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View Full Version : O/T Clutch Saftety Switches On Vehicles With Manual Transmissions



jr45acp
08-16-2009, 10:34 AM
The issue: If the clutch isn't fully depressed and the clutch safety switch hasn't been engaged the vehicle will not start.

The concern: If the safety switch fails in the middle of nowhere, it would appear to me that you're parked.

The question: Is there a safe way to over ride or otherwise deactivate this switch?

For the life of me, I can't get my head around them having been put on manual Trannies. I've been using manuals on trucks, tractors, etc, since I was around 12 years old and the absence of this device was never a problem.

In this case I'm referring to a one ton ford pickup.

Any and all thoughts are greatly appreciated.

alanganes
08-16-2009, 10:53 AM
I have no idea what they are like now, but on the old dodge van I used to drive the switch was mounted right up next to the clutch pedal arm. It was on a bracket attached to the firewall, I think. When it started getting intermittent, I just pulled the connector off, jumped the 2 pins with a bent up paperclip and wrapped a bunch of electrical tape around it. I kidded myself by saying it was a temporary fix and that I would replace the switch "when I had a chance..."

It went off to the bone yard about 5 years later with the paperclip and tape still intact. I never missed it.

Not sure where such switches are located on newer trucks, but I'd guess the paperclip would still work.

Falcon67
08-16-2009, 11:04 AM
Most of the "neutral safety" switches I've worked with are normally open, meaning that you can jumper across the contacts and start the vehicle.

wierdscience
08-16-2009, 11:20 AM
The last Ford one ton I drove the neutral saftey was in the tranny,so long as it was in neutral it would crank,the clutch being in or out made no difference.

J Tiers
08-16-2009, 12:21 PM
Most of the "neutral safety" switches I've worked with are normally open, meaning that you can jumper across the contacts and start the vehicle.

if you can find them.................... ones in the tranny might be harder to locate....... dang vehicles know too much.

John Stevenson
08-16-2009, 02:28 PM
Is this an American thing, 19 years on trucks and never heard of one.

Auto's yes but never on a manual.
.

winchman
08-16-2009, 02:40 PM
I think they came about because the modern fuel-injected engines start so quickly and have such high cold-start idle speeds. You wouldn't have a chance to put the clutch if you happened to hit the starter with the transmission in gear, and you could do some serious damage with the engine wanting to run at 1500+ rpm.

I think the product liability lawyers got it right on this one.

Roger

Willy
08-16-2009, 03:39 PM
I believe clutch safety switches were first introduced in North America about 1970.
Big brother stepped in at the time to protect us from ourselves because some of us would not engage our brain before engaging the starter. As much as I disdained the idea at the time I do have to admit there's a whole lot of stupid out there.
If common sense and courtesy were a prerequisite for a driver's license this country would mostly be on foot. But alas, it appears that it is a God given birthright to cough up 40 or 50 bucks and walk out of the driver's exam with a license.
Sorry, I'll get off my soap box, after 40 years of driving truck and operating equipment it's kind of a sore spot.:D

But yeah the switch, whether on the transmission or clutch linkage is not hard to bypass, as long as the system "thinks" the clutch is disengaged you're good to go.

Mike Folks
08-16-2009, 04:26 PM
For many years, the Kawasaki motorcycles have had a clutch interlock switch that two wires going to a small switch mounted in the clutch lever/handlebar area. Many riders have gotten tired of having to squeeze the lever along with hitting the start button to start the engine. I jumpered those wires and not looked back.

The newer bikes now have added more interlocks to prevent driving off with the side stand down to prevent accidents, so if you put it in gear with the engine running and the side stand down, the engine dies.

Isn't it wonderful our Government is out to protect us from ourselves?

Peter.
08-16-2009, 05:08 PM
All modern bikes are fitted with such switches, they are no more likely to fail than any other essential electronic part that would leave a vehicle equally as disabled if it failed.

Far more reliable than points ignition, I should imagine.

