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Q: What does the headlight control sensor do?

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What does the headlight control sensor do?

A: If your car has automatic headlights, then ...

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.


  • 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.

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