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I have had intermittent starting issues with my 2011 Hyundai Elantra for a few years. It started at 65k miles and has progressively gotten worse (now at 130k miles). The car would just "click" when I pressed the start button. It did not turn over. Just clicked and nothing. As time went on, I came up with my own little "fixes". First, I disconnected and reconnected the negative battery cable. That worked for a while. Then, this winter it got really bad. I figured out how to use the "shift interlock" button (described below) to start the car. Then, that got to where it wasn't real effective either. I got to the brink of letting the Hyundai dealer deal with it, but I knew they may not figure it out without me spending a ton of money first. Turns out there is a thing called an "inhibitor switch" (neutral safety) located under the air box on the right side of the car (when facing it from the front).

I done a ton of research and also based on my own experience I got it figured out & I fixed the car myself. If you use the shift interlock button (located by the shift knob) there is a little cover over it. It is also labeled "shift interlock". Set your parking brake!!! Pop that little cover off (do not lose it), put a key or similar object down through the hole and press the button. You will feel it very easily. Hold that button down and shift the knob to "neutral". While still holding the button, start the car. It should fire right up. If not, hold the button down and bring the shift knob back to park. While still holding the button, try starting it. You may have to shift back to neutral again, or even move the knob from drive to neutral a few times. I had to try different variations of this as time went on. The inhibitor switch will eventually go completely bad and it will need replaced. That is also an easy thing to do, as it is located just under the air box and very easy to change. Call the local dealer, talk to the parts counter, and order a new inhibitor switch. They will need the last 8 numbers of your car's VIN number. Once it comes in, go get it, and head home to fix your car.

BEFORE FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS SET THE PARKING BRAKE ALL THE WAY & PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL!!!

The inhibitor switch is located directly under the air filter box on the right side (when you are facing the car from the front). Remove the top of the air box, remove the filter, then remove the three screws holding the bottom half of the air box into place. There is a phillips screw holding the intake hose onto the top half of the air box, loosen it, but do not remove it. The hose will easily slip off the top section of the air box once the screw is loosened. Then you can remove the top section. Remove the three mounting screws holding the bottom section of the air box into place. Once those screws are removed the bottom half easily comes out. DO NOT LOSE THOSE SCREWS! If they fall into the car, you may not find them again.

Once the air box is completely removed, you will see the inhibitor switch on top of the case. There is a shift cable attached to it on the right side. And also a wired plug going into the left side of it. Remove that plug. The shift cable will have a boot on it and will attach to the right end of the metal arm on top of the inhibitor switch. There is also a nut in the direct center of the switch itself. Remove the nut at the center and also the nut mounting the shift cable to the inhibitor switch. Any order is fine. You may need to lube the center nut and shaft with some WD40. It may be rusted a bit. DO NOT over torque either of these nuts. If you break the screws you will be in some deep trouble, which will require a tow to the dealer and a large repair bill! Don't worry too much though. Those screws would be pretty hard to break. Once the two nuts are removed, then you can remove the two mounting screws holding the switch into place. Once that is done, you may need to use two small flathead screwdrivers to carefully pry the top metal arm off of the switch. There is a locking washer under the nut in the center. Be sure to put that in a safe place before prying the metal arm off. SLOWLY remove that metal arm. Maybe "pry" is a bad word to use. Slowly shimmy it back and forth very carefully until it slips off the screw. You do not want to damage the threads on that screw/shaft! Now, once that metal arm is removed you can easily slip the inhibitor switch off of the case/shaft.

Simply reinstall the new switch. Be sure to slip it back on the shaft and attach the two primary mounting screws first. This will allow you to tighten the two nuts (center & shift cable) very easily. The switch may shift the shaft back and forth while you are changing it. Not a big deal, this is why you set the parking brake. Once it is mounted and the center nut and the shift cable nuts reinstalled, be sure to shift the car back into neutral. All you have to do is look through your window and see that the shift knob is in neutral. That is it. Once the switch is installed, reinstall the air box and you're done!

There! You just fixed your starting issue for $40.00 and 30 minutes of your time. Something that could have potentially cost you over $300 at the dealer by the time they figured out the problem and fixed it.
 

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Great info. Thanks.
 

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Luckily I haven't had that problem yet. If I do that's the first thing I'll check. Thanks!
 

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Did you use the 5mm alignment tool to "time" the steel arm with inhibitor switch ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I did not use a special tool to "time" anything. I just shifted it back to neutral by shifting the metal arm by hand once everything was tightened back down. Didn't see a need to do anything else. The car is starting & running perfectly.
 

