Why Manual Transmission Won't Engage Any Gear?

Posted by Ben Davidson about 2 months ago

Problems with shifting your car into gear? Do you know how to fix it?

Do not worry! There are many people who have the same issues. 

We have summed up all the ways to fix this common problem for you. Here you will find out the symptoms, causes and some practical solutions. Let’s get started! 

How Do You Know You Are Getting This Trouble?


Nowadays many cars run with automatic transmissions. But some people always prefer to do it manually. The problem of manual transmissions comes when they try to shift. The stick shift transmission becomes harder to shift or it does not get into gear.

We will give you some symptoms so that you will know when you are in this situation.

Smells of burning

The burning smell shows that your transmission may be overheating. The transmission fluid is responsible for keeping the unit from getting too hot. When you smell something burning, maybe your fluid is low.

Weird sounds of the car

When there is a problem with the transmission, the car will make some weird sounds. Pay attention!

The gears slip

While the car is running, sometimes it pops automatically out of the gears and forces the gear to stick back into the neutral position. It shows that your car gears are slipping. 

When this problem occurs, your car is out of control. In this case, the transmission can not work properly. The wheels also take no power from the transmission to run.

Leaking fluid

This symptom shows clearly that your car is having problems. As we said above, fluid is supposed to prevent your car from overheating. Fluid leaking means the fluid amount in your car is getting lower.

Causes of these problems


When you cannot put your transmission into gear, just do not panic. Before giving it to the mechanics, you can check out some causes. If your car has one of those causes below, you may fix it by yourself.

The car is turned off

It may sound weird but in fact, many people always forget to turn on their auto. And when the engine is not running, of course, the car will refuse to get into the gear.

A sign to know if you have turned your car on or not is very simple. Each time an engine runs, there will be the sound of fuel burning. 

Your auto is being parked on an incline

When your car parks on a steep, the parking pawl takes much pressure to prevent your car from rolling down. This pressure may cause you difficulty in shifting into gear.

To fix this problem, try to move your car slowly. Then you can shift to gear easily as usual.

The clutch is not pressed completely down 

You can only put the transmission in gear when the pedal is completely pressed down.

If you have pressed down the clutch completely but it still does not work, then you should check if there is anything under the clutch.

The clutch of your car is stuck

If you want to shift the car, you need to press the clutch. The clutch helps to release the pressure plate in order to let the new gear fall into place. Of course, the manual transmission cannot engage into gear if the clutch is stuck.

We will give you an advice: You should go under your car to see if the clutch is disconnected. If it is, you will need a new wire of the clutch.

Low fluid leads to low lubrication and high heat

Transmission fluid lubricates the system. So when the amount of fluid is not enough for the lubrication process, it cannot help the gears to run. And you would also not be able to shift the car. 

On the other hand, the fluid also prevents heat from building up. So when the amount of fluid is low, the temperature will increase. This terrible thing then leads to big trouble: The gear teeth would break. It also makes the check engine light flashing, using the obd2 scanner to check is the good way. 

Do not forget to fill up fluid for your car unless you want to run into this problem.

The gear is misaligned

The transmission system of the car must meet one criteria, which is all gears have to fit together. When at least one gear is misaligned from the others, the transmission will fail. 

When you hear some strange grinding sounds while trying to shift, you should check out if anything is wrong.


Now you know the 7 most common reasons why the manual transmission cannot go into the gear. The main factors that affect your car are often bad terrain and troubles in the car system.

To avoid these bad situations, you should maintain your car and fill fluid regularly.

If you still have troubles, you can contact us for more information. It is our pleasure to help you out.

Many thanks for reading!


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