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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:41 AM
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Automatic headlight sensor

My automatic headlights are turning on during the day on a bright sunny day today.

Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:44 AM
bmw5151 bmw5151 is offline
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Turn them off manually until you can completely clean your windshield, especially over the sensors by the rearview mirror.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:44 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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THe sensor sucks.

There is no sensitivity adjustment. Way to go BMW. Even my 2007 Acura has a sensitivity level that is user adjustable.

//thread.
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bmw5151 View Post
Turn them off manually until you can completely clean your windshield, especially over the sensors by the rearview mirror.
I washed the car yesterday on the outside.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
THe sensor sucks.

There is no sensitivity adjustment. Way to go BMW. Even my 2007 Acura has a sensitivity level that is user adjustable.

//thread.
It was working fine for the first 1100 miles.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:53 AM
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Deemed to be "normal". I actually think BMW designed it this way to have headlights on with bright sun overhead. On a cloudy bright day, the headlights are off as one would expect in bright light conditions. It definitely operates differently than my previous BMW's (and other sensor-equipped cars).
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Even my 2007 Acura has a sensitivity level that is user adjustable.

//thread.
Which Acura is that, your MDX? None of our 3 TL's provided headlight sensitivity adjustment ('03, '05, '08). Are you talking about adjustment for turn on/off, or auto high-beam sensitivity?
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  #8  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:07 AM
williamrus williamrus is offline
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Start your car with the headlight switch in the off position. and they'll stay off during the day. Start your car with the headlight stwitch in the ON position and they'll stay on in bright sunlight. Every time i bring it in for service they mess the setting up. bill
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by williamrus View Post
Start your car with the headlight switch in the off position. and they'll stay off during the day. Start your car with the headlight stwitch in the ON position and they'll stay on in bright sunlight. Every time i bring it in for service they mess the setting up. bill
Nope. I always turn the headlights off before entering my garage. I start up with them off. One a bright sunny day, if I turn them to auto, most times they'll come on. This happens with a bright blue sky and sun overhead. The starting position of the switch doesn't have any effect on my auto headlight function.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:20 AM
PsychDoc1 PsychDoc1 is offline
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There is no "setting" for this. The sensor is designed to not only measure the light intensity but it's color temperature. If it "sees" too much blue in the available light, it will read that as dusk or dawn and turn the headlights on. I, too, find this annoying and if left in the auto position I find my lights are on at least 50% of the time in what appears to be bright sunlight. The sensor definitely favors cloudy, overcast days (much like photographers...lol) and will kill the lights then. Otherwise it's easier just to leave them in the "off" position until nighttime. That way the beautiful angel eyes are always turned on. If you're interested, p.79 in the manual addresses this issue.
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  #11  
Old 01-02-2012, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsychDoc1 View Post
There is no "setting" for this. The sensor is designed to not only measure the light intensity but it's color temperature. If it "sees" too much blue in the available light, it will read that as dusk or dawn and turn the headlights on. I, too, find this annoying and if left in the auto position I find my lights are on at least 50% of the time in what appears to be bright sunlight. The sensor definitely favors cloudy, overcast days (much like photographers...lol) and will kill the lights then. Otherwise it's easier just to leave them in the "off" position until nighttime. That way the beautiful angel eyes are always turned on. If you're interested, p.79 in the manual addresses this issue.
The angel eyes are always on, but they are more visible with the HIDs off. I don't like burning HIDs during daytime, when the angel eyes are perfectly effective as DRL even in bright sunlight.
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Last edited by Stealth.Pilot; 01-02-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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  #12  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:39 PM
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One more question for you guys:

The exterior door handle lights. In what circumstances do they turn on. I have the welcome light checked in iDrive in the lighting menu. However when I lock/unlock my car or walk near my car those lights do not turn on.
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  #13  
Old 01-02-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
Which Acura is that, your MDX? None of our 3 TL's provided headlight sensitivity adjustment ('03, '05, '08). Are you talking about adjustment for turn on/off, or auto high-beam sensitivity?
MDX, yes.
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  #14  
Old 01-02-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
One more question for you guys:

The exterior door handle lights. In what circumstances do they turn on. I have the welcome light checked in iDrive in the lighting menu. However when I lock/unlock my car or walk near my car those lights do not turn on.
When the car is parked it has to be on auto setting or on setting for the pathway lights to illuminate.
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  #15  
Old 01-02-2012, 02:41 PM
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When the car is parked it has to be on auto setting or on setting for the pathway lights to illuminate.
Thanks. Turned out that was activated, however you also have to set the interior lights to the door setting and also have the courtesy lights activated on the specific remote you are using. Now it is working.

