The Risks of a Faulty Transmission Range Switch

By Mister Transmission

If you hear a clicking sound instead of the familiar roar of your engine when turning the ignition key, your car’s transmission range switch or sensor may have failed

Have you ever tried to start your car while it’s running or is in gear?

It may make a terrible sound, but it’s impossible to do thanks to a safeguard built into your vehicle called a transmission range switch or transmission range sensor (TRS).

Sometimes called a neutral safety switch, the TRS is an electrical switch that tells your vehicle’s powertrain control module what gear your transmission is in when you turn the ignition key to the “on” position. Its function is to prevent you from attempting to start your engine while it’s running unless the transmission is in the ‘neutral’ or ‘park’ position, or if your car has a manual transmission if you depress the clutch pedal.

Like any mechanical component, the TRS can become faulty through wear and tear over time, and that can lead to significant problems with your transmission.

Testing the TRS is an oft-overlooked troubleshooting step that many mechanics neglect when attempting to diagnose transmission problems. If your TRS is failing or has failed, when you turn the ignition key, you’ll likely hear a clicking sound instead of the familiar roar of your engine as it turns over.

Faulty Transmission Range Switch Warning Signs
If your car’s TRS is on the fritz, either you won’t be able to start your car or the “service engine soon” light on your dashboard will remain lit. Other warning signs of a faulty transmission range switch include your car starting in the wrong gear, the transmission struggling to change gears or gears slippage.

If you can start your engine, drive it to a Mister Transmission location near you and have it inspected by one of our experienced technicians, otherwise you run the risk of not being able to restart your vehicle later and may have to call a tow truck.

Do you have questions about your car’s transmission range switch? Talk to an expert Mister Transmission technician. Find your nearest location.

Want to know more?
Visite one of our locations!

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Customer Reviews
Cam got us taken care...
Cory Crete
Cam got us taken care of real good. Definitely had a transmission leak, unsure how bad damage is currently if a worry at all - but fixing the leak solved the issue of gear shifting locking up or skipping. Thanks for the assist, I'm sure we'll be back again.
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
Mr Transmission was recommended to...
Kathleen Shenfield
Mr Transmission was recommended to me by my mechanic. The person that served me was incredible. I found him to be very knowledgeable about the issue I had with my car & would recommended the company to others. I was able to get in to have the problem fixed on my car quickly. The communication was quick & thorough. It was great to get mybcar back within 3.5 days. The car is running so much better now. Thank you Mr. Transmission.
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
Went there last Friday with...
KING
Went there last Friday with my wife's Saturn Outlook. Brian was the technician that I spoke to. Brian was very honest and told me that I don't need to spend money for a transmission, he has made a few suggestions to me on the issue. Just want to say thank you Brian and the rest of your team for being honest tradesmen. Keep up the good work.
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
Great customer service and technicians…...
Catherine Evagelacopoulos
Great customer service and technicians… glad that I decided to bring my truck to them
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
Giuliano is an amazing &...
Samuel Sousa
Giuliano is an amazing & intelligent guy with decades of experience. Rest assured, he will take care of you and your family, always!
Date: June 11, 2024
Website: Google
The only transmission shop I...
Luka Dzelihodzic
The only transmission shop I deal with, he does multiple rebuilds for me every year. I can trust the product and send my customer on their way. Thanks Steve
Date: June 7, 2024
Website: Google
Very pleased with the service....
Stephanie Vlachos
Very pleased with the service. Car is back on the road and running smooth. Thank you Phil and team!
Date: June 7, 2024
Website: Google
Knowledgeable reception, thorough service.
Lloyd M.
Knowledgeable reception, thorough service.
Date: June 7, 2024
Website: Google
I have always had great...
Shelby Kooy
I have always had great service here!
Date: June 7, 2024
Website: Google
I was first welcomed very...
Andres Romero
I was first welcomed very politely by Rob . Mike , the technician whose worked on my vehicle was very helpful . Extremely professional and knowledgeable, I would definitely recommend this location. Cheers
Date: June 7, 2024
Website: Google
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