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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I've noticed an intermittent issue on our mid-late 2000s Element with a 5-speed.

Basically, the car needs to be neutral for the best chance of starting.

You'll hear a "buzz" sound when trying to start the car with the clutch "in". Starting in-gear, it's finicky and won't work everyone time reliably. Switching the gear selector to neutral improves the chances. But now this problem may be starting to persist when it's in neutral.

The best chance is to nip it in the bud right now.

My mechanic-side of me thinks it's a simple problem and a switch or sensor somewhere needs to be replaced.

Where can I start?
 

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I would start with the neutral safety switch - the one that requires you to push in the clutch to start it. IMHO, that's your issue, and relatively easy to change. If not, then you've got that replaced and can troubleshoot from there, but, there aren't too many parts that prevent starting on the MT. Yes, it COULD be the ignition, but that can be $$$$ to change out, and I would think other issues would be present as well. Hope this helps!! 馃槂.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually, I think that is the "auto" switch. The manual switch should look more like a cylinder I expect...
 

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I just went through this. I figured it was a faulty "clutch safety switch" issue but it turned out to be a complete breakdown of the current from the battery to the starter. My mechanic replaced the ignition switch and some relay under the hood to finally get the proper power from the battery routed all the way around finally to the battery. Starts good now but it was months of wondering what the problem was.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good to know. It sounds like it may be a good thing to take to my mechanic. May actually be cheaper than way than to "guess" it.
 
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