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Transmission Will Not Engage in Any Gear: 5 Reasons and Solutions

Transmission Will Not Engage in Any Gear: 5 Reasons and Solutions

When you were transmission will not engage in any year, you're having a problem with one of the following:

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  1. Damaged clutch
  2. Dirty transmission fluid
  3. Malfunctioning shift
  4. Torque converter troubles
  5. Transmission control unit issues

Your vehicle transmission is one of the most critical components that you must maintain all the time. It is extremely important to ensure that your transmission is in good condition because the more you wait for its problems, the more complications you must deal with and the higher repair costs.

You can deal with many things during the lifetime of your vehicle’s transmission. Many of our readers indicate a very common situation when the transmission will not engage in any gear.

When your transmission fails to engage in any gear, this is considered critical, especially if it impacts your vehicle’s drivability or safety.

As a driver, it is critical that you always pay attention to this problem because it can easily lead to more complications and make your driving experience extremely challenging.


This article provides all you need to know about the main causes of a transmission that will not go into gears. It also highlights some recommendations on how to fix the problem and whether it's worth it.

How To Extend the Lifetime of Your Transmission

The transmission will not engage in any gear.

When your transmission does not engage in any gear, it can be a very critical situation, leading to many complications and making you panic. Therefore, it's important for you as a driver to familiarize yourself with the different causes behind the problem before it even happens. If you're currently dealing with the problem, it is critical that you consult your mechanic as soon as possible so things can be simple and repair options become very limited.

The good thing is that automotive experts are familiar with this problem and understand the severity of your transmission not engaging in two years. Therefore, they put together this list of the five most common reasons behind your transmission problem that will not engage in any gear. Let's take a closer look below:

1.    Damaged clutch

If you're driving a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, then the first problem that might be impacting your transmission functionality is the clutch. The clutch is a core component in any manual transmission, and when it's damaged or worn out, it can easily lead to situations where your transmission will not engage in any gear.

Therefore, the first step you need to take is to consult your mechanic and have him inspect the clutch. Once your mechanic confirms that the problem is related to the clutch, the next step is identifying potential repair options. For example, your mechanic might recommend fixing the clutch, but in some severe scenarios, your mechanic might recommend installing a new one.

How to fix the problem?

Installing a new clutch is a complex situation considering the high repair costs, and that's why many drivers have to evaluate the situation carefully before investing in a clutch.

How much does it cost?

Of course, repair costs will differ significantly if your problem is related to the clutch. For instance, if you're a mechanic who suggested fixing the clutch, the repair option will differ depending on the recommendation and how bad the problem is. However, if the final recommendation were to replace the clutch, you would expect to pay between $500 and $2500.

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2.    Dirty transmission fluid

If you're not driving a vehicle equipped with a manual transmission, the most common situation you're dealing with is dirty transmission fluid. This can also be a problem in a vehicle with a manual transmission.

If you don't already know the transmission fluid is a necessary element. It is responsible for lubricating any transmission's internal components and ensuring that the transmission does not overheat. However, the transmission fluid becomes more critical in vehicles equipped with manual transmissions because it's involved in how your transmission operates.

Over time use, this transmission fluid gets dirty. In other words, it picks up debris and contaminants as it starts around the transmission. Therefore, at some point in time, and based on the recommendations and your vehicle’s owner’s manual, you have to replace these fluids and use a better one.

How to fix the problem?

Fixing the problem that has to do with The Dirty transmission fluid has two different methods. The first one is to perform a fluid change. In other words, you can replace part of these transmission fluids with a fresh one. However, in some severe scenarios, you might need to perform what's known as a transmission flush.

During the transmission flush, your mechanic has to take out all the transmission fluid in the vehicle. In other words, you cannot leave any remaining fluid because it makes the new fluids dirty and will impact the functionality.

How much does it cost?

If you're looking for costs to perform a transmission fluid change cost will be different than in situations where you're looking for a transmission flush.

For example, transmission fluid change might cost you about $100, which might get you to $300 in certain situations. However, performing a transmission flush might be a bit more expensive and could get to $258 at the minimum.

It’s hard to tell how much you have to pay for a transmission flush versus a transmission fluid change because it will differ significantly depending on where you get the job done. For example, if you decide to do it yourself with the right skills, it won't cost you more than the cost of the fluid itself.

