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Engine Shuts Off, Power Doesn't

Hello. I have a friend that has a Grand Am. Not sure of the year, somewhere in the early 2000’s. When she parks her car and shuts the engine off, the power stays on. It takes several times of repositioning the car in the parking space to be able to turn off everything and remove the key. What is causing this and is there a temporary solution to it as she accumulates money to have it repaired?

Thanks for any help.

I’m not sure I understand the repositioning part in the parking space if the engine is already off, or is nothing shutting off so the engine would still be running. At any rate a first guess would be the ignition switch is either worn or out of adjustment, or the rod between the key lock and the ignition switch on the steering column is sticking.

What I mean by that is, she starts the car again and basically tries to park the car again, trying a straighter angle and making the steering wheel level. It’s something that happened to work a few times, you know, just grasping onto any idea that might work. I’ve read about the problem being related to the shifter assembly, the car not thinking it is truly in park.

The engine shuts off with no problem, it is the power in the car that does not shut off and the key won’t come out of the ignition. I know there is an option to just keep the power/radio/etc on while the engine is off. This is not that. This is a case of going through the motion of turning off the car when you’re parked and only the engine shutting off.

<i>she starts the car again and basically tries to park the car again, trying a straighter angle and making the steering wheel level.  </i>

First don't bother trying to make the steering wheel level when you park.  In fact it is  safer to have the steering wheel turned so that if the car is not on flat ground that it will turn towards the curb and not roll out into traffic. 

The engine shuts off with no problem, it is the power in the car that does not shut off

I don't understand this at all.  Do you mean electrical power?  Do you mean some things are still on (like the radio), when you don't think they should be on?  If so could you give us some more details? 

How about listing everything that should be on and is not and what not on and you believe it should be?  

I am suspecting an ignition switch.

the car does have a feature when you turn off the key power to the acc like the radio and the windows will still work till you open the door.

I think the big clue here is that she can’t get the key out. Is the some interlock that is out of adjustment, preventing the key from turning all the way back to the off position?

Ok, after turning off the engine, the electrical remains on (radio, dash display, headlights). She hasn’t mentioned being prevented from turning they key to where it is supposed to go, only that the electrical remains on and the key cannot be removed.

I can tell you that the problem has has increased over the last month. It used to happen very rarely, but is a now a several times a day occurrence.

Obviously, this would have been fixed had she had the money or if there had been a reputable location nearby to have it looked at. Neither is readily available at the moment.

We’re just looking for ideas on the problem so that when we bring it somewhere, we can at least sound like we know at least a little about cars.

I appreciate the answers thus far!

“The engine shuts off with no problem, it is the power in the car that does not shut off and the key won’t come out of the ignition.”

Key won’t come out of the ignition…The ignition switch and the transmission shifter are connected together by some sort of mechanical or electric linkage. Possibly, some sort of debris has dropped down into the shifter mechanism, preventing it from going completely into the “Park” position and allowing the ignition key to be turned to the fully off position and be removed…

Sheesh, I think Caddy is on it with more detail provided. Detail detail detail. Since it has the feature that the power stays on until the door is opened. Everything seems to be normal EXCEPT you can’t get the key out. That’s the problem and all the rest is residual effect. So why can’t the key come out? Yup, must be the interlock cable between the two or else a bad key lock mechanism.

+1 for this being a problem with the electronic interlock that runs between the shift linkage and the ignition switch.
More than likely, a solenoid or a switch has gone bad.