Q: Drove 10 yards slowly through shallow water. Car only starts when I put it in neutral and then park gear. 2008 Saturn astra.

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Today I drove about 10 yards slowly through shallow water. 2008 Saturn Astra. Since then, the car only starts when I put it in neutral and then park. I'm hoping I have only wet wires. It's automatic trans. jfinkelman@aol.com

Thanks

My car has 57000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It sounds like you may have an issue with something called a neutral safety switch, which may have been impacted by driving through the water. 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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