Preliminary diagnosis. Park/neutral position switch

Preliminary diagnosis

Two basic procedures are required. One procedure for vehicles that are drivable and an alternate procedure for disabled vehicles (will not back up or move forward).


(1) Check for transmission fault codes using DRB scan tool.

(2) Check fluid level and condition.

(3) Adjust throttle and gearshift linkage if complaint was based on delayed, erratic, or harsh shifts.

(4) Road test and note how transmission upshifts, downshifts, and engages.

(5) Perform stall test if complaint is based on sluggish acceleration. Or, if abnormal throttle opening is needed to maintain normal speeds with a properly tuned engine.

(6) Perform hydraulic pressure test if shift problems were noted during road test.

(7) Perform air-pressure test to check clutch-band operation.

(4) Raise and support vehicle on safety stands, start engine, shift transmission into gear, and note following: (a) If propeller shaft turns but wheels do not, problem is with differential or axle shafts.

(b) If propeller shaft does not turn and transmission is noisy, stop engine. Remove oil pan, and check for debris. If pan is clear, remove transmission and check for damaged drive plate, converter, oil pump, or input shaft.

(c) If propeller shaft does not turn and transmission is not noisy, perform hydraulic-pressure test to determine if problem is hydraulic or mechanical.

Park/neutral position switch

The center terminal of the park/neutral position switch is the starter-circuit terminal. It provides the ground for the starter solenoid circuit through the selector lever in PARK and NEUTRAL positions only.

The outer terminals on the switch are for the backup lamp circuit.


To test the switch, remove the wiring connector.

Test for continuity between the center terminal and the transmission case. Continuity should exist only when the transmission is in PARK or NEUTRAL.

Shift the transmission into REVERSE and test continuity at the switch outer terminals. Continuity should exist only when the transmission is in REVERSE. Continuity should not exist between the outer terminals and the case.

Check gearshift linkage adjustment before replacing a switch that tests faulty.

    Dodge Durango (DN) 1998-2003 Service Manual


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