Bad Neutral Safety Switch- My symptoms

Discussion in 'ZX2 1998-2004 2.0L DOHC' started by badpoor, Jan 30, 2012.


  1. badpoor

    badpoor FEOA Member

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    To start with,it seemed as though my transmission(auto) was slipping and not in good condition...it would downshift hard and would not even go into L-Low Gear.
    When I would shift from park to any other gear it seemed very stiff.
    My car then showed an indication that the starter was bad. wouldn't start so I then bought a starter I did not need because after the install and two days later, the car wouldn't start again.
    My solution was to jump the Neutral Safety Switch on the connector and it worked! Bad thing was the car would not shift correctly at ALL! So I disconnected the jump with the car still running and re-connected the switch...it shifted.
    Went to the local U-Pull-It yard and got a used one for $5, installed it and now it shifts smoothly and even goes into low gear.
    ANYONE NEED A USED STARTER? lol
  2. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    the neutral safety switch shouldn't affect shifting once the transmission is in gear.
  3. badpoor

    badpoor FEOA Member

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    Whatever that switch is that goes over the rod for and bolts onto the transmission. Thats the one im talking about. And yes it didn't shift correctly.
  4. badpoor

    badpoor FEOA Member

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    I also got a CEL for a bad range sensor that hasn't come back on since then.
  5. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    Yep, a damaged neutral safety switch can cause all sorts of issues. It is the switch that lets the computer know what gear you've selected and will set the guidelines as to which solenoids the computer energizes and de-energizes. If the computer does not know what gear you've selected, or gets a signal it does not understand, it can cause all sorts of strange issues. Sounds like you've fixed your problem!
    badpoor likes this.
  6. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    It sounds more like he replaced the transmission range sensor:

    "Whatever that switch is that goes over the rod for and bolts onto the transmission. Thats the one im talking about. And yes it didn't shift correctly."

    maybe the NSS is built into the TRS?
  7. ethangsmith

    ethangsmith FEOA Member

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    As far as I know, they are the same unit. Everything is all in one.
  8. badpoor

    badpoor FEOA Member

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    I think Ethan is correct because each time I looked up either of the two I got the same image on a parts website.
  9. AlvinAZ

    AlvinAZ New Member

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    x3 :)

    There are a few threads here on FEOA that I used to figger-out
    what was going on with my GF's '95 Tracer and this was the best
    thread. So, I'd like to pay-back a little by posting a picture of the
    part. Thing of it is tho, there's two way-different looking parts, one
    with wires (like I needed) and the much cheaper one without wires...

    [​IMG]

    She'd taken it to a shop and they said
    "your transmission is dead! ...$1500 to $1800"
    All it was, was in "limp home mode".
    Which I learned about right here on FEOA!

    Got the part from O'Reilly's after ordering the wrong part from the
    internet. Having the wrong part and the old part both in my hand
    is what made all the difference. It was an uphill battle to get the
    right part even then.

    Anyway, thanks a lot guys! :)

    Alvin in AZ
  10. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    SAME PROBLEM!!!! About 2 years back my starter started to miss. It wasn't making that clicking sound like when the battery is low.....it just.....I would turn the key and the car just would not start. Sometimes it WOULD start on the first turn..sometimes on the 25th turn.....or the 60th turn..or whatever..STRANGE! Put in a new starter and it worked fine for awhile..then the same shit started up again. My mechanic figured out that it was the switch, but we put the new one in,and after ten good starts the same shit..AGAIN. Before taking it in I had counted...68 turns of the key before it caught and started was the record...but each turn of the key was sending juice to that bad neutral safety switch, so we think the wiring in the harness got hot and melted...getting ready to get into the harness..hopefully this will be the end of a long nightmare. My car did that same shit with the shifting.....at random times it would download so hard that I thought the tranny was about to fall out. Jesus what a nightmare. If you are running from Zombies a bad neutral safety switch will get you dead.
  11. amc49

