Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How Long Does a Transmission Position Sensor (Switch) Last?

transmission position sensor

All automatic transmission vehicles have a safety switch in place that only allows them to start if they are in park or neutral gars. The transmission position sensor, also called the transmission position switch, ensures the vehicle is in neutral or park when the vehicle is started up. If the sensor reads the vehicle is in drive or any other gear, the car is equipped with a safety shutdown that will not allow the vehicle to start at all.

The transmission position sensor is located on the side of the transmission. Power is not sent to the starter circuit unless the sensor reads the vehicle is in neutral or park. Furthermore, the vehicle will not even crank to prevent vehicle movements. Over time, the transmission position sensor can go bad or fail. This can mean the vehicle may start in a gear other than park or neutral, which can be a dangerous situation.

Sometimes a sensor problem can mimic other problems, such as a dead battery. If the sensor has completely failed and the vehicle will not start at all, it may be hard to tell the difference between the sensor and a dead battery. After jumping the vehicle and it still does not turn on, the problem may be with the transmission position sensor, but it is best to have it looked at by a mechanic to be sure.

Since the transmission position sensor can fail and go bad over time, it is important to recognize the symptoms it gives off before it completely fails.

Signs your transmission position sensor needs to be replaced include:

  • The engine will start while the gear is in drive or reverse

  • The vehicle will start in neutral, but not park

  • The vehicle will not start at all, not even turn over

This is a repair that needs to be attended to right away as failing to do so can cause your vehicle to be inoperable. Have a certified mechanic replace the failing transmission position sensor switch to eliminate any further problems with your

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...


Related questions

Q: 1998 Benz ML320 - how to check transmission oil level

Mercedes stopped including dipsticks on their cars when they switched to electronically controlled transmissions. One of the reasons was to discourage the owners from doing just what you are trying to do. The transmission fluid is unique, and adding dexron...

Q: Driver thought gear was in 3rd when it was neutral

In the worst case, you may have over-revved the engine floating the valves which may contact the pistons. But a Check Engine Light only means there is a fault that is detected, and if the engine seems to run okay...

Q: Delay in shifting, rambling noise when accelerating

Various items can cause similar symptoms to the ones you have described. The most common would be a bad fuel filter, transmission fault, torque converter issue, shift solenoid problem, low fuel pressure, or a failed fuel injector. All of these...