Can Shift Gears & Rev the Engine But Car Won’t Move

Complete Transmission Repair Cost Guide Transmission Forum – Ask an Expert Ford Can Shift Gears & Rev the Engine But Car Won’t Move

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    I was just wondering on what the problem could be. I have called many other places. Each one of them have told me something different.

    I was driving on the highway today. When no matter what gear I put it into it was still revving the engine or having high rpm’s. Until finally after trying to mess with it a bit and try to make sure it was going into the right gear, the shifter knob drop. So as the guy who sold it to me said, just pull it back up in neutral in which I did. And after I did. Everything would still go into gear. But it necessarily wouldn’t go. Or drive. It was still revving the engine and go into each gear. But it just would not budge. So I tried everything.

    Checked all the fluids and they were all good. And so I was wondering if it was a dragging clutch or if it was a different problem. I have called many different places. But each one told me something different. So I was just wondering from what I just said, If you have any suggestions or might know what the problem would be?? I would really appreciate it if you guys got back to me as soon as possible as for I have job stuff tomorrow and need it fixed as soon as possible. So please let me know

    Its a manual transmission. About 249000 miles on it. Everything else works fine and runs fine. But as I said. All it could do is rev the engine. Maybe the clutch is bad? Or the clutch just won’t disengage from the fly wheel when I push in the clutch pedal and let me put it into a different gear? I may just need to restart as you guys say? I mean what could be the problem? And how could I fix it? And what can I do about it? Please let me know

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    Based on your description it is not clear to me whether or not you’re able to change gears (even though the car won’t go anywhere). Since you were experiencing high RPMs before and your car won’t budge now, it’s definitely a problem inside your transmission. My guess is that you will most likely have to get the clutch replaced because it won’t engage/disengage (letting you “shift” the stick but the car won’t movie which means it’s probably completely disengaged/worn out).

    You’ll have to take your car into a transmission shop or mechanic that works on transmissions in order to have the repairs done. A really rough estimate would be around $1000 to give you an idea of how much it will cost.

    Hope this helps! Good luck.


    Well today I just had the guy who sold it to me. To come out and check it out. He said it could be and looks like its just the clutch master cylinder. And there is brake fluid liquid leaking into my car from it. So as he said it could just be that. Since the clutch pedal itself is really soft or even spongy. As we did a week ago replace the brake lines. Only bled the front two because those were the ones needing replaced and bled again. Thought the back ones would be fine. But we also left the cap on the reservoir.

    As the guy told me today we needed to bleed all four and possible the clutch master cylinder to get it to work again. I mean all the linkage and bushing and it was going into every gear but maybe it just wasn’t engaging/ disengaging since the clutch pedal itself was bad and everything else was fine to him. But as he said there must of been an air bubble somewhere and it must have gotten into the clutch master cylinder, as I pushed/ stepped on the clutch pedal in which wouldn’t let me shift or engage/ or disengage the gears letting me move/ or go.

    So in which I mean everything else seems fine. But I mean what is your opinion on the matter? Could it just be the clutch master cylinder? Since it is leaking into my car and the clutch pedal itself is really soft or loose and being able to push it all the way to the floor?

    Maybe this will help a little more and give you a little more info.
    Thanks for your time man. I really need this fix. And i don’t want to have to go out and buy something if i don’t need it or it doesn’t need to be replaced yet. Or spend money out my already dry pockets. You know?

    I hope this helps maybe diagnose it a little better and gives you a little more information to work with.


    From what you’ve described and without seeing the vehicle, I’d say the guy is on the right track. I would give bleeding the clutch master cylinder a try as an air bubble is definitely a possibility. It’s not guaranteed to be solution, but it’s a likely fix and a heck of a lot cheaper than having to replace or rebuild the entire transmission.


    Okay. Well I did happen to replace the clutch master cylinder. Did all the work myself. Bled all the brake lines and from the slave cylinder. Got all the air bubbles out and to the point that new fluid was coming out strongly. Got the clutch pedal all firm and the brake pedal the same way. But turned out it was the clutch. It’ll start and everything. The linkage and everything is fine. But it must be the clutch. But it was worth a shot for sure. I appreciate your help. It was a lot cheaper then the clutch. Was worth a shot. But turned out it wasn’t that. But thanks again for your help and your time man.


    Mines doing the same exact thing someone jacked it up and they thought the Axel was pulled out of the transmission but the turned the wheel and they said there was ticking in the transmission and they told me I’m gonna need a whole new transmission and really don’t have the money for it so I wanted to do research. Any advice?

    Is your car equipped with a manual or an automatic? I can’t tell from your description which one it is? I don’t think you are going to need a new transmission but I need a little more information before I can diagnose the problem. I will say a couple of things, though:

    1. It’s not likely that the half-shafts were pulled out of the transmission.
    2. Ticking in the transmission could mean that various parts were trying to do their jobs, but failing

    If you could be a bit more specific, it would really help!


    Can someone please help me. My car will not move in drive, neutral or drive gear 3 and 2 but will reverse and drive in gear 1. I have a 2005 Buick Lacrosse with about 104,000 mileage. I checked the transmission fluid and seen that is was none in there. Before this happen I just got the thermostat replace because my car was overheating and was having this burning smell. I just put 1 quart of transmission fluid in it and it still wont move. CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME.


    I am assuming, from your description, that your Buick is equipped with an automatic transmission. Since that’s the case, your transmission has a major internal problem that has forced it into limp-home mode. When that happens, you usually have one forward gear and, maybe, reverse. This is why it will only go into first and reverse. Like as not, the clutches, bands, possibly the torque converter, and gears are shot. I also suspect that your transmission has a major leak somewhere — check along the gasketing on the pan and check any external cooler lines — since the fluid is gone. That said, the burning smell tells me that your transmission is overheating in a big way and burning the organic transmission fluid. By the way, you only put in one quart of tranny fluid. That’s a problem because most automatics take between five and six quarts. Add more fluid and you may have better results.


    Was it the clutch? i have a 1994 bmw 325i and it does the same thing 1st-5th and reverse have nothing. my car wont move and the engine just revs i have a hydro clutch from an m3 i checked my brake fluid so any ideas?


    I was just wondering if somebody could give me a few ideas of what could be wrong with my car before I take it to a garage to be looked at/fixed. I recently bought a used Toyota Camry (01), 5-speed manual. The man who I bought it from has owned the car the last 11 years and put a new clutch in 8 years ago. When purchased, he told me that the only thing wrong with the car was the front brakes needed replaced and the clutch slightly slipped when going uphill. I replaced the front brakes last night. I used the car to go to a doctor appointment and it drove fine the way there, I came out about 90 minutes later and the car wouldn’t move. The car will go into gear when on but will not move. I’ve been trying to research online what it could be and the possible costs so any information is appreciated. Thanks!


    I heard from a friend who has had this phantom gear problem that it is the flywheel and you have to buy a rebuild kit for your clutch. It’s the pressure plate and flywheel or something along those lines. They replaced the clutch and flywheel after going camping and running into the same problem. Hope that will help my BMW is currently being fixed but I still have to replace both of the parts mentioned. I will update you all on the parts I replace.


    ok look I need help my 93 mustang will run but will not drive it is a manual so when I push the clutch in to start the car it will run but I will not put it in gear and let off the clutch the car cuts off!!!

    toyota harrier

    Hhhelp i have a problem with my toyota harrier 1998 when i put it in drive it doesn’t react but after playing with the gas pedal it jump into gear and drive but it will go normally in reverse can i get some anwser how to solve it

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