Car Wont Go Into Gear When Running


Car Wont Go Into Gear When Running: Causes and Solutions

One of the most frustrating situations a car owner can encounter is when their vehicle refuses to go into gear while it’s running. This issue can leave you stranded and unsure of what steps to take next. In this article, we will explore some possible causes for this problem and discuss potential solutions.

1. Clutch Problems: If you own a manual transmission vehicle, a common cause for your car not going into gear could be clutch-related issues. A worn-out clutch plate, a faulty release bearing, or a damaged clutch master cylinder can all contribute to this problem.

2. Low Transmission Fluid: Automatic transmission vehicles rely on transmission fluid to operate smoothly. If the fluid level is low, your car may struggle to engage gears. Check your transmission fluid levels regularly to avoid this issue.

3. Transmission Synchronizer Ring Damage: In manual transmission cars, the synchronizer ring helps align the gears for smooth shifting. If this ring gets damaged, it can prevent your car from going into gear when running.

4. Faulty Shifter Cables: The shifter cables connect the gear shift lever to the transmission. If these cables are worn out or damaged, they may not be able to engage the gears properly.

5. Clutch Pedal Switch Malfunction: Some vehicles have a clutch pedal switch that ensures the car can only be started when the clutch is fully engaged. If this switch malfunctions, it may prevent the car from going into gear.

6. Internal Transmission Issues: In some cases, internal problems within the transmission itself can cause difficulty in shifting gears while the car is running. This could be due to wear and tear or mechanical failures.

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1. Clutch Replacement: If you own a manual transmission vehicle and suspect a clutch-related issue, it may be necessary to replace the clutch assembly. Consult a professional mechanic for an accurate diagnosis and repair.

2. Check and Refill Transmission Fluid: Ensure that your automatic transmission’s fluid level is within the recommended range. If it is low, top it up with the appropriate fluid recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

3. Repair or Replace Synchronizer Ring: If the synchronizer ring is damaged, a transmission repair specialist can replace it to restore proper gear engagement.

4. Replace Shifter Cables: If your car’s shifter cables are worn out or damaged, replacing them can resolve the issue. Seek professional assistance for this repair.

5. Clutch Pedal Switch Adjustment or Replacement: A faulty clutch pedal switch may require adjustment or replacement. An experienced mechanic can perform this task to restore proper gear engagement.

6. Transmission Repair or Replacement: If the problem lies within the transmission itself, it may be necessary to repair or replace it. Consult a specialized transmission mechanic for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate action.


1. Can I still drive my car if it won’t go into gear when running?
No, it is not safe to drive a car that won’t go into gear. Have it towed to a reputable mechanic for inspection and repair.

2. Why does my car go into gear when it’s off but not when it’s running?
This could indicate a clutch-related issue in manual transmission vehicles or a problem with the automatic transmission system. Seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis.

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3. How much does it cost to fix a car that won’t go into gear?
The cost of repairs will vary depending on the specific cause of the problem, the vehicle make and model, and labor rates in your area. Consult a mechanic for an estimate.

4. Can I fix the issue myself?
While some minor issues can be fixed by DIY enthusiasts, it is recommended to consult a professional mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

5. How can I prevent this problem from occurring?
Regularly maintain your vehicle by checking fluid levels, replacing worn-out parts, and servicing the transmission as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

6. How long does it take to fix a car that won’t go into gear?
The repair time will depend on the cause of the problem and the availability of parts. It can range from a few hours to a couple of days.

7. Is this problem common in all cars?
While it can occur in any vehicle, manual transmission cars are more susceptible to clutch-related gear engagement issues.