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.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: What does the Seat Belt Reminder warning light mean?

The Seat Belt Reminder warning light is located on the instrument panel. When either the driver or the front passenger is not wearing their seat belt, the Seat Belt Reminder warning light will illuminate. Once the vehicle starts moving, the...

Q: Won't crank over after dying

Hi, thanks for writing in. There is a good possibility that your engine has locked up and the starter can not turn the motor. I think your oil pump was going out when the oil gauge was dropping pressure and...

Q: Vehicle pulling to the right.

I first have to assume you are talking about one issue and not two different complaints. I would have to say your wheel bearing on the right is grinding or the brakes have locked up on that same wheel. The...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.