Car Won’t Go In Reverse But Drives Fine: 6 Reasons & What to Do

Car won’t go in reverse but drives fine: 6 reasons & what to do. Most of the time, when you turn your car off and then back on it will drive backwards for a short while (and sometimes this is needed). However, there are times where something may be preventing the engine from turning over or even starting at all. This article provides some tips that explain why your car might not start or move in reverse despite everything appearing normal.

The “car won’t reverse but will go forward” is a common issue that many people encounter. This article will explain the 6 most common reasons why this can happen and how to fix it.

It’s quite inconvenient when a car fails to reverse yet continues to drive normally. You will usually be unable to engage reverse gear in such situations. However, in rare circumstances, even when the gear is engaged, the car does not drive in reverse.

This difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that you use reverse gear practically every time you drive the automobile. There are a variety of reasons why this might happen, and we’ll go through a number of them below along with some answers.

6 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Go Backwards But Drives Fine: What to Do

6 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Go Backwards But Drives Fine: What to Do

1. Insufficient or contaminated transmission fluid

Low transmission fluid levels may cause a variety of problems, including overheating, irregular shifting, engine stalling, and the car not going in reverse.

Because of the low fluid levels, the gears will not get proper lubrication. As a result, the engine overheats, causing the reverse gear to malfunction.

Dirty transmission fluid or filters may also create this problem by reducing the fluid’s ability to lubricate the gears.

The reverse gear troubles are just the beginning if your vehicle’s transmission fluid level is low or the fluid is unclean. You’re also likely to have trouble changing to different gears, unpredictable shifts, and other concerns like RPM spikes while shifting.

Replace both the transmission fluid and the filter.

Low transmission fluid is a simple problem to resolve that does not need the assistance of an expert. To be certain that it is the root of the issue, use the dipstick to check the transmission fluid level. Make sure your engine is hot and your car is in neutral gear before you do this.

Although topping up the transmission fluid rather of changing it is simpler and less expensive, you should not do so. Instead, a complete replacement is required.

A replacement ensures that you have adequate transmission fluid and that any contaminants is removed. Replace the filter while you’re at it. It’s also possible that the old filter is blocked, affecting fluid passage to the gears.

1635315238_257_Car-Wont-Go-In-Reverse-But-Drives-Fine-6-Reasons What Should You Do About It?

2. A Transmission System That Has Been Worn Out

Transmission system wear is a progressive process that you should observe long before it causes certain gears to cease working properly, such as reverse. Despite this, many drivers miss or disregard warning indications of the condition, such as irregular shifts.

The pressure necessary to run your transmission system cannot build up when the various components in your transmission system wear out. The reverse gear is one of the first gears to be impacted by natural wear.

Inspection of the whole transmission system is the best solution.

You may uncover difficulties causing the troublesome reverse gear by thoroughly inspecting the transmission system.

Depending on the results of the examination, you may need to replace the complete transmission system. However, in many cases, just a few components, such as worn or broken reverse gear teeth, are required.

3. Transmission Selector Switch Fault

When you need to transfer gear, the transmission selection switch transmits a signal to the vehicle’s powertrain control module. However, if it is not operating properly, it will not provide the signal to trigger a reverse gear switch.

A faulty gearbox selection switch in many automobiles may send the vehicle into limp mode. You won’t be able to change out of third gear when in limp mode.

Check the transmission selector switch as a solution.

Natural wear and corrosion are common causes of transmission selector switch failure. As a result, if the problem isn’t too serious, you may try putting the car in reverse many times. This operation will aid in the removal of rust from the components, allowing the gear to engage.

If this doesn’t work, have the transmission selector switch checked and repaired or replaced. If your check engine light comes on, utilize a vehicle diagnostic tool to make sure the codes indicate a problem with the gearbox selector switch.

Your technician should advise you whether to replace or repair the switch after you’ve determined it’s defective.

4. Reverse Gear Teeth Broken

Broken gear teeth are a frequent issue, particularly in automobiles with manual transmissions. Many people who learn to drive a stick shift abuse the gears by not shifting properly, resulting in damaged reverse gear teeth.

When you engage reverse gear with damaged teeth, you may typically hear a loud clunk or clicking noise.

Replacement of the Gear is the solution.

Unfortunately, damaged reverse gear teeth cannot be repaired. As a result, the only option is to remove the transmission system and replace the broken gear.

1635315239_681_Car-Wont-Go-In-Reverse-But-Drives-Fine-6-Reasons Teeth on the Reverse Gear are Broken

Clutch Fault No. 5

In a manual gearbox, the clutch enables you to change gears, so if it isn’t operating properly, you won’t be able to reverse.

Pump the Clutch is the solution.

Try pumping the clutch many times to build up enough pressure to enable you to move the stick to reverse.

If this does not cure the problem, you should turn off your engine and attempt shifting backwards through the gears. If you can shift into reverse gear, your clutch is defective and has to be repaired.

6. A Gasket That Has Been Worn Out

A worn gasket on the seal and link beneath your engine may cause a variety of issues, one of which is the car unable to operate in reverse gear. The worn gaskets will make it difficult for the gears to move smoothly.

Check and replace any worn gaskets.

Checking for worn-out gaskets may be done in a variety of methods, including utilizing a kit. Additionally, worn gaskets may cause additional problems such as overheating under the hood and smoke with a yellowish tinge coming from the exhaust.

Replace any worn gaskets with new ones when you discover them, but bear in mind that this work may need some specialized expertise and equipment, and it’s sometimes preferable to leave it to a professional technician.

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The reverse gear is essential regardless of the size and kind of car you drive. Simple tasks such as parking or exiting the garage will become nearly impossible if it fails.

While a variety of factors may contribute to this issue, most of them should be reasonably simple to resolve for a skilled mechanic. However, the best strategies to avoid the issue are appropriate car maintenance and excellent driving behavior.


  1. 7 Reasons Why Your Car Won’t Reverse – CarTreatments
  2. My car won’t go backwards, but it still works.

The “how to fix reverse gear in automatic transmission” is a problem that many car owners face. The 6 reasons and what to do are included in this blog.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my car go in drive but not reverse?

A: Your car is in standard mode. If you are trying to go in reverse, you would be in D instead of R.

What causes a transmission to lose reverse?

A: If there is a mechanical or electrical problem with the transmission, this can cause it to not be able to go into reverse.

How do you fix a transmission that wont go in reverse?

A: A transmission is not meant to go in reverse, so if yours does not seem to be working properly it may need a replacement.

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  • car goes forward in reverse automatic
  • broken reverse gear teeth
  • how do you fix a car that won’t go in reverse
Aaron Cardwell