Mercedes Won’t Move In Drive Or Reverse: Cause & Solutions!

Suddenly, your Mercedes won’t move in drive or reverse! What’s happening?

No matter what brand the vehicle comes from, affordable to high-end, this issue can happen anytime, and the Mercedes car is not an exception.

This can confuse us as we don’t know how to deal with it.

There is not only one reason that leads to this situation. And certainly, if you want to fix it, you must find out the cause first. Don’t know what to do? Keep reading to learn more!

Mercedes Won’t Move In Drive Or Reverse: Why & How To Fix

mercedes won't move in drive or reverse

Actually, there are many causes of this. However, you can focus on the eight common ones below:

  • Broken or incorrect gear
  • Incorrect air/fuel ratio
  • Bad transmission fluid
  • Low transmission fluid level
  • Blown transmission
  • Faulty shifter mechanism
  • Malfunctioning ECU
  • Worn-out valve body

Broken Or Incorrect Gear

Broken Or Incorrect Gear

Despite receiving many quality awards, such as the sport Auto Award, Mercedes is still not immune to this issue.

If you have a broken gear, your car will not move in drive or reverse.

Even though it seems obvious, many drivers frequently neglect to select the proper gear and check it before starting their car.

Make certain your car is set in the suitable gear before driving if you want to go backward and exit a driveway.

Sometimes, the gear shift can accidentally be moved into neutral by your elbow or a child, which is why your car won’t move.


You just need to recheck and put it in the right gear, which is solved!

But what if the transmission goes into gear but won’t move? In a worse situation, your gear has been damaged. The only method to solve this problem is to replace it with a new one.

Improper Fuel-Air Ratio

Fuel-Air Ratio

The air-fuel ratio of the engine’s cylinders must be just right for optimal combustion and for your car to move smoothly.

The engine might not get sufficient air to function properly if the sensors and air filters malfunction. That’s why the car won’t go forward or reverse.

Rough idling, reduced fuel economy, and a decline in power output are the main symptoms of a bad sensor.


  • To crank up the engine, turn the ignition key.
  • Find the carburetor in the air filter of the engine.
  • The air-to-fuel mix screw can be found on the carburetor as a flat-headed, gold-colored brass screw.
  • Till the engine feels rough, tighten the screw by turning it counterclockwise.
  • As soon as the engine’s idle sound becomes strange, loosen the screw.
  • To figure out the ideal idle speed, position the crew between irregular-sounding and rough locations and adjust in either direction.

Poor Transmission Fluid

Poor Transmission Fluid

In automobiles with automatic transmissions, smooth gear changes are made possible by the transmission and torque converter fluid.

The quality of the hydraulic fluid and transmission fluid can deteriorate over time due to contamination with gunk and dirt.

Poor lubrication caused by the dirty fluid can affect the way the transmission shifts into reverse or other gear, making the car not move in drive or reverse.

Although automatic transmission cars are more likely to experience the problem, manual transmission ones can also face it.


If your car has dirty transmission fluid, remove the old one and replace it with the proper type of fluid.

To choose the proper filter and fluid for your automobile, refer to your owner’s manual.

Low Transmission Fluid Level

Low Transmission Fluid Level

When your car won’t move in drive or reverse (automatic transmission), the fluid level should be rechecked.

A low liquid level could prevent your vehicle from going into reverse, and your engine will probably stall out or overheat.

Due to improper lubrication, most engine parts, such as gears, will overload and eventually fail.


Refiling with the correct fluid is certainly the best solution in this situation.

Before you park, look to see whether there is a fluid puddle on the floor. If the fluid is on the floor, leakage from a bad gasket could be blamed for the low level.

For best results, ensure the engine is running and the entire transmission is in neutral before checking the fluid level.

Blown Transmission

Blown Transmission

One of the most likely causes of your car not moving at all is a blown transmission. Your driving habits, a bad transmission, or lack of maintenance can all lead to failure.

The sensor alerts the drivetrain control to engage the reverse gear when shifting into reverse.

When malfunctioning, it might be unable to communicate, then the car won’t go forward or reverse, and your dashboard might show the check engine light.


In this case, you need advice from technical mechanics. It’s essential to be clear about all the fees you may have to pay to fix and replace the damaged parts.

Faulty Shifter Mechanism

Faulty Shifter Mechanism

The only means of propulsion for manual vehicles is a gear shifter, a component of automatic cars. It might not shift smoothly if the shifter is damaged, broken, or worn out.

It can occasionally become stuck in Park when you shift it, and the car won’t move in drive or reverse. A defective gear shifter will show these symptoms:


The shifter should get the proper lubrication or be replaced as soon as you can because it may split in half and compromise your control whenever the car moves.

Malfunctioning ECU

Malfunctioning ECU

The Engine Control Unit (ECU), is a tiny gadget that manages a few operations in your car. The ECU’s failure can prevent your car from performing as it should, meaning moving forward and backward.

What if my car won’t go forward or reverse? Check your ECU!

Listed below are a few indicators that your ECU is malfunctioning.

  • Check Engine Light flashing
  • Fuel efficiency is decreased
  • Difficulty in shifting gear
  • The car drives and stops suddenly


The ECU should only be checked, diagnosed, and reprogrammed by a highly skilled technician.

They are equipped with the proper tools to complete the task successfully, diagnose fault codes, and prevent further software damage.

You can ask your dealership to take care of the issue as well. A dealership business will have the necessary equipment and trained personnel to restore your ECU’s functionality.

Worn Out Valve Body

Worn Out Valve Body

The valve body is the last reason you should consider when the car won’t go into drive or reverse.

This substantial labyrinthine component routes the hydraulic fluid’s flow to the valves. Because of this, a car can smoothly change gears whenever the situation necessitates it.

You might experience a delayed shift into reverse if your transmission’s valve body is damaged.

Or perhaps nothing happens when you want to put your car in reverse and press the gas pedal.


You should replace the valve body right away to sidestep more serious damage to other internal components.


What If My Mercedes Doesn’t Move When I Press The Gas?

When you press the gas, but your car is stuck in one place, there is an issue. As mentioned above, there are many causes leading to this situation, and you can check them step-by-step:

  • Make sure you’re in the correct gear.
  • Recheck the shifter mechanism
  • Check transmission fluid level and quality.
  • Observe the dashboard and ECU performance.
  • Recheck the related parts like the valve body, shifting gears, etc.

If you tried your best but can find out the main factor, contact the car service center to get help.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Transmission?

Repairs are less expensive than replacing them with a new one. The average cost is between $300 and $1,400.

Replacing a transmission is one of the priciest repairs you can get, which may cost between $1,800 and $3,400. Labor costs can span from $500 to $1,200, depending on the repair facility and technicians.

What Are The Signs Of Malfunctioning Transmission?

As mentioned above, a car won’t drive or reverse can result from a malfunctioning transmission. So, is there any common transmission issue sign that you can recognize the system needs to be diagnosed? They are:

  • Rough shifting gear
  • Grinding or thumping noise when driving or accelerating
  • Slipping gear
  • Check Engine light on
  • Leaking fluid
  • Strange sound

Final Thoughts

In short, eight main reasons that can cause Mercedes won’t move in drive or reverse.

It’s essential to get help from a professional mechanic at a repair shop, as if you don’t have enough knowledge and experience, your misbehavior can lead to more serious damage.

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