Arcane
08-16-2009, 05:26 PM
Over 33 years ago I was working as an apprentice Lineman, and early one morning I was digging my belt & hooks out of the back of a 3/4 ton getting ready to go on a different part of the job. This truck was parked with less than three feet of room between it and the truck behind. It was a cold morning in the fall and another guy opened the passenger side door, leaned in, jiggled the transmission shifter (I think he actually put it in gear rather then insuring it was in neutral), and started to crank it over. It of course didn't have the choke on and refused to start, it did however move backwards with the starter and because I was already leaned over the tailgate (utility bins with a shortened tailgate, not regular box), it pushed me off balance and skidded me backwards. I was yelling my head off to the guy to STOP but he was a lazy know it all and knew I was just going to be Mr. Correct and tell him to sit behind the wheel to start it and he didn't need me telling him what to do! I couldn't get a grip to haul myself into the box and I couldn't get back up to get out from between the two and so I went along for the ride so to speak until the two trucks hit bumper to bumper (yes, he actually kept on the starter that long!). The truck I was half in had a pintle hitch on it and the bumper was about 3 1/2 inches deep with what looked like a little cutout in it, barely 10 inches wide, where the actual pintle hook was bolted on. Both my legs went into that little cutout and the pintle hitch was between them. I got good bruises out of it and my legs were sore for awhile but fortunately that was all. If that truck had the bumper designed for a trailer ball hitch, as lots of them had, the plate would have cut both my legs off below the knees. If I had been standing just slightly off center, my legs would have been crushed. A neutral safety switch would have forced the lazy bum to actually get into the drivers seat and put it in neutral to attempt to start it and eliminated the risk to me. I came that close to being crippled for the rest of my life. Neutral safety switches aren't so much protecting us from ourselves as they are protecting us from others who are SOS (stuck on stupid).

Mcruff
08-16-2009, 08:06 PM
I do know that clutch interlocks are not new. I had a friend that had a 1977 cj5 that had it from the factory. I also have known several people that got hurt for the same reason as described above, the interlock in both cases would have saved some serious injuries. There not stupid but they are very practical.
I also know of one guy who put a tractor thru a barn wall because he thought he had it in neautral when he tried to start his old John Deere.

bruto
08-16-2009, 08:38 PM
In answer to a part of the original question, you can certainly bypass this easily enough, if you have any competency in wiring. The actual wiring may vary, but, for example, on a Jeep Cherokee, it's simply a switch on the clutch mechanism which provides ground to a relay (the same relay which is grounded by the neutral safety switch on the automatic version). You can either bypass the switch, or add a ground line to the relay circuit and that will do it. Likewise you can bypass the NSS on an automatic simply by grounding the correct wire.

I've never liked the interlock, but must say that if anyone else uses your vehicle you should probably keep it on, and if you need to disable it, put in a toggle switch. It amazes me how few people will park a manual shift vehicle in neutral and put on the brake. People are apparently so used to automatics with forgotten or nonfunctioning brakes that they assume "in gear brake off" to be the default. If you are NOT in the habit of parking this way, you can get into some trouble retrieving your car after it's been parked by someone else!

There are times when neutral and clutch safety switches can be an impediment. For example, when my Jeep's clutch throwout bearing ate its way through the diaphragm and I was left with clutch engaged. The clutch switch was no problem, since the pedal flopped right to the floor anyway, but if I'd had a NSS I'd have been stuck and unable to get off the road. As it was, I was able to drive it a useful distance to a safe haven (though not all the way home), starting in first and slam-shifting. For that reason, even if one leaves these interlocks in place, it might be useful to do some research on how to bypass them in an emergency.

x39
08-16-2009, 08:59 PM
In the impecunious days of my youth when I or one of my friends would run out of gas, it sure was handy to be able to put the truck in gear and bump it off the road with the starter motor.

fasto
08-16-2009, 09:12 PM
In the impecunious days of my youth when I or one of my friends would run out of gas, it sure was handy to be able to put the truck in gear and bump it off the road with the starter motor.
When your hydraulic clutch fails, it's handy to be able to stall the engine, put it in first, then crank it when the light turns green.
I'm always amazed that such a small starter motor can drag 2500 pounds of car up a hill and start the engine, too.
Oh, and my car shifts quite gracefully without the clutch, so that's really not a problem.

