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How to Replace the Neutral Safety Switch on a 2000 BMW 328i

by Tim Petruccio

BMW introduced the 3-series in 1975. The 2000 BMW 328i was equipped with a 2.8-liter V-6, capable of producing up to 170 horsepower and 181 foot-pounds of torque. The neutral safety switch on the 2000 328i is responsible for keeping the vehicle from starting except in any gear but Park and Neutral. Neutral safety switches usually need to be changed when the vehicle will not start in either Park or Neutral. Changing the neutral safety switch should take you about one hour if you have never attempted this work before.

Open the passenger door of the 328i and sit in the passenger seat. There is more room on the passenger side of the vehicle to maneuver, as the steering wheel creates an obstruction on the driver's side. Remove the 3 mm hex screw from the front of the shift lever, using a 3 mm Allen or hex-head key. Remove the shift lever by pulling the lever straight up by hand.

Remove the shift indicator console cover, using a flat-head screwdriver to gently pry the cover loose. Pull the shift lever console cover up and off of the shifter area.

Remove the safety switch fasteners, using a flat-head screwdriver to help pry them free if necessary. Remove the shift linkage pins from the safety switch by hand. Disconnect the safety switch electrical harness from the switch by hand. Remove the neutral safety switch from the vehicle.

Install the new neutral safety switch into position on the transmission and push it down into place by hand. The fasteners will snap into position when you have the switch installed correctly.

Install the safety switch positioning pins. Wiggle the shift lever back and forth if necessary to assist you in aligning the pins correctly. Install the neutral safety switch electrical connector by pushing the connector onto the switch by hand.

Reinstall the selector console cover over the shift lever and onto the center console. Push the front of the cover into position and pop the rear of the cover in place by hand. Reposition the shifter knob back on the shift lever. Reinstall the 3 mm screw into the front of the shift knob. Tighten the screw until it is snug, using a 3 mm Allen or hex-head key.

Items you will need

About the Author

Tim Petruccio is a professional writer and automotive mechanic. His writing combines more than 20 years of mechanical experience in automotive service, service management, automotive education and business ownership. He assisted in the automotive beta, which launched March 2011.

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