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Why Won’t My Car Reverse?

Why Won't My Car Reverse?

Why Won’t My Car Reverse?

Reversing might not be the favorite direction for some drivers, but it’s an essential function of your car. There are many reasons why reverse might fail to function, but whatever it is, it’s a pretty big deal. 

Reverse is a gear, just like the ones that propel you forward. So similar to them, there can be functioning issues. Let’s take a look at the most common ones.

  • Shift stick malfunction: With manual transmissions, a fault can occur within the mechanisms that allow for smooth movement. If the shift is hard to move, or won’t go into the reverse position, it could be down to a malfunction within the inner structure. 
  • Contaminated transmission fluid: The gear transmission is lubricated by fluid. This can become dirty, containing hardened deposits and contaminants that actively prevent the movement of the gears.
  • Low transmission fluid: Not enough of this causes a multitude of issues, including not being able to put the car into reverse. In such a case you’ll probably notice that all gears are affected, as the whole mechanism is likely to overheat and be unable to work correctly.
  • Position sensor fault: For automatic gearboxes, the command to go into reverse is prompted by an electronic sensor when you shift the stick to R. If this malfunctions the message can fail to send. In certain cars, it might place the whole gear transmission into safety mode, whereby you won’t be able to go above third gear.
  • A fault in the lockout ring: Manual gearboxes have a lockout ring that stops an accidental move into reverse when driving forward. If this becomes damaged it can prevent the car from going into reverse at all, even when not moving.
  • The valve body has worn out: Automatic gearboxes have a component that controls the flow of hydraulic fluid to the valves. The effect of this is smooth gear changes. If the valve body is worn it can prevent reverse from engaging or cause a significant pause between selecting the gear and reverse being activated.
  • Damaged teeth on reverse gear: More common on manual vehicles, rough gear changes can cause teeth to break on the gear itself. In this case, there might be a clunk when trying to put the stick into reverse, or strange clicking noises.

It’s not viable (or safe) to drive a car that’s having issues with reverse gear. Even if the car drives OK going forward the problem needs to be addressed—and quickly. It’s problems like this when the much-loved brand of Jiffy Lube car maintenance comes into its own. With their convenient “drive-in” service it’s possible to get the problem diagnosed and fixed in no time at all.

Be it a transmission fluid change or the most complex of either manual or automatic gearbox problems, Jiffy Lube services provide the peace of mind that expertise, affordability, and fast solutions bring. In addition, thanks to their nationwide coverage, wherever you might be in the country, there’s always a branch in easy reach. Just one of the many reasons that Jiffy Lube has become the go-to car maintenance provider for so many across the nation.


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