Light Sensor Windshield Replacement - What You Need to Know

Car with headlights turned on at dusk Car with headlights turned on at dusk

Our team of skilled technicians can replace your windshield whether it has a light sensor or not.

This page explains how windshield light sensors work and what happens if you need to replace your car windshield when it has a light sensor connected to it.

We specialize in cheap windshield replacement quotes. Call Pinnacle Auto Glass at 480.9087.3982 today for a free quote!

What Is a Windshield Light Sensor?

Light sensor icon

A windshield light sensor, sometimes called a "windshield headlight sensor", is a sensor that is attached to your windshield. Its purpose is to detect when the vehicle's headlights should be turned on, like in conditions of low light or poor visibility.

The light sensor is part of the automatic headlights system. When the sensor detects low light, then the system automatically turns on the headlights so the driver doesn't have to turn them on manually.

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What Is the Benefit of a Light Sensor?

Light sensors (and automatic headlight systems) are designed to help drivers specifically in situations where they may forget to turn their headlights on or off:

Driving in Changing Light Condition

When driving during changing light conditions, like early in the morning or in the evening when the sun is going down, it's easy to acclimate to the changing light and forget to turn on your headlights.

Automatic headlight systems can detect when light has decreased past a specified threshold, and then turn on the headlights automatically so the driver can continue to see the road properly and safely operate the vehicle.

After Turning Off the Vehicle

Most of us have forgotten to turn off the headlights once or twice. If your vehicle is parked in a lighted environment, it's all too easy to forget about your headlights and potentially drain your battery if you don't come back to the vehicle for a while.

Automatic headlight systems can turn off the headlights once the vehicle is off, protecting your battery from potentially discharging all the way.

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Does My Vehicle Have a Windshield Light Sensor?

Headlight sensor on windshield

Many modern vehicles produced over the past 5-10 years have automatic headlights. All vehicles with automatic headlights will have a windshield light sensor.

To determine if your vehicle has a windshield light sensor:

  1. If your vehicle's headlights turn on or off automatically depending on the light outside, then you have a windshield light sensor.
  2. You can also look on your windshield for the sensor. Light and rain sensors are normally mounted around the rearview mirror with a forward-facing opening. They are also sometimes mounted on the dash near the edge of the windshield.
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Will I Need to Replace My Light Sensor If My Windshield Is Broken?

If your windshield glass is broken and need to get fixed, then the sensor may need to be replaced as well.

Light Sensors & Windshield Repair

If your glass damage is minor and can be fixed with a repair, then in most cases the light sensor will be fine and won't need to be replaced.

Light Sensors & Windshield Replacement

If your windshield requires a complete replacement, then the light sensor will most likely need to be replaced as well. When you speak with your Pinnacle Auto Glass customer service representative, they can answer any questions about light sensors and let you know if a new sensor or other kind of windshield technology will be required.

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Other Windshield Technology Types

Click a link below to learn about the other types of windshield technology.

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