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What does it mean when ur car won't reverse but the other gears work? How do I fix it?

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It could mean

  • There is a problem inside the transmission causing the reverse system not to work. It could be a broken internal gear, or a problem in the hydraulic control system or any number of other failures. The fix here is to replace the transmission. Sorry big $$$ to fix.
  • Its possible that there is a problem with the transmission control linkage between the shifter handle and the transmission. I've seen troubles here with bent linkage rods (although that was a manual transmission). I've also seen a cable operated system with a broken plastic bushing that caused the car to not shift correctly. Easy, peasy $4 fix. I will say on that car the owner had some notification of the trouble. The previous day, the car wouldn't start (as the neutral/park safety switch wasn't set correctly...)

Generally you may have some indications of troubles. Loud clunk noises? Other odd transmission behavior? Troubles with transmission fluid levels? Excessive mileage ( greater than 185,000 or so) ?

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