Ignition switch?

I’m back at the state park again for the winter. And, of course, the GEM car needs help. It is a 2008 GEM eL. It was down for awhile waiting for wheel parts. That’s done. Batteries are charged. When turning on the switch, dash display showed but GEM wouldn’t move. Then the display would go off. Now the display only shows once in awhile if you jiggle the key. But it doesn’t stay on. I’m thinking it is the switch itself. How do I access the switch? I just had a knee replaced 6 weeks ago & the other one is scheduled for Dec1 so my mobility is limited for now. I can get a ranger to help me when needed. Would like to fix this before I go in for the next knee replacement.
This was mentioned in a previous post: “Echlin KS6040 from your local Napa autoparts store.” Would this switch work on a 2008 model?

Many thanks,

On edit: When I plug in the unit, the display shows the plug icon and the battery charge icon. (Battery is fully charged)

I have used the NAPA switch in several GEMs, including the 2005 and newer. Works well and will save money.


Thank you! Does it sound like it might be the switch?

Thanks again,

It’s a good place to start. The original switch gave up on 2 of my 3 GEMs.

Thanks, I’m going to try and access the switch tomorrow (thur).


Switch is replaced and display lights BUT Gem won’t go. No sounds like it’s trying to go. No codes or wrench on display. Is there a troubleshooting chart available somewhere? Accelerator problem? Motor problem? Fuse? Unit was originally disabled due to a front end part broke. That got fixed and then the switch problem showed up. GEM was running up until the front end problem.


With the switch off and the parking brake DOWN do you get an alarm? If not Check the parking brake limit switch and connections. This is a common problem.

You can download a "GEM CAR repair and maintenance manual here for 5 bucks.

GEM Service Manuals PDF Download

Switch off, parking brake down , I DO get an alarm. Next step?

Thank you very much for the link to a manual.



can you say what lights are ON display with key on ?

it show 00 on speed ?
overheat light ?
charger icon off ?
fwd rew light not flash ?

When you then turn the key on does the alarm stop?

Were any wires unhooked during repairs? Replaced properly?

[quote=Gem e2;22892]

can you say what lights are ON display with key on ?

it show 00 on speed ? NO–Just 0
overheat light ? No
charger icon off ? Yes
fwd rew light not flash ? Not flashing but they are on[/quote]

I attached a pic of display. Unit is unplugged, key on, brake off, BUT I notice the brake icon is still lit. Didn’t notice it before if it was there.

When you then turn the key on does the alarm stop? YES

Were any wires unhooked during repairs? Replaced properly? Only wires unhooked were for the new switch.

The 2nd pic is of a relay (?) that pops in and out depending on if using the accelerator pedal.


Does the relay pop in when you press the pedal?

If it does OHM out the motor to check for open windings or stuck brushes.

i will have a look at my car,but i Think the brake Icon must be off

do you have enough brake fluid or need to fill up ?

you can also have problem with parking brake or parking brake relay

Think that lamp have 2 functions

If I need to OHM the motor how do I do that? I am familiar with a VOHM but not so much electric motors.
The other suggestions I will try today.


One other thing you might check is:

  1. Ohm out the coil on the main contactor solenoid to make sure its not open.

2 check to see if you have voltage to the contactor when you turn on the switch.

You may need professional help.

The relay does pop in when I press the pedal.

Brake light problem was a wire came off.

My wife is at the park office running the manual off and putting in a binder.

“You may need professional help.” I’ve heard that a lot throughout my life!!! LOL



Next place to look is the throttle control. Do you have the old style welder control box on the floor or the suspended pedal type.

If you have the suspended pedal type go to the throttle control item in the DIY section.

If you have the old style unplug the cable and use your ohm meter to check if the potentiometer is changing value when you press the pedal.

To open the pedal box press the 2 spring loaded push pins inward and the top will come off.

Before you do the above take your meter and check out the motor for open field winding and armature continuity.

Pedal is suspended type.
Went back to shop and tried GEM again and this time it threw code 81 (speed control) for an instant and then it started to move. Couldn’t take it out of shop to see if it keeps running as we have a broken down tractor parked behind it. Will test it tomorrow.


Run the pedal up and down 50 times before you take it apart.

These modules are $325 a pop. Did you read the DIY.

The tracks get dirty. Clean them with contact cleaner.

“Did you read the DIY.” Are you referring to the manual?
If so, they are still processing/printing it. Lots of pages.

I think I failed to mention that the GEM was down for 2 months waiting for the front end parts. That’s probably critical in diagnosing. Sorry.

Will try the pedal pushing tomorrow (sat).

Thanks again,