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Mazda CX-9 Shift Lock Release Guide
How to release the automatic transmission's shift lock mechanism in a 2016 to 2021 Mazda CX-9 SUV.

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2019 Mazda CX-9
Plastic Access Cover
Flat Head Screwdriver
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Mazda CX-9 SUV in releasing the automatic transmission's shift lock mechanism in order to change the gear selector from "P" (Park) to "N" (Neutral) and manually move a disabled vehicle due to a weak or dead 12V battery or some other mechanical or electrical problem.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the CX-5, CX-3, CX-30, MX-30, CX-8, Mazda8 (MPV), MX-5 Miata, Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Mazda6 (Atenza) and Mazda5 (Premacy) may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The only tool needed to complete this procedure is a small flat head screwdriver such as from a precision screwdriver set or a small plastic pry bar tool.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

I recommend placing wheel chocks on both sides of the tires and engaging the emergency / parking brake to help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Sit in the driver's seat of the vehicle. Locate the small rectangular access cover at the top left of the gear selector assembly in front of the "P" (Park) symbol.

Insert the blade of your small flat head screwdriver into the small notch on the left side of the access cover.

Very gently pry out the access cover from the top of the gear selector assembly.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The access cap should pop out relatively easily.


Gently Pry Out Cover
Plastic Cover Removed
Locate Release Button
Set the access cover aside in a safe place.

Look into the opening just above the "P" symbol and you'll see the shift lock release switch.

Push Down To Release
Move Gear Selector - N
Shift Back To Park
Firmly push down on the brake pedal to help prevent the SUV from moving unexpectedly.

Use the small flat head screwdriver to push down the shift lock release button.

Carefully move the gear selector from "Park" back to "Neutral".

Have your assistants manually move the vehicle.

Once you are done moving the vehicle or loading it on to the tow truck, push down the brake pedal and change the gear selector from "Neutral" to "Park".

Line Up Plastic Cover
Access Cover Secured
Done Moving SUV
Line up the plastic cover and gently snap it back into place.

Make sure the access cover is securely inserted.

For more, please check out all of the 2016-2021 Mazda CX-9 DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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