Failure of Automatic transmission to engage


#1

1999 Toyota Camry. Suddenly gears failed to engage. When sfitinthe gear shaft does not go in to any gear- shifter moves easily but does not engage at any gear. Is it due to lack of transmission fluid?


#2

If this is an automatic, it’s more likely the shifter cable just became disconnected.

Also, if it is an auto, make sure you’re getting it serviced every 30K miles.


#3

Have you checked the level and condition of the transmission fluid? That’s where I would start. The only time I have seen an automatic transmission fail to engage, the fluid was low.


#4

Check the transmission fluid level is the 1st thing to do. If it is low I would not recommend dumping in any trans fluid you have handy. Toyota’s are sensitive about the trans fluid, use the wrong one and you can cause more problems. I believe the shifter is basically an electric switch on this car. So it could be a bad electrical connection, or if it has a shift cable it might have broken or fallen off.

If your trans fluid it so low you can’t go, that indicates a problem. If your shifter is broken that’s a problem. So, the safest thing would be to get a tow to a garage for an evaluation. If you opt to add fluid I’d recommend getting the fluid from a Toyota dealer just to be safe.

A '99 should have had many transmission services and fluid changes over the years. If this has been neglected then you might be in for some bad news.