Question about 1997 Dodge Dakota

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Truck won't start in Park - have to move shift lever to Neutral before starter will engage

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Sounds like either your park neutral safety switch or your shift linkage

Posted on Feb 02, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: Hi,

The weld on the manual lever is known to break loose. First, with the wheels off the ground, with the lever in the park position, does the drive shaft lock in park? If yes or no sometimes, drop the trans pan. I bet the nut on the lever camd loose.

Posted on Jun 19, 2010

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2 Answers

Won't crank or come out of park


  • Neutral safety switch sends a signal to the on-board computer to allow the engine to start and to engage the transmission
  • When not replaced, vehicle may experience no start and/or transmission will not shift out of park.
SAVE 20 ON ONLINE SHIP TO HOME ORDERS OF 100 OR MORE

Oct 15, 2015 | 2001 Pontiac Aztek

1 Answer

My 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee wont start sometimes, but if I put it in neutral then try to start it..It starts .. What is the problem with my baby.......


Test/Service/Replace

The circuit on newer cars with automatic transmissions has a neutral safety, or neutral start switch installed between the ignition switch and the starter. The ignition switch cannot operate the starter motor unless the transmission is in park or neutral.
Late model vehicles with manual transmissions have a starter/clutch interlock switch that requires the clutch to be depressed to the floor.
Neutral Safety Switch
Normal operations of a neutral safety switch provides a quick check for the adjustment of the gear selector linkage.
  • To do this, move the selector slowly until it clicks into the PARK position.
  • Turn the ignition key to the START position.
  • If the starter operates, the PARK position is correct.
  • After checking the PARK position, move the lever slowly toward the NEUTRAL position until the lever drops at the end of the NEUTRAL stop in the selector gate.
  • If the starter also operates at this point, the gearshift linkage is properly adjusted.
  • This quick test also tests the adjustment of the neutral safety switch.
  • If the engine does not start in either or both of these positions, the neutral safety switch or the gear selector linkage needs adjustment or repair.

CAUTION
Since you must work under the vehicle to adjust most shift linkages make sure you properly raise and support the vehicle before working under it. Also, wear safety glasses or goggles while working under the vehicle.
A voltmeter can be used to check the switch for voltage when the ignition key is turned to the START position with the shift lever in PARK or NEUTRAL. If there is no voltage, the switch should be adjusted or replaced.

Jan 26, 2013 | 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee

2 Answers

When I start engine and depress brake pedal and go to move shift lever I can't depress shift lever button to move out of park. This will happen 6 times out 10.


2002 chevy trailblazer on neutral mode, trailblazer can be pushed easily,but shifter is stuck on park. vehicle will start.the push button on shifter will not engage

Sep 09, 2010 | 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer

1 Answer

Hi, I own a 1997 Ford E 350 Econoline, I have the following transmission engagement problem: Truck will not start: Transmission will not engage any gear, neutral or park. The shift lever feels like is not...


The weld on the manual lever is known to break loose. First, with the wheels off the ground, with the lever in the park position, does the drive shaft lock in park? If yes or no sometimes, drop the trans pan. I bet the nut on the lever camd loose.

Mar 31, 2010 | 1994 Ford Econoline

2 Answers

Will not crank with key but can get starter to hit by crossing it over but will not start


Lots of possibilities. Key switch, security system, solenoid (if that model has a separate solenoid) would top the list of likely suspects.

Dec 14, 2009 | 2004 Ford Explorer

1 Answer

Truck will not start.


sounds like the starter solenoid or starter relay or the "Park-Neutral Safety switch"

Try starting it in neutral, or carefully, hold the key in start while moving the shift lever from park to low gear slowly and - with your foot on the brake and parking brake on.

report back.

May 14, 2009 | 2005 Lincoln Navigator

1 Answer

1999 silverado clicking but not starting


Might want to chg. the starter switch under dash, sounds like its shorting out or something and keeping the starter engaged, try starting it in neutral and see if it does the same thing. I am not sure if the starter switch and park neutral switch are one in the same or not, but i'am thinking they are, that would account for the starter drive kicking out of the engaged position when you move the shift lever. Also make sure your connections to the battery are clean and tight.

Mar 20, 2009 | 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

1 Answer

2000 Dodge Ram 1500 5.9L w/ AT will not start


Same thing happened to my 97 it was the saftey switch!

Jan 12, 2009 | 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 Truck

3 Answers

New starter or Manual Positioning lever shifter?


you might have the shift lever a little loose and it isn't moving all the way into park. Look up under the dash and find the first joint that the lever is attached too and tighten up any loose bolts.

Sep 07, 2008 | 2003 GMC Envoy Xl

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