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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do I turn on the fog lights?

The fog lights can improve visibility in adverse driving conditions, namely rain and fog. To turn on the fog lights, rotate the fog light switch to the on position (the fog light switch is located next to the light switch,...

Q: How do I use the power lock doors?

The power lock doors allow you to lock and unlock the doors from inside the vehicle. To unlock all of the doors, press the unlock button, which looks like an opened padlock. To lock all of the doors, press the...

Q: 2016 Honda Accord service B1 -36

Hello - according to Honda, the "A-36" msg indicates your vehicle needs transmission fluid replacement (3) and differential fluid replacement (6). It is safe to drive your vehicle until this service appointment.

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 Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...