Only drives in reverse

When I shift into drive it does not catch and starts to rev. I then put it into reverse and it reverses fine. I tried troubleshooting it by putting it into park first for 10 sec and then to neutral and then drive…it still doesnt catch. I then put it back on drive and started to rev high and it moved alittle. I checked the trans fluid and saw that it was alittle low so I added alittle and notice some leakage. Please help. Thank you!

My car has 186000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Hi. Your transmission has an internal problem with either the valve body, shift solenoid, clutches or torque converter. The only way to fix this problem is to rebuild the transmission or replace it with a new one. Sometimes a transmission flush and a transmission additive will bring back the transmission to working operation but in the case you have this does not usually work. I suggest you have the transmission replaced or rebuilt to fix your problem.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Transmission Issues

Transmission is most likely to be the culprit for the car wont move in drive but will in reverse issue. When the vehicle does not function in one or more gears, you should check the gear shifter. The gear cable could be stretched further than the normal length and will need adjustment.

If the car will move in reverse but won`t go forward, the likely cause is worn out solenoids, clutches, or gears. Check the transmission fluid, as a low level is a potential reason for making the car move in reverse only.
This is often a sign of low transmission fluid or a faulty transmission control solenoid. As you know, automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears.
Problems Reversing – One common problem that can happen with a clogged filter is difficulty moving in reverse. The lack of fluid flowing through the transmission can cause the reverse gear to lock. This may prevent the car from going in reverse altogether, or it may cause it to hesitate before launching into reverse.
A failing transmission position sensor may no longer send the right signals to the Powertrain Control Module, or PCM. Without signals from the position sensor, the PCM will no longer know when to shift the transmission`s gears out of park into a moving gear. Transmission shifts into the wrong gear.
The only solution for fixing a damaged reverse gear is removing and disassembling the transmission. Through this process, performed by an experienced mechanic, the broken gear is replaced.
If when you put your vehicle into gear and it won`t move, this may be a problem with low transmission fluid due to a leak, the shifter, shifter cable, or it could even be a problem in the valve body of your automatic transmission.
In case the problem is a transmission leak, a simple reseal service, and transmission fluid flush is all you need to fix the problem. However, if your transmission is severely damaged, you`ll probably need a replacement transmission for your car.
Turn off your vehicle`s ignition and wait patiently for 5 to 10 seconds. Start the engine and allow it to idle for several seconds. Switch off the ignition and wait patiently for another 30 to 40 seconds. Repeat these steps 2 to 3 times in order to reset your vehicle`s transmission control module.
Difficulty Shifting Gears – If you ever accelerate and hear your engine rev, but don`t feel your car go any faster, your transmission is likely stuck in gear. Drivers with a manual transmission will feel some resistance when you try to shift. Not being able to shift is a direct result of having low transmission fluid.
Driving your car through a low transmission fluid level is dangerous to you and the vehicle. Failure to top up the fluid is a hazard that might cause extreme damage to the transmission, the engine, and essential components that keep the car running.
A transmission that does not go into reverse can be caused by a wide variety of different issues, and could be related to the fluid leak you are experiencing. A few common causes for a transmission that will not go into reverse is a faulty transmission solenoid or low fluid.
But if the solenoid malfunctions mechanically, no reverse or delayed and slipping reverse may occur.
The Transmission Range Sensor tells the PCM the position of the transmission shifter. The PCM uses this information to control which gears of the transmission to enable or disable. When the TR sensor fails it can cause wrong gear starts, no upshifts, or what feels like a falling-out-of-gear condition.
For example, in some situations an oxygen sensor can cause poor shifting in your transmission – if the engine isn`t running correctly, the transmission control module may misinterpret when and where it`s supposed to be shifting, causing erratic behavior at the transmission.
A surefire sign of a failing torque converter is when the vehicle won`t shift into a specific gear at all. If you can`t get it to go into reverse or forward drive won`t engage, then it`s probably something wrong with your torque converter.
However, a defective speed sensor is viable by an illuminated warning light on the dashboard, signalling that it`s time to repair or replace the speed sensor. These are the major causes that hamper the transmission system, due to which the car won`t go in reverse sometimes.
You experience delayed gear shifting and a sense of pulling or slipping when trying to shift between gears. The vehicle will not downshift as you slow down. An inability for the solenoid valve to operate may prevent your car from downshifting, and the engine will continue to rev as you attempt to brake.
But a blown fuse No. 38 becomes a likely candidate causing a loss of power to the transmission solenoids.
Maintain Proper Transmission Fluid Levels

The #1 cause of transmission failure is low fluid, which causes overheating. In automatic transmissions, it causes delayed engagement, harsh shifts, and slippage.

