Q: Can a bad neutral safety switch affect shifting?

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can a bad neutral safety switch affect shifting?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car wouldn't go and all of the warning lights came.

Hi there. Either the timing belt came off or the crankshaft position sensor could have failed. Remove the valve cover and crank the engine over. If the engine crank turns and the valve train moves, then the timing belt is...

Q: Car shaking and other issues

It appears that your Pontiac is in need of some serious attention with the suspension, brake and the electrical systems. Because Your G6 has so much going on, I highly recommend enlisting the assistance of a certified mechanic as soon...

Q: Q: O2 sensors

Oxygen sensors don't work in that voltage range. Oxygen sensors range from .1 to .9 volts. When the vehicle is running normal the sensor ranges between .4 to .6 volts. The O2 voltage should change constantly going above and below...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.