A safety switch as its name implies is a switch that works for safety. A safety switch immediately shuts off power from any part of an electric connection that is troubled. The safety switch observes the current which flows through the connection to detect any fault.
There is a fuse for the neutral safety switch which covers both automatic and manual transmissions. The fuse in its own amperage rating is designed to protect the electrical components of your car from unstable power so that you will be safe while driving your car.
An electrical connection can experience an overload, leak, or failure. The safety switch stops power from being supplied such a messy part. This switch necessarily does not require any human operation. It is self-operated.
However, it is worthy to note carefully that this topic centers on the Neutral Safety Switch and not merely on the Safety Switch. The Neutral Safety Switch relates to the automobile and is peculiar in its function
What is the Neutral Safety Switch?
The Neutral Safety Switch is a safety element that stops the car from starting if it is not in its neutral or park state. Usually for the car to start, it must be in neutral or park. This way, the car starts without a rather sharp and sudden jerk forward which may result in casualty.
Hence, where any factor causes the driver to turn off the ignition with the car not being in neutral or park, the Neutral Safety Switch is the savior which saves the car from a fatal collision with anything ahead, in a situation where the driver tries to ignite it again.
The Neutral Safety Switch denies the car the chance to start and like its name solely for safety.
Since the 1950s, this switch has been a part of car components and since the ‘80s, it has been installed in every automatic transmission.
Don’t say that the switch is useless, the switch has been saved several times when I turned off my automatic Lexus IS 300 in drive mode, with the handbrake on. I was in traffic that day, as I tried to turn the car on, it refused to turn on. It was then that I looked and saw the terrible mistake I made.
Is There a Fuse for the Neutral Safety Switch?
Yes. There is a fuse for the Neutral Safety Switch. It’s in very automobiles for safety purposes.
The neutral safety switch with its fuse is within the transmission on an automatic transmission system. For manual transmission, the safety switch resides on the clutch pedal. Once the pedal is depressed, the car can start.
Fuses often are one-time use. Each fuse has its amperage rating and they vary in sizes as well as color hence, caution must be taken to engage the correct fuse size always.
With the fuses, you can power your radio and light your cigarette. You can also power many other parts of the car. Fuses protect the electrical components of your vehicle from power surges.
How Do You Reset the Neutral Safety Switch?
You must be on the lookout for something very essential here. What exactly is it?
Your engine should not start in a state different from neutral or park. Bear in mind that once your engine starts otherwise, it is a signal you must not ignore. The switch may be indicating a need for adjustment.
How do I reset then?
- Locate your brake pedal. Have you?
- Press it down and do not lift your leg yet.
- While still depressing your brake pedal, turn your ignition key and land it on the ‘Start’ position like to start the engine.
- Hold the ignition in that ‘Start’ state too.
- Begin to move your gear stick – otherwise known as the gearshift or shifter, gear lever, shift selector, or more formally, the transmission lever – through the different positions as the car model provides.
It seems too simple, maybe?
What Problem Can a Bad Neutral Safety Switch Cause
1. Poor Engine Performance
A bad neutral safety switch results in poor performance from your vehicle as you try to navigate the car. A neutral safety switch that causes your car engine to slow down because of a load increase beyond the engine’s regular capacity is faulty.
This state of being inappropriately slow is what it means for the car to “lug down.” Poor engine performance is a deep risk, if not the deepest of risks that you ever want to expose your car to.
It could result in irreversible damage to your car’s engine and transmission.
2. Stalling or Outright Refusal to Restart
A car can stall and not restart.
Stalling is a state of an involuntary stop. It is not that you wanted to stop, but your car finds ‘rest’ stopping and a more ‘comfortable’ state not restarting.
Yes. While it may sustain a practice of stalling -stopping and working frequently in one journey, it could tune off completely and not restart again.
3. Impaired Shifting
When driving on a second gear at times, there is a failure of the transmission to downshift. Transmission can sometimes jump from the second into the fourth gear instead of a downshift into the third gear.
Transmission sometimes over-rev, too. This, in turn, propels the car to give a jerking reaction with a quick spin of the engine as you take off.
What is ‘rev?’ The engine of a vehicle revs, when its speed increases as the accelerator are pressed.
Best Way to Test a Neutral Safety Switch
To test a Neutral Safety Switch:
- Your feet should be on your brake pedal while your key is in your hands
- Now, put your car and turn it to ignition but don’t start the car
- While your feet are still on your brake pedals, start using the transmission shifter to different all the gears in your car.
- If the car starts only while it is in the park, then know that your neutral safety switch is working fine.
For example, the day it happened to me. I turned off my car while the transmission shifter is still in drive, and used the handbrake. When the traffic started moving, I tried turning the car on and it refused to turn on. I then looked and saw the mistake I made.
Something similar like that has happened to me before. While my car was still on. I didn’t use the handbrake without putting the shifter to park and went out of the car. I got home that day. And, it was a sloppy area. Imagine what would have happened that day.
After that day, I learned my lesson. Before getting off my car, irrespective of the rush, I should ensure that everything is properly placed to where they are supposed to be to avoid stories that touch. Lexus IS 300 is indeed a strong car.
Can You Clean a Neutral Safety Switch?
Yes, you can clean a Neutral Safety Switch by cleaning the contact points and prongs of the neutral safety switch, using a toothbrush and electric contact cleaner to brush off gunk and old grease from the switch.
Meanwhile, it is important to note that you should not use a carb cleaner to clean your neutral safety switch to avoid damaging the contact points.
Generally, regarding the automobile, there seems to be no part that can not be cleaned. It all depends on how careful you are and how far you would go to care for your vehicle, notwithstanding the effort required.
The Neutral Safety Switch as its name works for the Safety of your vehicle. Indirectly, this switch works for your safety too. You are asking why? By inference, the safety of your car, for as long as you are in it, driving it to work for you, is your safety.
Hence, you reduce your vulnerability to accidents and other ills as you consciously keep your Safety Switch safe, keeping it in good condition always.
It is funny how the Neutral Safety Switch -a component not as big as the battery of a car or its engine, exists so crucial to the car. Dear driver or automobile user, take heed.