2004 Toyota Corolla – Won’t Move – Transmission Problem?

Reader Question: My 2004 Toyota Corolla is not moving. I am wondering if you could help me diagnose a problem I just had with my car. It only has 28,000 miles on it. I drive it at least once a week.

I got in today to start it, put it in gear and it would not move. It started fine and I could feel it straining to move but it barely did. It felt like a wheel was blocked by something but there was nothing there. It will not move forward either. Problem is definitely on the right side.

I have not had any problems with the car previously. It is up to date on all maintenance.

I took it on a drive between DC and NJ and back last weekend.

It has standard transmission.

Thanks for your help!


Hey there Lilly,

I am assuming the emergency brake is not ON. Is it correct? I would apply and release the emergency brake a few times to make sure the brake cable did not stick and the brakes are applied. Pull up on the handle to engage the emergency brake as hard as you can, then release.

You might want to start the engine, bring the RPM up to around 3,000, and “pop” the clutch, meaning select reverse or a drive gear and quickly let off the clutch. This can be somewhat violent, but might free up whatever is hung up. Make sure nothing or no one is around when you do this just in case it does release and take off you will not run over anything or anyone.

If that does not work, you are going to need a tow truck. You might have an internal problem with the clutch or transmission or something is wrong with one of the front CV joints.

Austin Davis

Posted in: Running Problems

Got Something to Say?