Transmission won't engage

Tiny
SP103154
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • MANUAL
  • 12,500 MILES
Got a 99 civic with this problem: Car starts, transmission shifts but car won't move.

Clutch pedal travels all the way, there are no noises when engaging/disengaging the clutch or starting the engine, don't see any oil leaks anywhere nears the trans or on the axles going into it. Everything seems to be fine except when I shift to any gear the car does not move. Just stays there as if in neutral.

Yes, the brake is not on, if it were and the trans engaged the car would stall!
Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 AT 9:03 AM

29 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Hi sp103154,

Either the clutch has failed or the drive train has been dislodged.

Check the CV inner joints to see if they had been forced out of their seats.
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Friday, October 29th, 2010 AT 9:18 AM
Tiny
BONNIE876
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 1999 HONDA CIVIC
  • 129,000 MILES
I have a automatic 99 honda civic. To make a long story short I have gone through 3 different transmissions with this car and the problem has not been resolved. It started one night when I stopped at a red light, when it was my turn to go the car moved a couple feet but stalled after. It wasnt going into gear it just made a revving noise no matter which gear I put it in. But when I turned the car off and on again it moved a little and did the same thing. Took it to the family mechanic and was told I have a busted Transmission, didnt have the money at the time to rebuild so I went to a honda junkyard in Miami and got one for $400. Put it in the next day and it was perfect. But the next day it did exactly the same thing as the other. So I bought that one back and got another thru a friend of a friend that would not rip me off. And now this one is doing exactly the same thing. I really dont know what to do, I am a 20 yr old female going to college with a pt job taking night classes so I desperately need a car. He is a good mechanic, has worked on everyone elses car without a problem but I dont know if he's missing something. The check engine light has been coming on but I was told its because I have bad engine mounts, I plan to sell the car for something else but I want to get it running. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated thank you
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
HMAC300
  • MECHANIC
  • 48,601 POSTS
If your check engine light is on it may be an electrical problem to trans, not motor mounts. Have it scanned for codes or have a trans guy scan for codes and explain everything that has gone wrong. It may be a connection problem or a module problem.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ZAHID IQBAL SHAH
  • MEMBER
  • 2 POSTS
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 12 MILES
Respected sir, When we put in drive gear my car does not run even one foot.
When we put gear in D the car sound is changed, but does not work. My car is not moving. Kindly help
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN L
  • MASTER CERTIFIED MECHANIC
  • 43,361 POSTS
Hello,

The first thing I would do is check the transmission fluid level. Here is a guide to help you with that.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-service-an-automatic-transmission

Next lets check for codes.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

Please run some tests and get back to us so we can continue helping you.

Cheers, Ken

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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
ZAHID IQBAL SHAH
  • MEMBER
  • 2 POSTS
Dear sir, I checked transmittion fluid. Transmittion fluid is on good level.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KEN L
  • MASTER CERTIFIED MECHANIC
  • 43,361 POSTS
Okay lets check for codes, It sounds like you have a turbine sensor that is out.

https://youtu.be/KRTJYOXuON8

But check for codes to be sure

Please let us know what happens.

Cheers, Ken

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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
TOPBADDOG
  • MEMBER
  • 5 POSTS
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 347,000 MILES
97 civic auto transmission wont go into reverse and makes grinding noise when trying to put into reverse. All other gears work fine. Transmission was recently rebuilt.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Hi topbaddog,

Since trans was recently rebuilt, get back for a warranty job. The trans reverse system is faulty internally and requires the trans to be disassembled again.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
JEFFERY
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 1997 HONDA CIVIC
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 14,900 MILES
I have a 1997 honda civic ex with automatic transmission that is giving me some problems. When I first start the car I runs fine with the exception of a rattling sound from the transmission. It will go for about 5-10 min the it will not go at all. When it stops working the tranny sound goes away. Iv been told several things it could be : computer, solinoids. Do you have any idea what it is?
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Hi jeffery,

Thank you for the donation.

Noise in trans while moving is not caused by solenoids or TCM. Something is wrong withe the gears or sgafts and since trans fails after a short travelling, you would have to disassemble the trans to find out what is wrong.

I suspect some part of the trans is loose inside and high possibility are the rear lock nuts of the shafts have worked themselves loose.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:46 PM (Merged)
Tiny
PHILJEN811
  • MEMBER
  • 1 POST
  • 1996 HONDA CIVIC
  • 300,000 MILES
I have a 1996 Honda Civic EX 1.6 L with an Automatic transmission. The problem I'm having is the transmission absolutely will not engage at random times. What we're experiencing is that it will start up fine and go shifting normally, sometimes a few feet sometimes a few miles, but at random times it just stops pulling all together no matter what gear you are in we get nothing not even a budge. We turn the car off let it set for about 5 minutes or so start it up shift to neutral then to drive and its ready to go again sometimes for a few feet or sometimes a few miles. We did notice a buzzing noise coming from the linear solenoid could that be a sign that it is faulty and causing the symptoms we are having? We did remove the linear solenoid and inspect it but we haven't done a resistance test on it and we are having trouble finding one somewhere in stock they wanted a $195 for one at the Honda dealership! Please help if you can we need this thing fixed ASAP thanks a lot in advance!
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Did you check for trouble codes?
Is the fluid level corect and what is condition of fluid?
Try cleaning the linear solenoid.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRECKER1
  • MEMBER
  • 7 POSTS
  • 1995 HONDA CIVIC
  • 165,000 MILES
After it sits a while it go's again, but repeats. Can someone help?My 95 Honda civic is giving me problems, more-less the trans. It runs fine when its cold, but after it gets warm it wont "go" anymore. Its like its not engaging anymore. I have heard all things from the shift solenoids to the tcm. Can someone please shed some light? Should I change the fluid and try the brake fluid trick? What would cause it to slip, torque conv?
Thanks.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Check the transmission fluid condition and level first.
Low transmisison fluid level can cause the problem.

Drain out some fluid and check for debris. If any found, the strainer is clogged and the trans is due for retirement.

Filter (strainer ) is inside the trans and can only be accessed byt stripping the transmission.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRECKER1
  • MEMBER
  • 7 POSTS
And if the fluid and filter are fresh and new, then would I look at the torque converter?
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Though the torque converter is possible but I have yet to see any fail yet.

Most probably there is an internal pressure leak and if you wish to diagnose, getting the oil pressure readings would be the first thing you need to do when it fails to engage.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRECKER1
  • MEMBER
  • 7 POSTS
So, then would it be safe to say, that it would probably be in my wallets best intrest to just get a used one or refurbed, and save time & $?
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • MECHANIC
  • 41,814 POSTS
Yes, that would be the best way to go about.

This transmission does not use shift solenoids so it is not likely to be solenoid faults.

Shifting is mechanical with only one control valve and that is for the torque converter lock-up.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)
Tiny
WRECKER1
  • MEMBER
  • 7 POSTS
Right on. Thanks for your time and brain, bro.
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Monday, July 6th, 2020 AT 4:47 PM (Merged)

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