How to Perform Neutral Safety Switch Bypass (Step by Step)

Your neutral safety switch is probably malfunctioning if your vehicle cranks in neutral but not when it’s in the park.

However, if you perform a neutral safety switch bypass, you can get your vehicle moving again.

In this article, you will learn how to perform a neutral safety switch bypass, how to be sure your neutral safety switch is the problem, and how you can properly test the neutral safety switch.

We also included answers to various questions about the neutral safety switch you might have.

How to Bypass a Neutral Safety Switch

  1. Find the neutral safety switch.
  2. Turn the locknut counterclockwise with your 1/4-inch open-end wrench to loosen it.
  3. Turn the adjustment screw clockwise until it is free from the clutch pedal using a crescent wrench.
  4. A wire originates from the neutral safety switch in your car and ends at the large plastic connector on a recessed panel, which attaches directly to the axle’s top side. Trim these wires to disconnect them completely.

PS – Bypassing the neutral safety switch in an automatic transmission is not recommended due to safety concerns.

Also Read: Neutral Safety Switch (Everything You Should Know)

What Is the Neutral Safety Switch?

Neutral Safety Switch Bypass

The neutral safety switch makes sure the engine doesn’t start if the car isn’t in its right gear.

For your key to start your vehicle’s engine – either automatically or manually – there has to be a current originating from the battery.

A car with manual transmission has a neutral safety switch situated by the clutch pedal. You cannot start the engine until the clutch is engaged.

On cars with a manual transmission, this switch has a simpler design and is easier to change if it fails.

Signs a Bad Neutral Safety Switch

Several symptoms indicate a faulty neutral safety switch. Take the car to a mechanic for proper diagnosis whenever you notice one or more of these symptoms.

1. The Engine Cranks in Park but Not in Neutral

If your car engine cranks only when in park but will not start in neutral, your neutral safety switch might be faulty.

Another reason could be a problem with the internal component inside the switch itself or its wiring that activates it only while the car is in park and not in neutral, which could also be why the vehicle cranks only.

If you notice this, you will need a neutral safety switch bypass.

2. The Engine Cranks in Neutral but Not in Park

Alternatively, the reverse could happen, and you find that your engine will only crank when in neutral but not in park.

If this happens, there may be a problem with the neutral safety switch, or it may be a problem with the battery.

Finally, you may find a broken starter or another problem that might make the car start only when in neutral. Again, you could perform a neutral safety switch bypass to fix this problem.

3. The Engine Does Not Crank at All

You may notice that your car will not crank regardless of what gear you’re in. Most mechanics typically notice this problem when the neutral safety switch starts malfunctioning.

In this case, there will be no transfer of power from the neutral safety switch into the starter relay, and as a result, the engine won’t turn over.

You can perform a neutral safety switch bypass to get the car to start so that you can take it to a mechanic.

4. Engine Turns on in Any Gear

If your neutral safety switch is faulty, you might notice that your vehicle’s engine turns on no matter your car’s gear.

This can happen due to a short circuit, in which case the vehicle would be unsafe to drive.

Also Read: How to Put a Car in Neutral Without a Key (Step by Step)

How to Test the Neutral Safety Switch

How to Test the Neutral Safety Switch

When you notice signs that something may be wrong, you must run several tests and potentially conduct a neutral safety switch bypass. Of course, the worst scenario is if you’ll have to replace the part.

To test the neutral safety switch, you will need several tools like a test light, a small jumper wire, and a digital multimeter (DMM) to test your neutral safety switch.

Follow these steps to properly test a neutral safety switch.

Step 1: Locate the Neutral Safety Switch

It is best to consult the owner’s manual if you are unsure where the neutral safety switch is; it may be located in different places for each vehicle model.

Usually, it is found next to the shift mechanism and is similar to a cigarette lighter. Check the area beside the gear shifter if you have a column switch vehicle. There should be a neutral safety switch on the transmission side.

