ATV Goes Into Gear But Won't Move - How to Fix It

ATV Goes Into Gear But Won’t Move – How to Fix It

All-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, are well-liked for their adaptability and capability to traverse difficult terrain. However, encountering issues where an ATV goes into gear but won’t move can be frustrating. 

This problem has several potential causes, ranging from mechanical issues to simple adjustments. In this post, we’ll look at some typical causes of this problem with ATVs and provide solutions to assist you in getting back on the trail.

Worn-out Shifting Fork or Gearing

One possible reason an ATV goes into gear but won’t move is due to a worn-out shifting fork or gearing. Properly engaging the gears may become more difficult due to wear and tear on these components over time. If you’ve noticed this issue, it’s essential to have the shifting fork or gearing inspected and, if necessary, replaced by a qualified mechanic.

Shift Fork Problems or Clutch Issues

Another potential cause of an ATV going into gear but not moving is shift fork problems or clutch issues. If the ATV can shift into each gear firmly, the shift forks may be the culprit. In some cases, split cases may be required to fix the issue. Additionally, a bad clutch can also prevent the ATV from moving. It is crucial to check the clutch system for any abnormalities and replace it if needed.

Drive Belt and Clutch Alignment

The drive belt and clutch alignment play a significant role in the ATV’s ability to move when in gear. If the drive belt needs to be aligned or worn, it can hinder proper engagement with the clutch assembly.

Ensure that the drive belt passes easily through the clutch assembly and look for any indications of damage. Proper alignment of the clutch is also vital for efficient power transmission. If misalignment is detected, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to adjust the clutch alignment.

Clutch, Cable, and Transmission Fluid

Clutch, cable, and transmission fluid issues may affect ATVs that chinese atv won’t move won’t move in gear. A worn-out clutch can prevent power from transferring effectively to the wheels, resulting in no movement. Check the clutch system for signs of wear and tear and replace any damaged components. Additionally, ensure that the clutch cable is properly adjusted and is not loose.

Low or dirty transmission fluid can also impede the ATV’s performance. Check the fluid level and condition, and if necessary, change or top up the fluid according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Drive Belt, Drive Belt Tension, and Pulley System

A worn or damaged drive belt can cause an ATV to go into gear but fail to move forward. Look for wear indicators on the drive belt, including fraying or cracking, and replace it if needed. Additionally, check the drive belt tension to ensure it meets the manufacturer’s specifications.

The pulley system, consisting of primary and secondary clutches, transmits power from the engine to the wheels. Issues with either clutch can result in the ATV’s inability to move. Ensure that both clutches function correctly and that the primary clutch moves in and out when the engine revs.

Brake Issues and Gear Shift Mechanism

Sometimes, problems with the brakes or gear shift mechanism can prevent an ATV from moving despite being in gear. Faulty brake systems, such as stuck callipers or worn brake pads, can create excessive drag, hindering the ATV’s ability to move forward. Inspect the brakes and address any issues promptly. The gear shift mechanism can also contribute to the problem.

A misaligned or damaged gear shift mechanism may prevent proper engagement of the gears. If you suspect this is the case, consult the ATV’s manual for instructions on adjusting or repairing the gear shift mechanism. The differential is a crucial component in an ATV’s drivetrain system, allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds while turning.

If there are issues with the differential, it can result in an ATV going into gear but not moving. Check the differential for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Additionally, check the fluid level and condition in the differential and replace it if necessary.

Axle or Drive Shaft Issues

Axle or Drive Shaft Issues

A damaged or broken axle or driveshaft can cause an ATV to go into gear but fail to move. Examine these parts for any indications of deterioration, such as obvious cracks or fractures. If any abnormalities are found, they should be promptly addressed by a qualified mechanic.

Electrical Problems

Electrical issues can sometimes cause an ATV not to move despite being in gear. Faulty wiring, loose connections, or a malfunctioning electrical component can disrupt the ATV’s power delivery system. Inspect the electrical system for any visible damage or loose connections. If necessary, consult an expert to diagnose and fix electrical problems.

Engine problems

Sometimes, engine-related issues can impact an ATV’s ability to move, even in gear. A clogged air filter, fuel delivery problems, or an improperly adjusted carburettor can all affect the engine’s performance and limit power output.

Regular maintenance and servicing of the engine can help prevent these issues. If you suspect engine-related problems, consult a qualified mechanic for proper diagnosis and repair.

Operator Error

While mechanical issues are often the main culprits for an ATV going into gear but not moving, it’s important to consider operator error as a possibility. Ensure you have properly engaged the gear and completely released the clutch lever. Sometimes, a simple adjustment in the shifting technique may resolve the issue.

Seek Professional Assistance

If you have followed the abovementioned troubleshooting steps and cannot resolve the issue, it may be time to seek professional assistance. An ATV mechanic or dealer will have the expertise and specialised tools to diagnose and fix complex mechanical problems. Safety should always be prioritised when operating or working on an ATV.


It can be frustrating and perplexing when your ATV goes into gear but won’t move. However, you can diagnose and resolve the issue by understanding the potential causes and following the appropriate troubleshooting steps.

From inspecting shifting forks and clutch systems to checking drive belts, pulley systems, and brakes, a systematic approach will help identify the underlying problem.

Remember, if you need more certainty or are trying to resolve the issue yourself, it’s always recommended to consult a qualified mechanic or ATV professional for assistance. With the right expertise, you’ll soon be back to enjoying the exhilarating adventures your ATV offers.


Why Will My 4-Wheeler Not Turn Over?

Ensure the ATV has sufficient fuel, air, spark, and battery power, as deficiencies can prevent start up. If these factors are confirmed, potential electrical issues could be the culprit, including problems with the kill switch or the starter solenoid.

Why Won’t My Automatic Transmission go Into Gear?

An automatic transmission isn’t shifting into gear because of the fluid. If the fluid’s not at the right level or the incorrect type has been used, it’ll affect the gears. Another big reason is the ECM going bad.

How Do I Fix a Transmission Problem?

Adding more transmission fluid to the system can fix many automatic transmission slipping issues. Another fix is to empty the worn-out fluid and replace it with new gearbox fluid. You must locate the source of any fluid leaks in the gearbox.

How Do I Test My Transmission?

To shift the checkpoint handle from P (parking) to D (drive) to R (reverse), press the brake pedal and hold each position for three to five seconds. There should be very little delay in the car’s response when it switches—no more than a second. There shouldn’t be any unnecessary noises or kicks.

How Do I Fix My Bike Not Shifting?

If you notice that your bike can’t shift down from one gear to another, loosen the derailleur cable adjuster slowly, a quarter-turn at a time, by turning it anticlockwise. If you can’t shift up, slowly tighten the cable adjuster clockwise.

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