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Auto Headlight ON/OFF High Sensitivity

M.V.P.

Member
Apr 29, 2016
35
22
Somewhere, USA
Vin#...50344 - Software Version# 2017.34.2448cfc
ISSUE: Auto headlights will come on with even the slightest amount of intermittent shade on very sunny days or when the sun is lower in the sky later in the afternoon.

Has anyone else experienced this issue of the headlight sensor being overly sensitive in their Model X?

I asked my local Service Center (Mt Kisco, NY) if they could turn down the sensitivity a bit but they said it was all software version-controlled and not a parameter they could access directly themselves. They also said that others have complained about this and were hoping for a future software updated to correct.

NOTE: My previous car was a Model S, which I traded up for the X, and I felt that the Model S' auto headlights were calibrated correctly so I did not experience this issue.
 

ahkahn

Active Member
Jun 22, 2017
1,094
1,597
Houston, TX (formerly Chicagoland)
Interesting. I've got a ticket in right now because my headlights, when set to auto, will not turn off AT ALL. I can manually turn them off with the setting, but if set to auto, they're always on. Tesla is investigating right now.... I suspect we have a similar issue.
 

M.V.P.

Member
Apr 29, 2016
35
22
Somewhere, USA
I'd venture a guess that Tesla's light sensor supplier has a manufacturing problem and a small percentage of their units are defective. So even though all vehicles are software calibrated to the same sensitivity rates these units are causing headlights to come on prematurely or stay on all the time.
 

ahkahn

Active Member
Jun 22, 2017
1,094
1,597
Houston, TX (formerly Chicagoland)
I'd venture a guess that Tesla's light sensor supplier has a manufacturing problem and a small percentage of their units are defective. So even though all vehicles are software calibrated to the same sensitivity rates these units are causing headlights to come on prematurely or stay on all the time.

That's my guess. Oddly enough, not sure if the screens have their own different sensor, but during the day my screen is in day mode and at night it goes into night mode. They work just fine. It's just the lights that think it's night time all the time.
 

andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,541
Vin#...50344 - Software Version# 2017.34.2448cfc
ISSUE: Auto headlights will come on with even the slightest amount of intermittent shade on very sunny days or when the sun is lower in the sky later in the afternoon.

Has anyone else experienced this issue of the headlight sensor being overly sensitive in their Model X?

I asked my local Service Center (Mt Kisco, NY) if they could turn down the sensitivity a bit but they said it was all software version-controlled and not a parameter they could access directly themselves. They also said that others have complained about this and were hoping for a future software updated to correct.

NOTE: My previous car was a Model S, which I traded up for the X, and I felt that the Model S' auto headlights were calibrated correctly so I did not experience this issue.

Your AP1 model S had a dedicated light sensor. AP2 cars use the AP cameras to determine if the lights should be on. As you have noticed, it’s currently quite flawed. The good news is Tesla can improve it with OTA updates. I’m sure they will, but their focus has been on model 3.
 

violinist22

Member
May 24, 2017
47
11
California
My "auto" lights were working fine for the first 5 months/4K miles until two days ago. Now they stay on all the time (until I leave the car). i figure it's a faulty sensor or a software problem. Day/night screen mode is working fine. I plan to ask about it the next time I'm at the SC.
 

M.V.P.

Member
Apr 29, 2016
35
22
Somewhere, USA
Well it's been 2 months now and numerous OTA updates (Current Version: 2017.46...) and I haven't really noticed much of a difference, so if this is software related they haven't addressed it yet. BuI I still maintain it's a hardware problem because others are complaining about their lights not turning off at all rather than just being hyper-sensitive. Assuming we all have the same software algorithm currently then we all should be experiencing the same exact symptoms, which we aren't.

@andrewket - if the newer AP2 cars are using the AP camera instead of a simple light sensor these cameras could still have manufacturing inconsistencies causing light sensitivity miscalibrations.

BTW, my main interior display does switch between day/night mode correctly on it's own but it does seem to be a bit slow in the transition and takes a few extra seconds to properly adjust it's brightness level after the switch over.
 
Last edited:

andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,541
Well it's been 2 months now and numerous OTA updates (Current Version: 2017.46...) and I haven't really noticed much of a difference, so if this is software related they haven't addressed it yet. BuI I still maintain it's a hardware problem because others are complaining about their lights not turning off at all rather than just being hyper-sensitive. Assuming we all have the same software algorithm currently then we all should be experiencing the same exact symptoms, which we aren't.

