Mazda CX-7 Automatic Lights

caliche67caliche67 Member Posts: 27
edited August 2014 in Mazda
Quick question: I have both a 2008 CX-7 GT AWD and a 2008 CX-9 GT AWD. On the CX-9, the lights stay ON (if they were "on" while the engine was running) for about 20 seconds or so after I turn off the engine, I'm guessing this is for safety and as a courtesy while you walk away from the vehicle. However, on the CX-7 the lights turn off immediately when I shut off the engine. Is this the way the CX-7 lights are supposed to work? I figure it is a very similar lighting system on both trucks, so why the difference? (Both are equipped with the "Auto" lights setting). Can someone enlighten me please? Thank you!


  • vbbuiltvbbuilt Member Posts: 498
    On the 7, in auto mode, the lights turn off when you turn off the engine. That's just one example of where the CX-9 is more sophisticated than it's cheaper cousin.

  • caliche67caliche67 Member Posts: 27
    I have been noticing that the automatic lights on my 2010 CX-7 GT AWD do not seem to detect daylight/brightness readily, especially in the morning. On my commute to work every morning, if the lights come on (I keep the light selector switch on Auto all the time) because it has been dark, they will remain on all the way to work even if there is bright sunlight throughout most of the way, even if at times the sun hits the front end of the car directly for a few seconds. Sometimes I park it facing the sun for a few minutes and still they do not go off. What could the problem be? I know that the sensor is on the windshield, near the mirror, and that sensitivity can be adjusted by the dealer (which I told them about) but still no change. It seems like a waste of the light-bulbs' service life if they remain unnecessarily on all the time. I have tried turning them off and then on again but they still light up again. Anyone noticing this issue? I had an 2008 CX-7 GT AWD before and the automatic lights were more sensitive for both brightness and darkness. I also have an 2008 CX-9 GT AWD and the auto lights on that one work perfectly too.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Stop and engage the e-brake, parking brake, and see if they go out.

    If they do go out then what you are seeing is DRL, Daytime Running Lights, and so the situation you describe is normal, SOP.
  • pctechpctech Member Posts: 43
    I have a 2007 GT and the automatic lights are far too sensitive. Dealer said there are only two sensitivity levels (confirmed) but even at low sensitivity, the lights will go on when driving under an overpass, then go back off when returning to sunlight (all this at highway speeds)! It must look to the car ahead like I'm flashing my lights to pass him! I've driven other cars with auto headlights (my wife's far-less-expensive Corolla, for example) and NONE have this problem. Why couldn't Mazda get this right on a $30K+ car? :(
  • caliche67caliche67 Member Posts: 27
    Thank you wwest. This car does not have DRL, they are automatic lights upon selection. I know that if I were to drive head-on onto the sun for a long time they would eventually turn off. However, it shouldn't be that way, regardless of direction of travel, if it is bright sunlight out there, the sensor should detect brightness and turn them off like they're supposed to function. Thank you again.
  • pctechpctech Member Posts: 43
    Yes, and the fact that cars from other manufacturers can operate properly proves it's possible to do this right. How about it, Mazda? :mad:
  • caliche67caliche67 Member Posts: 27
    So I had the dealer adjust the sensitivity of my automatic lights to "low" and now they do not turn "on" so easily in daylight but also now they will immediately shut off upon shutting off the engine when they're supposed to stay "on" as courtesy lights for about 20 or 30 seconds (at night). What gives?
  • pctechpctech Member Posts: 43
    I don't know what year your CX-7 is, but my '07 has NEVER had this "courtesy lights" feature, nor is it mentioned anywhere in the literature! So, indeed, "what gives"?
  • caliche67caliche67 Member Posts: 27
    edited November 2010

    When I refer to "courtesy lights", I'm talking about the regular headlights remaining "on" for some 20-30 seconds after shutting off the car, if the lights had been "on" while driving. You probably got the gist of what I was talking about but I just want to avoid any potential confusion.

    Here's some background: I currently have a 2010 CX-7 GT AWD. At night, when the lights have been "on" and I shut off the car, the headlights remain"on" for another 20 or 30 seconds as a courtesy while you walk away from the car (to illuminate the path for you, so to speak). They were doing this when the setting for the automatic lights was set to factory setting (regular sensitivity). When I had the setting set to "low" sensitivity (due to the issue I had noticed about my auto lights turning "on" even in bright daylight), it seems as if I lost the 20-30 second courtesy feature; now when I shut the car off and if the lights were"on" they immediately shut off too (no more 20 seconds of them remaining "on"). I don't know if this is by design or if something got screwed up when the dealer changed the auto lights sensitivity setting.

    Now here's the deal; I used to have a 2008 CX-7 GT AWD (which I traded in for the current one I have). On the 2008, my headlights also functioned as you're describing - they never remained "on" for the 20-30 seconds when shutting off the engine after they had been "on" while driving at night. Now I'm wondering, was this courtesy feature not included in the 2008 at all, or did I have the auto lights sensitivity set to "low" (without knowing it) and maybe they would have functioned as courtesy lights if I had changed the sensitivity to "regular". I say this because of what I have experienced recently with my 2010 CX-7 and the two sensitivity settings along with the courtesy lights feature. Do you follow what I'm saying?

    And why do I say all of the above? Well, I also have a 2008 CX-9 GT AWD (still own it), and on that one the headlights do remain "on" for that same 20-30 second courtesy time, as I have on my 2010 CX-7. When I inquired in this same Mazda forum about why the difference in the "courtesy lights" feature between my 2008 CX-7 and 2008 CX-9 at the time, someone replied that it was one of the value-added "luxury" improvements of the higher-end CX-9 when compared to its "cheaper" cousin, the CX-7, but now I wonder if that was even true.

    Maybe they only added the courtesy lights feature to the CX-7 in the 2010 model, I don't know, but it is a nice touch, especially in dark driveways at night. Why don't you inquire with your dealer to see if your 2007 CX-7 may be currently set to "low" sensitivity for the auto lights (is it a GT by the way?), and if so, then if the sensitivity were to be set (changed) to "regular", whether you would get the courtesy lights feature automatically? I wonder...

    Oh yes, one more thing, with the 2008 CX-7 I had, I never had the issue of my auto lights turning "on" during bright daylight. They would turn on under tunnels or long underpasses and then turn off again after exiting those if bright daylight. With my 2010, I noticed that if they would turn on due to darkness, as soon as the darkness went away and daylight came out again, they would still remain "on". Kind of annoying.

    I hope I didn't confuse you with all of this explanation. Thanks!
  • pctechpctech Member Posts: 43
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for the lengthy explanation. I was not at all confused - I knew exactly what you meant in your first post. The '07 did not have this feature, as I said. It would be nice if it did! Whether set to hi or lo sensitivity, it does not exist. And it's also worth noting that there is very little difference in the "nuisance" illumination at either sensitivity.
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