2006 Montana SV6 no start. Neutral Park Switch Location?

hx214

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Ohio
Hello,

I need some help. My grandmother has a 2006 Montana SV6.

This is a second car for her and she left it sit outside for the winter. She asked me to get it started and put some tires on it for her.

I had to jump the battery the first time I started it and it was obvious the battery was bad because it wouldn't charge. The van started up fine and ran fine so I put new tires on it for her and put it in the garage and asked my uncle to get a battery for her.

I got a call from my cousin asking for help getting the van started after my uncle had put a new battery in it. He said when he would turn the key all the lights would go out but nothing would happen. I thought it was a bad connection or a bad battery so I told him I would deal with it.

I went over today to find that it doesn't seem to be a bad connection. The battery was pretty strong and I even put jumper cables to my truck to make sure it has enough power. Everything works like it should. Radio, lights, wipers, horn.

The van behaves like it should when you turn the key, but I get nothing. the dash lights go dim like power is being put to the starter but nothing happens. I can hear a faint click sound in the fuse box under the hood. Nothing at the solenoid. I put the key to the run position and jump the solenoid with a screw driver and the starter will spin, but not engage the engine.

I also noticed that the orange gear selector indicator doesn't come on. So you can't tell what gear you are in. I put the van in what should be reverse and the white reverse lights don't come on. So I'm thinking the van doesn't know what gear it is in.

I've had this happen before on a ford and a nissan and it was the Neutral Safety switch. I looked on the top of the transmission where the gear selector shaft comes out where the other neutral safety switch was on the other cars I have worked on and its not there. I traced the cable from the fire wall all the way back to where it attaches to the shaft and I can't seem to find the switch anywhere. I thought maybe it was in the dash, but when I look under the steering column and follow the cable there I can't find a switch either.

I can see something that has a plug to it that is up in the steering column attached to the base of the gear selector, but I'm not sure what that is.

Anybody have any idea where this switch is? Am I just missing it somewhere? I can't find a video or parts diagram anywhere and when I look up the part online I get a bunch of different pictures of the part... having a hard time with this one!

Thanks for any help!
 

melsg5

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the fact that the lights go dim does not make me believe you have a neutral safety switch issue.
Did you test the battery with a voltmeter and get a reading of 12.5 to 12.75?
Did you remove the cables from the battery and carefully look at the cable where it meets the connector to make sure the cable isnt frayed/broken where it meets the connector?
Did you check the other end of the battery cables, the ground and the starter?
 

hx214

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Ohio
Ya, all of the wires and connections look good.

My uncle even replaced the connection at the positive side because I think he thought it was the connection.

When I say the lights dim, I don't mean all the lights. I even put the dome lights on and the reading lights and they stay on when you turn the key without dimming. The lights for the speedo and instrument lights dim or go out but the lights on the needles on the instrument cluster stay on.
 

melsg5

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so you havent checked with a voltmeter?
you have tried moving the shifter back and forth while trying to start?
it wont start in neutral?
you dont see the neutral safety switch on the transmission case where the linkage is?
the only other place would be part of the shifter inside the vehicle
thing that doesnt make sense is you get the starter to spin but wont engage engine, which points to a starter issue or a voltage issue.
______________________________
 

hx214

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Ohio
so you havent checked with a voltmeter?
you have tried moving the shifter back and forth while trying to start?
it wont start in neutral?
you dont see the neutral safety switch on the transmission case where the linkage is?
the only other place would be part of the shifter inside the vehicle
thing that doesnt make sense is you get the starter to spin but wont engage engine, which points to a starter issue or a voltage issue.
I didn't have any of my tools with me at my grandmothers, so I didn't have my voltmeter. My other uncle said he put his battery tester on it and it showed the battery was good.

I did try to move the shifter back and forth and back and forth trying to get it to jolt. No go.

No wouldn't try to start in neutral either.

Neutral safety switch isn't on the trans case from what I can see. Like I said in my first post, every car I've ever replaced it on had it on the shaft that comes out of the trans and it's not there.

I thought it was odd that the starter wouldn't engage, but I also thought that maybe the safety switch had something to do with that.

I guess I will take the battery out of my truck over and see what happens.
 
Last edited:

melsg5

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you need a voltmeter to diagnosis the issue. When someone turns the key do you get full battery voltage at the solenoid/starter.
 
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