Author Topic: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park  (Read 15266 times)

Offline Rosberg

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Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« on: January 26, 2009, 06:48:59 am »
Hi all, I'm new here.

Unfortunately, I'm having a problem with my Mazda 3.  Yesterday as I was starting my car and then tried to put it into gear from Park, I couldn't move the shifter at all.  I am sure I did everything correctly, turned on engine, braked and then tried to shift, but it just wouldn't move at all.  I tried a few times (also turned off/on the engine as well) but still didn't work.

I looked at the manual and it says to use a screw driver to release the Shift Lock mechanism manually - did that, and was finally able to move into gears, but as soon as I took away the screw driver, it wouldn't allow me to move into gear (from PARK) again.  So every time when I started my drive, I had to put the screw driver in to unlock the shift. 

Does anyone know what the problem is?  Is this going to be very costly?  I'm going to ask my mechanic later today and see what he thinks but in the meantime want to see if anyone knows the answer.

thank you.
Nico

Offline tpl

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2009, 07:01:30 am »
Well at least you can uses neutral and the parking brake until it is fixed.

 My be ( based on zero knowledge of the Mazda 3); A fuse or a sensor somewhere.  Do the brake lights still work?   Does the Park switch in the transmission have a separate sensor near the brake pedal to detect the pedal being depressed?
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Offline stodge

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2009, 07:33:54 am »
Is it sitting in Park correctly? I know this sounds silly, but we had the same thing with our old Taurus. It wouldn't move from Park to Drive, until we discovered it wasn't sitting in Park correctly. It still doesn't make any sense to me now!

Offline Thinking Out Loud

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2009, 07:37:43 am »
I've experienced a hard to get out of park situation if the car is left in park on an incline w/o the handbrake.  Perhaps the extreme (for TORONTO before all you nay-sayers jump  ;))  -18 degree night may have worsed the situ?

Offline Squishy

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2009, 10:18:48 am »
If the screwdriver worked, I would say it is the brake pedal switch or the BTSI solenoid and not pressure on the parking pawl.  First, make sure you have brake lights before you drive again.  If you have no brake lights, I would suspect the brake pedal switch.  I'm not sure, but in the case of all your brake lights burning out, this may lock up your shifter.  Applying +12V to the brake light circuit can unlock the shifter on many cars, so the reverse can be true as well.

If the brake lights still work, turn the engine on with the radio and blower off, and listen for a click when you depress the brake pedal.  There should be one within the first inch of travel or so, which is the BTSI solenoid releasing the shifter.



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Offline Rosberg

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 11:11:47 am »
thank you for the responses.

the car was parked in my garage the night before and I'm not sure if the freezing temperature here in Toronto may have caused this problem because it was working fine the day before.

I'll take a look at the brake light, but I just find it wierd that all brakes lights burn out at the same time.  And when I pressed the brake pedal, I didn't hear the 'clicking' noise the shifter usually have - to release the shifter, that's what I noticed yesterday.

I hope this is not something that's very expensive to fix ......

Offline ArticSteve

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 03:11:19 pm »
What year and what mileage?

I hope this is not something that's very expensive to fix ......

Shouldn't be too bad .... a grand maybe.  ;)

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Offline Rosberg

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 03:33:32 pm »
it's a 2005 model with 80000km.


Offline ArticSteve

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 04:28:48 pm »
What I would do is get my face under and around the brake pedal and spray WD40 at any obvious switch gear associated with the foot brake lever.

Failing that, I'd remove the transmission console and locate the actual mechanism that unlocks the transmission shift lever and test that out.

Failing that, I'd disable it.

Cost is hard to estimate, but 2 hours for labour, a part and tax and $300. comes up pretty fast.

Offline rrocket

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 05:06:23 pm »
It's the brake safety switch.  He said he doesn't hear the click.  I suspect the "plunger" on the safety switch is crap.  I've disabled it on a couple of car just by snipping the wire and completing the circuit by twisting the wires together until the replacement part came in.  This is an easy fix.
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Offline ArticSteve

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 09:30:34 pm »
I think you'll find that on that vehicle there will be only one "brake' switch which will control the brake lites, cruise cut off and the transmission lock so I wouldn't be snipping too many wires.  :)

So if the brake lites are not working then I think the situation is pretty clear, but I would think the OP would have checked the rear brake lights by now.

The "click" the OP thinks he has heard is gotta be the solenoid like Squishy mentioned, however in many cars it's silent and it's gotta be located in the transmission console.

The only way to really check is to remove the transmission cowling.  It's not impossible, just time consuming.







« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 09:32:59 pm by articsteve »

Offline rrocket

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 09:32:22 pm »
^^^^But the control for the selenoid MAY be right on the brake pedal arm.  Many cars I've seen this problem with have the trigger located on the brake pedal arm or the clutch pedal arm....

Offline Rosberg

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 09:44:52 pm »
I just checked again, you guys are right, the rear brake lights are gone, i meant, it doesn't come on when I press the brake pedal .......

Offline rrocket

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 09:48:40 pm »
^SWEET!!

Offline ArticSteve

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2009, 09:50:52 pm »
Clutches are different of course, but I think the manufactures use one switch to handle numerous functions on automatics to save money

But that is why I suggested to the OP that he get his face down in there and take a look for multiple switches.    However, failing anything obvious, then getting a visual on the actual tranny shift lock mechanism is the next step.

Obviously this thing is repairable at a shop, but it could get ugly.

Offline Squishy

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2009, 09:52:17 pm »
I just checked again, you guys are right, the rear brake lights are gone, i meant, it doesn't come on when I press the brake pedal .......

Then it's a pretty good chance it's exactly what rrocket described.

I'm curious to know if my burnt bulb scenario works like I think it might though, so I'm kind of hoping for that one...;D

Offline rrocket

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 09:53:05 pm »
I just checked again, you guys are right, the rear brake lights are gone, i meant, it doesn't come on when I press the brake pedal .......

Then it's a pretty good chance it's exactly what rrocket described.

I'm curious to know if my burnt bulb scenario works like I think it might though, so I'm kind of hoping for that one...;D

Or maybe something easier...like a FUSE.

Offline Squishy

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2009, 09:54:36 pm »
Clutches are different of course, but I think the manufactures use one switch to handle numerous functions on automatics to save money

But that is why I suggested to the OP that he get his face down in there and take a look for multiple switches.    However, failing anything obvious, then getting a visual on the actual tranny shift lock mechanism is the next step.

Obviously this thing is repairable at a shop, but it could get ugly.

I was also under the impression that the brake pedal switch controlled both brake lights and the BTSI solenoid, instead of having two dedicated sensors.  I don't have much practical experience in this area though.

Offline ArticSteve

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2009, 09:56:41 pm »
I just checked again, you guys are right, the rear brake lights are gone, i meant, it doesn't come on when I press the brake pedal .......

I just checked again, you guys are right, the rear brake lights are gone, i meant, it doesn't come on when I press the brake pedal .......

You got 3 routes then:

- locate the switch, and try and spray WD40 in the switch
- if that fails to bring back the brake light then remove it and go to Mazda dealer and buy a new one.  Becareful because there will be two different ones depending on if you have cruise control.
- pay someone to do it (1 hour labour, plus part, plus tax)



Offline Rosberg

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Re: Mazda 3 Shifter Locked in Park
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2009, 10:01:09 pm »
excuse me, I'm a little confused.

so, is it that with all the burnt out brake lights, it's causing this shifter lock up?  or is it the other way around - the brake pedal switch problem that's causing the brake lights not working?   ???