Automatic Headlights

burroakburroak Member Posts: 17
I have purchase a 99 Chevy 3/4 ton 4x4. I love
the truck, but question the automatic headlights
that come on when it gets dark. Anybody messed
with this option. I would like to disconnect it if
I can without effecting my regular headlight
switch. Let me know what you think. thanks


  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    Our 97 Suburban....

    has driving lights that come on with the engine?

    If you push the parking brake down halfway while the vehicle is stopped, these lights will go out - otherwise hunters would be "headlighting" deer accidentally.

    This is the first I have heard of, or seen reference to, headlights that come on automatically? What would happen in a dark garage?

    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickup, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
  • burroakburroak Member Posts: 17
    they come on in a dark garage. anytime it starts getting dark. even in a heavy rain.
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    I can see GOOD....

    and BAD in that.... When they take away too much of what the driver SHOULD be doing as a result of "situational awareness" it makes me nervous!....

    Front Porch Philosopher
    SUV, Pickup, & Aftermarket and Accessories Host
  • egolfbegolfb Member Posts: 1
    HOw do you disable the headlight system?
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    My son's '98 Explorer does the auto head light thing. He loves it. I don't. Its got to do with the aiming vs. driving thing.
  • rons6rons6 Member Posts: 2
    Anyone point me to the discussion, FAQ, or whatever that will give me specific info on disabling the automatic headlights on the '99 Silverado? Not the Daytime driving lights, the ones that you cannot turn off at night.
  • lwittorflwittorf Member Posts: 96
    Talked to my dealer today about those lights and he said that they can't be disconected but that if you put the ebrake on just a little bit that they won't come on and your brake is not on enough to hurt so I am going to try that as I don't like not haveing control either.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    OK, I know that there is usually some give in the emergency brake, but I can't believe that any responsible dealer recommended this.

    Emergency brakes are mechanical systems, essentially what you are doing is adding tension to the system and locking the wheels. Any application of the brake is going to add tension and begin to apply the brake.

    Can't say I'd be happy driving like that.
  • RichRich Member Posts: 128
    Me thinks that you only have to put the parking brake on enough to light the light on the dash and not enough to cause any braking effect.
  • z71billz71bill Member Posts: 1,986
    After driving my 99 Silverado Z71 LT for 5 months I have learned to live with the auto head lights. It is really no big deal. You start the truck -if it is dark the lights come on.. what is the real problem here??? Are we all a bunch of control freaks or what...My grandpa used to complain about automatic transmissions and power steering as things the manufactures put on that you don't need - now at least 90% of the cars and trucks have them.. what is wrong with a little progress..
  • dan33dan33 Member Posts: 13
    It is a big deal to me. Not only can I think of numerous occasions that I don't want the headlamps on, its also the principal of the thing. I know when my headlights should be on, just like I know when to shift gears.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    OK, so what are the numerous occasions. I can think of hunting as one possible one - daytime running lights are mandatory here so that frequently comes up, but the truck is going to be making a (relatively) lot of noise anyway.

    I may be extremely naive, and as I say am used to having lights of some kind on all the time - but how can having lights on be a disadvantage??

    Not trying to be difficult - just genuinely want to know
  • jmscoloradojmscolorado Member Posts: 25

    I can give at least one specific reason. I work on contracts that require me to enter secure military bases. They all REQUIRE you to turn off your headlights (parking lights are OK) as you enter the base at night. The entrances are well lit and the ARMED guards need to be able to identify you. Most of these guards are relatively young and in many cases carrying M16s. I definitely don't want to annoy them.

    There are other situations where I want the engine running but don't want the headlights on. For this reason, I'm seriously considering disassembling the dash and installing an override for the light sensor. Just haven't gotten around to it yet.

