Gear Shifter Moves But Doesn’t Change Gears? [Solved]

I was pulling my car back to get out of the parking lot and my column shifter moves but doesn’t change gears. This issue often confuses drivers. It is also unsafe to drive your car in this scenario. Do not be afraid. Our article will explain why and how to fix it. Read to the end to learn more!

Reasons Why Shifter Moves But Doesn’t Change Gears?

That is a question that must be solved. Indeed, when it comes to automobiles, we may confront many causes, such as loose conduct or cable, poorly connected cable, and fluid retention. Let’s scroll down for more details.

1. Loose Shifter Wire At Transmitting

The transmission sensor is connected to the car switch by cable. Bolts and nuts are responsible for securing the cable to both ends. And in these positions, there is an adjuster if it is necessary to replace the cable set with a length.

The shift cable had a kink under the internal gear selector. Regular movement can cause vibrations and wear out with cuts that can cause connectors to loosen.

For the above reason, these connectors can be easily moved in a tunnel instead of sitting in a pre-designed position. As a result, the shifter moves but doesn’t change gears.

2. Bad Shifter Cable

Automatic transmissions have a single shift lever connected to the hand valve on the body of the transmission valve.

So, this is another reason why shifter moves but doesn’t change gears.

Gearshifts and transmissions on cars are connected with a flexible cable. However, this type of cable tends to age, bend, stretch, and tear over time.

If your car does not want to get into gear, it is probably not the wrong move. It may be due to a broken replacement cable. The gear lever is removed from the switch when extending the cable.

In cases where the cable shifter breaks, the connection between the transmission and the gearshift connector is completely disconnected. If any cable is broken, the switch handle cannot automatically return to its centre position when it is not in gear. However, these conditions are far from ideal.

What should You Do If Shifter Moves But Won’t Change Gears?

You can take the following test:

• Start the car first, then press the car brakes to slow down the gear in P (park). Place the car change assembly in the parking area. Apply the parking brake.
• Shift to reverse by dragging the lever to the letter R, and at the same time, check in the dashboard to see if the reverse gear is guaranteed.
• To make sure the reverse gear is open, brake slightly, and begin to reverse to see if the car is reversing according to your movement.
• Finally, do the same test with N and D.

Will A Car Run With A Damaged Shifter Cable?

A car with a damaged gearshift can still move, but we do not recommend driving it. It will be very dangerous for you and others if you drive a damaged car on the road. You should bring it to a car repair shop for complete safety.

Indeed, when a gearshift is broken, you cannot imagine its dangers. You will need to consult a professional to show you the best option for your car. It is your job to change gears.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shifter Moves But Doesn’t Change Gears:

Let’s take a look at the questions below:

Q1. How Do I Fix A Loose Gear Shifter Automatic?

All you need to do is follow these steps:

  1. Examine sources
  2. Release nuts and bolts
  3. Operate thread locker
  4. Turn the gear button
  5. Remove the gear containing the circle
  6. Tighten the nuts and bolts

Q2. Why Your Car Shifter Moves But Doesn’t Change Gears?

For some vehicles, several electrical and hydraulic systems need to be interconnected. When one of the above two parts is faulty, this problem can happen.

Q3. What Happens When My Car Won’t Change Gears?

You often notice that it can be a rumbling noise, the gear shifts become less smoothing or stop altogether.

If this happens, you will need a replacement gear shift.


It can be a frustrating situation if you are in a hurry and you find that your shifter moves but doesn’t change gears.

Yet, do not try to control the car while the problems occur because it is dangerous for yourself and other pedestrians.

Indeed, automobiles always present problems that you cannot foresee. So, you should always take good care of your car by having it have a regular check.

Leave a Comment