4L60E Transmission Won’t Move in any Gear (SOLVED)

4L60E Transmission Won't Move in any Gear

4L60E transmissions are transmissions with four gears that can support vehicles weighing about 6000-lb. The 4L60E transmission is quite common in Chevrolet car models and rear-wheel vehicles because of their sizes.

It is nothing strange when the 4L60E doesn’t move in any gear and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. A number of things could be the cause, take a deep breath and check your pump, check the transmission fluid level and it could also be from the torque converter.

If the problem is any of these, then you will have to change the pump, refill or reduce fluid in the transmission, and in the event, the problem is from the torque converter not sealed correctly, remove and reseal it.

Causes of 4L60E Transmission Not Moving in Gear?

It is a common thing to see that your 4L60E transmission isn’t moving in any gear. The cause of this could be minor or something of concern, we will take a look at some of the possible causes and how to solve them.

1. The Transmission Fluid is Dried Out

The transmission needs lubricant(fluid) to function at full capacity and when there’s no fluid it won’t work. The lack of fluid in the transmission could be due to a leakage, if the leakage isn’t noticed in time, the fluid eventually dries out

The leakage can be from within the transmission itself, in which case the source of the leak should be addressed before refilling.

It could also be caused by a worn-out gasket, the gasket holds the engine head and cylinder head together thereby keeping the fluid in and flowing. If the problem is from the gasket then it should be changed.

The Solution to Dried Transmission Fluid

To be able to fix this, you have to first verify if the transmission is leaking. You can check under where your car is parked for any trace of leakage. If indeed the transmission is leaking, you need to fix it before refilling the transmission again.

2. Excess Fluid in the Transmission

The fluid in the transmission should always be somewhere in the middle, it shouldn’t be low or too much in it. When any of this happens there will be difficulty in moving gears.

When it has been established that the cause of the problem is excess fluid, the fluid should be reduced to a quantity that is just enough for the transmission.

The solution to Fluid in the Transmission

Very simple to fix. Just open up the transmission and manually remove the required amount that should be removed to get your transmission back to normal again.

3. Bad Pump

A bad pump could as well be the problem. When a pump is bad it hinders the free flow of fluid from the transmission and could cause the fluid to burn. If this is the problem, the pump has to be replaced.

The Solution to Bad Pump

The best way to check if your transmission pump is still OK or not is by checking the level of your transmission when the car is off and checking it again when the car is on and the engine is running.

The level at which it is when the car is off should not be the same as when the engine is on. If both levels are the same, it’s a clear indication that your transmission pump is bad and you should have it replaced as soon as possible.

One thing I’ve learned over the years I’ve used a car is that once a car develops a fault, especially transmission problems or any kind of problems, it is better to have it fixed immediately or as soon as possible to avoid damaging more stuff in the car.

4. Incorrect Seating of Torque Converter

Having a Torque Converter that is not seated the right way it’s supposed to can be the reason why your 4l60e transmission won’t move in any gear.

If this is the case, then you have nothing to worry about. The cause of the incorrect seating of the Torque Converter could be the person that installed it in the first place.

However, if your car was purchased brand new and the Torque Converter is not seated corrected, it could be a factory issue or it slipped over time while you were using the car.

The Solution to Incorrect Seating of Torque Converter

To correct a torque converter that is not seated correctly, ensure to pull the torque converter forward until the firewall or better still take it to an experienced technician to fix it for you.

What to Do if My 4L60E Transmission Won’t Move in Any Gear?

A transmission that won’t change gear can be frustrating sometimes because it could happen at any time and in the least of places. When this happens do not freak, it could be nothing too serious.

Since we are talking about the 4L60E which is an automatic transmission the first thing you should consider doing is press the down on the brake, as it could be that the safety lock is in place on the shift lever. Pressing down on the brake helps to release the safety lock.

You should also check your transmission fluid to be sure it’s not too low or dried out. While checking the fluid be sure to note the color of the fluid, a color different from the original(red) color could cause the transmission not to change gear.

The problem could be the particular gear you are trying to change to, so try putting it in other gears to ascertain if the problem is with a particular gear or all.

After you must have tried all you can to troubleshoot the problem, your last option may be to call in the expert or have it towed there.

How to Fix 4L60E Transmission Not Moving in any Gear?

Knowing how to fix a transmission not moving in any gear will depend on the problem, different fixes for different problems could be something minor or major.

Fixing a 4L60E Transmission can be from changing a bad pump in the case where the pump is the problem, reducing transmission fluid when it’s too much, and topping up the fluid when low or dried out.

Some more serious fixing could mean changing the entire transmission when replacing parts isn’t yielding any result or the damage to the transmission is beyond control.

How Do I Know If My 4L60E Pump is Bad?

A bad pump is of no use to the engine and can affect the transmission performance. There are ways to know if your transmission pump is bad.

One of the ways to know if your 4L60E pump is bad is when you have difficulty changing gear. A bad pump will make it hard for the transmission gear to get enough lubricant.

You can also detect when you start perceiving a burning odor. The system overheats when the pump is bad, which in turn burns the fluid in the transmission. A burnt fluid gives a bad odor and also changes color.

Noise from the gear. Fluid is needed to change gear but the transmission gear won’t get enough fluid when the pump is bad which results in a noisy transmission.

Note that all pump-related problems should be addressed in time, as they can lead to more problems in the transmission system.

How Do You Test a Shift Solenoid on a 4L60E?

A shift solenoid helps to control the flow of fluid into the transmission and should be tested when your vehicle is having problems shifting or reversing.

The Shift Solenoid can be tested on a 4L60E by using a pair of test leads and a 9v battery. This is done by connecting the test leads to the electrical prongs on the solenoid and then connecting to the battery.  A clicking sound will be heard if the solenoid works.

You can also test the solenoid by using a multimeter. The multimeter helps to check the ohms of resistance.

What are Common Problems with 4L60E Transmission?

There are certain problems that can be related to 4L60E transmission. Some of these problems are;

  • Bad Pump
  • Leaking Fluid
  • No Reverse
  • No Shift
  • Worn out clutch
  • Low transmission fluid
  • Slipping Transmission
  • Worn out gear
  • Weak gasket
  • The transmission doesn’t work automatically but manually


When having a problem changing gears, it is best not to reach any conclusion in a haste, and start troubleshooting from the most likely problem. If you can’t fix any of the problems then you have to contact a car or transmission expert.

A transmission can last for a long period and some of its problems are prevented with proper maintenance. Part of proper maintenance should be changing the transmission fluid as often as possible while changing to ensure that only the recommended fluid is used in the transmission.