Q: Car stays in accessory mode with key out.

asked by on July 28, 2017

Car will not turn completely off. Has happened 3 times in the last year. Turn key off, remove key. Engine turns off, but it stays in accessory mode. All gauges on, radio works, fan runs. However, put the key back in, try to start and nothing. It won't even attempt to engage the starter. Just like the battery is gone/dead. I have found that if you open and shut the right rear door, it shuts off. Put key in, and starts just fine. As i said, this scenario has happened 3 times since Oct 2016.

I have replaced the ignition switch, not key tumblers, but the switch itself. The failure has happened once since i replace this part, so it probably is not the problem. Car is still stock, nothing added, I bought it new.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

My car has 256000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

In your circumstance, unless you have a "retained power accessory mode", obviously the components running off the accessory mode circuit are being powered at some point. The usual procedure is to trace the circuit using the factory wiring diagram in the service manual. There is no other way to do it because you have to check each segment of the circuit until you find the point at which power is being mistakenly fed on to the circuit, supplying all those components. The same protocol applies in those instances when there is no starter operation. With key in start position, you trace until you find, in that case, the interruption. If you want the required diagnostic steps performed by a certified Mechanic, dispatched by YourMechanic right to your location, please request an electrical circuit/component diagnostic and the responding certified mechanic will get both issues taken care of for you. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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