Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How can I tell if I have a bad neutral safety switch?

asked by on

I have this 2002 Ford Explorer that has way over 200,000 miles on it. I drove it to the hardware store went in for about five minutes got back in and turn the key and nothing. The lights, horn, wiper, dash, and dome lights works fine. So I had to call AAA and get them to pick it up then the first thing i done was get my vote meters and check the battery and it was 11.7 so I figure that was about right because I was checking the lights and stuff then I went to the positive cable at the starter and had power there then I checked the small wire that went to the starter and had my son turn the key but there was no power so i took the starter off and bench tested it and it woke right up so I said it must be the neutral safety switch. So my question is how do you test the switch. This vehicle is a spare that I keep just in case we need it and it gets about 500 miles a year on it.

My car has 20000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello, thanks for writing in. The switch sh...

Hello, thanks for writing in. The switch should show "connectivity" (zero resistance) in the "Neutral" position for a successful start. Keep in mind that these symptoms could also be from the ignition switch. If you need help having this issue checked, a certified pro from YourMechanic can come to your car's location to pinpoint the cause of the no-start and replace the neutral safety switch if necessary.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I move the head restraints?

You may want to adjust the head restraint on a seat to make it more comfortable. To pull the restraints up, all you have to do is pull on it. To push the restraint back down, hold the Lock...

Q: Won't change into 2nd gear

Hey there. Assuming you replaced the transmission with the same transmission model as original (4L60E), the problem you describe is most likely a problem with the throttle position sensor (which communicates to the transmission controller), or the 2nd gear "apply"...

Q: Somewhat over heating. White greyish smoke coming out of exhaust. No heat

Hi there. From the description you have provided, leads me to believe, there may be air trapped in the cooling system. Bleeding the cooling system can be difficult. A cooling system flush could resolve this issue. The white-greyish smoke cold,...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...