Automatic headlights are a HUGE safety concern!

Based on what I have read a while back, the DRL’s are supposed to decrease accidents by making you more “visible”. I believe most of the info comes to us from Canada with different climate. I live in Southern CA and unless we have a foggy day, I don’t believe I am that difficult to see.

There are many “less than intelligent” drivers who wouldn’t have any lights on, if not for DRLs and auto headlamps . . .


I have an easier time seeing oncoming cars that have their headlights on, whether it be DRL, auto head lamps, whatever

And I live in Los Angeles

I don’t know if that makes me blind as a bat, but I haven’t had an accident in a long time

Noted, I might turn them on now…

Somehow, Mazda put a lot of gadgets in my 2010 CX-9, but the headlights are from the previous century. You have to turn them on manually, and if you leave them on when you turn the car off, all you get is a buzz. They won’t go off on their own. It works for me, but you might not see me coming…

My Toyota van has headlights that you can leave on and they turn off automatically when the van’s turned off. I really like that feature, as I like having cars have their lights on for visibility. This includes tailights, which I guess DRLs don’t. I think all cars should have lights on while they’re moving.

GM DRL’s used to have this problem. I drove a rental car in 1994 (a Chevrolet Corsica) which illuminated the DRL’s and all the dash lights automatically (but not the taillights), and led to me driving it on the freeway with no taillights the first night. When I stopped the car at the destination to drop something off (leaving it running) and caught a glimpse of the back of the car I was surprised–no taillights! No wonder I had been honked at several times during that trip! I had to be vigilant each night thereafter. When I rented a GM car several years later I was happy to discover that ALL the lights illuminated when it was driven. Nowadays, unfortunately, I see a fair number of cars driving at night with no taillights on but some dim DRL’s shining in the front. Our new Honda Fit also has automatic DRL’s and illuminated gauges (but not the taillights). But at least the radio, heater and A/C controls (the entire middle section of the dash) don’t light up until you turn on the lights.

The thing is that it’s possible to override the auto on headlight feature, yet the DRL system will still function. that’s why you see that, the auto on system has been shut off.

Another factor of automatic ( not drl ) lamp systems.
When only ONE vehicle in the collection has them…that primary driver will forget to turn on the lamps of the other vehicle on the rare occasion they drive that one.

  • plus -
    When the vehicle is in the shop, even for just an oil change, they turn off the autolamps !

Kind of odd that your 9 doesn’t have auto-off for your headlights. My 7 has that feature, but then again, it IS the GT model with HIDs. I just turn my lights on, then leave it that way, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions.

I always liked the feature on my GM cars, starting in 1998 on my Regal. Not having automatic headlights was the only negative on my 2005 Accord when I bought it. Not a deal breaker obviously, but a distraction nonetheless.

I have a 2004 Yukon and has auto headlights. I think GMC has it perfect. You cannot permanently turn off the auto lights. If you do not want headlights on, once you start the truck you can turn the headlight switch to off but the switch is spring loaded and goes back to auto. Your headlights will be off for that driving session but next time you start the truck.the headlights are back on auto mode. I see cars every evening going down the road with no lights at all. But you can see the driver’s face lit up by the dashboard. Most of these cars I see I know have auto lights but the driver does not trust the auto feature and say they will turn them on manually. But then when the time comes they see the dash lights on thus figure headlights are on. I would love to rally our government to mandate passive auto head/tail lights to shut them off you can only do so for that driving session. The only thing I would add which I think GM has now is when the wipers are activated the headlights are also on. This may save a lot of lives. 2 people were killed not far from my house because their auto headlights were permanently turned off and did not have any headlights on. Ok I will get off my soap box.

That would infuriate me in my HID-equipped car. The quickest way to kill HIDs is to flip them on and off quickly a lot, which is what happens with auto headlights if you park in a garage. So far mine have 120k on them and are still going strong - people who use the auto setting in the same car I drive often found themselves replacing as early as 50k, which is significant when the lights cost several hundred bucks.

(yes I know it’s an ancient thread, but who cares? It’s still an interesting discussion)

I’m not sure what you are costing several hundred dollars, the switch? First of you are pulling into a garage the lights will go off when you turn off the car. No need to manually turn them off. Turning the lights on and off manually would wear a switch out much faster. I hardly ever touch the switch. If you are worried they (the lights) come on when going into the garage, yes they might depending how long it take to park, but again they will go off when you shut down. My truck has 145,000 miles on it and just changed the lights. Not because they burned out, I put led projector lights in. The lights were still going strong. I pull into a garage every day. The lights come on about 50% time during daylight. Not a big deal for me. I have the security knowing my lights are on every night when driving in the dark. People now days are so distracted they forget headlights because they see their dash lit up. Really the problem is that in the old days no headlights meant no dash lights. Now days that is not the case.

No, the headlights. If you leave it in auto (or it springs back to auto) then when you turn on the car, the lights come on because it’s dim in the garage. Then you pull outside and they turn off again. Do that every day for awhile and you damage the light because HIDs don’t like rapid cycling. And replacing them costs over $100 and on my car involves removing the bumper, so if the auto switch was spring loaded so I couldn’t turn it off permanently, I’d be mad.

Oh, so you’re the guy blinding me because he put in aftermarket lights that aren’t dot-legal and throw their light everywhere, and aren’t aimed properly anyway. :wink:

I do agree with you on the light up gauges, though. I’d like to see the automatic light sensor used to disable DRLs when it detects that it’s dark out. The DRLs put just enough light on the pavement to fool people into thinking their lights are on.

Wow some people are out to lunch. First of all what you are experiencing is called Day Time Running Lights. They turn on as soon as you turn on the vehicle and release the parking brake. These are TOTALLY different than Auto Sensing Lights. There is a switch on your turn signal that must be set to (yup you guessed it ahhh Auto) and then both your head and tail lights will turn on. When your vehicle gets serviced the service centres turn off this feature so you will have to be (yup aware) of this.

Some even revive a 3 year old thread to state what has been already stated.