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Neutral Safety Switch

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What is a neutral safety switch and where is it located?

The neutral safety switch is a safety feature in automobiles with automatic transmissions. It prevents you from starting the vehicle if the car is in gear. Manual transmissions use a clutch safety switch for the same purpose. You won’t be able to start the engine unless the clutch is depressed.

The position of the neutral safety switch depends on the position of your shifter. If the shifter is on your steering column, then the switch will be located underneath the shifter. If your shifter is on the floor or the console, the switch will be under the shifter or mounted to the transmission. In many cases, the neutral safety switch and the reverse light switch, which turns on your back-up lights when you put the car or truck in reverse, are part of the same assembly. 

What does a neutral safety switch do?

The neutral safety switch will stop the car from starting if the shifter is in any position other than Park or Neutral. When your shifter is in Park or Neutral, the neutral safety switch completes the starter circuit. Electricity can then flow to the starter when you turn your key in the ignition.

 If the shifter is in Drive or Reverse when you start the vehicle, the switch will be off, the circuit is broken, and the starter won’t run. This prevents you from starting the car or truck in Drive and unexpectedly starting to move, which would be quite dangerous as you can imagine.

How do I know if my neutral safety switch needs to be replaced?

You might have to replace the neutral safety switch if you can’t start the car. The switch may wear out, become misaligned or stuck in an always-off or on position. In some cases the switch may work in one position. You may be able to start the engine with your shifter in Neutral but not in Park. 

How much does a neutral safety switch cost?

The neutral safety switch can cost between $30-$100 or more, depending on the model. Adding in one hour cost of labor, and the total repair can cost from $130 to $250, depending on the cost of the switch itself.

How do I replace the neutral safety switch?

You can change your own neutral safety switch, although it will take some work. Most of the work will be in opening up the steering column or removing the shifter to access it, depending on where it is located. Replacing the switch is just a matter of unbolting it, disconnecting the wiring, and connecting the new one.

Before you remove the switch, you’ll want to make note or take pictures of how the switch is installed. This will help you get the new switch installed with the proper alignment. After replacing it, you’ll want to check that your engine starts with the shifter in Park or Neutral, but not in Drive or Reverse. 

Need a neutral safety switch replacement?

What’s in a name? Well, when it comes to the neutral safety switch, the names says it all – safety. A properly functioning neutral safety switch ensures that your vehicle does not start unless the transmission is in neutral or park. So, if the vehicle is in gear and your neutral safety switch is working properly, it will prevent you from starting the vehicle in drive or reverse and have it unexpectedly starting to move. In order to keep yourself, your vehicle, and others around you while you drive, safe, you need to make sure that this part is functioning as it should. If it isn’t, you need to seek out and install a neutral safety switch replacement as soon as possible. At 1A Auto, we carry a large selection of aftermarket neutral safety switches for many makes and models, and at great prices. If your vehicle is having problems starting because of a defective neutral safety switch, then a replacement from 1A Auto is the part for you!

At 1A Auto, we make shopping for a replacement neutral safety switch for your car, truck, SUV or van easy - we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our products, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online. If you are in need of a new neutral safety switch, order it from 1A Auto. You'll be happy with the quality and speed of our service.

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