How to Keep Radio on When Car Is Off – The Best Way

Welcome fellow car radio owners!

I know how annoying it can be when your radio stops playing each time you turn off the engine. It’s like a deja-vu every single time – and I say this because I’ve been there too. You try to fiddle around with the settings, but nothing seems to work.

I’m an expert in car audio and have been working in this industry for more than 15 years now, so I know a thing or two about why radios cut out when cars are turned off and how you can prevent it from happening again.

Not only will I share my experience on fixing this issue with all of you, but also explain why radios sometimes cut out as well as come up with some ways that could help you resolve the problem quickly and efficiently.

This guide is simple, easy to follow and doesn’t require extra money or much of your time.

 Are you ready?

Let’s get going then!

Can You Listen to the Radio with the Car Off?

Well, that depends on a few factors. The question, “How to keep the radio on when the car is off?” is not an uncommon one. But to answer it, you need to know a few things about the car radio and how it affects the battery.

When your car is on, you create power that keeps the car battery running. So, the battery does not run out even though you are using the car.

But when you turn on the alternator, you won’t be generating any power. In this case, if you are playing the radio, you are using energy without generating any that will keep the battery running.

Now, you can use the radio but you might want to keep an eye on the battery level because it is getting drained. So, short bursts of entertainment can go on without bringing your car to a halt because of a battery drain.

Now, you might get a few hours from the battery if it is functioning well. But otherwise, you shouldn’t do this for too long.

However, that’s not the only factor. This depends on the type of car too. So, here we go looking into that.

How to Keep the Radio on in a Keyless Car?

If you are trying to figure out how to leave the radio on in a keyless car, you need to follow a few simple steps.

Step 1: Take your foot off the brake pedal.

Step 2: Press your car’s start button.

Step 3: The car will now be in the accessory mode which means you can listen to some music or podcasts or the radio without having to switch on the car’s engine.

If you want to leave the vehicle, you just need to press the start button and the radio will switch off automatically. But keyless models are generally categorized as pre-2011 and 2012 to 2015.

The method mentioned above works well for cars without a key before 2011. The models that were launched later on have a slightly different approach.

Car Radio Models from 2012 to 2015

The design of the cars that don’t have keys and were launched between 2012 and 2015 is slightly different compared to the previous models. So obviously, the answer to the question, “How to keep radio on in a keyless car?” is going to be a bit different for these cars.

  • Step 1: Release the brake pedal from under your foot.
  • Step 2: Turn on the e-brake and shift the car into Park mode. This will keep the engine running along with the accessories.
  • Step 3: Get ready to change the gear to Neutral by placing your foot on the brake pedal.
  • Step 4: Press the Stop button and take the foot off your car’s brake pedal at the same time. The car will be in accessory mode and you are ready to play anything you want.
  • Step 5: Now put the car in Park mode which will turn off the engine but the radio will keep going.
  • Step 6: If you want to turn off the radio, you just need to take your foot off the brake pedal.

Models after 2015

The next model of cars which came after 2015 have a digital system that is a bit more advanced. The system will alert you if you are doing something wrong which is an extra layer of protection.

All you need to do is press the Start button of the engine. It will not switch on the engine but you will definitely be able to play your favorite entertainment option. The pressing of the Start button will put the car into accessory mode directly. This will switch the radio on right away.

And if you want to switch on the engine, you need to press the car’s Start button once again while pressing on the brake. After that, you must push the Start button once again and the engine will get turned on.

Models with Gated Shifter

Finally, you have cars with a gated shifter which will give you some more flexibility. This makes it possible to shift the gear towards the right and keep it there. Then you need to press the Start button to turn off the car’s engine.

At this point, the car’s engine will be off while the radio will stay on. Once you have the entertainment on, you can release the gear shifter.


How to Turn on Radio without Starting the Car?

This is specifically about older car models. You need to turn the key and stop when you hear the first click. This will put the car in the accessory mode which will allow you to use your entertainment options with the engine off.

How to Keep Radio on When a Nissan Car Is off?

If you are dealing with a Nissan car, you need to start by switching off the engine. That happens when you push the Start button one time. Then you must remove your foot from the brake and press the Start button again. This will put the car in accessory mode.

How to Keep Radio on When Car Is Off?

In keyless cars, the radio will usually stay on for about 10 minutes after you turn the engine off. This is so you can continue to listen to the radio while the car’s accessories are still running and the climat is still keeping you comfortable. However, if you want the radio to stay on longer, there are a few things you can do. First, check your car model’s manual to see if there is a specific setting that will allow the radio to stay on for a longer period of time. If not, you can try disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. This will reset the car stereo and may give you the option to keep the radio on for a longer period of time. Finally, if you have the same car model as someone else, ask them how they keep their radio on when their car is off. With these tips, you should be able to find a way to keep your radio on even when your car is off.

