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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.