Why do my lights turn on when it gets cold outside?

240

Asked by Jan 22, 2014 at 04:02 PM about the 2003 Toyota Matrix XR

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

When the temperature gets below 20 degrees at night, my headlights turn on which in turn
drains my battery all night. I have tried attaching a battery charger, but when it gets down
below 10 degrees, that even isn't enough.

I know that I can just remove the battery, but I don't really want to do that every single
night during the cold winters. Any ideas as to why my car would be doing this and is there
something that I can do to keeping it from doing this?

4 Answers

63,305

Sounds like something is contracting, like possibly the headlight switch, and causing a short, which in turn makes the headlights come on. I'd replace the headlight switch. Years ago I had a '78 Cadillac Eldorado that the horn would blare in the middle of bitter cold nights. I replaced the horn switch in the steering wheel and it was fine. HTH. -Jim

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
18,915

The 03 matrix had issues with the head light switches shorting out in cold weather draining the battery with the lights usually come on.

12 out of 12 people think this is helpful.
40

Mine has been doing the same thing (that's why I'm here obviously!). I have no idea why but my temporary "solution" has been to turn my brights "on" when I get home at night. I don't understand why, but if I turn my bright switch on, the lights shut off/don't come on in the middle of the night.

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
18,915

Replace headlight switch.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

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