CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Auto light sensor system

I have a 2007 Impala that has an automatic lighting system. It seems to have trouble in the morning switching to the daytime setting. It even seems to have issues in the early evening . I’ve had severalcases of it switching back and forth. I feel it must be the light sensor or the module , but the dealer can’t seem to do anything even when I take it in when it’s acting up. Any ideas?

When you cover the dash sensor, do the lights come on?

That dealer plus a whole lot others need a good slap. And people wonder why GM is filing for bankruptcy. (besides the crooks at the top I mean)

Any tech worth his hourly pay/salary can fix this.

Dirty contacts in the sensor can be cleaned and possibly fix the problem. The awkward part is removing the top dash cover to gain access.

The other odd thing is that this problem seems to be time sensitive it usually only occurs early in the morning.Originally curing itself by around 9:30 or so . now it corrects itself between 7:20 and 8. Although it has on occasionally gone back to the night setting after 9 a.m. It has now started to switch to the nihgt settig early in the evening.,while the sun is still high in the sky.Tonight it happened around 7p.m. withthe sun high and bright. Is there a clock or timer hooked into this system? Thanks for any info or ideas you mihgt hve

These systems work by sensitivity to light. It might go into night mode at 2 in the afternoon if a big cloud came over you. It certainly goes on (or it should) in a tunnel or a parking structure. The time on a clock is not important. If your car is under warranty then clearly you should be pushing the dealer to fix it. If that fails, go to the regional rep. Or, now, you might write to our President, since he seems to have taken over responsibility for GM’s failures.

Just to be sure are there any sunglasses or papers etc. on the dash that might interfere with the sensor?

no, and I’ve cleaned it several times , thanks for trying to help

Is your car still under warranty? If so it is time to check out your rights under the lemon laws:

http://www.jdpower.com/cc/auto/bbb/lemon_law.jsp

http://www.lemonlawamerica.com/