99 Civic Hatch Auto ON/OFF Lights

After many dead batteries and numerous boosts, i have decided to make my headlights turn off when the engine is off. You all know that annoying beep when you forget your lights on, right? Well, having a remote starter in my car, the engine still runs when i get out (and it shuts off after i close the door) so i never hear that beep when i forget my lights on. Well, if you don’t want to hear that long beep anymore this is what you can do:

What you need:
1. Find 2 relays rated at least 30A at 12V. (bigger is better, but don’t bother with anything larger then 50A because its just not necessary. The headlights are fused at 30A anyway.)
2. Wire rated for 30A. Canadian Tire sells automotive wire. (Different colors preferred)
3. Soldering iron and solder. (Canadian Tire also sells that unless you have it already)
4. Multimeter
5. Confidence!

Safety first! So pop open the hood and go to the fuse box located by the battery. Open it and by looking on the cover, take out the headlight fuse which should be pink and rated for 30A.

Attached is a wiring diagram of what you will be doing.
Basically, you are gonna put a relay between the power wires that go to the headlight switch by the steering wheel.

First, pop open the top cover of the steering column.
Then take out the 3 screws from the bottom of the steering column cover and remove the bottom half of the cover.

Now, you will see a wiring harness that starts from the left side of the steering column (with 2 connectors on the left side by the headlight switch) and goes to the right side (with two more connectors) and then goes to the bottom right side under the dash.

What you are looking for is a large white connector on the left side of the steering column. You should see 2 white wires, a couple of red wires, a gray wire, and maybe a couple more. Remove that connector by pushing down on the tab to the outside of the connector and pulling it out.

The wiring diagram attached shows only one (1) white wire, but there are two (2) white wires on the connector. The 2 wires are used for headlights and parking lights. I used 2 relays because i didn’t want to connect the 2 wires together, and i suggest you do the same for safety reasons.

Solder the two relays together as shown on the diagram. Connect the low side of the relays together in parallel and you should have only 2 wires coming out. Now solder 4 wires (try to solder different color wires) to the high side of the relays. Now you should have a total of 6 wires coming out of the 2 relays. (I taped the 2 relays together and after soldering, i wrapped them with black electrical tape for insulation)

Cut the 2 white wires on the harness and solder the 2 relays (4 wires) to it. Keep track of which relay is connected, and don’t mix up the wires by connecting the 2 leads of a relay to the 2 different white wires. (i cut and soldered one white wire at a time)

Insulate each wire individually and tape or zip-tie the relays to either farther down the harness or in a solid place.

Take out the lower cover (below the steering column cover) by removing 2 screws on the left side and 1 screw on the right bottom side (on the left side, a screw is located at the top and one at the bottom)

Now you need to locate the ignition wire (i cant find a wiring diagram for that), but you can determine which one it is by using a multimeter and testing for 12V when the key is in the IGN/ON position. So use the multimeter on the left side of the steering column, opposite of the key. You should see many connections that are soldered, so test until you have +12 on the wire when the key is in the IGN/ON position and goes off and stays off in any other key position.

Connect the low side wire of the relays to that wire (don’t cut the wire, just remove the insulation a bit and solder the wire to it) and connect the other wire of the relay to a good ground.

Test before you put everything back together.
Remember to put back the 30A fuse in the engine bay.
What you should see:

1. Key is inserted and in the ACC position. Lights will not turn on.
2. Key is inserted and in the IGN/ON position. Lights will turn on.
3. Lights are left on and key is turned from IGN/ON to ACC. Lights will turn off.
4. Lights are left on and key is removed. Lights will remain off.

If that does not happen to you, then check your wiring and the fuse. Also check the headlight fuses located under the dash.

Time taken: 3 hours.
Difficulty: Medium (some basic wiring knowledge required)

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