: What are the twilight sentinal used for?



Night Wolf
05-12-03, 10:27 PM
I never understand this..... what are they?

all I know is, they keep the headlights on for a time period that you choose (by the knob) so you can see while getting into your house.

Is that all? can someone explaint he reason/real use for them? Thanks

Cadillacktm
05-12-03, 10:58 PM
The reason that you stated yourself is the real reason for the twiligt sentinal. It is a retrostat and just like you said, keeps the lights on for a set period of time. Also if you turn the knob all the way to the right, the dome lights will probably come on depending on the model.

Ralph
05-13-03, 02:10 AM
I have it and it's like described above. Personally I never use it.

vanaisa
05-14-03, 02:02 PM
Well, in here we must drive headlights always on and for this its good ;)

kempie
05-17-03, 08:39 AM
It stands guard to turn your lights on at dusk. Hense the name. It can be adjusted to turn them off after a period also. Plus when in the TS position the headlights come on w/the w/s wipers.

rayzer
05-17-03, 11:56 AM
Changing the system from Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to regular headlamps when the wipers are activated is a feature that was added around 1997, and may or may not be present depending on options.

Scrapyard
05-19-03, 03:30 AM
Originally posted by rayzer
Changing the system from Daytime Running Lights (DRL) to regular headlamps when the wipers are activated is a feature that was added around 1997, and may or may not be present depending on options.

That's probablly true. From experience I know the 80's and early to mid 90's where only light sensative.

Here's a question that's sort of along the same lines. What about the Optical Eye found in the late 50's and 60's models? Does it work along the same princaple or does it just turn from high to low beam?

rayzer
05-19-03, 07:45 AM
Scrapyard,

I've never worked on one of these, but here's the best information I can get


In 1952, the Autronic Eye, an automatic car headlamp beam control was introduced to the public by General Motors. A phototube atop the left end of the dashboard, just inside the windshield, dimmed the lights upon the approach of an oncoming car, and back to bright when the traffic had passed. It was offered on Oldsmobile and Cadillac cars. But automatic headlights tended to flicker erratically in response to minute fluctuations of light. In 1959, the name became the "Guide-Matic Power Headlight Control." General Motors had solved the problem with a new gadget: "With a twist of the dial autronic-eye lets you control the automatic dimming of your lights." Thus the driver could manually control an automatic device designed to eliminate the need for manual control.


I know that around 1960, for one year there was a version of the system that did something, not sure what, that indicated to on-coming drivers that the vehicle was equipped with Guide-Matic. Whatever it did, in this year there were a lot of problems, and dealers ended up disconnecting many of the systems.

Scrapyard
05-19-03, 10:00 AM
Very cool. That clears up a lot. Thanks rayzer. I figured it was a low/ high beam dimmer but was never 100% sure.

Maximln
06-08-03, 09:11 PM
I'm a little late responding but you are talking about 2 of my favorite features! The Twilight Sentinel is a fully automatic headlamp system. When it gets dark enough outside (at *twilight*), the system will turn on all of your headlamps and taillamps automatically without you having to do anything. The opposite is true as well--when it gets light enough outside (at *dawn*) the system will turn off your headlamp system until it gets dark enough again outside. You should never have to touch your headlamp switch other than foggy, bad weather days or if you're attending a funeral. A second feature of the Twilight Sentinel is that it will keep your headlamps on for a preset time period to illuminate your path to safety in darkness. When you move the rheostat control right past the "OFF" position, the headlamps will remain on for about 3 seconds and then go off. The further you move the control away from "OFF," the longer the headlamps will remain on up to a maximum of about 3 minutes on some vehicles. Starting in 1996, the system was incorporated with the Daytime Running Lamps so during the day the DRL's were active and when the Twilight Sentinel turned on the headlamp system, it turned off the DRL's. This feature came out in 1964 and has always been my favorite feature.

As for the Guidematic: Auto Dimming, the feature was first available on the 1954 models and was available through the 1988 models. It was pretty cool because if you were driving in the country and had your high beams on and there was a vehicle approaching you, the system would switch to lo beams automatically and when the car passed, would return to high beams. The was a light sensitive photocell that would sense an absence of light and would turn the high beams on. When it detected light, it would switch to the lo beams automatically. There was a sensitivity control that allowed the driver to control the sensitivity of the photocell to allow dimming to occur with more or less light.

Max

Ralph
06-09-03, 03:58 AM
I didn't think the twilight sentinel turned the lights on when it gets dark, I thought that's what the little sensor on the dash is for. There are two on my dash, 1 for auto climate adjustment and the other to turn on or off the lights. Not to nit-pick, but I thought the twilight feature was ONLY for headlights on delay after shutoff to get safely into your house or ?.

kempie
06-09-03, 11:38 PM
The delay for turning off the lights is a feature of the TS. The main purpose, as the name implys, is to turn on the lights at twilight.