gregl
08-16-2009, 09:15 PM
I was working on my old '67 VW Beetle once and kicked the engine over from the back. She was in gear, the ignition hit and she went out the back barn door without the luxury of it being open. So I have to say I think they are a good idea. Although in my various old carbureted, breaker-point ignition vehicles, I never had such a switch and the lack of one was handy more than once for push starting or, as another poster mentioned, cranking it out of the roadway. I also more than once had to drive it without the luxury of clutch release due to a broken linkage. Start it in gear and shift carefully!

But as Willy says:




If common sense and courtesy were a prerequisite for a driver's license this country would mostly be on foot. But alas, it appears that it is a God given birthright to cough up 40 or 50 bucks and walk out of the driver's exam with a license.

Not to worry. After the revolution, when I am made Emperor, one of the first things I plan to do is require an IQ test as part of the driver's license exam. (But considering my first paragraph, I should probably deny myself the license!)

Falcon67
08-16-2009, 09:27 PM
if you can find them.................... ones in the tranny might be harder to locate....... dang vehicles know too much.

New stuff is all going to be in the computer/drive train control system. On that stuff, you're on your own - probably tow truck time. On an older car, you'll find a harness connector under the dash or on the firewall. Usually 4 wires, two for neutral safety and two for reverse lights.

clint
08-16-2009, 09:39 PM
Just one more side for needing the clutch safety switch. If you have kids there is nothing more tempting for the young one to reach over trying to start the car. It may not be just a door etc, it may be your other kid, or other bystander. The safety switch was put in place for good reasons, I have had several, and hundreds of thousands of miles on separate makes models etc never seen one fail. Maybe go out purchase an extra ( I imagine pretty cheap) to keep in the glove box in case it fails, or have a plan to bypass it... I would hate to have a dead person, much less a dead youngster on my hands over not liking a clutch safety switch.

(not trying to bash anyone here) just wanted to voice my opinion

Clint

J Tiers
08-16-2009, 10:52 PM
If you DO find it, there is an instant opportunity to make the car somewhat theft-proof.... EVEN if the perp has your keys.

Just find a good hidden place to put a switch..... "Bypass" , "normal", "off".

Most car thieves these days can't drive a stick, but if they can, a car that won't start is not what they want.

saltmine
08-16-2009, 11:33 PM
When I had my old manual transmission Blazer, I used to use the clutch switch for something else....
In some sections of the country, cops parked beside the road would watch for people who were driving too fast put on their brakes...indicating they had seen the cop, and were attempting to slow down. More often than not, the flash of brake lights was a sure sign you were going to get a ticket, or at best, a casual warning.
When I came upon a cop beside the road in my Blazer, with the cruise control on, I'd simply tap the clutch pedal, and the cruise would be dis-engaged, allowing the vehicle to coast for a ways, usually dropping the speed enough not to cause any suspicion that I had been speeding. (no brake lights would come on either) And I would go on my way...a law abiding citizen...

You're right about car thieves, J.Tiers. Most of them can barely generate enough brain power to drive a car, much less a manual transmission.
Truth be known, if they had any brains at all, they'd know it's stupid to steal a car anyway.

Reminds me of an old, beat up, 1968 Chevy I once owned. A real disreputable piece. One night, I parked it in the shadows, and left the keys in the ignition.
The next morning, it was still there....with a note pinned to the steering wheel that said,"No thanks."

A.K. Boomer
08-17-2009, 07:44 AM
Is this an American thing, 19 years on trucks and never heard of one.

Auto's yes but never on a manual.
.


