# Arduino and car's 12V switch

I'm trying to control my headlights with my Arduino and a LDR. For this I will use the Arduino as a middle man between the lights switch and the actual lights. The switch has three positions OFF / DAYTIME LIGHTS / HEADLIGHTS. The switch itself is a potentiometer and has 3 cables: 12V, GND and the signal one. The Arduino then would read which setting is chosen in the switch, decide what to to do, and send the signal thru this cable.

The problem comes here. The Arduino, as far as I know, can only handle <= 5V. So how am I supposed to read the switch, and then send a signal back to the car? (I suppose that these signals would be around 12V or so).

Sorry if I'm not explaining so well. Not very experienced in electronics.

EDIT

I have measured the voltages across the three cables (WHITE/GREEN/BLACK), assuming black as ground.

When engine is off:

White = 23-25V

When engine is on:

• Switch == off

White = 28.5V

Green = 30.3V

• Switch = daylights

White = 0V Green = 30.3V

White and green = 0V

From this I wouldn't know what to do. Thought the switch worked like a potentiometer but I think I am wrong.

Also I am trying to find a logic answer of why both white and green have 0V when the lights are switched on.

EDIT 2

I found the part online, and its name is "WELLS SW6250", a combination switch. I thought that, because of the white and green cables going 0V when the lights are turned off, that there might be another cable coming from the square part of the knob, where there are other connections.

• Does the potentiometer have three voltage outputs on its signal wire: 0V, 6V and 12V? – Ed King Jul 30 '18 at 23:11
• Relays are a frequent choice for controlling car parts. – user253751 Jul 30 '18 at 23:40
• @EdKing In a question like that one would expect ironic quotes around "potentiometer" – Maple Jul 31 '18 at 16:35
• Whatever design you come up with, it would be best to make it fail-safe so that if the Arduinio goes wrong then you still have control of the headlights. You do not want to be heading towards a sharp bend in the road with no street lights at night when the headlamps go off. – Andrew Morton Aug 1 '18 at 14:43
• Does your car have a 24 volt electrical system? If not, your "voltage" readings are impossible. (Even with a 24 volt system, your 30 volt readings are not likely.) – Peter Bennett Jul 14 '19 at 16:55