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96 Concours, 90 Deville
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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I was driving on a road trip and there was another car on the road with no lights. I blinked my lights at him with my Twilight Sentinel switch(I never use the push/pull headlight switch). When I got home, I found that my parking/running lights WON'T SHUT OFF! This includes the front marker lamps(turn signals), the side marker lamps, and the rear running lamps(a.k.a weak brake lights). The only way to kill the lights is to pull the fuse(number 14) from the interior fusebox. I figured since I was rapidly blinking my lights with the Twilight Sentinel(TS) switch that I probably burned the switch out. I replaced the TS switch with a brand new one but that made no difference. What else should I be checking? I bought a Chilton's, but I think I'm going to need a little hand-holding on this issue. I am truly at a loss. Any help or suggestions are appreciated! Working on cars is a new thing to me, but I am willing to learn and understand with a little explanation. Thanks! :banghead2
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Anyone even have an idea? How about some other resources I could look into?
 

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2005 CTS-V, 1994 Infiniti Q45
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So very sorry, I missed this thread!! We are normally better about replying...

I think there is another thread that has the same problem..... Do a search, and it should uncover it.... If you are still having problems, or cant find the thread, post back and ill do my best to help!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
elwesso said:
So very sorry, I missed this thread!! We are normally better about replying...

I think there is another thread that has the same problem..... Do a search, and it should uncover it.... If you are still having problems, or cant find the thread, post back and ill do my best to help!

The other thread was similar, but that was just on disabling daytime running lamps. I just want mine to function normally(e.g. shut off when I flip the switch). Any ideas?
 

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2016 XTS FWD Platinum
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Just a little clarification of the problem--The parking lamps stay on at all times and when it gets dark, the headlamps will turn on in addition to the parking lamps that are already on? And then when you turn the car off, the headlamps will turn off after the Twilight delay but the parking lamps will remain on?

Max
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maximln said:
Just a little clarification of the problem--The parking lamps stay on at all times and when it gets dark, the headlamps will turn on in addition to the parking lamps that are already on? And then when you turn the car off, the headlamps will turn off after the Twilight delay but the parking lamps will remain on?

Max
Since I've owned the car, the lights have NEVER turned on/off because of dusk/sunlight. Either my car does not have this functionality, or it has been broken since the car was relatively new.

The parking lamps are one 24/7 even when the car is not running. It does not matter if I push/pull the headlight switch or disable/enable the Twilight Sentinel. The only way to shut the parking lights off is to pull the fuse(Fuse 14).

-Scott
 

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Just a little more clarification--So at night, you manually pull the light switch on to turn on your headlights which is only the 2 front lights because the rest of the parking lamps are already on? And then when you stop the car, you push the headlight switch in to turn off the lights but the only thing that goes off is the 2 front headlights and the remaining parking lights stay on? This is just a recent problem? Prior to this, you used to pull the switch on to turn them on and then push the switch in to turn them off and everything worked OK?

Max
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Maximln said:
Just a little more clarification--So at night, you manually pull the light switch on to turn on your headlights which is only the 2 front lights because the rest of the parking lamps are already on? And then when you stop the car, you push the headlight switch in to turn off the lights but the only thing that goes off is the 2 front headlights and the remaining parking lights stay on? This is just a recent problem? Prior to this, you used to pull the switch on to turn them on and then push the switch in to turn them off and everything worked OK?

Max
The original post has the conditions surrounding the incident and when it first happened. If I have the fuse in, regardless of what time or day or night it is, ALL my running lights are on. This includes my front markers, side markers, and rear running lights. The ONLY way to shut them off is to pull the fuse. However, even what fuse 14 is pulled, my turn signals and brake lights still work?

My headlights function properly as they should.

And then when you stop the car, you push the headlight switch in to turn off the lights but the only thing that goes off is the 2 front headlights and the remaining parking lights stay on?
Correct.
 

