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When car placed in reverse it still moves forward

Ok, so I recently purchased a used Saturn SL, that ran great. Now when I place it in reverse, it no longer goes in reverse, but rather moves forward. Any suggestions as to why this might be and how to fix it would be extremely helpful. Hoping that I don’t need to replace the entire tranny.

Are you on a hill? There is a stall switch that disengages the tranny so the engine won’t die when you stop. If that’s the case,

It could be something with the linkage too if it suddenly started. Don’t know much about Saturns though. I would guess it has a center council shifter so that’s not very likely.

For your sake, I hope it’s not internal. Someone will be happy to take a lot of your money to fix it if it is.

If you are totally el-cheapo and it is the tranny itself, you could always use the Flintstone method.

By the way, check the fluid if you have not. You probably have to do it while it is warm. If it’s low, it might be that simple. If it is really high, you have just discovered a nefarious trick of someone selling a lemon. Kind of like putting really heavy oil in a motor to hide a ticking sound.

Alright will check the fluid first thing tomorrow, seeing as to how its dark out, and I apparently don’t own a flashlight (swear I did, must have misplaced it). It is a center council shifter with an automatic transmission (suppose I should have said that before). Again, I am with you on hoping that it isn’t internal, and just praying that its an easy fix.

If it does boil down to that, I really will just ensure that I don’t ever have to back up wherever it is that I park.

It could need a linkage adjustment.

I believe that the Saturn automatic uses a main/counter shaft design. On these transmissions reverse is obtained by moving a clutch dog that disengages the second counter gear and engages the reverse counter gear being driven by an idle from the second main shaft gear. If you are listening to the transmission as you shift into reverse, you will hear a ‘click’ just as the transmission engages. That ‘click’ is the dog clutch engaging the reverse counter gear. If you no longer hear that ‘click’ you know the dog clutch is not moving.

If the dog clutch is stuck or the servor that drives the dog clutch is leaking you will get second forward instead of reverse. If the manual selector is going into the reverse detent, i.e. the shifter linkage is adjusted correctly, the problem would be internal in the valve body, servo, or clutch dog. You will probably need a transmission technician to explore the problem further.

Hope that helps.

I would first be looking at the linkages but I really dont think that is your issue. Whats going through my head right now is the 2nd/reverse selector. This one’s probably going to have to come apart.