5 Reasons Your Car Won’t Reverse

September 23, 2021 | By Mister Transmission

5 Reasons Your Car Won't Reverse

Trying to reverse your car and your car deciding to not reverse is, at best, annoying, and at worst, dangerous. Here are five reasons why your car might not reverse.

1. Problems With The Transmission Fluid

Insufficient quantity or quality of fluid can cause just about any transmission problem. If your car won’t reverse properly, check your fluid. If the level is too low, top it up and see if that helps. Also, look at the fluid and give it a whiff. Good automatic transmission fluid is largely translucent with a slight reddish hue and it is neutral smelling. Foul smelling or opaque fluid is indicative of a larger problem and you should bring your vehicle in for an inspection. Manual transmissions can also use transmission fluid or they use some kind of oil, and these should also be checked.

2. Faulty Sensors

There are a number of sensors within your transmission that allow it to run. When you shift an automatic transmission into reverse with the gearshift, an electronic sensor sends a message to the powertrain control module that the transmission should be go into reverse. However, if the sensor malfunctions, it might send the wrong message, or no message it all. Such a problem is often accompanied by the illumination of the check engine light. At Mister Transmission, we can interface with your vehicle’s onboard computer to deal with such a sensor issue.

3. A Damaged Valve Body (Automatic)

In automatic transmissions, the valve body directs hydraulic fluid to the valves. It looks like a big maze. The fluid allows gears to shift smoothly, but if there is an obstruction or other impairment, there could be a delay in the shift or simply no shift at all.

4. Problems With The Shifter (Manual)

If you drive a manual transmission and notice it is very difficult to shift in reverse, the shifter linkage or cables are often to blame. Sometimes the shifter bushings are the problem, which would be preferable, because replacing them is easier and cheaper, so it’s usually the first thing to try.

5. Bad Teeth!

No, you don’t need to go to the dentist. There are many interlocking “teeth” in a transmission. These teeth need to be aligned and in good shape, otherwise the gears don’t work properly. This can be a problem in manual transmission especially. Always make sure to come to a complete stop before shifting from drive to reverse, because replacing these gear teeth require the removal of the transmission, which is often expensive and time consuming.

Mister Transmission

At Mister Transmission, we can figure out why your car won’t reverse and fix the problem. To learn more, please contact us. We have a comprehensive COVID-19 policy to keep everybody safe.

image-reviews image-reviews
Customer Reviews
My car had been sitting...
Craig H.
My car had been sitting outside all winter and when I tried to get it going in April I found the manual transmission had seized and I could only engage 1st & 2nd gears, no reverse 3, 4 or 5!! My dealer recommended a new transmission for $9K?!?! They couldn't even tell me when it would be in??!? (supply chain you know).   Mr Transmission looked at it and said "I think we can fix it" and they did. They took it apart and fixed it good as new for $1K.  $1K instead of $9K - for a savings of $8K for me!!!!  THANK YOU MR T!!!
Date: June 30, 2022
Website: Yelp
We recently took our 2018...
Debbie Cormier
We recently took our 2018 Lincoln in for a transmission check. They did a transmission diagnostic as well as an engine diagnostic and found no issues. They had the vehicle for a couple of hours, test drive and and all of that was “no charge”. We couldn’t believe it! The staff is so courteous and accommodating. We would drive the hour again to use this location!Services: Auto engine diagnostic, Transmission
Date: June 30, 2022
Website: Google
They did a good job,...
Lisa Overland
They did a good job, pretty fast so far so good. Shifts good.They did break an exhaust sensor, did not mention it to me after l showed the warning light to em. Cost me anouther $200 at Midas while getti g an oil change.
Date: June 29, 2022
Website: Google
We dealt with Mark at...
Tim Ford
We dealt with Mark at Mister Transmission St Thomas for a transmission rebuild on a 16 Dodge Journey. The repairs went smoothly and in a timely manner. The client was very happy they were able to get their vehicle back the same week before the long weekend. Thank you for everything. Tim Ford, Claims Manager, Nationwide Auto Warranty.
Date: June 29, 2022
Website: Google
My go to shop for...
D. S.
My go to shop for transmission work, excellent and honest workmanship, as well as pricing. This is the only place where you get all three: 1. Best quality 2. Fast service 3. Unbeatable price. Highly recommend!!
Date: June 29, 2022
Website: Google
Very nice staff and service...
Rehman Sherazi
Very nice staff and service with enough satisfaction to your questions and concerns.
Date: June 28, 2022
Website: Google
Great people and service!!Service: Transmission
Robert Vieth
Great people and service!!Service: Transmission
Date: June 28, 2022
Website: Google
Zaff was really good.Services: Body &...
Ze Ad
Zaff was really good.Services: Body & Trim, Oil change
Date: June 27, 2022
Website: Google
I have used this location...
D Anderson
I have used this location (Centennial Pkwy.) for transmission repair and preventative maintenance work on several occasions, with more than one vehicle over the years. Owner Steve is both courteous and knowledgeable. The work done here is honest and reliable. They are not in the business of overcharging for work that isn't required! I would highly recommend this location to anyone in need of transmission repair or service.Service: Transmission
Date: June 27, 2022
Website: Google
Great service and honest !Fixed...
NatyBe Creator
Great service and honest !Fixed my problem with very little headaches!
Date: June 26, 2022
Website: Google
Featured Services
Transmission Repair

The evolution of transmissions has made these machines and systems increasingly complex. When transmission repairs are required, determining the cause and cure for what ails can be tricky.

Read More
Transmission Technology

At Mister Transmission we have access to leading-edge diagnostic equipment, enabling us to offer you the fastest and most accurate findings about what’s going on inside your vehicle’s transmission.

Read More
Transmission Maintenance & Service

Just as you have other parts of your car serviced, your transmission needs maintenance to ensure a long life and avoid transmission problems.

Read More
Recent Blogs
Trust Your Automotive Fleet Maintenance ...
Maintaining and repairing your fleet of automotives has to be top of mind as a
Read More
June 23, 2022
The Big Question Regarding Transmission ...
The transmission is one of the most essential and highly complex parts of any
Read More
June 16, 2022
Important Facts About Transmission Fluid...
The transmission is one of the most important parts of any vehicle. It is directly
Read More
June 9, 2022
Common Transmission Problems: The Transm...
One of the most common problems people tend to experience with their transmissions is
Read More
June 2, 2022
Mister Transmission: Your Transmission T...
Everything seems to be computerized these days and automobiles are no different,
Read More
May 18, 2022
3 Common Transmission Repairs
Transmissions are complex pieces of machinery and there’s a lot that can go wrong
Read More
May 11, 2022
When Do You Need Transmission Service?
Transmissions need to be serviced, maintained, and repaired from time to time, but
Read More
May 4, 2022
How Is Transmission Repair Different Fro...
Mister Transmission specializes in servicing transmissions because they’re so
Read More
April 27, 2022
What Are Vehicle Diagnostics?
Discover what vehicle diagnostics are all about, how this practice helps transmission
Read More
April 7, 2022
What Are Some Common Automatic Transmiss...
If you drive a vehicle with an automatic transmission, what are some common automatic
Read More
March 31, 2022