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Old 12-25-09, 03:05 PM   #1
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Ignition key mechanism

Hi guys,

Someone broke into my car recently and messed up my ignition (my guess is they tried to start the car using some kind of key). I can only stick my key halfway into the keyhole. The ignition system under the hood is perfectly fine, but the key mechanism/lock seems to be jammed. However, when looking inside the keyhole, I can't see anything.

My question is, is it easy to take off the entire lock+ignition mechanism to bring it into a locksmith's shop for fixing, or else how would I go about getting my car to turn on? I can't think of any ideas, because I can't tow my car since it is not accessible by tow truck (flatbed or otherwise),

Thanks and merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-09, 03:44 PM   #2
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Yes, the ignition switch is relatively simple to remove.
Like every other manufacturer, Mazda used "anti-theft" screws to hold the ignition on, but those are easily defeated by simply using a Dremel to carve a flat across the screw head and use a regular screwdriver to undo it.
The screws are standard metric pitch and can be replaced from Ace Hardware.
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Old 12-25-09, 05:57 PM   #3
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Upon further inspection, it seems like there is a pin that is stuck within the ignition cylinder. It's that pin that's preventing my key from going fully into the key hole (right now it goes about 2/5 of the way in).

I will try to take the ignition cylinder off of the steering column so it will be easier to work with, but do you think it's even possible for someone without any knowledge of locks to actually disassemble the ignition cylinder and "unstick" the pin?
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Old 12-25-09, 06:14 PM   #4
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i dont think so.. its a pretty solid design.all you have to do is take the tumbler off the back and use a screwdriver to move the contacts and u can start it as long as you jamb the cylnder from locking the wheel u can drive it as well. i guess this is what happened to mine many years ago and why someone rigged a killswitch to the st term in the glovebox. because my key cylnder is all messed up but couldnt get the cylnder off the collum without drilling it or cutting it somehow so just replaced the tumbler instead. either way your better off just getting a new one for your car. if its a s5 make sure it has the long plug and if its a s4 make sure it has the square plug.....
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Old 12-26-09, 12:01 AM   #5
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i dont think so.. its a pretty solid design.all you have to do is take the tumbler off the back and use a screwdriver to move the contacts and u can start it as long as you jamb the cylnder from locking the wheel u can drive it as well. i guess this is what happened to mine many years ago and why someone rigged a killswitch to the st term in the glovebox. because my key cylnder is all messed up but couldnt get the cylnder off the collum without drilling it or cutting it somehow so just replaced the tumbler instead. either way your better off just getting a new one for your car. if its a s5 make sure it has the long plug and if its a s4 make sure it has the square plug.....
It's an S5. But getting a new cylinder means I'll need a new set of keys for the ignition, and a different one for opening the doors. I'm trying to make that my last option, and seeing what else can be done before I have to resort to it.

Sprayed some WD-40 into it earlier today but I don't think that's going to help in any way.
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Old 12-26-09, 02:00 AM   #6
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... getting a new cylinder means I'll need a new set of keys for the ignition, and a different one for opening the doors. I'm trying to make that my last option, and seeing what else can be done before I have to resort to it.
That's hardly the end of the world.
It's easy- and relatively inexpensive- to have the cylinders in your hatch/doors rebuilt to work with the new ignition key.
That way everything matches and all your locks are new as well.

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Sprayed some WD-40 into it earlier today but I don't think that's going to help in any way.
Unless it's water that blocking your keyway, WD 40 won't do squat.
Well, it does smell kinda nice, so there's that.
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Old 12-26-09, 02:46 PM   #7
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at this point the best thing you can do if you cant get in there with a tweezers or wire or some such thing to pull whatever it is thats hanging out, is to just say screw it and get another cylnder unless u want to try shoving whatever it was back in as far as u can but remember then your key might get stuck in it when u least expect it. then youll really be out of luck. its best to just fix it proper, grind down the screws, replace the whole unit and get one of those cool rotor keys just for your igniton, look at it that way ^.^
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Old 12-27-09, 04:22 AM   #8
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Anyone know where I can get a NEW lock cylinder? Mazdatrix doesn't carry that part # any more.
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Old 12-27-09, 04:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JYM View Post
Hi guys,

Someone broke into my car recently and messed up my ignition (my guess is they tried to start the car using some kind of key). I can only stick my key halfway into the keyhole. The ignition system under the hood is perfectly fine, but the key mechanism/lock seems to be jammed. However, when looking inside the keyhole, I can't see anything.

