Can A Bad Neutral Safety Switch Cause Shift Problems?

If you are a regular user of a manual transmission vehicle, you will not feel too unfamiliar with the neutral safety switch. Yes, this is a detail in manual transmission cars with the task of fixing the car from moving forward if there is no parking or middle ground. 

Therefore, when the safety switch fails, it will make it more difficult for drivers to control their vehicle when parking in difficult locations.

so, can a bad neutral safety switch cause shift problems?

The following article will help you recognize the signs to identify the neutral safety switch in trouble.

What Is A Neutral Safety Switch?

What Is A Neutral Safety Switch

NSS stands for neutral safety switch. It is the part commonly used in manual transmission cars. 

However, you can still see the neutral safety switch in vehicles with automatic transmissions. NSS was born with the main task of preventing the vehicle’s movement forward if it is not a parking lot or a middle yard.

So what if your car doesn’t have a neutral safety switch? This is a good question and we all must know its answer. Because it will directly affect the safety of people and vehicles. When you’re in gear, without the neutral safety switch, your vehicle could swerve forward uncontrollably, which will endanger vehicles moving around you.

Besides, the safety switch is like an electronic lock in terms of operating mechanism. Therefore, When that key is broken, you won’t start your car. At this point, the car will be disabled. In some other cases, your car may not move because you cannot change gears.

Here are 5 reasons why the neutral safety switch fails

Can A Bad Neutral Safety Switch Cause Shift Problems?

Can A Bad Neutral Safety Switch Cause Shift Problems

#Car won’t Crank When It is in Park

Normally, to start the cars, it will need the help of a neutral safety switch. But if it doesn’t start, there’s a high chance that the safety switch will no longer work. Although these errors do not always come from the safety switch, they should not be ignored.

First, the first device you need to check is the battery. Make sure your battery is working in a normal state. Next, check the spark plugs. If one of the spark plugs fails, replace it. 

Finally, check the starter motor. After you have completed all the details and no problems are detected, you will check the neutral safety switch. Maybe they were wrong in some small details.

#Clicking Sound

Clicking Sound is one of the next reasons why your gear shift safety switch is failing. When you put the car key in the ignition, you will probably hear a click. 

At this point, the first cause you should think about is the safety switch. Because this detail is closely related to the transmission and control system of the car.

In addition, the battery is also the cause of your car’s clicking sound when shifting gears. You need to make sure your battery is stable at 12.65 – 12.45 volts. Abnormal changes will affect the performance of the power system.

#No Starting Problem

Are you having trouble starting the engine? If so, then the neutral safety switch is one of the most common causes. In that case, the starter will not provide the vehicle to operate because the safety switch has blocked that power transmission. In addition, you should also check other parts if there is no fault coming from the safety switch.

#Engine Won’t Start When It’s in Neutral

Engine Won’t Start When It’s in Neutral is the next sign so you can easily recognize when the safety switch has a problem. 

Because this part will prevent the power from going to the starter powder. Then the starter will not be able to work. You should not turn the key to start the car, but focus on repairing the neutral safety switch.

#Car died while driving

It is the problem that a lot of people are facing nowadays. However, when they went through with the troubleshooting, they couldn’t find the cause. And the culprit causing your car to have this condition is a broken neutral safety switch. 

This may be a very rare cause, but it is not an exception that you should ignore. Because when the neutral safety switch fails, the power supply will not be able to provide some details in the control system. 

At that time, the source of fuel flowing in the engine will also be affected. After a period of travel without fuel, the car will die.

#Service Engine Soon Comes on

One of the warning signs that the safety neutral gear shift is failing is because the maintenance engine light is flashing. If the engine light is on, it will work normally. But when you see it flashing continuously and then off, then your car is in serious trouble. You will need to move the vehicle to a service center to check the details.

How To Swap Neutral Safety Switch?

How To Swap Neutral Safety Switch

When you know that the cause of your vehicle’s difficulty in moving is the neutral safety switch, you will need to repair the device. One widely used way is to swap out the neutral safety switch. Here is the 5-step process to perform the switch swap:

  • Step 1: What You Will Need
  • Step 2: Jack Up the Vehicle
  • Step 3: Remove the Driveshaft
  • Step 4: Remove the Neutral Safety Switch
  • Step 5: Install the New Neutral Safety Switch

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)

How much does it cost to replace the neutral safety switch?

The price of the safety switch will vary depending on the supplier and the product category suitable for your vehicle. 

Also, replacing a set of switches will cost your mechanic extra. On average, the cost to invest in a new set of neutral safety switches is $160. $60 is for the repairman and $100 is for the safety switch set.

Can I bypass the neutral safety switch?

The answer is yes. You will need to turn the key to the on position to remove the neutral safety switch. Next, you’ll need to step on the brake and bring the car into neutral. You will need to start the engine and start the car in neutral mode.

What are the signs that the safety switch is in trouble?

There are many signs that a safety switch is in trouble. In addition to the signs above, you can rely on other signs such as:

  • Car Starts up in any Gear
  • Car Switches to Emergency Mode
  • Struggling to Change Gears


Hopefully, the article will help you have an overview of the neutral safety switch and the signs to recognize when this device is having a fault. 

When the safety switch has a problem, you will need to fix it immediately because it will directly affect the safety of the driver and vehicles moving around. 

To fix it, you can use the 5-step process of swapping the safety switch or taking your car to a repair center so they can best assist you.

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