Headlights Won’t Turn Off (Try These Fixes)

Most of us worry about our headlights not turning on, but there are situations where you might run into a problem where your headlight or headlights won’t turn off. It’s not common, but it does happen.

So, you may be wondering- why won’t my headlights turn off? If you’d like to find out, continue reading to see what I discovered!

Why Won’t My Headlights Turn Off?

If you have a headlight/s that won’t go out after you have shut off your vehicle, you need to address this problem immediately. There could be a bad headlight switch, relay, ground wire, headlight sensor, daytime running light module, or worse. Whatever the problem, you’ll eventually end up with a dead battery, so you need to get it fixed.

You turn off your vehicle, but your headlights stay on even past the usual time delay, what’s the problem? Here’s a list of problems that could cause this issue, and answers to some commonly asked questions!

What Is Causing My Headlights to Stay On?

#1 Headlight Relay:

This would, without a doubt, be one of the most common reasons your headlights won’t turn off.

A headlight relay works by a simple on/off function.

If your relay decides to stop working when the headlights are on, it would be stuck in the “on” position, preventing your headlights from shutting off.

If you can find your relay, which will be located in the fuse box, you could easily see if this is the problem with a real quick trick.

First, make sure your vehicle’s ignition and headlights are off. Next, locate the headlight relay in the fuse box and remove it.

If your headlights go out, then you are getting close to the problem.

The next thing you want to do is locate an unimportant matching relay in the fuse box, and put it in the place of the headlight relay.

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If your headlights work like they always have, you have a bad relay.

#2 Headlight Switch:

A bad headlight switch is more commonly related to erratic behavior of headlights, and headlights that only work on certain functions like high beams and not low beams.

However, there is a chance that a bad headlight switch could cause your headlights to stay on.

If you ruled out the headlight relay, then you might have a headlight switch problem, and unless you have automotive repair experience, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

#3 Headlight Sensor:

Headlight sensors are used to turn on your automatic headlights when it gets dark or when it starts to rain.

If you have a bad headlight sensor, this is another problem you would not want to tackle on your own.

Headlight sensors pull information from different modules and working parts of the vehicle to determine if your headlights should be on.

Figuring out if your headlight sensor is bad takes a professional auto technician who has professional auto tech tools.

#4 Daytime Running Light Module (DRL):

#4 Daytime Running Light Module (DRL):

Your DRL module may cause your lights to come on and stay on, even after the car is shut off.

The good news is that the issue is a little easier to fix than some of the above problems.

The biggest concern you would have here is locating your module, and the cost of the module can get up there in price – $20-$100 on average.

If you want to save some money and replace one on your own, it’s not that hard. A couple of screws and an easy wire clip have to come off and go back on.

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When properly done, a half-hour of work will fix your DRL module problem.

Why Would Headlights Stay on When the Car Is Off?

For most newer vehicles, their headlights stay on to a predetermined amount of time after you have turned off your vehicle.

It’s usually long enough for you to get out of your vehicle at night and get moving on to your destination.

If you notice your headlights are not turning off like they usually do, then you have a problem that would need to be taken care of immediately.

Ignoring this problem will only leave you with a dead battery, probably at the most inconvenient place and time.

What If Your Car Lights Won’t Turn Off?

What If Your Car Lights Won’t Turn Off?

Since car problems seem to happen at the most inconvenient of times, it’s nice to know a few tricks that can get you by until you can have your vehicle fixed.

If you notice your car headlights won’t go off, and you need to fix that problem so the battery doesn’t run down, there is a solution.

Find your owner’s manual, look for the fuse box section, and locate the fuse that is linked to your headlights.

When you find it, pull the fuse out. This will shut off the headlights.

Important: Make sure you put your fuse in a safe place and don’t forget to replace it when you get back to the car.

Without a fuse, the vehicle’s headlights won’t work, and that could be very dangerous.

Why Is My Car Headlight Always On?

If your car headlights stay on all the time even after you turn off the ignition, then you might have a problem.

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However, if you’re wondering why your car headlights are on all the time while you’re driving, you probably have Daytime Running Lights (DRL).

First, you will locate the doom light on/off switch in your vehicle. Then in a six-second window, you will turn on and off the dome light switch four times.

This will deactivate your automatic headlights and DRL. To reactivate them, just repeat the process.

In some cases, the headlights sensitivity can be adjusted at the dealership if you don’t want them on during the day.

Just remember, some states and countries have laws that require headlights to be on during the day.

How Do I Turn off My Automatic Headlights?

How Do I Turn off My Automatic Headlights?

On certain vehicles like General Motors, there is an automatic headlight override trick to turning off your Daytime Running Lights and automatic headlights.

First, you will locate the doom light on/off switch in your vehicle. Then in a six-second window, you will hit the doom light switch four times.

This will deactivate your automatic headlights and DRL. To reactivate them, just repeat the process.

To find out if the vehicle you drive has an override trick for your automatic headlights and DRLs, contact your dealership.

To know more, you can also read our posts on headlights won’t turn on, what are OEM headlights, and what are adaptive headlights.


Having a set of headlights that don’t turn off when they should is a problem that just can’t be ignored. The best thing to do in this scenario is to pull the headlight fuse so the headlights turn off while your car is not running.

When you get back, plug the fuse back in and make sure you or your auto technician gets the problem fixed.

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