  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    You could disassemble the dash to get at the sensor but I suspect there are easier ways. For example if you find the wires that go from the sensor to the control unit/computer you could work with them there. Another method is to interrupt the signal to the headlight relay. I haven't received my truck yet but when I do I'll figure out a nice way because I also want the choice. Once done I'll post my solution.
  • jtbla1jtbla1 Member Posts: 6
    To disable DRL's on Y2K Silverados and disable autoheadlamp, push dome override button four times, you will hear a chime, lamps are now full manual control. When you stop and restart engine, they default back to normal operation( auto).
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    jtblal, that is amazing. You mean people have been whining so much and the solution is right there in the manual? Hey people RTFM!

    I'm sure the 99 didn't have that feature so those people are forgiven.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    Haven't looked in the manual....but while outside don't work.
  • stevostevo Member Posts: 37
    That might explain things...While playing with buttons one night, I hit the dome override several times. The headlights turned off and caught me by surprise. Turned them back on manually. It apparently reset after I turned the ignition off as mentioned above. Haven't messed with it again. Thought is was a fluke. I'm about halfway through the manual, haven't seen any mention of it and I've read the light section a couple of times. Maybe it's somewhere else.

    2000 z-71 ex. cab
  • mfreemanmfreeman Member Posts: 37
    I thought I saw it in a little quick reference manual that was hanging in a bag on the door when my dad and I picked up his truck.

    Mike Freeman
  • eliteoneeliteone Member Posts: 2
    Any update? Did your Z71 go to DRLs when headlights went off, so you at least had some light? Please advise. Thx. Scott
  • burroakburroak Member Posts: 17
    Check the other memo # 810 for info on auto headlights. I took the dash apart and had the sensor (solor panel) checked out. It puts out 30,000 ohms when in direct sunlight.

  • ovalleyovalley Member Posts: 135
    tried it on my 2000 GMC, turned off all lights on about the third push of the button.
  • billk5billk5 Member Posts: 14
    Just tried the dome override worked on my 2k, thanks for the tip!
  • soilworkersoilworker Member Posts: 21
    I just picked up my 2000 Silverado 1500 Lt yesterday. In the owner's manual was a Supplement to the 2000 Sierra/Silverado Owner's Manuals.

    When necessary, you may turn off the Automatic Headlamp System and the Daytime Running Lamps (DRL) feature by following the steps below:

    1. Turn the ignition to RUN.

    2. Press the DOME OVERRIDE button four times within six seconds. After the fourth press of the button, a chime will sound informing you that the system is off. The system will revert back to the automatic on mode when the ignition is turned off and on again.

    3. To return to the automatic mode, push the DOME OVERRIDE button four times within six seconds (the chime will sound), or turn the ignition off and on again.

