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Cadillac DTS auto lights problem

louiephippslouiephipps Posts: 9
edited December 2018 in Cadillac
I just recently started experiencing a problem with the automatic lights on my '07 DTS. I park the car in a carport. When I start it in the mornings (while the sun is up), the headlights come on in the carport. Normally the lights will go off within one minute. Now they will stay on until I park the car. When I return a few minutes later and start the car again, the lights do not turn on. In addition to the headlights being on all the time, the instrument panel lights are very dim and difficult to read. I bought the car in May and just started experiencing the problem in the past few weeks. I can't get my dealer to understand that I have a problem. Anyone else experiencing a similar problem?


  • Louie,
    your car has Daytime Running Lights, i.e. the headlights should be on all the time.

    Also, your car is equipped with "Automatic Headlights With Automatic On and Dusk Sensor". i.e. the headlights and tail lights come on automatically when it gets dark.
    My guess is the instrument panel goes dim when the automatic headlights turn on (Probably adjusts itself for night time driving?). I would re-adjust the instrument panel lights to an acceptible level when the auto headlights are on.

    If the "Automatic Headlights" stay on when driving during daylight hours, then I would suspect something is wrong. Maybe explain this to the service writer. The Automatic headlights should turn off during the day. My guess the sensor or timer is bad.

    Hope this helps.

  • Jasper...thanks for the reply. My headlights stay on when I start the car the 1st time in the morning. I drive the car to the dealer and the service writer can see that the headlights will not turn off. He writes it up and then parks the car and turns it off for the mechanic to come work on it. When the mechanic comes along and starts the car, everything works fine and he says he can't find anything wrong. I've told the service writer that I'll just wait until the problem gets worse. I suggested that they need to replace the sensor and or the timer but I get a blank stare when I say that.
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    The problem here is that we are in the winter months and the sun is now far south of the equator. This means that there is less light in the early morning and your automatic sensor thinks that it is night. So the headlights are turned on and the instrument panel lights are dimmed. Even if you turn off the automatic lights, the instrument panel lights will stay dimmed. I don't know if this is adjustable. The best you can do is to adjust the instrument panel light to be as bright as possible, but don't turn on the interior lights. They will still be dimmer than when the auto system thinks it is daylight out, but they should be bright enough to see, at least without sun glasses on.
  • By golly...I think you may be right. That had entered my mind when it first started happening and then I forgot about it. I leave about the same time in the mornings and I now realize that it is taking longer and longer for the lights to finally go off. If the trend reverses after December 21 we'll know for sure. Thanks for the reply.
  • vic10vic10 Posts: 188
    Just a follow-up comment: On my 300C I noticed the working of the auto lights is not as much a function of the ambient light as it is of the angle of the sun. In the wintertime, on my drive to and from work, there is more than enough ambient light to drive without headlights--and I often have my sun glasses on because of the glare of the sun sitting lower in the sky--but my headlights come on. Must be an interaction of the sun's angle with the windshield tint. I don't have the dash visibility issue since it's a different design but I do have a detent on the dimmer control that allows for full bright for the radio and trip computer when the lights are on during the day. The DTS must be similar....
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    I also find that my auto headlights go off sooner if it is somewhat cloudy (more diffused light) than when the sky is clear.
  • I have a 2006 DTS. When the headlights turn on, about 80% of the time only one headlight comes on. It can be either the left or the right, which ever one decides not to come on. You trun the lights off and back on manually and both lights will come on. This happens both in auto mode or manual mode.

    Also note another problem. When i push the map light on, it will come on for about 10 seconds, then it will go on and off a few times and then will stay out.

    Any suggestions would be nice.

  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    If this car is still under warranty, I would take it to the dealer. I would guess that there is some problem in the wiring or probably a control module somewhere. The map light is probably another problem.
  • While I'm driving at night lights shut off on auto, turn switch on and off they go back on.
    On auto off they go on but lights go off , sometimes one headlight goes out. Puzzled???
  • sls002sls002 Posts: 2,788
    This is a problem that your Cadillac dealer should be able to fix. You may want to put it into manual mode until it is fixed.
  • I have a Buick Lucerne that is doing the same thing. It goes into the garage tomorrow. If I find out what is wrong I will let you know. If you find out before I do please let me know. THANK YOU
  • I took my lucerne into the dealer today and they replaced the twilight sensor on top of the dash. With a little luck this should fix the light problem. WIll keep you posted as to the outcome
  • moosie1moosie1 Posts: 5
    The dealer replaced the sensor on top of the dash on my lucerne. It has been over a week and the headlights have not shut off while driving. I think that was the fix. It was quit a process to change it, however, it was under warranty and all is well.
  • In cold weather my Cadillac DTS right headlight goes off and on. It happens in automatic or manual and can be reinstated by a toggle to either from the other. The dealer says it needs a new headlight ($900.oo plus and not coveredn by extended warrenty). My thought is that it is the high intensity ballast system that is faulty and that should be covered by extended warranty since it is not excluded.
  • bob247bob247 Posts: 8
    My headlights still turn on while it is still light out side and it was hard to see the instruments. Told the service department about this and they found there is an adjustment they can make to make the instrument panel lights brighter. You still have full control over the brightness.
  • I also have a 2006 dts the headlights come on ok, but at a bump the right side (passenger) used to fliicker and now goes out. if you turn the headlamp switch manually off and back on it lights for a while until you hit another hard bump and again same thing

