Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What are the different positions on the ignition switch for?

asked by on

What are the different positions on the ignition switch for?

A: Your car’s ignition does more than just let...

Your car’s ignition does more than just let you crank the car and then turn it off. There are actually several different positions on the ignition switch and they each do something different. Here’s what you should know about each:

  1. Lock: This is the off position. The key will only come out of the ignition when it’s locked.

  2. Accessory: This position is one click from lock, and lets you do things like play the radio or work the windows without actually having the engine cranked. All electricity comes from the battery in this position, so be careful not to drain it.

  3. On: After cranking the engine, the key returns to the on position.

  4. Start: This is the forward most position on the ignition, and is used when starting the engine. The key will only stay in the start position for a few seconds, and then return to the on position when the engine is running.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I lock all of the doors without a key?

It is very easy to lock all of the car doors without a key. All you have to do is press the lock button on the master door lock switch, which is located on the inside of the driver’s door....

Q: How do I use the windshield wiper mist feature in a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox?

The windshield wiper mist feature is perfect for when there’s a one-time occurrence of moisture on your windshield. To use the mist feature, locate the windshield wiper lever that protrudes from the right side of your steering column. Pull the...

Q: My car sounds like a go cart upon acceleration and the Check Engine Light is on - possible problem with the catalytic converter

As you may know, the catalytic converter converts toxic unburnt fuel gases into less harmful gases that are released into the environment. When this is not working properly, these gases tend to back up in the exhaust system of your...

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 Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...