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How to Replace the Neutral Safety Switch on a 1996 E320

by Ashton Daigle

The 1996 Mercedes E-320 is a full-size luxury sedan. One of the E-320's safety features is its neutral safety switch, which keeps you from starting your Mercedes in any other gear except for park or neutral. Neutral safety switch problems can cause your E-320 not to start at all, or to start in gear. These starting conditions can be dangerous or cause engine damage, so if your E-320's neutral safety switch goes out, it should be replaced.

Pull the hood lever on your Mercedes and open the hood and propr it. Loosen and take off the negative battery cable.

Place your floor jack under your E-320's rear frame and jack it up. Put the jack stands in place and set your car down on them. Test to make sure it is firmly in place.

Find the neutral safety switch. On your Mercedes E-320 it's located directly above the transmission's drain pan on the gear box.

Unplug the E-320's plastic wiring harness with your hand. If it is hard to remove you can use a flat head screwdriver to help to ease it out.

Remove the retaining nut that holds the neutral safety switch to your E-320 transmission's gear box. Remove the old safety switch.

Put the new safety switch in and hand screw the retaining nut. Tighten it with the socket set and then plug the wiring harness back in.

Jack up your E-320 up approximately 4 inches and slide the jack stands out. Lower the car to the ground with your floor jack.

Slip your negative battery cable back onto its post and tighten it down with your socket set.

Items you will need

References

About the Author

Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.

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