Clutch interlock switch - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Clutch interlock switch

My car has suddenly decided not to start and I suspect the clutch interlock switch. I was trying to get into the footwell to pull the connector and jumper/whatever to get it going again... How?!? I can't get my torso between the sill and the steering wheel! Anyone got a technique for getting in there? Do you go on your back from the seat under the wheel? Do I just need to enlist a skinny friend?

Also related - any damage done by push starting? I had a friend push it the first time and my driveway has enough slope I can roll and start it.

2006 Aspen White Elise
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 11:58 AM
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This happened to my car a few weeks into ownership. It was under warranty so had CAA tow it to Gentry Lane. They bypassed the switch until a replacement arrived. I believe the switch is under the pedal.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 12:27 PM
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Clutch interlock switch?

Is that a Canada-only thing?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biffster10 View Post
Do you go on your back from the seat under the wheel? Do I just need to enlist a skinny friend?

.
Yes, and you have to be skinny...to bypass the switch without being trapped...
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-04-2009, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by apk919 View Post
Clutch interlock switch?

Is that a Canada-only thing?
Yes. Fed cars are wired to have them but just aren't engaged.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-05-2009, 05:55 PM
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Get a small zip-tie, pre-load it and slip it over the switch then pull it taunt.
Problem solved......just remember not to start the car in gear!!!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-06-2009, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by evansp60 View Post
Get a small zip-tie, pre-load it and slip it over the switch then pull it taunt.
Problem solved......just remember not to start the car in gear!!!
Or just unplug it. As I remember if the switch is not in the circuit, the clutch does not need to be pushed to start it (it acts like a Fed spec car without the switch). With the switch in the circuit, it has to function.

I remember reading about some Canadian cars that had a faulty switch - the dealer work-around until the new switch came in was to simply unplug it.




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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2009, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Just to finish this thread off... I took it to Gentry Lane since I just couldn't wedge myself in there to get at it. They jumpered the switch connectors for me. New switch is > $100 and the car has gone through at least 2 in 3 years, so bypassing this failure-prone component seems like the best solution.

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-29-2009, 05:46 PM
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This happens the second year on my car, I just jumped the wire as you.

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 05:47 AM
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IMO the bonus of no clutch interlock is reduced wear on the engine thrust bearing on startup. Once you get used to checking for neutral before startup, you'll wish you never had this device as it serves no purpose but to fail.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 10-30-2009, 07:58 PM
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In some cars, I use a hidden switch on this circuit as anti-theft.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 02:55 PM
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Back from the dead.

Any tips on how to disconnect the switch? I can get my head in there, but only one arm.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-13-2011, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimMullen View Post
Or just unplug it. As I remember if the switch is not in the circuit, the clutch does not need to be pushed to start it (it acts like a Fed spec car without the switch). With the switch in the circuit, it has to function.

I remember reading about some Canadian cars that had a faulty switch - the dealer work-around until the new switch came in was to simply unplug it.
Never seen one on a Lotus, but most I have completed a circuit, vs. breaking it. If that's true here, you can bypass it only by connecting one wire end to the other.

Again, not sure on this application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZOO View Post
Back from the dead.

Any tips on how to disconnect the switch? I can get my head in there, but only one arm.
You can leave it there if it causes no issues.

But, if you want it out, either tim and i are right...but not both.

You can spend a bit of time upside down, or lift the car up a bunch to make it easier.

NOTE TO ALL: Download the factory service manual; it has wiring diagrams.


for $25, it's an amazing bargain!! And, a tiny investment.


not that I guarantee this is covered....

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-18-2013, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimMullen View Post
Or just unplug it. As I remember if the switch is not in the circuit, the clutch does not need to be pushed to start it (it acts like a Fed spec car without the switch). With the switch in the circuit, it has to function.

I remember reading about some Canadian cars that had a faulty switch - the dealer work-around until the new switch came in was to simply unplug it.
I just need to post that unplugging the clutch interlock switch DOES NOT work. You will need to connect the power and ground at the plug or before to bypass the interlock.

President of the Canadian Elise owners named Cody club.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apk919 View Post
Clutch interlock switch?

Is that a Canada-only thing?
Yes it is. My 2009 Elise has such a switch.

I had my car in for service at the dealer yesterday and they added a rubber stopper where the clutch meets the aluminum "wall". They said this will help protect that switch. I now need to press the clutch a bit harder to make contact with the switch.

It was funny because the person that added the stopper had left already and I couldn't start my car. After we contacted him and pressed the clutch pedal a bit firmer, everything engaged and started normally.

I had a 1984 Corolla in Canada that did not have this switch. But my wife's 1986 Tercel did have one.

I don't feel that such a switch is necessary. But it does form another layer of anti-theft
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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:05 PM
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My dealer noticed that my clutch pedal had no "stopper". So it would be metal-on-metal. They added a stopper.

Unfortunately the stopper meant that the clutch pedal could barely reach the clutch interlock switch. After a few days of use I removed the stopper. My flexibility came in handy since I needed to be upside down with my feet in the air while removing the stopper.

The purpose of the stopper was to put less stress on the switch. However my car has had at least 7 years of use without such a stopper and the switch still works. If the switch ever dies I will just rewire so I don't need it.
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