Why My Car WON’T Move In Drive But Will In Reverse?

Owning a car is just like having a baby. It requires handling with care, regular checkups, and immediate action when a problem arises. But, there are some troubles that come without any warning. One such vexing issue is car wont move in drive but will in reverse.

Why Does The Car Wont Move In Drive But Will In Reverse?

Transmissions, especially, the automatic transmission only goes in reverse in the event of the failure or damage of a component in the system. It could also be a fault with the speed sensor. Learn the possible reasons that don’t allow your car to run in the forward direction.

1# Transmission Issues

Transmission is most likely to be the culprit for the car wont move in drive but will in reverse problem. When the vehicle does not function in one or more gears, you should check the gear shifter. The gear cable could be stretched further than the normal length and requires adjusting. The failure of some internal components can be the cause too. The car will reverse but not go forward because of worn out solenoids, clutches, or gears.

automatic transmission only goes in reverse
Transmission is likely to be the root cause. (Photo Source: nairaland)

Some issues are simple and you can fix them in your garage. But, professional attention is required when the problem lies with some inner parts.

Some other transmission snags that can lead to the trouble of car wont move in drive but will in reverse are:

Transmission Fluid – Low level of fluid is a potential reason for making the car moving to reverse only. Check the level when the engine is hot and the vehicle runs in neutral. Use the transmission dipstick to see if the fluid is running low. The transmission cannot operate properly when it does not get enough supply of fluid.

Cracked Fluid Tube – A broken fluid tube might be the one causing the complication and it mainly occurs in the 2007 models of Chevy Cobalt and Pontiac G5. When the forward tube at the pipe joint cracks or breaks, the car cannot move forward except for going reverse. The repair is easy as you just need to replace the damaged parts.

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2# Issues with the Speed Sensor

It seems silly that a simple component like a speed sensor can mess up with the car’s transmission system. The sensor provides the ECU information about the vehicle’s speed that ultimately affects the shifting of the gears. If the information is erratic, the transmission may face the problem of working in reverse only.

car will reverse but not go forward
A bad speed sensor could be the culprit too. (Photo Source: amazon)

My Car Wont Reverse but will Go Forward. What to Do?

Again, issues with the transmission could be behind this complication. It could be something as simple as broken, loose, or bent reverse linkage. But, you cannot rule out the worn out internal components. When the fluid pump and other related components wear out, the fluid pressure drops an can get high enough only to operate in reverse.

Whether your car wont move in drive but will in reverse or shows a problem opposite to it, take it to a service center for a thorough transmission checkup.