VW Passat Won’t Start – Have to Move Gear Shift Lever

Reader Question

Hi my name is Sandra and I am quite frustrated with my 1992 VW Passat.  Its been having an intermittent problem with starting for awhile now.  there is gas, spark and power on my dash.. the problem seems to be that it thinks its in Drive when its in Park.

Once you turn the key the dashboard indicator goes directly to Drive… skipping everything else… usually I could get it going by pulling the shifter down to 1st then ramming it back up to park and vroom away we go… well that’s stopped working.. please any advise .. I was told maybe the linkage or electrical or the neutral censor switch…any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Stranded in Georgetown ON

Hi Sandra,

Ummm I think I would test the neutral safety switch and the shifter linkage like your suggested I would also try to start it in neutral and see what happens

I would also check the battery and the battery connections to make sure they are clean and tight

Austin Davis

Reader Reply,

well the battery cables were cleaned and tight.. the car will not read N.. as as soon as I turn the key the dashboard indicator light switches over from P – r -n and stops in D.  it does read the lower gears!! but does not start… I do not have the manual so I’m not sure where to look for the N safety switch but I will have someone coming by today to have a peek at it.. so with any luck this matter will get resolved.

Thank you for your reply.. Sandra

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