    amc49 FEOA Member

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    LOL.................yes the neutral safety switch and the transmission range switch are the same part. The PCM looks for the actual gear that trans is in to be the same the switch has designated, if not the PCM screws up the atx shifting but good. You can sometimes play with the looseness of switch before you tighten it down to make it start working again, they actually can often have a small amount of adjustment in them.
  12. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    Ok Thanks Good to know. Will pass it on to them....will keep you posted on what happens today. I miss my Ford.
  13. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    UPDATE on DECEMBER 2nd. Ok my car is repaired and I learned more.....mainly that the alarm system on my car and the alarm systems on many cars are completely useless at best, and can cause major headaches and problems at the worst. My piece of shit alarm..whoever installed it just spliced merrily into the main harness. Splices and shit everywhere....like a bad spaghettii dinner is what it looked like. It tricked the car out....when that alarm box got hot it would for some reason bypass the safety switch altogether...making the car start pretty normally most of the time....while at other times it would just do that endless clicking shit that made me think there was something wrong with the starter. Turns out..that shit splicing job was the main problem..once we got the thing out of my car....traced and repaired the broken and or cracked wires that that piece of shit heated up, and soldered shut all the others..after that the new neutral safety switch worked fine. The car alarm splicing nightmare fried the old one. Now without the alarm and with the new neutral safety switch the car is running exceptionally well. (Change all the fluids and filters and flushed the coolant system for the winter too) From now on.....whenever I buy a used car the first thing I will do is take the alarm out, but I doubt I'll have to worry about that...if I ever buy a car it will be from my mechanic, and he does just that with all of his.
  14. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    UPDATE on DECEMBER 2nd. Ok my car is repaired and I learned more.....mainly that the alarm system on my car and the alarm systems on many cars are completely useless at best, and can cause major headaches and problems at the worst. My piece of shit alarm..whoever installed it just spliced merrily into the main harness. Splices and shit everywhere....like a bad spaghettii dinner is what it looked like. It tricked the car out....when that alarm box got hot it would for some reason bypass the safety switch altogether...making the car start pretty normally most of the time....while at other times it would just do that endless clicking shit that made me think there was something wrong with the starter. Turns out..that shit splicing job was the main problem..once we got the thing out of my car....traced and repaired the broken and or cracked wires that that piece of shit heated up, and soldered shut all the others..after that the new neutral safety switch worked fine. The car alarm splicing nightmare fried the old one. Now without the alarm and with the new neutral safety switch the car is running exceptionally well. (Change all the fluids and filters and flushed the coolant system for the winter too) From now on.....whenever I buy a used car the first thing I will do is take the alarm out, but I doubt I'll have to worry about that...if I ever buy a car it will be from my mechanic, and he does just that with all of his.
  15. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    Are you across the International Date Line? Here in Colorado it's still Dec 1, and we still have and hour and 10 mins to go before it "becomes" Dec 2??????

    But I agree; I'm sure they're plenty of good "alarm" systems out there, but at this complex they're going off all the time, and when it comes to troubleshooting a problem like you have/had, it just goes to show you.

    I'm sure I might draw some flak from this, but that's just my opinion.... I'm not gonna criticize anybody for having them if they want.

    LarryR

    Smiling, of course.

    LarryR
  16. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    SORRY..I was a day ahead of myself!!! NOW it is December 2nd..even here in New York!!!!
  17. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    My joke is that between thanksgiving day and new year, the parking lots at Walmarts feature "holiday music" - the bleep-wheep-brrrh of the car alarms going off. It happens many times in an hour and all day long. I think its likely because someone bumped the dongle in their pocket or a pre-schooler got hold of the dongle.
    IF I were going to steal a car, I could be pretty sure NO ONE would remark on my backing up to one of the noisemaking cars with a wheel-lift wrecker, grasping and raising the front wheels, and driving away with it.
    For a few years a friend of mine used to repo cars for a living. He always had the legal papers with him, but he said that in his entire time doing it, no person ever made an objection - other than in rare cases it was the person who should-have-been making the payments.
  18. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    AND..the person who should have been making payments is most likely the same one who had the piece of shit alarm installed in the first place!!!! Should have made a payment instead hahahaha!!!
  19. Intuit

    Intuit FEOA Member

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    They were from out-of-town (New York IIRC) but many Winters ago around this time and Christmas there were thieves that fixed up old junk yard tow trucks and used them to steal vehicles right off the street. Happened to a cousin. Even farther back and in a different state my vehicle was stolen and held for a lofty ransom by a "legitimate" towing outfit. Within the last couple of years happened to a friend as well.

    If people don't pay attention to them, they really should start. Call the police when you see a suspicious tow.

    Took a couple of times for the lesson to sink in, but learned the hard way. Vehicles should have an alarm. Thieves target vehicles that are known not to have factory alarms as standard. Not sure about other generations, but know 2nd-Gen 'scorts are comparably easy to get into. They don't care where one lives, as they apparently have vehicles too. They prey on known easy targets.

    Like the stereotypical cockroach, the things they don't like:
    1) Light (park under them)
    2) Attention (like quiet streets)
    3) Vehicles with alarms and/or hood/trunk switches with shock sensor (love Easy pick'ns)

    At approximately $200 for the install, my alarm more than paid for itself on the first save.
  20. Christopher LoGiudice

    Christopher LoGiudice FEOA Member

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    Well....I'm happy for that...that it saved you from getting ripped off. My alarm is gone and I'm happier without it because my car is running much better. It still has the anti-theft that came with the car, which keeps the car from being started without the key i think? Whatever..there is nothing of value in the car anyways!!!! PLUS...I have a Brooklyn Smasher
    Bat and a nice firearm on the way...we should be ok.

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