Cheap and Easy Headlight Reminder

Discussion in ''How To' & 'Handy Hints'' started by MattB, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Good to hear it works well :) As you can see in my photo there's only one connector on my door switch. Maybe you have a deluxe one :p

    GypsyWannabe:

    I was getting stuff out of my car the other week at uni when one of my lecturers looked over. I smiled and nodded and went back to what I was doing. Next time I looked up he was still there and this time he waved. I waved back, and again went back to getting my stuff together. When I was done I closed the sliding door and then noticed that my lecturer was walking over. This time I just waited, I didn't think he knew me well enough to come over for a chat, but I couldn't think of anything else. When he was a couple of metres away he said "Don't forget your lights." Then just turns around and walks away :p

    Makes you feel a bit silly, doesn't it :p
     
  2. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Today while playing around with the electrics in my Kombi I discovered a problem with how I set up my headlight reminder. After removing some old stuff that wasn't needed anymore I noticed that when my car was running and the door was closed the interior light either blinked on or off, or only one of the 8 LEDs (I've replaced my interior light) lit up.

    I immediately thought it had to do with my headlight reminder and it did. If you want the explanation keep reading, otherwise read on for the fix. What the problem was was that a very small amount of current was flowing from the interior light, back through the headlight reminder circuit to the fusebox, and grounding somewhere, making the interior light glow. In essence it was a short circuit, that was activated when the door was closed (door switch not earthed) and the ignition was on (I guess which made a circuit live which was then able to ground the small current draw from the light).

    The fix:
    This is the easy part, and something I should have included in the original setup. All you have to do to fix the problem is make sure current can only flow in one direction in the headlight reminder circuit - from the fusebox to the door switch. To do this just add a diode to the circuit. The simplest fix is to buy a LED and wire it between the fuse box and the buzzer. The longer 'leg' of the LED should be wired on the fusebox side, while the shorter 'leg' should be towards the door. This makes sure that your interior light doesn’t short through the reminder circuit. Once installed everything should work fine :)

    Just thought I’d let everyone know in case someone tries this in the future and has the same problem I did. I guess it depends on the wiring of your Kombi as to whether or not the short circuit will occur, but it’s simple to prevent anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  3. OberonViking

    OberonViking Active Member

    Messages:
    1,809
    Location:
    Bathurst, NSW
    I don't think this would work for us, because we usually all get in and out of the sliding door, each parent helping to get one of the kids out, and the other two having to fend for themselves.
     
  4. MattB

    MattB New Member

    Messages:
    501
    Location:
    Melbourne
    You could hook the buzzer up to your sliding door light switch (assuming you have one). It'd just be a little harder to get the wires in there.
     
  5. london_mike

    london_mike New Member

    Messages:
    350
    Location:
    VIC 3071
    Excellent tip. I thought I learned my lesson when I left the lights on and got stranded in Warburton about a month ago - and then I went and did exactly the same thing again in Lysterfield at the weekend (spotted it just in the nick of time about an hour and a half later!)

    The only thing that's stopping me installing one tomorrow is that I have a habit of exiting through any one of three exits depending on what/who is in there with me and where I've parked. I nearly always leave via the slide door if the dog is with me, and via the passenger door if I'm parked at home.
    Will deffo have a look at one of the igntion-based ones sometime soon though.
     
  6. saabman

    saabman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,717
    Location:
    Goulburn
    You could also just put a relay in connected so that the lights will only come on when the ignition is on?

    Of course just as they do in that wonderfully made Sweedish motor vehicle ;)
     
  7. Terrordales

    Terrordales Active Member

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    4,681
    Location:
    Earth
    Volvo???? :p
     
  8. So Rude

    So Rude New Member

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    Port Hedland
    Forgot about doing it with a relay, easy, might do that tomorrow :)
     
  9. saabman

    saabman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,717
    Location:
    Goulburn
    I was waiting for that one Don, but I do believe they do it as well ;)
     
  10. pyoties bro

    pyoties bro Member

    Messages:
    536
    Location:
    Adelaide
    i just linked up the simple wiring system from the headlight fuse to the door switch....works a treat and has alreay saved me once!!!
     
  11. rat55

    rat55 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Brisbane
    put your lights off the igniton circuit no buzzer needed.
     
  12. nikferatu

    nikferatu Active Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Brisbane
    I will be installing this asap, was wondering how to set this up. Had to get a jump start a few days ago after leaving lights on - was dark and rainy when left home and bright sunshine at the destination!
     

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