Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What are the ignition positions?

asked by on

What are the ignition positions?

Your vehicle is equipped with four different ignition positions.

  1. To turn the engine off, stop your vehicle and shift into park, then turn your key in the ignition switch to the LOCK/OFF position by turning counterclockwise, or closest to you.

  2. The second position is the ACC/ACCESSORY position, which allows you to use your radio, windshield wipers, and other accessories while the engine is off. This position should also be used in the event that your vehicle is being pushed or towed. This position is one turn clockwise, or away from the driver, starting from the LOCK/OFF position.

  3. The third position is the ON/RUN position, which allows you to operate accessories and use the instrument panel. This position should also be used when having your car looked at by a qualified mechanic, as this will allow them to properly run diagnostics and see if any malfunction indicator lights are on.

  4. The final position is the one you’ll probably be most familiar with: START. This position will start the engine. To start, keep your foot on the brake pedal (or on the clutch if your vehicle has a manual transmission) and turn the key clockwise, away from you. When you hear the engine start, release your grip on the key. The ignition switch will then automatically turn to the ‘ON/RUN’ position for driving. Please note, your engine will only start when your car is shifted into park or neutral in an automatic transmission, and neutral in a manual transition.

Tip

If you leave your ignition in the ACC/ACCESSORY or ON/RUN position too long without the engine on, you may be putting your battery at risk of draining. If you’re running these mode for an extended period of time, be sure to run the engine after 20 minutes or so.

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: Can I attach a camper to truck?

Whether or not you can attach a camper to your vehicle depends on your specific vehicle. Luckily, check inside the glove box for a large label. This is the ‘Loading Information’ label that will tell you if a slide-in camper...

Q: Rear end has a roaring noise i check the bearing and the spidet gear and they were good.

A common GM rear end noise culprit is the carrier bearings, located on either side of the ring and pinion. They usually make more noise under load (throttle) and less when off the throttle and coasting.

Q: Front end shudder, CEL and 4LO lights on

Hey there. You need to have the AWD system checked to see why the light is 4LO. This can be an internal problem in the transmission transfer case lock up. This transfer case uses an electronic clutch that can shutter...

Related articles

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...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
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...