the car will not shift into any gear, but the gear shift moves

the car turns on with no problem; however, when I move the gear shift, nothing happens, the car will not move into gear, but the gear shift moves with no resistance.

My car has 165400 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
transmission shifting

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

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

In most cases, this issue is caused by a damaged shift solenoid or perhaps an obstruction of debris inside the transmission hydraulic lines. It could also be caused by damaged inside the transmission…
Misadjusted, damaged or stretched shift linkage or cables can keep an AT from going into gear when moving the shifter. Check your owner`s manual, because some vehicles have shift cables that are adjustable. Adjusting a cable is a one-time fix you can make before taking your car in for service.
One reason why an automatic transmission isn`t shifting into gear has to do with the fluid. If it`s not at the right level or the incorrect type has been used, then it`ll affect the gears. Another big reason has to do with the ECM possibly going bad.
The most common reason is low transmission fluid or a leak. Otherwise, the car might not move because of a clogged filter, bad valve body, bad shift solenoid, failed torque converter, bad gear position sensor, defective transmission control unit, or due to worn-out clutches.
Bad Transmission Control Module Symptoms

Slow Acceleration: It takes longer than normal for your vehicle to pick up speed. Gear Slippage: Your transmission switches gears without warning or without you shifting. Inability to Shift: You can`t shift out of neutral.

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.
You can also force your automatic transmission to downshift into a lower gear. Here`s how to do it: As you approach a situation where you`d like to downshift, ease off the gas pedal. Allow the transmission to shift to a lower gear.
Just as you learned what happens with low transmission fluid, dirty fluid, or a clogged filter can cause similar transmission troubles and create a car that won`t back up in reverse. Improper lubrication from old fluid or debris in contaminated fluid will affect how the transmission shifts into reverse or other gear.
Transmission Control Module (TCM) or Powertrain Control Module (PCM) All automatic transmissions use a control module to regulate speed, gear changes, and clutch engagement. The TCM makes decisions based on the information it receives from the engine, making it the key to shifting gears and changing the speed.
Dirty or contaminated transmission fluid. Low transmission fluid. Internal blockages that prevent fluid from moving correctly. A faulty PCM (rare)
Your vehicle seems to have trouble downshifting when your vehicle slows down. Your vehicle`s engine roars loudly and has difficulty shifting to higher gears when you attempt to accelerate. Your vehicle`s gears shift unexpectedly to another gear or neutral when you`re driving.
A damaged ECU can cause problems when shifting gears in an automatic transmission, or cause sudden jerking or stopping that`s similar to transmission problems.
The ECM doesn`t control the transmission on a stick shift, so if you`re having problems with your five-speed, it`s the transmission. If you`ve done numerous repairs on the transmission and replaced your automatic transmission fluid and you`re still having problems, the ECM could be at the root of your problems.
The first step in determining your transmission problems consists of the technician connecting the diagnostic equipment to your vehicle`s on-board computer. This will produce a code stating where the problem lies.
Grease, dirt and moisture can collect in or on the interlock and brakelight switches as well as on the shift cable and related parts, hampering their operation and making it hard to shift into gear.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

the car will not shift into any gear, but the gear shift moves
ANSWER : transmission shifting

Car in park shifter will move through gears but wont shift through the gears its stuck in neutral have emergency brake on so it wont roll
ANSWER : From what you’ve described, it sounds like the shifter cable came off at the transmission or the shifter. I’d suggest checking the shift linkage on the transmission to see if the cable came off. This is due to the connector end bushing falling apart and not being able to hold the cable on any longer. Some cables have to be replaced as a whole and as with others the bushing can be replaced to fix the cable. I’d suggest contacting a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who can come diagnose your shifting issue and make the necessary repairs to your vehicle. Good luck.

My gear shift doesn’t shift to any other gear its stuck on neutral. I open the gear assembly and I can pull a lever which allows me to move it.
ANSWER : Hi there. The shifter interlock solenoid is not working and needs replaced. The shifter interlock solenoid makes the shifter lock in place so it does not move if you accidentally move it into another gear. If you need further assistance with your shifter not working, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

When shifting into 1st gear and attempting to take off, car shakes and then stalls. Car also won’t let me shift into reverse.
ANSWER : Hi there. Either the shifter rail is damaged inside the transmission keeping the gears from going into reverse and the first gear from connecting all the way, or the transmission first and reverse gears are damaged causing the transmission to have a hesitation on the forward 1st gear and no reverse. I recommend seeking out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you diagnose your transmission shifting issue.

I got sound when I shift to 3rd gear and it’s get hard to put shift to second gear when car is in 3rd gear.
ANSWER : Hello. It sounds as though the synchronizers in the transmission, which are used to adjust transmission internal gear speed when upshifting or downshifting are possibly worn out or you are shifting a bit too fast. It is also possible that the clutch is not releasing fully when you press the clutch pedal. In some conditions, utilizing synthetic gear oil in the transmission can help the quality of gear shifting. If the clutch is not fully releasing an inspection of the clutch hydraulics is a good idea. I would recommend having an inspection of the hard shift completed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost for repairs.

The car doesn’t shift into first gear while it works fine in reverse
ANSWER : The problem could be that the internal transmission pump is weak, or the transmission clutch seals are leaking. It sounds like the transmission will need an overhaul.

I recommend having a transmission mechanic test the pressures and diagnose the problems to verify whether you need an overhaul with a new torque convertor.

My car is a saturn vue 05. It starts will shift all gears. But it’s not moving when I put into gear. Even in natural it won’t move
ANSWER : Hi there. Let’s begin with the "N" position for the gear selector. That is neutral, or no direction meaning that the car does not move on its own power in that gear; only if you and possibly help from friends push the car. Do you actually feel the vehicle shift into a gear when the selector is placed in "D" or "R"? If not, this could an internal failure of the transmission; a clutch, band, etc.. no need to get into the technicalities of internal parts here. I would suggest having a qualified technician perform an inspection to avoid replacing unnecessary parts. Your Mechanic has several available technicians that can assist you with a car does not move inspection.

Car won’t move. I can start the car but when I put the shifter in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, ect. The car will not move.
ANSWER : The transaxle is not engaging internally to the axle shafts inside the transaxle or you have one or both axle shafts disengaged from the transaxle. The fact that the speedometer moves when gear is engaged and clutch is released shows the speed sensor in the transaxle is getting turned.

You will need to have the vehicle raised and the axles inspected for broke or stripped shafts. If the axles do not have anything visually wrong with them then hold one wheel and try to turn the other wheel while transaxle is in gear, with engine off, to see if the wheels are locked together. When you spin one wheel the other wheel should turn in the opposite direction. If it does not then the problem is in the transaxle differential gears and the transaxle would need to be removed and disassembled to find the broken internal components.

If you need some assistance with this, consider YourMechanic, as one of our mobile technicians can come to your home or office to diagnose your acceleration issue and help make the necessary repairs to get you going again.