Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

Dodge headlight/ignition interlock

I have a 1995 Dodge Caravan that requires that the headlights or parking lights be on before the car will start. My son (who is NOT a motorhead) told me that the car was probably intended to be sold in Canada, where daytime running lights are required.

Whether or not that is accurate, what I want to know is, can this interlock be deactivated? I don't often leave the headlights on, but when I do, the battery ends up dead and the car has to be jumpstarted.


  • edited February 2008
    I is likely DRLs, I have never heard of any other system that requires headlights on. They are a safety feature and they go off when you turn the ignition off so you can not leave them on unless you leave the key in the car.
  • edited February 2008
    that is not what karispost said. If I interpret it correctly, he has to turn the headlights on via the headlight switch before the car will start. This is not DLRs, where the headlights are turned on automatically when you start the car.
  • edited February 2008

    I agree with Bill that the original post insists the headlight switch must be on to start the car, but I don't totally buy this description. It's just too weird. Maybe the post was simply poorly worded.

    Whatever the case, the answer lies in installing the familiar headlights-on warning buzzer. This gadget will solve the real problem, that of the dead battery. Karispost should investigate finding a suitable system and someone to install it. Many DIYers are turning to Radio Shack for cheap $3 12v-piezo buzzers.

  • edited February 2008
    Exactly what happens when you try to start it without turning on the headlights? I have a feeling there is a bad ground for the ASD relay and it is getting ground through the headlight system.
  • edited February 2008
    This is correct, Bill. They then function as DRL's.
  • edited February 2008
    I know this makes me sound stupid, but there is a chime that lets me know if the key is in the ignition or if the headlights are on. I want to disable the interlock if that is possible. My husband the motorhead and electrician thinks that it is not possible, which may be accurate. Before I replaced the battery, when it was really cold out we had to jumpstart the car because the battery had enough to light the headlights but not simultaneously run the starter. Once you turned on the headlights to start the car, you couldn't start it anyway.
  • edited February 2008
    What happens is nothing - no starter click, no grinding, no cranking, but the radio and blower fan will come on even if the headlights/parking lights are off. It is like trying to start a car with a manual transmission without disengaging the clutch.
  • edited February 2008
    P.S. the dashboard warning lights go on and do their usual thing as well. these, as well as the radio and blower, come on once the key is in the start or run position.
  • edited February 2008
    Are there any signs of wiring butchery? Any aftermarket equipment added (alarm, remote starter, stereo, etc.)?
This discussion has been closed.