What is a neutral safety switch replacement?

In this service, a mechanic will inspect whether your neutral safety switch is faulty or needs adjustment and will replace or adjust it accordingly. Other components of your vehicle’s ignition system can cause similar problems, so a thorough check is always necessary.
The neutral safety switch is a crucial part of your car’s start-up circuit, allowing power from the battery to reach the starter as long as the gearshift remains in park or neutral.
Over the course of your vehicle’s regular operation, the neutral safety switch deteriorates and can cause start-up issues, even allowing the engine to turn over when the shifter is not in park or neutral, damaging the machinery.

How to replace a neutral safety switch

In the event a mechanic needs to replace your neutral safety switch, they will:
  1. Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands.
  2. Remove the transmission shift lever and cable, after which the electrical connector is removed from the switch.
  3. Remove the neutral safety switch from the transmission and check the transmission shaft seal for leaks, to be replaced as needed.
  4. Install and secure the new neutral safety switch onto the selector shaft, making sure it is properly aligned.
  5. Reinstall the shift lever and cable.
  6. Check that the neutral safety switch operates properly.
  7. Lower the vehicle off the jack stands so it can be scanned for codes and proper switch indication, after which it is road tested.

When do I need to replace my neutral safety switch?

You will need to replace your neutral safety switch if your check engine light comes on after ignition, the vehicle fails to turn over when in park or neutral, the engine turns over in any gear, or the engine won’t turn over at all, no matter the gear.

How important is it that I replace the neutral safety switch?

It is incredibly important to replace a faulty neutral safety switch as soon as possible, as driving without a properly functioning switch can damage your engine and may cause your reverse lights to stop working. This poses a danger to yourself, your passengers, and other drivers on the road, especially when driving at night or in hazardous weather.

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