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I need my automatic lights to stay off

queenjavaqueenjava Member Posts: 3
edited July 2013 in Pontiac
I have a 2009 Pontiac Vibe, manual. I have always wanted to be able to turn my headlights and running lights off, we like to go to the drive in movies. I had found some fixes online that were just not in my ability to do, much to complicated with the electrical. (read, I'm a chick and do not even change the oil).

BUT, one day last week, I do not know what I did, but I started my car like normal, push in clutch, apply break, turn key. And my lights did NOT turn on. They did not turn on until I put the car in reverse.

I have tried every scenario I can think of as to how I may have turned my car off the previous night, neutral maybe? Emergancy break on after turned off? In a gear other then first? Break not applied, I have tried everything I can possibly think of to repeat what I did. I think I am going to kill my starter in the process to try to figure it out.

I called the dealership and I got the impression that they thought I was nuts because the lights always automatically come on, but the morning it happened, it was dark and raining and the car definitely started with no lights on.

Any ideas? I really do not want to assault my poor cars electrical system. Plus I like the lights being automatic, I just want them off once in a while.


  • burns1210burns1210 Member Posts: 3
    I have an '08, might be the same. One trick is to shut the car off, pull the parking brake, and shine a little flash light on the photocell on the dash board, then start the car. The light keeps the lights off and having the brake set before you start the engine keeps the running lights off. You can buy a cheap LED flashlight, shine it on there, and drop a towel over it so it doesn't distract. The photocell is a little dome shaped thing about the size of a quarter. On an '08, it's on top of the dash, drivers side.

    I'm planning on installing a toggle switch in line with the lights fuse, just so I can shut everything off when parked.
  • mcdawggmcdawgg Member Posts: 1,722
    The only way to have the daytime running lights off in a Toyota Corolla (Pontiac Vibe, Toyota Matrix) is to start the engine with the parking brake on. But when you release the parking brake, the daytime lights come on. No way to defeat it, unless you do a little wiring.
  • queenjavaqueenjava Member Posts: 3
    Unfortunately no, my running lights are on immediately no matter how I have my car set up. I did have it turn on once without the running lights coming on, but I have never been able to replicate that happening.
  • queenjavaqueenjava Member Posts: 3
    I will give this a try, but I have not been successful in finding the cell yet. I'll keep looking.
  • burns1210burns1210 Member Posts: 3
    Did you find it? It's just a little dark dome looking thing, sticks up in plain site on the dash. You have to do everything I said in order. Turn off the car, pull the parking brake, shine the light on the photocell, start the car. If you do it out of order, it won't work.
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