Haunted headlights on 1992 Buick Park Ave



I?ve never had a car problem that I couldn?t at least come up with a theory for and eventually either solve or have a mechanic solve. Until now.

We have inherited a beautiful 1992 Buick Park Avenue from my wife’s mother. This car has been garaged and has only 50,000 miles on it! My son now drives it to his local college every day.

The problem is that, starting about a year ago, the headlights would come on BY THEMSELVES in the middle of the night. After taking it to 2 repair shops (who couldn’t even guess what the problem was) I gave my son a 5/16" wrench with which to remove the battery cable when he parked it overnight.

Recently it has happened that the headlights won’t EVER turn off, forcing him to disconnect the battery even if he just parks for a class or to go into a store. This car is equipped with the ?twilight sentinel? system, which is designed to turn on the headlights when the ambient light gets below a certain level. This level is settable via a slide on the dashboard. It is set to the ?off? position, however, and it doesn?t seem to matter which position it is in.

This condition appears to worsen with the wet weather. One interesting symptom is that, with the battery connected, if he turns the headlight switch off, ONLY THE HEADLIGHTS PROPER are on. If he turns the headlight switch on, the full array of lights (tail lights, side markers, etc.) come on.

He’s a good-natured, accepting soul, but the rainy season has made him very unhappy about this condition.

Towards the end of her life, my mother-in-law lived in an assisted living facility. Smoking was not permitted there, so she would occasionally go out to her car (which she was not allowed to drive) and have a cigarette and listen to the radio. (cool lady!). Could she be haunting the wiring?


Could be a haunting. If it has a separate fuse for the slider try pulling it, or see if you can try pulling the plug on the slider as it does not seem to be functioning properly. If you really like or end up needing it for things to function some contact cleaner and exercising the slider switch might help.


Thanks, waterboy. I tried contact cleaner on the slider and it didn’t work. I found the following link (http://www.justanswer.com/questions/2f20a-i-have-a-98-buick-lesabre-with-the-twilight-sentinal-how-can), which has info from Buick. Specifically to this effort it says:

“The system (Twilight Sentinal) turns the headlamps ON under the following conditions:
When the ignition switch is in the ON position
When the head/park lamp switch is turned OFF
When the twilight sentinel control is turned ON”

Presumably these three conditions must ALL be fulfilled for sentinal to turn on the lights! If so, how could the ignition switch, the headlight switch AND the sentinal control ALL be defective at the same time???!!!??? Ghost in the machine.

Read more: http://www.justanswer.com/questions/2f20a-i-have-a-98-buick-lesabre-with-the-twilight-sentinal-how-can#ixzz0eamJc0ZV