AWD 99 Honda CRV will not move?

After discovering the front subframe had developed a huge rust spot, we replaced the subframe. Everything, including both front struts, ball joints, tie rods, cv axles, and control arms were replaced, but now the car will not move, it feels like it is jammed in place.

The front diff had to removed, when we did that a large amount of trans fluid drained out, I added back in about a quart, and it is not showing on the dipstick. The second problem is now it is extremely difficult to shift the gear lever, you have to use so much force it feels as if you are going to break off the lever, but it does move through every gear. If I remove the metal cover underneath the car the covers the gear shift cable, then it will shift like normal. I know if the fluid level is too low, the car cant shift, but it does feel like when you put it in drive or reverse that it is trying to move, I think. But even in neutral with all my force I cannot get the thing to budge at all. It take special Honda ATF which I have had to order, but while I wait for that to arrive, does any one have an idea what might be happening? I feel like the low fluid level is not causing this issue.

Low fluid levels can certainly cause the car to not move. If you have been operating this thing and trying to force the issue while fluid is not even registering on the stick then you have either fried the transmission or you’re working on it.

Your feeling about low fluid level not causing this issue is baffling to me.


It does not take a loss of much transmission fluid to prevent proper operation. I remember when I did the timing belt on my 95 Caravan with the 3.0L engine and changed the transmission fluid and filter, I added back the recommended amount of ATF+4 but it wouldn’t accelerate properly. I took it to a professional mechanic, thinking that there might be an engine problem, but it was about a quart low on transmission fluid. They topped it off, and it ran fine.

Just a small thing but is the fluid not or NOW showing on the dipstick? Yu may have a typo.

'If I remove the metal cover under the car it shifts like normal."

That is not right. Something is out of place. Who did all this work? Was it a professional mechanic? If not, I think you need to consult one.