoid controls the flow of the fluid within the system.

If faulty or damaged, it can disrupt the gear-shifting process, leading to problems like gears not engaging or the car not shifting properly.

A professional mechanic can diagnose and replace the faulty solenoid, restoring normal operation.

3-Malfunctioning Shift Linkage

The shift linkage connects the gear shift lever to the transmission. Over time, it can wear out or become misaligned, resulting in difficulty shifting gears or gears not engaging correctly.

A broken or dislodged shift linkage could be caused by an accident or a rough road bump.

In a standard transmission, if the clutch pedal sinks all the way to the floor before you feel the clutch bite point, then you’ll need an adjustment to the clutch pedal cables or hydraulics.

Inspecting and adjusting the shift linkage can often resolve the issue. Refer to your vehicle’s manual or consult a mechanic to locate the shift linkage and perform any necessary adjustments or replacements.

4-Electrical Issues

Electrical problems, such as a faulty sensor or a malfunctioning control module, can disrupt the communication between various components of the automatic system.

When this occurs, gear shifting problems may arise, causing your car to hesitate or refuse to shift gears.

It is recommended to have your vehicle’s electrical system thoroughly inspected by a qualified technician to identify and rectify any underlying electrical faults.


Misaligned, damaged, or stripped gear sets can hinder the smooth engagement of gears in your vehicle.

This prevents it from shifting into gear properly. These issues are commonly caused by worn gears, failed bearings, deteriorated internal seals, or leaks in O-rings.

When gears grind against each other during gear shifting, it creates a noisy operation. And generates metal dust and chips that can cause further damage to other components.

It is important to entrust internal repairs to experienced professionals.
To safeguard against future problems, requesting that your mechanic thoroughly flushes the transmission case, valve body, and radiator cooler with solvent during any repair is advisable.

This thorough flushing process helps eliminate contaminants and ensures optimal performance of your system in the long run.

If your automatic car is experiencing difficulties shifting gears, it is crucial to diagnose and address the issue promptly.

By taking appropriate action, and seeking professional assistance when necessary, you can restore the smooth operation.

Remember, regular maintenance, including fluid checks and scheduled inspections, can help prevent gear-shifting issues and ensure the long-term reliability of your vehicle’s system.

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