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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had just gotten back from some photography work downtown and was at a gas station filling up, got back in my E, turned the key and...nothing. No clicking, no indication of anything happening, just nothing

However, I've been through this before (unlike my catalytic converter theft) so I'd already done a ton of research. The last time this happened it turned out it was something else but I'd done the research on the "nothing" scenario

I got a push start with help from a guy at the station and made it home. Lucky me, not stranded in the wilds of the Big City

I zeroed in on the "clutch safety switch" aka the "safety starter switch". It's a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption under the dash, in conjunction with the clutch pedal. You press down on the clutch and magically the safety switch is activated allowing current to go to the starter. It's a safety thing, for good reason

Yellow arrow is what I dealt with, Red arrow is how the safety switch is actuated (and is a very hard to get to area---why does Honda do this to us?)

Slope Parallel Font Diagram Event


Here's a pic looking up into the clutch pedal area. The thing with the Yellow end with wires coming out is the clutch safety switch. That part is "easily" accessible. I just popped it off. Guys who dealt with the Red arrow area told tales of taking the clutch pedal assembly off to get access!

What I was going to do was to not replace the switch nor get back up into the Red arrow area

Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Toy Wire Auto part


I know the safety switch is there for a safety reason but I've never attempted to start my E unless the clutch is fully depressed and it's in neutral. So what I did was short out the yellow end with the wires with a paper clip

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Bumper


I knew I'd done this before but that was years ago. I fumbled through my tool boxes and came up with this, thinking this is what I used last time

Gesture Plant Font Thumb Nail


But no, the wire is too fat to fit into the tiny holes in the yellow piece I took off the switch, so apparently this was an early failed experiment. I rounded up a paper clip, stuck it in, taped it to stay in place and...it started

The original problem years ago had to do with the ignition switch and various relays not allowing enough juice to get to the starter. The starter and safety switch were fine. My mechanic at the time told me it was a very tough diagnosis and fix but he got it done
 

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07 2wd 5-speedauto
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Why not just cut the connector leads and butt connect the wires?
I remember back in the day when there was not any clutch switch, seen many times a tech reach in the window to start in his bay. Fired right up and into the work bench or tool box LOL!!
If you ever go to a repair shop please warn them about it will crank without the clutch.
 

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I’m curious if the rubber pad thingy broke or if the switch has gone bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The tell-tale evidence of that rubber pad thingy breaking off is sometimes the pieces lying on the floorboard but I didn't have any. If it is that or if it is the switch is bad, regardless it's just a PITA to access and repair. Honda could have had a cutout on the side of the clutch pedal up at the top to access that area but no. It's a real sketchy position you have to assume to get under there, pretty painful for me. Getting under to work on my CAT repair was a breeze in comparison :oops:
 

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Every car has one of these switches. On a manual, it is on the clutch pedal, on an automatic it is on the brake pedal.

I think the switch is removed by loosening the brass nut and unthreading the switch. (don't quote me on that)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
At least if someone here, who doesn't know about this switch, has the same issue they'd at least have a starting point to diagnose what's going on. It was "refreshing" for me to at least have some idea of how to how to proceed, which is the point of this thread. What's obvious to someone who knows about this is a total unknown to the vast majority of Element owners
 

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2009 LX, Auto, AWD, Omni Pearl Blue
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Thanks for making up aware of this, but as indicated by others bypassing the clutch safety switch is a risky endeavor. Should an accident occur because of it, unless you quickly cover-up the issue (which is not recommended), your insurance company will quickly understand what happened and probably deny all coverages. If someone is injured, this would be really bad news. Yeah, it's a difficult repair, but looking at the totality of issues I would believe it's best not to skirt this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, what I did works if you're stranded and just want to get back home. I'm not advocating this as a permanent fix but being stranded sux. I've never started my E without pushing in the clutch (of course, that switch worked) so doing it now with the paper clip in is just second nature. I'll get around to changing out the switch or whatever it takes later
 
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