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Old 08-12-2008, 12:13 PM   #1
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Default Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch?

My neighbor calls me over says his 97 GSR will start sometimes w/o any problems, then some times it will take like 4-5 tries for the car to start. I go over check out the battery, it's fully charged, alternator is charging at 14.4 volts.

I turn off the car and start it up about 5 times w/o any problems. Then on the 5th or 6th try it doesn't turn on. The starter won't even crank over, all the instrument lights turn on and I just hear a click under the dash, not sure if its a relay or what. I keep the ignition switch to the start position and pump the clutch pedal about 3-4 times then the car turns on.

Is it the neutral safety switch going out, or the igntion switch? What is the clicking sound under the dash? Is there an ignition relay or something?
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (ruffrhyder)

bump some one help him out
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (ruffrhyder)

Integras do not have a neutral safety switch. Does this car have an alarm? If so, check the starter disable.
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Old 08-12-2008, 01:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (Dogginator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogginator
Integras do not have a neutral safety switch. Does this car have an alarm? If so, check the starter disable.
Okay, starter interuptor switch I guess is the correct name. The one behind the clutch pedal way up top.
Also, aftermarket alarm, but no remote start or any fancy. Where would the starter disable be on the alarm?


Modified by ruffrhyder at 2:41 PM 8/12/2008
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (ruffrhyder)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrhyder
Where would the starter disable be on the alarm?
There is typically a relay harness installed under the dash.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (Dogginator)

my car has the same problem, anyone have any answers??
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (monstaxmatt)

i recently had the same problem. i bought the switch, there is two, one to signal the pedal is out all the way and one to signal its in. (on a 91 anyway)

when i was under there getting ready to remove it i found a junk alarm still some what hooked up ( it was a scorpian). the installation was horrible, the factory ignition switch wire is like 12 gauge and the wires from the alarm were 16 or 18 gauge. too much resistance=heat. I perfomed wire repair and removed the alarm and the problem went away.

GL
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (hon2984)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hon2984
i recently had the same problem. i bought the switch, there is two, one to signal the pedal is out all the way and one to signal its in. (on a 91 anyway)

when i was under there getting ready to remove it i found a junk alarm still some what hooked up ( it was a scorpian). the installation was horrible, the factory ignition switch wire is like 12 gauge and the wires from the alarm were 16 or 18 gauge. too much resistance=heat. I perfomed wire repair and removed the alarm and the problem went away.

GL
Yeah, I replaced the very top switch, car is still having trouble, what is the bottom swithc called?
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (ruffrhyder)

The top switch is for the cruise control. The bottom switch insures that the clutch is fully depressed.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:17 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (Dogginator)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogginator
The top switch is for the cruise control. The bottom switch insures that the clutch is fully depressed.
Hot damn, no wonder when I replaced the top switch the car was still acting up Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

http://www.rockauto.com list 2 types, which do I get?

STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # NS56 {CLUTCH SWITCH}
with M.T.; TEC $18.79

STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # NS225 {CLUTCH SWITCH}
Inhibitor; with M.T. $29.99



Modified by ruffrhyder at 8:22 PM 8/26/2008
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Old 08-28-2008, 05:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (ruffrhyder)

i was going to replace the top one but never needed to. When i ordered mine i just called oriellys and they sent me one over( i asked the for a NSS). You can always order both and return the one you dont need.
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Old 08-28-2008, 07:21 AM   #12
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (hon2984)

If you look at the pics of the 2 switches I listed, they look identicle but one is listed as an inhibitor, so I don't want to install the wrong one and short something out.
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Old 08-28-2008, 10:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch? (ruffrhyder)

you wont short anything out all its just a momentatry switch
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Old 02-17-2010, 03:00 PM   #14
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Icon3 Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch?

I have a 95 Integra with the 4-speed automatic transmission, and I've had very similar problems. There was a click under the dash, and the starter wouldn't turn over, or it takes several tries before it will finally start. I've also noticed that the problem never occurs when the car has warmed - it only happens when its been sitting turned off for a few hours. Sometimes moving the shifter back and forth from park to neutral makes it start up - or its just really coincidental. I have an afermarket alarm system and I'm pretty sure it has the ability to disable the starter, but the alarm has been installed for over a year and I haven't had the problem till recently. Just the other day, I went to start it, and it started up quick but the starter wouldn't disengage even after switching the car off and removing the key. I had to disconnect the battery to stop it. The mechanic said that it was an internal short within the starter itself.

Today I had a brand new starter installed, but its now having the same exact problems that the old one was having before it completely died. And what I'm wondering is if a wiring problem was what destroyed the first starter to begin with. There are a lot of wires under the dash above the petals, and there is what looks like the alarm control box hanging loosely and not properly mounted to anything. I don't know anything about wiring or alarm systems, but I'm wondering if this is something I should take back to the same mechanic or to some sort of specialist.

I'm sorry this was such a long post, but its kind of an intricate problem. Any suggestions would be a huge help. Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-15-2010, 06:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch?

"Dogginator" posted: "Integras do not have a neutral safety switch."
===
WHOOPS! Incorrect information alert!!!

*ALL* vehicles manufactured since – like – 1955 or something – to USDOT regulations - *must* have some sort of a “neutral safety switch*. BY LAW!!! (Even if they were made in Japan. Or Mars!)

This little device absolutely, POSITIVELY guarantees no vehicle can be started in an unsafe manner – that is, without having an auto-trans car in “P” (park) or “N” (neutral) position. Or for a manual transmission version, w/o the clutch being FULLY depressed to the floor!

Period. No exceptions!

“It” may go by another name but a “neutral safety switch” of some sort is simply a key part of the ignition / starter interlock system to make sure little 5 year-old Johnny can’t start Mom’s car and back over his baby brother. Same thing, of course, as to why one must depress the brake pedal on an auto-trans car to get the lever into “D” (drive) or “R” (reverse”).

