Interior lights, power locks and windows all dead, until I turn car all the way on

When I open the door to get in my car, the interior lights don’t come on. When I put the key in the ignition, the power windows, locks and key chime don’t work. When I turn the key to ACC, only the radio works…nothing else. But…when I turn the key to ON…suddenly everything works and the car starts just fine. Anybody have an idea what might be going on?

Did the behavior change from what you’ve seen before or is it the way it’s always been?

Some interior lights have a three-position switch, ON, ALWAYS OFF, or ON WHEN DOOR OPENS; maybe need to check if the switch was bumped to a different position. Many cars power windows will work only when key is in ON position, not ACC. Radio working in ACC position would be typical. Fan also typically requires key to be in the ON position.

Perhaps the problem is limited to the power door locks; they should work all the time even with no key…

There may be an issue with the BCM.


That’s the thing…the power door locks don’t work unless the car is all the way on. I checked the interior light switch…it’s set to ‘door’, so it should illuminate when the door is opened. This just started in the last couple of days.

Could be the “Door Jamb Switch”

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Good ideas above. Suggest to also ask your shop to do the standard battery/alternator test. Before the first start of the day the battery should measure about 12.6 volts; then immediately after starting the engine, 13.5 to 15.5 volts.

Thanks for the suggestions…I’ll try them. What’s weird…turning car off is like disconnecting the battery. The trip meter resets to 0, the clock resets to 12:00 and all the radio station presets are erased.

Some vehicles have a fuse that can be removed for shipping from factory to dealer to reduce the chance of a discharged battery. When that fuse is removed or blown, many features don’t operate with the ignition off.

Do you know what fuse that is…what it’s called and the amperage?

Look in your owner’s manual, maybe it is described there, under the “fuses” section.

Varys by make and model, check all of the fuses.

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Solved! I checked all the fuses…it was a blown 10A ‘room lamp’ fuse. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!