Thursday, June 07, 2007

2006 Honda Odyssey - Automatic headlights = useless

Maybe it's a sign of me getting older, but little things seem to bother me more. Honda's implementation of Automatic Headlights is one of those things....

With our 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring, there is the ability to program custom settings in the Multi-Information Display on the dash. You can change different things like how long it is before the headlights turn off automatically.

This is a great idea because at night when you park in a dark garage, the lights can remain on until you enter the house. This worked perfectly on our Toyota Sequoia where I had it timed for about 30 seconds--just enough time to exit the vehicle, gather our things and close the garage.

On the Odyssey it's only a great idea because the way Honda programmed it makes it completely useless. There are 4 positions on the headlamp control: (1)Off, (2)Parking, (3)Auto, (4)On. In AUTO, the headlamps turn on and off depending on how bright it is outside--another good idea: set it there and you don't have to worry about turning your headlights on or off. The custom setting to turn the headlights off after a certain delay, however, does NOT work in AUTO mode, because in AUTO mode the headlights turn off right away as soon as you turn off the engine.

In order for the automatic delay to work you have to leave the headlamps in the ON position. But left in that position, when you open the door the Odyssey beeps annoyingly at you. On top of that, when you return the next morning and open the door, the headlights turn back on because the headlight switch has been left in the ON position :rolleyes: which is also very annoying. And the van's still beeping at you!

If Honda had simply allowed the automatic off delay to work when the headlamps are in AUTO mode like our Toyota Sequoia, then all off these annoyances would be eliminated and the "AUTO" headlights would truly be automatic. The way it is now this added "feature" is useless.

How do I control my headlights now? They are either OFF or ON.

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