Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What are the ignition switch positions?

asked by on

What are the ignition switch positions?

A: If your car is equipped with a standard ign...

If your car is equipped with a standard ignition and a mechanical key/remote combination, you have several different ignition switch positions that you’ll need to know (smart key systems have one less ignition switch position). Here’s an overview of each ignition position:

  • Lock: This is the off position. No accessories work, and you can take the key out of the ignition. The steering wheel can also be locked.

  • Accessory: In accessory mode, you can listen to the radio, as well as use some other electronics. The key cannot be removed from the ignition.

  • On: This turns on all of your electronics. The key cannot be removed. The key will also default to this position after you crank the engine.

  • Start: Turn the key to this position to crank the engine. Let go of the key as soon as the engine starts. Holding the key in start after the engine is running can damage the starter.

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: What do I do if the moon roof won’t close correctly?

Like your car’s windows, the moon roof is equipped with a jam protection system designed to prevent the moon roof from closing if something is in the way. If it detects an object in the way, the moon roof will...

Q: No power to clock, radio, or side mirrors

Hi, thanks for writing in. I think you are on the right track as far as the ACC 1 relay. I would recommend consulting your owners manual to locate this information. The owners manual will almost always provide this information....

Q: How do you use the remote to open the trunk?

One of the most convenient features of your car’s Remote Entry system is the ability to open the trunk without having to use the key or the interior trunk release. Here’s how to work it: Make sure the trunk...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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...