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Won't crank. Neutral Safety switch?

Help, Advice and DIY Tutorials on Volvo's extremely popular car line -- Volvo's 1990s "bread and butter" cars -- powered by the ubiquitous and durable Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine.
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Won't crank. Neutral Safety switch?

Postby ykfc » 16 Oct 2009, 13:46

This volvo 850 couldn't be started tonight. Road-side asssistance called and you know how he started it? He simply asked me to do it normally except with the head light turned on before trying to ignite the car and that made the car starts. Why is that?
:?:
He told me the 'neutral safety switch' of my car has failed. But less than a year ago the gear position sensor (I think this is the same as the PNP switch or Neutral safety switch) was already replaced. How come the switch failed so quickly. Any comment?
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Re: Won't crank. Neutral Safety switch?

Postby Ozark Lee » 16 Oct 2009, 14:58

The PNP switch is the likely culprit. If it acts up again you can try to row it back and forth from low to park a few times, quickly. You can also try to start it in neutral rather than park.

Do you know what brand the part was when your PNP switch was replaced? If it was a Scan Tech part I am actually surprised it lasted a year.

...Lee
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Re: Won't crank. Neutral Safety switch?

Postby ykfc » 18 Oct 2009, 09:44

Thank you for your suggestions. These two days the car started as usual. Therefore it appears the problem only occurs intermittently.

I am still wondering what kind of magics it was by switching on all the lights including head-lights. That was the trick of the guy who offered road-side assistance to us as members.

Ozark Lee wrote:Do you know what brand the part was when your PNP switch was replaced?


I'm not sure. But the garage that helped me to replace the gear position sensor is an renowned Volvo repairer here and they used to sell genuine Volvo parts.
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Re: Won't crank. Neutral Safety switch?

Postby Ozark Lee » 18 Oct 2009, 10:27

I am still wondering what kind of magics it was by switching on all the lights including head-lights. That was the trick of the guy who offered road-side assistance to us as members.


In your case I think it was coincidence. The headlight trick works well when it is brutally cold, if you turn on the headlights for a couple of minutes before you try to start the car it will warm the battery up and allow it to provide more cranking current.

...Lee
'94 850 N/A
'96 850 N/A
'96 Platinum Edition Turbo
'98 S70 T5
'99 V70XC - RIP Killed by a drunk driver.
'99 V70XC - Nautic Blue
Previous: 1989 740 GLT
1986 740 GLT
1972 142 Grand Luxe
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Re: Won't crank. Neutral Safety switch?

Postby polskamafia mjl » 19 Oct 2009, 07:57

I agree with Lee, the PNP is most likely whats wrong. And the fact that it only happens intermittently DOESN'T mean it's NOT the PNP switch. I would check that out.
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