Maximln
06-10-03, 03:40 AM
Ralph--Kempie is right. The main function of the Twilight Sentinel is to operate your headlamp system automatically. The delay mode is an additional function of the Twilight Sentinel. The photocell on your dash is the sensor for the Twilight Sentinel to determine the ambient light and operate the system appropriately. Try turning off your Twilight Sentinel. You will have no automatic operation of your headlamp system and will have to turn your headlamps on manually. If you move the control knob right past the off position, the headlamps will operate automatically and will turn off within seconds of turning off the ignition. Again, the further you move the control from off, the longer the headlamps will stay on when you turn off the ignition up to a maximum of 1 1/2 - 3 minutes.

The other sensor that you mention on your dash does help control the climate control. It is called a sunload sensor and measures the intensity of the sun and can compensate the climate control on bright sunny days or cloudy humid days.

Max

Ralph
06-10-03, 03:54 AM
Originally posted by Maximln
Ralph--Kempie is right. The main function of the Twilight Sentinel is to operate your headlamp system automatically. The delay mode is an additional function of the Twilight Sentinel. The photocell on your dash is the sensor for the Twilight Sentinel to determine the ambient light and operate the system appropriately. Try turning off your Twilight Sentinel. You will have no automatic operation of your headlamp system and will have to turn your headlamps on manually. If you move the control knob right past the off position, the headlamps will operate automatically and will turn off within seconds of turning off the ignition. Again, the further you move the control from off, the longer the headlamps will stay on when you turn off the ignition up to a maximum of 1 1/2 - 3 minutes.

The other sensor that you mention on your dash does help control the climate control. It is called a sunload sensor and measures the intensity of the sun and can compensate the climate control on bright sunny days or cloudy humid days.

You must be assuming I use the twilight sentinel? It is always in the off position and I still get auto lights come on. I park in a dark parkade and all the lights come on, including the dash and radio/climate controls, and it is always in the "off" position, just to clarify, so I hope mine is working properly.

Max :confused:

Ralph
06-10-03, 04:01 AM
There is something wrong in the above post, my sentence starts with "You must be assuming...." Sal what happened here, I was quoting Max??

mnymaker
06-10-03, 12:05 PM
The true purpose of the "Twillight Sentinal" is the same as it is on every other vehicle with this feature.. SECURITY. Your wife comes home late at night after hanging out with the girls (allegedlly) and parks the car in the driveway and gets out to walk up to the front door of the house, the twillight sentinal can be set to stay on for as long as it takes her to normally get inside.

So it shines the lights on the area she is pointing the car towards. That is all it is for. If you notice the knob allows you to adjust the length of time the lights stay on. That is what its for, nothing else. This feature was also on my Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. It does not control the daytime running lights or the sensitivity of when the headlights turn on.

Ralph
06-11-03, 02:15 AM
Originally posted by mnymaker
The true purpose of the "Twillight Sentinal" is the same as it is on every other vehicle with this feature.. SECURITY. Your wife comes home late at night after hanging out with the girls (allegedlly) and parks the car in the driveway and gets out to walk up to the front door of the house, the twillight sentinal can be set to stay on for as long as it takes her to normally get inside.

So it shines the lights on the area she is pointing the car towards. That is all it is for. If you notice the knob allows you to adjust the length of time the lights stay on. That is what its for, nothing else. This feature was also on my Jeep Grand Cherokee Ltd. It does not control the daytime running lights or the sensitivity of when the headlights turn on.

That's what I thought but I am not 100% certain.

DeVillish
06-12-03, 12:24 AM
yeah i love the TS system, i was pulling into a parking garage at like 11am, and they turned right on, then went i left, the turn right off. its great, you'll never look like the dumbass with his lights off at 9pm :D

Maximln
06-12-03, 09:22 PM
Mnymaker--I don't know where you have been getting your information but it is incorrect. The primary function of the Twilight Sentinel is automatic control of your headlamp system and the secondary function is to delay the turn off time when you turn off the ignition. It has been this way since its introduction in 1964. Mnymaker, in your 99 STS (that's what you have listed as your automobile), move your Twilight Sentinel lever to the "OFF" position at night. You will get a message that reads "HEADLAMPS SUGGESTED" because you have turned off the automatic control for the headlamps but the system still "thinks" that you need to have them on. Only the 98 and up Sevilles and the 00 and up Devilles do this. For all other Cadillacs with the Twilight Sentinel control, if you turn the system off, there will be NO automatic control of the headlamp system and you will have to operate them manually.

The Twilight Sentinel system (automatic control of the headlamps and the delay feature) is only on the higher end GM cars where you have an on/off feature for the automatic operation of the system and a rheostat control incorporated for the delay time. I think all other GM vehicles now have automatic control of the headlamps which are also incorporated with Daytime Running Lights but there is no delay feature. Some models, through special programming, have a delay feature that can be changed from 0 second delay, 15 second delay, 30 second delay, etc. but not as easily as the Twilight Sentinel control.

There was (and maybe still is) a delay feature on the Jeeps (a friend of mine also had one) but that is all it is--a delay feature. It is NOT the Twilight Sentinel control and does not have any automatic control over the headlamp system.

If you read in any owner's manual or service manual, the description of the Twilight Sentinel begins with the automatic control of the headlamp system and then goes on to describe the delay feature.

