MPV- park engages, but key won't come out

I have a 200 Mazda MPV, which I mainly bought for the “magic doors” that make picking up kids from school so much faster. Lately though, that hasn’t been the case.

In order to open the automatic sliding doors, the car has to be in park. I am able to put the car in park, and it is definitely in park (not rolling on my sloped driveway, can’t shift without stepping on the brake) however I can’t remove the key or get the automatic doors to open. The car is parked, but it doesn’t know it is parked. It happens about 50% of the time. I took it to the dealership and their solution is to replace the shift lever assembly at a $420.00 cost to me. I’m wondering if there is some way to repair it instead of replacing it.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, when I am driving (this doesn’t happen in neutral) and I get to about 2.5 RMP, it sounds like a weed-whacker is running. That’s been like that since I bought it used 2 years ago, so it isn’t affecting performance, I just want to know what the heck it is. LOL

That was supposed to say “2000 MPV.” :slight_smile: