Q: What do the different ignition switch positions do?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What do the different ignition switch positions do?

Your car has several different ignition positions. They each offer slightly different functionality. Understanding what each does is important for being able to use your vehicle correctly. Here’s what you should know:

  • Off: In this position, the engine is off, and so are your electronic accessories (unless the delay has not expired yet). You can still turn on lights (headlights, interior lights, etc.).

  • ACC: This is the accessory position. Turn the key to ACC if you want to listen to the radio, play a CD or use other accessories without cranking the engine. Be careful, though. They pull power straight from the battery.

  • On: In this position, all of the electronics should come on. This is also the position that the key will return to after cranking the engine.

  • Start: Turn the key to this position to crank the engine. Let go of the key when the engine is running and the key will return to the on position.

Tip

Don’t leave the key in the ignition with the engine off for very long. It can drain the battery.

Was this answer helpful?
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

Get a quote

What others are asking

Car sitting low due to snow weight.

I am from the deep south and do not see any snow, but have been in areas of heavy snow in my career. My first thought would be that the vehicle rear springs were subjected to being compressed for a...

Could you show me what it looks like?

Hi there. First check the fuel filter and see if the filter is plugged up. If your vehicle has a tank filter and not a inline filter, then check the fuel pump relay and see if it's clicking on when...

front display module not working,radio buttons not working. 2010 escape v6

Hello, thanks for writing in about your Ford Expedition. You should have the radio display removed and then install the fuses again to check if they will blow again. If the fuses don't blow again then the radio is shorted....

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
The The only thing better than a hybrid car is one that is designed with luxury and performance in mind. The 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 nails it in all of these areas, and considering that it clocks in with a...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 GMC Yukon
When When you want a big SUV that can hold its own, come what may, you’ll be happiest with a GMC Yukon. Although the inside of one of these vehicles can sometimes resemble an upscale hotel room, the 2012 GMC...
Top 10 PZEV Cars for Eco-Friendly Drivers
Teddy Leung / Shutterstock.com The whole idea of a PZEV (that is, a partial zero-emissions vehicle), seems paradoxical. You’d think it’d have to either be zero-emissions or not in the category at all. But as contradictory as...