Why do service people turn off car's automatic headlights?

I’m currently driving a rental. On Saturday I valet parked it overnight at a hotel. The next time I drove when it was dark was this evening. I was confused for a moment when I got in and started the car, and the lights didn’t come on, because the car had automatic headlights. It took me a moment to realize that the headlight switch was in the “off” rather than “auto” position. I surmised that the valet had done this, because every time I take my own car in for service, the service guys do the same thing. Does anyone know the reason?

I often turn them off when I’m working on a car because I need to do some things with the ignition on but the engine not running, and the last thing I want is to find the battery has gone down on a customer’s car because of that. I try to return the car as I received it (same radio station, same seat adjustment, etc.) but sometimes it gets by me. It doesn’t strike me as a hardship on the customer to have to turn the light switch on.

I suspect the valet does it because he doesn’t have time to stand around and watch to make absolutely certain that the lights go out, and the last thing he wants is a customer’s car with a dead battery.

They do a lot of software upgrading - have the car on a battery charger for a couple of hours. Best to turn stuff off.

I would turn them off, rather than to try to guess whether they would automatically turn off or not and go back and check later and see if they did. I have never owned a car with that feature, so turning them off is something I would never fail to do, in anybody’s car. So, I’d prefer that service people turn mine off, rather than leave them on and kill the battery.

The same reason they fuck up your radio presets.

They turn off your lights because you have lousy taste in music?

No, those get erased when there’s not enough power to keep the radio memory alive, from the battery going dead due the automatic lights NOT being turned off. :slight_smile:

I have an auto light setting which I don’t use because I can’t tell if the lights are on in daylight with fog or overcast. I want them on or off for sure when I want them on or off.

Me too. Would it be obvious to someone who wan’t familiar with your particular car that the headlights would turn off automatically?

When servicing any part of a vehicle that has electrical components you always disconnect the battery for safety reasons and to avoid damages if something gets shorted. This wipes all radio presets. I’m not too familiar with automatic headlights but if they have an electronic rather than mechanical switch it might affect that too.

Mine doesn’t. It’s a position on the dial like on and off.

A service guy may not know if you have auto headlights or not. Or if you do, he may not know whether you use the auto feature or not. What he does know is that if he turns everyone’s headlights OFF, it’s less likely he’s ever going to need a jumpstart to get your car started.

My 20 year old Buick and my 13 year old Blazer have automatic headlights, but they can’t be turned off (unless there’s a fuse to disable them. I’ve never looked). If you engage the parking brake before turning the switch on the lights don’t come on.

But cars that have automatic lights that can be turned off are pretty obvious by looking at the switch. I would hope a service guy would be able to tell. If not, I’d be looking for a new service guy.

The dealership does this, and it’s a fairly late model car. I’m sure the technicians know it has automatic headlights.

I bet it would be pretty annoying trying to work on the front of the car with the headlights beaming in your face.

I wouldn’t want to pull into the garage and have them kick on, it’s annoying and unnecessary.

In the event that I drive my wife’s car, I always turn them off. Force of habit and I automatically do it since I don’t use the auto feature on my car. Don’t like it.