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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife’s MDX has 171k on it and about 10k miles ago we started noticing the key would get stuck after driving in the Accessory(1) position after turning off motor. It’s gotten worse over time. My wife initially told me if she turns the steering wheel then it eventually comes loose but I did this and didn’t notice any improvement. I was starting to think we’d need to replace the key ignition assembly and get new keys but I noticed a few weeks ago that when I put it in park and just wiggle the shifter in park then the key comes out just fine first try. I tried to mess around with the ignition assembly when it was parked but the key didn’t want to get stuck when it had been sitting off for a while.

However, the problem has persisted and is getting worse even with wiggling the shifter now. This leads me to believe it’ll soon be a big issue and stay stuck one day. After researching a little I’m between it being a few issues.

1) Key ignition assembly in steering wheel is bad
2) Shift Interlock Solenoid is bad or needs regreasing (not sure where this one is)
3 Neutral Safety switch could be bad

It’s not throwing codes and judging by forum posts #3 typically has a code. And since wiggling the shifter worked for some time I started ruling out #1. It’s not hard to put into gear though it does seem to take a slight longer amount of time to get into reverse or D5 than I’d expect but then again I’m used to driving manual so I don’t know how long it should take. I was probably going to do a trans fluid exchange on it soon as it needs it for scheduled maintenance.

I’m trying to avoid throwing parts at it so I’m not sure where to go from here. Any advice on what to check or do?
 

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The key (no pun intended) is that the key came out after wiggling the shifter (and there's no mechanical connection between the two). Sounds like a shift position switch issue. Does the "P" indicator come on solidly when you do put the car in park (before shutting it off, of course)? It could also be the solenoid that "locks" the key into place when the car is in gear, and wiggling the shifter could just cycle it, causing it to release.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The key (no pun intended) is that the key came out after wiggling the shifter (and there's no mechanical connection between the two). Sounds like a shift position switch issue. Does the "P" indicator come on solidly when you do put the car in park (before shutting it off, of course)? It could also be the solenoid that "locks" the key into place when the car is in gear, and wiggling the shifter could just cycle it, causing it to release.
I never noticed a light on the shift indicator to be honest. Is it supposed to light up at the shifter plate?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The one on the dash will tell you which position the shift switch (on the tranny) is in...
Oh yep I forgot that was there. I just tested it when the key was being stubborn. The light appears to be responsive to what gear I’m in. Supposed to be red in neutral and park correct? That probably means it’s the key assembly in the steering wheel I assume?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As an update... it just works now. I ended up spraying some electrical cleaner straight into the ignition lock cylinder and lightly wiped with a cloth on the inside a little and put key in and out a few times a couple weeks ago and it didn’t do anything at first but it has progressively solved itself after that. Now about 95% of the time it comes right out with no wiggling of the shifter. It makes me feel stupid but maybe it’ll help someone else.
 
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