: Headlights. Is this normal ?



hearseman
01-14-10, 09:24 PM
On my '96 FW, it is normal for the headlight to come on only after the car is placed in gear when using Twilight Sentinel ? This doesnt seem right to me but, this is my first Cadillac. If it is not normal, what could be the problem? Thanks, Cliff

csbuckn
01-14-10, 11:54 PM
It sounds like normal operation, especially if you have daytime running lights. If its not, its probably something with the twilight switch or the daytime running lights. But now that I think, it should be normal. I'm 100% sure I think I might be right.:cool2:

hearseman
01-15-10, 09:58 AM
Does anyone know for sure ?? Surely, there are some other 93-96 Fleetwood owners here : )

thefleetwoodguy
01-15-10, 11:01 AM
Does anyone know for sure ?? Surely, there are some other 93-96 Fleetwood owners here : )

96 fleetwoods all had drl's
they were optional on the 94+95,
and standard on exports

hearseman
01-15-10, 11:30 AM
Please let me rephrase my original question as I dont think I made myself clear. When I get in my car at night and start the engine, the headlights do not come on UNTIL I put the car in gear. Is that they way they are suppose to work?

outsider
01-15-10, 11:44 AM
I think the first response answered the question.

"It sounds like normal operation, especially if you have daytime running lights."

Now that thefleetwoodguy has confirmed all 96 fleetwoods came with DRL's, it's pretty safe to assume that this is normal operation.

Cadillacboy
01-15-10, 11:54 AM
Mine was working that way too until I deactivated the DRL .It's a normal operation ,it should stay on only if you pull the the knob towards you (just above the twilight sentinel switch) to turn the lights on automatically .

hearseman
01-15-10, 11:56 AM
Ok Thanks. I think the thing that threw me off was that my '96 factory repair manuals states that only Canadian cars have DRL 's. Thanks, Cliff

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
01-15-10, 05:31 PM
Do your parking lights turn on before you put the car in gear? This sounds wrong to me. The headlights should be on whenever it is dark, regardless of gear selector position or whether it has DRLs or not. It sounds like those are the DRLs coming on instead of the headlights because the DRLs only come on in gear. Have someone hold the brake and put it in gear while you are standing in front of the car. If the lights furthest to the side of the car come on those are your headlights. If the headlights towards the grille come on then you either have the high beams turned on or the DRLs are coming on instead of the headlights.

hearseman
01-15-10, 05:51 PM
It is the outer headlights that come on when I put it in gear. There are no exterior lamps on prior to putting it in gear. If this car has DRL's, they have never come on during the day. Seems wierd to me too........

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
01-15-10, 05:54 PM
When you put it in gear and the headlights come on, do the other marker lights (like tail lamps) come on as well?

hearseman
01-15-10, 06:01 PM
Yes they do.

sven914
01-15-10, 06:33 PM
It sounds like your twilight sentinel is dead (probably a bad photo cell). The DRLs work in the daytime, but aren't very bright so you might not have noticed them. At night, the twilight sentinel comes on and turns the DRLs off. At night, or when parked in a dark area, the lights are supposed to come on when the ignition is turned on, and they are supposed to stay on for a period of time after the ignition is turned off.

hearseman
01-15-10, 06:41 PM
The twilight Sentinel seems to be working OK as does the photo cell. The lights come on while I am driving when it starts ti get dark outside or, if I cover the photo cell. The lights also stay on after I shut off the car for a short period of time. I am wondering if it is the DRL relay. The fuse for the DRL's is OK.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
01-15-10, 06:45 PM
That is weird that they work that way, but Cadillacboy said his work the same way, so maybe they're supposed to do that. I don't know why they would stay off until you put it in gear though. Every car I have seen with automatic headlights they turn on as soon as the ignition is on.

hearseman
01-15-10, 06:52 PM
Yeah, seems weird to me too. The fact that my DRL's do not work may have some connection.

sven914
01-15-10, 07:05 PM
Someone might have tried to disable the DRL's or if what is wrong is normal operation, you might want to disable them.

I found a thread about disabling them in the Tech Tips forum.

http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-tech-tips/26020-disabling-drls-rwd-fleetwoods.html

Stingroo
01-16-10, 03:18 AM
Why would someone WANT to disable DRLs? I don't understand that.

When I was little, since the only car we owned was an '84 Cutlass, I thought cars with DRL's were fancy new-fangled machines (I know, it's a lot less funny when you're four years old though). I don't really see a downside to them....

Cadillacboy
01-16-10, 04:16 AM
The lights also stay on after I shut off the car for a short period of time. I am wondering if it is the DRL relay. The fuse for the DRL's is OK.

My guess is your twilight sentinel switch must have been moved near right position , all you have to do is swing the switch all the way to left which is 0 position and see what's gonna happen .

Aron9000
01-16-10, 05:37 AM
I've had two cars with twilight sentinel, a 1991 Brougham and a 1999 Camaro Z28.

In the 1991 Brougham, it works like this:
1. No day time running lights
2. Twilight sentinel turns the lights on in low light/dark, turns them off in daylight.
3. Twilight sentinel works in park, reverse, neutral, drive, gear selector makes no difference. So the headlights do their thing right when you turn the key.
4. There is a timer switch that determines how long the lights stay on after you turn the car off.
5. You can disable the twilight sentinel and operate the lights with the switch normally if you turn it all the way to the left.

In the 1999 Camaro Z28 it works like this:
1. Daytime running lights are always on. This is the front running lights, housed in the amber turn signal lens. Not very bright
2. Lights turn on at dusk automatically and switch off automatically at dawn.
3. You cannot turn the headlights off at night.
4. If you pull the parking brake and start the car, the automatic lights are turned off. As soon as you realese the parking brake, the automatic lights are turned on.
5. So at night when starting the car:
Parking brake on=no headlights, just DRL amber bulbs
Parking brake off=headlights, with no way to switch them off other than turning the car off or removing the headlight relay.





My point is to set the parking brake and see if your headlights come on at night. When you release the parking brake, the lights should come on automatically. At least this is how it worked on my 99 Camaro Z28.

hearseman
01-16-10, 11:40 AM
I swapped the DRL relay and they still do not work. I am beginning to think that they have been disabled by the company that converted this car to a hearse. Tradition in the funeral business is that the headlights of the hearse are turned off when entering a cemetery after the procession . Just a guess though. I still think the headlamps should come on when the key is on at night though. Might be a CCM issue or, bad headlamp switch. I think I will scour some wrecking yards today for a spare headlamp/sentinel switch.

sven914
01-17-10, 01:51 AM
Why would someone WANT to disable DRLs? I don't understand that.

When I was little, since the only car we owned was an '84 Cutlass, I thought cars with DRL's were fancy new-fangled machines (I know, it's a lot less funny when you're four years old though). I don't really see a downside to them....

With DRL's you lose the ability to turn off your headlights. This means you lose the ability turn off your lights when they are blinding pedestrians, other drivers, shining into someone's hose, or you need to be sneaky, you lose the ability to signal other drivers in day light, and the ability to drive with only your parking lights such as on military bases or drive-in movie theaters. DRL's are annoying to other drivers, make the bulbs burn out faster, and decrease fuel efficiency (make the alternator run).

DRL's do decrease the likely hood accidents. Studies have shown that driver's are less likely to pull out in front of a car that has it's headlights on; they help people judge speed and distance.

dirt_cheap_fleetwood
01-17-10, 02:13 PM
In my Mom's '00 Blazer if you hit the "Dome Light Override" button 4 times in 5 seconds it turns off both the automatic headlights and the DRLs. It kinda sucks that GM never engineered a way to turn off the early DRLs.