Q: What are the ignition switch positions?

asked by on December 14, 2015

What are the ignition switch positions?

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What others are asking

Car will not start and interior accessories are disabled. 1998 Saturn LS

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 1998 Saturn LS. This sounds like you have a short somewhere in the electrical system. I would start by testing the power supply to each of the various components or first try...

oil pressure light blinking when start,My car is toyota 86,can advise me?

Hello, thank you for writing in. The moment you put your key in the ignition, or get into the vehicle with a keyless starting system, the vehicle begins to run tests on its monitored components. The oil pressure system is...

just got a oil change Car engine temp got really hot, oil spilled under the hood, loud screeching and smoke when the car is on

Hi there. I honestly hate hearing horror stories like this and am very sorry this has happened to you. There are several things that could have caused this issue, ranging from the oil service place forgetting to put the oil...

How does the front passenger occupant classification system work in a 2012 Toyota Camry?

The front passenger occupant classification system is designed to keep the driver and front passenger safe. Several features work together to accomplish this goal and to give you peace of mind. A seat belt reminder light will come on...

Car won't start; just clicks

Hi. A clicking noise when trying to start your car and no engine movement typically means that the battery is too low to crank the engine or there may be a bad connection at the battery. If the battery and...

How do I use the lane change signals?

The lane change signals should be used whenever you are changing lanes on the freeway. These signals indicate to your surroundings that you will be changing lanes, by flashing the turn signals three times. To signal a right lane change,...

What does the MPG readout in the message center on mean?

While your car’s message center does provide you with an average reading for your fuel economy measured over time, it can also give you an instant reading on your fuel mileage. Press the Info button until you see MPG. The...

2014 Toyota Corolla Fuel Odor

This may be related to the fuel tank purging system. As you may know, all modern cars are equipped with an Evaporative Emission Control (EVAP) system. The EVAP system prevents fuel vapors from the fuel tank from escaping into the...

Shift cable broken

Unfortunately, the most common problem to that symptom is the automatic transmission needs replacing according to our database. I would recommend taking the car to a transmission specialist and have them look at the vehicle.

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volvo XC60
The The 2012 Volvo XC60 is exactly what you’d expect in a small luxury SUV, but it’s the trademark safety from this automaker that sets it apart. However, you’ll also love the unmistakable beauty that this crossover provides, especially when...
How Does a Push-Button Start Work?
For the vast majority of people, cranking your car involves getting the key out, sliding it into the ignition, and turning...
How to Buy a Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius is one of the most popular hybrid models on the automotive market, and it comes with an array of perks. A Prius is more environmentally friendly than your average fuel-guzzling car, leaving less of an ecological footprint....