Automatic Headlights Work Sometimes, Maybe - 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited December 2015 in Dodge
imageAutomatic Headlights Work Sometimes, Maybe - 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 Long-Term Road Test

The headlights in the Edmunds.com long-term 2007 Dodge Charger SRT8 are supposed to turn on automatically. Sometimes they do.

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Comments

  • cromagnum_mancromagnum_man Member Posts: 54
    I had that problem once on my Dodge Magnum. I cycled the switch back and forth a few times (like you eventually did) and they've worked as expected ever since.
  • daryleasondaryleason Member Posts: 501
    I have auto-headlamps on my 2013 F-150. I hate them; my wife loves them.My problem with the auto-headlamps is that during the day, when they come on (like dawn or dusk), the dash panel is significantly dimmed because I like the light very low at night. Which means I'd have to adjust it manually. Frankly, I'm not real fond of the dash lighting in my F-150 at all. If you turn the lights off at night, the "daytime" lighting on the dash is very bright in the dark. One of the things I do, out in the country, is turn off the headlights to make it easier to see with the reverse lights while backing up. In order to do that with this truck, I have to set the headlights to the "park lights" setting to keep the dash dimmed.

    I noticed on a 2015 F-150 rental that I had that you could dim the "daylight" dash lighting. I liked that (which is about the only thing I liked about the 2015, other than the location of the window & mirror switches).
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    Get a scan tool and check the voltage output from the sun load sensor in the dash. (center of defroster grille) You should find that data pid in the HVAC controller and the Instrument cluster (Cabin Compartment Node).

    See how much the voltage changes when you cover the sensor up with your hand. It's very likely that the sensor is failing.
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    In GM cars when there is a problem with the auto lights it defaults to always on regardless of ambient light. I thought all cars had the same setup.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    That would be true if the failure takes the signal outside of expected limits. But if the value happens to be one that could be plausible, the system will operate according to that value.
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    In many cars, even if you turn on the headlights when it's bright out, the dash gauge lights will stay brightly lit (not dimmed). It is strange when cars with auto-headlights don't do this, as they have all the necessary hardware.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    A 2010 Escape will allow the dash lights to remain on the normal daylight intensity with the headlights manually turned on during the day. Then whether they are turned on by the automatic setting or not, once it gets dark enough, they switch to the dimmed setting point.

    BTW you won't see a lot of GM's do this, they are already using daytime running lights so there isn't a need to turn the headlights on fully. Other cars that don't do this really come down to the engineers being allowed to write the software to support that function or not.
  • daryleasondaryleason Member Posts: 501
    @thecardoc3 : Thanks for the post. It seems that Ford has "corrected" one of my complaints about the headlights, as far as being able to dim the daytime dash light settings, with the 2015. I actually still like my 2013 a lot more than I do the new bodystyle. I spent almost two weeks with one and hated it. The fuel economy wasn't anywhere near as great as Ford lead us to believe (and Edmunds has confirmed), the interior's quality has gone down, the dash now protrudes drastically into your cab, and I don't like the fact that the doors don't shut well. These are all piddly things (except for the fuel economy) that'll get corrected when Ford does their mid-cycle refresh, at least, I hope. I'd considered trading my 2013 in on a new one, but now I'm going to hold off until I see some changes. Either that, or I'm going to go looking at Chevrolets. I love Fords, but it's hard to guess their game plans some times.

    I held on to a 1994 Ford Ranger for YEARS, waiting on a redesign. They kept saying it was coming, then killed it outright. Now, I hear, that they're going to release a new version of the Ranger here in the States, which I find myself getting excited about, but I know it'll be mid-sized and over-priced, probably built as a Uni-Body.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    edited January 2016

    I held on to a 1994 Ford Ranger for YEARS, waiting on a redesign. They kept saying it was coming, then killed it outright. Now, I hear, that they're going to release a new version of the Ranger here in the States, which I find myself getting excited about, but I know it'll be mid-sized and over-priced, probably built as a Uni-Body.

    I still have my 94 Ranger.

  • daryleasondaryleason Member Posts: 501
    @thecardoc3 : I hate you. No offense. I really miss my little old Ranger. Electric Red, SWB, Regular Cab, 2.3 Liter OHV engine, 5 Speed manual, 2 wheel drive, AM/FM Cassette, sliding rear window, chrome everything. Grey cloth interior. Got it brand new. I was the coolest Sophomore in my high school because I was the only kid that got a NEW car for Christmas. My parents paid the down payment for me. The real gift was the lessons I learned in responsibility and auto car.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Member Posts: 5,614
    LOL. Kelley Green, 3.0l 5spd AC, 4WD, Super Cab, bed liner, tonneau cover. I'll never forget the day that I got it. Oct 30th 1993. It was a clear cold day for the end of October, and while we were getting the truck and visiting a relative we got six inches of lake effect snow. There I was, the fist day that I owned it driving it in some really nasty conditions. But yes, its in the driveway and ready to go anytime I need it.
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