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Engine dies when I move shift lever (automatic transmission)

werfuswerfus Posts: 2
edited May 22 in Chevrolet

This appears to be some kind of intermittent open circuit somewhere in the steering column. It mostly happens when the truck hasn't warmed up yet, shortly after I've started it. What happens is, as soon as I move the shift lever from Park to Drive, the engine just stops running. This feels like an electrical problem, as it goes immediately from idling just fine to not running at all, and it seems to happen before the transmission actually engages and before any load is put on the engine. Most of the time, I can start it right back up once I put the lever back in Park or Neutral, but it frequently happens again when I try to shift it into Drive. What I've been able to do sometimes to get around the problem is to work the shift lever back and forth all the way from Park to 1 several times. This seems to eliminate the problem long enough to get going, and I usually don't have the problem again until the truck's been sitting still and not running for at least a few hours.

I've looked at the engine schematic, and I don't see where the neutral safety switch could be the cause, since it's in series with the starter solenoid, not the ignition. The engine schematic doesn't show anything capable of interrupting power to the ignition coil except the ignition switch itself. Could the ignition switch be causing this? I'm guessing that, if there's something very worn or loose inside the switch, the vibration from moving the shift lever could be triggering the stall, but it seems more like it's related to the position of the shift lever rather than just vibration.

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