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      08-30-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
sameh
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Keeping auto light on but what about the garage?

I had an infiniti before my M3 and never kept it on "auto light" since it turned on every time I enter my garage and I have read that frequent on/off reduces xenon light lifespan. My infiniti despite being that carful with it, the light didn't look as bright as the new ones on the street after 6 years. Now on my M3, I kinda left it on auto enjoying the convenience for a while and was planning to switch back to manual soon, BUT:
1) I got so used to the lights coming on automatically whenever the wipers get activated by rain.
2) The idea of never touching the light button and just drive, started to get to my head
I don't think lights will turn on automatically with wipers if I change it back to manual (or does anyone here disagree?)
Any neat ideas out there to prevent the lights from turning on in the garage for just 3-5 seconds till I turn off the car?
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      08-30-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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I would like to know what other people do in these cases too. For now, I just keep it on and have kept on, just so that I can get the benefit of not having to worry about turning the lights on and off, but would be curious to find out what others are doing.
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      08-30-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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I leave mine in the off position. If I do need to drive at night (which isn't really that often), I turn them on. I don't want the wipers coming on automatically anyway because I keep a fresh coat of Rain-X on at all times and therefore don't need the wipers much (I just use the "mist" function or turn them on if it's really raining hard).
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      08-30-2010, 01:58 PM   #4
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Turn 'em on when needed, off when you don't. Just like the old days.
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      08-30-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sameh View Post
1) I got so used to the lights coming on automatically whenever the wipers get activated by rain.
Interesting, mine does not do that (2009...no tech package) and it's the only thing about the auto light feature I wish it did do. Perhaps they added that in later model years?

Most of the times it rains the lights do turn on because of the clouds darkening things up enough, but I remember one sun shower where I noticed the lights weren't on and I thought that was one feature they should have built in...
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      08-30-2010, 09:20 PM   #6
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I was also concerned about premature wearing out of the xenons because of them turning on and off everytime I enter and leave the garage. I leave mine turned off during the day light hours.
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      08-30-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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off, i turn them on when needed.
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      08-30-2010, 11:36 PM   #8
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everything manual, just like my tranny
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      08-31-2010, 12:52 AM   #9
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Geez..how much does a new xenon bulb cost anyways?
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      08-31-2010, 01:26 AM   #10
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Mine is in OFF position at all times and when I need to turn them on at night I turn them on to Auto position.....this way cornering lights get activated as well......

Not a big fan auto lights coming on in tunnels or in garages..... That is what parking lights / DRL's are for
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      08-31-2010, 01:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTG View Post
Mine is in OFF position at all times and when I need to turn them on at night I turn them on to Auto position.....this way cornering lights get activated as well......

Not a big fan auto lights coming on in tunnels or in garages..... That is what parking lights / DRL's are for
+1. Also prefer not to have the lights come on without my input, in my garage, or anywhere else. If it's in auto I turn them off as I pull into my driveway. If it's dark, I turn them to auto as I pull out of my driveway. If it's not dark, I leave them off. Not very hard.
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      08-31-2010, 06:44 AM   #12
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I've been told that frequent on/off operation will diminish the operational life of the Xenons. Unfortunately, I believe you use lose the "welcome light indication" when in the off position which isn't too big deal if you have the alarm option.
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      08-31-2010, 06:53 AM   #13
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I really need my lights on in my underground parking, especially when coming from sunny outside, so I keep them on auto all the time.

I also have an Infiniti, but didn't notice that my headlights are less bright than others.
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      08-31-2010, 07:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
I've been told that frequent on/off operation will diminish the operational life of the Xenons. Unfortunately, I believe you use lose the "welcome light indication" when in the off position which isn't too big deal if you have the alarm option.
I don't think you lose the welcome lights (not that I'm keen about having them) by turning the auto-light off. The welcome lights are the circular ones that turn on as DLR. and I just made sure that my DLR lights are on even if the light switch was on off position. But when I get back home today I'll see for sure if welcome light option is linked to auto.
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      08-31-2010, 09:12 AM   #15
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The DRLs (angel eyes) only come on as welcome lights when the headlight switch is in the on or auto position. It was the same way on my X5 and I believe that functionality should be the same on all M3s.

Maybe you're thinking of the door handle pathway lights....?? Those come on regardless, obviously
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      08-31-2010, 09:32 AM   #16
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I don't think this is a concern anymore - hell, the're even used for the flash-to-pass feature.
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      08-31-2010, 02:13 PM   #17
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There's an automatic headlight light feature?

J/K I just never use it. I leave them off, and when I want them "on" I turn them on. I guess that addresses any lifespan concern (I suspected there might be something like that with these headlights, but I just prefer to control it myself). I guess it's nice, but it's a feature I could live w/o.
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      08-31-2010, 02:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spyderco10 View Post
everything manual, just like my tranny
Yep, same here. Auto headlights, auto wipers, auto climate control... all crap to me ; they never behave like I expect them too, so they're always OFF. A total waste of money IMO.
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      09-14-2010, 09:19 AM   #19
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I've also been wondering about the impact of frequent on/off cycles of the headlights. While newer designs are capable of hot restrikes on the HID bulbs (via ballast improvements, I believe), I've read that frequent on/off use is still not good for longevity.

Does anyone have more info on our systems and how they tolerate hot restrikes on the bulbs?
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