In general, the torque converter includes components like a pump, a stator, and a turbine. Any one of these could become faulty, which can cause slipping when your transmission shifts gears. It can also keep the transmission from successfully shifting at all.
Though changing transmission fluid can`t fix mechanical problems, it does make for smoother shifts and can extend the life of your transmission.
Transmission Repairs

Often with a transmission repair, you are only fixing one specific part of the transmission. This repair can take place without having to rebuild the entire transmission. This option typically costs less than a rebuild or a replacement.

The TCM fuse is in the main fuse block and is probably 10 amps. If the fuse is blown, that is confirmation but the faulty fuse means there is a short circuit in the TCM and/or wiring that would have to be traced and repaired.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Shifting issues from drive to reverse and back to drive
ANSWER : Mercedes has a dealer service order (#Order No: S-B-27.19/118A
) that addresses diagnosis, and possible dealer repair of the transmission for your model. Check with your dealer to confirm coverage of this.

Read Full Q/A … : Only drives in reverse

When shifting from reverse to drive or drive to reverse I hear a clicking noise.
ANSWER : Hi there. There is a gear train issue with your transmission or a bad CV Shaft that is causing the transmission to shift had into gear. Since it shifts harder in reverse than forward, I suggest that the gears inside the transmission are worn. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you diagnose your transmission issue.

Read Full Q/A … : Only drives in reverse

My pacifica runs and drives only reverse when i shift it to drive dies quickly . But you can shift it to reverse and neutral
ANSWER : This is an internal problem with the transmission and may be a valve body or leaking internal seal. The problem is the transmission leaking pressure internally, and when you put it in drive, the transmission is trying to go into reverse and drive at the same time causing the transmission to stall the engine. Have a mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, scan the computer to see if a code is received that will help detect the cause. They will be able to diagnose your stalling issue, and any other problem you are having, so that a proper repair can be made.

Read Full Q/A … : Only drives in reverse

Alternator belt got torn whilst driving and had new belt fixed but the car won’t move on drive or reverse after few seconds drive
ANSWER : This is a sign of a faulty transmission control solenoid. Modern automatic transmissions use pressurized hydraulic fluid to change gears. Every time a gear change is required, the car’s computer activates a transmission solenoid, which directs transmission fluid into the valve body to engage the correct gear. When this is faulty or not working properly, this can cause a delay in gear shifting or in some cases cause the car to not shift at all. If you’d like, a certified technician from YourMechanic can come to your home or office to inspect your vehicle, and provide a definitive diagnosis for the shifting issue.

Read Full Q/A … : Only drives in reverse

My car will only shift into reverse and neutral, can’t get it into the drive gear
ANSWER : This may be a result of low transmission fluid or potentially a faulty transmission control module. A faulty transmission control module may cause a delay in acceleration or erratic shifting of gears. The transmission control module has various sensors such as vehicle speed sensors, wheel speed sensors, throttle position sensors, turbine speed sensor, and transmission fluid temperature sensors that all direct information to it in order for it to perform it’s function. Other functions controlled by the TCM are components such as a kick down switch, traction control system, and cruise control module. Any of these may also affect the way the transmission control module performs and controls the transmission and the shifting of your vehicle. I would suggest having a professional from Your Mechanic come to your location to properly diagnose your transmission problem.

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1995 f250 reverses fine but wont drive it still ingagues in gear but doesent move in 1 2 or drive
ANSWER : Hello there. Sometimes transmission linkage being misaligned can be the cause of this problem. In other cases, obstructions inside the hydraulic lines of the transmission or torque converter issues can cause problems like you’ve described as well. It is probably best to have a professional mobile mechanic come to your location and complete a car is hard to shift inspection to attempt and diagnose this issues before taking it in for repairs.

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Can front wheel drive car engine power rear wheel drive
ANSWER : Anything is possible with enough engineering. The changes you are looking at would take major structural changes and would definitely not be an easy job. You could possibly consult a manufacturing engineer to get more details on how this could actually be carried out and whether it would be feasible.

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My car will not shift out of drive and into park – 1999 Hyundai Sonata
ANSWER : Hi. This sounds like the ignition switch has a problem and is not allowing the car to go into park. If the ignition switch is not sending the signal to the neutral safety switch that the key is in the run position, it will not allow the shifter to move. It is also possible that the shift linkage is damaged and is causing the problem you have as well.

I suggest you have a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to determine why the car is not shifting properly and suggest the necessary repairs

Read Full Q/A … : Only drives in reverse