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350matt, Engineer
Category: Mazda
Satisfied Customers: 21994
Experience:  Mechanical Engineer BEng Hons22 years experience
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I have a 2014 Mazda3. At least once daily, it won't start.

Customer Question

I have a 2014 Mazda3. At least once daily, it won't start. All the lights are there and the battery is good. Sometimes the car has to sit for 2 hours before it will start. I spoke to a Mazda tech and he said it could be the sensor in the shifter, which is not recognizing that the car is in park. Said the entire shifter assembly would have to be replaced if that is the case.
JA: Just to clarify, what are the exact lights you're talking about?
Customer: Every idiot light imaginable
JA: Are you fixing your Mazda2 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Mazda3, and no, not yet. Hoping someone has a more reasonable explanation than replacing the shifter
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Mazda
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Any mechanic available yet???
Expert:  350matt replied 1 month ago.


when it won't start I'm assuming it won't even crank on the starter so

check that the main battery cables are on tight and the terminals are clean and bright. Do the same for the engine / gearbox earth strap.

Then follow the main positive lead back to the engine and down to the starter motor, and check the connection at this end as well.

There should also be a small wire to the motor which should have 12V when you're turning the ignition switch / pushing the start button to crank. If the 12V isn't there, check back along this wire for damage to the insulation or corroded connections

This 12V feed comes directly from the ignition switch / starter button so this may be faulty and need replacing

Check the resistance of the main positive lead that runs down to the motor as anything more than a few ohms and it should be replaced

Don't forget to try a jump start from another car / battery as its possible the battery is poor, if you have a voltmeter a healthy battery should read 12.7+V

also try substituting the battery for another as I've known a very flat battery to drag down the system voltage too far even with jump cables

one other thing to consider is that the immobiliser is faulty and preventing the starter from being enabled - however if the dash / ignition lights are on then this usually means that its off

If this is all OK then its possible the car needs a new starter motor

and finally yes it could be the neutral position sensor in the shift mechanisim

however you don't have to replace the while shifter just the switch