Informational Guide

How To Turn Off Car Headlights

Do you know how to turn off the car headlights? With each different make and model, the procedure can be slightly different. You may wonder - do Fiat 500 headlights turn off automatically, or what do you do when they don't turn off at all?  

We cover everything you need to know about turning off your headlights in this guide.  

Some manufacturers use a delayed feature that’s built into the headlights, so they remain on for a few seconds after the ignition is turned off. However, there are ways to turn off this feature, giving you the control you desire.  

How do I turn off my automatic headlights? The procedure is different depending on what vehicle you drive. You can check the owner’s manual for the proper steps or check out these two examples. 

General Motors  

  1. 1
    Put the key in the ignition switch and turn it ON. 
  2. 2
    Push and let go of the dome override button (found by the switch for the headlight) four times. You must do this within six seconds. 
  3. 3
    Once you hear the chime, you know that the automatic headlights have been disabled. 


  1. 1
    Find the Autolamp knob control by the headlight switch on the dashboard. 
  2. 2
    Rotate the knob clockwise until it reaches the OFF position. 
  3. 3
    To operate the headlights, you will need to use the manual switch. 
turn off auto headlights

How To Turn Off Headlights When The Car Ignition Is Off 

If you know how to turn off headlights while the car is running, it’s not much different to do with the ignition off. When the car isn’t running, the headlights should always be off. Otherwise, the headlights can drain the car battery.  

How do I turn my headlights off? In most car models, these are the steps you will follow. However, you may also want to check the owner’s manual to be sure there are no differences with your car. 

  1. 1
    Find the headlight controls. It could be on a panel on the dashboard or on a control arm connected to the steering wheel. 
  2. 2
    Find the OFF position. Move the switch to this OFF position. 
  3. 3
    Double-check the results. Head to the front of your vehicle to be sure the lights are turned off.  

If you can’t get them off, you need to do some troubleshooting. 

car ignition

Why Won’t My Headlights Turn Off? (How To Fix It) 

Engine Timer Is Not Working 

Why won’t my headlights turn off? It could just be caused by the engine timer on the automatic headlights. Additionally, they could merely stay on longer than they should. You can try disabling the feature manually to see if that fixes the problem.  

Automatic Lights Failed 

Why do my LED headlights turn off? If you have automatic headlights, there might be an issue with the light sensor. It’s also possible to have them stuck on for the same reason. Try to apply the parking brake, which resets the system in some vehicles.  

Broken Headlight Relay 

If the headlights are sending bad information through the relay, it could be impossible to turn them off. Look under the hood to find the relay. Tap on it gently to see if that helps. If you see the lights flicker, you might need to replace it.  

One Headlight Is On 

Defective automatic lights can cause one to remain illuminated while the other is shut off. If the lights become out of sync with one another, they could become stuck. It can also be caused because one headlight is burnt out.  

How To Turn Off Headlights On Popular Car Models 

Honda Civic  

Do Honda Civic headlights turn off automatically? Auto high-beam headlights are standard on today’s Civic. To learn how to turn off Honda Civic headlights, pull the headlight lever and hold it for forty seconds until the indicator flashes twice. 

BMW 3281  

Do you know how to turn off headlights on a BMW 328i? Use the light control knob located to the left of the steering wheel.  

Ford Escape  

Follow these steps to learn how to turn off Ford Escape headlights. Look on the left-hand side of the dashboard. You should see a switch with an OFF position.  

Toyota Corolla 

Here’s how to turn off headlights on Toyota Corolla 2010. Look for the switch on the control arm connected to the steering wheel. There's an OFF position you can turn the switch to.  


Here’s how to turn off Saab headlights. Because Saab headlights are automatic, you need to reference the owner’s manual to figure out how to override the system.  

Chevy Silverado  

Do you know how to turn off headlights on a 2002 Silverado or the steps to take if you want to know how to turn off headlights on a 1999 Silverado? You can use the switch on the control arm connected to the steering wheel.  


It’s not hard to figure out how to turn off headlights in a Mercedes. On newer models, you can change the settings of the headlights from the menu in the instrument cluster.  

headlights of popular car models

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can you turn off daytime running lights? 

Daytime running lights are meant to keep the ride safer. However, you should be able to turn them off by looking for the DRL OFF switch on the headlight control knob.  

Do automatic headlights drain the battery? 

Automatic headlights don’t use any more battery power than conventional lights while the engine is running. However, they will drain the battery if the engine is off and the lights remain on.  

How long does it take for headlights to drain the battery? 

If the battery is in good condition and the headlights don't draw a lot of power, it could take several hours. However, a weak battery could be depleted in as quickly as thirty minutes. 


Now that you know how to turn off car headlights, you can take control of your illumination needs. Whether you have automatic headlights or you drive an older car with manual controls, it’s simple to turn them off when needed.