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Transmission won't engage???

Old 10-09-2013, 09:19 PM
Junior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Default Transmission won't engage???

I have a 1997 Camry.

When I was backing out of the driveway when I forgot something in the house. I shifted into drive to go back up the driveway but the engine just revved and I rolled backward.

In a nutshell, when the shifter is in Park, reverse, drive, any position, nothing happens. It's like its in neutral all the time.

If you press the accelerator there is a sound of something spinning that isn't normal. Like a free gear or something.

I am hoping that it is a part that can be fixed without rebuilding the whole transmission. I am hoping that I can find some answers here.

Thanks in advance.
Old 10-10-2013, 11:43 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,742

Check for proper trans fluid level.

Check under engine hood the connection between the trans shifter cable and shift lever on trans.

With engine OFF and Emergency brake on, have someone shift the gears while you watch the lever on the trans for movement. The lever is on the side of the trans facing the radiator. Note, the ign switch and brake will need to be pushed to move the lever or use the trans lockout bypass (check owners manual for details).

If no movement the connection between the shifter cable and lever is broke which does happen.

If this is OK. Place trans in Park and determine if parking pawl is engaging (the trans is locked to prevent car movement).

If OK, the trans may have internal problems. Depending on the problem the fix may require repair/replacement of the torque converter only or taking apart the trans.
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