Jeep Cherokee neutral safety switch, how to bypass

zack614zack614 Member Posts: 1
edited September 2014 in Jeep
Anybody know how to bypass the neutral safety switch on a 1991 Jeep Cherokee. It is a 6 cylinder.

I just need to do it for a short time until I get a break in the weather so I can replace it.



  • 409man409man Member Posts: 3
    Sure, it's easy. I just did it to my 95', which intermittently would not start, even if you wiggled the shift lever. Simply find a 12 volt source under the hood, run a #12 or #14 fused wire thru the firewall, to a momentary push button mounted under the dash(I used a little horn button), then run another wire from the other terminal of the same horn button, thru the same hole in the firewall, and down to the small electrical terminal on the starter solenoid. NOw, when your Jeep won't start, turn the key to the on position, hit your little horn button, it will activate the starter solenoid, which in turn cranks the starter, and lo and behold, the engine starts, it works GREAT!! In essence, it's the same thing as a remote starter, which a tune-up mechanic may temporarily put on the car to spin the engine over for compression testing, or whatever. Just make sure your Jeep is in Park when you start it this way. Piece of cake. Any questions, email me, Brian@ [email protected]. Good luck!
  • darien362001darien362001 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 95 country with a bad neutral switch and have a wife and daughter that drive this car.Was woundering if it can be bypassed at the tranny so it will start like normal but in any gear. thanks darien
  • 409man409man Member Posts: 3
    In my opinion, it's much easier to bypass it as I described. The NS switch is tucked up tight against the top side of the tranny, and I don't know, myself which wires are which. If you could find that out, then you could hook the correct two wires together, and it would be bypassed. You'd need a schematic of the switch to know which 2 wires to cut and connect. That was too much work for me, so I simply did as I described earlier. Basically put in a start button, when the nuetral Safety switch decides not to work, I just hit the button, and "Walla", it starts. Good luck, Brian.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    Any questions, email me …

    Doing so would deprive everyone else of valuable information. Why don't we just keep the conversation here? :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • jimbob15jimbob15 Member Posts: 3
    Thank you!! We bought a 91 with the identical problem & have replaced the ignition, neutral switch, & solenoid (in that order) & today we decided to consider a bypass & found your how to post
  • jimbob15jimbob15 Member Posts: 3

    Your post was very helpful. We bought a 91 Jeep cherokee in December.

    We already replaced the neutral safety switch, but the mechanic said there was a lot of wear & he was unable to fully adjust whatever he needed to ensure it would continue to work. He did not charge us for the switch or the labor(can you believe that!) because he had at 1st diagnosed a bad ignition that we had him replace.

    At 1st we were hopeful, but it soon had the same problem. A friend offered to replace the starter solenoid, but still no luck. At that point my husband tried to convince me that we should bypass the switch. I was worried about forgetting to put the car in park....but now I think it is the only solution.

    We have had a lot of crazy problems with this car but they seem to be fixable. We just replaced the o2 sensor, cleaned the fuel injectors & added a clip to a brake vacuum hose that seemed to pop off at odd times. This was after a scary episode of losing power then surging (and losing most of the braking) last week. The Jeep dealer (believe it or not) said the engine & transmission were fine.

    We have been meeting some honest mechanics this week & your post also is a blessing.

    I'm a bit paranoid though...I don't want another episode.

    JB & Mrs.
  • weeones4weeones4 Member Posts: 1
    I am having some problems w/my 91 Cherokee. Was searching the internet for answers when I had came across this forum. My local garage said that is what I need for mine. This may sound dumb, but, what exactly should I get to bypass the safety nuetal switch? I dont have the $338 plus for a new switch. As I had just replaced throttle position sensor as well as idle air. And I'm being told the coil pack needs done as well.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Thank you for your time,
  • 409man409man Member Posts: 3
    HI Cheryl. It really is quite simple. When things are working as they should, when you turn the key to start, the ignition switch sends a 12 volt/low current signal down to the small electrical terminal on the starter solenoid, which is on the starter itself, on the top. When the neutral safety switch fails, it interrups the 12 volt signal to reach the solenoid, even tho your Jeep is in park, so the starter does not crank over. You'll need about 8 ft. of no. 14 wire, a momentary switch, such as a big round doorbell button or the like will work just fine, and also a in-line fuse holder and fuse. Find a 12 volt source, such as the positive battery post, or a 12 volt terminal on your fusebox, Hook one end of your wire to that 12 volt source, splice the inline fuse and holder into that wire, then run the wire to one terminal on the momentary switch, mount it somewhere easy to get at, such as on the bottom of the dash, then run more of your wire FROM the other terminal of your new switch back thru a hole in your firewall, keeping it away from high temp areas, down to that small terminal on the starter solenoid. When the Jeep won't crank over, simply turn your key to the on position, so your ignition is being powered up(for spark), make sure your Jeep is in park, and push the new button, and the car should then crank over and it should start, as long as your key is in the on position. Believe it or not, that's how the old cars started many many years ago. So, you'll have about $10-$15 in parts, Vs. over $200 for that neutral safety switch. The 60's and 70's GM cars had the neutral safety switch under the dash, on top of the steering column, out of the elements, high and dry. They usually would last forever. The Jeep ones are tucked up on the outside of the trans, exposed to rain, snow, salt, and guess what, they fail. HHHHMMM, sounds like a design flaw to me. That's why I bypassed mine, and the fix is still working. Good luck, Brian.
  • jimbob15jimbob15 Member Posts: 3
    Well, we did not end up doing the bypass though that was definitely the next step. We had the car at a shop who got the wiring schematics & tracked the problem down to some melted wires somewhere in the stering column. They rewired that portion & we have not had problems since, or so far...good luck.
  • coloradolovecoloradolove Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I'm bypassing the neutral safety switch today but I'm posting in regards to the poster who didn't want to bypass but didn't want to pay to replace the NSS either.

