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Daytime Running Lights

Do I need them? Are they mandatory; if not, how does one disconnect them??

They do in fact prevent accidents. So for safety’s sake I’ll say yes, you need them. I don’t have them on my car and I always put my headlights on no matter what time of day it is or what the weather is.

If your state has safety inspections they’ll probably require that all safety systems and devices manufacutured into the vehicle be operational, including DRLs. My state requires that.

You could simply unplug the bulbs provided it’s not a system that uses the high beam bulbs as some do. But for the aforementioned reasons I recommend against it.

Why would you want to disable them? Are you under the assumption that they cause excess fuel consumption or something?

Why disconnect them? Sure you need them. If are driving in twilight these lights may save your life. Even in daylight, headlights or running lights help get the attention quickly from an increasingly distracted population of drivers.

I don’t think they are necessary. I’ve seen more a few people driving around with them on at night (no tail lights).

They make your car much more visible to oncoming traffic – especially when the sun is low on the horizon and is in back of your vehicle from the point of view of oncoming traffic. When you are driving into the sun near sunset, notice how hard it can be sometimes to see cars that do not have their headlights on even though there is enough light that their drivers can still see clearly and don’t realize that they are hard to see. I think that will convince you that DRLs are a good idea.

I don’t know about other vehicles, but the DRL circuitry on our 1999 Camry is fairly complex and I don’t think that the DRLs could easily be turned off.

I don’t think they are necessary.

They may not be legally necessary in your state. It is not the same everywhere. Studies from the 1960’s through today have all indicated a slight reduction in accidents. So why not use them?

After you disconnect those DRLs, be sure that you take a knife and cut the seat belts out of your car.
After all, they do wrinkle your clothing.

Seriously, however, why would you want to remove a feature that has demonstrated its ability to reduce traffic accidents, thereby providing protection for you and your passengers?

DRL’s have been mandatory in Canada for probably 2 decades or more now. You don’t realise how much they help identify oncoming cars until you see an old car without them, which really doesn’t stand out.

I think the others have made a great case, but I just wanted to chime in. Yes, I think you need them. Study after study backs up the safety advantage, which is why there is no switch on modern motorcycles to turn off the headlight.

I’m still waiting for the answer to the why disable them question.

There are issues with some designs. My '00 Silhouette (Venture/Montana) has the lights all on auto - parking/side markers are the DRLs. Headlights are on an auto light sensor. I can turn the headlights on at any time. I cannot, however, turn then off if the light sensor dictates that they remain on. This is normally fine but it can be a problem.

E.g. I was talking to another guy with a Venture - he got lots of flack for driving thru a Christmas light display w/ the lights on when the creator had signs asking them to be turned off. (This was slow speed - somebody’s property, plenty of light). Well he couldn’t turn them off.

I recently had to annoy a bunch of people at a drive-in movie by leaving midway thru the 2nd feature unable to keep my headlights off.

If I drive up to park anyplace where there are windows or people milling about where headlights would be annoying I like to be able to turn them off.

I don’t mind having an auto system to do DRL. But I hate a system that leaves things completely out of my control.

So, anyway - I’m still wondering what the OP wants to accomplish.

Legally speaking in most states anyway, any light installed on your vehicle must be in operating condition.

Aside from the safety benefit, my auto insurance company gives me a discount on the vehicles that have the DRL; yet another benefit

FoDaddy, while I respectfully disagree with your statement that they’re unnecessary, you did raise an interesting point. It’s important for those that have them to be aware that they can be misled into not realizing that they haven’t turned their lights on.

Personally, I think lighting systems should just be wired such that whenever the engine is operating all the lights are on (except, or course, the high beams).

I don’t know about your state, but in Maryland there are many single lane roads that require mandatory headlight use in daylight. With DRL’s you don’t have to worry. Also mandatory is if your wipers are needed for rain or snow your headlights and tail lights must be on. Both my vehicles also have sensors to automatically go from DRL’s to full lights when the ambient light drops to a certain point. However, there are times when conditions are marginal and I will manually turn on all lights. On dark country roads - and we have a lot of those - I also turn on the fog lamps even if there is no fog, rain or snow.

But there are always the idiots that don’t turn on their lights when visibility conditions warrant.

Well, since everybody else seems to be “sold” on DRLs, I’ll be the dissenting voice.

Problems with DRLs:

  1. Over-use of the lights means that the owner has to replace more lights, more often. It also increases the chance the lights will be burned out when “actually needed.”
  2. Alternators can and do fail. When mine does, I want to be able to shed all “unnecessary load”: this could be the diference between “just barely” limping home on battery power and “just barely” NOT limping home.
  3. The ability to dim headlights, while keeping parking lights going, is a needed “signalling device” on the road (ex: to let semis know they are clear to return to the right lane after passing you).
  4. The ability to dim headlights, while keeping parking lights going, is a common courtesy in many situations (in addition to the luminaria scenario mentioned, also no-body needs your headlights in their face while waiting in line at the drive-thru).
  5. DRLs DO consume gas (that electricity had to come from somewhere…)
  6. Once DRLs become ubiquitious, one can no longer judge the likelihood of rain ahead by judging the oncoming lights of opposite-bound traffic.

In any situation where extra visibility is needed, a driver of a non-DRL car is still free to use his lights. I admit I use my lights more now than I used to, but I do not use them all the time.

This discussion is interesting to me. On the 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that I owned, I could turn off the daytime running lights. However, when I parked the vehicle and then restarted it, the daytime running lights would come on. On my present minivan, a 2011 Toyota Sienna, I can turn the switch to off and the daytime running lights stay off. I can turn the switch to DRL and the daytime running lights come on whenever the car is running. I’ve never found a reason to leave them off.

With respect,

  1. light bulbs are way cheaper than fenders. And have you seen the price of ambulance rides lately?
  2. When the alternator fails, the difference in distance you’ll be able to travel without DRLs before the battery dies is probably less than 12 feet.
  3. most of us blonk our highbeams for this.
  4. see (3) above. Um, isn’t everyone in line facing the same direction?
  5. true, gas has to be burned to generate the extra electricity. Perhaps an entire thimbleful per year.
  6. on the other hand, when rain is ahead isn’t it even better to be able to see a car an upcoming through the cloud?

The one real disadvantage I can see with DRLs is that mentioned by FoDaddy. They can and do leave drivers unaware that they’ve not turned their lights on. But I contend that there are simple design solutions for that.

As for how to disconnect, check if DRLs are disabled with the e-brake engaged.

If so, all one has to do is (a)very slightly pull the e-brake (meaning, not enough to engage the brakes, but to open(close) the electrical switch resposible for moitoring the e-brake), or (b)adjust the switch so that the e-brake fails to contact the switch when e-brake is fully disengaged.

(For off-road use only; check local laws for legal compliance.)

To answer the OP’s question, locate and pull the DRL fuse…

If DRL’s work good, then a flashing white strobe light would work MUCH better right??? Or just the regular headlights…