car stuck in reverse Manual Transmission

Although automatic transmission automobiles are more common, many people still appreciate the thrill of driving a manual gearbox vehicle.

It does not, however, come with its own set of flaws to overcome.

Car Stuck in Reverse? – Causes & Possible Solutions

With a manual gearbox, one potential stumbling block is the gear staying in reverse. It may happen to any car, and the problems that cause it range from simple to time-consuming (and expensive) to fix.

If the clutch cable isn’t extended properly, the transmission can get stuck in reverse or another gear.

Pulling the clutch pedal up slowly and firmly is a simple fix. Rust, filth, or misuse, on the other hand, can severely harm the cable. In this instance, it may be essential to replace the cable.

It’s critical not to worry if your car becomes stuck in reverse. All you have to do now is take a step back and figure out what’s wrong before continuing.

What Causes a Gear to Stick in Reverse?

There are a handful of culprits behind a car sticking in reverse:


In many circumstances, even the tiniest factor can dramatically skew your transmission’s ability to shift gears. The gears may have been misaligned or broken, which might cause problems.

This difficulty can cause the gears to stick during the reversing operation because the gears must travel in the opposite direction to reverse. A gearbox issue could prevent this from happening.

Clutch Cable

The clutch cable must be able to extend in the correct direction for reverse to work. If it’s not extending, it’s possible that it’s corroded or has a thick layer of grime on it that’s causing damage.

The clutch cable can also wear out gradually over time.


If a gear is sticking, the culprit could be there in front of your eyes: the gearstick. It’s possible that the shifter is jammed in place.

Additional Issue to Consider

A car stuck in reverse might sometimes indicate a problem with the transmission as a whole. Checking your transmission fluids is a smart first step before calling a professional.

To keep the car’s components, notably the engine, working smoothly, you should check the fluids on a regular basis.

If the fluid is polluted or leaks, the gears may have trouble shifting properly. Replace the fluids on a regular basis, especially if your problems occur frequently throughout the winter.

If you’re not sure how to do it, there are detailed instructions available online that will guide you through the procedure.

How to Fix a Car Stuck in Reverse

Car Stuck In Reverse

The problem with the reverse gear sticking must be narrowed down in order to locate a solution to your transmission problem.

So, let’s have a look at the difficulties we outlined in the last part and what you can do to fix them at home:


If you suspect a problem with the gearbox, you should open the transmission box to investigate further. You may only need to tap it back into place with a hammer if it’s a minor misalignment.

Clutch Cable

Another basic problem you can fix in your garage is a worn-out cable. You can buy a new part and change it out yourself if you know what you’re doing.

Replacements are easy to come by internet, or you can always visit your local car shop.


This isn’t usually a problem you can fix at home, but you can try removing the top half of the shifter and pushing the gearstick to move as a temporary cure.

However, it is possible that this may not endure, so you should keep a watch on the situation in this case.

Final Thoughts

Because a variety of various components might contribute to a gear change becoming stuck in reverse, there is no single cause. That’s why it’s critical to inspect your vehicle, particularly your transmission fluids, before attempting any repairs.

Some of these issues can be dealt with in the privacy of your own garage. However, in certain circumstances, the problem is simply too large to handle on your own, and you’ll need to hire a professional to complete the task.

This is more likely to occur when the gearbox or the gearshift itself becomes stuck.

Whatever the issue is, it’s critical to fix it as quickly as possible to avoid further damage to your vehicle.

Car Stuck In Reverse

FAQs About Car Stuck In Reverse Manual Transmission

How do you get a manual transmission unstuck?

The cheapest but most time-consuming fix is to disassemble the center console and remove the cables, hang them on a wall, then spray penetrating fluid, brake cleaner, and white lithium grease down the insides. In the same way, clean and lubricate the shift mechanism.

Why can't I get my car out of reverse?

Dirty transmission fluid or a clogged filter can cause similar transmission problems and produce a car that won’t back up in reverse, just as you learned with low transmission fluid. The way the transmission shifts into reverse or other gear will be affected by improper lubrication from old fluid or debris in the contaminated fluid.

What causes the manual gear shift to get stuck?

This typically indicates a loose linkage, worn shift cables, or worn bearings. Other factors that contribute to a difficult-to-shift manual transmission include: Internal parts that are worn or loose (shift fork, levers, shafts) Low oil supply (or the incorrect kind of oil)

Why does my car vibrate when I put it in reverse?

Because of the increased pressure exerted on the mounts when you engage reverse gear, it gets even wilder. Vibrations can also develop when the transmission’s rubber parts melt owing to oil leaking caused by constant friction in the gearbox. This is due to the numerous activities that take place there.

Can a manual roll backwards in 1st gear?

It depends on the gear you park a manual transmission in. When you shift into first gear, there is usually enough resistance to keep the automobile from rolling. When you shift to a higher gear, the resistance decreases, and the car begins to roll away.

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