Max

Brett
06-12-03, 09:58 PM
While Cadillac does call the automatic headlights twilight sentinel, other GM brands that have auto headlights that dont have a delay feature are not called that.

This is from oldsmobile.com and describes my wifes Alero:

Automatic Lamp Control
Your headlamps and other exterior lamps will come on automatically, whenever and wherever light is limited. You may never need to touch the lamp switch again

no mention of delay, because there isnt one, also no mention of twilight sentinel


This is from Cadillac.com and describes my SLS:

Lighting


Daytime running lamps with Twilight Sentinel automatic operation and wiper-activated automatic-on feature, tungsten-halogen headlamps with flash-to-pass feature, front cornering lamps, and illuminated entry system

In this case they call the whole system twilight sentinel. So it looks like GM only uses the twilight sentinel lingo with cars that have the delay, not all cars that have auto-on lights. Cars with auto-on lights have "automatic lamp control". But you are probably both right, auto companies have a way of using terms for different things, until it all becomes diluted.

Night Wolf
06-13-03, 12:43 AM
While sitting in my car, I was looking thorugh the manual, and for the TS sure enough it said the main thing is to automatically turn the lights on and off, with a secondary feature to delay the lights after you get out.... I will take a picture of that tomorrow....

....my father '99 GP GTP has auto headlights, all auto, you can't turn them on or off, only way to turn the headlights off at night is by the e-brake, I think the TS is a much better system, plus I don't like DRL too much either (although I will admit, you can see a car better even in the day)

Ralph
06-13-03, 02:17 AM
Brett, I don't want to alarm you, or make your wife as paranoid as me, but your Alero is rated with only 1 star for side-impact from the NHTSA! Even the Corolla gets 4 stars for this. I'm not knocking your car or anything. My Fiance wanted one and I would not let her buy one!! But I still like them, they are very reliable and comfortable so don't take it the wrong way. Just sharing some facts.

Panther, I wouldn't like the fully auto control of the lights in the GTP. I like to be in control. I love my car, but one feature I wish I had total control over is the climate system. When I took delivery of it and drove it home for the first time in Feb. it was -35 C. The problem is that to defrost the windshield, you get NO heat for your feet! To get your feet warm, you get no defrost!! Cadillac should addres this in colder climates because even out 1980 Pontiac has a "blend" control and a very powerful fan. Needless to say, I don't think I can drive the Fleetwood this comming winter, but I may have to do so uncomfortably.

Maximln
06-13-03, 03:13 AM
Here is the excerpt from the 1964 Cadillac brochure, describing the Twilight Sentinel, the first year it was offered:


"A new 1964 headlamp control is the Twilight Sentinel which turns your lights on at dusk and off at sunrise, or turns them on under poor light conditions and off when the light improves. A delayed action switch on the instrument panel is adjustable up to a minute and a half to light your way from the car at night."


Here is the excerpt from the 1993 Cadillac Eldorado/Seville Service Manual regarding operation of the Twilight Sentinel:


"The Twilight Sentinel is a convenience system that controls the operation of the exterior lights in response to the level of the ambient light. It provides light sensitive 'ON-OFF' control of lights which would otherwise be done manually with the light switch. It will also keep the lights 'ON' for a pre-selected period of time after the ignition is turned 'OFF' to improve night visibility when leaving the vehicle. The lights will be turned 'OFF' automatically after the pre-selected time period elapses (from a few seconds to 3 minutes)."


Here is the excerpt from the 1999 Cadillac Seville Owner's Manual regarding operation of the Twilight Sentinel:



"Twilight Sentinel--This control is located below the exterior lamps control knob. It automatically turns the lamps on and off by sensing how dark it is outside. To operate the Twilight Sentinel, leave the exterior lamps control knob off and move the TWILIGHT lever to any position but OFF. If you move the lever all the way to the right, the lamps will remain on for approximately three minutes after the ignition has been turned to OFF or ACC. If you move the lever so it is just on, the lamps will go off quickly when you turn the ignition out of ON. You can adjust the delay time from only a few seconds to three minutes. If it's dark enough outside and Twilight Sentinel is turned off, a HEADLAMPS SUGGESTED message will display on the Driver's Information Center (DIC). This message informs the driver that turning on the exterior lamps is recommended (it's become dark enough outside to require the headlamps and/or other exterior lamps). Turning on the Twilight Sentinel, the headlamps or the fog lamps will remove the HEADLAMPS SUGGESTED message. The light sensor for the Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) and the Twilight Sentinel is located on the driver's side of the front defogger grille. If you cover the sensor, it will read "dark" and the lamps will come on."


Ralph--Here is the description for operation of the Twilight Sentinel out the 1991 Fleetwood Owner's Manual:

"Twilight Sentinel--It switches your lights on and off by sensing how dark it is outside. To operate it, leave the light switch off and move the Twilight Sentinel control to any position but "OFF." If you move the control all the way to MAX, your lights will remain on for three minutes after you turn off your engine. If you move the control almost all the way in the other direction, so it's just on, the lights will go off quickly when you turn off your engine. You can change the delay time from only a few seconds to three minutes. Please don't cover the light sensor. If you cover the sensor, it will read "dark" and your lights will come on."

