Chevy Tahoe Not Going Into Gear – What To Do?

It's possible that your Chevy Tahoe may fail to go into gear at some point. When this happens, you may be wondering what to do to solve the problem. Luckily, we have consulted some experts in this field, and here is what they have to say.

Your Chevy Tahoe may not go into gear as a result of different problems. Here are some actions you can take when your car fails to go into gear:

  • Press the brake down.
  • Attempt to put your car into a different gear.
  • Check your transmission fluid levels.
  • Check your shift linkage.
  • Tow your car to a repair shop.

Solving your Chevy Tahoe's problem can be easy or complex, depending on the cause. Keep reading to get detailed information on the actions to take when your Chevy Tahoe refuses to go into gear and other related issues.

A Chevy Tahoe on display outside dealership, Chevy Tahoe Not Going Into Gear - What To Do?

What Should I Do If My Chevy Tahoe Is Not Going Into Gear?

The Chevy Tahoe comes equipped with an automatic transmission. This automatic transmission requires many interrelated processes to operate properly. It's necessary for each of these internal processes, which contribute to the smooth shifting of gears, to be fully functional and active.

Chevy Tahoe on display at the auto show

If your Chevy Tahoe's gears don't engage, there are some actions you can take to try to remedy the problem. They are as follows:

Press Your Brake Down

If your Chevy Tahoe refuses to go into gear, try pressing down the brake before changing the gear

Modern vehicles come equipped with a safety feature that locks the shifter (transmission parking pawl) to assist in preventing unintentional gear changes while the vehicle is parked. You have to start the car and keep your foot on the brake pedal to unlock the safety lock.

Attempt To Put Your Car Into A Different Gear

Try shifting into a different gear as a test if your automobile still won't go into gear. For example, try to drive it if you have tried to put your automobile in reverse gear but it wouldn't move. You can use this to determine whether a certain component is the cause of your problems or whether there are other factors involved.

Check Your Transmission Fluid Levels

The fluid level can be checked using the dipstick beneath the hood since the Chevy Tahoe has an automatic gearbox. When doing this, you should always adhere to the instructions in your vehicle-specific repair manual.

Apart from making sure the fluid level is correct, check to see if the automatic transmission fluid is still bright red and does not smell burnt. A black, viscous, and gooey fluid may indicate internal damage or gumminess, which would prevent the shifting of gears. 

Check Your Shift Linkage 

Remove the shift boot and, if necessary, the center console to look into the shifter and shift linkage. Check to see if the shifter assembly is still intact and if the lock pins or clips holding it to the frame are intact. 

You might have to look at them from underneath the automobile if they can't be examined from the top. Only try this if you know how the shift linkage operates. 

It's possible that the gear won't engage because of a worn shifter or a broken shift linkage. If the shift linkage seems broken or disconnected, then you may need the help of a professional

Tow Your Car To A Repair Shop

If your car won't shift into gear and the shift linkage seems broken, you should have it towed to a mechanic shop so that the source of the problem can be detected and all necessary transmission repairs can be made. 

What Would Cause Chevy Tahoe To Not Shift Into Gear?

A white Chevrolet Tahoe parked outside a dealership, Chevy Tahoe Won't Go Into Park - What To Do?

The following issues may cause your Chevy Tahoe to not shift into gear:

Bad Parking Pawl

Since the Chevy Tahoe has an automatic transmission, it won't shift out of park until it detects that the driver is in the seat and the brake pedal is down. 

This device is installed in the automatic transmission of your Chevy Tahoe, and it locks the gear when the transmission shift gear selector is in park.

Due to this crucial safety feature, the car won't roll if someone accidentally bumps the gearshift. However, if this component breaks, you might not be able to change gears at all.

Contaminated Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is required for the automatic transmission of your Chevy Tahoe to function properly. The torque converter, which is a component of an automatic transmission, operates solely on the fluid dynamics principle. 

Dirt, debris, and other microscopic particles can collect in transmission fluid over time, influencing its qualities. This can result in the car failing when you shift into drive or reverse. 

Additionally, it can lead to a loss of power, transmission slide, difficult shifts, or even the vehicle not going into gear at all. Changing dirty transmission fluid will help maintain the gearbox's longevity.

Bad Engine Computer

The engine control unit, or ECU, of the car, ultimately has control over a modern automatic transmission. The ECU uses the engine speed and throttle position to decide when to shift the gear. 

Transmission issues may occur if something goes wrong underneath the hood or if the ECU gets damaged. Get the ECU reset or changed by a skilled OEM technician if the transmission is not engaging the gear.

Broken Transmission Linkage 

Although rare, the shift linkage between the transmission's actual shifter and the one in the cabin may get broken. When this happens, you won't be able to shift your car's gears.

What Are The Signs of Low Transmission Fluid?

Signs of low transmission fluid shouldn't be ignored. Being aware of these signs can help you save money on car repairs. They include:

  • Active check engine or transmission warning light.
  • Poor acceleration.
  • Burning smell.
  • Slow gear engagement.
  • Slipping gears.
  • Unusual noises.
  • Transmission leakages.

How Long Can A Car Run Without Transmission Fluid?

Transmission oil fill up in a car engine with yellow cone spire shape container

Generally, a car can run approximately 10 to 15 miles with little or no transmission fluid. However, doing so will result in transmission system malfunctions and could cause serious damage to your vehicle.

Transmission fluid helps vehicles to shift gears effectively. When there is no fluid in your car, the gears are prone to  friction and may fail to move.

Where Is The Gear Shift Cable Located?

The shift cable connects the automatic transmission to the shifter, which is situated either in a floor-level console or on the steering column. 

The cable is typically composed of steel and has an outer plastic jacket to protect it from the elements. Rubber or nylon bushings are frequently used at the ends of the shifter cable to accommodate cable movement and vibration. In some cases, the cable can be adjusted if it stretches while being used.

How Do I Know If My Gear Shift Cable Is Broken?

Your shifter handle won't automatically return to neutral if the shift cable is broken. The horizontal cable must remain intact or shifting will not be possible. Only the third or fourth gears will be available if the vertical cable breaks.

Gearbox and clutch cross-section

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Gear Shift Cable? 

Depending on your car's make and model, as well as the mechanic's location, the cost to fix a gear shift cable differs. For labor and parts, you might spend up to $300. The usual price range should be between $200 to $600.

But some brands are more expensive to repair than others. To tighten or get a loose shifter worked on, you may spend about $100. Also, these prices depend on your mechanic and how old your car is.

Every car make and model has a different time required to replace a shift cable. It usually takes 1.5 to 2 hours to install the shifter cable. If the entire cable does not need to be replaced, subsequent repairs on some portion of the cable can be easier to do.

To Wrap Up

Whenever you notice that your car is not going into gear, you should press down the break and try changing your car's gear. You can also check your transmission fluid and shift linkage. Consult a professional if you can't solve the problem by yourself.

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