However the headlight sensor is still an issue. It was turning on the low beams, even in conditions where they should be off (i.e. daylight, sun high not low, facing any direction).
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  #16  
Old 01-02-2012, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post

However the headlight sensor is still an issue. It was turning on the low beams, even in conditions where they should be off (i.e. daylight, sun high not low, facing any direction).
I was thinking of posting this up on the E70 section of the site too. For the past couple days, my low-beams have been on all day when left in auto. Very annoying because the headlight washers come on everytime I'm trying to wash salt off the windshield.

I'm wondering if its just a dirty sensor or something. Anyone know where the sensor is? My E70 is covered in salt right now. Need to wash it off tomorrow. Hopefully this issue goes away.
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  #17  
Old 01-02-2012, 04:13 PM
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I was thinking of posting this up on the E70 section of the site too. For the past couple days, my low-beams have been on all day when left in auto. Very annoying because the headlight washers come on everytime I'm trying to wash salt off the windshield.

I'm wondering if its just a dirty sensor or something. Anyone know where the sensor is? My E70 is covered in salt right now. Need to wash it off tomorrow. Hopefully this issue goes away.
I don't think this is the issue in my case. The car was washed last night, and it has been sunny since.
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  #18  
Old 01-02-2012, 04:48 PM
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I told you how to fix the headlamp problem, don't believe me ,GO ASK the dealer. Thats how it works,headlamp switch off, lock car, start back up, If that doesn't work you have a bad sensor on the back of your rearview mirror.
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  #19  
Old 01-02-2012, 04:57 PM
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I told you how to fix the headlamp problem, don't believe me ,GO ASK the dealer. Thats how it works,headlamp switch off, lock car, start back up, If that doesn't work you have a bad sensor on the back of your rearview mirror.
That fix didn't work. Going to dealer tomorrow.
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  #20  
Old 01-02-2012, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by williamrus View Post
I told you how to fix the headlamp problem, don't believe me ,GO ASK the dealer. Thats how it works,headlamp switch off, lock car, start back up, If that doesn't work you have a bad sensor on the back of your rearview mirror.
The sensor on the back of the mirror is not used for controlling the headlights.
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  #21  
Old 01-02-2012, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
That fix didn't work. Going to dealer tomorrow.
Don't worry -- that is not a fix. Many of us have been told this is normal operation, even though it differs from previous cars. The sun above in a bright blue sky may cause the headlights to be on. See attached info from the manual.
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2012, 06:01 PM
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Don't worry -- that is not a fix. Many of us have been told this is normal operation, even though it differs from previous cars. The sun above in a bright blue sky may cause the headlights to be on. See attached info from the manual.
I read that but I don't think that is the explanation. That only applies when sky is blue and sun is low. This was around 1pm. I saw other BMWs on the road who didn't have thir low beams on. Plus I didn't have this issue until today. Something changed.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
I was thinking of posting this up on the E70 section of the site too. For the past couple days, my low-beams have been on all day when left in auto. Very annoying because the headlight washers come on everytime I'm trying to wash salt off the windshield.
And that's one reason I'm so glad I got the stand-alone heated seats, without those darn headlight washers. Regardless of whether the headlights are on when you think they should be off, the fact that BMW doesn't provide a separate washer control is poor. I used to turn off my headlights very briefly when needing to do a quick spray of the windshield to avoid fluid all over the hood. My '02 MB had a separate button for the headlight washers.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I read that but I don't think that is the explanation. That only applies when sky is blue and sun is low. This was around 1pm. I saw other BMWs on the road who didn't have thir low beams on. Plus I didn't have this issue until today. Something changed.
I bet you get a "NPF" from the service shop.
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  #25  
Old 01-02-2012, 08:39 PM
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I just think that the auto headlamp control just gets more and more needlessly sensitive with each new iteration of software.

To be honest, it wouldn't bug me that much. I'd just switch the headlights off manually then turn them back on when it was dark enough.......is it really that hard to live with manual headlights folks?
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