Join Date: Oct 2006
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A sensor at the gearbox tells the car whether it's in neutral or not, and also controls the reverse lights. The car won't start unless it's either in neutral or you have the clutch pressed down. It sounds like your sensor is faulty as the car doesn't know when it's in reverse, or whether it's in neutral. The auto rear wiper is part of the same fault ie it doesn't know reverse has been selected.
I've never removed one but there was a post a while back about this. I seem to remember it's dead easy to change and no need for draining gear
Currently in mister_cee333's garage:
Toyota Avensis 1.8. Formerly Jaguar X Type Sport d 2005. Formerly 2001 Laguna 2 1.9 dCi