Question about 2001 Pontiac Aztek

2 Answers

Same problem. Key stuck,

Key stuck, service engine soon lit, no power to anything else. wont even "click" starter motor. cant shift out of park. HELP!!!

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  • stuarth57 Sep 03, 2009

    The steering wheel is not locked. It will turn freely in both directions (with normal tire resistance). The key wont turn off and wil go from the accessory position to try to crank, but nothing. It is a 2003 Aztek with 114,000 miles and no previous problems. It has the battery in it when I bought it with 11,000 miles on it. No lights, radio or other power accessories are operable.

    The first time it wouldn't start last night I removed the key fine. I Thought it was a dead battery and tried to jump start... then key would not come out.

    This is where I am now. fortunately I have 2 vehicles and am at work with Pontiak DOA inside garage.

  • stuarth57 Sep 04, 2009

    where is the shift linkage contact you refered to. Still am having no luck

  • stuarth57 Sep 04, 2009


    Your Sept 4 reply was very extensive but didnt seem to have anything to do with my posted problem.

    I went to a dealer today and of course I have to bring it in. They did also tell me disconnecting the battery should help me get my key out.

    Today, no power. NO check engine light and I checked three 20 amp fuses and none were blown. (I read it in some other site). I guess Tuesday I will have it towed to the dealer. Tomorrow I will disconnect battery and take it out to have it checked. it is original one in my 2003 Aztek. I was told by the dealer it could still be the battery.

  • stuarth57 Sep 05, 2009

    Your lengthy response yesterday does not seem to relate to my problem. I will be taking the battery out today and having it checked. If not the problem, I will get it to the dealer this week.

  • stuarth57 Sep 07, 2009

    I disconnected the battery... NO change. I then replaced with a new battery...VOILA that was the problem. so simple. The battery was 5 years old. Thanks for the help

  • stuarth57 Sep 07, 2009

    I thank u for the quick replys. I replaced my 5-year old battery and that fixed my problem. thank you again for all your help.



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To begin with I need a little more information. Do you know for sure the battery is totally charged? The ignition can lock on you if battery voltage is low.Check this and connections at battery. This would explain everything,so eliminate this first.

Posted on Sep 05, 2009

  • Donnie Matney
    Donnie Matney Sep 05, 2009

    This is info straight from a GM bulleton on your vehicle,

    Cannot Shift Vehicle Out of Park with Dead or Low Battery

    2001-2005 Pontiac Aztek

    The following diagnosis might be helpful if the vehicle exhibits the symptom(s) described in this PI.

    If the vehicle has a discharged battery or a battery with low voltage, there is an override access slot that will allow you to override the shift lock release. This is in the features and controls section of the 2001 and 2002 Owner's Manuals but was omitted for 2003-2005.

    Following are the steps to override the shift lock.

    1. Remove the front cupholder liner.

    2. Locate the access panel on the left side of the cupholder storage compartment.

    3. Remove the override access slot by pressing down on the bottom of the panel and lifting up.

    4. Press the shift lock release lever in with the access panel cover.

    5. Move the shift lever out of PARK (P).

    6. Put the access panel cover back on by aligning the access panel grooves with the cupholder storage compartment and press down.

    7. Replace the cupholder liner.

    Please follow this diagnostic or repair process thoroughly and complete each step. If the condition exhibited is resolved without completing every step, the remaining steps do not need to be performed.

    Im not exactly sure this will help remove the key but this is an example of why the information I give is to eliminate low voltage.I would also make sure your ground connections are not corroded and both battery terminals. I could give you more also as I look it up.


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  • Master
  • 3,741 Answers

1)A short term fix is to unplug the battery from the car. This, at least should let you remove the key from the ignition. But this also disables any security system you may have.

2)some times when the steering wheel is pulling too hard against the lock it will prevent the key from moving. Try wiggling the steering wheel when moving the key.

3)you can try cleaning the contacts on the shift linkage. Your ignition must be in park. If the contacts are dirty, the circuit is interrupted. Also could be the tumbler is worn in which case you have to replace the switch. Not an easy thing to do, and you need to deactivate the airbag if you have one. Some ignitions have a manual release the you can access on the underside of the ignition. You have to insert a pin to pull the key out.

keep updated,thanks.

Posted on Sep 03, 2009

  • 1 more comment 
  • charlymonty Sep 03, 2009

    when the key sticks, it can be the switch that is activated by the shifter (automatics) is broken, bad or out of adjustment.

    also try to hit the key toward the lock a few times which straightens the pins enough that you can start her up

  • charlymonty Sep 04, 2009

    Under the dashboard implies a column shift. This would mean a mechanical linkage. If so there is a connection on the steering column just outside the firewall in the engine compartment, a rod down to the frame and another rod to the transmission. At any one of these points there is a hard plastic or brass bushing. The rod may have come out of the bushing, the bushing worn or missing. The entire length of the shift rod should be visible and worn or broken point found.
    ---------If you check 4wd or quadratrac. They have all the parts you need. There should be plastic bushings where the attachment rod slides through on the transfer case. Also the pins that hold the shift linkage will ware out. or some people replace tem with screws. Also their should be a plastic tip on the end of the shift rod that takes up the slack where it slides through at the shift rails. If you replace all these pieces you will see a big improvement. Or you could swapp in a twin stick shiffter.

    If your shifting is sloppy and you're looking to tighten it up, then you need to replace the shifter bushing or the shifter U-joint. The U-joint is easier to replace. To change the bushing, you need to remove the shifter. Just behind the cup that the shifter goes in, there is a little plastic bushing that surrounds the shaft and is held in place by a metal loop hanging down from the top of the tunnel. Pull the shaft forward (towards the front of the car) and slide/pull/yank/cut the old bushing out. Take the new bushing and slide it in place. It should snap into place and be firmly held in position. If it will not snap in or if there was no old bushing, then your loop is worn out and needs to be replaced. This is a little harder and would require much more explanation. To change the U-joint, you need to remove the rear seat. Underneath an oval plate held in place with a screw, there is a metal cage holding large square rubber blocks in place. There is a bolt going through the rubber blocks that attach the cage & blocks to the shift rod coming out of the transmission nose cone. If these blocks are loose or sloppy then they need to be replaced. I recommend getting the neoprene replacements - they will outlast your car! They are usually red so you can tell the difference between neoprene and the black rubber ones. Just make sure to put a little grease around the outside of the blocks everywhere that they touch metal. They last a long time but they tend to be squeaky! A little grease will stop the squeaks. You can replace the cage if you want, but as long as it's not bent out of shape or worn through anywhere, it should be perfectly fine to re-use.

  • charlymonty Sep 04, 2009

    keep me updated .so i can continue from there.



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