Q: Car battery dies when I put in reverse

asked by on October 19, 2017

I have a new battery and we have checked the altenator and it is working so we know its not either of those things. I started the car this morning and it came on fine. Then I shifted it into reverse (the shifter is loose, i dont know if that matters) and it died. I put it back in park and was able to start it again but then again when I shifted into reverse it died. I put it back in park and now it wont start at all and my key fob won't come out. Any ideas on what it could be?

My car has 125000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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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