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I have had intermittent starting issues with my 2011 Hyundai Elantra for a few years. It started at 65k miles and has progressively gotten worse (now at 130k miles). The car would just "click" when I pressed the start button. It did not turn over. Just clicked and nothing. As time went on, I came up with my own little "fixes". First, I disconnected and reconnected the negative battery cable. That worked for a while. Then, this winter it got really bad. I figured out how to use the "shift interlock" button (described below) to start the car. Then, that got to where it wasn't real effective either. I got to the brink of letting the Hyundai dealer deal with it, but I knew they may not figure it out without me spending a ton of money first. Turns out there is a thing called an "inhibitor switch" (neutral safety) located under the air box on the right side of the car (when facing it from the front).

I done a ton of research and also based on my own experience I got it figured out & I fixed the car myself. If you use the shift interlock button (located by the shift knob) there is a little cover over it. It is also labeled "shift interlock". Set your parking brake!!! Pop that little cover off (do not lose it), put a key or similar object down through the hole and press the button. You will feel it very easily. Hold that button down and shift the knob to "neutral". While still holding the button, start the car. It should fire right up. If not, hold the button down and bring the shift knob back to park. While still holding the button, try starting it. You may have to shift back to neutral again, or even move the knob from drive to neutral a few times. I had to try different variations of this as time went on. The inhibitor switch will eventually go completely bad and it will need replaced. That is also an easy thing to do, as it is located just under the air box and very easy to change. Call the local dealer, talk to the parts counter, and order a new inhibitor switch. They will need the last 8 numbers of your car's VIN number. Once it comes in, go get it, and head home to fix your car.

BEFORE FOLLOWING THESE INSTRUCTIONS SET THE PARKING BRAKE ALL THE WAY & PUT THE CAR IN NEUTRAL!!!

The inhibitor switch is located directly under the air filter box on the right side (when you are facing the car from the front). Remove the top of the air box, remove the filter, then remove the three screws holding the bottom half of the air box into place. There is a phillips screw holding the intake hose onto the top half of the air box, loosen it, but do not remove it. The hose will easily slip off the top section of the air box once the screw is loosened. Then you can remove the top section. Remove the three mounting screws holding the bottom section of the air box into place. Once those screws are removed the bottom half easily comes out. DO NOT LOSE THOSE SCREWS! If they fall into the car, you may not find them again.

Once the air box is completely removed, you will see the inhibitor switch on top of the case. There is a shift cable attached to it on the right side. And also a wired plug going into the left side of it. Remove that plug. The shift cable will have a boot on it and will attach to the right end of the metal arm on top of the inhibitor switch. There is also a nut in the direct center of the switch itself. Remove the nut at the center and also the nut mounting the shift cable to the inhibitor switch. Any order is fine. You may need to lube the center nut and shaft with some WD40. It may be rusted a bit. DO NOT over torque either of these nuts. If you break the screws you will be in some deep trouble, which will require a tow to the dealer and a large repair bill! Don't worry too much though. Those screws would be pretty hard to break. Once the two nuts are removed, then you can remove the two mounting screws holding the switch into place. Once that is done, you may need to use two small flathead screwdrivers to carefully pry the top metal arm off of the switch. There is a locking washer under the nut in the center. Be sure to put that in a safe place before prying the metal arm off. SLOWLY remove that metal arm. Maybe "pry" is a bad word to use. Slowly shimmy it back and forth very carefully until it slips off the screw. You do not want to damage the threads on that screw/shaft! Now, once that metal arm is removed you can easily slip the inhibitor switch off of the case/shaft.

Simply reinstall the new switch. Be sure to slip it back on the shaft and attach the two primary mounting screws first. This will allow you to tighten the two nuts (center & shift cable) very easily. The switch may shift the shaft back and forth while you are changing it. Not a big deal, this is why you set the parking brake. Once it is mounted and the center nut and the shift cable nuts reinstalled, be sure to shift the car back into neutral. All you have to do is look through your window and see that the shift knob is in neutral. That is it. Once the switch is installed, reinstall the air box and you're done!

There! You just fixed your starting issue for $40.00 and 30 minutes of your time. Something that could have potentially cost you over $300 at the dealer by the time they figured out the problem and fixed it.
Ii replaced the switch it started, but the key remote wouldn't unlock the door after that. had to manual unlock the door, key remote worked,reset radio. After turn off car. 20 minutes later, key remote won't unlock door, have to reset radio. 5 day later car won't start.just like before i replace the neutral safety switch. Any suggestion?
 

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I had the same issue with my 2013 Hyundai Elantra at around 120k miles, the first time it happened, it started after trying it a few tries starting it, it was fine for two months, again same issue after a month, then every week or so, it progressively got worse. Finally I took it to the stealership, they looked at it for two hours, said they couldn't find nothing wrong with it other then a slightly loose battery cable ground. It was fine again for a couple months then the same issue, every week, every other day, every 1st start of the day, progressively harder and harder to start too. After looking for advise on the Internet, I swapped out the inhibitor switch.and it's been fine for the most part for the last 6 months. It did give me problems one cold night after work 2 am in the morning, but after a few tries it started and no issues since I'm up to 152k miles now, we will see how long the fix works. .
 
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