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It is connected to the transmission linkage or directly on the transmission; that is why it is easy to spot during inspection. With the neutral safety switch working just fine, untoward accidents can be avoided. Yet there are some signs that will pinpoint defect on this part. One is when the lever has to be shifted from park or neutral mode in order to get the engine to start. Another is if the car starts in Neutral but not in Park mode. That’s the go-signal for a replacement. Thanks for the information. Better to take your advice for it.
 

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My 3 is about 18 months old now and about 8 weeks ago it periodically won't start. It has been towed to the dealer three times. It is not the key as I have tried both keys and the light on the dash doesn't flash fast like it is a key issue. ...and here is a surprise, everytime the dealer has the car it starts. The dealership finally replaced the main relay and the next day it didn't start. They are telling me there is nothing they can do. They also told me they called the techs at Mazda and they said there is no problem with 3's not starting. When I turn the key all the lights come on and sometimes I will hear a click like the starter is ready to engage, but it doesn't. It sounds like the relay is clicking. I think it is a starter issue, but the dealer refuses to replace it unless it happens for them. Once, I let it sit and came back 2 hours later and it started right up. The dealer has it now and said Mazda told him to release the car that there is nothing they can do. So basically I will continue to get stranded until it doesn't start for them. I really like this car, but honestly I am seriously thinking about selling it and going back to Toyota's before the warranty expires. I had over 200k miles on my toyota and never had a problem. Has anyone had this problem with their 2007 3???

Additional info...
Air temperature doesn't seems to affect this condition.
I have 20,000 miles on it.
It has happened with the car warmed up and cold.
May not mean anything to you so many years later but we have a 2007 Mazda 3 manual and had a problem today with it not starting. Tried with jumper leads and no action. Had the battery tested, it was low on Charge but still ok. Went back to the car tonight with the battery. first try it did not start. THEN PUT FOOT ON BRAKE and it started straight up. Not something I ever remember doing with this car, granted I have not driven it much because it was my sons. But he is not aware of putting his foot on the brake every time he started it.
 
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