Q: What do the different ignition switch positions do?

asked by on

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?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 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
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. What do the different ignition switch positions do?

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: Need to start my car after sitting for a year.

The recommendations for putting the car back into service is to remove and replace the old fuel in the fuel tank. Replace the fuel filter. Charge and test the battery and replace if needed. Change the oil and filter after...

Q: 2010 Ford Escape, replaced the ignition switch and lock cylinder and my vehicle still will not start

Be sure you have a fully charged battery that passes a load test. Confirm that the engine immobilizer system (security system) is not activated thus preventing the car from starting. If the immobilizer system is on, you may see a...

Q: Exhaust manifold

The 2.3 L headers should fit the same, but the EGR system pipe may be different. You may want to also look up the header that comes on the Mustang. The change of the header may not help too much...

Related articles

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.