Why won't the key to my 2002 Mazda Protege insert into the ignition switch?

alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
edited September 2014 in General
Can someone please tell me why the key to my 2002 Mazda Protege cannot be inserted into the ignition switch ?

I've never had this happen before. My car is of very low mileage (11,000 miles)

This problem arose while a very responsible family member had the temporary loan of my Protege.

On close examination, I see that the key seems to have somehow been removed while still in the "On" position (I didn't believe that was even possible). In said position there are two lugs visible in the key hole that prevent the key from entering.

Best Answer


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hmm...I wonder if the vehicle was not totally in "Park" when the key was removed. Hard to say from this distance but it sounds like some problem with the Shift Interlock system. Have you tried jamming the shift lever hard into the "park" position?
  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    Shift lever is already solidly in Park position so cannot be moved
  • Steve EliasSteve Elias Member Posts: 2,207
    without using key, push brake pedal to floor while applying medium torque to return ignition to 'off' position while also wiggling the shift-lever.
    additionally it may be possible to use a thin-flat-blade like from a pocket-knife to gently 'unlock' the internal ignition cylinder mechanism so it is free to rotate/return to correct off/key-removed position.
  • alternatoralternator IndianaMember Posts: 629
    edited September 2014
    Shift lever is so firmly in "Park" it will not wiggle at all. Steering wheel also will not wiggle. Locksmith is grinding all the "nodes" off a spare key to see if it can then be inserted and turned to "Off"
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