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Inertia Switch Guides

Inertia Switch: How to Reset your Fuel Cut-off Switch Properly

Inertia switches can be found in most cars especially those that use fuel injection. Its main purpose is to prevent any dangerous fuel leaks to occur when you get into an accident. It does this by cutting off the fuel supply fed by the fuel pump to the engine. However, a sudden stop or a vigorous change in direction may activate the switch. When accidentally activated, your car might not start or the engine would suddenly die due to the engine being starved of fuel. To remedy this, you can either reset the switch which is fairly easy or, if it's broken, is to install a new one.

Difficulty level: Easy

Things you'll need:

  • Owner's manual
  • Screwdriver (Optional)

Step 1: Turn the engine off and remove your key from the ignition lock cylinder.

Step 2: Open the hood of your car and inspect for fuel leaks. Look for wet spots around the full injection system found on top of the engine where the fuel injectors are placed. If you don't see any wet spots, be mindful of the strong aroma of gasoline. This could is also an indicator of a fuel leak.

Step 3: Once you've established that there is no fuel leak in the engine bay, go around the car and see if there are fuel leaks around the fuel line or even the fuel tank itself.

Step 4: When you're finished with the inspection, look for the inertia switch using the vehicle's manual. It looks like a small, black, square box which can be found under the passenger-side dash, behind the seat, or even in the trunk behind a side panel (depending on the car).

You can get through via an opening in the kick panel or by reaching over the top of the panel. For those vehicles with inertia switches in their luggage compartments, you could reach the switch via a small round button which can be pried open with a small screw driver.

Step 5: Once you've found the inertia switch, look for the reset button. This can be found at the front or top of the inertia switch.

Step 6: Once you've ensured that there is no fuel smell or fuel leak you can now continue by pressing the reset button for 15 seconds. Afterwards simply release the switch to reset the system.

Step 7: Turn the ignition key to the accessory position for five seconds, and then turn it back off. Repeat this three times. Crank the engine on the fourth turn. This is to allow fuel pressure to build within the system.

Step 8: Let your car's engine run for about a minute or so in order for the fuel pump to refill the fuel lines. Simultaneously, check recheck the fuel lines, fuel tank, and engine for possible fuel leaks.

Step 9: When finished, turn the engine off, close the hood of the car, and place the small button you're removed to access the switch back.

It is good to note that if the inertia switch of your car resets more than twice, then it is highly recommended that you replace the component. This continuous resetting is usually a symptom of a faulty inertia switch which kills the engine while driving and could lead to a severe accident.

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