2017~2020 Auto lighting issue

Hello! I am new to the forum, but not new to Mazda. Currently i have a 2017 CX-5 Grand Touring and i have been having an intermittent, but often issue with the auto lamps that the dealer has no clue how to remedy. It started about 6-8 months ago when diving in inclement weather ie.. rain or snow DURING DAYLIGHT HOURS, the auto lights would come on. seems normal enough, but they would come on to high beam and would not lower when oncoming traffic was coming or when pulling up behind another vehicle. Its as though the camera doesn't see the oncoming vehicles even if they have lamps on or doesn't see the car in front of me. This occurs primarily when the auto wipers are on as well.

I brought the car to the dealer and was floored when they came back and told me that the reason the high beams came on is because the headlamp stalk was pushed forward to high beam position. In other words the tech didn't know that in order for the auto on headlamps to work the headlamp stalk has to be pushed forward. So i am at a dealership that has no clue how the options operate on their own cars.

I'm at a loss on this and the dealer has been less than helpful. I even have video of this happening almost every time it rains and the lights come on. It doesn't matter how bright it is out, the lights come on high beam. I have tried resetting to factory default. I have tried every setting in the headlamp feature menu. nothing helps. Its a 100% given that if it rains during the day this will happen.

The lights function normally and flawlessly during night time driving regardless if weather conditions

this didn't happen for the first year of ownership and never happened with my Mazda3 with same auto headlamp feature

any thoughts?
 

Arcticshade

Contributor
V
2017 CX5 GT AWD w/ PP & 2016.5 CX5 GT AWD w/ Tech and Nav
I wish I had an answer for you, but my 2017 GT does the same thing. I remember reading somewhere that this is a known programming bug and to my knowledge it hasn't been resolved yet.

For now, when it rains I just switch to manual mode. It is annoying, but only solution I know.
 
Are the wipers set to auto as well?
wipers are set to automatic as well. I rarely touch anything on either stalk. I have another appointment with the dealer this week for service. I told the service writer i have several good videos of this happening. I think part of the issue is this is a fairly new dealership and i am not sure their techs are Mazda certified if there is such a thing. When the tech told me i had the headlight stalk in the wrong position I knew he wasn't familiar with the cars he worked on
 
man, i've been scouring the internet for info on this for months and can't seem to find anything related. The dealer just kind of shrugs their shoulders. I drove this car 25k miles before this started happenin
g
 
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I wish I had an answer for you, but my 2017 GT does the same thing. I remember reading somewhere that this is a known programming bug and to my knowledge it hasn't been resolved yet.

For now, when it rains I just switch to manual mode. It is annoying, but only solution I know.
man, i've been scouring the internet for info on this for months and can't seem to find anything related. The dealer just kind of shrugs their shoulders. I drove this car 25k miles before this started happening
 
V
2018, Mazda, CX-5, Snowflake Pearl, Grand Touring
Try turning auto wipers off and see if that helps. Leave lights on auto.
I agree with you whole heartedly about leaving the auto headlights on and turning off the auto wipers. In fact, IMHO, the auto wipers should never be used.

The reason I say that is because all too frequently, the auto wipers come on before the rain has had a chance to wash away any accumulated dirt that has collected on the leading edge of the wiper blades. Sometimes all it takes is one drop of rain hitting the windshield in just the right place to turn on the wipers. That dirt can severely scratch the windshield.

I wait until the rain has done its job before turning on the wipers. Most of the time, unless one runs into a cloud burst, it will take a while for the rain to wash away enough of the dirt before it's okay to turn on the wipers.

My advice to the OP is to have complete and accurate documentation regarding his trips to the dealership for this one problem. He may be able to invoke the Lemon Law.
 
Why not just turn of high beams during day during bad weather?
kind of defeats the purpose of having automatic features, that i am sure were an added price, by having to turn off the high beams during inclement weather. that not the way the system is supposed to work
 
i was at the dealer last week having service done and tires put on. Dealer is contacting Mazda. I showed them the video i took of this happening. They agree it isn't right. Doesn't mean it will get fixed though
 
V
2014 CX-5 GT w/ Tech
Stupid question, but did you make sure that the auto high beam system is checked in the personalization settings? If its unchecked it will act like a regular high beam.
 
V
'18 Mazda 6 Signature
HBC relies on the forward sensing camera for operation. If the forward sensing camera is compromised by anything, for example a rain storm, operation of anything relying upon the forward sensing camera can be compromised. This includes high beam control, low speed radar cruise control, emergency breaking, etc.