Its on everything, including british, cars anyways ---- The Japanese have had them since somewhere in the late 80's I believe,
at first they were a little strange to get used too but they are very worth putting on vehicles, there's no telling how many lives theyve saved and tons more people from getting crippled in their own garage from a small curious child as it makes it all but impossible for a kid to press down the clutch and operate the ignition switch at the same time.
Dependable? all my years of wrenching and Iv never had to replace one (that I can remember)
Cons?
like somebody stated -- its nice to be able to crank the starter in an emergency and get the car off the road, all the ones Iv dealt with (japanese) are right down by the clutch pedal and all it takes is a minute to connect them with something - BUT- im a mechanic,,, it could definitely hinder someone in this situation -- ya can't have everything, or can ya? The toyota 4 runner has a cancel button right on the dash, you leave it in safe mode till an emergency.
I know in at least one situation over the years it kept me from starting a vehicle in gear while I was not in the car -- I took a quick peep inside and thought for sure the shifter was in neutral and went for it, of course it did not start - I got inside and while in position checked the shifter and it was in first...
I would have pumped the car into my tool box and pumped my tool box into the garage wall.

The biggest issue with them is actually peoples floor mats bunching up, I usually diagnose this one over the phone in about 15 seconds.

One time I sold a car to a guy who had not driven in 15 years ---- everything went off without a hitch, he drove it for over a month and then called one day and said it wouldn't start --- I had him check his floor mat and he said it was not bunched up ----- I drove out of town where he lived, got in and the car started right up -- turns out that he did not know about the switch and was just getting lucky with depressing the clutch all the other times and then I guess decided not to this one day -- you would think that when I asked him about his floor mat it would have made him wonder why?:rolleyes: (bout a 70 mile round trip that I ate)

jr45acp
08-17-2009, 08:04 AM
Golly, I didn't think my question would get some many responses. That having been said, I appreciate all the input. As for the suggestions of bypassing the switch, I'll leave that to someone with a strong electrical background.

Again, thanks to all.

NiftyNev
08-17-2009, 08:12 AM
Its on everything, including british, cars anyways ---- The Japanese have had them since somewhere in the late 80's I believe

As far as I know Australian vehicles do not have them and my Japanese import Surf, 1992 (and much later models) has not got one either. Never seen one on a manual here. Maybe newer vehicles have them but I doubt it. I don't think they are a part of Aussie ADRs. I think they are an American thing. Part of the vehicle design rules for there only maybe?

Nev

kendall
08-17-2009, 10:23 AM
Easy to bypass, they are pretty robust so failure is rare, the only time to worry is when swapping out the clutch master, when you have to remove the actuating rod. Then the biggest issue is replacing the clips when/if they come loose. (my explorers switch is tied in with twine due to an the prior owner losing the clips. When I bought it he was using a pencil stuck into the switch!)
Fords generally have the switches in a plastic tube surrounding the rod for the clutch pedal inside at the firewall. Normally, (1990 on up) they have several wires, two large red wires are the safety switch, others are for cruise, Some years the same set of wires switch the computer into idle mode. Noticeable in some years by lower power and 'sluggish' operation with the wires bypassed. Other years use a different set of wires to do that.

Ken.

Willy
08-17-2009, 11:50 AM
As I stated in my previous post when they first came out I did not like them, but I also mentioned something about "there's whole lot of stupid out there".
Unless you are the only person who will ever be in a position to operate this vehicle and are ever vigilant to ensure safe operation of it, why bother. The switch has probably saved countless incidents and casualties.

You wouldn't deactivate the safety on a firearm would you?
Bypassing the switch is akin to carrying an old Colt single action revolver with 6 rounds in the cylinder...it can be done but it's not recommended, because unlike a modern gun, a slight bump on the hammer and the round under the hammer can discharge.
The clutch safety switch serves the same purpose.

John Stevenson
08-17-2009, 03:23 PM
The reason I asked the question, "Was it an American thing " was that although I had quite a few years on trucks it was a while ago and things do move on.

However today I had a local garage owner drop a cracked sump in on his way home tonight for welding, not a large dealership more the local mend everything and they are also a testing station for MoT's, I think you call them DoT's ?

So I asked the question and yes we do have them here now, so far they are standard on Diahatsu <sp> and Chevrolet but he doesn't know of anything else.

