Q: Can a bad neutral safety switch affect shifting?

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Lately it seems like the car will not shift into high gear on the highway. We came home the other night and it stalled at the gate. It would not go forward. We backed up and then shifted to drive and it seemed to coast in. The next day it would not start. Jump started right away. Put my foot on the brake and it died. Battery tested good. Put it back in and it started right up. Backed out and put it in drive and it did the coasting thing again. Parked it and it would not start again. Just made a clicking noise. A day later it still will not start regardless of shift lever position. It also makes a clicking noise when the key is turned on. It sounds like it is coming from somewhere behind the glovebox.

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi There, It sounds like you may have a problem with the neutral safety switch. Your vehicle has a neutral safety switch that will prevent the vehicle from starting when it is in any gear position other than park or neutral. Occasionally, this switch can malfunction causing the car to stall as soon as you put it into any gear. This switch usually also monitors gear selection data as well, that is transmitted back to the computer. This switch is connected to the starter solenoid which allows it to complete the starter circuit only when the transmission is in park or neutral. In some cases, if the switch is bad, it will not allow the car to start as a result of the switch producing a faulty signal indicating that the car is in gear even when it is not. In other cases it may cause the car to stall when engaging reverse or drive. I would suggest having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

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