The techs weren't wrong. In order for auto on headlamps to work the headlamp switch needs to be in auto. That's it. The high beam stalk does not need to be in the forward position for high beams.

Systematically what's happened is you have your car defaulted to high-beams on, even when no necessarily needed. So in inclement weather, even during the day, if the system determines it's dark enough to turn on the lights if the forward sensing camera is compromised for whatever reason your lights will turn on to full high beams. The high beams only turn off in daylight because the headlights do and you can't have the high beams on without the headlight on either manually or via auto mode.

I would have a couple of suggestions and you can take them for what they're worth:
- Remember that these features are driver assists. You are still responsible for your vehicle's operation and shouldn't rely exclusively on automated features in a non-autonomous vehicle (especially in inclement weather)
- Alter your thinking on the use of the HBC systems Turn the HBC off unless you're on a road / are in conditions where you really want the high beams on. This will use HBC as a safety feature to dim the high beams automatically when needed and returning to high beam function as opposed to leaving it always on trying to default to high beams even when on lit highways / city streets / in heavy traffic. This alone would resolve your issues and ultimately increase your safety by not inadvertently blinding people when the headlights turn on.
- If you refuse to do the above: Adjust the sensitivity for your auto-headlights feature in the infotainment. You can increase / decrease sensitivity so the headlights come on in relatively darker or brighter conditions to help limit this from happening in day light, but it won't affect night time occurances.

Personally I have my headlights on auto all the time. Ambient sensitivity to turn on the headlights is relatively high so the lights turn on earlier than later (more light is never a bad thing).

My high beam control is always off unless I want to be using my high beams.

My auto wipers are typically off unless it's raining. Helps avoid those phantom wipes. Sometimes I forget to turn it off if I stop the car when it's still raining, but turn it off on the next phantom wipe if it isn't raining.

Lastly, in inclement weather I manually turn my lights on. I really wish Mazda had integrated the wipers with auto headlights so that if the wipers were on the headlights were on also, but this doesn't always happen in daytime hrs. My rule of thumb is if the wipers are on I want my lights on too. Mainly so my arse is visible through roadspray with the way some of the crazies drive these days (it's as much about being seen as it is about seeing).
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
L
State of Jefferson
V
2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
In order for auto on headlamps to work the headlamp switch needs to be in auto. That's it. The high beam stalk does not need to be in the forward position for high beams.
Yours is a little different from mine. For the auto high beams to work, the stalk has to be set to auto AND it must be in the forward position. If the stalk is not forward, the headlights will turn on automatically, but they will not switch to high beams automatically.

Auto headlights and auto high beams are different functions, although auto high beams requires auto headlights to be on in order to work.

I always leave it on auto with the stalk forward, and it works as expected, as described in the manual.

Perhaps the difference is due to you having a 6, or it being an 18, or because it's Canadian. Or perhaps yours is malfunctioning, too?
 
V
'18 Mazda 6 Signature
Yours is a little different from mine. For the auto high beams to work, the stalk has to be set to auto AND it must be in the forward position. If the stalk is not forward, the headlights will turn on automatically, but they will not switch to high beams automatically.

Auto headlights and auto high beams are different functions, although auto high beams requires auto headlights to be on in order to work.

I always leave it on auto with the stalk forward, and it works as expected, as described in the manual.

Perhaps the difference is due to you having a 6, or it being an 18, or because it's Canadian. Or perhaps yours is malfunctioning, too?
No, it's identical in operation and that's exactly what I was trying to say. I had a '17 3 GT, '17 CX-5 and now my '18 6, all with i-active sense and they have all been identical in operation.

OP said he needed the stalk forward for auto headlights to work and he doesn't. He just needs the headlights on auto (as you and I both said). I was trying to tell him that high beam control is independent of headlights and that the stalk doesn't need to be forward all the time, but that he could try using it differently by putting it forward only when in situations where they actually want the high beams on. This usage pattern would ensure the high beams never flash or blind anyone accidentally due to road / weather / technology limitations in situations where you wouldn't be using them anyways.

My usage: I only push the high beam stalk forward when on a back-road or divided highway in good weather without street lighting and little or occasional traffic - as I mentioned only when I want high beams on. In these conditions HBC does a great job of cancelling the high beams when a vehicle approaches or I approach another vehicle.

