Won't start in P, will start in N

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Recently I'm having a really strange starting issue. When I'm in park, I turn the key to ACC all the electronics function as normal, but when I turn it to start... it doesn't fire the starter. Sometimes if I turn it a few times it'll fire, sometimes if I hold it on start it'll hesitate and eventually fire the starter.

Here's where things get stranger... If I put it in neutral if fires right up.

I feel like this might be an immobilizer issue. Any thoughts?
 
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I haven't heard of this on a 100, but have on other vehicles. It sounds like the vehicle is not recognizing it in park. It could either be the sensor is not receiving that information or the shift linkage might be just slightly out of adjustment (since it's starting sometimes in park and goes into park I assume). Some vehicles have tension adjusters on the shift linkage, but I'm unsure about 100s.
 
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Must be a sensor, thanks! Ya it goes into park no problem. It's gradually gotten worse to where it won't start at all in park, so that must have been the sensor going out
 
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You may want to find where that neutral safety switch is on your truck and inspect it and inspect the harness and connection. I have no clue where it is, but it has to be somewhere between your shifter and the transmission I assume.
 
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You may want to find where that neutral safety switch is on your truck and inspect it and inspect the harness and connection. I have no clue where it is, but it has to be somewhere between your shifter and the transmission I assume.
On Jeeps, the NSS fails pretty consistently which exhibits the behavior you're talking about. It was the first thing that came to mind when you described it. I'm sure the 100 has one somewhere, so I'd narrow your search on that to start.
 
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It looks like the Toyota name for the part is a Park/Neutral Position Switch and it is on the side of the transmission. I'll take a look at it
 

perrobravo

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It looks like the Toyota name for the part is a Park/Neutral Position Switch and it is on the side of the transmission. I'll take a look at it
That switch is accessible from under the truck on the passenger side of the transmission. It is adjustable, but it would be hard to imagine it going out of adjustment slowly, by itself. Worth taking a look at.

In the pic below you can see the white line which is supposed to be set parallel to the tab that comes from the transmission into the switch. If that's out of whack, or the switch is bad, strange behavior will result.

 
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a little update... as the snow melted and the temps warmed up above freezing, this issue has gone away.
 
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So, does anyone know how to re&re these? Is it just a few bolts (on/off)? Anything strange one needs to watch out for? I have a 99 LX and my CEL just came on (code P1780). Vehicle starts ok. When I start the vehicle the cel AND abs lights are illuminated. When I go into drive the ABS light goes off but the cel remains. Anytime it hit the brakes, the Reverse light illuminates. Not sure if the drive light would illuminate as it's been out for years.

Just a few bolts? Maybe I'll fiddle with it, and see what happens first. Thoughts would be appreciated ;)
 
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That switch is accessible from under the truck on the passenger side of the transmission. It is adjustable, but it would be hard to imagine it going out of adjustment slowly, by itself. Worth taking a look at.

In the pic below you can see the white line which is supposed to be set parallel to the tab that comes from the transmission into the switch. If that's out of whack, or the switch is bad, strange behavior will result.

You are right. It is also a pain in the butt to replace. Given the age it may actually break off on the transmission when you are removing it and then you are in a world of hurt. Take it to the dealer or find someone who has done it before.
 

lowenbrau

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Mine just started to act the same way. Starts fine in N and intermittently in P. If I turn the key with my right hand and reach across and pull the shifter back toward R the starter will engage. Seems like a problem I won't bother to fix.
 
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It is not that hard to replace the neutral safety switch.

I would first check to see if it out of adjustment.

It took a few tries to get it adjusted after I replace the one on my 2001 LC to get it to start in park again.
 
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Oct 11, 2011
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I have had similar symptoms, but I'm not sure if it is the starter contacts / solenoid, or the neutral safety switch as described above.

Several months ago, I turned the key and the starter did not engage. Lights came on, but when I turned to engage the starter, nothing happened (no click or anything). After a few attempts, it started right up. This happened a few times, and then went away for several months.

Symptom re-appeared 2 weeks ago, occurring every 2 or 3 days. Then finally, it wouldn't start at all no matte how many attempts. I shifted to neutral and it started right up. I drove it home, put it in park and turned the key off. Then I tried to start again, and nothing. Then I tried again, and pulled a little on the gear shifter, and the starter engaged and it started right up.

I assumed it was the neutral safety switch as described above; either out of adjustment or maybe it has gone bad. HOWEVER, the symptoms are gone, and its starting great now!!!!

I can't decide if I need to replace the starter, or the neutral safety switch without more information. I don't want to wait until I'm stranded and can't get it started?

Any suggestions.

Lee
2000 LC (150K)
 
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Bringing up an older thread. Anyone else that was having an issue with not starting find the solution? I have replaced the starter solenoid and starter. Symptom is still there. Insert key, turn and dash lights up but no clicking or starting. I can jiggle the shifter and it will start right up. Trying to avoid throwing more money at it if someone found the solution. Otherwise, neutral safety switch above would be next on the list of things to "try"...
 
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@Mxndrnks , does it start when in neutral, if so I would assume neutral safety switch? The fact that your starts when you jiggle the shifter makes me think neutral safety switch

Regardless, my issue WAS the neutral safety switch. I purchased one on aliexpress (either it is genuine or a fake/clone), and had a local shop install it (I think it is fairly easy, but there was something about moving a trans line and was just too lazy), and everything has been fine since.

There is more info on this thread here:

Hope this helps.

Lee
 
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Nope! No problems whatsoever. I'm sure the switch was my problem. Adjusting it seems like good advice, but it really doesn't look like there is much room for adjustment... I did a quick search and looks like you can now get a genuine switch online from parts dealers from around $120 (mine was from aliexpress and about $50. Let me know if you put it in yourself, I'd like to know how hard/easy it is... I think I paid for one hour of labor to install to a local indy shop (less than $100)...

Good luck.
 
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