XJ40 Wont start on key

Hi all, Im new to this forum, and need help with my Jag.
I have a 1994 XJ40 3.2 sport, RHD, 88,000 ks.
I was passing another vehicle, shifted jgate to the left/manual position, changed down to 3rd, needed more power so tried to change to second, wouldnt go so pushed harder… It made a little snapping sound and shifted into second, Roared passed car and carried on home.
The car will no longer start on the key, However it will start if I bridge the starter solenoid relay under the dash where the glovebox is normally placed (has airbag so no glovebox). The little snapping sound it made was the dust cover just under the jgate shifter.
Everything else on the car works… And I mean everything. All fuses, relays, dash lights all working. No fault codes showing. has power at the ignition barrel, Park cutout switch works. Car runs drives etc beautifully… Just wont start on the key.
Could the problem be the linear Park/neutral position switch? could it have been put out of place after I forced it into 2nd? Oh, the only thing that does not work is the idiot lights on the jgate showing witch position the lever is in. I think the car or ECU does not no its in Park and therefore safe to start. Am I on the right track? Any help welcomed, and thanks in advance.

I think it sounds very probable that the switch is broken and yes that would cause your issue IMO.

Hi Duane …

If the key rotates all the way to the “start” position but nothing happens it’s usually a dead battery. But since you can star the car by jumping the solenoid that’s obviously not the case. I assume the car won’t start in neutral either ?

I believe you’ll find that by adjusting the selector assembly, #1 in diagram, slightly forward or back (the 4 bolt holes are elongated to allow this) that will solve your problem. I would suggest that you remove the assembly first to check for physical damage. If that doesn’t solve the problem check for damage on the linear Park/neutral position switch #34.

Regardless you’ll have to take off the wood trim ski slope to do this which is very simple.


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As above. I’d suspect the switch that tells the system that the gear selector is in park is broken or not being activated. If the ecu thinks it’s not in park it disables the starter.

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Thanks Guys for all the advice. I dove into the Rabbit hole of Jaguar electronics this weekend and believe I have a result! The little pin on the Linear gear position switch (Part# DBC12395) has broken off. Im looking to find a new/old Linear switch. During my search for the switch there has been mention of a special tool for setting up the switch… Is this needed, or can I just slide the switch back and forth until I find the right position? Thanks again, Duane.