6 Bad Neutral Safety Switch Symptoms

You would not want to start the car in the first gear because your jolt forward an accident can occur. So, a Neutral safety switch is the part of the car that prevents it from happening.

Neutral Safety Switch prevents you from starting your car in any gear other than neutral or park. This system has been installed in the 1980s almost every car has an automatic transmission system. Most of the time we did not pay attention to Neutral Safety Switch but if it starts to fail, damage all the part of the cars. Read below to know about the neutral safety switch symptoms if fails.

How Neutral Safety Switch Works In A Car?

When the neutral safety switch is working and electric current is going to the ignition switch to the starter to start the ignition process and if you are not in proper gear to start, spark plugs will unable to spark and you cant ignite the air-fuel. Thus, you cannot start the car. This stopping ignition process does by Neutral Safety Switch.

A Bad Or Failing Neutral Safety Switch Symptoms

Not sure if you have a bad neutral safety switch or not, follow the below symptoms to get understand the problem.

1. Engine Will Not Crank In The Park But Crank In The Neutral

If the driver turns the key, the vehicle does not crank over. It may occur due to a faulty neutral safety switch inside the transmission or clutch pedal.

2. Engine Will Not Crank In The Neutral But Crank In The Park

If the engine won’t crank even if the transmission in the park, it is one of the neutral safety switch symptoms. In this case, either the switch is experiencing the internal component failure where it is activating only in one gear not in another, or due to electrical failure that means the switch is loose and needs adjustment.

3. Engine Doesn’t Crank At All

In this case, the switch is experiencing electric failure and no current is flowing from the neutral safety switch to the starter relay. These symptoms are occurred due to a faulty relay, blown fuse, or electric problem with the switch itself.

4. Engine Crank In Any Gear

If the engine cranks at any gear while running a car already. it is one of the symptoms of a failing neutral safety switch. and it will the worst experience in which you are at high risk of an accident. This is just as similar as not having a neutral safety switch in your car. This problem arises due to the problem in the electronics.

5. Failed Reverse Light

In some cars, the reverse lights and neutral safety switch are wired together. So whenever the engine doesn’t crank at all, the reverse light does not come on and it is one of the bad neutral safety switch symptoms.

6. Check Engine Light

If you have noticed that the engine light is turned on and you have an OBD scanner with you, you have to check the code that indicates on the scanner. If the scanner display shows P084F, indicates that the neutral safety switch is bad in the condition.

How To Test A Neutral Safety Switch?

If you want to figure out what is going on with Neutral Safety Switch but you arent sure that it’s the source of the problem you are experiencing. There is a simple process

1. Beforehand locate the neutral safety switch in your car because there is no standard location its varies from one vehicle model to another. You may refer to the location by google or service manual. This switch should be located near the shift mechanism.

2. You need some handy tools to replace the neutral safety switch such as floor jack, jack stands, sharpie, pry bar, side cutter, wire brush, socket, and ratchet.

3. Jack up the vehicle and put the vehicle in neutral. Most of the neutral safety switches resemble a small pie wedge with smaller rings aside and some wire coming out of it.

4. The wire connected to the starter solenoid, disconnect the wires, and detached the switch from the wiring connector.

5. Put the car in reverse and put the key in the ignition but don’t turn on the engine. Bring 12- volt bulb to check if there is any current passing through it or not.

6. So if the bulb turns on, the wiring is fine and now you can attach the wire with a neutral safety switch. If it turns off check all the wires whether anything loose or gets damaged. After repairing, if it does not turn on you need to replace the neutral safety switch.

What Will Be The Cost Of Replacing Neutral Safety Switch?

If your car neutral safety switch has failed, you have to replace it otherwise it will damage the other part of the car. The cost will differ between the model, makes, and year of the vehicle. On average the cost will between 150$ to 450$ get a new one which also includes labor and its parts.

Even you can replace the Neutral Safety switch by own, it’s not so complicated. if you read the article you get to know that testing the switch is very easy and removing the switch is a more easy process. But you have to follow the manual of the vehicle or just follow this article.

If you are still worried or cannot replace the neutral safety switch or you don’t want to do by own, please go to the garage or a mechanic who is an expert with it.


As I have already mentioned before how neutral safety switch is important in the vehicle although most of the driver was not aware of it, as you can see an important part of how the vehicle operates and overall vehicle safety. It is a very small part of a vehicle but without it, your life will be at risk, or sometimes you a serious accident will happen that could cost you to spent lots of money on the repair.

For that reason, if you face any problem with a neutral safety switch, immediately check it by yourself or straight go to the mechanics for it.

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