What To Do When the Intelligent Key Gets Dumb - 2009 Mazda 6 Long-Term Road Test
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2009 Mazda 6 Long-Term Road Test

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2009 Mazda 6: What To Do When the Intelligent Key Gets Dumb

November 05, 2009

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For the record, we are not having problems with our 2009 Mazda 6's so-called Advanced Key. You know, the kind where you keep it in your pants...and push buttons to lock or start the car instead.

But what does one do if the car fails to recognize the electronic signature of the Advanced Key?

Well, for starters, you slide the little latch aside to release a hidden "real" key and use it to unlock the door, old-school style.

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But there's no obvious place to stick it, as the usual keyhole is blanked off.

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A closer look reveals a little key-sized notch at the base of the plastic cover.

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Once removed, a keyhole of sorts is revelaed. The weird part is this: the key goes in, but you can't turn it to start the car.

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To do that, you go back to the start button on the center stack, as usual.

It's all very easy, but not every car with such a system has the same back-up starting strategy. Advice: read the manual entry on this subject beforehand.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 20,066 miles

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