However, if you're planning to do a small independent shop job, you'll have to consider labor costs. On the other hand, going to establish might mean extra money for labor costs.

Therefore, most automotive experts typically recommend having simple jobs like a transmission fluid flushed down at smaller independent shops. You might be encouraged to do it yourself if you have the right skills. Remember that doing the job yourself has some risk, especially if you haven't done it before. Therefore, if you want to avoid introducing any problems to your vehicle, you'd better have professionals deal with it so you don't introduce issues that could cost you much money on the repair.

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3.    Malfunctioning shift

Assuming that you ensure that your transmission clutch is in good condition and the transmission fluid is clean, the next step is to check on the shift itself. A very common situation is when you're a transmission and will not engage in any gear because of an issue and malfunctioning with the shift itself.

You've probably heard the term my transmission has a shift lock. Your transmission cannot switch between park into gears without you pressing the gas pedal.

Unfortunately, this is a very critical safety situation because it has to do with how your vehicle functions and impacts your safety. Therefore, it is critical that you consult your mechanic as soon as possible and have him take a look at the faulty component.

How to fix the problem?

There are many recommendations on how to get rid of this locked shift in your vehicle. For example, some automotive experts recommend performing with someone whom does shift lock override. This allows you to eliminate the problem when the shift is malfunctioning.

However, you still need to consult your mechanic to get a better idea about what's causing the issue in the first place. Your mechanic might be able to identify potential internal problems within your transmission that you can get rid of immediately.

How much does it cost?

It's easier to tell how much it will cost to get rid of the lock shift if you know the root culprit causing the problem. In some severe scenarios, it could be a complete problem with the transmission itself, and in that case, your mechanic might suggest expensive repairs like replacing the whole transmission.

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4.    Torque converter troubles

Another potential culprit behind a situation where your transmission will not engage in any gear is a problem with the torque converter.

The torque converter is the core component in your transmission that plays a similar role to the clutch in any vehicle equipped with a manual transmission.

Since the torque converter is not designed to last forever, there will be a time when it wears out and requires replacement. In that case, you might deal with situations where you cannot change gears.

How to fix the problem?

When your mechanic confirmed that the problem has to do with the torque converter, your solution would be to either fix the converter or replace it. It is common that the only solution, in this case, is to replace the converter and make sure that you're installing one that's suitable for your vehicle and will not cause future problems.

How much does it cost?

Unfortunately, replacing the torque converter is not a cheap option. Repair costs can range from as low as $600 and can go up to $1000. This can be a significant repair, especially if your vehicle is not extremely valuable. Therefore, you need to evaluate before making a final decision about fixing this vehicle.

For example, if you realize that repair costs are piling up and approaching 75% or more of your vehicle's value, most experts recommend selling this car and buying a better one.

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5.    Transmission control unit issues

Finally, if you confirm that all the previously mentioned components are in good condition, the transmission control units are the last thing you want to look at.

It is common to deal with situations where the transmission control unit fails. In other words, although this component is expected to last for a good time, there are many situations where it might fail prematurely because of many external factors.

How to fix the problem?

Once your mechanic confirms that the issue is related to the control unit, the question becomes how to fix it. The typical solution in this situation is to replace the unit, and you might end up with a condition where you have to replace the entire transmission.

How much does it cost?

Again, replacing the transmission control unit is a costly undertaking. It typically costs you somewhere between $500.00 and $900. This repair cost can climb significantly because of the addition of the labor cost.

Low Transmission Fluid Symptoms

The transmission will not engage in any gear: Final thoughts

Your vehicle’s transmission is extremely important because it has to do with its functionality and might get involved in your vehicle’s drivability and safety.

One of the very common situations that your vehicle might deal with is when the transmission will not engage in any gear. In that case, you most likely are dealing with a problem with the clutch, a dirty transmission fluid, malfunctioning shifts, a bad torque converter, or a damaged control unit.

Despite the cause of the problem, when your transmission will not engage in any gear, you have to take immediate action and resolve the issue before it impacts your safety.

If you confirm that repair costs are very high and they approach the value of your vehicle, a better solution would be to sell your vehicle and buy a better one.

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