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Haynes’ World: Holden Monaro key woes

Haynes World updates

Haynes' World is a regular feature that takes a look at what the staff at Haynes are doing with their cars, bikes and other vehicles.

Monaro car key

Car: Holden Monaro

Owner: Euan Doig

I love my Monaro, but there’s no doubt that aspects of it have the power to engage and annoy in almost equal measure. Take, for example, the key. Yes, the key.

On one hand, it’s a simple metal-and-plastic affair, and it’s properly old school because it fits into a slot on the side of the steering column.

Twisting it brings the joy of hearing the V8 fire into life. Joy. But then it has a dark side. You see, it has three buttons on it – one to unlock the car, one to lock it again, and one to pop open the boot. However, the boot release button sits a little bit proud, and is oh-so-easy to depress.

So often I’ve locked the car and been in the process of putting the key in pocket, only to hear the click-whirr of the boot opening. It is so easy to do that even holding the key in your hand can activate it.

It has even happened when I’ve started the car, and the sound of the boot release was drowned out by untold litres of super-unleaded being guzzled. So, I only noticed when I stopped at the first junction, and the boot lid magically raised itself. I’ve taken to dangling the key by the fob until I’m well beyond the range where it can open the car, just to be sure.

Monaro car

Mind you, the car hasn’t been started much of late. Due to a combination of work, DIY at home, and salty roads, it has been idle for a couple of months. But I had no fear of the battery dying, because I’ve invested in a solar battery charger, and it has been little short of brilliant.

Where I used to have to start the car every few days, all I need do now is plug the solar charger into the OBD socket and it keeps the battery in a decent state of health for far longer. That was £30 well spent.

Solar panel to charge a car battery

The eagle-eyed among may have noticed that the badge on the front of my Monaro doesn't have the Holden lion on it. In fact it's a griffin because it's a Vauxhall badge – the UK marque that dates back to 1857. Vauxhall and Holden were owned by General Motors back in the day, which made sharing platforms and components between brands a cinch.

The Monaro was briefly sold here in the UK before it was replaced by the VXR8 (better known as the HSV Clubsport here).