@andrewket - if the newer AP2 cars are using the AP camera instead of a simple light sensor these cameras could still have manufacturing inconsistencies causing light sensitivity miscalibrations.

BTW, my main interior display does switch between day/night mode correctly on it's own but it does seem to be a bit slow in the transition and takes a few extra seconds to properly adjust it's brightness level after the switch over.

Except that all AP2 cars seem to exhibit this behavior. My sense is the AP team will need to fix this, and it’s currently very low priority compared to getting EAP and FSD done.
 

M.V.P.

Member
Apr 29, 2016
35
22
Somewhere, USA
Except that all AP2 cars seem to exhibit this behavior. My sense is the AP team will need to fix this, and it’s currently very low priority compared to getting EAP and FSD done.

AndrewKet, my Model X is an AP2 car (purchase date 6/2017) but my lights do not stay on all the time, as others have complained about here. My lights are simply overly sensitive either late in the afternoon or in the shade on even the sunniest of days.
 

andrewket

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2012
5,704
1,541
AndrewKet, my Model X is an AP2 car (purchase date 6/2017) but my lights do not stay on all the time, as others have complained about here. My lights are simply overly sensitive either late in the afternoon or in the shade on even the sunniest of days.

We’re debating the frequency by which the lights are on when we think they should be off. I didn’t say mine were on ALL (100%) the time. I’d estimate they are on 70% of the time I think they should be off.
 

rush6410

Member
Sep 26, 2016
644
653
Montgomery TX
Mine seems to be working as expected. The only times they come on during the day is when I would expect them to turn on; tunnel, covered parking lot where it is very dark, garage. So on a very small percentage of the day. Sounds like a light sensor calibration issue. The center display uses different logic and sensors to determine daytime/nighttime.
 

jennamarietx

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2017
26
4
Texas
Just a note--here it is nearly the end of 2020, and my 2017 X is still exhibiting the "on-far-too-often" headlight syndrome! So, seemingly endless SW updates have not fixed this, and even an infotainment upgrade and computer upgrade from AP2 to AP3 has had no effect. In fact, when I drove home from the SC after the upgrades, the headlights remained "on" for the entire 20-mile trip; this was a typical South Texas summer afternoon with plenty of bright sunshine and temp around 99. If Tesla had provided a simple mechanical dash switch for the headlights I would just use that and be satisfied; or even if the first-level touch-screen had the headlight control, then no great problem, but.... Ridiculous!
 

fr100

Member
Dec 27, 2017
506
585
Northern CA
Both my Model 3 & Model X have too sensitive auto headlights. I pass by this black truck down the street and the headlights turn on in the middle of the day. Same thing if I'm behind a dark car in the drive-thru, or stopped at a light below an overpass.

I've also noticed that if the wipers activate, the headlights stay on for one minute. Sometimes people overlook that.
 

jennamarietx

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 1, 2017
26
4
Texas
Both my Model 3 & Model X have too sensitive auto headlights. I pass by this black truck down the street and the headlights turn on in the middle of the day. Same thing if I'm behind a dark car in the drive-thru, or stopped at a light below an overpass.

I've also noticed that if the wipers activate, the headlights stay on for one minute. Sometimes people overlook that.

I haven't noticed that, the wipers activating headlights, but I owned an '89 Grand Marquis that had that "feature." Dealer claimed it was required by law "in some areas."
 

AimStellar

Member
Jun 10, 2020
259
5,586
New Jersey
Just a note--here it is nearly the end of 2020, and my 2017 X is still exhibiting the "on-far-too-often" headlight syndrome! So, seemingly endless SW updates have not fixed this, and even an infotainment upgrade and computer upgrade from AP2 to AP3 has had no effect. In fact, when I drove home from the SC after the upgrades, the headlights remained "on" for the entire 20-mile trip; this was a typical South Texas summer afternoon with plenty of bright sunshine and temp around 99. If Tesla had provided a simple mechanical dash switch for the headlights I would just use that and be satisfied; or even if the first-level touch-screen had the headlight control, then no great problem, but.... Ridiculous!

If it makes you feel any better, (doubtful), I experience the same issue on my 2020 X Performance Ludicrous. Daily routine when entering the car whether it's a normal sunny day or I'm parked on the surface of the sun: (1) put on seatbelt, (2) manually change headlight setting from AUTO to OFF, ... (in no particular order)
 
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