Question about 1997 Pontiac Grand Am

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Pay attention when jump starting!

While attempting to jump our 97 Pontiac Grand Am (3.1 ltr. V-6) I grounded my cables to the strut mounts on driver side. I did not notice that there was (what appears to be) a relay grounded to this same bolt.
When I got back in the driver seat There was a small plume of smoke coming from inside the steering column!
I quickly disconnected the jumper cables and removed the cover behind the steering wheel. I was unable to find the source of the smoke, which dissapated shortly there after.
After I discovered the (relay?) mounted to the same bolt I grounded my cables to, I removed it and checked for visable damage. I saw and smelled nothing. I reattached the device, waited a few minutes, connected the cables properly and tried to start the car.
Now however, my key will not go completly into the ignition so i am unable to turn ignition at all.
My key is a copy, but, when we tried the original key, it goes further in but still seems to not be in all the way and the ignition will not turn. The door dinger chimes, but nothing else.
I am fearfull that I've caused hundreds of dollars of damage (diagnosis time alone) with this bone-head move. Not to mention all the complaining I'm going to hear from my girlfriend for the next few weeks (years).
After you are done laughing at me, I would really appreciate any advise you may have.

Thank you. -J.W.

Posted by on

  • Bullfrog75 Jul 12, 2008

    97 Pont. Grand Am electrical problems cont...



    I appreciate the help. I will look into the recall.

    The reason I was jumpstarting car was because I just replaced the heater core and the battery was dead from having doors open so long.

    Also, if I choose to replace ignition, is there any advise you can give me? does it come out easily? How many wires and will I have to deal with?

    The vehicle is equipped with air bags, is this going to cause a problem?

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  • Pontiac Master
  • 2,039 Answers

Jw first why did you boost the car fore and gronding the car on the metal body of car is the right thing to do positive on the plus of battery negative on body nothing wrong there and there no reason why our car key dont go in for what i can see ok our battery dead there a reason for that i think the ignition baril is defective when you turn our car of the ignition stay on that drain our battery thats why our key dont go on the ignition key baril and and electrical part at the end is melted gm had a recall on that to it used to melt and smoke just like our let me know HOPE IT HELP YOU FIXYA OUR POST pierre p.s get our girlfriend to read this it will save our life you owe me big lol take care

Posted on Jul 11, 2008

  • pierre laplante Jul 12, 2008

    you need to remove the cover of the stering at the end of baril the electric parts there look at it to see if no melted or got a burn smell you need special socket to remove the bolt hope it help fixya our post thanks pierre

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