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Two months ago, I had a problem on intermittent no start and no crank in my Mazda 323f 2000 AT model. When I brought it to the shop, they found out that the problem was the starter and that the brush needs to be replaced. After replacing the brush and re-installing the starter, the problem goes away.

Now, I am having the same problem again. When I turn the key, I see the lights on the dash board (bright so I am assuming this is no battery problem) but no cranking happens and of course the car won't start. Also, I noticed that the key got stuck for a brief moment and I cannot remove it in the keyhole.

I tried turning the key again and to my surprise, it started at the first crank. Now after a few minutes, I tried turning off the engine (I was able to remove the key this time). And then another minute I tried starting it again and the same no crank, no start happened. I tried starting it again without removing the key and it started in the first crank.

If anyone can give me advice on what to look at, diagnosis I can try to get to the problem, that would be great. Do I need to return to the shop who did the brush replacement?

  • It seems to me your issue (now) is with your ignition switch. The "turn the key the first time: no start; turn it a second time and start" plus the key getting stuck temporarily would lead me to believe this is the issue. I don't have a procedure for you, though, so leaving this as a comment. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Dec 18 '15 at 3:41
  • @Paulster2 That is what I thought too. But I don't want to go to the shop without any idea what's going on. Also, I can see the lights on the dashboards which gives me doubt that the switch needs replacement. I am using the spare key too which is almost new. I'll wait a while for anyone to stumble in my question for more suggestions. Thanks mate. – L42 Dec 18 '15 at 5:24
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The symptoms do sound like a problem with the ignition switch. If you are confident, you should be able to remove the cowling around the steering column and get access to the electrical switch on the back of the steering lock. You should then be able to unclip the switch from the steering lock mechanism and turn it with a screwdriver and start the engine. You may be able to clean the switch with some switch cleaner or replace it if necessary. Don't attempt to drive the car with the steering lock still on though. Seeing as your key got stuck, it may be necessary to replace the complete steering lock assembly.

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    To emphasize: Do not drive the vehicle if the key is still stuck in the ignition. It is a big safety issue. – race fever Dec 18 '15 at 14:34

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