2012 500 Intermittent No Start (Clutch Switch Related)

Discussion in 'Nuova 500' started by lookforjoe, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    My wife's 500 just started (or rather stopped starting) having no start issues. It seems to be clutch safety switch.

    Can't see how to access it or check adjustment. I held the key in crank, and worked the pedal - after while, it cranked over. At this point, it is more no start than intermittent.

    Any thoughts or experience with this?
  2. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    My wife's 2012 had two intermittent starting issues.

    The first time it was the clutch switch. There is a little circuit board in the switch that has some contacts to the connector. The board had moved just enough to cause an intermittent connection. I soldered the connections to fix it.

    The second time was corrosion on the starter solenoid connection. I tried fixing it but it is hard to access, so I ended up taking it to the dealer to clean up the connection.
  3. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Thanks for the input!

    Is the switch accessible? looking at the pedals, I can't tell where it might be.

    Found this online, might be worth trying also, if I can figure out where the bloody switch is:

    At about 30,000 my 500 Sport started getting hard to engage the starter. Kept having to press the clutch down harder and further into the firewall. Of course, being a procrastinator I just worked with it until one day it took five tries to get it to engage.

    Anticipating this someday I had a spare interlock switch. So back to the campground to figure how to replace the sucker. No Youtube video and no room to make one. After getting the metal frame off, I had a good look at the switch in place, but could not figure how to remove and replace. So....


    After studying the switch in place and the replacement, I wondered it the problem was a tad too much wear between the switch actuator arm and activator on the clutch (piece of plastic acting as a pusher). The switch shown is with the front to the left in its position in the clutch area. The wiring harness goes in the rear. The lower part with the purple is the actuator arm.

    So I tore up a heavier weight piece of paper, cut to size and folded. Then I slid the shim into the front part of actuator cage (on the black side, not purple part).

    AND IT WORKED!!!!! No longer had to even push clutch pedal to the firewall.

    It seems the clutch switch and actuator, both of plastic, wore just enough to not push actuator arm forward enough to engage the starter. The little bit of thickness made all the difference."
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  4. beezee

    beezee True Classic

    The switch is accessible, but not easily. You need to lie on your back to get your head under the pedals. There is a metal bracket with tork screws that needs to be removed. The switch has a plastic lever at the back that snaps in place to hold it in, and once you unsnap the lever the switch rotates about 90 degrees and slides out. It's kind of hard to describe, but if you get a good look at it it will make sense.

    lookforjoe likes this.
  5. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Got access to the switch, pulled the yellow retainer cap & disconnected it from the pedal actuating pin. The switch control lever can be pushed further in the "on" sweep, and then locks in place at the end of it's travel. I left it like that & the car started just fine, for several attempts.

    When I came back to it this afternoon, it would not start again. I had already ordered a new switch, which I will pickup in the AM. I guess I need to look at the starter connection also.
  6. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Frustrating morning. Changed the switch, didn't fix it.

    Can't find the relay location online.

    Pulled the column shroud & checked power out from the connector when cranking. Not always present. One wire loses power when cranking also.

    Can't find a fucking wiring diagram, or schematic for Power Distribution Center either. My code reader doesn't work with this system either.

    On the plus side, I replaced the 3 broken M6 riv nuts that are used to retain the splash pan, so that shouldn't rattle anymore.

    Took the starter connector off


    Looked like a problem. Cleaned the contacts & reinstalled. Stupid design, IMO.


    Still no start (unless it feels like it). So I took it back off & had a friend crank while I checked for power on the trigger wire, nothing doing.

    The ignition switch just doesn't feel right, so maybe that's the culprit. I hate guessing though.
  7. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Car is now starting every time, since fiddling with the electrical end of the ign column switch. Ordered a new one. It's not the relay, I yanked them all & swapped them around, since I didn't have the relay schematic at the time.

    This should be attached to the PDC cover


    I also looked up that contact separator on the starter, and came up with variants that are either over $100, or under $10 (WTF????) Item # 4

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  8. HazN

    HazN True Classic

    This happened to me 6 weeks ago. The dealer replaced the switch and it didn't work. There was still a gap to the switch. I suspect that the recall about the clutch pedal overreach required a modified switch. Thus an off the shelf unit did not work. They ultimately had to replace the clutch pedal assembly (with switch attached) to solve the problem.
  9. HazN

    HazN True Classic

    Drat! I knew posting was a bad omen. She now only starts in neutral. Back to the shop on Monday.
  10. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Since I fiddled with the ignition switch (electrical end) it has started everytime. I ordered a new switch. Haven't replaced it yet, as the wheel, airbag, clockspring, steering column have to be removed to service it (WTF????).

    With mine, the clutch pedal switch is not the issue. They (the pedal switch) also have a bypass mode, so you can disable it if it is flaky.
  11. HazN

    HazN True Classic

    Thingds are now back to normal (!?!) I cancelled my shop date.
  12. lookforjoe

    lookforjoe True Classic

    Still having trouble with this aspect. With the switch installed and lever set around the pedal pin, the switch does NOT operate as it should. I have to believe it's related to the recall, since the pedal doesn't go as far, the switch lever doesn't come up as far.

    The only way I can get this to work & not set a 0831 clutch switch code is to leave the lever outside the pin, so it pushes further.



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