ATV Gear shift Is Stuck in Neutral: How to Fix It

Why is your ATV gear shift stuck in neutral? Well, it can be a lot of different factors. Figuring out why an ATV gear shift is stuck in the neutral position and how to fix it can be an easy process or a long, drawn-out one. Either way, it’s something that many people don’t want to deal with so we try to make it easy for you here.

It’s important to remember that you can easily make a transmission issue become much larger if you don’t know what you are doing. It’s always best to consult a mechanic if you don’t feel like your mechanical skill level is high enough. Depending on the issue, an ATV gear shift stuck in neutral can take you minutes or days to fix. We’ll cover a few of the ways you can try to fix the issue now, and some that may take a bit more time.

gear shifter stuck in neutral

Shifting with the engine off

The best way to narrow down the long list of potential issues is to try shifting through your gears with the engine off. This will allow you to get rid of some potential culprits, or identify others. If you can shift through the gears while the engine is off, you automatically know that the mechanism and the gearbox are both working well.

The only issues that come along while the engine is running are clutch or belt related. This will help direct you toward what you need to look at next after completing the first step.

If you are unable to shift while the engine is off you need to check on some other issues. For example, check the gear linkages, internal gearbox issues, or a broken shift fork. These problems won't allow you to shift at all, which may be why your ATV gear shift is stuck in neutral.

Too high of an idle

If the idle is set too high, the clutch will engage and you can be stuck in neutral and unable to shift out of it. The pressure put on the gears with the clutch constantly engaged makes shifting incredibly difficult. So you may find that you can shift, but it’s very hard to do so. Pushing through this difficulty can eventually lead to other damages that you’ll need to fix.

Internal transmission issues

If there are tuning issues with the transmission, you may not have a machine that’s properly functioning. With most ATV transmissions, you can idle and the CVT belt will sit without spinning. With an improperly tuned transmission, the belt will engage and put a lot of pressure on the gears, making shifting either impossible or incredibly difficult.

This can be the result of multiple issues with the clutch and the gears inside the transmission. To fix these problems, you’ll need to pull the transmission apart and have a good working knowledge of how to put it back together.

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