Lights come on when car is parked and off in cold weather


Asked by Nov 19, 2014 at 12:42 AM about the 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SE

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 2010 jetta, the outside lights headlights and trunk light come on when it is really
cold outside and the car is parked. It has been checked out by VW, but they can't find
anything. They've kepts it overnight and did not find the issue. They finally replaced the
light switch; however, that has not solved the problem. Any ideas of what may be going

9 Answers


sounds like a bad tempature sensor or possibly a relay is defective and responding to the cold. Is it only the lights that come on or does anything else turn on aka does the car start can you hear things running aka fans or heater or stereo? This can also be a problem with the alarm system in the car.


I have a 2011 jetta and ahe same thing is happening. Today, the temp dropped to 16 degrees at 1am and I looed oitside and my lights were on. I went out and started the car and let it run for a minute, turned the car off and they went out. Checked again around 3pm and they were back on. This has happened several times before and I had to call AAA to start the battery 2 times. No ome knows whats wrong.


I checked out a few links and seems some one had an issue the same thing. There problem was moisture freezing in the dash unit. If you can get vw to check this out it may be covered. the water when it frove was expanding and triping the switch.


Thanks. I'll see if that works. Each time I take it to the dealership they keep it for days only to tell me there is no issue. Since VW has not issued an alert on it, the technicians don't know what to do.


tell them you suspect that some water or condensation may have built up in your dash unit and you want them to check it out tell them you found an fourm link to a simalur issue and direct um to the link if they ask for it. my other pc seems to get different search results from google but you can direct them to this link.


2nd time it happened to me. 2011 Jetta TDI. This time it killed the battery. Temp. outside around zero F. Having it towed to dealer. 128,000 Miles.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Likely cause is the light switch if your problem is a light issue. there is a running defect with the 2011 -2013 modals head light switches. It collects moisture during warmer weather then during cold weather the water expands and pulls the contacts away from the switch plates. the following video should tell you how to remove the switch and you can check it yourself if you like.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I had it happen again...14F last night and lights came on. while running car to recharge battery, found that just touching the headlight switch, the low lights come on. I mean just barely touching the switch while it is in off position blinks lights, and interior lights on dash while car and switch are in the off position. This problem is a cheap crap headlight switch from VW. Replacing it with genuine VW parts won't do any good cause they won't change the design of the switch, if they don't do proper cold weather testing. Cheap VW crap. Time to trade up to a Toyota!


get the dealer to replace the part. Bring in your receipt and complain its defective. they should swap it for another in such a short time.

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