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The Testing And Adjustment Of A Neutral Safety Switch

A neutral safety switch controls the engine operation when the transmission is shifted to gear. It allows the engine to kick off when the gear is in either ‘Park’ or ‘Neutral’ position. Without it, a car would shoot out from a stationary position soon after turning the ignition on.

The switch is an important safety component that eliminates the risk of an accident at the time of starting a car. Keep reading to learn how to diagnose it for defects and do neutral safety switch troubleshooting.

How To Test Neutral Safety Switch?

When the safety switch fails, it requires one or two tests to see whether you need to do a neutral safety switch replacement or adjustment. These are some ways to test the switch:

how to test neutral safety switch
The location of the switch is in the circle.

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Do this testing when the car does not start at the ‘Park’ position. Hold the brake pedal down and shift the transmission into the ‘Neutral’ position to see if the engine kicks in. If this happens, the switch is bad. Moving to another gear position shifts the switch to a different circuit that is not damaged. If moving to ‘Neutral’ does not work, turn the ignition and wiggle the gearshift around without shifting gears. If it starts the engine, the problem is again a bad switch or damaged circuit.

You can also use a test light to examine the condition of the switch. Move the transmission to ‘Reverse’, unplug the switch’s electrical connector and connect a test light. The problem is with the battery if the lamp does not light up. Reattach the connector to the switch and check again with the light. The switch is faulty if the lamp does not turn on.

How To Do Neutral Safety Switch Adjustment?

  • Set the transmission in ‘Park’.
  • Use a ratchet and socket to loosen the mounting bolts of the switch a bit to move it laterally. Ask a friend to hold the ignition key down to the ‘Start’ position and release it when the engine starts to turn. Move the neutral safety switch toward the ‘Park’ or ‘Neutral’ position.
  • When the engine starts turning on, hold the safety switch in that position and tighten the bolts.
  • Start the engine with the gearshift in either the ‘Park’ or ‘Neutral’ position to make sure that the adjustment is correct.

How To Replace Neutral Safety Switch?

The process is not complex but contact a mechanic if you are not experienced. Follow these steps:

Step 1: Turn on the ignition without kicking the engine off. Move the gearshift into ‘Neutral’ after applying the parking brake.

neutral safety switch replacement
Replacing the safety switch takes steps.

Step 2: Detach the battery’s negative terminal. Remove the wiring connector to which the safety switch is plugged and disconnect the pin that links the gearshift lever to the switch. The last part of the disconnection is unscrewing the mounting bolts of the switch.

Step 3: Install a new switch and reattach all the bolts, wires, and connectors.

Set the gearshift in different positions like ‘Park’, ‘Neutral’, and ‘Reverse’ and turn the engine on. If you have done it right, the engine will start in ‘Park’ and ‘Neutral’ only.