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Mazda CX-5 Shift Lock Release Guide
How to manually change the gear selector from "P" (Park) to "N" (Neutral) in a 2017 to 2022 Mazda CX-5 SUV.

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2019 CX-5 Gear Selector
Access Cover By "P"
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the second generation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022) Mazda CX-5 SUV in activating the shift lock release mechanism in order to manually change the gear selector from "P" (Park) to "N" (Neutral) due to a weak or dead 12V car battery, a missing key fob, a dead key fob battery or some other mechanical or electrical issue. This may be necessary to move the car by hand or have it towed by a tow truck.

Owners of other Mazda vehicles such as the CX-3, CX-30, CX-7, CX-9, Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-30, MX-5 Miata, Mazda2, CX-4, CX-8 and BT-50 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The only tool needed to access and use the shift lock release button is a small flat head screwdriver such as from a jeweler's precision screwdriver set or a small plastic trim panel removal tool.

The first steps are to engage the emergency / parking brake and place wheel chocks on both sides of the front and / or rear tires to help prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Please proceed with caution and at your own risk!

Sit in the driver's seat and place your foot firmly on the brake pedal to make sure the SUV does not move unexpectedly.

Locate the small square / rectangular shaped access cap situated just above the "P" symbol on the gear selector trim cover.


Pry Out Access Cap
Plastic Cap Removed
Use the flat head screwdriver or the plastic pry bar tool to very gently pry out the shift lock release button's access cover.

There is a small notch on the left side of the access cap.

Do not try to pry out the right side of the cap.

Set the access cover aside in a safe place.

White Release Button
Push Down Release Button
If you look down into the opening in the gear selector's trim cover, you'll see the white plastic shift lock release button.

Make sure your foot is firmly pushing down the brake pedal and the wheels are chocked to keep the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Push down the white plastic button with the small screwdriver.

Shift From Park to Neutral
Move Car & Back to Park
Keep the button pressed down while you change the gear selector from "P" (Park) back to "N" (Neutral).

Have your assistants carefully move the vehicle or load the SUV on to the tow truck.

Once you are done moving the car, shift the gear selector forward from Neutral back to Park.

Push In Access Cover
Access Cap Secured
Pop the small plastic access cover into the opening.

You should feel or hear the cap "click" securely back into place.

Double check that the vehicle is in "Park" and the parking brake is engaged before releasing the brake pedal.

Please check out all of my 2017-2022 Mazda CX-5 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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