    the dealer stated that must replace the lamp at $288.00 ea

    seems pretty high and after looking at these postings looks like there should be a recall or some gm considderation
  • you can buy after market bults - 2 for $70 from
    also amazon has them for a bit more. We have a fleet of cady's and they work
    fine. you want d1s bulb. Problem is it takes 3-5 hours labor to change.
    if you are doing that, change both sides.
  • I also have an intermittent problem but only with my passenger side headlight. On auto, the headlight has gone out twice. One time was after the car had been driven in a lot of rain and recently it went out the night after going through a car wash. The light usually blinks once and then goes out until the car is re started. I have a friend that had a similar problem with a Mercedes. Eventually the light comes back on.

    Has anyone had a similar experience and found a fix?
    I have not tried the manual setting, but will do so next time the problem occurs.
  • csg43csg43 Posts: 1
    My Cadillac dash lights dim themselves at will. The amount of sunlight or lack of it doesn't seem to affect the dimming. When they are dim, it is very difficult to see the speedometer in bright sunlight or fog. I have had the dimming switch replaced, and the dealership was supposed to order a "cluster" to repair the problem. I was told today that GM would not allow replacing the "cluster" because the new one would do the same as the old one. They said all the lights would do that. Any suggestions?
  • I am having the same problem with my '07 DTS. Viewing the speedometer is virtually impossible in bright sunllight if I am wearing dark glasses. I'm concerned about a safety issue and also am very doubtful that a highway patrolman is going to accept my excuse for exceeding the speed limit. Could there be a liability issue with Cadillac on this problem? I've talked to 2 different dealers about the problem...they acknowledge that there is a problem but both said they are unaware of any fixes available from Cadillac.
  • bobjaxflbobjaxfl Posts: 1
    I am also having issues not only with my headlights going on and off at odd times but also recently discovered intermittent failure of my driver side headlamp. My question is why do the service writers look at you like you have three heads when you tell them of these issues? Obviously they have heard these complaints before, where do we find the service bulletins for these common complaints? I just had the car back in (4th try) about a knocking noise coming from the rear of the car on cool or cold mornings. I had to research myself and and i was able to tell them that it was a fuel canister valve issue! now its fixed.
    Besides the headlamp issue I also have a radio issue - reception sucks big time on am & fm but really bad on am stations. I have also had several occasions where the radio didn't work at all and when i shut he car off and restarted it, everything was fine. No idea if all of these issues are connected, but I think its computer related. What school or class do the service writers take so they can act like they have never heard of any of these complaints, WHAT CAN WE DO??
  • ggaterggater Posts: 2
    Cadillac replaced the power supplys under warranty for our DTS. When I first discussed the problem the dealer questioned whether headlamps would be covered. I protested that it wasn't the head lamp but the power supply and then it was paid.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Can you please email me with your VIN and concerns? I would like to look into this further.
    GM Customer Service
  • Does anyone at Cadillac read this forum? Surely there must be someone there that recognizes the serious problem of having a dashboard so dim that you can't see what your speed is. Just seems to me that this would not be that hard to fix...
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
    I have the same problem with my dash lights and the dealer refuses to acknowedge my problem,making me look stupid and me knowing how inept Cadillac Techs are.Do you have a fix for this problem? i've had the lamp switch replaced and the dash sensor replaced 4 times,nothing helps.
  • gmcustsvcgmcustsvc Posts: 4,252
    Thank you for your post. Can you email me with your VIN, current mileage, and dealer of choice? I look forward to your email.
    GM Customer Service
    [email protected]
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
    VIN 1G6KD57Y07U181709
    MILAGE IS 57,000
  • VIN number is 1G6KD57Y17U100703, current mileage is 67,000 and my preferred dealer is Benson Cadillac, Spartanburg, SC. I reported this problem multiple times well before my warranty expired and have had no success in getting it fixed. I would appreciate any help you may offer. Thanks.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    edited May 2012
    Good morning louiephipps,

    I checked your VIN and do not see any open recalls on your DTS at this time; you are still within the following warranties until the date/mileage indicated (whichever comes first):
    Corrosion Limited Warranty until 06/24/2012 (Unlimited mileage)
    Emission Select Component Ltd Warranty until 06/24/2014 or 80,010 MI

    I'm sorry that you weren't able to get this taken care of while under your warranty; we can explore any available options if you were to send the following information to [email protected]: your name/Edmunds username, phone number(s) and current address. This would enable us to open a Service Request and look further into the situation.
    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • Sarah...I don't quite understand where I am to send the information you requested. If I send it to "social media" without any explanation will the person opening the document know what to do with it? Louie
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    Good morning Louie,

    My coworker Christina (who also posts now and again out on Edmunds) responds to incoming emails from this forum. If you include your Edmunds username, she is able to search the forum to gather more information, but if you were to include a description of the situation in your email that would also be helpful for her.

