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AZTechBrian
AZTechBrian, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 703
Experience:  Owner
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I have a 2004 Mazda 3. The key has been and to take out and

Customer Question

I have a 2004 Mazda 3. The key has been harder and harder to take out and not I can't get the key to turn over and start. Worse yet, I can't get it out of park to move it so I can you my husbands truck to get to work. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mazda
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

hello. You should be able to get the car out of park by using the shift interlock override button to the left of the shifter just above it. Let me know if you see a button there.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me go out to the car.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There's nothing there. It's an automatic.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are you still there?
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Yes I am, sorry

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Let me provide you a picture, one second please

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Please refer to item 2. This button, when pushed should allow you to shift into neutral

https://www.dropbox.com/s/88e5v0jc9ztef42/mazda%203.pdf?dl=0

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't see that but I will check again
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I'll keep my fingers crossed

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There's a little tab to the right of the shifter. I depressed the little cap and nothing. I took the cap off and shined a flashlight in it and could not see what was in there. Now what?
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Does your shifter look similar to the one in the picture?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It does but the tab you are referring to is in the middle right of the shift area
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I am not sure why it is in a place different than the diagram, but that happens. It should be a button that you push to over ride the shift interlock. Is there no button ?

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

look anywhere near the shift lever for the button.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No button
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry, I just realized you noticed a plastic cover. was it at the bottom right side of the shifter?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just pushed on the tab and nothing happened. I will call a tow truck in morning. Need to go to bed
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

That is most likely the shift interlock button. Remove the cap and use a key or screw driver to push the button, then move the gear selector down to neutral

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will try it in the morning. I thank you for your help and need to get some rest.
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

OK. Let me know how it goes. Good night.

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Hi. Just following up to see if you were able to disengage the shift lever and get your car out of park?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Was able to move car by doing what you suggested. Still can't get car key to turn over in ignition. Will have it towed. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Your welcome. I would suggest trying dry graphite & wd40 inside the lock cylinder and repeatedly insert and remove the key while shaking it and trying to turn it. You have a sticking tumbler. If it still wont turn after that, try tapping the key lightly with a screw driver handle to knock the lock cylinder tumbler loose. Odds are it's only one tumbler that's out of place and it's probably off by only a little.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
But the red anti thefts light is still blinking when the key is inserted
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

The anti theft system wouldn't prevent the key from turning, plus it's been an issue that's progressively been getting worse, right?

Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Try using another key if you have one. If your key is beginning to wear, that can cause this as well. It's worth a try.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was getting worse. I can pull out the key very easy but it just won't turn over. I tapped on the key but it still won't turn over. Now what
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have tried both keys. Even the newer one and it won't turn over
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

Ok. You have a sticking tumbler and just need something to un stick it. wd40 and tapping the key works great for that. OH, and patience. it might take a bit, but you will get it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Nothing yet. What's the best way to tap on the key?
Expert:  AZTechBrian replied 1 year ago.

I would use the handle of a screw driver or something similar to tap lightly after using penetrating oil. Something heavier like a hammer would cause damage. We just want to loosen up the tumbler.

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