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Help: My battery is dead and My key is stuck!
Anyway, your key problem may be
related to the dead battery. There’s
something called an interlock
solenoid on your car that locks the
steering wheel when you put the car
in park.

with your battery. The first thing
we’d do at our shop is try violently
shaking the steering wheel. Of
course, we’re animals, so that’s
to be expected. But if the pin is
just stuck for mechanical reasons,
sometimes physical force can get
BY RAY MAGLIOZZI
That solenoid is located near the
it to release. So, try moving the
shifter, in the center console. When
steering wheel back and forth as
Dear Car Talk:
you put the car in park, it actuates
best you can while you jiggle the
I have a Pontiac G5, and my key
a pin that locks the steering wheel. key and see if you can get the key to
got stuck in my ignition. I believe
If there’s no power at all, that
the off position.
my battery is dead. If I replace the
solenoid won’t work, and you
If not, don’t replace the battery yet.
battery, will the key be released
won’t be able to unlock the steering
Try jump-starting the car first. If
from the ignition? — Linda
wheel. And if the steering wheel is
it is a battery problem, as soon as
not in the exact right position, it’ll
I’m not sure why the key was in
you hook up the jumper cables, the
the ignition when the battery died, prevent you from turning the key to battery should have enough power
Linda. Were you leaving it “ready to the off position and removing it.
to energize the solenoid and release
go,” hoping somebody would steal Now, it’s possible that the pin is
the interlock pin. That’ll tell you
it?
just stuck, and it has nothing to do the dead battery was the problem.

Then, you can drive to your repair
shop and have your charging
system tested. The test will tell you
whether you just need to charge
your old battery, buy a new one or
possibly replace your alternator if it
isn’t keeping your battery charged.
I bet the jump start works, Linda.
Good luck.

***
Got a question about cars? Write to
Ray in care of King Features, 628
Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803,
or email by visiting the Car Talk
website at www.cartalk.com.
© 2019 by Ray Magliozzi and
Doug Berman Distributed by King
Features Syndicate, Inc.

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