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Old 06-09-2020, 11:20 AM   #1
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2008 Astra XR
Default Neutral safety switch, some info. and a question.

A couple of months ago my 2008 Astra XR (automatic trans) refused to start when I turned the key. Nothing, no click, nothing, car acted like battery was dead but the battery was fine.

Because it was winter, I took it to a shop that claimed to know about Saturns. After replacing the battery, starter motor, and MAF sensor they finally got the car running. It started fine for 3 days and then reverted to the dead state, nothing when you turn the key. Meanwhile, the shop that did the work had closed due to the pandemic.

So, the car sat in my driveway for a couple of months. Meanwhile, I had done some research and began to suspect the Neutral Safety Switch. I found this procedure on youtube to temporarily bypass the neutral safety switch:

Turn key to ďonĒ position.
Put foot on brake.
Put car in neutral.
Start car.

The youtube video was in relation to a totally different car but I tried it anyway. Bingo, car started right up! What I donít get is that I can now start and stop the engine repeatedly without this procedure. It seems like this procedure has reset something but I donít trust it to work forever. I would like to adjust, replace, or permanently bypass the safety switch. Probably just bypass it by removing the 2 pin connector from the switch and bypassing it with a fuse as I have seen done online. I donít really care about the possibilty of it starting in drive.

So thats my info, hereís my question: Where is and how do I get to the switch on the Astra? I know that it is supposed to be on the transmission but I canít seem to find it. Do I have to remove anything else like the battery box or whatever to access it?

Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 06-09-2020, 12:49 PM   #2
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Posts: 544
Default Re: Neutral safety switch, some info. and a question.

I don't think you can bypass the transmission safety switches easily. Nor should you. I can't recall any Astras with this issue but in any case it is not a popular problem.

But your issues might be different. The cable between the lever and the transmission has a bushing that tends to break down on the Astra. You can replace the cable which is expensive and difficult or use this easy kit for $25.

My bushing failed and I could not shift out of park. I lifted the hood and did that manually but that is not safe or convenient. The kit probably took me less than 30 minutes to complete and was an easy job.
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Old 06-09-2020, 02:02 PM   #3
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2008 AURA XE
Default Re: Neutral safety switch, some info. and a question.

Wouldn't recommend jumping the neutral safety switch. The Range selector is on top of the transmission. Note: The transmission is on its side in the pic...Check for play in the cable and linkage as AstraFasta suggested. I've experienced play or maladjustment on a variety of vehicles. As long as the switch itself wasn't faulty, it was possible to get the neutral switch to make by putting the shifter between park and reverse or on either side of neutral.
Good luck.
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File Type: jpg 2008 saturn astra range selector.jpg (72.8 KB, 10 views)
2008 Saturn Aura XE 3.5L 4 spd
2000 Saturn SL1 1.9L SOHC (Retired)
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