How to Replace the Neutral Safety Switch on a 1996 E320

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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.

Things You'll Need

  • Tire tool
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Socket set
  • 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.

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References

  • "Mercedes-Benz E-Class Owner's Bible: 1986-1995"; Bentley Publishers; 2002
  • "Mercedes-benz E-class: Petrol W124 & W210 Workshop Manual 1993-2000"; Mercedes Benz; 2008
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