    I've re-built my neutral safety switch several times and it's really not hard. All you really need is a wrench and some degreaser. You can Google how to do it. I'm not all that mechanically savvy (no formal training) and my experience is limited to stuff I've done on my Jeep and wiring up sound systems. It took me maybe 2 hours tops to re build it.

    However, the reason I'm bypassing is because I'm tired of having to rebuild it every year or so. They get gunked up and the metal contact points do get pretty worn down by the time the vehicles are this old (10+ years). So you can easily re-build it you just may have to do it again every so often. Another good option is to find a newer jeep in a junkyard and snag their NSS, rebuild it, and slap it on your older Jeep. Good luck!
  • frankiejamesfrankiejames Member Posts: 2
    Hey Brian or anyone else who could help me out on this...I have a 1995 Cherokee with 3 speed transmission...Same problem as all the others with the neutral safety switch...I followed the directions given and installed a remote"> starter button in the circuit with a fuse...tried hooking it to one of the terminals on what appears to be the starter relay on the back bottom of the starter...nothing happens...tried the other terminal and nothing either...My starter has the main large wire going to a terminal on the top left as viewed from the back of the starter...the selenoid appears to be located on the bottom of my starter and has two terminals...can anyone please help me get this going...Here is a link to a pic of my starter over on imageshack][IMG]http://img341.imageshack.u- s/img341/581/

    thanks so much...Frankie...
  • frankiejamesfrankiejames Member Posts: 2
    Never mind...
    It helps to be on the starter rather than the generator...
    Anyone know however, what fuse should be required in this line?
  • mistermikemistermike Member Posts: 1
    Brian the "409man",
    Thanks for your post about bypassing the NSS. After symptoms described by many others, I decided to dive into this simple circuit addition. 60 minutes later she's done. Then I had to wait for the switch to fail again, but when it did, hey hey...that little red button fired it right up.
    Thanks for you're post.
  • krca21krca21 Member Posts: 1
    edited April 2010
    Has anyone had any issues with their Jeep after the bypass? I have a 1997 Jeep Cherokee and my family's shop did a neutral safety switch bypass. It's been a few months and sometimes the car wont start. We have to take off the battery terminals and reconnect them. It will start ok for a few weeks then go dead again. Now it wont stay running after we reconnect the cables. My boyfriend said it is the bypass. I am considering just buying a replacement switch to forgo the headache. They are so expensive though. Just wondering if anyone had any similar issues. :(
  • pd4everpd4ever Member Posts: 1
    I have a suggestion on how to build up the metal contacts for the safety switch. Has anyone tried to apply rear window defroster grid repair liquid to the metal contacts. This would build them up, put a coat on, let dry, put another coat on, then let dry. I've used this trick on other electronics, it should help with the safety switch contacts. I will probably try this on my 99 Cherokee this weekend.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Maybe you can expand on the '99's problem in here and that way we won't duplicate discussions. Thanks!
  • doris0006doris0006 Member Posts: 1
    Hi I have a 1999 Jeep gran Cherokee and back in March of last year someone wanted to steal the SUV since then it does not want to start one mechanic told me that it was the computer the problem is that when I try to star the SUV it turns on but when you switch gear it turns off the Jeep i in Mexico in a small town so not to many people knows what is wrong with the Jeep do you have any idea what I can do to fix it?
  • 95silverado95silverado Member Posts: 2
    HI i have a 94 cherokee, and it starts randomly, and sometimes it runs over, and other times nothing. I tried the neutral safety bypass, and that gets it to crank over, but i am not getting signal going to the crank sensor. So i am kinda lost now, is there any other thing that might be causing it to not start.
    Also when it does randomly turn over, and not start, i am not getting spark,
    Any help from here would be really appretiated. Thank You
This discussion has been closed.