So if your Twilight Sentinel control is in the "OFF" position and you still have automatic operation of your headlamp system, there is a problem. Are you positive the control is in the "OFF" position and not just to the right of it? Do you indeed have automatic operation or perhaps the headlamp system is coming on at all times, even during the day?

Max

Maximln
06-13-03, 03:44 AM
Ralph-I just saw your post regarding the operation of your defroster. When you select the defroster mode, the system is designed to send most of the air to the defroster outlets with some bleed to the floor heater outlets. Granted, it is not too much air, but there is some going to your feet. Are you having problems with your windows fogging up in the winter time? If you leave your ECC control in the "AUTO" position, even during the winter time, it will prevent your interior windows from fogging up (as long as your A/C system is operating properly) so you shouldn't have to select the defrost position during driving, only when you first enter the vehicle and the windshield is fogged up. Your A/C system dehumidifies the air so the windows shouldn't fog up as the air is first dehumidified going through your evaporator and then heated around your heater core. If you're worried about gas mileage operating the A/C system during the winter, you can select "ECON" for the most part but if your windows begin to fog, you select "AUTO" and then they will de-fog.

Max

Ralph
06-13-03, 06:32 AM
Boy, that's a lot of work, Max. Thanks for the great info! Re: the twilight sentinel, it is definetly in the off position and I've never even tested it to the "right" of that position, maybe now I will. I assume it is working properly because when we go into an underground parkade, lights come on, you can distinctly hear the on "crack" sound of the switch operating. Similarily, when leaving a parkade (where we live, and where we get groceries twice a week) it activates and deactivates, each way I can hear the switch working for on and off. Also, since my dad bought this car new, it has never been used. (manually-of course) So I assume there is nothing wrong. If there was, it doesn't concern me really. As long as I know the lights come on in dark, and go out in day, which they are as evidenced by the 2 little indicator lights you can see in the rearview mirror. Some new cars like the Saturn ION, you have no control, the sensor turns them on in the same regard.

As per the defrost; yes there was some ice still on the windshield that was never eliminated during the trip home. We were not comfortable, but then that was a bitterly cold afternoon I won't soon forget. Here again, I was the first person to truly use the defrost and heater controls because my dad NEVER winter drove it! I studied the manual carefully, and it is very vague, but I did experiment with all the settings. Upon pressing "Auto" to turn on the system, all the heat blows to the floor, and only the floor. To divert the air to clear the windscreen, I pressed the defrost symbol. (which is easy to confuse with the rear defrost symbol at first) I know the AC needs a recharge and a conversion to the new ozone-friendly freon, but why would that effect winter-defrost operation? Besides, living in California, you could not imagine the hell a real cold winter can be. The worst part is hearing all the fresh salt stick to your car after you just flushed it off!! Car batteries only last about 4 years here, and the one I have in it now is 1000 cold cranking amps for 150 dollars! Plus tires lose pressure because of the cold, hoses will literally shatter or crack right off. Further up north in the Yukon or NWT the RCMP have to run their vehicles all night because if they shut them off they will not start again. Many people use heaters under their oil pans, so I guess I consider myself lucky where I am.

Ralph
06-13-03, 06:48 AM
Upon reading your excert, which is the same in my owner's manual, I think it means two things, seperately: It delays all exterior lights when not in the OFF position; AND/OR if you cover the sensor on the dash, it will read dark, and the lights will come on. I take this to be 2 functions regarding the Twilight Sentinel. The manual is written in an easier text to oversimplify it, but that can be vague enough to confuse also, as I've noticed the manual doesn't even "break-up" sentences properly.

I do have a question about the hood "lamp monitors," why do they bother with these, you certainly cannot see them in daylight if you manually pull your headlights on? Once again, no meaningful description exists in the book and they are not necessary IMO.

mnymaker
06-13-03, 10:55 AM
OK OK OK already I was wrong (hmmmmmm did I say that?). I was partially wrong... Anyway, good work guys!!!

Maximln
06-13-03, 11:02 AM
Ralph--I think I just realized something. You live in Canada so I assume your vehicle was first purchased in Canada. If it was, your vehicle came standard with Daytime Running Lamps (required by Canadian Law) which uses the same light sensor as the Twilight Sentinel. I'm not too familiar with the DRL's on vehicles prior to 1996 when they became standard here in the US. I'm sure that has something to do with the fact that you still have some sort of automatic operation even though the Twilight Sentinel is in the "OFF" position.

One of the main functions of the A/C system is that it removes moisture from the air--it is a dehumidifier. The reason that your windows fog up in the winter time is because there is moisture in the air which accumulates on the window. By having the A/C system on, it removes the moisture from the air thus removing the "fog" from your windows. When you activate the defroster and blow heat to your windshield, it "dries" the windshield to remove the moisture. Also, when you press the front defroster button, the A/C compressor is simultaneously activated, even if the ECC is in the "ECON" mode to assist is defogging the windows. Like I said before, if you select "AUTO" on the ECC and have the temperature set at 75 degrees, and say the temperature outside is 40 degrees, the system will warm the interior of the car but what happens first is that they A/C system first cools and dehumidifies the air and then heats it up to warm the interior. If "ECON" is selected, the air is only warmed.