Just thought I'd update my query.

.

murph64
08-17-2009, 05:30 PM
I do know that clutch interlocks are not new. I had a friend that had a 1977 cj5 that had it from the factory.


Really? Wow...My 95 Jeep doesn't have one.


Andy

Willy
08-17-2009, 05:55 PM
I'll bet there was a place for it originally Andy.
Have a look in a factory shop manual and I'm sure it's listed.
They've been standard equipment on all North American cars and light trucks since about 1970.

Mcruff
08-17-2009, 06:31 PM
Really? Wow...My 95 Jeep doesn't have one.


Andy
If it doesn't it was removed, I had a 92 Wrangler and it had one.

Willy
08-17-2009, 06:57 PM
I thought it was about 1970 that it became law, but in looking at some of my old technical service bulletins from GM, Ford, and Chrysler it was 1968.

1968 was the year that the US initiated the first round of FMVSS (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards).
Along with the clutch safety interlock there were dual circuit master brake cylinders, energy absorbing steering columns, side marker lights, seat back locks, seat belt/lap belts for all seats, and host of other items.
Of course by now the list is a lot longer and a lot more complex but the items on that first list are still in effect.
And of course cars destined for Canada are all but the same as US units when it comes to safety standards.

murph64
08-17-2009, 07:22 PM
If it doesn't it was removed, I had a 92 Wrangler and it had one.

Interesting...I know I never removed it, and I bought the YJ brand spankin new.


Andy

bruto
08-17-2009, 08:54 PM
I'll bet there was a place for it originally Andy.
Have a look in a factory shop manual and I'm sure it's listed.
They've been standard equipment on all North American cars and light trucks since about 1970.
There is no interlock on my 95 Cherokee either, and the factory service manual clearly shows the start relay ground line (which is what the later versions interrupt, and what the automatic NSS uses) going straight to ground, so this is not a modification.

Back in the 50's and even earlier, Nashes and Ramblers and the like simply put the starter switch under the clutch pedal, so you pressed it with the pedal. It's a very old idea.

jdunmyer
08-17-2009, 09:01 PM
Back in the 50's and even earlier, Nashes and Ramblers and the like simply put the starter switch under the clutch pedal, so you pressed it with the pedal. It's a very old idea.


When I was a kid, an older gentleman was in our drive, sitting in his car, talking to my Dad; I think it was a Studebaker. He went to start the car, and put his foot on the starter button under the clutch pedal w/o pressing the pedal down. The car was in gear and it lurched forward, nearly hitting Dad.

Sometimes, even the safety switch isn't good enough. BTW: this was in the 1950's.

spope14
08-17-2009, 09:39 PM
My clutch interlock on a 1984 Cavalier went out while on a camping trip out in the middle of no freaking where. Jumped it, worked for the rest of the trip.
A new interlock is fairly inexpensive, and I had to get it replaced finally when inspection came up, about two months later.

The one on the Ford Ranger also went out, the joys of New England and the very cold winters and the heat cold cycling of cars - moisture-refreeze and all. Same thing, jumped it until I could repair it.

No problem, it should be there. They serve a good purpose. Besides, I tend to believe this is a requirement for inspection and in the event of a bad accident, little "short cuts" on safety stuff could come back to bite you?

Falcon67
08-17-2009, 10:30 PM
No problem, it should be there. They serve a good purpose. Besides, I tend to believe this is a requirement for inspection and in the event of a bad accident, little "short cuts" on safety stuff could come back to bite you?

BTW - both race cars here are autos and both have NHRA/IHRA required neutral safety switches. And tech checks their operation. Race shifters have provisions for that, you just have to splice it all into the factory harness.

saltmine
08-17-2009, 10:31 PM
There have been all kinds of starter interlocks in automotive history.
Studebaker did have one under the clutch pedal, some had a pedal or button that stuck out of the floor on the right side of the gas pedal...This wasn't for convenience, depressing the button engaged the starter drive in the flywheel. Fully depressed,the button closed contacts starting the starter motor.

