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Old 31-03-24, 08:53 AM
Roger Morrall Roger Morrall is offline
Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 55


I do recommend anybody with a faulty gearbox safety switch to get this fixed ASAP by somebody who knows. Any automatic that is capable of starting when the box is not in neutral or park will, sooner or later, offer you a very exciting, not to say dangerous, experience.

As has been pointed out there is a lead between the solenoid and the gearbox that is supposed to provide an earth to the solenoid only when the gearbox is in Park or Neutral

We were already on our way on a European tour some years ago and just had a load of recycling to drop off. Having dropped it off the 410 declined to start- nothing, not even a click. Loath to leave her in a recycling yard, however well deserved her fate, let alone abandon the trip, I worked out (quite quickly Iím proud to say) that the safety switch on the gearbox had gone open circuit. So I shorted out the offending article by taking a piece of wire from the solenoid to earth and we were quickly on our way again. The plan being to place the beast in park every time we stopped, open the bonnet, disconnect and close the bonnet again. Conversely check that in park, open the bonnet, reconnect, close the bonnet before attempting to start the engine again.

All went well until a certain petrol station in Spain when she was started whilst in gear, seriously startling a number of Spaniards to say nothing of the driver and navigator. Fortunately no harm was done, but that was pure luck - it could very easily have developed into a disastrous situation.

As I understand it the switch sits below the oil level in the gearbox so I think it unlikely that whatever operates it will have worn out, I think more likely that the switch itself is falling apart.
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