I own a first-generation Nissan Leaf.

Nissan LEAF - Headlights and Exterior Lights


If your vehicle is equipped with the auto light system, you can preset the headlights to automatically operate based on exterior lighting conditions. The headlights will also turn on automatically if the windshield wipers are operated continuously.

The headlight stalk has an "AUTO" setting that automatically turns the headlights on when it gets dark enough. But during the day, this setting causes the headlights to be completely off. No daytime running lights (DRLs) are active on my US-market Leaf.

I would prefer to keep the Leaf's headlights on 100% of the time when the car is in motion, like my Saab.

If I keep the stalk in the "ON" position, the car beeps at me upon opening the door. The lights don't turn off automatically upon parking; I need to manually twist the stalk to "AUTO" or "OFF" to turn off the headlights.

Can the "AUTO" setting be adjusted to keep the headlights on at all times?

(Or, I suppose, can the "ON" setting be made to turn off the headlights with the car?)

  • The manual says this auto function works "If your vehicle is equipped with the auto light system." Perhaps this vehicle is not equipped with the auto light system. Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 15:51
  • Sounds like it has the auto light system. I think the OP wants daytime running lights. That option probably is not equipped with this car. It would most likely take some extreme procedure to make it work.
    – Jupiter
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 16:11
  • My vehicle is equipped with the "auto light system" but not with DRLs. I want a mode that keeps the headlights (not DRLs) on when the car is running, and off when the car is off. I'd use either the "AUTO" or "ON" modes, but neither seem to work to keep the headlights on.
    – pkamb
    Commented Mar 9, 2021 at 16:35

2 Answers 2


Most Auto on headlights I am familiar with use a photo sensor mounted in the dash pad. It is in the center of the dash close to the base of the windshield. By covering it with a piece of black tape the sensor will think it is dark outside. Then headlights along with the dash panel lights will illuminate when the vehicle is in the operational mode. The headlights will operate as it would at night. They will shut off when exiting the vehicle although there may be a time delay programmed into the vehicle personal settings.


I'm not very sure as in Europe you can leave the headlights switch on and they automatically go off when you open the door, also there is DRL's in europe. I've heard that the US models have it wired but it's disabled in the cars computer. The AUTO setting can not be adjusted and no car has a feature to keep the headlights on 100% of the time in the AUTO setting. If you want you could try and get the lights system reprogrammed to act like a EU spec 1st gen Leaf.

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