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I wish I came up with this solution many years ago when the forum was more active but anyway.

For many years and with my two Intrepid's I had this problem were the automatic headlights turn on even if the sun is hitting directly on the sensor, some other folks here had repaired his sensors using a 2g sensor (There is a how to in this forum) but these days is complicated to find a 2g sensor so let's repair it with a new part!

Parts required:

Before starting I want to clarify the importance of using a photo diode instead a photo resistance. Some years ago I attempted to repair the sensor with a photo resistance and kind to worked but not as expected, sometimes in the night when I crossed down a street light the lights shutted down while driving (not good at all 😅) this is because a photo resistance works slower than a photo diode and by the time that I passed the light post, the photo resistance was just recovering the output voltage when I crossed again another street light so after a couple of them, the BCM "thinks" that is sunny again and turn the lights off. A photo diode works more faster (approximates the response of the human eye) so it recovers more fast and the BCM doesn't turn off the lights.

So let's get started.

Take the sensor out of the car, here is what the little (and broken) sensor looks like

Gadget Communication Device Gas Audio equipment Table

To repair this sensor first you need to take it apart from his case, pretty simple you only need to pry carefully the tabs and take apart the cover.

Household appliance accessory Machine Auto part Composite material Gas

Take it off from his base and flip it over, you'll see the pins that correspond to the photo diode, grab your soldering iron and desolder it.

Circuit component Hardware programmer Gas Electronic component Font

Then put the new photo diode on, the shorter pin towards the pins of the sensor conector, note how my diode has a red dot, if you bought the same one take it as reference.

Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Toy Vehicle

Bend the pins so it won't fall out and position the photo diode the same way the older one was, pointing to the front, then solder the two pins and cut the excess.

Great! then you have your repaired sun sensor, it will look like this

Guitar accessory Musical instrument Wood Guitar Toy

In my case the new photo diode was bigger than the older one so I needed to open the hole in the sensor cover so it will free up once I put back everything on, I did that with a drill and a drill bit but if you have a dremel it will be much easier.

Here is what it looks like

Automotive tire Automotive design Bumper Automotive exterior Automotive lighting

Put the sensor board on his base and then put the cover back.

Hood Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive design Human body

Put it back on the car and test it. The lights should turn on when it coming darker and should stay off when daylight, also this sensor is used to control the blower speed if you have automatic climate control.

BONUS! how to test the sensor to see if the repair would work or if you bought a used sensor and you want to see if it works before you put it on the car.

Well, you need to test the output voltage on the sensor against the light that is receiving, with the help of a DC power supply, I supplied 4.5 volts to the sensor and then check on the sensor ground pin the output voltage. With no light or darker ambient the sensor should ouput closer to 0 volts and with a light pointing to the sensor you should see closer to 5 volts. Its important to see the fast reaction of the sensor when I put light and then take it away.

Hope it helps somebody out there to repair their sensors! :D
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