My question is, is it easy to take off the entire lock+ignition mechanism to bring it into a locksmith's shop for fixing, or else how would I go about getting my car to turn on? I can't think of any ideas, because I can't tow my car since it is not accessible by tow truck (flatbed or otherwise),

Thanks and merry Christmas!
Sorry to hear this... Just baught a pager alarm Off Ebay. then i ordered extra shock sensors and door and window shock sensors.. It pages me up to i think close to a Mile using 4 watt system out the antenna.. Next person that tries messin with my car is gonna get a 9mm suprise..

As for the key. SHOOT i dunno the key that fits the door fits the Ignition. Im sure a lock smith could get it lined back up.. :?
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Old 12-28-09, 03:56 PM   #10
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IN parts

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Anyone know where I can get a NEW lock cylinder? Mazdatrix doesn't carry that part # any more.
If you can't find the cylinder new, I've had good luck with the fellows at Apex Auto parts for used parts. Recently ordered and received a full lockset w/ key for my fc at a resonable price.
Check out E-bay: http://myworld.ebay.com/ebaymotors/therx7addict/ , if you din't find what you're looking for, see: http://shop.vendio.com/rx7addict , if you still don't find what you're looking for, e-mail them and they'll look for you.
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Old 12-28-09, 06:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Slade Gunar View Post
at this point the best thing you can do if you cant get in there with a tweezers or wire or some such thing to pull whatever it is thats hanging out, is to just say screw it and get another cylnder unless u want to try shoving whatever it was back in as far as u can but remember then your key might get stuck in it when u least expect it. then youll really be out of luck. its best to just fix it proper, grind down the screws, replace the whole unit and get one of those cool rotor keys just for your igniton, look at it that way ^.^
That's a good point. Well, I already got the rotor key The cylinder seems to be selling for ~ $200...
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Old 12-28-09, 06:46 PM   #12
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ouch man..... get a used one on ebay their alot cheaper. and if you get one with a messed up tumbler you can just throw your old one on the back and off you go

like this one http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/mazda...Q5fAccessories
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Old 12-28-09, 06:51 PM   #13
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id deff use your tumbler tho that one looks like its been spliced up for a alarm or remote start or some such thing but for the price really as long as it looks the same, that looks like a early style but he said it was on a 89 so it should work.. i got 2 and no real difference except the s5 style i got has a small lever at the bottom of it and if its not in the right position you cant take the key out, besides that its a identical peice
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Old 12-29-09, 05:14 PM   #14
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I appreciate all the help so far guys.

Is there any other way to remove the ignition cylinder without carving across the "anti-theft" screws so that it can be removed with a screw driver? I don't think i can get the necessary angle to carve into the screw, or to stick a screwdriver into that indent since the dash is in the way.

Also it feels like the point of the anti-theft screws is defeated because I can just remove the switch that goes into the ignition cylinder, and just turn that with a flat screwdriver, instead of having to remove the entire ignition mechanism.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:14 PM   #15
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two choices I can suggest.
one is to take the Ignition switch out,by Drilling the Screws out and replacing with regular short metric nuts and bolts.
another suggestion I like preferablly is to Bypass all that **** and take and Swap out the whole Column.it is a little more time consuming,But if you have a working USED column with key then the Door keys are Different from the Ignition,and that Could be a GOOD thing if someone decides toTry to tamper with the car.also if you install an interruption switch on the EGI,it will not start until that Switch is activated,.
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Old 12-29-09, 10:57 PM   #16
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I appreciate all the help so far guys.

Is there any other way to remove the ignition cylinder without carving across the "anti-theft" screws so that it can be removed with a screw driver? I don't think i can get the necessary angle to carve into the screw, or to stick a screwdriver into that indent since the dash is in the way.

Also it feels like the point of the anti-theft screws is defeated because I can just remove the switch that goes into the ignition cylinder, and just turn that with a flat screwdriver, instead of having to remove the entire ignition mechanism.
I just pulled my tumbler off last night. It took about 30 min, but here's what I did.
With the bottom column cover removed, remove the trim panel w/ the vent directly below it, remove the vent that is attached to the mid column, and the two 12mm bolts that hold the upper column. Loosen the two 12mm nuts that hold the bottom. Loosen them as much as possible, but don't remove them (no need, won't help, and makes it just that much easier to put everything back together.)
You should now have enough drop in the steering wheel, and remove the upper column cover. Now you can remove the screw that holds the switch assembly to the tumbler, carefully remove the black cable strap (reusable)
Two options, you should have enough room for a small pair of needle nose vice grips, OR Grab a ball peen hammer (safer than a claw) and either a drift punch, or if you're careful, a narrow chisel. I was able to spin the bolts a few turns w/ a drift punch and remove the assembly. I replaced the bolts w/ 5mm hex pan-heads MUCH easier to install. And since I doubt anyone would go through the trouble to dropping the column if they are going to steal the car, it really makes no difference on security.

