Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Car will not move in reverse or drive

My car will not move an inch but starts and sounds great. The shifter is not stuck and does display correctly when i shift gears. any ideas or suggestions this is my only means of transportation??!!

Sorry to say, but this is likely to be expensive, as it sounds like your transmission is either worn out, or has lost fluid which is causing the slipping. And if it’s lost fluid, it probably needs to be rebuilt anyway.

When’s the last time you changed the fluid?

Yes, it is likely your transmission needs service. And those can be expensive words.

I had a shop check it out he told me my transmission looked good and that the bolts to my torque converter were loose he tightened them back up and the car stopped making a loud rattle sound. The next day he said that the torque converter hit the pump which is why the engine will rev but the car wont move and told me that he wouldnt replace or fix anything unless i paid 3,600 for a trans. when the car stopped working the was nothing in the fluid and it didnt have a smell to it at all

Let’s get the chronology down first. Did you take it to the shop because it wouldn’t move, or because of some other symptom (like, maybe, vibrating?), and then after the shop tightened the bolts it stopped moving?

because it wouldnt move

You still need a transmission repair but I don’t like the sound of the shop you used. Pick an ATRA member shop, not a chain like AMMCO. If the torque converter goes, it will spew junk through the transmission so an overhaul is required. Maybe that’s what he was saying.

1 Like

I understand that but there was nothing in the fluid when drained or when it came out right after the car stopped working

How many miles are on this car? The last time the 300m was made was 13 years ago, so I imagine it possibly has quite high mileage. It’s entirely possible the transmission is simply worn out after a long life.

The other possibility is that the drained fluid looks good, but there wasn’t enough of it to do its job - any signs of leaks?

97,883 miles no signs of any leaks only when the bolts became loose as soon as that happen the rattling started and the car stop working as soon as it happened

How long between when the rattling started and when the car stopped moving?

It’s not especially common for those bolts to back out, but it’s not unheard of either. When they do, damage can be caused to several components inside the transmission.

I think you need to get it to an independent transmission shop like @Bing said at this point - unless you know how to work on transmissions, there’s really nothing more to be done now other than turning the problem over to an expert.

Expect it to be expensive. It could even be upwards of $3,000 depending on how bad it is in there. Post-diagnosis you should evaluate whether to go forward with the repair or replace the car. A 13 year old 2000’s Chrysler is likely to have a bunch of other problems cropping up - they weren’t the world’s most reliable vehicles. Optimistically assuming it’s a 2004 and in great shape otherwise, you’re looking at a car that’s worth somewhere between 3 and 4 thousand, so this transmission job has the potential to be right at the replacement value of the car.

it stopped working immediately after it happened

3 different posters and a mechanic who actually touched your car have told you the transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced.

I’d say we have a consensus that your transmission actually needs to be replaced. Either decide the car is worth the cost of the repair or not. There is really nothing else to do. Sorry.

What year is this Chrysler and how many miles does it have?

I’m inclined to agree that a consensus by three different shops would support the need for a new tranny, but wonder why nobody suggested a boneyard tranny. Could it be because this tranny had such a bad reputation for reliability that nobody wanted to suggest the risk?

Daughters saturn same symptom, luckily for her a trans fluid change and new filter solved the problem, though with you I think a new trans should be budgeted for.

I don’t see where OP said he took it to three different shops, only to one.

If it wasn’t for that statement, I would agree with most responses here. It sounds to me that the guy wants upfront money before he touches anything. If that is the case it would make me wonder a bit (unless you are known in your town not to pay your bills :grin:).

Perhaps it would be wise to invest some money and have the car towed to a reputable transmission shop for a second opinion. Who knows, you might be lucky and it is only a busted or disconnected shift cable.

I didn’t specify where to get it - but even a boneyard transmission would probably be pretty close to the value of the car once you add in the labor.

It may be possible to replace the torque converter, front pump and clean out the transmission or install a used transmission but transmission technicians have learned that you don’t fool around with a 15 year old 42LE transmission.

This is where transmission shops gain a bad reputation, they want to preform a complete repair, not a patch job and have the transmission fail 6 months later.

The other problem is you don’t want a $1200 car sitting in the parking lot for a year and a half with a $1500 to $3600 repair bill. It is common practice to through out a very high bid for a repair on a car that is headed to the salvage yard.