While a problem with the “can’t start in gear” switch would explain the symptoms the caller described, I think, given that the problem started only after the new battery was installed, that it’s more likely that her stepfather did not completely tighten the battery cable clamps, and that when she wiggles the steering wheel, it jiggles things around just enough to make a connection.
“Wiggling” the steering wheel helps tighten a loose battery connection?
This is definitely a new concept. Perhaps you can patent this process.
Two well known problems with GM vehicles can cause this:
- Positive battery terminal may need a new spacer to keep it tight. They do work loose after a new battery install and wiggling them will get it working for a while. However, I don’t think wiggling the steering wheel would fix this problem.
- Most likely it is the ignition switch. They go bad at first intermitently, then start failing more often until they don’t work at all.
Go to the dealer and have them install a new ignition switch. Problem solved.
One other “key” thing that the guys forgot to mention.
GET RID OF ALL THE SILLY KEYCHAINS!
Lock cylinders are not intended to support the weight of 47 keychains including pictures of your nephews and “I heart my Dachshund” keychains. Keep the weight of your keyring to an absolute minimum! Maybe 3 or 4 keys max.