Car Won’t Move in Drive or Reverse? Seven Potential Causes to Check

Mobile Mechanic tips near University-park, TX

Check Engine Light

When you encounter this problem, the first step is to check if the check engine light is illuminated on your dashboard. The illuminated light indicates that your car’s computer has detected a problem and has activated a reduced power mode as a protective measure. To identify the root cause, you’ll need a diagnostic scan tool to read the trouble codes.

Transmission Fluid Level and Condition

Low transmission fluid levels or dirty, old fluid can hinder smooth gear shifts. Check the transmission fluid level by inspecting the dipstick while the car is warm and idling in park. If necessary, top it off, but avoid flushing dirty fluid as it can damage the transmission.

Broken Shifter Cable or Linkage

Mechanical connections, such as the shifter cable or linkage, inform the car’s computer about the selected gear. If these connections are damaged, the car won’t know what gear it’s in. Inspect the cables closely under the car near the transmission.

Faulty Transmission Range or Neutral Safety Switch

Similar to the shifter cable and linkage, sensors like the transmission range or neutral safety switch relay your gear position to the computer. If these sensors are faulty, you may move the shifter, but the car acts as if it’s in a different gear. Error codes can confirm a bad sensor.

CV Axle Issues

CV axles transfer power to the wheels. Listen for clicking noises when starting the car. To check if your CV axle is the issue, test for play or looseness in the CV joint by grabbing the axle and trying to move it back and forth.

Stuck Solenoids in the Valve Body

Inside the valve body, solenoids regulate transmission fluid pressure to control gear shifts. If these solenoids get stuck open or closed, it can lead to rough shifting. You can test solenoids individually before considering a full valve body replacement.

Worn Clutch Packs and Bands

Worn-out clutch packs and bands can cause slippage and prevent gears from fully engaging. Unfortunately, resolving this issue requires transmission disassembly to access and repair internal parts.

I hope this overview provides you with a strong starting point for diagnosing why your automatic transmission car won’t move into any gear. Potential causes include low fluid, broken cables, bad sensors and solenoids, axle problems, or worn clutches.

If you have any other questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out Mobile Mechanic now.

About University-park, TX


  • University Park: A city in Dallas County, Texas, that is home to Southern Methodist University and the George W. Bush Presidential Center. It is one of the most affluent places in Texas and the United States.
  • History and incorporation: The city was founded as a cluster of homes around SMU in 1915 and incorporated in 1924. It resisted annexation by Dallas until 1945 and adopted a Home Rule Charter in 1989.
  • Geography and climate: The city has a total area of 3.7 square miles and is surrounded by Dallas and Highland Park. It has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and mild winters.
  • Demographics and politics: The city has a population of 25,278 people, mostly non-Hispanic White, with a few Asian, African American, and Hispanic residents. It is largely Republican, but the margin has decreased over time.
  • Education and media: The city is served by the Highland Park Independent School District or the Dallas Independent School District, depending on the location. It has a public library, an online news platform, and a monthly magazine.

People Also ask


  • Is University Park TX a good place to live? Yes, University Park is considered one of the best places to live in Texas. It offers residents a sparse suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In University Park there are a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Many young professionals live in University Park and residents tend to lean liberal. The public schools in University Park are highly rated .
  • Why isn’t University Park part of Dallas? University Park is a separate city from Dallas because it was founded as a cluster of homes surrounding Southern Methodist University in 1915. The area’s homeowners first sought annexation into the town of Highland Park, but were refused due to the high cost that would have been required to provide the necessary utility and safety services. Shortly thereafter, Dallas also refused a request for annexation on similar grounds .
  • What is University Park Texas known for? University Park is known for being home to Southern Methodist University and the George W. Bush Presidential Center. It is also one of the most affluent places in Texas based on per capita income .
  • What are the demographics of University Park Dallas? the population of University Park is 25,029 people, mostly non-Hispanic White, with a few Asian, African American, and Hispanic residents. The median age is 38.5 years old.

I hope that helps!