Step 2: Check the Wiring

Next, you’ll want to examine the switch’s wiring in your car. The neutral safety switch is built with wires connected to the connection switch.

As long as the transmission remains in gear, the switch remains open. When you shift the ignition switch to ‘Start,’ the current will flow through both switches to ignite your engine.

Just make sure that your gearbox is set to park or neutral before you turn on your ignition and begin this step – remember to consult your user guide for any home wiring layout information you may require!

Then disconnect these two wire connectors from their connection spots within the automobile for later use during reassembly!

Step 3: Test the Neutral Safety Switch for Power

Start by making sure the gear is in reverse. Do not turn the engine on just yet. You will need to check if there is electricity flowing through the wires for this.

You must use a test light for this, but you will get an illuminated bulb when there is power, and then you will know that the circuit is working properly.

Next, reconnect the wire connector to your neutral switch slot. If you do not see the test light shining, check all wires for damage or lost connections. If you keep getting no power, your neutral safety switch needs to be replaced.

You can also check whether the switch needs to be adjusted by moving the shift levers towards different positions while you start the engine.

Through this procedure, you are essentially bypassing the neutral safety switch. You might be wondering, is it safe to do this? Your vehicle won’t suffer any damage if you stick to the following the steps carefully:

  1. Ensure that the gear is in park, then try starting the car.
  2. Press on the car brakes if the engine fails to crank; next, try starting the car in neutral.
  3. If the engine starts, the neutral safety switch is malfunctioning.

Check out this video for more tips on how to perform a neutral safety switch bypass

Frequently Asked Questions – Neutral Safety Switch Bypass

Can You Bypass the Neutral Safety Switch?

Yes, The neutral safety switch can be bypassed. However, this should only be done when testing the neutral safety switch. Connect the purple wire to the other purple wire with the white line to bypass the switch.

Where Is the Safety Neutral Switch Located?

The neutral safety switch for automatic transmissions can be found in the transmission case or within the linkage for shifting gears. If the transmission is not in Park or Neutral, the neutral safety switch prevents the engine from starting.

What Happens if the Neutral Safety Switch Fails?

The neutral safety switch keeps the car engine from starting when not in park or neutral gear. This reduces the dangers of a vehicle moving immediately when started when in the drive or reverse gear. The safety switch is found near the transmission linkage or a transmission control box, and failure of the neutral safety switch can lead to irreversible damage to your car’s engine and transmission.

How Do You Reset a Neutral Safety Switch?

To reset the neutral safety switch:

Is There a Fuse for the Neutral Safety Switch?

Automatic and manual transmissions both have fuses in their neutral safety switches.

How Important Is Neutral Safety Switch?

The neutral safety switch is a wonderful feature that has been installed in all modern cars with automatic transmissions. It ensures that your vehicle doesn’t start when in gear and drive away unexpectedly.

How Do I Test a Neutral Safety Switch?

Try to start the vehicle with the gear in park. If the engine isn’t cranking, Press down on the car brakes and try starting it again in neutral. If the car engine starts, then there is a problem with the neutral safety switch.

Can a Neutral Safety Switch Cause Hard Shifting?

Yes, a bad neutral safety switch will not only be annoying when trying to shift into park; it can also result in more serious mechanical issues or cause hard shifting. As a part of the transmission, the neutral safety switch protects the vehicle from moving backward while parked.

How Much Does a Neutral Safety Switch Cost?

Neutral safety switch replacement cost ranges from $155 to $171. The labor cost is estimated at $59 and $75, while parts cost is estimated at $96. This pricing does not include taxes or other fees which may apply to your specific vehicle or location. Associated repairs might also be required.

Conclusion – Neutral Safety Switch Bypass

If your neutral safety switch is malfunctioning, it is important to talk with your mechanic about a replacement.

While you may be tempted to perform a neutral safety switch bypass, know that it won’t last long and can put your car in danger.

In addition, the neutral safety switch is an important part of your car’s electrical system; as such, when you notice the safety switch has become faulty, make sure you get it fixed immediately.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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