Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What are the various ignition switch positions?

asked by on

What are the various ignition switch positions?

A: Like most other cars today, yours has sever...

Like most other cars today, yours has several different positions on the ignition switch. Understanding what each position does is important to ensuring that you can operate and drive the car safely. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Off: The rearmost position on the ignition is OFF. The gearshift is locked in this position, and the engine is off. All accessories are turned off (after the delay expires if it’s set).

  • Accessory: This position allows you to use your radio, power windows and other electronic accessories. Be careful about using them too long, though. They pull power straight from the battery.

  • On: The ON position turns on all of your electronics, as well as the dash warning lights. When the engine is running, the key will also be in this position.

  • Start: Turn the key to START to crank your engine and begin driving. The key should only stay in this position for a few seconds.

Tip

Don’t leave your key in the ignition after turning the engine off. It’s unsafe (easily stolen), and it can drain the battery (the computer recognizes the presence of the key).

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 manually adjust the side mirrors?

The manually adjusted side mirrors are controlled by levers in the car’s cabin. On the inside of each front door, directly next to the side mirror, is a control level that corresponds to that mirror. Move the control level to...

Q: 1992 Honda Prelude cranking, but not starting

Hello. It sounds like your car may have sucked up some water into the engine. I would recommend blowing out the water with compressed air as soon as possible. If the water sits in the engine for too long it...

Q: Got an oil change at Walmart, now car won't moves and stalls after stalling.

Hello. It would be hard to say what they did without seeing the vehicle. It is possible that they did not reinstall the air flow sensor correctly which would cause this. If it was not installed right it is...

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 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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.