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Auto lights

martyboy Apr 15, 2014

  1. martyboy

    martyboy Member

    I assumed that with the auto lights included in the comfort pack they came on using a sensor, but with the last few evenings being really quite light I have been driving around with my headlights on and have found myself turning the auto lights off so i am driving with just the DRLs on! So I was wondering, do they come on with a timer rather than a sensor?
  2. andywil13

    andywil13 Active Member It's my birthday

    Defiantly sensor. When you go into tunnels they come on, and same for underground car parks. There is an option to adjust how sensitive (early or late)
    martyboy likes this.
  3. ub7rm

    ub7rm Active Member

    There is a sensor in the front of the mirror and the back - it can figure out if the sun is low in the sky (i.e. dawn / dusk) and will switch the lights on in that condition. If its that sort of light its bright when you're driving towards it but not so much for the traffic going in the opposite direction, hence the need to have the lights on.

    I think they also come on when you hit 80mph or thereabouts.
    martyboy likes this.
  4. MA3RC

    MA3RC Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group VCDS Map User Team Brill Red Audi A3

    I half expected when it's getting dark but still light out that the side lights would come on but as you've said it's the full headlights. I seem to be the only car on the road with my full headlights on at dusk
    martyboy likes this.
  5. TreborA4

    TreborA4 Active Member

    I noticed that when it is a bit foggy in the day the lights do not come on as it is light enough but I put them on because of the fog, mainly so I am lit up from the rear!

    I'm mindful that fog lights should only be used when visibility is seriously reduced!

    Highway Code 226
    You MUST use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced, generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet). You may also use front or rear fog lights but you MUST switch them off when visibility improves (see Rule 236). Law RVLR regs 25 & 27
  6. Flibble

    Flibble Active Member Team Estoril

    Side lights don't offer anything over DRLs really.
    martyboy likes this.
  7. Peeb

    Peeb Member

    I've found this to be the biggest issue with auto lights. We get some cracking pea soupers in my part of Australia and it's scary how many muppets just appear out of the fog with no lights on. I've come to the conclusion that they have the lights on auto and think she'll be right! Mine don't turn on. I have to do it manually.

    Cars with DRLs helps in this regard because you can at least see them, but pulling out onto a main road in fog is a real danger round here. Luckily I've got a car that will grip and go so I can get out of the way. More than half the cars I see in those conditions don't have lights on!
  8. MA3RC

    MA3RC Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group VCDS Map User Team Brill Red Audi A3

    From behind they do
  9. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member Team Cosmos quattro Audi A3 S-line owners group TDi DSG

    I'm reasonably convinced that there is a timer and a sensor at work to decide on the lights. Timer to make sure they come on at night (avoid being affected by street lights etc), sensor for other times. The rain sensor is also used so they come on in the rain (which was my biggest concern with auto lights - I'm glad they built this in!).

    The sensor in the mirror is nothing to do with the lights, that's only for the auto-dimming mirror. There is a separate sensor somewhere for the lights.

    Side lights are actually worse that DRLs only because they are dimmer. The only thing I use side lights for is if I'm parked on the side of a dark country lane or something, and want my car to be seen by other road users. For this, there is a parking light function which lets you leave on the side lights on one side of the car only - just flick the indicator stalk one side or the other when the ignition is off but lights are on auto (or possibly side...)

    And yes, auto lights can't detect fog - have never seen any that can. You do need to make sure you switch them on yourself if you are in fog!
    martyboy likes this.
  10. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

    Personally I regard 'side lights' as parking lights. If lights are required then they should be headlights otherwise it's DRLs. I think driving would be a lot safer in manufactures did away with the 'side light' position on the lighting switch. Ignition OFF - parking lights, Ignition ON - headlights. How many cars do you see driving around in poor visibility, rain, mist, fog etc with on 'side lights' on. As these drivers seem incapable of deciding when to put their headlights on, make it automatic.
    cemerson and constvoid like this.
  11. cuke2u

    cuke2u Well-Known Member TFSI Owners Group Audi A4 saloon S-line owners group

    Mine were too sensitive in the medium setting within the MMI so I changed it to late and they seem much better. We have a Fiesta that, when on auto, they come one during the day and there is no adjustment the owner can do only the dealership. On both cars the headlamps will come on if you have auto wipers on...
  12. constvoid

    constvoid Active Member Audi A3

    I'm pretty sure there is a timer - but only in the sense that it's to ignore brief periods of light (intense street lighting) or darkness (going under a wide motorway bridge) affecting the overall decision as to whether to have lights on or not. I don't think it's a time of day timer.

    As regards the sensor - in the 8P it was part of the mirror housing, combining the rain sensor (the change in refractive index caused by rain drops on the glass affecting the intensity of an infra-red beam bouncing back) and the light sensor itself. I'd assumed it's the same on the 8V but I haven't investigated.
  13. cemerson

    cemerson Well-Known Member Team Cosmos quattro Audi A3 S-line owners group TDi DSG

    Agreed on all of this! I've always thought they should be renamed 'parking lights'. I had mine set to 'early' to start with but now have them on 'medium' and they are much better, they come on and off at the times i would consider turning them on/off so works for me. I don't see the point in being stubborn with headlight use!

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