Automatic Transmission Will Not Go in Drive or Reverse

car transmission will not reverseMy Mazda 323 auto was leaking transmission fluid we have managed to stop that and everything seemed fine then it suddenly stopped and wont drive or reverse please could you give me any advice thank you

Hey there

If the transmission will not pull itself in drive or in reverse, you are either out of transmission fluid or extremely low on transmission fluid or there is an internal problem inside the transmission.

If the fluid is full, and the linkage to the transmission from the gear shifter is working properly…you are going to need to see a transmission repair shop.

Do not just run out and get the transmission fluid flushed out or change the internal transmission filter without having a local transmission mechanic see and drive this vehicle. You might make things MUCH worse by doing so.

Inside your transmission is old gritty and dirty fluid, and that old gritty fluid is like liquid sandpaper. Your internal clutches are probably pretty worn out and that sandpaper fluid is helping to build up friction on those clutches.

If you remove the gritty fluid and replace it with fresh SLICK fluid you will remove the needed friction on the clutches. I have done this on an older car that came in my shop and asked for a transmission service. I did not ask why they wanted it done I just did what they asked me to do.

After the repair, I could not get the car to back up out of my shop. Ooopsss.

I now ask before I service a transmission….”why are you doing this?”

They do make many transmission additives that are supposed to ADD friction back after you change the fluid and filter, but I have not been able to use them successfully in my shop. If the internal clutches are worn out and slipping…there is not much you can do at that point except remove and replace.


Please share this with your friends,

Austin Davis

6 Comments on "Automatic Transmission Will Not Go in Drive or Reverse"

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  1. Gregg says:

    I agree with Austin on this one too. Talk to a REAL transmission mechanic before you just run out and change the fluid or filter. Bad idea.

  2. Donn says:

    Wow, you just might have saved me some money and lots of trouble. I have a similar issue with my car as well thinking I just needed to change out the old fluid which I have never done before. I think I will ask my mechanic about this first as I can not afford to replace the car or the transmission right now.

  3. ilham ibrahim says:

    hi all… i had removed Mazda 1995 Automatic transmission to replace rear crank seal,Once all done i started car had bad i removed transmission again, found Toque Converter not fully insert… so i push toque-converter fully insert. completed the job, I started car all fine but having trouble with reverse gear.. won’t reversing properly.. D gear drives fine… all gear shifting ok,

    Can anyone advice regarding this please ..
    thank you

    • Austin says:

      This kinda sounds like a linkage problem, triple check the linkage from the shifter inside the vehicle to the transmission. Make sure nothing is in the way, or binding the linkage.

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