my key comes out of the ignition but the ignition doesn't turn all the way on. its stuck one turn away from off. so the radio constantly is on. it also dings like crazy like i have left something on inside the car but i checked and nothing was left on. what is wrong?


Asked by Dec 06, 2013 at 06:23 PM about the 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix GT Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

12 Answers

...goes to the ON position will not start?

9 of 9 people found this helpful. m=shop

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

You've got two things going on here. First, your key is worn out. Second the solenoid in the steering column is stuck or not getting power when you shift into Park. On the bottom of the steering column, directly under the ignition lock cylinder there's a plastic plug. Remove it. Use a small screwdriver and insert it into the hole you just uncovered. Push up and turn the ignition lock cylinder to the lock position. This problem is usually caused by a broken wire at the shifter in the center console. Over time the wire(s) at the shifter break or come loose from the switch in there that's attached to the shifter assembly. HTH. -Jim

16 of 16 people found this helpful.

no it starts it just wont turn my car 100% off. its stuck in like the auxilary position

11 of 11 people found this helpful.

Yup, my 2000 model does the exact same thing. It's a common problem with these cars. -Jim

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

hmm okay so whats the best way to fix it? and the cheapest? :/

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

If it is the connector at the shifter NAPA (where I work) and probably other auto parts stores sell it for like $30.00 or so. If the problem is in the steering column I'd suggest taking it in for repair at a service center. I haven't gotten into mine yet to be able to advise you. To check the shifter connector remove the top of the center console. It pulls right off. You'll need to remove the storage compartment from under the flip up arm rest. That just lifts out. The top of the center console is secured by clips. Once you get it off, set the parking brake and move the shifter all the way down to 1. You'll be able to inspect the wiring then. Mine is ok in the console but most people report this is where the problem is. As far as the worn out key it's really nothing to worry about. But if you decide to replace it don't use it to copy a new key. The wear pattern will be transferred to the new key if you do. Also, a new key must be programmed to the car or it won't start the engine because of the PASSKEY III security system. HTH. -Jim

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

There's also videos of this on YouTube. Search YouTube for "key stuck in ignition". -Jim

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

I believe Js has nailed it. I had a similar problam with my 2003. My mechanic, who is a GM electrical genius worked on it and I believe the electrical problem in my case was a broken wire at the base of the steering column. It is indeed a common problem and apparently GM has issued some service bulletins over the years to address it. If you have access to that type of information and enjoy searching for electrical problems, fly at it. If not its likely best to pay a few bucks to someone who is and save yourself a lot of frustration.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Didn't know about the possibility of a broken wire at the base of the steering column. Thanks for that information, munron. My Grand Prix is my "toy" so with cold weather coming on I decided to wait 'till spring to tear into the steering column. I'll definitely keep that in mind. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I believe its at the base and is near or part of a connector. No dismantling of the steering column is required. It was a very quick fix once he found out where to look. I think its the one and only time I've got my car back for under $100. I almost felt guilty paying so little for a repair... almost. Sadly I didn't do the work so I can't be more specific.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.

Thanks very much, munron. Very helpful info. -Jim

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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