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Cadillac DTS auto lights problem

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: 4,251
    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: 4,251
    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
  • 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 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
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