  • mikey42mikey42 Member Posts: 28
    that anyone cared about those lights. I liked them being on all the time. Guess what? last night I needed to turn them off to be a good neighbor while I was having a hard time putting my trailer back where it belongs, my lights flashed into my neighbors 2 weeks old baby's bedroom window. I remembered that Dome override and used it...glad I got a 2000
  • dubeldubel Member Posts: 5
    I have a 1999 Silverado and after reading (soilworkers) reply # 24, that General Motors has at least tried to rectify this idiotic headlight system as well as the daylight running lights, I am still disappointed in there fix. The automated headlight system is fine for most general use, but there are times that the driver wishes to override this automated system and be able to control it manually for certain circumstances. If General Motors was as ingenious in fixing this DRL/ AUTO HEADLAMP SYSTEM as they were in introducing it on the new Silverados it would be a great system. Drivers who would chose to leave it on "auto" could do so and those who would need the "manual override" for there special circumstances would also be taken care of. It seems to me that the only true fix to this dilemma General Motors has gotten themselves into is to redesign the headlight switch in the dashboard in order to have another position on it for manual operation (it sure looks to me like there is enough room to accomplish this in the switch area). Why should the driver have to be bothered with turning the ignition switch to run and then press the dome override to shut off these systems, and then what about having them on "auto" when first starting the vehicle and then needing to shut them off for some special circumstance. Seems like you have to shut the engine off once again to accomplish this. Some have asked "What Special Circumstances"? This winter (for those in cold weather areas of the country) when you go to the Malls, or picking up your school children at school events after dusk, and you need to wait in the vehicle and wish to keep the heater on to stay warm, why should you have to turn off your engine first, set the parking brake, and then restart your engine just to shut off your headlights? So the 300# bruiser sitting in the car in front of your vehicle doesn't take it upon himself to "FIX" your headlights so they aren't shining in his eyes. And then there's the time you wish to take the family to enjoy the Christmas light displays where you drive along a roadway where they require you turn off the headlights, leave the parking lights on and guess what, you are unable to do so. There are others but you will find out your need for this feature as time goes by. Well thats enough of my [non-permissible content removed] about this DRL/HEADLAMP SYSTEM. It sucks.
  • mikey42mikey42 Member Posts: 28
    you don't have to shut off the engine or put it in park or anything, just hit the dome override switch 3 or 4 times and everything goes off, you can even do it while going down the freeway if you want. Its an easy thing to do for that rare time you need the lights off, maybe you can get your 99 upgraded. Since its on the 2000's maybe there is something GM or your dealer can do to upgrade.
  • petriheilpetriheil Member Posts: 19
    When you go through the button pushing exercise: Does this turn off your headlights? DRL? or both. Can you then manually turn on the parking or headlights? What about your tail lights/parking lights, etc? Since I hope to have my Y2K Silverado in about +/- three weeks, and especially in the summer do a lot of night fishing, this subject is of great interest to me. Thanks.
  • ovalleyovalley Member Posts: 135
    Pushing the dome light over ride button turns off all lights, even the dashboard lights. Once the automatic system has been disabled, you can then use the manual light switch to turn lights on and off as you want, or just push the dome over ride button again to reset the automatic system. This even works during the day time when the only the DRL's are on.

    Have tried it out on my 2000 GMC and it works for me.
  • mgdvhmanmgdvhman Member Posts: 4,157
    Don't you know? We are much too stupid to know when we can't see at night. Therefore automatic headlights are a must. The Dumb public just can't make this decision anymore.

    - Tim
  • tfstfs Member Posts: 12
    Have been reading with interest/didn't get the supplement with instructions for toggling the dome override btn., but I did it one night, and all lights went out! didn't do that anymore! now , I realize it was by design...i do not like drls', so the fuse came out this past weekend. only auto lights now. would like to be able to control them as well (read disable)
    anyone think of any badness by taking drl fuse out?- thanks
  • rons6rons6 Member Posts: 2
    Anyone had a look at the GM wiring diagram for the Silverado? Perhaps removing the dash panels, radio is not required to address the auto-headlight issue. If the photocell sensor is controlling a coil/relay under the hood, the situation can be remedied there.
    The dome-light override method doesn't work on the '99. :-(
  • bobh12bobh12 Member Posts: 140
    Seems like Ford really did have a "Better Idea",
    at least on this one. My 97 F-150 and 98 Exp both have Autolamp and I can manually shut it off on the dash, don't have to do a lot of other stuff, like by passes, disassemble dash et. Good luck.
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    I can think of a problem with removing the drl fuse: a head-on collision because some idiot didn't see you. The drl's are there for a reason.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    I really don't know how someone could hit a vehicle head on just because the DRL wasn't working.

    The DRL is there because the purveyors of relays spread the myth through the legislative bodies that drivers can't see other vehicles without DRLs.

    Actually the problem of DRLs could be solved at the service advisor's desk. Ask the question, "Where is the relay that I (Emphasis on "I") could manipulate to prevent the DRL from coming on." :-)

  • jerobbinsjerobbins Member Posts: 48
    Maybe this wasn't done for all of the 2000 models. My 2000 LT had an insert in the manual that explained about the dome light override. Did yours? If not, maybe it doesn't have this feature.

