Auto headlights and delay
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2004-2007 Cadillac CTS-V General Discussion Discussion, Auto headlights and delay in Cadillac CTS-V Series Forum - 2004 - 2007; We all know what this is. With the switch on Auto, the lights come on at night, and there is ...
  1. #1
    kevm14 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Auto headlights and delay

    We all know what this is. With the switch on Auto, the lights come on at night, and there is a setting for how long the headlights stay on after you shut the car off. I believe the lights on at key fob unlock is also delayed by this setting, but I am not positive. Anyway...

    However, mine doesn't act the way I'd expect it to. Sure, if I turn the car off, take out the key, and get out, the headlights seem to shut off in the 15 seconds that I have it set to.

    BUT, if I shut the car off and leave the key in accessory to listen to music (for example), the headlights just stay on. I have no idea how long they will stay on. I waited for well over a minute. Then I switched the headlights from Auto to the next lowest setting which I think is manual headlights on, then back to Auto, and they went right off. This appears to happen consistently. It's like the timer doesn't start until you take the key out and open the door, canceling retained accessory power. I understand the idea of RAP but why would someone want their headlights on for TEN MINUTES??? That is assuming they'll shut off with RAP. My battery is marginal right now and I don't want to experiment.

    Is this by design? It's really annoying...

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    kevm14 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    Can someone at least try this on their car? Have the headlights on auto, and shut the car off, but keep the key in accessory, and just see what the headlights do. Do they stay on way past the delay setting? If so, it must be by design (and stupid). If not, what is broken?

  4. #3
    bkwilliams is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    Mine does the same thing. I just picked up the car and was setting up the nav/radio and the headlights stayed on the whole time. This was for at least 10 minutes. Normal, I guess?

  5. #4
    kevm14 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    So despite automatic headlights, next time I shut the car off but keep accessories on (and it's dark out), I will have to flick the headlight switch one click down from auto and back to auto to get them to shut off.

  6. #5
    siggyfreud is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    The delay is designed to illuminate the area in front of the car AFTER you exit the car. If your key is still in the ignition, the 'car' can reasonably assume you're still in the car as well. I like to keep the key in for all my late night/dark alley dealings.

  7. #6
    repenttokyo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    Quote Originally Posted by kevm14 View Post

    BUT, if I shut the car off and leave the key in accessory to listen to music (for example), the headlights just stay on. I have no idea how long they will stay on. I waited for well over a minute. Then I switched the headlights from Auto to the next lowest setting which I think is manual headlights on, then back to Auto, and they went right off. This appears to happen consistently. It's like the timer doesn't start until you take the key out and open the door, canceling retained accessory power. I understand the idea of RAP but why would someone want their headlights on for TEN MINUTES???
    why would someone sit in their car and listen to music for 10 minutes? it's essentially the same thing, GM engineers can't predict everyone's needs so they just aim for the broadest scenarios.

  8. #7
    EdmundGTP is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    Quote Originally Posted by repenttokyo View Post
    why would someone sit in their car and listen to music for 10 minutes? it's essentially the same thing, GM engineers can't predict everyone's needs so they just aim for the broadest scenarios.
    Cuz they're waiting for their slow as hell girlfriend to leave the house after getting ready to go someplace?

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    kevm14 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    I've never seen a car with automatic headlights act like this. Moving the ignition from "ON" to "ACCESSORY" should disable the headlights, according to the headlight delay timer. It's not about trying to account for a scenario. It flat makes no sense. It's not like the headlights are turning on with the key in accessory. So they shouldn't STAY on with the key in accessory.

    And yes, the scenario DID involve waiting for my wife, at an eye doctor appointment. I arrived, sat in the parking lot, and turned the key to accessory to continue listening to music. What would you do, idle the car for 11 minutes?

  10. #9
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    CadzillaTN is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    I just let the annoying reminder on the screen tell me when its time to flick them on.. I've always had the impression that in general, HIDs/ballasts will last longer by preventing quick on/off cycles, including those that can occur when on "auto". The retail price of $1000+ per headlight for the V also deters me from unnecessary usage...

  11. #10
    repenttokyo is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    Quote Originally Posted by kevm14 View Post
    And yes, the scenario DID involve waiting for my wife, at an eye doctor appointment. I arrived, sat in the parking lot, and turned the key to accessory to continue listening to music. What would you do, idle the car for 11 minutes?
    yeah. i love the sound of the car at idle. plus it scares away the riff-raff.

  12. #11
    kevm14 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    Quote Originally Posted by CadzillaTN View Post
    I just let the annoying reminder on the screen tell me when its time to flick them on.. I've always had the impression that in general, HIDs/ballasts will last longer by preventing quick on/off cycles, including those that can occur when on "auto". The retail price of $1000+ per headlight for the V also deters me from unnecessary usage...
    I have thought of that. Actually I think of it each time they turn on automatically in my garage then turn off 30 seconds later in the street. This car has 98k on original ballasts and bulbs as far as I can tell.

  13. #12
    0AT E03 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    The entire thing has to do with Accessory and RAP. The Accessory position shut off some of the cars electronics (ECM, ABS, HVAC, etc) and disables some options. I am sure due to RAP (which allows Accessory to continue until you open the door) GM decided that it would be foolish to have the system check for ambient light. So the car assumes the last known state and acts accordingly.

  14. #13
    kevm14 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Auto headlights and delay

    That does indeed appear to be what they do. If the headlights were on automatically at the time of entry into RAP, then it leaves them on. If they were off at entry into RAP, it leaves them off.

    My Fleetwood had twilight sentinel and RAP and it did NOT behave this way. The headlight timer started the second you turned off the ignition.

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