There’s no way around it–to have a successful commute, you need the car to reverse. While any shifting difficulty poses a problem and transmission malfunction is scary, this particular scenario poses the greatest inconvenience. On the up side, if your car won’t shift into reverse, you can troubleshoot the issue at home before taking the car in. In most cases, however, you will want the vehicle to be checked out by a professional mechanic. Here are the most common reasons a car won’t go into reverse:
Clutch Problem vs. Transmission
If your vehicle has a manual transmission, the issue might not be the transmission but the clutch. To check, pump the clutch a few times and see if that fixes the problem. If not, you can try something else–turn off the engine, then shift into first and then into neutral. Afterward, see if the car goes into reverse. If it goes into gear with the engine turned off, the clutch is your problem, not the transmission. Fortunately, a failing clutch is easier and cheaper to remedy than a malfunctioning transmission.
Transmission Necessities: Fluid and Filter
Sometimes hardened particles get stuck in transmission discs, preventing the car from shifting effectively. When this happens, you should try changing transmission fluid and replacing the filter. If this step doesn’t fix the issue, there may be other underlying problems (that should be diagnosed by a technician). In the end, though, it’s never a bad idea to get clean filters and fluid into your car.
Transmission Selector Switch
Another common culprit is the transmission selector switch. Over time, corrosion can disrupt this component and if it fails, the computer won’t receive the signal telling the car to go in reverse. For an easy fix, try shifting from park into reverse a few times slowly. This action can dislodge rust that has built up, making the signal clearer. If it doesn’t work, your next move should be calling a mechanic.
Engine Issues: Gaskets
Another system aside from the transmission that can create shifting difficulty is the engine gaskets. To make sure all is well inside the engine, lift the hood and check the seal and link under it. If you notice a worn gasket, this may be the cause of your reversing trouble. In some cases, replacing the rubber seals will fix everything. You might need special tools to complete this work, or if you feel unsure about attempting it at home, a mechanic can handle it with ease.
If none of these initial tests reveals a source, your best hope is to take the car to a professional for repairs. Transmission trouble can be complicated, but proper diagnosis and service by an experienced technician will make the experience less of a headache.
For all your vehicle maintenance and repair needs, call United Auto Care in Flowery Branch, GA at 678-567-6500 today!