Emergency Steps to Reach Help
The options available to you if your transmission fails in the middle of nowhere will depend on the type of failure.
The first thing you should always check is the fluid levels. If it is low or depleted, then you should top it off, assuming you have it readily available. This may take care of the problem temporarily and get you on your way.
If your vehicle is automatic and won’t go past a certain gear, you may be able to drive slow enough to keep RPMs below 3000 and not strain the motor. If the revolutions are too high, you will cause the vehicle to overheat and be unable to continue driving.
If it will not engage when you put it into “D,” you can try to manually shift into “L” or “D2” to get the gears to engage.
On manual transmission vehicles, it is rare to see all gears give out at the same time. It is usually a single gear that fails, in which case, you should be able to skip over the gear and engage the next instead.
These options are only to drive to a shop or mechanic or a location where you may be able to get towed. They are temporary workarounds only and still require a professional to diagnose and fix the full extent of the problem.
If at any point when you use these temporary solutions you smell burning or your vehicle begins to overheat, you will need to pull over immediately to avoid further damage. At that point, your only option is to put the vehicle into neutral and push it to a location where it will be able to be towed.