Buick in the 1930's and '40's had an interesting set-up. The starter switch was mounted on the carburator. To start the car, you pressed the accelerator to the floor, releasing it when the engine started...One of automobile history's first attempts at an automatic choke.

We got by without safety switches for a long time, but in the 1960's the Federal government made them mandatory on manual transmission cars.
Most people don't know....neutral safety switches were installed on automatic transmission cars way back in the early '50's, because too many people were crashing into other cars, and running over people.

The one I like is the one that won't let you put the transmission into gear unless you depress the brake pedal. When they first came out, we had a grand 'ol time puzzling over "Jammed shift levers"

BTW
Not having a clutch pedal switch isn't that unusual.....especially on that vintage Jeep. I've seen them, brand new, coming off of the transport truck with body mount bolts, exhaust hangers, and lug nuts missing. One Jeep Cherokee (later on) came off the truck with no oil in the engine.

Willy
08-17-2009, 10:58 PM
There is no interlock on my 95 Cherokee either, and the factory service manual clearly shows the start relay ground line (which is what the later versions interrupt, and what the automatic NSS uses) going straight to ground, so this is not a modification.


So, does the starter engage when left in gear while you reach through the window to twist the key?

bruto
08-18-2009, 09:50 AM
So, does the starter engage when left in gear while you reach through the window to twist the key?I imagine it would if I ever did it. It certainly starts if you reach through the window and twist the key, and since there is definitely no interlock, I suppose it would do it in gear.

PS for Saltmine: ALL Cherokees are missing their body mount bolts.....:)

Willy
08-18-2009, 10:11 AM
I'd be interested to know if it did start in gear.

Don't try it without being behind the wheel, but put the gear selector in gear, clutch engaged, and see if the starter engages.
I can't see some kind of interlock not be incorporated into the system, be it clutch activated or transmission activated.

If it starts in gear it is clearly in violation of federal motor vehicle safety standards. I can see an auto manufacturer screwing up but not without someone dragging their a$$ into a court room over it.:D

saltmine
08-18-2009, 10:23 AM
Sorry, Bruto, what I meant was regular CJ's with missing body mount bolts and exhaust hangers. Cherokees don't have body mount bolts because they're unibodys. But I've seen them delivered without oil in the engine, missing front driveshafts, and one came off the truck with no bolts to hold the front seats down. When doing a new car pre-delivery inspection, we soon became very careful on Jeeps, and most of the AMC line. Workers at the factory were fed up, and really didn't perform their jobs with a confidence assuring final product. In fact, most manufacturers back then really didn't give a rat's a** about fit & finish, or quality.

bruto
08-18-2009, 07:37 PM
I'd be interested to know if it did start in gear.

Don't try it without being behind the wheel, but put the gear selector in gear, clutch engaged, and see if the starter engages.
I can't see some kind of interlock not be incorporated into the system, be it clutch activated or transmission activated.

If it starts in gear it is clearly in violation of federal motor vehicle safety standards. I can see an auto manufacturer screwing up but not without someone dragging their a$$ into a court room over it.:DAre you sure that those standards applied to SUV's in 1995, though? I know that some of those standards lagged quite a bit in certain models designated as utility vehicles and thus lumped with trucks, and this may be the case here. It was 1994 or 5 before the Cherokee got a center brake light, for example, and 1995 was the first year of air bags. I recall back in the late 80's or early 90's that some cars like Subarus differed considerably between the apparently identical 2 and 4 wheel drive models, for similar reasons. If my memory is correct, the 4WD models lacked the side door beams that were required of 2WD models.

By the way, I just checked. My 95 Cherokee will indeed start in gear with clutch untouched. I do have both the owner's manual and the factory shop manual for this vehicle, and this is not an omission or a malfunction. It's just that way.

Willy
08-18-2009, 08:45 PM
Good point about it not being a car...I had not given that a thought.

