Lexus Won't Go in Reverse | Stuck In Park

Vehicle:   Lexus
Difficulty: ⚫⚪⚪⚪⚪
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In this guide, we go over common problems that can prevent your Lexus shifter to move to Reverse, Neutral or Drive. 

Your Lexus won't go in reverse for a number of reasons ranging from a brake light switch, low transmission fluid level and even due to a dead battery. 

lexus stuck in park won't go in reverse
Lexus Shifter Override

If you are stranded because your Lexus won't go in Reverse or come out of Park manually override the shifter.

Next to the shifter, you will notice a small-cap shaped like a rectangle. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the cap. Press the screwdriver in the exposed hole and at the same time move the shifter out of the park. 

Common Problems Why Your Lexus Won't Go In Reverse

Brake Light Switch

One of the most common reasons, why you can't get your Lexus out of Park or from Drive to Park, is because of a faulty brake light switch. 

The brake light switch is mounted above the brake pedal. Even if your brake lights are working the brake light switch can be faulty because it has several switches inside. 

Low transmission fluid level

When the transmission fluid of your car is low, you may face problems with the transmission. A low amount of transmission fluid can be a cause of various gear-related problems, like shifting problems, overheated gears, and gear slippage.

If your transmission is low in fluid amount then your reverse gear may be affected. In case, your vehicle has a low amount of fluid, you will face shifting problems with all gears. However, if your vehicle drives fine but does not go in reverse, you should still check the level of fluid.

Faulty Position Sensor

When you use the shift lever to shift your automatic transmission car to reverse, the sensor signals the control module of the car to shift the transmission into reverse.

If the sensor has malfunctioned, the vehicle doesn’t shift into reverse. In such cases, the car may get into the limp mode, and your car will not shift above the third gear.

Check the engine light and any trouble codes through the diagnostic tool and evaluate the fault in the sensor. 

Valve Body 

The automatic transmission of your car comes with a valve body. It is a maze-like component, which directs the hydraulic fluid’s flow into the valve. And, this allows smooth shifting of the gears whenever required. 

In case the valve body is faulty, you may face a problem of delay in shifting. The car may not go into reverse or in worst cases, nothing happens when you try to shift to reverse. In this case, you will have to take the vehicle to the repair shop.

Fault in Shifter Mechanism 

If you are not able to reverse your car with manual transmission or you feel difficulty in shifting, this is usually due to the malfunctioning of the shifter mechanism.

Sometimes you may find it difficult to shift to reverse or you may feel that something is blocking the shifter while you try shifting in reverse.  This can be due to a damaged or bent link from shifter lever to transmission. 

Transmission Filter

On high mileage Lexus vehicles the transmission fluid may have contaminated with enough dirt or hardened deposits that can affect the shifting of the vehicle into reverse and also in gears.

To fix the issue, you may have to change the transmission filter and fluid. If you face problems with the gear and transmission system, you should check the transmission fluid’s condition and see whether there is a need to replace it or not.

Ignition Interlock

The main purpose of the ignition interlock in your car is to prevent accidental shifting of reverse gear while the car is moving or getting the car out of Park when the ignition is off.

Prevention of shifting is required as this could be very dangerous, and it also causes serious damage to the transmission system.

In case, the ignition Interlock is misaligned or is damaged somehow, you may face problems in shifting the gear onto reverse even in standstill condition. To fix this, you will have to get the Ignition Interlock replaced. 

If the transmission is stuck and you are not able to shift in reverse, then you might face a problem every time it is parked. If you are stuck because your Lexus won't come out of Park, use the manual override option to get the car out of Park. 

By YOUCANIC Automotive Experts
Jun 2020