Why does my Car won’t go in reverse? [9 Causes]

Your vehicle’s transmission is one of the most crucial aspects of your car. It is impossible for you to operate Have you ever been in a vehicle that is stuck in a forward drive or a vehicle that simply will not go into reverse?

This type of failure on a vehicle can render it undrivable and unsafe and it often leads to many vehicle owners worried about the future financial costs they might experience to fix it.

Your vehicle’s transmission is one of the most crucial aspects of your car. It is impossible for you to operate a vehicle without the ability to change gears and move in reverse. One of the most unsafe malfunctions that your vehicle can experience is a problem with the transmission.

In this article, we want to help you diagnose common reasons your car might be unable to go in reverse as well as provide you with some costs estimates for repairs. It is important to note that many transmission-related repairs should be handled by a licensed mechanic only.

Reasons Why Your Car May Not Go Into Reverse

1. You are low on transmission fluid

One of the most common reasons for a car to not go into reverse is that it is low on transmission fluid.

When your car does not have enough transmission fluid, it will not be able to shift gears properly and you might find that your car gets stuck in drive or fails to go into reverse altogether.

If this is the case, stop driving your car and add more transmission fluid as soon as possible. You can get your fluid changed for $80-150 at a mechanic or do it yourself for $40-80.

2. Your car is out of alignment

If you notice that your car only sometimes fails to go into reverse, you could be facing an early alignment problem.

When your car is out of alignment, the gears might not mesh together correctly and this can cause your car to hesitate or fail to go into reverse altogether. If you suspect that your car is out of alignment, take it in for a check-up at your local mechanic.

3. A Transmission that requires full replacement

One of the most common reasons is that there is a problem with the transmission itself.  If your car will not go into reverse, it might be an indication that the transmission needs to be fully replaced.

Depending on the make and model of your vehicle, a transmission replacement can cost anywhere from $2000 to $5000. A damaged manual transmission can be less costly to replace than an automatic because of its simpler components.

4. Faulty transmission position sensor:

A faulty transmission position sensor is another common reason for a car not to go into reverse. This sensor helps the transmission understand its current gear and whether it is in Park, Reverse, Drive, or Neutral.

When this sensor fails, it can cause the car to be stuck in a certain gear and unable to go into reverse. If this is the problem with your car, the sensor will need to be replaced and this typically costs between $200 and $300.

5. Damaged reverse gear

If your car’s reverse gear is damaged, it will not be able to go into reverse. This can occur as a result of an accident or simply from age and wear and tear on the vehicle. This damage is usually referred to as broken teeth or worn teeth on the reverse gear.

This damage prevents the vehicle from shifting into that gear.  If this is the problem with your car, the reverse gear will need to be replaced and this typically costs between $1000-2000.

6. Bad solenoid

A bad solenoid can also prevent a car from going into reverse. This component helps to create the electrical current that activates the gears in the transmission.

When it fails, the gears will not be able to change and the car will not go into reverse. If this is the problem with your car, the solenoid will need to be replaced and this typically costs between $400-600.

7. Broken Park Pawl

If the Park Pawl is broken, it can also keep a car from going into reverse. This component helps to keep the car in Park by preventing it from moving either forward or backward.

When it is broken, the car can move freely in any direction, even if it’s in Park. If this is the problem with your car, the Park Pawl will need to be replaced and this typically costs between $400-500.

8. Bad clutch

If the clutch is bad, it can also prevent a car from going into reverse. This component helps to connect and disconnect the engine from the transmission.

When it is bad, it will not be able to properly connect the two which will then prevent the car from going into reverse. If this is the problem with your car, the clutch will need to be replaced and this typically costs between $800-1200.

9. Worn out Valve Body

The valve body is a component in the automatic transmission that helps to control the flow of fluid. When it wears out, it can cause the gears to not change properly and the car will not go into reverse.

If this is the problem with your car, the valve body will need to be replaced and this typically costs between $800-1200.

Should I Call A Tow Truck If My Car Can’t Reverse?

If your car is not going into reverse, it does not mean that you need to call a tow truck. There are a number of possible reasons for this problem and many of them can be fixed without having to take the car in for a costly repair.

However, if you are unsure of what is causing the issue or cannot fix it on your own, it is always best to consult a professional. Getting your vehicle to a local garage if it can not reverse is always best done with the help of a tow.

Check out our future posts should you have any questions about transmissions or other common car problems. Remember that any repair related to transmissions or your car failing to get into gear should be handled by a professionally licensed mechanic!

Liam

Hi, I'm the initiator and writer of this blog. Cars were and will be my first love, and my favorite hobby, that's why I decided to start this blog and write about my discoveries and techniques to improve my cars or repair them.