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Sorry, I forgot what originally happened. I'm trying to figure what is going on but I'm getting confused. You first stated that you turned your lights on and off by using the Twilight Sentinel switch and that you never use the manual push/pull switch. Then you stated that you replaced your Twilight Sentinel switch. You later went on to state that your lights have never operated by using the Twilight Sentinel and you aren't even sure if your car has it even though you stated that you replaced the switch. I'm really confused. What exactly do you think your Twilight Sentinel function is and exactly how did you normally operate your headlight system prior to it not working properly? How do you operate it now?

Max
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Maximln said:
Sorry, I forgot what originally happened. I'm trying to figure what is going on but I'm getting confused. You first stated that you turned your lights on and off by using the Twilight Sentinel switch and that you never use the manual push/pull switch. Then you stated that you replaced your Twilight Sentinel switch. You later went on to state that your lights have never operated by using the Twilight Sentinel and you aren't even sure if your car has it even though you stated that you replaced the switch. I'm really confused. What exactly do you think your Twilight Sentinel function is and exactly how did you normally operate your headlight system prior to it not working properly? How do you operate it now?

Max
Sorry for all the confusion. I use my Twilight Sentinel switch EXCLUSIVELY to turn of/off my headlights. I NEVER use the push/pull headlight switch. To turn the lights on, I just rotate the Twilight Sentinel switch until they click on. My parking lights used to shut off with the headlights when I would click my Twilight Sentinel switch off. Now my parking lights are stuck on 24/7, regardless of whether I try to shut them off using the Twilight Sentinel or push/pull headlights switch. The ONLY way to shut off my parking/running lamps is to pull the switch from the fusebox.

Does that make sense? I'd be happy to clarify more if necessary.

Also, sorry it took so long to reply. I was out of town all weekend camping.
 

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It does clarify things alot. Your Twilight Sentinel is your automatic headlamp system. When in the "OFF" position, you have no automatic operation and you have to use the push/pull switch to operate your headlamps. When you rotate the Twilight Sentinel thumbwheel past off to the right, you put the headlamps into automatic mode. The automatic mode is any postion other than the "OFF" position. The automatic mode means that when it is dark enough outside, the headlamps will come on automatically and then when it gets light enough outside, they will automatically go off. There is a 30 second delay time for going on or off to compensate for going under tunnels, or parking under a bright light. When you turn your vehicle off, the headlamps will stay on for a preset time depending on what position the thumbwheel is in. If it is right past the "OFF" position, the headlamps will go off in a few seconds. If it is all the way to the right, they will stay on for 2-3 minutes and will vary for any position in between. That is how your headlamp system is designed to operate. What you have been doing is simply turning your automatic headlamp system on and off to control your headlamps where you should only normally turn the system on, and then never bother with them again. All this time, and you could have had automatic headlamps.

As for your current problem, which switch exactly did you replace? Was it the Twilight Sentinel thumbwheel? You should probably replace the headlamp switch if you haven't. That would be the first thing that I would do. If that doesn't do it, possibly the Twilight Sentinel amplifier but I think the headlamp switch should to the trick.

Max
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The twilight Sentinel thumbswitch is what I replaced. I will replace the headlamp switch as well and see if that fixes the problem. Where is the Twilight Sentinel Amplifier? Also, how much will a new headlamp switch cost? Is this something I should pick up at the dealer or will it be considerably cheaper to retrieve one from a junkyard?

Maximln said:
It does clarify things alot. Your Twilight Sentinel is your automatic headlamp system. When in the "OFF" position, you have no automatic operation and you have to use the push/pull switch to operate your headlamps. When you rotate the Twilight Sentinel thumbwheel past off to the right, you put the headlamps into automatic mode. The automatic mode is any postion other than the "OFF" position. The automatic mode means that when it is dark enough outside, the headlamps will come on automatically and then when it gets light enough outside, they will automatically go off. There is a 30 second delay time for going on or off to compensate for going under tunnels, or parking under a bright light. When you turn your vehicle off, the headlamps will stay on for a preset time depending on what position the thumbwheel is in. If it is right past the "OFF" position, the headlamps will go off in a few seconds. If it is all the way to the right, they will stay on for 2-3 minutes and will vary for any position in between. That is how your headlamp system is designed to operate. What you have been doing is simply turning your automatic headlamp system on and off to control your headlamps where you should only normally turn the system on, and then never bother with them again. All this time, and you could have had automatic headlamps.

