Why My Car Doesn’t Move When In Gear?

You may have noticed that your car is stuck and cannot move when you put it in gear. You must be thinking why does my car go into gear but not move? You can get the answer to this query by reviewing this guide. It provides you with detailed information about some major reasons why your car cannot move when it is in gear. No doubt, it is a common issue that occurs in automatic transmission cars.

You need to know about the reasons behind this happening so that you could solve the issue as soon as possible. You can also follow some important tips to avoid this issue such as you should warm up your car first before accelerating. Moreover, you should also switch the transmission shifter to all modes before moving your vehicle.

Why A Car Doesn’t Move When In Gear?

When your car is stuck, you must be wondering why does my car go into gear but not move. Let us explain some important reasons behind this happening in this section. You can enhance your knowledge by reviewing this action. So, what should we wait for? Let’s start over!

1. Automatic Transmission CU Is Not Good

If you have a bad automatic transmission control unit, there are greater chances that your car will not move when it is in any gear. It would be best if you check your car and all its parts before starting. Getting to the transmission CU might be easy in some car models but it is difficult in some car models so it would be best to consult a professional technician.

Your car notifies you when there is an issue with the control unit i.e. you can see the light is turned on present on your dashboard. So, it is necessary to check the battery of your car that might be damaging the control unit and affecting its functionality.

You can use a multimeter for checking the voltage of your car battery. If the control unit is damaged, it would be best to get it repaired by a professional as soon as possible. But let us tell you that repairing a transmission’s CU is not always efficient because the problem may occur again early. So, it would be best to replace your bad automatic transmission CU with a good one when your car goes into gear but won’t move.

2. Torque Converter Is Not Efficient

If your car has a bad torque converter, the manual transmission goes into gear but won’t move. This problem may occur when having low-quality transmission fluid or a dirty transmission fluid filter. You may also face this issue if you ignore the warning sign that appears on your dashboard as well as the noise coming from the transmission. No doubt, this noise greatly affects the torque converter’s proper functioning.

Your car cannot move when you have a low-quality torque converter. Moreover, you also notice inaudible noise is coming from your car when it starts. It is all due to a bad torque converter. It would be best to repair this converter instead of replacing it with a new one because it is expensive.

3. Clutches are Damaged

Let us tell you that your transmission will not engage in any gear if the clutches are damaged and not working properly. You should check if the clutches are worn or are of bad quality that does not work efficiently to meet the transmission needs of your car when you put it in gear.

You should know that some of the internal parts of your car stop working especially the automatic transmission with the passage of time. It would be best if you repair the clutch discs immediately when you notice find out they are damaged. After repairing the clutches, you will see that your car is moving in any gear.

4. The Engine is Not Working Properly

If your car’s engine is not working properly, there are a lot of chances that your car won’t move in any gear automatic transmission. You should check the parts of your car’s engine to find out the issue with it. The engine might have been damaged due to water, gasoline, or any other thing.

Moreover, if the transmission parts have been damaged internally or the transmission fluid is low, you will find it difficult to move your car when it is in any gear. This situation may also occur if the engine is reviving very high.

5. The Filter is Clogged

Let us enhance your knowledge about your car and its related issues. When you see your car not starting or moving you wonder why is my automatic car not changing gear. The reason behind this happening might be a clogged air filter. The air filter might be full of dust and debris. It might also be broken or damaged.

It would be best if you clean the air filters of your car and check them if there is any other issue with them. If the air filter is damaged or broken, you must get it fixed by hiring a professional mechanic. You can also replace it if it is not worth it to repair it because it has been damaged badly.

6. Transmission Won’t Stay in Gear

Sometimes, your car or any other vehicle does not get into any gear when you try to do so. For example, a truck won’t move in any gear automatic transmission, which means there is a low transmission fluid because of the shifter cable, the shifter, leak, or any other problem with the valve body of the automatic transmission.

The computer system installed in your new car can tell you whether the transmission will engage in gear or not. It also tells you when it is suitable to go into the gear. For this purpose, you need to check the trouble codes.

Tips To Avoid This Issue?

You can avoid this common problem when your car doesn’t start in any gear by following some important tips. These tips state that you should warm up the engine of your car before accelerating it, especially in winter. If you do not do so, you cannot enjoy the efficient speed of the engine as well.

You should check the quality and level of the transmission oil before putting your car into any gear. It is important for you to add fuel to it if there is a lack of fluid. Moreover, you should avoid drifting on slippery roads especially in winter because it damages the automatic transmission control unit which in turn results in stopping your car to move whenever you put it into gear.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why your car doesn’t move when in gear?

Your car does not move when in gear due to many reasons such as issues in transmission oil, bad torque converter, clogged air filter, etc.

2. How can an air filter get clogged?

The air filter gets clogged due to dirt and debris which in turn does not let you move your car when you put it in any gear.

3. How can you know there is an issue with the transmission?

A red light present on your dashboard turns on when there is an issue with the transmission and it is blown. Moreover, you will notice strange noises coming from your vehicle.


In this guide, you came to know about the major reasons that do not let you move your car when you put it in gear. Now, you can easily check the issue behind this happening and fix it as soon as possible. Make sure you also follow the tips that could help you avoid such problems.

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