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The vehicle is a 2005 Chevy Classic 2.2L four cylinder. It starts and runs, or ran and drove, fine down to -15-20° F up until recently. With a few days of -30 and -40 temps, the car, even after 30-45 minute warm ups, tended to shift balkily at times, for a couple of days skipping 2nd and shifting only after the car was moving close to 40 mph. So I drove it quite carefully. Then suddenly, after running and driving for over an hour on a sub -40 day, I lost reverse. I thought it might come back when it warmed up, but now, even at 0° F, there is no reverse. The engine will rev in either Park or Neutral, but the engine has a load when in reverse. The car just doesn't move. Thoughts?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sounds like your transmission has given up the ghost. Usually if you put it in reverse, the engine gets a load, and the vehicle goes nowhere, I'd think both reverse and drive are engaged, which means the gears would be cancelling themselves out. If it were a racing transmission, it would be like a transbrake. Anyway, in your situation I'd think you're going to need some serious medical attention for your vehicle ... This is just a gut check and not an answer, so leaving it as a comment. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 15 at 20:24
  • Also, is this a Malibu Classic? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 15 at 20:30
  • Have you tried changing transmission fluid? Can't hurt, might help. Look for discolors, bad smells, particles. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jan 16 at 7:28
  • It is a Classic. It seems like a Malibu Classic though that nomenclature seems to confuse some of the parts chasers so I just use Classic along with the VIN when seeking help.. But it is a sedan, not a truck. – Mark Jan 16 at 20:40
  • I know it probably needs to be seen by the Mayo version of transmission help, but I was wondering if perhaps these symptoms were consistent with a simple external issue I could try before hand. – Mark Jan 16 at 20:43
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i can't commenting for gut answer, but here is my guts answering:

  1. your disc is break / damaged.
  2. your solenoid jammed

solution for 1: try to drain your transmission fluid, if dropping some dirt like brittle and like small hard piece than it might be true, your reverse disc broken, it maybe you need to change whole disc since some dealer only selling a whole pack and avoiding future break.

solution for 2: check voltage across your trans shift, it should have voltage going to reverse solenoid. dit could be just the shift knob is broken (cheaper)

if the voltage is good, than you should check the solenoid in your transmission, check whole solenoid try to jumper with 12V directly (this should be only be done by professional mechanic) if it still works than it could be your worst nightmare on whole transmission.

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