Question about 1997 Pontiac Grand Am

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1997 Pontiac Grand Am Gt

After replacing heater core (not fun!) I needed to jumpstart the car due to doors being open so long. When I did this, I grounded the cables to the strut mont bolts on the drive. side. I did not notice that a relay(?) of some kind was also mounted or grounded to this same bolt by a painted metal plate.
When I climbed into the car, there was a small plume of smoke coming from the steering column. I quickly removed cables and took off the plastic cover around steering wheel but was unable to locate where smoke was coming from. (It stopped smoking quickly) I removed the relay(?) under the hood but found no signs or smells of damage there.
I reattached jumpers (grounded in different location) and attempted to restart. This time however, my key will not insert completly into ingnition and I am unable to turn cylinder at all. The door 'dinger' still chimes when I wiggle the ignition but both of our keys do not seem to insert in all the way.
You were VERY helpful during my heater core replacement and i'm praying you can save me again.
I submitted this problem on the forum a day ago and someone responded that there was a Pontiac recall about six years ago for faulty ignitions.
Pontiacs website says there was a 'current flow' problem and they recalled to install a relay to redirect some excess current to avoid car fires when ignition was held in the start position too long. Not sure if our vehicle was repaired back then and am not sure if this was the relay that I grounded near.

Any advise you have would be very appreciated!
Thank you............... - J.W.

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There is a solenoid & plunger next to the ignition switch inside the steering column that stops functioning. The plunger must be retracted in order for the switch to turn all the way so the key can be removed. manually insert the plunger and try to turn the key.

Posted on Nov 08, 2008


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