As for your current problem, which switch exactly did you replace? Was it the Twilight Sentinel thumbwheel? You should probably replace the headlamp switch if you haven't. That would be the first thing that I would do. If that doesn't do it, possibly the Twilight Sentinel amplifier but I think the headlamp switch should to the trick.

Max
 

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The relays could probably be obtained at a junkyard..... Unless the car has been sitting for a while, then they may have dry rotted......
 

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I also have a '90 Sedan Deville, but my problem is that the headlamps will not turn off after I shut the car off. I have had to resort to pulling the battery cable from the battery in order to turn them off. Recently I replaced the headlight pull switch, but that did not change anything.

Perhaps someone could tell me where the headlight hi/low switch or relay is located in this year and model of vehicle.
 

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Katshot said:
The dimmer switch is located on the left-hand side of the steering column. Just follow the link from the lever to it.
Thanks for the information. I saw in a Chilton manual's wiring diagram for this vehicle that there is a hi/low beam switch that the headlight tie into and a yellow wire goes from that switch to the pull switch. So, are you saying that this switch the manual tells me about is not in the engine compartment but it is the lever on the steering column?

Also, I have used a circuit tester and found that in the pull switch a circuit is completed between where the heavy yellow wire and the black wire connect to the switch (The heavy yellow wire is always hot and I assume the black wire is ground). I found this in the original pull switch and in the one I got from the salvage yard. I ran a wire between the two wires to test and see if the lights would come on and sure enough they did. Do I have two faulty pull switches or is this how the pull switch is designed and my problem lies elsewhere?
 

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The heavy yellow wire is the power "IN" to the dimmer switch which is located on the side of the column, connected to the lever via a "link".
Looking at the schematic, I see that the heavy yellow wire comes from the headlamp switch but is ALSO tied into the twilight sentinel system via the amplifier. So even though you replaced the sentinel SWITCH, the amplifier is what actually could be the problem, and IT is part of the rearview mirror on the windshield. And strangely enough, guess what fuse powers the amp? #14
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Katshot said:
The heavy yellow wire is the power "IN" to the dimmer switch which is located on the side of the column, connected to the lever via a "link".
Looking at the schematic, I see that the heavy yellow wire comes from the headlamp switch but is ALSO tied into the twilight sentinel system via the amplifier. So even though you replaced the sentinel SWITCH, the amplifier is what actually could be the problem, and IT is part of the rearview mirror on the windshield. And strangely enough, guess what fuse powers the amp? #14
Nothing has changed since the last time I posted since I have not had time to order a replacement headlamp switch.

Ok...more confusion to add to the mystery...

Regardless of whether or not I pull fuse number 14, my digital tripometer resets to 0.0 miles every time I shut the car off and restart it. Does this help with diagnosis? Also I spoke with the Cadillac parts department at my local dealer and the guy said there are 3 or 4 different parts to the switch...is this true? If so, which one should I replace? I don't want to waste money buying parts that don't need replacing.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
DanBiel said:
I also have a '90 Sedan Deville, but my problem is that the headlamps will not turn off after I shut the car off. I have had to resort to pulling the battery cable from the battery in order to turn them off. Recently I replaced the headlight pull switch, but that did not change anything.

Perhaps someone could tell me where the headlight hi/low switch or relay is located in this year and model of vehicle.
Dan, how much did it cost to replace your headlamp switch? I replaced my twilight Sentinel switch and it made no difference. Do you want to trade our old switches for one another? I need another headlamp push/pull switch to try and you need a twilight sentinel...why not ship them to each other?

-Scott
 

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Snyder81 said:
Dan, how much did it cost to replace your headlamp switch? I replaced my twilight Sentinel switch and it made no difference. Do you want to trade our old switches for one another? I need another headlamp push/pull switch to try and you need a twilight sentinel...why not ship them to each other?

-Scott
Is it possible that the photocell that tells the system that it is dark outside is blown? This may explain why the running lights are always on. I am guessing that the little photocell is much less expensive than the headlight switch. Just an idea....

Best of luck

BIGWHITE
 
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