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Old July 1st, 2015, 00:08   #1
Carl_Seattle
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Default Disable Neutral Safety Switch on Automatic Transmission

Has anyone successfully (and hopefully easily) disabled their Neutral Safety Switch? (Correction: Shift interlock. Thx Ol' Rattler) That's the solenoid under the shift lever that locks it in N or P until you hit the brake pedal.
I'd explain why I need this done, but can do without the inevitable flood of nanny-state admonishments not to remove this "feature".
FYI 2005 VW Golf TDI, I own a Bentley book but not the VAG and have already taken the top of the shift assembly apart. Far enough to see that the solenoid appears to be too deep down in there to easily get to.

Last edited by Carl_Seattle; July 8th, 2015 at 12:41.
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Old July 1st, 2015, 04:51   #2
oilhammer
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I've never known anyone to do this, let alone have a need to do this. I suppose you could tear it all apart and figure out what you need to do to remove the plunger. And I can't say I have ever seen that mechanism mess up on one of these cars, either, but I have seen plenty of failed brake light switches that can cause the car not to be able to be taken out of park. After three versions, though, they seem to have gotten the switches right.
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Old July 1st, 2015, 08:41   #3
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IMO, the neutral safety switch is a solution looking for a problem. That said, that is the way it is. The only benefit I can see of defeating the switch is when trying to rock the car in mud and snow. There may be others, but that point is moot. The OP wants to defeat the device.
And I'm of no help about defeating the switch.
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Old July 1st, 2015, 08:50   #4
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I have, and it is easy. Just unplug it at the shifter.
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Old July 1st, 2015, 11:41   #5
Ol'Rattler
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AS an aside, you are not trying to disable the NSS, you are trying to disable the shift interlock.

The NSS is what prevents the starter from engaging in gear.

I read a thread recently were the OP disabled the shift interlock by unplugging a 3 wire connector that plugs into the interlock mechanism on the shifter.

The shift interlock is just another case of the nanny state trying to protect us from ourselves. If you have more than 2 brain cells to rub together, most of the time you step on the brake coming out of park, anyway.

It just kills me that most stuff is designed to keep Darwin Award candidates from taking their place in the scheme of things.
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Old July 2nd, 2015, 09:58   #6
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Take the damn nannies out! I'm a big fan of natural de-selection!
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Old July 7th, 2015, 09:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol'Rattler View Post
The shift interlock is just another case of the nanny state trying to protect us from ourselves. If you have more than 2 brain cells to rub together, most of the time you step on the brake coming out of park, anyway.

It just kills me that most stuff is designed to keep Darwin Award candidates from taking their place in the scheme of things.
That might seem true, but it's a feature I'm glad to have. It prevents a child grabbing the shifter and putting the car in gear, and it also prevents people who get the gas and brake confused from slamming the car into gear and running me over in a parking lot.

And like you said, you should be pressing the brake anytime you're shifting into gear anyway, so this feature doesn't intrude.

Unplugging the shift lock solenoid will set a fault code in the transmission. I don't know if it will illuminate the check engine light.

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Old July 7th, 2015, 10:37   #8
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It will not illuminate the CEL. The code is set in the transmission and is a "hidden" code to anything that is not a Vag-com capable reader.

As far as the "benefits" of this interlock, if someone is incapable of determining which is the gas or the brake, they are NOT a driver of my vehicles. So that argument has no impact, and you and I are still at just as much risk of being run over by a blue-hair in the parking lot.

I don't have children, don't plan to have any, but even if I did... I would neither leave them alone in the car nor allow them into the front seat anyway. Safer in the back.

If you want ultimate safety when leaving your vehicle, just pull up all the way on the E-brake handle. It takes a fair bit of strength to un-do that, and it is guaranteed security should the car somehow get back into gear while the engine is running.
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Old July 7th, 2015, 11:23   #9
Ol'Rattler
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Only emission related DTC's turn on the CEL. Any non emission related DTC requires you to use a code reader to retrieve them.

