What to do When Your Car Gear Does Not Change?
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What to do When Your Car Gear Does Not Change?

Irrespective of whether you are driving a manual car or an automatic one, your car transmission can fail at any time, at times without any warning alerts. If and when that happens, you may end up being stranded at a place for hours until you can figure out how to fix the issue at hand.

Reasons for your gearing not shifting could be plenty. Low fluid in the transmission, damage to the shift linkage, complete failure of transmission, and so on. Understanding the cause is very crucial to solving the problem.

When such a situation occurs, there are certain things you can try to do and solve this issue yourself. The last resort is to call a garage and get your car gear fixed by a professional. Apart from that, here is a list of things you can do to shift gears when you are stuck.

Ways to Shift Your Car Gear

Press the Clutch Pedal All The Way:

If you are driving a manual car, press the clutch pedal completely down before you try to change the gears. As the friction goes down, you have to keep pressing the pedal more and more down until it moves away from the flywheel.

If the disc and flywheel remain stuck, you will not be able to move them out of one gear and to another, as a result of it. However, you may be able to pull the gear into the neutral position.

If pushing the pedal down any further does not make any impact, it means it may have gone too far and there is no need to continue any further with this method. Another issue could be that you might have accidentally, released the clutch badly, misaligned clutch housing or the transmission fluid is low.

Press Down the Brake Firmly:

If you drive an automatic car and are not able to move the shift lever, you will need to press the brake down very firmly. Cars that are being manufactured today, have a safety mechanism that locks the shifter to prevent your car from accidentally shifting to gear while it is parked. To unlock the safety or to release it, you have to switch on the car and put your foot on the brake pedal while putting your car in reverse gear.

Ensure to Check Transmission Fluid Levels:

One of the most important steps you into consider doing is to check the level of transmission fluid in your car.


If you are driving an automatic-gear car, you can check the fluid level with a dipstick which is under the hood of the car. You should follow the procedures as per the manual book which is specific to your car while doing this task. Apart from checking that there is enough transmission fluid, also check for its quality. It should be vibrant red and a burning smell should not come from it. If the fluid is thick and black, the internal mechanism of the transmission could be damaged. A damaged transmission will not be able to then shift.


If you are driving a manual car, you do not have a dipstick in it to check the fluid levels. You have to check for it by looking inside the filler hole and checking whether there is enough fluid inside it or not. It is highly recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations while performing such tasks or seek help from an expert.

You will also need to check and verify if the fluid still looks clean or not. The look of the fluid depends on what kind of fluid you use for your gearbox. Some cars use 75w90 gear oil while others use 10w-30 motor oil in their transmissions.

If you discover that the transmission fluid is low, you have to use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended fluid to put it in the transmission. If the fluid has a burnt smell or has the wrong colour, you will need to have the transmission fluid flushed and will need to refill it with new fluid instead.

Check Linkage Breaks in The Shift:

There is a possibility that the shift linkage in your car may also break apart or may become loose. In this case, moving the shifter will not change the gears. It will stay in the same gear and will not even shift to neutral.

To check if that is the case, you have to first remove the centre console or the shift boot, depending on the vehicle’s design. You might even need to get beneath the car or find the linkage running through the bay of the engine to understand the root cause of the issue.

Once you find the place, you will need to follow the linkage from the shifter to the transmission. You will need to verify all the parts and make sure they are connected properly. Ensure that they are not damaged or worn out. By reconnecting those parts, you may not be able to solve the problem. You might need to replace parts or readjust them.


These are some of the many ways you can try to fix your stuck gear. The last resort is to get a specialist and solve the issue. You can check our website here and purchase transmission and get it delivered right to your home.