As for the lamp monitors, they are designed to really only work at night when you can "monitor" them. They are an indication that you have a burned out bulb in either the front parking lamps, lo beam lamp, hi-beam lamp, or rear taillamps (visible through the rear view mirror). They operate through a series of fiber optic cables that transmit light from the bulb to the monitor. There are no electrical or mechanical parts to the system, only moviing light through the fiber optic cable which you can turn and twist. It was a pretty ingenious system that is no longer used to monitor bulb operation. I kind of liked the system.

Max

letsgored
06-13-03, 01:01 PM
My guess is that Twilight Sentinel refers more to the delayed turnoff of the headlights after you leave the car, given that "sentinel" is a guard and the idea of the delayed lights is to guard you from would be assailants that would take advantage of the dark. Whereas some GM cars offered automatic headlights without the sentinel, but never the sentinel with the automatic headlights (right?), they've taken to using the term Twilight Sentinel to refer to both since the automatic headlight feature is always included.

Maximln
06-13-03, 10:55 PM
letsgored--I'm paraphrasing my previous reply from the 1964 Cadillac brochure when the Twilight Sentinel was FIRST offered in 1964:

"A new 1964 headlamp control is the Twilight Sentinel which turns your lights on at dusk and off at sunrise, or turns them on under poor light conditions and off when the light improves. A delayed action switch on the instrument panel is adjustable up to a minute and a half to light your way from the car at night."

I can't believe that there is still debate about this. . .

Ralph--I did check the 1991 Cadillac Deville & Fleetwood Service Manual and it does state that with the DRL's, headlamp operation will be automatic at all times (the DRL system and the Twilight Sentinel system work together--during the day, the DRL's are activate but at night, the headlamp system is active). This was ONLY on Canadian cars. Cadillacs that came out here in the US with DRL's standard (1996) will activate the DRL's at all times during the day but if the Twilight Sentinel control is turned off, headlamps will not come on automatically.

Max

Ralph
06-14-03, 02:39 AM
OK, that makes sense, I guess they rightfully figure that the dumb-ass Canucks aren't smart enough to pull the lights on when it gets dark. LOL. 1990 was the year that all new factory cars and trucks had to come with daytime running lights from the factory in Canada. I remember the controversy over this, and even I was against it because, once again, you are not in "total control." But now I love the feature because years of radiation from playing too many video games sometimes makes me forget to pull the switch. LOL. People were complaining that, because of the cold winters here, it took too much power from the battery during a cold start-up. Sometimes, the battery was so cold in my cars that you did need every amp of juice, or you would have to call a tow truck. People have, and still disconnect the DRL's, but I think they are great because passing on the highway in the rain, it helps a LOT!

Regarding the defrost in the winter, I don't really care about saving gas when I'm freezing my buns off, so I will use AUTO if it warm the air better.

It is strange that certain options are made different in Detroit for different countries. For example, the new SRX sport wagon Cadillac in Canada will only be in all-wheel-drive. While buyers in the U.S. will have a choice of rear-drive. Supposedly the new "ESV Platinum" will be the boss of the SUV crowd!

Maximln
06-14-03, 01:55 PM
Ralph--It is strange that they give you no control over the headlamps because the cars now with DRL's you can still turn off the Twilight Sentinel and have no headlamps if you're so inclined. Maybe they learned that from the "guinea pig" Canadian cars! :D People hate the DRL's here too. They always want to disconnect them as well.

The "AUTO" setting doesn't warm the air better, it just "dries" it out first to reduce window fogging.

Never having lived in any other country myself, it is hard to understand other countries. When the new Seville in 1998 was first introduced, it was introduced in Germany before here in the US. They were really trying to attract import buyers. It was also available in right-hand drive and the Japanese cars came standard with a touch screen Navigation system while that option was not even available here in the US until a few years later. The European cars also hand express up windows as well as express down windows which only now do the US cars have express up windows. Rear fog lamps were also available for European cars (I've never even heard of those hear in the US) as well as some other extra kind of lights called repeater lights.

I'm sure the new ESV will take over as the Escalade has as THE premium SUV.

Max

the Sandman
06-14-03, 02:17 PM
Originally posted by Brett
While Cadillac does call the automatic headlights twilight sentinel, other GM brands that have auto headlights that dont have a delay feature are not called that.

This is from oldsmobile.com and describes my wifes Alero:

Automatic Lamp Control
Your headlamps and other exterior lamps will come on automatically, whenever and wherever light is limited. You may never need to touch the lamp switch again

no mention of delay, because there isnt one, also no mention of twilight sentinel


This is from Cadillac.com and describes my SLS:

Lighting


Daytime running lamps with Twilight Sentinel automatic operation and wiper-activated automatic-on feature, tungsten-halogen headlamps with flash-to-pass feature, front cornering lamps, and illuminated entry system

In this case they call the whole system twilight sentinel. So it looks like GM only uses the twilight sentinel lingo with cars that have the delay, not all cars that have auto-on lights. Cars with auto-on lights have "automatic lamp control". But you are probably both right, auto companies have a way of using terms for different things, until it all becomes diluted. This is a complicated thread. :banghead2

On GM vehicles with automatic headlamp function other than Cadillac, the headlight switch has 4 positions - off, parking lights, headlights, and automatic. AFAIK, these vehicles usually have a preset delay which keeps the headlights on for security purposes after parking but is not adjustable or defeatable. The headlight switch on Caddies with Twilight Sentinel has 3 settings, off, parking, and headlights. The automatic function and delay function are controlled by the Twilight Sentinel slider switch. I believe that the whole automatic headlamp/security delay package is referred to as "Twilight Sentinel". Let's not forget, though, that this is a marketing description, not a technical term.

