Is it OK to remove key while it is turned to "acc" on the ignition?
April 27, 2009 5:38 PM   Subscribe

My car is a '92 Saturn SL, automatic. The dinging "alarm" to let you know that you left your lights on is permanently on-- even if I've left my lights OFF. If turn the key to "accessories" and then remove it, there is no dinging. Will it hurt my car in any way to always leave the car in this way?
posted by SociologistTina to Technology (10 answers total)
I think it may drain your battery. Not sure...
posted by jon1270 at 5:45 PM on April 27, 2009

Yeah, you'll drain the battery. You could try checking if this circuit has its very own fuse, and simply yank the fuse to disable the alarm. But I'd be surprised if it were that easy.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:54 PM on April 27, 2009

A similar thing happened to my car after it was stolen. Something in the steering column thought that the key was always in the ignition, and it always beeped. Expensive to fix, but necessary due to the battery drain.
posted by HeroZero at 6:02 PM on April 27, 2009

Maybe you guys are right, but I've left it this way for at least a day, and the car seems to run fine.
posted by SociologistTina at 6:10 PM on April 27, 2009

Your steering won't be locked. Apart from that, then as long as you're sure all your accessories are turned off, I wouldn't expect the battery to drain any faster than it self-discharges anyway.
posted by flabdablet at 6:16 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

If it's putting a little more drain on your battery than a key-off condition, you'll be okay if you drive it every day. Let it sit for a couple of days, though, and you'll be looking for jumper cables.
posted by hwyengr at 6:28 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

When the car is on ACC, power is provided to some accessories (duh!). This includes the radio, the cigarette lighter / accessory plugs and the display on the clock, among other things. Your power consumption will be greater than if you leave it on OFF, but it should be okay for at least a day or so at a time -- just make sure the radio is turned off and there is nothing plugged into the cigarette lighter / accessory sockets. In the long term, you will want to consider getting it fixed, but you shouldn't have problems if you use your car frequently.
posted by Simon Barclay at 6:30 PM on April 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

Might want to check the driver's side door switch. I've seen it a few times where the switch goes bad or gets disconnected.
posted by moitz at 6:42 PM on April 27, 2009

Just a heads up on a possible future problem. Had a similar problem spring of this year with my 97 Saturn. Unfortunately it didn't end well.

After a few days maybe a couple of weeks of this dinging, I was leaving my driveway and the vehicle started smoking in and around the steering column, after this it would not start and upon inspection, (dropping the steering column, examining the wires, there was one wire that had completely burned up)

I remembered the dinging sound and google searched the problem. It was a bear to fix (myself) but I have had no problems since. It was the ignition switch. Here's hoping you don't have the same problem.
posted by vidarling at 9:05 PM on April 27, 2009

I have a similar problem in my '95 Saturn. After a decade of properly beeping only for the lights, a strange inconsistency in the beeps began. For a couple years it would not beep when it should much of the time, and nowadays it beeps most (~80%) of the time for basically any use of power when the car isn't started (key in ignition, dome light auto door-open detection on, etc.). It hasn't turned out to be an indication of anything I can determine, yet.

I've been told Saturns of that era have "electrical oddities", and indeed this is merely the latest in a long line of electrical issues the vehicle has had -- for instance, the defrosters have always worked, but some days they just refuse to stay on, and I have to hold the button down. The car's fried 6-7 alternators over the years (lifetime warranty on first replacement = wise choice), but none since the mad beeping began. It's all rather nonsensical and maddening.

I recommend messing with the dome light setting a bit -- I had to change mine off the "smart" setting to make the car stop beeping when everything was off, and I only even tried that on a whim. Maybe you have the same issue I did/do?
posted by Pufferish at 8:08 AM on April 28, 2009

« Older What's all the pandemic about?   |   Swine Flu Fallout Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.