Good luck, have fun!
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Old 04-27-12, 04:40 PM   #17
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Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I'm having a problem similar to this. My key broke off in the ignition, I've tried super gluing the broken butt of the key to the piece stuck in the ignition, no luck. I've tried tweezers, still nothing. Its like the key is stuck in there if the key was turned to the "on" position. Before I try to take it to a locksmith, I'd like to know a few tips to getting the key removed.
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Old 04-28-12, 04:14 AM   #18
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Sorry to bring this thread back from the dead, but I'm having a problem similar to this. My key broke off in the ignition, I've tried super gluing the broken butt of the key to the piece stuck in the ignition, no luck. I've tried tweezers, still nothing. Its like the key is stuck in there if the key was turned to the "on" position. Before I try to take it to a locksmith, I'd like to know a few tips to getting the key removed.
From what I've seen of locks being keyed, they don't look to be overly complicated devices. So, if it's as stuck as it seems on screen, you may want to try taking it apart and attempting the fix yourself since the locksmith will most likely do the same - and you get to build on your experiences and learning at the same time. Just be sure not to dump any of the parts while you're disassembling it. Take pictures as you go to help you recall how to reassemble it.

Or, if you're not comfortable with that, then just take it to a locksmith.

In either case, I recommend that you stop putting super glue in there.
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Old 04-28-12, 02:26 PM   #19
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Definitely try it yourself first before taking it anywhere.

+1 on the pictures as you go along

The key mechs on these are not that complicated at all. Remove it from the column first by grinding a slot in both of the security screws and remove it with a screwdriver. After that remove the phillips screw from the back of the tumbler and drop it off the column leave the tumbler in place and start taking pics. Check to see if the mech moves freely between the lock on and start. Next step is to pop off the chrome retainer ring around the lock. Use some pb bastard on there and make sure you keep everything documented and separate when you remove the cylinder. I took mine apart way back when and rigged it so you can remove the key with the car still running.

Worst case, after you pull off the mech at least you can still start the car and drive it with just the tumbler and screwdriver (ask me how i know this).

Or you could pick one up for cheap on ebay. Which if u dont have a spare key might be your best/only option at this point since you most likely wont be able to get a duplicate of a broken key.

Besides all that if the key broke inside the lock then you probably should take it apart regardless for cleaning and see what exactly caused it to break instead of risking it happen again if you do fish it out somehow. The mechs inside move very smooth without the tumber hooked up and if not then something is out of place in there unless the wheel locked and you were turning it the wrong direction and jaming on the key. And really, you never know what kind of hee-haw was monkeying around on the car before you got it so it could of been rigged to begin with.
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Old 04-29-12, 08:43 PM   #20
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I took mine apart way back when and rigged it so you can remove the key with the car still running.
I love this feature.


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Besides all that if the key broke inside the lock then you probably should take it apart regardless for cleaning and see what exactly caused it to break instead of risking it happen again if you do fish it out somehow. The mechs inside move very smooth without the tumber hooked up and if not then something is out of place in there unless the wheel locked and you were turning it the wrong direction and jaming on the key. And really, you never know what kind of hee-haw was monkeying around on the car before you got it so it could of been rigged to begin with.
Proper lubrication does wonders...

My driver's side door tumbler was so stiff that I would nearly twist my key off each time I un/locked it until I cleaned and lubricated it. Now it's so incredibly smooth and cleaning it was so easy to do.

My driver's side headlight was so tight / stiff that it would never go up or down properly until I lubricated all of the joints and now it swings so freely.

I need to do the same to my windows before the motors / relays burn out. Basically, you'll be amazed at how much of an improvement in performance you gain with some simple lubrication of these mechanisms that don't normally receive this kind of attention. Keep in mind that our cars are 20+ years old so these little things are going to need some maintenance.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:45 PM   #21
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I haven't had time to work on it lately but ill try lubricating the mechs inside and pulling it out before taking the tumbler apart. And what tool can I use to pop off the chrome retainer ring around the lock? I'll try this thought it seems pretty hard. If no luck ill just have to take it to a locksmith. Luckily I have a spare key.

And thanks for the info guys.
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Old 04-30-12, 04:45 PM
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1993, 300zx, fc, halfway, ignition, key, keyhole, lock, mazda, replace, rx7, set, stuck, tumbler, unsticking

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