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Was driving when I came to a stop and put car in reverse. Upon putting car in reverse, I heard sounds like popping that shake the entire car. I feel the vibrations and sputtering under the car and even under the middle gear shift. Car has lost power steering and will not move in reverse or drive. When I turn car off and back on it sounds fine in park. When I then shift it to any other gear such as drive or reverse, the sounds and shaking happen again. No leaking at all under car. No smells or smoke. Shaking is enough to shake entire car. Is transmission likely blown or is there hope?

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Jessica Howe, Automotive Expert & Coach at


Thank you for writing in. Without the ability to reverse or move forward in addition to hard vibrations, there is a high probability that the transmission has experienced a mechanical failure. The best way to tell is to drop the transmission pan and check the condition of the fluid and filter. If there are signs of metal in the fluid, there is a major problem that may warrant needing a new transmission. Low transmission fluid can also cause similar issues. Only further inspection will tell. 

Good luck!

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