Do any other GM vehicles besides Cadillac have Twilight Sentinel??

Maximln
06-14-03, 02:56 PM
Sandman--The higher end models of the various GM divisions do offer the Twilight Sentinel. The lower end cars do not have the "AUTO" setting on the headlamp controls but work with the DRL's so that during the DRL's are active and at night the headlamps are active. Even though there is no physical control for the turn off time on these lower end models, you can usually adjust it by going through some tedious, programming procedures.

Max

Ralph
06-15-03, 04:09 AM
Guys, go to my thread entitled "My AC is blowing hot air" I could use some advice on that as well, since it involves the climate control system.:confused:

Brett
06-15-03, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by the Sandman
This is a complicated thread. :banghead2



Thats what I was getting at, it would appear twilight sentinel, at least in some ways has been used on cars that function somewhat differently. So the actual definition has become somewhat ambiguous

the Sandman
06-15-03, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Brett
Thats what I was getting at, it would appear twilight sentinel, at least in some ways has been used on cars that function somewhat differently. So the actual definition has become somewhat ambiguous Yep, I agree. That's exactly what I meant when I said that this is a marketing description, not a technical term.

Night Wolf
06-15-03, 09:30 PM
Well, I now found out that the TS on my car DOES turn the lights on/off at night, not only does the manual say that, but I can actually see it.

Scott Brodt
02-29-04, 01:04 AM
Scrapyard,

I've never worked on one of these, but here's the best information I can get




I know that around 1960, for one year there was a version of the system that did something, not sure what, that indicated to on-coming drivers that the vehicle was equipped with Guide-Matic. Whatever it did, in this year there were a lot of problems, and dealers ended up disconnecting many of the systems.Hi ! The 2-stage dimming feature on the 1960 Cadillac and Oldsmobile Guide-Matic was called the "Courtesy Salute." It was designed as a 2-stage dimming operation to indicate to other drivers that your car was "Guide-Matic Equipped." Cadillac and Oldsmobile used the same power amplifier mounted behind the driver's side kickpanel that incorporated the outside air vent.
It was an amplifier that used vacuum tubes and had the dimming relay built-in. The "slim-line" photocell was used that year and the system was very similar between Cadillac and Oldsmobile. The only design difference that I can remember was that the Automatic Dimming Feature was turned off on the Cadillac by rotating the sensitivity control all the way to the left (counterclockwise) on the Photocell. On the Oldsmobile, the "on-off" control was a knob with a paddle behind the headlamp control pull-knob. Although the system was called the "Guide-Matic" by that time, the Oldsmobile continued to mark the on/off switch "Autronic Eye." Back around 1985 I removed a GuideMatic setup from a 1960 Cadillac 60-Special that was going to be sent to salvage... (I should have bought the whole car !) I installed the contol on a 1967 Jeep Pickup Truck that I had at the time. It worked great, especially since the truck was so high off of the ground. I really appreciated GuideMatic when needing to shift the 3-on-the-tree standard transmission when driving at night. No matter what my feet were doing, I never had to worry about dimming the headlamps. The courtesy salute feature worked well on the 2-headlamp system on my truck, but it was more readily evident when it operated a 4-headlamp system. The lights went from bright, to half-bright, to dim. When the approaching car passed and dark conditions returned, the lights went from dim to full-bright again.
Pretty Cool ! I always though that the Autronic Eye should have become a Standard Equipment feature because of the safety involved with not having an approaching driver blinded.
Around 1968, Olds abandoned the dash-mounted "eye" and moved the photocell to the outside of the car atop the left front fender. This was a 100% Solid State unit with a "Near/Far" Sensitivity control mounted on the instrument panel. Cadillac was well ahead with the concealed photocell at that time, by incorporating it underhood, peaking through slots in the grille.

Jesda
02-29-04, 06:14 AM
Thats what I was getting at, it would appear twilight sentinel, at least in some ways has been used on cars that function somewhat differently. So the actual definition has become somewhat ambiguous

I was at a junkyard reading the manual for a 1985ish Buick Park Avenue, and that had it.

Thats what I love about American cars. You get these nifty little comfort features.

