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5 Reasons Your Honda Civic Won’t Go Into Gear

Honda Civic Won't Go Into Gear

5 Reasons Your Honda Civic Won’t Go Into Gear

The Honda Civic is one of the leading vehicles from the Honda manufacturer when it comes to performance and reliability. However, if the Honda Civic won’t go into gear, it can be due to a few failures of the transmission.

While some of these are easily fixable, I have found that it is often expensive problems.

One of the main causes for your Honda Civic to struggle to go into gear is often related to the transmission fluid. Low transmission fluid reduces the lubrication around the transmission and this is one of the reasons that the gears often get stuck.

This could be due to leaks or possible problems with the car.

If you are struggling with your Honda Civic not going into gear, there are a few important steps that you could take to remedy the situation. This article aims to help you better understand what causes these transmission problems.

We will look at some of the key issues and how you could fix them with your Honda Civic.

5 Reasons Your Honda Civic Won’t Go Into Gear

We should mention that many readers would find a few similarities between the transmission failure reasons for the Honda Civic and other vehicles. Since the Civic does not have any blatant transmission issues, most of the problems failing to shift into gear are universal and easily fixable by a mechanic.

1. Low Transmission Fluid

transmission fluid
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: Transmission fluid is one of the most important fluid compounds in your vehicle and often maintains the lubrication between the gears. If your vehicle is not properly maintained, you might find leaks, which could reduce transmission fluid. This could cause a grinding sound and prevent the gears from shifting.

Solution: Fortunately, there is a very easy and simple solution to this problem, which involves topping up the transmission fluid. You should be able to do this at home, which also makes it possible to save a few bucks on labor costs.

The Honda Civic should be back and operating as it normally would when you shift the gear lever.

2. Broken Or Worn Out Clutch Plate

clutch plate
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: The clutch is one of the most essential components in your Honda Civic. While you should get more than 50,000 miles from the clutch, many people buy the Honda Civic to have some fun.

Driving at speeds or even performing the double-clutch maneuver would often put more strain on the clutch, which wears it out faster.

Solution: If your clutch does not engage when the vehicle is shifting, the gears cannot shift. You will be stuck in neutral, which could be very dangerous on the road, or you might be stuck in one gear.

Replacing your clutch is the first thing you need to consider. However, a clutch replacement is one of the most expensive fixes.

3. Broken Linkage Cables/ Wires

inside engine bay
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: If you open up the transmission of your vehicle, you would find a few cables and wires, which connect to the various components.

Due to rubbing when you are driving, these linkages and cables can wear down and break. Once these cables are broken, there is not much you can do, and the vehicle would not shift into gear.

Solution: Since it is such a pain to open and even access the transmission at home, your best bet would be to visit a certified Honda mechanic.

Depending on the type of transmission, it might be an easy fix, but this will cost you. You will need someone to reconnect severed wires and the connection to your vehicle.

4. ECU Miscommunication (Automatic Transmission)

front of honda
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: If you have an automatic transmission, you will notice that the ECU communicates with the transmission to signal when the vehicle should shift gears. If the ECU does not communicate correctly with the transmission due to ECU failures, it will not signal the vehicle to shift gears. Unfortunately, you cannot fix this manually.

Solution: This could either be due to a software bug or some form of component issue, which is causing the miscommunication between the transmission and the ECU. It could be a severe issue that needs to be fixed.

However, I have noticed that often just reprogramming the onboard ECU tends to fix the problem as well.

5. Automatic Transmission Shift Lock

honda transmission
Photo by Pixabay

Problem: Modern vehicles, especially the newer Honda Civic Type R features a new safety feature in the shift lock. The shift lock would act to stop the transmission from turning over if no one is in the driver’s seat. Many people won’t notice this as they always focus on shifting when being nestled in the driver’s seat.

Solution: While the component will automatically start working once you access the driver seat, the component tends to malfunction at times. If the ECU is having any communication issues, this component would not work, and you will find that your vehicle would remain stuck in “Park” when trying to shift.

Honda Civic Recalls You Need To Be Aware Off

honda keyring
Photo by Pixabay

The Japanese manufacturer is prideful, and often we don’t see many recalls. However, there are a few issues in certain models that often warrant a recall. If you are the owner of a Honda Civic like I was, here are a few issues you might have. These could be covered under the recalls:

  • Airbags: One of the most common recalls in all the Honda Civic models has been around the airbags, which fail to deploy or inflate.
  • Fuel Pump Issues: In some of the earlier models, issues with the fuel pump have been detected due to a problematic design
  • Torque Converter: While there has been some recall due to failure of the torque converter in certain models, a mechanic can now easily fix these.


Why Doesn’t My Honda Civic Go Into Gear On The Freeway?

If you are driving along on the freeway and your Honda Civic won’t go into gear, it is often due to an ECU miscommunication. Instead of driving in the current gear, you are advised to pull over the vehicle. Consider calling your insurance for assistance.

What Should I Do If My Honda Civic Does Not Shift

The most important thing to do when your vehicle is not shifting as intended is to stop. In many cases, you will not be able to shift the transmission into any gears, and this means no power reaches the wheels. You could be a hazard to the road and this means you need to stop and pull over.