my car would stall and then start after a while but then it stopped and nothing.. dead I had lights radio but no crank - my son came over and he put his foot on brake thinking it was not in park good enough sometimes that is the problem and it was dead. he checked out my battery my starter with a testor then he got two wires hooked 1 to the starter and one to the cylnoid and touched the two wires together at the other end. lots of tries and it started. ran good. he then killed it and tried to start it with the key dead nothing again. so he again just to make sure PUT HIS FOOT ON BRAKE.( SOME CARS WONT START UNLESS YOU PUT FOOT ON BRAKE) TOOK IT out of park put it in nuetral and back into park and it started--- he said it was my NUETRAL SAFETY SWITCH needed replacing/all that checking and that is what it was/ it cost 29.99 for the part/ note: the auto parts will check the starter and cylnoid to see if its good for free
ps/ my son found the original problem.... needed-NEW KEY SWITCH for only 15.00/NOTE: BUT HAD to take the first key switch back it wouldnt work.. it had a malfunction /the second key switch worked /PROBLEM SOLVED'as with any electronic part --sometimes they are just manufactured wrong.. my son said I know Im doing this right I said maybe it was manufactured bad. and we took it back and got a new one and that was it.
The not starting issue could be a number of things. I suggest trying to start it in neutral, test your battery, try the solenoid thing that the other user explained, test your starter and test your alternator, all of these tests can be done at your local shop you just have to remove the parts and take them which is relatively simple, buy a repair manual based off of a complete tear down and rebuild, it will tell you how to remove and replace all the parts. It will also offer troubleshooting tips for common problems (not starting etc...). Haynes puts out decent manuals for cheap. Pontiacs are notorious for the keys getting locked in the ignition, I have a 97 and a 2001 and they both do this. I can help with the key issue definitely. On your steering column, there is a rubber plate looking thing on the right side,tilt your steering column to its uppermost point and remove the rubber plate. Look in the lower right corner of the hole where the rubber was taken off and you will notice a silver or copper piece of tube attached to a white plastic casing. Grab a pen and and put it under the metal tube and then push upward on it. It presses like a button, this will release the key from the locked position. This works every time the key gets stuck in either car.
You dont need new ignition. Its a feature that Pontiac and probably other GM cars. Its caused by low voltage such as a dead or weak batt. i found out the hard way and ripped my key out and i had to replace the tumbler, just beacause my batt. was dead Like the one poster said take the rubber piece out then you can release for the key to come out.