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Adding automatic headlight feature

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by prius_in_texas, Mar 4, 2008.

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  1. prius_in_texas

    prius_in_texas New Member

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    Last night, I wonder why people were pointing at my Prius, like I was some damn tree-hugger or something. About 3/4 of the way home, I realized I forgot to turn on my lights! In previous car, I can tell if my lights aren't on because the dashboard is dark. However, in the Prius, the electronic dashboard is always light up, so it is much easier for forget your lights. Also, our other car, a '99 Corolla, has an automatic headlight feature... if it gets dark, the headlights come on automatically.

    So how hard/expensive would it be for me to get this feature hooked up in my new Prius? I wish I had thought to bargain to put this feature when I was dealing for this car (Houston dealers don't seem to be making the great deals that the Calif. dealers are...). Thanks, y'all!
  2. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    The same thing happened to me. The neon dash looks like the lights are already on. Rookie mistake. It should only happen once, though.:eek:
  3. seasalsa

    seasalsa Active Member

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    I don't have that problem, I just leave them on all the time and use the auto off feature.

    There is also a headlight indicator on the instrument panel so you can tell when they are on or off.
  4. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Interesting the Canadian market Prius comes with auto headlights *and* DRL's. If you look in the extreme left corner of your dash, near the windshield, you will notice two sensors: one is for the A/C, the other is for the auto headlights

    Additionally, the Canadian market Prius headlight switch has an extra position: Auto

    You can just leave the headlights switched to On all the time. You just have to be careful to exit the car in such a way the Auto Off feature works correctly.

    A few forum members have managed to drain their battery by opening the passenger door first, so the headlights stayed on.
  5. Bear68

    Bear68 Member

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    You actually have a couple of options:

    1) You can simply leave the lights on all the time....(Easiest solution)

    2) I have installed relays on several Prii that were sold to customers who were planning to drive them home to Canada. The relay was simply wired to provide a ground source for the headlight switch wire when the ignition was turned on. (Very simple to create and install)
  6. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    There is definitely a difference in brightness of the dash lights with the headlights off or on. Make sure the brightness thumbwheel is not turned all the way up.
  7. airbusdriver

    airbusdriver New Member

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    Jayman, do you have a simple diagram to install the automotive relay for "ignition on lights"? Wire location, color, ect.

    I like that idea much better than leaving the switch on all the time.

    I appreciate your input.
  8. airbusdriver

    airbusdriver New Member

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    Sorry, bear68, the previous post was for you. Any help with install would be nice.
  9. prius_in_texas

    prius_in_texas New Member

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    Yeah, that's what I'm going to try. The opposite of the conventional cars I've owned.

    Thanks for everyone's advice!
  10. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    i was looking for that 2 but apparently the EU prius also has no auto switch

    i am also hoping i can install the bears solution with the relay
  11. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Actually a lot of generic DRL modules should work with the Prius. I wouldn't use one on any Prius with HID headlights, a better option would be to wire into the "foglight" system
  12. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I wonder if the Prius sold in Sweden has either Auto headlights or DRL. Most Swedish automobiles must run with low beam headlights *and* tailights all the time

    I used to have a 1990 Toyota 4Runner that I purchased new here in Canada. Toyota apparently copied the Swedish model, as that was the first year for Daytime Running Lights in Canada.

    As soon as I started that 4Runner, the low beam headlights and tailights turned on. The only reason to turn on the headlight switch was to use high beams at night
  13. Bear68

    Bear68 Member

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    Here is the basic design that I have used. A standard 12v relay available from any parts store has 5 teminals. You will use only four of them. I prefer to connect one side of the coil together with one side of the switch and run both to ground. The other side of the coil is connected to an ignition power source and the other side of the switch is connected to the wire coming into the headlight switch. [​IMG]Please forgive my total lack of artistic ability.
    If you goto the combo switch connector that plugs into the headlight switch portion, connect to the red wire at pin 20. That wire goes to the switch side. For the ignition switch power I have used the Violet wire in connector 1G pin 6. 1G is located in the top row of plugs on the driver's side junction block just below and slightly left of the steering column. It is a 14 pin connector and I believe it is white. (That violet wire BTW gets power from the 10a gauge fuse and goes to the master power window switch. I tried to upload a picture of it but it wouldn't load since I get my info from TIS. This relay only uses four wires, two of which join into one and go to a good ground. When the ignition is turned on, the violet wire provides power to the coil to close the switch. The closed relay switch then provides ground on the red headlight wire to turn on the headlights.
  14. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    a ok
    well i hope daylight is not going to be a law over here.

    its uses a lot more fuel and IMO its not saver
  15. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Not sure if headlights use a "lot" more fuel. However, I agree about the life saving benefits being vague.

    Here in Canada, the first 3-4 years after DRL legislation was introduced, there was a reduction in certain accident types. However, that has faded into background statistical noise. Like everything else, people get used to seeing headlights and censor them out

    Guess what the school buses in Manitoba have now? Very very bright flashing white strobe lights that are ALWAYS flashing! Winter here lasts a long time, and there is nothing like being stuck behind a school bus in traffic, in the dark, with that flashing white strobe light slowly but surely giving me an aneurysm

    It's enough to make you want to purposely want to ram school buses off the road! What next, sirens and hundreds of flashing strobe lights?
  16. cngrevolution

    cngrevolution Dallas Realtor

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    Ok so here is my question. One, why would a corolla have auto headlights and a prius with all its tech stuff does not? So moving on from that my other question maybe for a tech who works on the prius. Could we just order the turn signal stalk with the auto setting, get the sensor on the dash and just plug it in? and any other relays also just plug in? I have worked on a few different Fords and they have a habit of pre-wiring things so that all you have to do is plug in the option and it works.
  17. RobH

    RobH Senior Member

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    You probably could just order the parts, but not from a US dealer. The technical information about the US Prius includes references to the Canadian auto-headlight parts. It seems to just be the light sensor and an extra position on the light switch. You could probably get by with just the sensor and an accessory switch.

    I would worry about turning HID lights on and off too many times. They are very sensitive to how many times they are cycled.

    Anybody have an internet address for a Canadian Toyota dealer who might be willing to sell the appropriate parts?
  18. CarlosOnline

    CarlosOnline New Member

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    I recently had an Autolight sensor installed, it is made by NMD. The sensor only turns on the HID lights at night/no light. The goal is to limit the use of the headlights which have been problematic. Contact robs@benchmarkmotoring.com for details on where to purchase it.
  19. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

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    We've got the auto headlights, but I just don't trust them. Just for fun I've set the light switch to auto, turned the car on, noted that the headlights went on, and then at destination left them on, got out and closed the doors, waited with bated breath: "Yeah, they went out".

    But that's it, I go back to switching them on and off myself. Too many burnt out 12 volts I guess.
  20. BAllanJ

    BAllanJ Active Member

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    I've got them and they seem to work fine. ( I, of course, have halogens and DRLs being also in Canada, so the auto just goes back and forth from drl to headlights on)
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