No Reverse

Hi My Son-in-law just called me from work & said that his reverse went out on his 94 Park Ave at lunchtime today. He said it was making a clicking noise
in all gears except Drive. He called a tranny shop & they said it was some kinda "cup" thing & that $1200 bucks would fix it (new trans). He doesn't have that kind of $$ to spend on it. I was wondering if it should've given him a code, (he didn't mention it) ? Also, can I use a meter or the old paperclip to get a code ? I'd appreciate any help on this. Thanks Richard
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No codes here, it has no reverse , this a internal mechanical component failure, just as the trans shop said.

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