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Pontiac Repair/2001 Pontiac Aztek - key removed but engine was still running


Today I got out of the car and took the key out but the engine was still running. All the power was off on the inside of the car, no radio, dashboard lights, heat, etc. We couldn't restart the car but if we turned the key we got the radio, heat and dashboard lights on. Since we weren't home we didn't have the proper tools to get to the battery to remove the connections and after about 5-10 minutes the car died. It started to sound very strained and something was smoking before it died. Any clue as to what happened or what the problem was and maybe a cost estimate to get it fixed while we wait?

A few years ago the key was stuck in the ignition. We took it to the dealer and they fixed two wires in it and 11 days later the same problem happened again. We found a new mechanic who did 'electrical work' and he said it was a solenoid problem and fixed it for us. We have had no problems with it since, until today....

Hi Jess:

does this have an aftermarket remote starter on it? if so I would suspect that is the culprit here. If not then your guess is as good as mine. VERY strange. I can't say that I have heard of that sort of an issue on those suv's. They are noted for 2 things eletrical ignition switches going bad and body control modules both items caus all kinds of "strange things" to happen with these. With out seeing it can't tell you want the issue is. where did you see it smoking from under the hood or in the passenger compartment? either way I would get it towed to some place that has a clue as to what they are doing. A Gm dealership or an AC Delco repair center.  

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Todd Puccio


General auto repair,electrical issues,driveability issues,anti-lock brakes,SIR systems,HVAC,engine performance,Gm specific. I have worked at my current dealership since the 1990 model year anything much older than that I have limited exposure to. I do not have very much transmission experience so those question you may want to ask of another expert. When you send me a question let me know the exact make/model/engine and year for the car or suv you have it makes it easier to answer the questions that way. If your happy with the answer I gave you please feel free to Donate. This is a free service to you and I am not compensated at all by this web site. I have 22 years of experience to share with you and my knowledge wasn't free to me. I had to pay for my education.


Experience in the area: I have been a technician in GM dealerships for over 22 years and I am a ASE master technician. I work at a Buick and GMC truck store Previously I worked at a Pontiac GMC store for 18 years. I Served a a lead technician when dealership was on a team system. I just recently moved to a Buick,Hummer,Saab Store when my franchise was purchased by this dealership. Organizations: ASE master technician


Education/Credentials:High school diploma,2 year vocational school degree 2 year college degree. Associates degree in applied sciences (auto technology)Awards and Honors: GMC master technician

Awards and Honors
Master GMC truck technician Master ASE technician in 9 categories

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