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A gear shifter is responsible for shifting your chevy Silverado from the park to the gear position. If the shifter is not working, you will be unable to move. It will be frustrating if you don’t know the problems and solutions regarding the chevy Silverado gear shifter not working.

You may find problems in your chevy Silverado gear shifter for several reasons. To get your gear shifter back working, you first need to identify those problems and fix them accordingly.

Stay with me to find the possible problems and solutions related to the Chevy Silverado gear shifter . After knowing everything, I hope it will be much easier for you to troubleshoot.

Chevy gear shift won’t work: Problems and Solutions

Chevy gear shift won’t work

Your Chevy Silverado won’t go into gear? There are multiple causes and solutions to get rid of the problem. Here I have listed a few major problems that may make your chevy Silverado gear shifter won’t work.

  • Low Gear oil level
  • Cold Weather
  • Damaged Gears
  • Limp mode activated
  • Brake light switch failure
  • Malfunctioned shifter cable
  • Damaged Safety Mechanism

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Top 7 Problems and Solutions: Make Your Gear System Smooth 

Problem 1: Low Gear Oil Level

Low Gear Oil Level

Proper lubrication is a must for the smooth working of the gear system in Chevy Silverado. If the gear oil level goes down, lubrication problems will start. Ultimately, your gears will jam over time, and you will not be able to shift the gear.

If it remains low for a longer time, your gears may also damage because of harsh grinding with each other.


If you feel the gear shifter is troubling, the Silverado transmission won’t shift. Noise from the gearbox is the early sign when the oil level is low. Check the gearbox oil; refill it if the level is lower than the recommended point.

Problem 2: Cold Weather

Many do not think about it, but cold weather can cause Silverado transmission not to shift. In the cold weather, oil in the gearbox becomes more viscous and moves slowly around the gearbox. 

So you may face problems shifting the gear, especially when you start the vehicle in the morning.


It is pretty simple, in the cold morning, start your vehicle and leave it for a couple of minutes in the start position but without moving.

It will warm up the engine, gearbox, and other parts of the vehicle. Oil will also warm up and start moving properly around the gearbox.

Problem 3: Damaged Gears

Damaged Gears

Damaged gears will make your chevy Silverado gear shifter not work. Over time, because of insufficient lubrication, hard grinding of the gears with each other may cause damage to the gears. Gear’s metal teeth are crushed and make gears unable to work.


If you have damaged gears, there is no other better solution than replacing the gearbox. 

In that case, I would like to recommend you to try Power Steering Gear Box Gearbox For Chevy Silverado because it is designed to meet OEM specifications. 

Replacing the gearbox needs expert skills; you can replace the gearbox if you are a skilled mechanic. Otherwise, do try this and call a professional mechanic.

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Problem 4: Limp Mode Activated

Activation of limp mode will make your vehicle unable to read the signals from the sensors. Your gear system also becomes unable to switch from one position to another. With limp mode activation, you may experience a chevy Silverado transmission not shifting.


Check for the Limp mode; if it is activated, deactivate it. If the limp mode problem still exists, go for the tow repairing service to deactivate the limp mode.

Problem 5: Brake light Switch Failure

Brake light Switch Failure

Proper working of brake lights is a must for the smooth functioning of the gear shifter. You may experience a gear shifter issue if the brake light switch fails. 

A faulty brake light switch cannot send the signals to the solenoid shift interlock. So the gear shifter becomes unable to work correctly.


Replacing the faulty brake light switch is the only better solution to get relief from that situation. Getting a brake light switch is pretty easy. You can get it from any local store and replace it after reading the user manual. 

If you asked me what I prefer for my chevy model, then I will suggest you to buy GM Genuine Parts D1565E Brake Light Switch because it is designed to meet OEM specifications. With this aftermarket unit, you can solve your Cruise Control problem as well. 

Problem 6: Malfunctioned Shifter cable

The shifter cable is responsible for sending signals to the gears. If you have a faulty or damaged shifter cable, you will face a chevy Silverado transmission not shifting.


Check for the shifter cable; if it is damaged, replace the cable with a new shifter cable. Replacing the shifter cable is pretty simple, like other cables. For your chevy silveredo, you can buy WFLNHB New Automatic Transmission Shift Cable due to its high stability and durability. 

Problem 7: Damaged Safety Mechanism

A damaged safety mechanism can be the culprit for a chevy Silverado that won’t go into gear. The safety mechanism is responsible for protecting your vehicle from reversing during the ride. It can damage because of multiple reasons.

The safety mechanism contains a solenoid cylinder that permits the gear shifter to move. It receives the signals from the brake pedal; if it is damaged, it stops, and you will face the chevy Silverado not shifting.


Replacing the safety mechanism is a must to eliminate the problem when it is damaged. But make sure you have proper guidelines and skills. Otherwise, hire a professional mechanic to replace the safety mechanism.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why won’t my transmission shift?

There can be many reasons, but a gear oil’s low level or incorrect grade is the most occurring problem. Viscous or low level decreases the lubrication that may cause transmission to shift.

When can you face the 1994 chevy Silverado transmission not shifting happens for the first time?

The 1994 Chevy Silverado has an excellent transmission system that works awesomely. Its first transmission problem may appear after 20000 miles.

Can I Manually shift the 2011 chevy Silverado won’t shift into gear?

Yes, move the lever into L mode, then press the plus or minus buttons to select the desired gear. When shifting the lever from D to L mode, you will see the transmission range.

What is the major culprit for the 2003 Chevy Silverado not shifting?

The major problem most owners of the 2003 Chevy Silverado reported is the faulty sensors. If one or more sensors go bad, they will not transmit the signals to the gear for shifting.

How can I reset the 2014 Silverado transmission without shifting?

You may also experience transmission not shifting when you have a setting problem. Resetting the transmission may help you to resolve the issue.

Turn the Chevy Silverado key, press the gas, and wait for a few seconds. Next, Turn the key in the off position and release the gas. Now, wait for a few minutes and then check the transmission.

Final Verdict

A good transmission system performance ensures a safe and frustration-free ride on Chevy Silverado. But a few problems can make your transmission system ineffective, and you may experience a gear shifter that won’t work.

You can easily fix most of the problems, except replacing the gearbox and safety mechanism.

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