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Do 2011 Prius Headlights Turn Off With Engine?


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#1 Darren Nield

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

I just bought a 2011 T-Spirit on a whim after admiring for a while and I love everything about it! Most luxurious car I've ever had so still many things to learn and understand but I can't work out the headlights.

I definitely don't have auto sensing lights but there is a sensor on the passenger dash the manual calls a "headlight control sensor" but doesn't expand on it's use - what is it for?

Also, the manual does say I have "Automatic light off system" which turns off the lights if the power switch is turned off. I can't get this to work though - I get a warning buzzer when I open the door reminding me the lights are still on. Can't I use the auto off facility?

Thanks - many more questions in my head but working through them - just these 2 I can't figure myself.

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#2 kithmo

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 07:28 PM

The sensor turns the headlamps on but only if you have the auto headlights that came with one of the option packs. The headlights do turn off when you turn the power switch off, but the parking/sidelights and tail lights don't. The buzzer is to warn you that the parking lights are still on.

#3 Darren Nield

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 10:50 PM

Thanks kithmo. Just tried it and that now makes sense. Shame not what I thought :(

Can you tell me what the sensor is for on the passenger dash? I mean, do all cars have it even if they don't have the auto feature?

#4 ian rooke

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:00 AM

Hi I think that sensor is to dim the dash lights when going into a tunnel or at dusk.

#5 timberwolf

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:08 AM

When the headlights are on, the light sensor on the dash may determine the dash illumination level of the instruments. If the headlights are switched on when it is a sunny day, it would be nice if the display dash illumination did not dim because if it dimmed you wouldn't be able to see it on a bright day. Conversely, at night you do want the dash illumination to automatically dim when the headlights are switched on.
No doubt to make things more complicated there will be a user control to change the dash illumination level setting and probably override the daylight sensor?

The AC may also use the light sensor amongst many other inputs to help automate its operation.

#6 Darren Nield

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:38 AM

Cheers everyone. Am finding all these nice surprises about my new car. Hope there's more to come!

#7 johalareewi

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:57 AM

Can you tell me what the sensor is for on the passenger dash? I mean, do all cars have it even if they don't have the auto feature?

All the Gen3 pri have this even those without auto lights (like my T3). It is used to dim / brighten the MFD and HUD displays (and maybe other things).

It can also be used to make a DIY auto headlights option. :thumbsup:

#8 Darren Nield

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:35 PM


Can you tell me what the sensor is for on the passenger dash? I mean, do all cars have it even if they don't have the auto feature?

All the Gen3 pri have this even those without auto lights (like my T3). It is used to dim / brighten the MFD and HUD displays (and maybe other things).

It can also be used to make a DIY auto headlights option. :thumbsup:


It can also be used to make a DIY auto headlights option. :thumbsup:


Hmmm best I not get too tempted this early on 'til I figured out all the goodies that came with the car. But I might just search some posts on DIY auto options ;)

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