Truck Stuck In Reverse – What To Do?

Having your truck stuck in reverse is a common problem faced by vehicle owners. Are you wondering what to do when stuck in reverse? We've checked with automobile experts for guidelines on what to do, and here's how they responded.

When your truck is stuck in reverse, it is usually a transmission problem. The remedy actions will depend largely on the intensity of the problem. You may be required to

  • Step on the brake pedal
  • Change your clutch cord
  • Make repairs in your gearbox 

There's no need to panic when next you are stuck in reverse. In this article, you'll see how to identify the cause of this problem and how to fix each potential issue. Read on to learn everything you'll need to do to get your truck back in drive.

Switching modes of an automatic transmission, Truck Stuck In Reverse - What To Do?

Why is your truck stuck in reverse?

To know what to do when your truck is stuck in reverse, you need to know why your truck is in reverse. The following areas are the most likely culprits

Trucker sitting in front of the car

Gear Box

A gearbox is housing for gears. It is a complicated box where gear movements are handled. The gearbox regulates the output torque and aids in changing the speed of an automobile.

Gearbox of commercial truck

Once your gearbox is faulty you can expect to have movement issues. Since reverse is a more complex task than just changing gears, doing a reverse with a faulty gearbox can shift some components out of place.

Gear Stick

Red gear lever shift

A gear stick also called a gear shifter or gear lever is a stick attached to the transmission box. It is present in manual automobiles for changing gears.

One of the reasons your truck may be stuck in the reverse gear is that the gear stick itself is stuck too in the transmission box.

In a very simple situation, this can be handled by opening the transmission box and checking out the gear stick, other times you may have to visit your mechanic shop.

Clutch Cable

Clutch cable

A clutch cable is a metal cord that connects the clutch pedal to the clutch itself in manual cars. It helps to control the clutch from the clutch pedal. So that when you step on the clutch pedal signals are carried by the clutch cable to release the clutch.

Clutch cables last for a long time but when they get extended, worn out, or old they can impair automobile functionality, especially movement. Clutch cables can be repaired but it is best to change them completely to avoid more damage or future recurrence.

What to do when your truck is stuck in reverse

Usually, when trucks are stuck in reverse it is a transmission issue. Depending on the cause of the problem you could handle it in different ways.

  • First, carry out an inspection and articulate clearly what to do.
  • If it is a gearbox issue, you will need to open up the gearbox to check out if one of the transmitters is out of place. You can put it back in place by hitting it with a hammer or any hard tool
  • If it is a clutch issue then you'll need replacement. Purchase a new clutch, and go through your manual if you are smart enough you can just fix your clutch in the comfort of your garage.
  • If it is a result of the gear stick, it will need expertise but you can handle it temporarily by removing the top of the gearbox and forcing the stick to move. It may not suffice permanently, you need to see your mechanic fast.

Where is the shift lock release button?

This button is a safety mechanism car engineers put in cars. It is only available for automatic transmission. A manual gear shifter does not have this feature. It is usually located on the gear selector lever. It is a button so you should be looking for a button somewhere on the top or side of the lever.

It allows you to lock in any gear you have switched to. You remain in that gear until you press the button again. It is also very useful when the gear selector is not working.

Will low transmission fluid cause no reverse?

Mechanic working on car transmission

Transmission fluid is one of the essential automobile fluids, it helps to free up the transmission system. This enables your gear stick and steering to work properly.

When transmission fluids are old, leaking, or contaminated it can shorten the lifespan of the transmission system which after all can affect the smooth movement of your automobile.

But, when you are low on transmission fluids cannot shift your car into reverse. It can cause a lot of other damages 

Transmission fluids are essential for both automatic and manual cars. Changing your transmission fluid is a wise solution if you do not already have major damage. Checking the color of your transmission fluid or frequent car checkups can prevent this from happening.

How do I reset my transmission control module?

Many transmission problems may force you to the car repair shop since you need the expertise of a mechanic. Resetting your transmission control module should not.

The reason for resetting transmission is to enable the engine of your car to work optimally. This can be done twice a year or quarterly depending on your type of automobile.

You can reset your transmission control module by shifting through the automatic transmission gear at least two times in automatic cars. But in manual cars, you should shift and reverse three times. This shifting must go on for more than 10 miles while the car is in motion, your transmission module will automatically reset. 

You could also reset it by putting off your car and disconnecting the battery. Simply putting off your car can also reset your TCM.

Resetting and reprogramming your transmission is not the same thing. If you are still confused about reprogramming your transmission you may take an online tutorial on how to reprogramme your transmission. 

How do you release an automatic shift stuck in park?

Modern automobile engineers put a lot of preventive measures into their products. That is why sometimes your car can act in a certain way to protect itself. No need to worry as you can easily switch this automatic response off. Then you have your automobile working just fine as quickly as possible.

Here are some things that you may check to help release your automatic shift that is stuck in park.

Brake Switch

 If your brake switch is not working well it can cause your shifter to be stuck in park. This is because your gear shifter is dependent on you, if your brake switch isn't working well neither will your shifter

You can observe your brake switch by checking your brake light operation, if the lights don't come on when pressure is applied to it then your switch is faulty. Change it immediately. It is not difficult to change the brake switch.

Parking Pawl

The parking pawl is a safety mechanism that keeps the shifter locked up when placed in park 'P'. When you park on a slant surface, and you do not set your e-brakes before your shifter is moved to park can cause the shifter to be stuck in park.

This is pressure from the weight of the car resting on the parking pawl and can make it get stuck in the metal ring.

You can attend to this case by simply pushing your vehicle a bit uphill to remove the weight of the car on the parking pawl. You can prevent this by setting your e-brakes before moving your shifter to park "P".

Shifter Interlock

A shifter interlock system is a safety mechanism put in cars to prevent the shifter from moving when put in park. The car can not move in this situation unless pressure is added to the brake pedal.

But sometimes this mechanism may malfunction and prevent your shifter from moving to another gear.  You can maneuver this by looking for the shifter release button and pressing it. This button is usually on the gear selector, look for it by the side on the top.

You can also manually do this by getting a flat head screwdriver and inserting it into the manual shift lock override. The position of the manual shift lock override can vary in different vehicles.

If your truck has an accessory position you can turn your keys to that point and put your shifter in neutral, your shifter interlock will unlock and your truck is ready to move.

To Sum Up

You now know the mechanism behind the truck reverse malfunctions you notice in your truck. So next time your truck gets stuck in reverse, you'll be prepared to diagnose and fix this problem.