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How to Keep Radio on at Drive in? – The Easiest Way Tutorial

Writen by Edwin Jones

Fact checked by Andrew Wright

how to keep radio on at drive in

Watching a movie at the drive-in is a nostalgic experience. In the age of modern movie theaters, nothing beats the feeling of going back to the old times. Parking your car in an open space and seeing a film is a treat, especially if you are planning a romantic date.

If you are asking how to keep radio on at drive in, we got you! Read on as we share the best things to do!

For keyed ignition, you can keep the radio on by switching to Accessory mode. On the other hand, if the car has keyless ignition, press the start/stop button twice within milliseconds and without activating the brakes.

Easy Ways to Keep Radio on at Drive in


Some drive-ins do not have loud enough speakers to hear the audio, especially if you are parked far from the screen. Sometimes, you can turn on the radio, where you will stream the audio.

The problem is that you cannot leave the radio on for a long time. When the car is off, the power supply is cut. At most, the radio will run only for ten minutes. After such, you can turn it on again by turning on the ignition.

Even without turning the ignition on, you can keep the radio on. Read on as we talk about some of the options that are worth trying.

1. Turning the Radio On in a Keyless Car

Depending on the car’s make and model, there can be slight variations in the procedure.

If you have keyless cars before 2015, including old Toyota and Nissan vehicles, push the on/off button two times to activate the radio. If it has a gated shifter, then you can shift the gear.

For keyless models manufactured after 2015, push twice the on/off button. You won’t need to push the brake pedal.

All cars will have three engine modes – accessory, ignition, and start. However, for keyless cars, you will find a start and stop button in the dash. Upon pushing the start button, all accessories will turn on, including the radio. Pressing it again, however, will turn off the radio and other accessories. For the radio to not turn off after switching the engine off, your foot should not be on any pedal. Then within milliseconds, push the start/stop button twice. Finish by shifting the gear to the park.

2. Turning On the Radio in a Regular Car

If you are using a car with keyed ignition, such as an old Honda Civic, the procedure can have a slight variation. All you will have to do is switch the key to the Accessory position. In most cars, such will be marked with ACC. With the accessory mode, the radio can turn on even with the engine off.

However, take note that not all models will support this way of turning the radio on when the engine is off.

Bonus: Download an App

In today’s world that is dominated by smartphones, you can find a radio app for drive in. With the latter, you can simply download an app to stream the audio of the movie being played in the drive in. While the movie plays on the big screen, the app syncs to play the audio. This way, you can hear it even from your smartphone, so there is no need to turn on the radio in your car.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can a car’s accessory mode drain the battery?

When your car is in accessory mode, it will not need power to function, which means that it will not strain the battery. Nonetheless, the battery can run out if you turn several accessories on at the same time, such as combining radios with lights. The battery will charge only when you turn the engine on, so make sure to conserve power.

Read more: Tips to fix a car stereo draining battery.

How can I save battery when the radio is on?

To enjoy the radio without draining the car battery, limit the use of other accessories. If possible, use only the lights with the radio. When you use it with other accessories, you are increasing power consumption, increasing the likelihood of draining the battery.


By now, you should know how to keep radio on at drive in. As mentioned above, it depends on whether it is a keyed or keyless ignition. You can either turn the car or Accessory mode or press the start/stop button without your foot on any brakes.

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