Q: Car stays in accessory mode with key out.

asked by on

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.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car stays in accessory mode with key out.

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Dies out at start, squealing/whistling sound, battery light comes on when it dies and wont stay running unless hold my foot the on gas.

A motor needs more fuel to run cold than it does after it warms up. There are number of conditions that can exist that will create this problem. First I will address a few things you mentioned in your question....

Q: Air ride suspension (rear only)

Hi there, thanks for writing in. I'd be happy to help. This sounds like you may need to replace the bags if they are not holding air. Try checking to see if when the compressor comes on if you can...

Q: Is my engine worth fixing?

This sounds like you seized the motor and ran it with no oil. You may have put a piston rod through side of block or oil pan.

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.