9-7x doesn' know if it is dark or light - Auto Headlights stay on

Jkust

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
So I've had my 9-7 for about a month now but it is my third 360 as I currently have a Rainier as well so this is a new issue I haven't seen.
I wondered why when I got the 9-7 the OEM HID's needed to be replaced given how long they should last and why the Navigation system never changes to day or night settings at the correct times. Well what I am now realizing is the healights rarely if ever turn off and the nav unit doesn't recognize whether it is day or night. (in the day the nav screen turns to a white color and at night supposed to go to a black background color.) Usually in the morning I back out of my dark garage and the car rightly turns the headlights on the instant it clicks into reverse but will only rarely actually recognize that it is bright and sunny out and finally go to drl mode. It doesn't matter if I turn the headlights off and back to auto while it is daylight, it still thinks it is night and keeps the headlights on. If it is one of the rare days where the lights did turn off on the way to work in the morning when they should have, they do then turn on at the correct time when I enter the parking garage at work. The light sensor isn't blocked as it works sometimes so I am wondering if anybody has any input on this one?

Thanks
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Not sure about Saabs, but does yours have the light sensor in the plastic dome on the dash or in the front-facing side of the rear view mirror? A sensor that works sometimes and not at others, when the sensor itself is a simple and reliable photo-sensitive-diode, is usually flaky wiring. Not easy to trace it all out down to the BCM. Do you have a sensitive (like over $50) meter and some electrical experience and want to dig into it deeply?
 

Jkust

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
the roadie said:
Not sure about Saabs, but does yours have the light sensor in the plastic dome on the dash or in the front-facing side of the rear view mirror? A sensor that works sometimes and not at others, when the sensor itself is a simple and reliable photo-sensitive-diode, is usually flaky wiring. Not easy to trace it all out down to the BCM. Do you have a sensitive (like over $50) meter and some electrical experience and want to dig into it deeply?

It is the plastic dome on the dash version. My meter is a $15 model off the Wal Mart shelf and no I unfortunatly do not have any really useful electrical experience.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I'm not sure it's a DIY repair with those circumstances, then. Those meters influence the measurements too much on low-level sensor wiring. You can pull the dome out of the dash and see if you can replug it in on the back, though. Cold may contract the contact metal just enough to make it flaky, and replugging sometimes brings fresh contact surfaces into play.
 
Jan 21, 2012
58
Just wondering if your Saab is set up like our canadian units are all our vehicles have daylight headlights they are a safety item? most of the time they run at a reduced voltage so are not at full brightness during the day.
 

DJones

Member
Jan 21, 2012
701
St. Petersburg, Florida
Enderbygrandpa said:
Just wondering if your Saab is set up like our canadian units are all our vehicles have daylight headlights they are a safety item? most of the time they run at a reduced voltage so are not at full brightness during the day.

Unfortunately, most GM's come with DRL's. The HID-equipped vehicles use the amber turn signal bulbs instead of the headlights.
 

Jkust

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
Jkust said:
So I've had my 9-7 for about a month now but it is my third 360 as I currently have a Rainier as well so this is a new issue I haven't seen.
I wondered why when I got the 9-7 the OEM HID's needed to be replaced given how long they should last and why the Navigation system never changes to day or night settings at the correct times. Well what I am now realizing is the healights rarely if ever turn off and the nav unit doesn't recognize whether it is day or night. (in the day the nav screen turns to a white color and at night supposed to go to a black background color.) Usually in the morning I back out of my dark garage and the car rightly turns the headlights on the instant it clicks into reverse but will only rarely actually recognize that it is bright and sunny out and finally go to drl mode. It doesn't matter if I turn the headlights off and back to auto while it is daylight, it still thinks it is night and keeps the headlights on. If it is one of the rare days where the lights did turn off on the way to work in the morning when they should have, they do then turn on at the correct time when I enter the parking garage at work. The light sensor isn't blocked as it works sometimes so I am wondering if anybody has any input on this one?

Thanks

My update as I'm sitting at a Bob Evans in Michigan traveling for work is that it works better on cloudy days. Generally about 2 miles away from the garage and it switches from night to day. Sunny days are a crapshoot may or may not change. Thinking it is the sensor.
 

vipergg

Member
Dec 7, 2011
191
Jkust said:
My update as I'm sitting at a Bob Evans in Michigan traveling for work is that it works better on cloudy days. Generally about 2 miles away from the garage and it switches from night to day. Sunny days are a crapshoot may or may not change. Thinking it is the sensor.

Mine is kind of like this also if you use the auto headlights. It can be very sunny out in the morning when I go to work and it may never switch to drl mode and full bright on the dash and radio display . This is why I shut the headlights off but this still leaves the radio and mileage readout dimmed so you have to turn up the brightness on the dash just to see the radio . Usually its ok when I get out of work and its sunny. If its overcast the displays will be dimmed out. Auto heaDLIGHTS IS ONE FEATURE gm can get rid of . Also why some people have some of their cluster lights burn out because you have to keep them on all the time .
 

Jkust

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
946
It's now late August and this is clearly an angle of the sun situation. The 9-7 headlights are now just starting to do this after stopping late spring. I'm thinking a new sensor will correct it.
 

ssmedt

Member
Dec 8, 2011
80
I have had the sensor out of my rainier before not too hard to get too just pull off the plastic on the A pillars then the plastic piece that runs near the windshield will pull off with sensor attached. IIRC the sensor will twist to the left to remove from the plastic trim piece
 

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