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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone,

I've been experiencing something with my 2008 Nissan Versa CVT where on a few occasions (about 4 times now spread out over several months - likely within the last 12 months), my vehicle engine doesn't crank on Park. I'm forced to shift to Neutral - where cranking will successfully fire up the engine after which the problem goes away again for a few months. Last time it did this was just a few days ago.
No check engine light, no error codes displayed. So I decided to do a little research and found that this could be early symptoms of a failing Neutral Safety Switch. Had a look at the manual (the best of which I could figure describes the same sensor as a PNP switch) but unfortunately isn't very clear to me.
I saw some videos on YouTube that illustrated that it's a fairly simple thing to replace (I'm an aspiring DIYer) and I'd like to attempt this myself if it is indeed the problem.
So my questions are:
1. Is the Park/Neutral Position (PNP) switch the same as the Neutral Safety Switch?
2. Can anyone corroborate that this diagnosis is indeed a failing Neutral Safety Switch?
3. If anyone has successfully replaced their own NSS sensor, is it a relatively simple job?
4. I'm having trouble locating this sensor in my manual - it doesn't appear on the CVT section on the main diagram - but going by my research, it should be located somewhere below the air box and battery base plate of my car. Is this accurate?
5. Can anyone point me to a stock image of the sensor on the Internet?

PS I mentioned that I'm an aspiring DIYer and here's a list of all the work I've done on my own car so far for your recommendation if it's something I should do myself or leave to an expert:
1. Regular service motor oil/filter & air filter changes.
2. Accelerator Pedal Position Sensor change (which was straight forward and hoping this one would be too).
3. Spark-plugs and coil pack changes.
4. CVT transmission fluid drain and fill.
5. Coolant drain and fill from radiator.
6. Thermostat change.
7. Cabin air filter change.

Your feedback will greatly be appreciated.
 

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When the problem occurs, does the display on the dash correspond with where the floor shifter is set?

If there's a mismatch there, then it certainly points to the park/neutral switch. Not on Nissan, but I've seen them termed range sensor, mode sensor as well.

They're typically an arch shaped assembly mounted sort of on top of the trans case, connected to the shift linkage and gear selector shaft on the trans.

I'm sure you've checked the Versa FSM here, but just in case: https://nicoclub.com/FSM/Versa/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
When the problem occurs, does the display on the dash correspond with where the floor shifter is set?

If there's a mismatch there, then it certainly points to the park/neutral switch. Not on Nissan, but I've seen them termed range sensor, mode sensor as well.

They're typically an arch shaped assembly mounted sort of on top of the trans case, connected to the shift linkage and gear selector shaft on the trans.

I'm sure you've checked the Versa FSM here, but just in case: https://nicoclub.com/FSM/Versa/
Hello PoMan,

Thanks for the quick reply:
1. When the problem occurs, yes - the display on the dash correctly corresponds to the floor shifter's position.
2. Thanks for the description and location to look.
3. Thanks again - I was referencing the Versa FSM pages.

Regards
 

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It does sound like a Neutral Safety Switch issue.

But it could also be that your shifter/ linkage are just off enough in Park to trigger the switch.
If you can push forward on the shifter, or move it to Neutral, then Park with slightly more force than normal, and the car starts,
that could be the shifter mis aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It does sound like a Neutral Safety Switch issue.

But it could also be that your shifter/ linkage are just off enough in Park to trigger the switch.
If you can push forward on the shifter, or move it to Neutral, then Park with slightly more force than normal, and the car starts,
that could be the shifter mis aligned.
Hello Keith Wagner,

Thanks for your feedback.
I think I can attempt your suggestion first before going ahead with replacing the NSS switch.

Much appreciated.
 

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X2 post #4 ...............the shift cable as it gets used can sometimes stretch slightly to no longer have the trans linkage at trans in exact time with the shifter inside car, then problems like that begin to show up. Look further in service manual and there may be a method for resetting the shifter cable to adjust it back in, they generally have to be set when car is built.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
X2 post #4 ...............the shift cable as it gets used can sometimes stretch slightly to no longer have the trans linkage at trans in exact time with the shifter inside car, then problems like that begin to show up. Look further in service manual and there may be a method for resetting the shifter cable to adjust it back in, they generally have to be set when car is built.
Thanks amc49,

Had a look at the CVT transmission section of the manual, seems that there are steps to tightening the cable during installation. I could begin from here.

Much appreciated.
 
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