How to Reset Retained Accessory Power: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you experiencing issues with the retained accessory power (RAP) system in your vehicle? Resetting the RAP can help resolve various electrical problems, such as malfunctioning power windows, radio issues, or interior light malfunctions. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of how to reset retained accessory power, providing step-by-step instructions and essential tips along the way.

Retained Accessory Power (RAP)

The retained accessory power system is designed to allow certain electrical components in your vehicle to remain operational for a period of time after the engine is turned off or until a door is opened. This feature provides convenience by enabling you to use accessories like power windows, radio, or interior lights even when the engine is not running.

Reasons to Reset Retained Accessory Power

There are several situations where resetting the RAP may be necessary or beneficial:

Electrical Malfunctions: If you are experiencing electrical issues such as non-functioning power windows, radio glitches, or interior light problems, resetting the RAP can help resolve these malfunctions.

Battery Drain Concerns: Resetting the RAP can help address battery drain concerns caused by malfunctioning accessories that may remain powered even when the vehicle is turned off.

System Reset: Resetting the RAP can serve as a system reset, clearing any temporary glitches or errors that may be affecting the electrical components in your vehicle.

How to Reset Retained Accessory Power: Step-by-Step

Follow these step-by-step instructions to reset the retained accessory power in your vehicle:

Step 1: Ensure Safety Precautions: Park your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake for safety.

Step 2: Turn Off the Ignition: Ensure the engine is completely turned off by turning the ignition switch to the “Off” or “Lock” position.

Step 3: Open and Close the Driver’s Door: Open the driver’s door fully and close it firmly. Ensure it is securely latched.

Step 4: Wait for a Few Minutes: Wait for approximately 5 to 10 minutes to allow the RAP system to fully reset.

Step 5: Start the Vehicle: Start the engine by turning the ignition switch to the “On” or “Run” position.

Step 6: Test the Accessories: Test the previously malfunctioning accessories, such as power windows, radio, or interior lights, to ensure they are functioning properly.

Step 7: Repeat the Process if Needed: If the issues persist, repeat the reset process again. In some cases, multiple resets may be required to resolve the problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions related to resetting retained accessory power:

Q: Is resetting retained accessory power the same for all vehicles?

A: While the general process is similar, the specific steps to reset the RAP may vary between different vehicle makes and models. It is recommended to consult your vehicle’s manual for precise instructions.

Q: Can resetting the RAP affect other vehicle settings?

A: Resetting the RAP should not impact other vehicle settings such as radio presets, seat memory, or climate control preferences. However, it is always a good idea to make note of any personalized settings before proceeding.

Q: Will resetting the RAP erase any stored data or settings?

A: No, resetting the RAP should not erase any stored data or settings in your vehicle, such as radio station presets, seat positions, or trip computer data. The purpose of the reset is to address electrical malfunctions and restore the proper functioning of the retained accessory power system.

Q: Can I reset the RAP without disconnecting the battery?

A: Yes, resetting the RAP can usually be done without disconnecting the battery. The process involves turning off the ignition, opening and closing the driver’s door, waiting for a few minutes, and then starting the engine. Disconnecting the battery is typically not required for resetting the RAP.

Q: What if resetting the RAP doesn’t resolve the electrical issues?

A: If resetting the RAP does not resolve the electrical problems, it may indicate a more significant underlying issue. In such cases, it is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic who can diagnose and repair the specific electrical fault.

Q: Can resetting the RAP fix all electrical issues in my vehicle?

A: While resetting the RAP can help resolve common electrical malfunctions associated with the retained accessory power system, it may not fix all electrical issues in your vehicle. Persistent or complex electrical problems may require a comprehensive diagnosis and repair by a qualified professional.


Resetting retained accessory power can be a simple and effective solution for addressing electrical malfunctions and restoring the proper functioning of accessories in your vehicle. By following the step-by-step guide on how to reset retained accessory power, you can do the job easily.

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