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My son tried to start his GMC Envoy a few days ago and the battery is totally dead, then we fond out the locking ignition wont let go of the key now.  The question is, Is this 2 problems, or are they connected? the battery being dead not allowing the key to turn to the off position?

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Since you are going to have to put in a new battery, I would go ahead with that.  If the key doesn't release then it may be a fuse related to the complex interactions of the computer and ignition wiring...it's all like a box of tangled coat hangers these days with auto electronics/electrical.

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We had a similar problem 6 months ago. With the new computer controls and electronics packages in new vehicles a dead battery locks everything including . . . every danged THING! We had to have a mobile repair pull the battery and replace it to even test the other battery and system. Once a charged battery was installed they could charge and test the other battery THEN reset everything. 

I couldn't figure the wiring out to pull the old battery, it's so buried it's hard to even find the battery. I'm sure if you're taller and in better condition it's easier but it took the professional mechanic who SPECIALISES in charging systems a bit better than an hour to pull ONE battery! Of course with just one battery in the pickup the battery charger couldn't charge the other battery as the circuit was broken. 

So, yeah Steve I'm betting it'll take charging (good luck) or replacing the dead battery BEFORE you can reset the computer and pull the key. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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13 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

not putting in a new battery until after I can get the key to turn off, else it will drain the new one as well

Just use jumper cables to power the system to remove the key.  Same as a new battery for the short term.  If that doesn't work, you have a bigger problem.

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  I was going to start a new thread "Advantages of owning/driving Old Junk" after hearing Steves problems and Frosty and others replies.  My old Dodge truck is rickety, drafty and parts are a pain to get sometimes but I can fix it.  Even older things just have a push button to make it go.  Or push start with the clutch....  I have a newer Ford but I dread driving it for fear some electronic gizzmo costing thousands will fail.  I wonder how many batteries IT has!

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My 2004 Toyota Tacoma has cruise control, a plus, manual crank windows, a plus and an actual keyed lock on *both* doors---a big plus!  Still under 100K miles too.

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  Crank windows are to be envied in my book.  I tried to fix an electric powered window regulator on a Buick Century once and now it is held up with baling wire.

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You should see all the weird quarks vehicles can have with removing or replacing parts and dead batteries.

Steve, the key issue is connected to the dead battery. Try jumping it to get the key out. Also if you do a search on the vehicle and the key issue there might be a hidden release mechanism to allow you to remove the key. 

Recently had a fun time with a new Lincoln corsair where we replaced a computer that was behind the fender and hit in the accident and after replacement the vehicle wouldn't start nor shift into any gear. (Push button shifting) after some searching we found there is a hidden emergency release to put the vehicle into neutral. 

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It's pretty interesting sometimes figuring out where the push button start is or what type of shifter or how to use it when you pull multiple types and years of cars in and out of the shop. 

It felt almost weird the other day when I had a car with a key. 

I know some of the tech was around longer ago but when you do it every day and lots are different it can be a bit new or different. 

There are some cars to where if you remove the outside door handle and shut the door it can be like skilled surgery to open it since neither the outside mechanism or inside one will release the latch. Always learning or running into new problems. 

How about a car that wont start because the headlight or door side mirror are disconnected? Haha. Ya never know.

There are fords with 3 wires running to the drivers side master window switch to work all 4 windows and the lockout but the side mirror has around 14 wires.  There are days we would Love to meet the engineers for some of these ideas face to face. 

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Well bad engineering isn't new; I had a 1968 Ford Country Sedan station wagon where you had to remove the hood and fender to replace a heater hose.  Couple of inches more pipe and it would have been; take off hose clamp, pull off hose, push on new hose, replace hose clamp---5 minute job!

I sure like going in to a good hardware store and getting metal car keys for US$1.50 a pop though!   (We did luck out  with my wife's vehicle though---bought it used with only 1 key; it was going to cost a LOT to get another one made; then when they looked it up there was a recall on that unit and our vehicle hadn't had it done yet.  Replaced the ignition switch and gave us two new keys for it *free*!

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I learned to drive on a 1966 1300 model VW bug; that's when they went to *50* hp!   (It was NOT fast!)  One time I was at a boy scout campout and I was doing everything in that old bug that my scoutmaster, (in his 20's), was doing in his much newer 4wd  vehicle---till he ran over a small tree with his reinforced bumper just to give me a surprise when it flipped up right in front of me following his vehicle...I dodged it and decided that if he was going to cheat, I'd let him "win"!

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Jumping it to get the battery going with a stuck key can sometimes set off the anti-theft module in the computer.  Then you have to practically recite the Bhagavad Gita backwards while dancing the Tutti Frutti, and balancing a grapefruit on your head before it will turn on.  Seriously though, it can be a sequence of actions done over the course of say an hour.

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