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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings, again! I said in my introduction thread, I'm probably gonna lay the questions on thick, and I'm itching to start with one that I've posted twice in the r/mazda3 subreddit. If we can figure it out here, I can't wait to go enlighten them!

So, I got this 2016 Mazda3 Sport at an average dealership (as in, not Mazda) back in December. I can start it, but only after swiping the fob on the button. It's got a new fob battery, will unlock, lock and pop the trunk from ridiculous long distances (My last vehicle was a '99 E150) and appears to electronically work fine. But, the physical key won't turn the door lock and, as stated, can't just jump in, press brake and button and start zooming!

Here's the little I've gleaned: Attempted to sit in the car and lock the doors. They locked (no sound, but both blinker lights flashed a couple times), and unlocked when I hit the button. Also, while sitting there pulling out the manual, I think it locked itself with me in it :/ So, anyway, I hear if I can lock it while inside, there may be a receiver problem. But....

Like I said, the physical key doesn't work, and the dealership only gave me one. This has me believing the previous owner, I dunno, lost the originals, ordered a replacement and did some kinda' half-ass job programming the new key. I had read putting the physical key in the lock and doing some turning mumbo-jumbo will help the car realize you're you and allow you to operate normally.

When I did get to that manual, by the way, I didn't see anything for a fuse for the receiver. I'm really, really hoping this is just a fuse thing (unless blowing fuses is a normal issue with my particular car and I have to go through hell and bankruptcy to fix it). Where would I find such a fuse?

Also, once running, the icon (a key with an exclamation mark) flashes red constantly. The Push Button also flashes (Amber or Green, can't recall which). Seems when I try to start it without swiping the fob across the button, an icon that looks like a lock on a car flashes.
 

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The car should have come with 2 fobs. The keys should work if they are original to the car. The single one you have is not working properly obviously. The flashing key thing means there is a problem with the fob, either the battery isn't working or its not being detected by the system. Given that there is only one fob and the key doesn't work in the door I'd say the fob is not original to the car and wasn't programmed correctly. This is an issue that you'll need to have a Mazda dealer fix. Take the car back where you bought it and tell them to make it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, you suppose if I bring it back to them, it'll be on them to settle it with the Mazda dealership? They said they bought it from the auction with just the one key/fob.
 

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Well, the key has multiple systems in it.

1 - the physical key. it should work in the key lock on the drivers door to lock/unlock.
2 - the "advanced keyless" system. It should allow you pressing the little button on the outside door handle while the key is in your pocket to unlock the car. you have to be fairly close - about 80cm from the door handle is the max distance according to the manual, i noted that about a meter or maybe 1.5 work too. This requires a good battery in the fob which you obviously have. Note that it is NOT needed to press the button on the key, but the button on the door handle. There are cars without this system, too, they do not have the little button on the door handle.
This is also the system needed to start the car with the key in the pocket. If you press the start button in the car, it checks if the key is in the car and will start if so. If you leave the car while the enginge is running or the ignition is on, the car will beep unhappy becuase the key is gone (it will keep running though, so if the battery in the key dies or the key gets lost for some other reason you still can get home or at least off the highway. you cannot re-start the motor without the key though).
3 - The remote buttons on the Key. They work for Locking/Unlocking the car from the outside, depending on the fob you have you might also be able to unlock the trunk or activate/deactivate the alarm system. Some keys seem to even have a panic button to make the alarm sound. They do work from the inside of the car, though worse that from the outside.
4 - The "fallback" system if the battery in the fob is empty. This is the system you are using to start your car. If the car cannot find the fob in the car, you can start it by swiping it at the start button. This is a passive system requiring no battery in the fob, probably some kind of proprietary RFID. This is usually not the way to use, it is only for the "emergency" if the key does not work correctly. If the key is not found with the keyless system (2), the little key light blinks in the instrument cluster.

My guess for your problem is what you said: The original keys are lost, and the new key is not correctly accepted by the car, so the remote works and the emergency start system does also, but the advanced keyless system is not. If you have the button on the door handle you can try to unlock there, if that does not work either it is fairly sure that this is the case.

That could mean (a) that the key was not correctly set up with the car. I dont know if the four subsystems in the key have to be set up one by one for themselves, and i would think that is rather weird if so. I would rather guess that a key should work entirely or entirely not (excluding the physical key which is probably not bound to the electronics).

It could also mean (b) that the advanced keyless system in the key or even in the car is broken, and only the emergency subsystem is still working. If you can unlock the car with the physical key in the door lock (which you cannot as i read from your post), this would be even more probable. That would mean that the key is accepted by the car, but the keyless communication system simply is broken on one of the two and therefore they cannot communicate. That should be possible to be found out by hooking up the diagnosis system at a dealership.

In your case i would go to a mazda dealership, bring a cup of coffee or two with you or maybe put 10 bucks into the tip jar, and ask them to check what is wrong with the key. maybe they can already guess it. If they can fix it quickly you are happy, and if not they can maybe tell you whats wrong so you have something you can tell the dealer you bought the car from. If they tell you they can fix it for $$$, you can ask the dealer you bought the car from to give you $$$ because it is broken.

Maybe the mazda dealer even has access to a database and can look up which car VIN was sold with wich key fob serial numbers, so he can tell you if that is an original key. I dont know if that is recorded though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Update: Called local Mazda dealership. They said this is confusing...coming from a place that has had customers after-market keys melt while being cut, I feel special. March 5th, I'm dropping her off. For anyone curious of the outcome, I'll immediately race back and post here what happens.
 
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