-Jesda

Sandy
02-29-04, 09:53 AM
Just catching up from before I was here. I have always loved these features and wish that the had never gotten rid of the Guidematic Headlamp Control with the Courtesy Salute feature. What kool toys!! Of course my 1993 Sixty Special has Twilight Sentinel Lighting, but my purpose in posting this is to tell that my '03 Town Car has the identical system. They come on & go off automaticly according to external light and can be programmed to remain on for 13 seconds, up to 180 seconds. But I can not find, in Lincoln history, any given trade name for this system. In many places they describe the functions/uses of the system, but never mention any give name for it.
By the way, my parent's Imperials' had the same system, employing a photocell atop the dash, and it worked the same way with the same features. Imperial DID have a name for the system, called Safety Sentinial. Does anyone know **IF** Lincoln ever officially named this system?

brougham
02-29-04, 04:18 PM
The daytime running lights on the models like Ralphs will turn the daytime running lights on when the car is taken out of park. A lot of GMs do it this way. The rest of it works normally and will turn on the headlights when it gets dark out.

Someone said that if you turn the sentinel knob all the way to one end the interior lights come on. That's not true. It's still the brightness knob for the dash board that does this.


I know that around 1960, for one year there was a version of the system that did something, not sure what, that indicated to on-coming drivers that the vehicle was equipped with Guide-Matic. Whatever it did, in this year there were a lot of problems, and dealers ended up disconnecting many of the systems.

That was 1960. After it dimmed all 4 headlights the inside ones would blink off as a second reminder to the oncomming driver to dim his own headlights in return. At least that's part of what the sales brochure for that year says.

1987 was the last year for that option in Cadillacs, I think Lincoln had it longer.

Sandy
02-29-04, 05:17 PM
We talked about this in great detail on the Town Car board I frequent. 1987 was the final year for Cadillac, 1993 on the Town car and 1994 on the Mark 8 and 1975 on the Imperial. I am of course speaking of the Auto Headlamp dimming feature.

gothicaleigh
02-29-04, 06:13 PM
Now to confuse everyone once more. ;)
The new model Cadillacs (CTS, XLR, SRX, and upcoming STS) work like this:
The headlamp controls are on the turn signal stick. The settings are Off, Running Lamps, Headlamps, and Auto.
-In Off, nothing comes on regardless of how dark it is outside.
-In Running Lamp mode, the rear lights, side marker lights, and the small lights in the corners of the headlamp assembly come on.
-Headlamp mode turns on the small lights in the assembly, the Xenon low beams (or headlamps), side marker lights, and the rear lights. If you forget to turn this off, it will automatically turn out the lights about 15 minutes after you exit the car.
-Auto mode engages the twilight sentinel. The orange lights located near the fog lamps will turn on when the car is in drive during the daytime, and the Headlamp mode will come on when it gets dark out. In the car's computer system, you can set the delay for how long the lights will remain on after you exit the car, up to a maximum of 3 minutes. There is no control over the sensitivity.

http://gothicaleigh.5u.com/images/ctsheadlight.jpg

El Dobro
03-01-04, 12:18 AM
I remember with my 73 Eldorado and 78 Seville, when you shut the car down, you could leave the turn signal on to the side of the car you were going to walk on and the cornering lamp would stay on with the headlamps until the twilight sentinal timed out.

Maximln
03-04-04, 11:28 PM
My 75 Deville did the same thing! To this day, I still try to turn the cornering light on by moving the turn signal up or down to get light to the side of the car but to no avail. The cornering light will only come on if the key is turned on. I don't know why they would change the operation. Same thing with the fog lamps. They are only active when the key is turned on.

Max

El Dobro
03-06-04, 11:45 AM
When I had my 91 Seville, I'm pretty sure I tried it in that car and the cornering lights would not work with the ignition off. I guess it's because everything goes through the BCM on newer cars, and it would have to be programmed in.

El Dobro
03-10-04, 12:20 AM
Just for jollies I left the turn signal on when I tured the engine off on my 98 SLS and the cornering lamps stayed on until the twilight sentinal shut down. Will wonders never cease.

CadiJeff
03-10-04, 05:05 AM
As I understand it the twilight sentinal is for turning on/off the headlights according to light conditions. The primary function for the delay is to keep the lights from turning off when you encounter a passing car or street light. A good example would be being stoped at a traffic light for a time and being directly under a street lamp, the delay keeps the sensor from shutting off the lights, however it also acts as kind of security system by leaving the lights on for the preset time after the vehicle has been shut off.

brougham
03-10-04, 11:00 AM
The delay is for the security reason. If it was so that street lights and things like that at night wouldn't turn it off you wouldn't be able to set the delay yourself. :suspense:

Playdrv4me
03-10-04, 01:06 PM
Just for jollies I left the turn signal on when I tured the engine off on my 98 SLS and the cornering lamps stayed on until the twilight sentinal shut down. Will wonders never cease.

My car has a variation of this feature intended for busy european streets... If you leave the turn signal stalk engaged left or right when you exit the car, the brake light and park lamp on that side will remain lit at a soft glow so that people dont hit you or your car when you park on the side of the street.

