Q: What does the headlight control sensor do?

asked by on December 14, 2015

What does the headlight control sensor do?

If your car has automatic headlights, then it also has a headlight control sensor. Essentially, this is what’s responsible for turning your headlights on and off based on ambient light levels. The sensor is located on the dash near the windshield in front of the driver’s position. It monitors the amount of light outside through the windshield. When it detects dropping light levels, it turns the headlights on.

Tips

  • Don’t cover your dash with anything as it will prevent the sensor from detecting changes in light level.

  • Don’t cover the sensor itself with anything for the same reason.

  • Clean the dash regularly, but don’t use harsh cleansers or they might damage the sensor.

  • A dirty windshield can contribute to false readings by the headlight control sensor.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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

What others are asking

Fuel bank sensor

There are a few things that can cause vehicles fuel trims to vary from normal. A vacuum leak is a big thing. Broken or worn crankcase ventilation hoses and gaskets that are failing to seal can cause lean conditions. If...

How does the SecuriLock® system work?

Your car is equipped with a Vehicle Immobilizer system called SecuriLock®. It’s designed to prevent your car from being started with anything other than one of the keys programmed for the ignition and computer. Of course, there are a few...

What does the Charging System light on the dash mean?

While there are several very important warning lights on the dash, if your Charging System light comes on, it means there’s a problem with one or more components in the system. The light looks like a little battery and it...

Car is vibrating and clanking on start up.

If the car is moved when the engine is cold before it completes its warm-up cycle, then there will be moisture that is drawn into the engine causing the engine to shake and vibrate with a clanking noise. The issue...

How do I use the front and rear cup holders?

You have two cup holders in the front of the car, and another two for the second row seat. These provide a safe, convenient way to carry drinks with you. The third row seats (if equipped) do not have cup...

Transmission problem

The VSS (Vehicle Speed Sensor) is most likely bad and needs to be replaced. The reason that the transmission shifts almost normally with it disconnected is due to the computer is using a failure memory to substitute for the shift...

Dash and headlights flash for about 1 minute after shut off

Hi there. It sounds like the lighting system has feedback through another circuit. This could be due to a short circuit, open circuit, missing/failed ground point, corroded ground point, corroded connector, loose connector, or relay block faults. With the age...

My car inadvertently got coolant into the engine through a broken seal and . 1.5 gallons. What is the worst i can expect to happen

Hello, and thank you for writing in. With such dramatic failures and so many opinions, it is easy to become confused and worried. Checking the oil at this point will not tell you much. Any metal shavings that have come...

Driver headlight having issues.

Check your fuses box for the headlights. Also possible there is a headlight relay which may have failed. Since only one side has failed, it could be a wiring problem to that one headlight (or a ground issue with that...

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid
Whether Whether you’re new to the hybrid wave or an old hat, the 2012 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid gives you exactly what you’re looking for – a comfortable, luxurious ride that provides decent fuel economy. Key Features This hybrid option...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You’re a Photographer
If If you are a photographer, and you’re considering buying a used car, the big thing to consider is the type of photography you do. Thanks to the advances in digital photography, chances are you’re not hauling around a lot...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Chevrolet Corvette
The The Chevrolet Corvette is an American original that has stood the test of time. With the 2012 version, you’ll discover improved handling and horsepower that delivers the superior performance you’ve come to expect from this icon. With options as...