If you have the new style controller the steps operate as follows:
Operation of the Kwikee's IMGL (integrated motor/gear box/linkage) step system is
controlled by a 9510 Control Unit (short for the part number, 909510000.) The 9510
Control is very similar to Pre-9510 Controls with one basic difference:
The 9510 Controlled step can only be locked in the fully extended position.
Under normal operation the step cannot be locked in the retracted position. The only
way the step could actually be locked in the retracted position would be if the step was
retracted and then physically disconnected from the power source of the coach.
The steps prior to the 9510 controller could be locked in the opened or closed position when the ignition is in the off position but when the ignition is in the on position the steps will revert to automatic operation regardles of the lockout switch position until the ignition is turned off again at which time they will cycle one last time to allow you to exit the vehicle.
Excerpt from model 888 manual:
The control unit is essentially a current sensor as well as a switching device.
When the motor assembly moves the step tread to its extended position, or
stops moving because of an obstruction such as a curb or the binding of a
damaged or bent step frame, the motor draws a larger amount of current. The
control unit 'senses' the larger current draw and shuts off power to the motor.
All control units are equipped with an ignition override system. This system is designed
so that the vehicle will not be driven with the step in the extended position. When the step
is locked in the extended position (override switch is in the 'on' position), the door closed,
and the ignition is turned on, the ignition override system will engage and the step will
The 'Auto Extend' feature is another safety feature designed to extend the step when the
door is opened for the first time after the vehicle ignition is turned off, even if the override
switch is turned on. When the ignition is switched on, the function of the override switch is
disabled and the step will always extend when the door is opened and retract when the door
Some van steps use door-switch-only operation. When the door is opened the step extends
a n d t h e step retracts when the door is closed.
NOTE: Follow the instructions in this manual carefully. Failure to do so may result
in damage to the step control, the motor and/or the vehicle wiring. Such damage
may also result in voiding the warranty.
An important change covered in this owner's manual is the "Override Switch" (previously called the "Power
Switch"). The name changed because of a change of functionality from the former "Power Switch".
The new Control Units are equipped with an ignition override system designed to prevent the vehicle from being
driven with the step in the extended position (OVERRIDE SWITCH IS IN THE 'ON' POSITION), the door is closed,
and the ignition is turned on, the ignition override system will engage and the step will automatically retract.
Please note that is a change from the "Power Switch", which needed to be in the "OFF" position to lock
the step out.