So my truck was working fine till I parked the other day. Key powers up dash, battery seems fine, but not so much as a click on start position. So we figure it’s the starter or solenoid that’s gone - but the weird part is that when I put it in drive or in any gear (it’s an automatic) it acts like it’s in neutral and rolls freely. It’ll go in and out of park fine. So did my transmission/linkage and starter go out at the same time or are these problems related? I’ll be putting in a new starter anyway but I’m worried that’s not what or all that’s wrong.
There’s an electrical switch somewhere in the mechanicals between the shift lever and the innards of the transmission. That switch prevents the starter motor from operating except when the trans is in Park and maybe Neutral. My guess is the linkage is the problem, and once fixed, you’ll find the starter motor is OK. Good luck!
Get the starter checked before replacing it.
Sounds like your transmission is fine. With the engine not running with an automatic transmission, the vehicle can roll when in gear. this is normal.
You can try starting your truck in Neutral and see if that gets you any different results. As Shanonia said- there is a switch in between the starter and transmission that won’t let the engine start if it is not in neutral or park- I’d start by checking this switch to see if it is functioning or not. Sometimes, going through the gears several times can free up a stuck Neutral Safety Switch. Try that too.
Cool, thank you both. I’ll check that out. Just tried starting in neutral/various positions, no luck there yet. We’ll get the original starter tested before we give up on it.
The problem might be with the transmission range switch.
This switch prevents the starter from operating unless the transmission is in park/neutral, it informs the computer what gear is selected so the computer can operate the different solenoid valves within the transmission, and it turns on the back-up lights.
Do the back-up lights work?
Ok a new starter is on - we wanted to replace it anyway because it’s been temperamental before apparently. And so far the truck is behaving itself nicely. I’ll report back if there are any new developments. Thanks all n have a great day!
Thanks for sharing the good news! Best wishes.