Can a Clogged Transmission Filter Cause No Reverse?

Can a Clogged Transmission Filter Cause No Reverse

Every vehicle has a transmission and as its name implies, it is responsible for transmitting power in form of fluid from the engine to the wheel.

The transmission filter serves as a sieve that keeps unwanted properties that could harm the car out of the fluid that is being supplied.

However, even with the filter in place, the filter can still get clogged with debris and dirt over time, hence, the need to clean the filter at regular intervals.

A clogged transmission filter does a number of damages to the vehicle but can it cause its inability to reverse? Can a clogged transmission filter cause no reverse?

Yes, a clogged transmission filter can cause no reverse if the filter gets clogged and causes less or no fluid to be passed to the required parts of the car. When the reverse gear is not getting enough fluid to function, it results in the gear getting stuck or locked thereby causing no reverse.

Can a Transmission Filter Get Clogged?

Yes, a transmission filter can get clogged. A car transmission carries fluid from the engine to other interior parts for proper functionality.

Unavoidably, fluids tend to have particles that if allowed to get into the transmission cause damage. The filter is to make sure the fluid carried inside is free of particles, dirt, or debris.

Over time, the filter can get accumulated dirt when it’s not cleaned out regularly, this accumulated dirt is what causes clogging. When a filter gets clogged and not tended to in the time it gets into the transmission or stops the flow of fluid.

There are a number of ways to know if the problem you’re having with your car is caused by a clogged filter. Here are some ways to detect;

  • When it starts making noises that weren’t there before
  • It gets difficult for you to change gears
  • Leakage especially when parked etc.

However, if your notice a sign of a clogged transmission filter, it is better to fix it to avoid causing more problems to the car. You can learn how to fix a clogged transmission filter or better still take it to a technician.

What Can Clog Transmission Filter?

Fluids are natural carriers of particles they can’t help. One of the easiest ways for a filter to get clogged is through the build-up of dirt and debris on its surface.

A transmission filter can also get clogged with shavings of chunks. Shavings tell you that there is internal wear taking place. The result of these shavings is a powder-like substance that clogs the filter.

The build-up of dirt, debris, and shaving can be avoided if the transmission fluid is changed regularly.

Can a Clogged Transmission Filter Cause No Reverse?

Yes, a clogged transmission filter can cause no reverse. One of the areas the fluid from the transmission gets to is the reverse gear, the fluid lubricates the gear enough for it to move easily back and forth.

When the filter is clogged, there is little or no fluid flowing throughout the transmission. The lack of flowing fluid causes the slipping or prolonged engagement of reverse.

Reversing without fluid is nearly impossible. The reverse gear automatically locks when there is no fluid to lubricate it.

 Other Things That Can Prevent Transmission from Entering Reverse

When a car refuses or takes a longer time to be reversed, there are a lot of reasons that cut across one’s mind but the prominent one is usually a clogged filter. Rightfully so, however, there are other things that can prevent the transmission from entering reverse.

1. Bad or Weak Gasket

The cause of the trouble could be a worn-out part of the engine called the “gasket”. The gasket is a seal that keeps engine parts together and holds fluid.

Its major work is to keep gas trapped inside the cylinder, when the gasket weakens it results in leakage of fluid from the cylinder and engine. This leakage affects the engine in a way and prevents it from running efficiently.

2. Bad Transmission Selector Switch (TSS)

The problem could also be from the Transmission Selector Switch (TSS). The TSS is there to ensure that the car starts in the correct gear, one can always find this switch beside the car’s transmission.

If this transmission switch isn’t working as it should then the car won’t be able to reverse.

3. Low Transmission Fluid

The Transmission Fluid could as well be the reason. There may be a need to top up the fluid or replace it completely when the fluid color has changed from the original. Low fluid could mean that the reverse gear isn’t getting enough fluid to lubricate itself.

Importance of Transmission Filter

Transmission filters are in place to keep your car running optimally, without them in place, a number of things will not function in the car. Let’s see some of the importance of a transmission filter in the car.

Ensure that only Clean Fluid Moves to the Car Gear

One of the areas the fluid from the transmission filter gets to is the reverse gear in the car, the filter makes sure that only clean fluid gets to this part while keeping dirt out. Dirty fluid can cause the gear to longer time to respond.

The Fluid Flow is Constant

A clogged transmission reduces or outrightly stops the flow of fluid from the engine. The presence of the filter ensures that anything that can possibly cause the clogging is kept at arm’s length and keep the fluid flowing as it should. When a filter is clogged little or no fluid can pass through.

It Keeps the Transmission in Good Condition

Dirt is not a friend of the transmission, once it gets inside, it can cause a lot of damage. The filter is a sieve that keeps dirt out of the transmission and keeps it in good condition for longer.


A transmission and its filter are essential parts of an engine and a car without it we can as well say car is handicapped. The filter is in place to ensure your car runs on clean fluid.

When the fluid gets contaminated with excess dirt, it affects the transmission thereby keeping the gear from staying in position.

The transmission fluid will always give signs to let you know it’s time to change, but some people ignore these signs until it results in more serious problems, for some people however it is a case of ignorance.

The transmission fluid should be changed regularly and the filter cleaned in order to keep the transmission in good condition for a long time. It is advisable that the filter should be cleaned out as often as the fluid is changed.