    I hope this helps to clarify a bit how we do things on our end,
    GM Customer Service
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
    manuel mode does not improve anything,Cadillac has a big problem and won't fix it,
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
  • Sarah, my user name is louiephipps. Briefly, here is my problem. My car is a 2007 DTS that I purchased new in March of 2007. Shortly thereafter I took the car to Benson Cadillac in Spartanburg, SC to tell them that the automatic lights were not working properly. I explained that when I leave my carport on a bright, sunny day the headlights will stay on for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before they suddenly go off. Oddly, if the weather is very cloudy or completely overcast the lights go off within a minute after starting the car. In my mind, it appears to me that the problem lies in the sensor mounted on top of the dash, otherwise why would it work properly in one scenario but not the other? The problem with this is not the fact that the headlights are on but that the dashlights are very, very the point that if there is any reflection on the dash it is impossible to read the dash information, most importantly the speed. In my opinion it is a driving hazard until the headlights finally go off and the dash illuminates properly. I have also taken the car to Bradshaw Cadillac in Greer. In both cases, a work order was not written up. Instead, the service manager at both dealers gave me a lecture on how the auto lights work, etc., clearly implying that I must be getting senile and do not know what's going on. I have been driving the car for 5 years now and have learned to live with the problem, however I feel that if someone would present the problem to a Cadillac engineer for investigation that it could be solved. Thank you.
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
    These girls don't have a clue what's going on,write a letter to GM headquarters to the CEO and see if he will do something.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,101
    Let's not be unkind.
    The GM reps' function in these forums is not to diagnose and fix issues. Their purpose is to help compile information on common problems & complaints, and when possible, to help the owners by contacting the dealerships to see if they can assist in resolving problems.

    It is probably worthwhile taking the design complaint to a higher level, but perhaps there is a solution out there for the issue that could be implemented.


    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • stated "It is probably worthwhile taking the design complaint to a higher level". That is what I have been trying to get accomplished in this post for 5 years now. As far as writing the CEO of GM, I actually tried that 2 or 3 years ago but never heard anything. I'm still convinced that if this could be presented to a Cadillac engineer they could probably solve the problem. In the meantime if someone could just arrange to have the twiight sensor replaced that could possibly clear up everything.
  • gmcustsvcsarahgmcustsvcsarah Posts: 1,964
    edited June 2012
    Good afternoon louiephipps,

    This is a great synopsis! If you wanted to include this in the email to [email protected] containing your name/Edmunds username, phone number(s), current address, the last 8 of your VIN and mileage, we would be happy to get started with the Service Request.

    All the best,
    GM Customer Service
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
    I have looked all around the net and I find lots of people with dashlight problems,I also know of 2 2007 CADDY DTS owners that sold thier cars for the same reasons. there is a big problem here that GM is overlooking and dealerships know and won't say or they are inept. it's the people at the plant that messed up.
  • I am also having problems with my 2006 DTS. at dusk and when it is dark my passenger head light will go off. I can turn the switch off and back on and it comes on. I will have to do this several times. then it will stay on. I tried to cover the sensor on the dash and it make the driver side head light go out.
    Took the car to our dealer ship and they want to replace the headlight for 490.00. but the light is not the problem. it is in the sensor. How do I make these people understand that is not the light.
    Any help is greatly appreciated.
  • I have a similar problem, but mine lights come on then one blinks off. I can turn it back on with the switch, does it in automatic and manual.
    Any Clue?
  • If you would like for us to look into this further with you, we're happy to do so. Please email the following information to us at [email protected]: your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your involved dealership.
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Good morning,
    Sorry that you're experiencing some difficulties with your headlamps. What are you plans on getting this addressed? Let us know if we can look into anything by emailing [email protected] (include the last 8 of your VIN).
    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • jcg20jcg20 Posts: 9
    edited September 2012
  • i have same problem with my 2006 DTS.. headlights flicker and go out. the other night both headlights went out at same time. nice. was only doing 5 mph so didn;t matter much. replace the panel once and that solve the problem for a year or 2. but now the problem is back. looks like GM is not interested in solving the problem.. i won't buy another cadillac.
  • We're sorry to hear that the panel replacement from two years ago didn't permanently resolve the headlight concern you've had with your DTS, seethat. If you want for us to look into this further, please email us at [email protected] with more information (include your name and Edmunds username, phone and address, the last 8 of your VIN and current mileage, and the name of your dealership).

    Sarah, GM Customer Service
  • Can someone pls help me got this fixes i dont like riding my kids in the car at night if have 06 dts. Head lights problem..
  • I have TWO 07 DTS Cadillac's both have the headlight problem one going out and comes back on when I move the switch manually WHAT IS THE FIX
  • mailman2001mailman2001 Wheatfield INPosts: 1
    Has Cadillac come up with a fix yet for the headlight problems on the 2006 DTS?
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