Why is my '99 Chevy Cavalier rolling in Park?

Asked by Sep 05, 2013 at 12:54 PM about the 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a '99 Automatic Cavalier. Two days ago, heading home from running errands, I started the car, put it in Reverse & it stalled. I put it in Park, restarted it, & shifted into Reverse. The car wouldn't go anywhere. I attempted to shift into Neutral & then Drive, still not going anywhere when I accelerated. I put it back into Park, cut off the engine, & called the tow truck. About 10 minutes later, while waiting for the truck, I tried again. It was still rough moving through the gears, but Reverse was working. When I put it in Park this time, the car continued to roll even after cutting the engine off, causing me to need the parking brake. Yesterday a mechanic friend came over to check it out. He had it shift through the gears without any issues, driving it back & forth in the driveway. He says the linkage is still good & tight. Whatever was keeping from sliding through the gears may have dislodged/fallen out during the loading/unloading from the tow truck.

2 Answers


An automatic transmission will allow a vehicle to "roll" while in PARK because the transmission gear parking "pawl" is not engaging into the transmission gear teeth correctly in order to "lock" the transmission when placed in PARK. You could go out and have the transmission not "lock" in place, allow the auto to roll 6 inches and it does work. This is a common occurrence due to age and miles on the transmission. I would tell you to go have a transmission service (change fluids, filter and (if you can afford it) the transmission vacuum modulator) completed at your local auto dealership due to its age and mileage on the auto.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I have a 2002 cavalier 2.2 motor ( Daughter car ) she stop at the store and when she came out it started and go in any gear but wont go any were. And makes funny noise. Someone told it could be tranny link or be tranny it self. Tow truck guy told me since he could push it while its in park and it roll as long as you push it lol. He said because of that it was the front axle. Need help

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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