The ability of not starting while in gear was incorporated into phase 1 of the federal motor vehicle safety standards in 1968, among the others I listed in post #30 of this thread.
I'm sure the answer is out there somewhere, but as convoluted as federal regs on either side of the border can be I'll have to toss in the towel on this one...cause I don't know. We'll have to save the answer to that one for a rainy day when we've nothing else to do.

murph64
08-18-2009, 10:22 PM
So, does the starter engage when left in gear while you reach through the window to twist the key?

Absolutely.

And as a side note...If anyone is curious, a Warn 8274-50 does have the cojones to pull start, literally, a Jeep 4.0 in 1st gear low range if the ignition is left on :eek:


Andy

bruto
08-18-2009, 10:24 PM
Good point about it not being a car...I had not given that a thought.

The ability of not starting while in gear was incorporated into phase 1 of the federal motor vehicle safety standards in 1968, among the others I listed in post #30 of this thread.
I'm sure the answer is out there somewhere, but as convoluted as federal regs on either side of the border can be I'll have to toss in the towel on this one...cause I don't know. We'll have to save the answer to that one for a rainy day when we've nothing else to do.Well, it's raining here! :D

Seriously, I think you're right, and to try to sort all this out is probably not worth it. But I don't remember running into any interlocks on any of the various 70's and 80's cars or trucks I've owned or otherwise driven.

Here's one link which (peripherally to the main issue it's about) suggests the standard was never implemented officially:

http://www.safetyforum.com/interlock/

The pertinent federal standard is apparently "FMVSS 102." I'm too lazy to hunt down a proper copy of it tonight.

fasto
08-18-2009, 11:37 PM
I've owned around two dozen cars made from 1972 onward to 1999, all with manual transmissions. Only two ever had a clutch switch: 1978 Chevette (which broke and was jumped out) and 1986 Suzuki Samurai.

All the rest had no clutch switch (and were never equipped with one). These were Fords, Chevys, Dodges, Fiats, VWs, Nissans, BMWs, Saabs, and Mitsubishi cars & trucks.

I don't think there is a law requiring such a device, at least on pre-2000 year vehicles sold in the US.

Willy
08-19-2009, 12:50 AM
Well I stand corrected.
Every manual transmissioned car or truck I've owned since the late sixties has had a clutch interlock switch installed from the factory.
Not all were Canadian, some were US sourced, all from the big three.

Good read from the link you provided Bruto.
I must say I'm not surprised, typical "tombstone technology" from large corporations. Don't make any changes until the cost of lawsuits and bad press force you to!:rolleyes:

bruto
08-19-2009, 01:20 AM
Well I stand corrected.
Every manual transmissioned car or truck I've owned since the late sixties has had a clutch interlock switch installed from the factory.
Not all were Canadian, some were US sourced, all from the big three.

Good read from the link you provided Bruto.
I must say I'm not surprised, typical "tombstone technology" from large corporations. Don't make any changes until the cost of lawsuits and bad press force you to!:rolleyes: I failed to notice up to now that you're Canadian. Perhaps this is a Canadian requirement, like daytime running lights.

Willy
08-19-2009, 01:35 AM
No not a Canadian thing, as some of the vehicles I've owned were of US origin.
I was using the US FMVSS as a reference.
As in emission standards where the US EPA sets the standards, safety standards are about 99.5% the same on either side of the border. But you are right there are some minor variances.

After having lived there, I can say it's only when you cross the border into California that things are truly different!:D

jdunmyer
08-19-2009, 09:20 AM
I've been happy that some of my vehicles DIDN'T have clutch safety switches. The lack thereof allowed me to drive a p/u truck out of traffic by using the starter. Three VWs had the clutch cable break, and I was able to start them with the tranny in first, then shift w/o using the clutch to drive them to where repairs were done. One was driven about 60 miles, including having to stop for some traffic lights. Of course, in the cases of the VWs, I could have pressed down the inoperative pedal to get them going anyway.

My 2001 Dodge does have the clutch switch and it bites me every now and then if I get lazy and don't get the pedal all the way down. The 2001 VW Jetta doesn't have a CSS, it'll start with the pedal 'up'.