CadiJeff
03-10-04, 07:06 PM
The delay is for the security reason. If it was so that street lights and things like that at night wouldn't turn it off you wouldn't be able to set the delay yourself. :suspense:
I hate to say this but that is not entirely correct on three cadi's in the family 2 sevilles and an eldo (88-91) excessive light exposure activates a countdown visible on the cc/dic and if it hits 0 the lights turn off, that is why it is labled DELAY it "delays" the twilight sentinal function. try it w/ a flash light and a low delay setting...it works.

brougham
03-10-04, 10:19 PM
I hate to say this but that is not entirely correct on three cadi's in the family 2 sevilles and an eldo (88-91) excessive light exposure activates a countdown visible on the cc/dic and if it hits 0 the lights turn off, that is why it is labled DELAY it "delays" the twilight sentinal function. try it w/ a flash light and a low delay setting...it works.

That sounds more like a different delay that works when the car is actually on. The delay that you can adjust is just for how long you want the lights to stay on after you shut off the car.

Sandy
03-11-04, 01:12 AM
My 93 Sixty Special does not do it. I tried it this evening. Nope, as soon as you shut of the ignition, the cornering lamp goes off, while the headlights remain on. Then I tried it on the '03 Town Car, and there it does work, and stay on along with the headlights, and they all go off together.
HOWEVER....Setting up the delay time (as in how long they stay on for) in the Cadillac is almost immediate & effortless. To do it in the Town Car one needs a masters degree in electrical engineering with a minor in advanced lighting technology. :banghead: :banghead: :rant2: :rant2: :rant2: :banghead:

CLR
08-15-04, 09:50 PM
hey everyone, im new to the site but i thought i would jump in on this conversation.=) as for the twilight sentinal, yes it does turn the headlighs on. the slide is to adjust how sensitive you want it to be. for example, if you want your headlights to turn on right when it starts getting dark slide it more towards the left. and if you want them to trun on when its really dark slide it to the right. it takes a a couple seconds to turn the lights on so as to avoid turning on and off for every little shadow or tunnel. when its dark enough outside to where you would want your lights on slide it slowly till they turn on and you'll be set. and they turn off auto about 1 to 2 min after you turn off the car.

PS> RALPH my caddy looks almost exactly like your, i have a 90 fleetwood.

Phil
03-11-05, 02:40 AM
Twilight sentinel was also offered on Buicks, my 1991 Park Avenue Ultra had it. It did have an adjustable time-delay feature too.
Here's a 61 Buick ad with this feature.

As for the Daytime Running Lights, they were mandatory on cars sold in Canada starting in 1990. On the early 90's Canadian GM cars with automatic transmissions, the headlights (only) turned on during the day when the shift lever was moved out of Park.
On my 91 Buick, the sentinel turned the headlights on at night as soon as the ignition was turned on, even if the Twilight sentinel was set to OFF. To turn the headlights and parking lights off when the car was parked, I had to slide the delay switch to "ON" and back again to "OFF". As soon as I shifted out of park, the headlights and parking lights came on again and it was impossible to turn them off while driving at night.

Night Wolf
03-11-05, 03:10 AM
Almost 2 years later, this thread I made still does not want to die :)

caddydaddy
03-11-05, 09:13 AM
Good threads never die! Kinda like an old Cadillac, they just keep on running!

cavharley
02-07-11, 11:53 PM
why doesn't 2010 srx have auto dimming ? My 2007 jeep limited and many others have had this option , its great. This has been around for ages whats up! lazy in NY

Playdrv4me
02-08-11, 01:20 AM
threadrevival.org

Aron9000
02-08-11, 02:07 AM
http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcR0nt_ptKBAijyTqj4JsJlP3UM5Vz8rH r2Ie33RxEKo_IUUazuu&t=1

DouglasJRizzo
02-08-11, 07:41 AM
I never understand this..... what are they?

all I know is, they keep the headlights on for a time period that you choose (by the knob) so you can see while getting into your house.

Is that all? can someone explaint he reason/real use for them? Thanks

The Twilight Sentinel would click on the headlights when light conditions required them and click them off when it was bright enough. There's also a time delay so if you needed to illuminate your way someplace, such as a dark driveway, you could.

The Guidematic would ratchet the headlights from high to low beam depending on conditions. The idea was to keep the highs on as much as possible for better driving.

Sevillian273
02-08-11, 08:34 AM
I have never been able to trust the TS and just walk away with the headlights on. The damn things make me feel stupid when out of courtesy, I tell someone that they left their lights on....

DouglasJRizzo
02-08-11, 09:25 AM
I have never been able to trust the TS and just walk away with the headlights on. The damn things make me feel stupid when out of courtesy, I tell someone that they left their lights on....

I think I can see where you're coming from there, but I've had several Cadillacs equipped with the function and never had a problem, although I have had others point out that my headlights were on, only t have them click off as the words left their lips. LOL!

Ranger
02-08-11, 12:36 PM
Almost 2 years later, this thread I made still does not want to die :)
And 6 years later it resurrects again.

Submariner409
02-08-11, 12:44 PM
Sort of like Vaughn Monroe - "Old Soldiers Never Die".............they just fade away..........

OffThaHorseCEO
02-08-11, 01:52 PM
lmbo

i love twilight sentinel, its another of the comfort features that allows me to just "get in and drive".

i have mine set to the very notch, which allows for auto on-off headlights but does not keep the lights lit for any period of time