Safety!!!

And this little device has also been the source of countless – and un-necessary – replacement starters since the two became part of the same vehicle!!! Unscrupulous mechanics diagnose the problem correctly based on a customer complaint – “the car won’t start!” – or else, by the *real* tell-tale symptom - “I jiggled the A/T lever and the thing popped over!”

So … they replace both. That really “pads” the bill and yes, DOES give you a new starter - - - despite the fact that the old one might have been perfectly good!

If “neutral safety switch” problems weren’t uncommon, then why are they offered as a repair part?

On a manual trans car, this might be the 25-50 dollar switch activated by your clutch pedal. It’s not that difficult to DIY. On imports, it may be a 6, 8 or 10-pin wiring connector attached somewhere on the exterior of the transmission casing. Simply finding where “it” is – and getting a spare – is usually the hardest part of replacing it. (Dealers simply don’t like customers replacing many “high-tech” items nowdays!) Cost – w/o labor – can run from 75-80 bucks for a switch to well over $200-250 for a high-end import brand. Mercedes and BMW models? If it’s less than 350-400 bucks, you got off easy!

But failure of this device WILL stop your car as dead as a brick!

New starter (motor) installed – needed or not? 250-500 bucks. This switch plus labor? Let’s go with $150 to $400 – or more.

If your car won’t start and all you get (w/ auto trans models) is all of the dash lights coming on when you turn the ignition key and hear a faint a clicking under the dash … a likely suspect is the transmission “neutral safety switch”.

Last edited by ackura; 11-15-2010 at 06:56 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-15-2010, 08:09 AM   #16
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch?

Addendum to this “neutral safety switch” issue …

YES, they (neutral safety switches) *can* fail. Any part can.

But in the case of something “electrical” or “electronic”, most modern vehicles will usually display an error code. That is, the dreaded “check engine” light comes on – and the car may still start. Or not. This *should* be the case with a “neutral safety switch” – but don’t take that to the bank …

Unless you have a OBD II (On-Board Diagnostic, ver 2) to plug in and read an error code, the problem is very likely something so alarmingly simple that the vehicle’s ECM / ECU (Engine Control Module / Engine Control Unit) can’t – and doesn’t even bother – to report it.

Like DIY / owner stupidity.

When a car HAS started – such as going to the mall, throwing your shopping bags in the trunk, jumping in and all of a sudden, it DOESN’T start … 10 bucks says it’s something SO incredibly minor as to be embarrassingly simple - - - once you find out what’s causing it.

As many old timers will tell you, since the dawn of cars and people, the very *best* set of tires a particular car will ever have is the set – oddly enough – that came from “the factory”. 99 percent of ALL drivers will NEVER get the wear life or comfort / noise from ANY replacement set. I can almost guarantee that.

Same thing, I guess, with any items replaced down the road of the life of the vehicle. Like a battery …

Until your OEM battery simply dies of old age, I’ll bet there isn’t a person reading ANY automobile forum that ever had to even had to so much as *touch* his or her battery. After THAT new, factory one got replaced? The troubles began …

Corroded cables, loose connections - *anywhere* - especially any “factory connection” that was un-done for whatever reason. Or simply that the new battery isn’t the quality of the one “from the factory” …

Hard to believe but it’s surely more than a co-incidence that after almost *any* parts start getting replaced, owners are on some sort of a never-ending merry-go-round of nagging little problems … Even using those expensive, dealer-installed parts … Ouch!

When your trusty steed just all of a sudden “won’t start” – with NO warning signs! – double and triple check EVERY possible electrical connection in, on and around the battery. Especially if any of those connections have been “un-done”. If you’ve HAD “warning signs” – it fails to start, then DOES start after “jiggling something” – and the “check engine” light or some other indicator isn’t on - that’s a sure fire explanation that there’s simply a bad connection to the battery – somehow, somewhere.

Double, triple check the battery cables connecting to the battery! Are they spotlessly clean? PERFECTLY connected and tightened properly? Really? Check ‘em again. And again …

Modern vehicles just simply “don’t start” after having started perfectly well minutes or even hours earlier. The trip to where the car *then* failed to start vibrated something loose – like a battery cable connection.

CHECK BOTH CABLES!!!!

Even a "less-than-100%" connection to the ground terminal (the black one!) can stop ALL high-amperage activity - such as the FULL battery power getting to the starter.

BANK on *that*!

Last edited by ackura; 11-15-2010 at 08:11 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:49 PM   #17
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch?

Sometimes when I attempt to start my 2001 Honda Odyssey, the starter doesn't turn when the key in the ignition is turned to the start position (there's absolutely no sound); none of the normal dashboard lights illuminates; and the clock and radio apparently lose power (clock resets to 12:00 and radio anti-theft code must be entered before the radio will operate). So far, the vehicle has eventually started with all indications normal. The first time I encountered this, I moved the gearshift out of park and then returned it to park and the vehicle started normally. No work has been done under the hood recently. The battery is four years old; there's no corrosion evident on its terminals; and the leads seem sercurely connected to the terminals.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: Car won't start sometimes? Neutral Safety switch?

The problem with your Odyssey is most likely due to the ignition switch. Google "honda ignition switch symptoms" or replace the last word with "recall" and you'll see a ton of into.

We had to replace it in our 99 Odyssey LX. I couldn't figure out how to replace the part without removing a whole bunch of harnesses, so I thought I would hack the new switch onto to the old wires. Guess what? The honda tech got to it before when initially doing the recall. That's exactly what they did, just cut the old switch out and splice the new one in.

Get it repaired sooner than later, as ours was dying on the road - DANGEROUS!!!
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