🤚 My Car Won’t Reverse But Will Go Forward

Last Updated:
My Car Won’t Reverse But Will Go Forward

Once you get a car, you must take good care of it. Keep on taking it to a mechanic for a regular checkup. In case of any problem, you should take immediate action. Unfortunately, some issues come without issuing warnings. Imagine attending an event and parking your car in front of other vehicles. Once the event is over, you try to reverse to give others the way out, but it fails too. The next question that comes to mind is what might be causing it not to reverse.

Reasons Why Car Won’t Reverse

Low Transmission Fluid

It can affect both automatic and manual transmissions. Low transmission fluid comes with several problems, including that reversing your vehicles. Other issues include gear slippage; the gears also overheat, not to mention shifting problems.

In most cases, when the transmission fluid is low, it fails to lubricate and cool components and internal gears. As a result overheating occurs affecting your reverse gears. If you suspect that overheating is the problem, top up the fluid and see if the problem stops.

Faulty Transmission Position Sensor

If your automatic transmission won’t go in reverse, it could be a result of a faulty transmission position sensor. Your car has an electronic sensor that informs your powertrain module that your vehicle transmission requires to shift into the reverse.

In case the sensor malfunctions or fails, your car won’t shift into reverse. It usually puts your car into limp mode.

Worn Out Valve Body

If your car won’t go in reverse but drives fine, it could be a result of the worn-out valve body. All automatic transmissions do have a valve body. This maze-like component directs the hydraulic fluid into the valves. It makes it possible to shift gears whenever you want to. In case there is a bad transmission valve body, whenever you try to shift the reverse gears, you will experience a delay, and sometimes nothing will happen.

Faulty Shifter Mechanism

If your car has a manual transmission and is hard to shift and won’t go reverse, the problem could be due to the shifter malfunctioning. With this kind of problem, you will struggle to put the shifter into reverse. You will feel as if something is blocking it from reversing. The problem mostly occurs if there is shifter linkage or when something is broken or bent in the cables. Shifter brushing could also be a problem, and the only way of fixing the problem is by replacing them.

Transmission Fluid or Filter

The problem affects both automatic and manual transmission. The problem occurs when your transmission fluid gets contaminated. The hardened deposit in it or even other gunk affects the shifting of your vehicle into reverse. Thou this issue is not so common, you can fix it by changing that transmission fluid and filter.

Broken Teeth on Your Reverse Gear

It can happen mostly to a manual transmission and rarely to the automatic one. Driver’s abuse can cause it and also learners who are not shifting gears properly. The problem causes clicking noise and sometimes a loud clunk whenever you try shifting into reverse.

Faulty Lockout Ring

Imagine driving your car on a busy highway, and suddenly you shift into reverse. You don’t want to imagine what would follow. The lockout ring protects you from such dangers since it prevents you from accidentally shifting the car into reverse. Unfortunately, once the lockout key gets damaged or even misaligned, it will not allow you to move into reverse when your vehicle is at a standstill.

How to Solve Transmission Problems

Unfortunately, the transmission problem is costly to repair. You will only diagnose the problem by taking out the entire transmission and also disassembling it. If you decide to fix it on your own, you require a screwdriver, wrenches, a flashlight, and the work grove. Don’t forget a 20-pieces socket, a hydraulic floor jack, and a ratchet. Here are the steps and if you follow these steps then you will get an answer on ‘how do you fix a car that doesn’t reverse’.

Check The Transmission

Your car has an onboard computer that controls various parts and functions of your vehicle. Engine and transmission shifting is one of the tasks. Once the shift fails to function, it means that your computer isn’t receiving shifting into the reverse signal. Rust or corrosion is the leading cause of why the switch won’t work. You can try to fix this problem by putting your car from the park into reverse. You can do it several but slowly to dislodge the rust that is in that component. That will make the signal readable. If that method fails, call your mechanic.

Replace Transmission Fluid

The problem could be a result of contaminated transmission fluid. You need to replace both the transmission fluid and the filter. It is a cheaper way of fixing the problem as compared to seeking mechanic services.

Also read: Power Steering Fluid vs. ATF

Pump The Clutch

You can quickly know if your clutch is the problem or the transmission by pumping it a few times. As you shift into reverse, try to release your clutch. Switch off the engine if the transmission fails to engage. Shift into first and then to neutral. The clutch has a problem if the car shifts into reverse while the engine is turned off.

Inspect Your Seal and Link

Worn out gasket and bad connection can hinder your vehicle’s transmission. Therefore you need to replace the rubber seals using specialized tools. If you can’t handle the issue on your own, seek the services of a qualified mechanic.


Transmission problems can make it difficult for your car to reverse. They can also be expensive to fix. However, you can fix some issues like transmission fluid and filter easily by replacing them. Before attempting to repair, you need to know what is causing the car not to reverse. Once you decide to repair on your own, you should have the right tools. You should seek the services of a qualified mechanic if you try to fix and fails or if you have no idea where to start.

3 thoughts on “🤚 My Car Won’t Reverse But Will Go Forward”

Leave a Comment