    I would bet that GM isn't putting the override only on the higher priced models; instead, I think that they slipped it in at a certain point, probably after your truck was built.
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    rrichf, lights in the day simply make you a little more visible. It's all a matter of odds. For me, I prefer to improve my odds especially when it doesn't cost me anything. Think about how much money GM spent putting those things on every one of their cars, there is enough proof that they help to justify it. The govt. doesn't mandate it, GM is the only co. I'm aware of that does it across the board. I suppose seat belts are part of the myth as well?
  • vince4vince4 Member Posts: 1,268
    GM added this feature after the 2000s started shipping. Tim has an early 2000 LT and his doesn't work either (see the other headlight topic). The manual insert says: "This procedure does not apply to vehicles first sold in Canada, and to some early production vehicles." Maybe the dealer can update your firmware.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    has mandatory driving lights anyway. I guess that is why the feature doesn't apply - probably different wiring.
  • afs11afs11 Member Posts: 86
    This has been mandatory in Canada for several years now. I think it is a good thing to have and I don't unter stand why you would want to alter it? The lights are only about half as strong as when you turn them on!
  • lwittorflwittorf Member Posts: 96
    You are wrong on the way the lights come on my 2000 chev when the lights come on they are not at half wats they are on full. I agree that they can be a good thing but it still makes me unhappy that they feel I don't know enough to turn my lights on when it gets dark. I do feel the drls are a good thing though. Mabe the lights do come on low if you don't have drls. It seems like I have seen some canadian rigs that do that.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Member Posts: 764
    Canadian DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) are not the same as this feature. My previous post was not meant to suggest this, merely point out that the wiring would be different.

    DRLs are front only and reduced power, the automatic headlights are normal headlights but triggered by a light sensor.
  • rrichfrrichf Member Posts: 211
    There is (or was) a DRL option on my '99 Super Duty when I ordered it. When I mentioned to the sales manager that I didn't know that Ford offered it, his comment was that he had never ordered a vehicle with DRL.

    There are situations where a DRL is advisable but I think that I would rather be in control. I wouldn't want a trucker thinking I was talking with my lights when I really wasn't.

  • m1685m1685 Member Posts: 71
    Has anybody talked to someone with chevy about these auto lights? I do not mean the dealerships either, i just know i have seen some people in these discussions that work for chevy or know someone who does. I know there are a lot of people who want to get rid of these auto lights, but i dont want to start tearing my dash up and rig something up to stop them. I have a 2000, and constantly use the dome override. I was just hoping someone might have some connections somewhere. It'd be nice if chevy was coming out with a fix for them.
  • jim192jim192 Member Posts: 1
    I will be picking up a 2000 Ranger XLT Supercab next week. The dealer has at my request installed the Daytime Running Light hardware (not Autolamp). Question 1: Does anyone know whether Ford's DRL operation is supposed to be different from GM's? I drove a Pontiac with DRL's where the low beams at reduced brightness came on only when the engine was running and once the parking brake had been released. By contrast, on this new Ranger, the low beams come on after a brief delay once the engine has started and while the truck is still in "Park" with the parking brake on. Don't know whether there is any defeat switch so that one could idle the truck with the DRL's off. Question 2: How do Ranger DRL's work in Canadian vehicles? Question 3: Do similar Rangers in Canada have their DRL's come on as both the low beams PLUS the fog lamps, or do only the low beams come on? Thanks.
  • lwittorflwittorf Member Posts: 96
    I just got a email from r&d truck and they told me that in just a little while they will have a switch to put in that looks like factory that will shut off the running lights and head lights I have sent them a request to let me know when they get them in when they do I will repost here You might email them and request the same. their webb sight is
  • meredithmeredith Member Posts: 575
    As a result of 30 or more days of inactivity....

    this topic is being "frozen." It will be archived or deleted in the next 10 days or so.

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