1996 Isuzu Trooper - engine runs but can't drive



I have a 1996 Isuzu Trooper (automatic)with about 150K miles on it. I haven’t been driving for more than 3 months. One day, I just started and the engine starts, and sounds fine. However, when I started to shift the gear to Drive or Rear to back up, the car wouldn’t move when I step on the gas. For some reason, it just stay on Park or Neutral. Does anyone know why it is not shifting into gear at all? What is the fix to this?




Are you sure it’s on park or neutral???

It could be a stuck brake that’s preventing it from moving.


Is your Hand/Foot or Parking brake on or off?


You may also want to check the tranny fluid level. You may have a leak and it’s dropped too low. The engine is connected to the drivetrain via a fluid coupling device called a torque converter, and no fluid would result in no connection.




did you mean transmission oil? what happen if it keeps on leaking, does mean that i have to get it replaced?


When you let an automatic transmission sit, half of the fluid will drain back from the torque converter raising the pan oil level significantly. If there is a leaking seal or gasket under this level fluid will seep out – how fast will depend on the size of the leak. When you start the engine, the transmission oil pump will try to fill the torque converter with what oil is left. If the oil pan level drops to where the oil pump is drawing air, you will have zero line pressure; the torque converter will be partially filled; and the drive or reverse clutches will not engage – ergo no drive condition. If you fill the transmission up to its correct level with the engine running in neutral, you should get drive and reverse back. If the leaking seal or gasket is above the oil level, you will not get a seepage until you let it sit again. If you have seepage that is bothersome, i.e. you are having to fill often, you might want to have the transmission looked at by a transmission specialist. Don’t drive with a low fluid level as clutches will burn if line pressure falls off. A number of seals and gaskets can be changed with the transmission in the car.


Unfortunately, if I am not mistaken, the transmission in this vehicle (I have owned three of them) does not have a dipstick. Like many VWs, the only way to check the fluid is to remove a screw underneath the vehicle. If fluid comes out, you know there’s enough of it in there. If not, that indicates the level is low. Not sure where this check screw/bolt is…maybe someone else can help you with this.

Also, this is not an Isuzu transmission. It is manufactured by a French company…forgot the name.


check the shifter cable and make sure it didn’t break or fall off