Bryans Garage

Why Nissan Altima Shifts Into Gear But Won’t Move: 15 Reasons

The Nissan Altima is a reliable and popular sedan known for its smooth performance on the road. However, encountering an issue where the car shifts into gear but won’t move can be frustrating and confusing for many drivers. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore 15 potential reasons behind this problem and provide insights on troubleshooting and possible solutions.

And I will try to write this article in such a way that you can more benefit from it as much as like you have benefited from the previous article and I would request you to share it with others. So I say it again and again so that other people can benefit from it and my hard work is not wasted because the more people benefit from it, the more is my success. Let’s start our article.

Why Nissan Altima Shifts Into Gear But Won’t Move: 15 Reasons

Transmission Fluid Level:

One of the most common reasons for a car not moving despite being in gear is low transmission fluid. Low fluid levels can lead to insufficient hydraulic pressure, preventing the transmission from engaging properly.

Transmission Fluid Quality:

In addition to the fluid level, the quality of the transmission fluid is crucial. Contaminated or deteriorated fluid can hinder the proper functioning of the transmission.

Transmission Linkage Issues:

Problems with the linkage between the gear shifter and the transmission can cause misalignment. This misalignment may make it seem like the car is in gear when, in reality, it is not.

Faulty Torque Converter:

A malfunctioning torque converter can result in a lack of power transmission between the engine and transmission, causing the car not to move despite being in gear.

Worn Clutch:

For manual transmission Altima models, a worn or damaged clutch can prevent the transmission from engaging, leading to a lack of movement.

Clogged Transmission Filter:

Over time, the transmission filter can become clogged with debris, restricting fluid flow and causing transmission issues.

Faulty Transmission Solenoids:

Malfunctioning solenoids can disrupt the flow of transmission fluid, leading to improper gear engagement and movement problems.

Issues with the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission):

Altima models equipped with a CVT may experience issues related to the belt, pulleys, or sensors within the transmission.

Axle or Driveshaft Problems:

Damaged axles or driveshafts can prevent the power from reaching the wheels, even if the transmission is functioning correctly.

Brake System Malfunction:

A malfunctioning brake system, such as a stuck caliper or brake pad, can create resistance and make it difficult for the car to move.

Engine Issues:

Problems with the engine, such as low power output or a malfunctioning throttle, can impact the car’s ability to move despite being in gear.

Electronic Control Module (ECM) Malfunction:

The ECM plays a crucial role in regulating various systems, including the transmission. A malfunctioning ECM can lead to shifting problems.

Faulty Speed Sensor:

The speed sensor provides crucial data to the transmission control module. A malfunctioning sensor can cause issues with gear engagement and movement.

Maladjusted Shift Cable:

A misadjusted shift cable can result in inaccurate gear selection, leading to the car not moving as expected.

Traction Control System Issues:

Problems with the traction control system can interfere with the power distribution to the wheels, affecting the car’s movement.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix Nissan Altima Transmission?

The cost to fix the transmission of a Nissan Altima can vary widely depending on several factors, including the extent of the damage, the model year of the Altima, and where the repairs are performed. Here are some factors to consider when estimating the cost of fixing a Nissan Altima transmission:

Type of Transmission:

The cost can different significantly between automatic and manual transmissions. Automatic transmissions often involve more complex components and may be more expensive to repair.

Severity of the Issue:

The extent of the transmission problem plays a crucial role in determining the cost. Minor issues, such as low transmission fluid or a faulty sensor, may be less expensive to repair than major problems like a damaged torque converter or a complete transmission rebuild.

Labor Costs:

Labor costs can vary based on the repair shop’s hourly rates and the level of expertise of the technicians. Dealerships may have higher labor rates compared to independent repair shops, but they may also have specialized knowledge of the specific Nissan Altima model.

Replacement vs. Repair:

In some cases, replacing the entire transmission may be more cost-effective than attempting to repair specific components. Transmission replacement costs more but can provide a longer-term solution.

New or Rebuilt Transmission:

Opting for a new transmission will generally be more expensive than choosing a rebuilt or remanufactured unit. However, the latter can be a more budget-friendly option.

OEM vs. Aftermarket Parts:

The type of parts used in the repair can impact the overall cost. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts are typically more expensive than aftermarket alternatives, but they are designed to meet the manufacturer’s specifications.


Repair costs can vary based on your geographical location. Urban areas and regions with higher living costs may have higher labor rates, affecting the overall repair bill.

Warranty Coverage:

If your Nissan Altima is still under warranty, some or all of the repair costs may be covered. Check the warranty details to determine if the transmission issue falls under the warranty terms.

DIY vs. Professional Repair:

While some car owners may attempt to diagnose and fix transmission issues themselves, it’s crucial to consider the complexity of transmission repairs. DIY repairs can save money, but incorrect repairs may lead to more significant problems.


Experiencing a situation where a Nissan Altima shifts into gear but won’t move can be perplexing, but understanding the potential reasons behind it is the first step towards resolving the issue. Regular maintenance, prompt diagnosis, and addressing problems promptly can help keep your Altima running smoothly on the road.

If the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide do not resolve the issue, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to ensure a thorough inspection and accurate diagnosis of the problem. Remember, addressing the root cause promptly can save you from further complications and potential costly repairs in the long run.

Leave a Comment