It’s all about your car’s transmission. Don’t take it for granted. Without reverse, you would find yourself stuck in some situations, for instance needing to back out of a parking spot or your drive way.
In an automatic transmission, your car shifts forward gears on its own, controlled by computers, and keeping you moving. If low on fluid, it could cause overheating in the transmission, affecting proper functioning of all gears, including reverse gear, without enough fluid to keep it lubricated and cool.
Another similar issue with the transmission fluid, even if it doesn’t appear low, it could be that it has microscopic debris and deposits. These deposits can sometimes be identified by the color of the fluid – fresh fluid is a bright red, while older, used, or even burnt fluid appears more brownish in color. As it gets older and breaks down, it becomes thicker and harder for your car to use efficiently and to flow through the filter. Causing shifting issues which you may notice as slow to shift or “slipping”.
Sometimes the transmission position sensors can begin to fail, and won’t allow your car to go into reverse. This may be indicated by the check engine light, or another indicator light coming on. We would use a diagnostic tool to pull the codes to determine if this is the issue.
Although these aren’t the only issues that cause your car to not shift properly, low fluid is the most common issue if caught early. When you bring your car in for service, we always check the car’s fluids, including the transmission fluid. It’s not something most people think about, but if neglected, can cause major and expensive mechanical transmission issues.