Log In

Car's Main Controls

Below are some of your car's most important controls and how to use them:

  • Ignition: next to the steering column or dashboard; has three positions for your key (vehicle off, dashboard instruments on, vehicle on); to turn your car on, insert your key and turn it clockwise to the third position.
  • Steering Wheel: in front of the driver's seat; controls the direction of your car; turn the wheel right to turn the car to the left, and vice versa; power steering is found in most new vehicles and makes steering easier.
  • Horn: center of the steering wheel; used to alert other drivers; should be heard from at least 200 ft. away. (32)
  • Accelerator: located to the far right on the floor; controls the flow of gas to the engine; use your right foot; press gently and gradually to speed up. (19)
  • Brake: located to the left of the accelerator; operated with your right foot; always know what kind of brakes a vehicle has before you begin driving; brakes can be:
    • Conventional: pump to stop suddenly; may lock and skid during a sudden stop or on ice.
    • Antilock Brake System: press firmly and hold to stop; less risk of skidding; ABS in all four wheels will allow you to steer as you brake; steer gradually and avoid jerking the wheel; steer in the direction you want to go as you check that the path is clear; never pump the pedal in a vehicle with ABS. (20-25)
  • Parking Brake: also called the emergency brake; may be a pedal for the left foot, a dashboard lever, or a lever to the right of the driver's seat; keeps the vehicle from rolling down a hill; can be used in an emergency if regular brakes fail. (26)