I agree that disabling the shift interlock really is a bad idea as a child could put it in gear easily if left unattended and with it disabled the shifter would not be locked in park when the key is removed.

It would really suck if an innocent child received a Darwin award that a supposed responsible adult should have rightfully received for doing something really stupid and dangerous that could harm others.

Also on any automatic, anytime the engine is running and you are not in the car, you really should set the E-brake.
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Last edited by Ol'Rattler; July 7th, 2015 at 11:45.
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Old July 7th, 2015, 20:31   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol'Rattler View Post
AS an aside, you are not trying to disable the NSS, you are trying to disable the shift interlock.

The NSS is what prevents the starter from engaging in gear.

I read a thread recently were the OP disabled the shift interlock by unplugging a 3 wire connector that plugs into the interlock mechanism on the shifter.

The shift interlock is just another case of the nanny state trying to protect us from ourselves. If you have more than 2 brain cells to rub together, most of the time you step on the brake coming out of park, anyway.

It just kills me that most stuff is designed to keep Darwin Award candidates from taking their place in the scheme of things.
Amen, tired of all this "safety crap" when its mostly common sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol'Rattler View Post
I agree that disabling the shift interlock really is a bad idea as a child could put it in gear easily if left unattended and with it disabled the shifter would not be locked in park when the key is removed.

It would really suck if an innocent child received a Darwin award that a supposed responsible adult should have rightfully received for doing something really stupid and dangerous that could harm others.

Also on any automatic, anytime the engine is running and you are not in the car, you really should set the E-brake.
Make up your mind,

But yeah, DON'T leave the engine running with a kid loose in the car, again, just simply common sense, which I guess we are running out of.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 10:31   #11
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Safety devices have come such a long way... The 1980 Rabbit 1.5L IDI I had a few years back with 4 speed trans, could be started in gear and clutch out. Not practical by any means, but definitely entertaining.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 11:15   #12
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Unless your rabbit had the optional "passive" door mounted seatbelts, then the driver's side belt needed to be bucked to start the motor

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Old July 9th, 2015, 11:50   #13
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My 1978 Toyota pickup could be started in gear with the clutch out and that "feature" saved my butt one day. I was in Detroit, down at the river for the Unlimited Hydroplane race. It was getting late in the afternoon and was time to head out and find the hotel. I go the truck and find the clutch pedal to be very mushy. I barely made it to a gas station where I found out the clutch master cylinder piston had scored the cylinder walls and was leaking. I tried putting more fluid in, but it was dead. So with darkness approaching, in Detroit, I might add, I decided to attempt to make it home to Ohio without a functioning clutch.

I had the truck for so long that I was able to shift into 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th without the clutch. But, the problem was how to get the truck moving. The solution, if the car was pointed downhill was to pop the clutch. Level ground was the problem. So, I used the starter to get it moving in gear. That worked, but it bucked/oscillated until it was going fast enough to shift to second. I only had to do that twice, once in Detroit and once at a fuel stop on the way back to Ohio.

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Safety devices have come such a long way... The 1980 Rabbit 1.5L IDI I had a few years back with 4 speed trans, could be started in gear and clutch out. Not practical by any means, but definitely entertaining.
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Old July 9th, 2015, 12:13   #14
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I had to do that once on a Dodge Daytona I had in the 80's . . . cable operated clutch, and it broke on I90 halfway between Chicago and Rockford, on a Sunday no less. Drove to a friends in the area (actually where I was heading . . .) clutchless, and then had to start in gear on the level the next AM to get it to the dealer (warrantly). Ugly, but it got it done, and avoided a long $pendy tow. I could shift that car clutchless through all gears with no noise/delay at all . . . just glad I was playing with perfecting my technique when the cable failed.

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Old July 9th, 2015, 13:24   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbovan+tdi View Post
Make up your mind,
Oh ya, I have certainly made up my mind. In my first post, I answered the OP's "how to" question, and in my second post I elaborated on if in my opinion disabling the shift interlock is a good idea.
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