Posts Tagged ‘shift’


Why Won’t My Transmission Work In 1st?


I’ve got a 97 Honda Accord.  It was having a hard time shifting in and out of 1st gear, so I had the transmission redone, but still seem to be having the same issue.  Do you have any idea what the problem could be?

-Andy P., CA


If the transmission was redone properly, and you’re still having the same issue, then I think you might be dealing with a faulty transmission sensor.  If the sensor is off, it will try shifting gears at the wrong time, which could be causing your problems.  It’s entirely possible that the transmission didn’t need to be redone in the first place, so if I were you, I’d talk to the mechanic and see if they can’t cut you a deal since they charged you for a rebuild when it wasn’t necessary.

- Ken the Car Guy


Why Can’t I Shift Out Of Park?


My car won’t shift out of park at all.  It happened suddenly while my car was parked at a friend’s house.  Any ideas what could be wrong?  Is it the transmission?

Brenda S., LA


The most likely problem actually isn’t related to the transmission at all.  What is probably happening is that the brake light isn’t activating.  On many cars, the transmission won’t allow you to shift out of park unless you’re pressing the brakes.  The only way the transmission knows if you’re pressing the brakes is if you depress the pedal enough for the brake lights to go on.  If the switch under the pedal fails, your brake lights won’t go on and you won’t be able to shift out of park.  Try replacing the switch and see if that helps.

- Ken the Car Guy


Why Won’t My Transmission Change Gears?


Lately, my transmission has been acting up.  It will switch fine from neutral to first gear, but when I accelerate, it doesn’t shift gears and revs up to really high RPMs around 20 mph.  The car has 200,000+ miles on it, so I’m worried this might be a big problem.  Any thoughts?

-Britt C., CT


I hate to say it, but this sounds like a pretty big issue.  At the very least, the transmission will need to be rebuilt, but with an engine that old, it may make more sense to just replace the transmission.

One thing you may want to check is if there is a manual option on your shifter.  Some cars give drivers the ability to change gears themselves, so if this is a new-to-you car, you might want to check out that possibility.

- Ken the Car Guy


Why Won’t My Car Change Gears?


I was driving in the hills recently and there was a burning smell coming from under the hood.  On the way home, the car really started acting up and I was unable to switch gears.  What’s happening?

-Sarah B, NH


Sounds to me like you burned out your clutch.  Driving up and down hills, especially if you’re not used to it, can really wreck havoc on your clutch.  The clutch is what helps the engine change gears.  When it gets overworked, it will start to burn up.  This burn up makes the clutch start to slip which in turn makes it difficult to shift gears.

When a clutch burns up, there’s really not a whole lot you can do, except to replace it.

- Ken the Car Guy