Some facts:

  • My dad has an aftermarket Remote Keyless Entry
  • Not aware of any aftermarket theft system, does not use keyless start
  • He's used 410 watt power inverters through the cigarette lighter but has no radar detection installed or anything like that
  • The manual warns about using anything above 20 amps (not sure if this applies to the inverters)
  • Right before the problem started, he had the ignition on but not running while he plugged a heavy duty light into a cable meant for a GPS to see if it would work. This caused the interior light to dim. When he went to turn the car off and pull the key out, the key was seemingly locked in. So he fully started the engine, turned it off and it still wouldn't come out. So he started it again, pushed down on the brake, moved the gear. This time the key came out. He was able to drive the car down the street and back and thought nothing of it.

Shortly afterwards, every time he attempted to start the car the horn would sound, the lights would flash and there was a clicking sound. After trying to jump the battery the electrical system went even crazier - locking/unlocking doors, opening the trunk, lights flash across the dash and the clicking sound was even louder and more erratic.

He's tried disconnecting and reconnecting the battery and pumping the brake 3 times with the ignition on but not running in an attempt to reset the system and that causes all the warning messages on the Driver Information Center to flash the following warning messages - "AJAR" "CHARGING SYSTEM FAILURE" "SERVICE ABS SYSTEM" "SERVICE TRACTION SYSTEM" "SERVICE BRAKE SYSTEM" "SERVICE STABILITY SYSTEM" "SERVICE TIRE MONITOR SYTEM" "BATTERY SAVER ACTIVE" and the car will make wild clanking noises that appear to be coming from around the fuse box then the interior warning and dash lights will slowly die until the car seems to be completely dead.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, we are very confused.

  • It's a 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP with a 5.3 l engine
    – lace
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


Have you checked the fuses in the engine compartment and under the dash, you said he plugged in a work lamp that drew to much power and caused the lights to dim, If the ignition cylinder was in the run or on position it may have put a strain on fuse box for high resistance, thus causing a fuse or relays to blow, when the fuse/relay blew the car wasnt fully engaged in park or neutral which caused shift lock, sticky keys...

The erratic electrical system could be the ECM malfunctioning, since you forced the key out you may have to get the key re-programmed, Hopefully it's just a relay and not the ECM

Because it sounds like it started with a minor anti-theft alarm system going off, open the door, unlock the door and turn the key to on should turn off the alarm system, but you can't do that if the ignition system was faulty, But then you tried to jump start the car, that might of hurt the ECM which caused everything to malfunction, or it may even have been a bad junction box for the remote start/lock-unlock/Trunk popper.

Give it a few hours and you'll have a few more answers on how to diagnose this.

  • Sorry let me clarify. He didn't force the key out of the ignition and the car was
    – lace
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 19:48
  • The reason keys get stuck inside of the ignition system is because the shifter isn't fully engaged in park or neutral or sometimes there's micro trip sensors sitting on the stop and bottom of the gear shifter that tells your car it's been engaged in park
    – user38183
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 20:23
  • Sent my last comment too soon - He didn't force the key out of the ignition, he could remove it normally after turning it on and off twice and the car was fully in park. The drivers manual says a low battery could prevent the key from being removed. The horn going off wasn't continuous, it would only sound 2 or 3 honks when he was trying to fully start the car. It hasn't gone off since we tried to jump it. One person with similar issues said a computer reset fixed it and another said all he needed was a new battery. BTW the headlamps and ignition switch are recalled on this car.
    – lace
    Commented Nov 24, 2018 at 20:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .