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Auto headlights

It's it normal for the 'auto' headlights just to turn on the headlights and rear lights, regardless of sunshine level.
I'm fairly sure on my m3 regardless of the sunshine it just turns all the lights on as if it was completely dark.
It's this normal?

I know it knows it's not dark because it doesn't dim the centre screen.

I always think people seem silly having all lights on, when the sun is blazing.
Now I'm that person
 
They'll turn off and on seemingly randomly as you drive - they switch on always when you first start driving and if it's sunny mine usually switches off again within 1 or 2 minutes.

They also turn on if you wash the windscreen or switch on the wipers.

The display seems to be based on sunset/sunrise time rather than lightness, whereas the lights turn on and off based on how bright it thinks it is.
 
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Thanks guys,
It would seem then it's not just my M3 that does this, it a general 'thing'.
I'm afraid that I'm 1 of those drivers that likes to turn my lights on when needed. Not have the car decide for me. However very few newer cars allow this nowadays.
Seems pointless to me blinding people with car lights when it's a sunny day anyway. Would much prefer to be in control of the lights myself.
 
I read research a number of years ago on road safety and one of the conclusions was that having lights on all the time is safer as the human eye is drawn to lights, especially moving ones. Daylight running lights help a lot, full headlights are even better at there is a larger light source. Not sure if normal running lights would blind anyone during the day if they don't during the dark.
Each to their own in the end of course!
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,839
4,435
Scotland
Thanks guys,
It would seem then it's not just my M3 that does this, it a general 'thing'.
I'm afraid that I'm 1 of those drivers that likes to turn my lights on when needed. Not have the car decide for me. However very few newer cars allow this nowadays.
Seems pointless to me blinding people with car lights when it's a sunny day anyway. Would much prefer to be in control of the lights myself.

Yes, they're too sensitive ... someone suggested it may be to do with regulations in USA requiring headlights on in rain or questionable light situations. I commonly switch my lights to off on the settings. That leaves the day lights as usual but stops the headlights/tail lights coming on. Unfortunately the setting doesn't stick between drives so you have to switch them off every time you start out. Strangely there isn't a voice command to switch off main lights (just the "dome lights" ... i.e. the interior lights).
 
Strangely there isn't a voice command to switch off main lights (just the "dome lights" ... i.e. the interior lights).
I found that odd too, the first time I tried to turn the lights on with voice commands and all I could get was cabin lights on... I guess they class it as a "safety-critical" thing so not eligible for voice commands, but it's kind of annoying! If it worked I would use it to turn lights on and off instead of leaving them on the auto setting.
 
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MrBadger

Badger out
Jun 17, 2019
9,303
6,895
Surrey, UK
I commonly switch my lights to off on the settings. That leaves the day lights as usual but stops the headlights/tail lights coming on.

Does that actually keep the daylight running lights on? I was sitting in the car recently waiting for someone and was mildly irritated that it kept side and main lights on even when parked. Without physically getting out of the car, I found that if I turned the lights 'off', the lights, according to the on screen icons, were indeed off. To get what appears to be the daytime/side lights, I needed to select side lights. But without getting out of the car and/or starting a drive, I don't know if this matched reality. I also do not know if daytime running lights are exactly the same as side lights and that rear lights stay on too.

My own/other European car only has lights on/off and by default daytime/side lights are on unless specifically deactivated in the car settings menu.
 
Does that actually keep the daylight running lights on? I was sitting in the car recently waiting for someone and was mildly irritated that it kept side and main lights on even when parked. Without physically getting out of the car, I found that if I turned the lights 'off', the lights, according to the on screen icons, were indeed off. To get what appears to be the daytime/side lights, I needed to select side lights. But without getting out of the car and/or starting a drive, I don't know if this matched reality. I also do not know if daytime running lights are exactly the same as side lights and that rear lights stay on too.

My own/other European car only has lights on/off and by default daytime/side lights are on unless specifically deactivated in the car settings menu.
I understand when the car is in Drive, the DRLs are always on, regardless of the light menu settings. In Park, they can be turned off via the settings or by placing the car Camp mode.
 
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