Many people choose to listen to the radio while they are driving. However, if you turn off your car, the radio will usually turn off as well. There are a few ways that you can keep the radio on when your car is off, depending on what kind of car you have. If you have an infotainment system in your car, you may be able to keep the radio on by selecting the “ACC” position. In some regular cars, you can also keep the radio on by selecting the “Accessory” position on the key. However, this method will only work for a limited amount of time, so it is not ideal if you plan on listening to the radio for an extended period of time. The best way to keep the radio on when your car is off is to use an aftermarket stereo that has a “memory keep alive” feature. This will allow you to keep the radio on even when your car is turned off.

How to turn on radio without starting car?

One of the great features of many newer vehicles is the ability to listen to the radio without starting the car. This can be a real lifesaver when you’re running a quick errand and don’t want to waste gas by starting the engine just for a few minutes of music. It’s also handy if you forgot your keys and can’t start the car, but still want to listen to the radio. Here’s how to turn on the radio without starting the vehicle:

1. Look for the start/stop button. This is usually located on the dashboard near the ignition.
2. Make sure everything else in the vehicle is turned off. This includes lights, climate control, etc.
3. Press and hold the start/stop button for a few seconds until you hear the radio come on.
4. Once you’re finished listening, press and hold the start/stop button again to shut off the radio. The vehicle will remain in this “accessory mode” until you start it by pressing the start/stop button once more or turn off everything manually.

Keep in mind that this process may vary slightly depending on your vehicle’s make and model. Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Related: How to listen to radio without draining car battery 

How to turn engine off but keep radio on?

If you’re wanting to keep the radio on without running the engine, there are several options available depending on your car’s make and model. Some cars have an ignition switch that lets you turn off the engine yet keep the stereo and headlights powered. Otherwise, a device may need to be inserted into the infotainment system in order to preserve power after shutting down the motor. Check your user manual for advice on what’s feasible with your vehicle. It might not always be possible to maintain radio playback when shutting off the engine, but if you follow these tips you can still enjoy tunes without wasting fuel or energy.

How to keep radio on in a keyless car?

In keyless cars, you can usually keep the radio on by pressing and holding your car’s “accessory” button for a few seconds. This will allow you to play music without turning on the engine or needing to use a key.

Is it possible to play music in the car with the engine off?

Yes, it’s possible to play music with the engine off in some modern cars. By pressing and holding an accessory button while inside an unlocked car, you can activate its audio system and start listening to music even if the engine is still turned off.

How do I leave my radio on when my car is off?

To leave your radio on when your car is off, you’ll need to press and hold its “accessory” button before exiting. This will enable your audio system to stay powered even when the rest of your vehicle has been shut down.

Can you listen to radio with car off?

Yes, some modern vehicles offer this feature depending on the type of ignition system they have installed. In most cases, you can listen to your radio while your vehicle remains switched off simply by pressing and holding an appropriate accessoriy button.

How to keep the radio playing without turning on my push-start car?

To keep your push-start vehicle’s radio playing without having to use its ignition system, hold down its “accessory” button for a few seconds before exiting the vehicle. This will allow for continuous playback even when no keys are present or necessary.

How do I turn on my radio without switching on my car?

For most modern vehicles equipped with a keyless ignition system, you can activate their audio systems by pressing and holding down their “accessory’ buttons prior to entering or exiting their driver compartments. This should work regardless of whether or not their engines are already running at that time as well.

What car stereos allow you to keep radio on when the car is off?

Most car stereos allow for a basic power draw from your vehicle’s electrical system even if the engine is off. This allows for you to keep your radio on even if the vehicle is not running.

How can I use an AC power inverter to keep my car stereo on?

Using an AC power inverter can provide an independent source of electricity for your regular car stereo, allowing you to avoid draining your car battery while keeping the radio on. Make sure that you choose the appropriate power inverter according to your car audio’s needs and select one with enough output power.

What is a keyless system, and how does it help keep the radio on when my car is off?

A keyless system in cars helps make it easier to start without having to insert a key into the ignition barrel. With this particular system installed, some engines using a push button or switch require putting them in neutral mode before turning them off, as this will ensure that electricity goes through and keeps the radio functioning even after turning off the engine.

How do I know which engine mode should use when trying to keep my radio turned on when my car is parked?

The best way to determine which engine mode will maximize your chances of keeping your radio turned on when parking your car would be consulting with your vehicle’s owners manual or even by asking a certified mechanic about its features and capabilities. Knowing what modes are available for use can help you find out what type of engine button or push button setup works best in order for you to achieve this task successfully.


Typically, you will be able to listen to the radio for two to three hours on battery. After that, you will notice that the battery starts to run low. Don’t push it beyond that.

Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by Danny Reid

Written by Danny Reid

Hey, I'm Danny, and I know how hard it can be to find the perfect audio gear. Need a new stereo, amp, speakers, or subs? Don't worry – my blog is here to help you cut through the noise! My mission is to give you the best reviews, so you can make the right decision for your audio needs. And if you ever get stuck thinking, "Where does this blue wire go?" don't worry – I've got tons of cool tips to help you out of any jam. So come along with me on this fun, sound-filled adventure, and let's find the perfect audio setup to make your tunes really sing!