If I'm driving in town or on a highway in a city that has street lights or there's heavy traffic the high beam stalk is not pushed forward as there's no need for them anyways. Or if I'm driving on a hilly back-road with random oncoming traffic I either keep them off or manually turn them off before oncoming traffic crests the hill. This is another situation where you can momentarily blind oncoming traffic by waiting for high beam control to see the headlights of the oncoming traffic and turn the high beams off. It's safer to turn them off manually when you can tell an oncoming car is going to crest a hill in front of you before they do so.

I believe that's what the dealer was trying to say when they told him it was happening because his stalk was forward. That it for sure wouldn't happen if the stalk is only pushed forward when high beam use is warranted and not left forward all the time even when their use isn't warranted.

Tougher to explain through written language on a forum than to explain with a tone of voice in person. I'm fully aware that people will disagree with me and say "it shouldn't be that way" or whatever. But the fact is these are driver's aids and ultimately the driver is still responsible for the vehicle. If manually controlling the high beam stalk once in a while is the workaround to ensure 100% intended operation that's what should be happening. A driver's aid is still not full autonomy. But that's just the take of an IT guy who understands systems, controls and that technology isn't perfect.
 
V
2019 CX-5 Signature
It is much easier to utilize the headlight control as an auto-off function vs the auto-on. As you put it (much better than I), it will save you from being *that person* with the brights on.
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
L
State of Jefferson
V
2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
No, it's identical in operation and that's exactly what I was trying to say. I had a '17 3 GT, '17 CX-5 and now my '18 6, all with i-active sense and they have all been identical in operation.

OP said he needed the stalk forward for auto headlights to work and he doesn't. He just needs the headlights on auto (as you and I both said). I was trying to tell him that high beam control is independent of headlights and that the stalk doesn't need to be forward all the time, but that he could try using it differently by putting it forward only when in situations where they actually want the high beams on. This usage pattern would ensure the high beams never flash or blind anyone accidentally due to road / weather / technology limitations in situations where you wouldn't be using them anyways.

My usage: I only push the high beam stalk forward when on a back-road or divided highway in good weather without street lighting and little or occasional traffic - as I mentioned only when I want high beams on. In these conditions HBC does a great job of cancelling the high beams when a vehicle approaches or I approach another vehicle.

If I'm driving in town or on a highway in a city that has street lights or there's heavy traffic the high beam stalk is not pushed forward as there's no need for them anyways. Or if I'm driving on a hilly back-road with random oncoming traffic I either keep them off or manually turn them off before oncoming traffic crests the hill. This is another situation where you can momentarily blind oncoming traffic by waiting for high beam control to see the headlights of the oncoming traffic and turn the high beams off. It's safer to turn them off manually when you can tell an oncoming car is going to crest a hill in front of you before they do so.

I believe that's what the dealer was trying to say when they told him it was happening because his stalk was forward. That it for sure wouldn't happen if the stalk is only pushed forward when high beam use is warranted and not left forward all the time even when their use isn't warranted.

Tougher to explain through written language on a forum than to explain with a tone of voice in person. I'm fully aware that people will disagree with me and say "it shouldn't be that way" or whatever. But the fact is these are driver's aids and ultimately the driver is still responsible for the vehicle. If manually controlling the high beam stalk once in a while is the workaround to ensure 100% intended operation that's what should be happening. A driver's aid is still not full autonomy. But that's just the take of an IT guy who understands systems, controls and that technology isn't perfect.
Everything you say is true. And your method makes sense, in general AND as a workaround. But the fact remains that OP's problem isn't normal, occurring only in the daylight in the rain. If it were mine, I'd want it to be fixed. I'm curious to see how the dealer resolves it.
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
L
State of Jefferson
V
2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
It is much easier to utilize the headlight control as an auto-off function vs the auto-on. As you put it (much better than I), it will save you from being *that person* with the brights on.
That is exactly what is does, in terms of the high beam control. The stalk is set to "on", and the HBC temporarily overrides that setting. It's a much better way to think of it.
 
Everything you say is true. And your method makes sense, in general AND as a workaround. But the fact remains that OP's problem isn't normal, occurring only in the daylight in the rain. If it were mine, I'd want it to be fixed. I'm curious to see how the dealer resolves it.
i stopped following my own post because my dealer is pretty clueless to this issue. I provided video of this happening in broad daylight with a light rain. They said they would contact Mazda, but nothing has been rectified. I have read some of the comments above and agree that there are ways to over ride this from happening. But as I said. this started AFTER i had owned the car for a year. It is not my first Mazda, and it is not normal.
 

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