Fix Automatic Transmission Stuck In 2nd Gear Or 3rd Gear

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Is your dear car with an automatic transmission stuck in 2nd gear (or any particular gear mostly 2 and 3)? Does it resist to change to upper or lower shifts? When you start your car and try to shift gear, your car will just not obey. It ill tends to move even in neutral gear. Well, then this article is just for you! In today’s blog, we will dig deeper into its cause, pros and cons,  safety measures, cost of repair, fixing and lot more! So let’s start.

transmission stuck in second gear

What Causes Automatic Transmission Stuck In 2nd Gear?

Basically, you know your vehicle quite well. And you know when something is not right with it. One such abnormality is the star of today’s blog! So now let’s see why your transmission is going astray.

1. Strange Noise

Probably it will be one of the primary signs you will notice. Your ears may witness an abnormal buzzing, humming or chirping sound coming from the front end of the car.

2. Burning Smell

Now after your ears, your nose will be blessed with a peculiar burning fuel smell coming from the vehicle’s engine. Air pollution(sighs)!

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3. Fluid Leak

Probably the most common cause and partner in crime with all kinds of system damage. The lubes, coolant, grease and fuel may seep into other internal parts of the vehicle and expose the system to an emergency.

4. Water Intrusion

If your transmission is stuck in 2nd gear and opposing any movement then your system may be contaminated with water intrusion involuntarily due to poor maintenance and lack of attention.

transmission stuck in second gear

5. Wearing Out Of Internals

Over some time, due to constant motion, the internal transmission parts may undergo wear and tear. It may be the reason for your inconvenience caused.

6. Gasket Lid Damage

If you spot any greasy liquid under your car then it may be due to damaged gasket lid causing content to flow out.  It will have a brownish-red appearance.

7. Limp Mode

Your car may have shifted into limp mode under several conditions thus prohibiting gear shift. It indicates an underlying serious issue.

8. Damaged Solenoids

It is also possible that just the solenoids are damaged or behaving in an ill manner.

transmission stuck

Do I Need A New Transmission If The Car Is Stuck In Gear?

In one word: NO. You need not get a new transmission. It is a common problem and can be resolved easily. You don’t need to get a new one but you definitely need to replace the faulty one. It not exactly an easy procedure, rather a hectic one. But yeah, the cost may exceed and dig a big hole in your pocket. A lot of parts can be simply fixed or replaced. It can also be as simple and minute as a computer or hardware bug.

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How To Fix Stuck Transmission Issues?


First of all, you should be glad that your transmission is stuck on 2nd gear rather than third or any higher. As it would have exposed you to severe health hazards. Applying brakes without jerk and spontaneously would have been next to impossible! The clutch is voided of excessive pressure too and it is saved from burning out.

1. Professional Help

If this happens with you, you have to visit a garage and check the gearbox.  I would recommend to not compromise on quality and repair it under expert’s advise rather than trying to save those few bucks.

2. Repair It Yourself

Since a transmission consists of a huge set of complicated mechanisms, it will have quite a tricky maintenance and even a minor glitch can completely alter the gearbox and mess it up beyond repair. To get it unstuck, the cheapest way is to take apart the console and extracting cables, cleaning them up properly using grease and lubes. But this method will require intense labor. Another possible way is to buy brand new shifters from the market yourself and install the shift cables yourself. Though it can be a little high on the budget scale.


Is It Bad To Drive An Automatic Transmission Stuck?

Well, both yes and no! Firstly it will be really difficult to drive efficiently at such a low gear. Even the maximum speed will be reduced down drastically, along with that poor performance is another side effect that may trigger. But unless you yourself are okay with it, it will not be a serious issue provided you do not continue it for too long. Since driving in second gear uses high torque, thus while increasing the speed you are putting an immense load on your engine. It will lead to a higher amount of fuel consumption, reduced mileage, unwanted harsh noises, humming and vibration in engine etc. All these factors will ultimately contribute to damage the engine way before its original life span.

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transmission stuck in second gear


Ultimately I will suggest avoiding driving behaviors which can expose the transmission to unwanted intense stress in such a condition. Take your car to a mechanic rather than trying to repair it yourself. Even after proper care and maintenance, transmission breakdown is a common issue. You do not need to pay it much heed. It is also okay to take some time to repair it. The key point is to not let it go amiss and giving the transmission a proper diagnosis.

So that was all in today’s column, many more on the way! So stay tuned. For any further queries and assistance just drop your thoughts below in the comment section and we will make sure that it does not goes unanswered.

Thank you!