Q: Headlights come on when off in middle of night draining battery

asked by on

My headlights mysteriously power on in the middle of the night without any key in the ignition or it started and drains my battery about every night almost for a week now. I'm not sure what is going on. Is it a fuse or relay? Is it my turn signal switch and corrosion?? Help please. Tina Daniels

My car has 167834 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are several possibilities that may be the source of this issue - first make sure your headlight switch is in the "Off" position (rather than "Auto" for example). Then remove both the headlight relay and the daytime running light (DRL) relay from the fuse panel. Leave the vehicle overnight to see if the lights come on. If not - progress! Re-install the DRL and headlight relays one at a time - install, leave overnight, check to see if the lights come on. Reinstalling either the DRL or headlight relay causing the lights to come on will identify which of these relays has burned contacts, and is sticking in the "On" position. If you need assistance in diagnosing this issue, a YourMechanic certified technician can come to your location to inspect your vehicle and help find the faulty electrical component.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Headlights come on when off in middle of night draining battery

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Q: How do I transfer a phone call from the Bluetooth system to my phone?

If you are having a phone call through the Bluetooth system, you can transfer the call to your mobile device at any point, such as when you stop and get out of the vehicle. To do so, simply press the...

Q: It won't shift out of second gear.

It sounds like you may have a failing speed sensor. The transmission speed sensor is a magnetic sensor that provides this information, allowing the transmission to shift smoothly. The sensor counts the internal number of revolutions of the transmission and...

Q: Q: Headlights just stopped working

If manipulating the original switch caused the lights to turn on and off, that would suggest that the rest of the headlight circuit is OK. If you replaced the switch and yet you have the same symptom that you had...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.