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Author Topic: Is Daylight Running Light (DLR) design logic ironically flawed? Back to Topics

Champion Author

Joined:Jul 2005
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 2:56:47 PM

With the other threads on inadvertent high-beams and burned-out headlights, I think all of use agree that lights are an important safety feature. I have used full headlights during daytime (obviously also the night) since 1970, even though my vehicles do not have DRLs - they predate DRL regulations.

That said, I am aghast at the number of newer vehicles driving with no tail lights at night. I believe the reason is that DRLs also put on the instrument panel lighting, which gives the false impression to the driver (and any passenger) that both headlights and taillights are lit.

Would it not make more sense to have DLRs without the automatic instrument panel lighting, to remind people to turn on the full lighting system? No instrument panel lights is the first thing that reminds me in the very rare case where I forget to put my lights them on. The alternative is to add yet another system (which is prone to failure) involving a sensor and another warning light or voice reminder that full headlights/taillights are not turned on during low light conditions.
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Champion Author South Carolina

Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 5:57:59 PM

Hi mnrick041 & Ocean. Now I understand what you are saying :-), but missed it because that feature is on my lowly 2012 Chevrolet Sonic and Ocean's Saturns (no, I won't call them lowly). I can't vouch for dash lights as I have a digital dash which, referencing my prior post, does not turn on the RPM analog lights with the DRLs, only the headlights. My vehicle is half & half, per other posters.

There seems to be a great deal of differences with automotive lighting and the laws that govern their implementation. I was thinking about what I wrote and read regarding DRLs and their being the law in Canada, but not in the US, but some US cars are sold in Canada, some being bought in the United States (other GBs have stated this is a less expensive way to purchase a vehicle).

Your suggestion, Ocean, makes perfect sense regarding the wipers, headlights & tail lights. It can be done. My Sonic Hatchback has a program option via the radio (huh?) to turn on the rear wiper when the headlights are on and you put it in reverse.

A few months back, a Topic existed regarding "fog lights" and those responding answered they did have them. Fog lights are amber, not white, and are called driving or running lights. I then posted an article explaining the names of what the lights are called, but there is just too much confusion. Thanks for enlightening me. MGY

[Edited by: Titanic1985 at 1/17/2013 6:00:07 PM EST]
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Champion Author Mississippi

Joined:May 2004
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 4:35:24 PM

All three of my Sautrns are wired as MNrick41 suggests -- DRL when in gear, and automatic shift from them to full headlights from dusk to dawn.

Now - let me "hijack" this thread for a minute ... what needs to happen, is that whenever the wiper blades are turned on, even in the intermittant mode, it should bypass the headlight switch, and turn both the headlights and the tailights. DLR during the rain is not sufficient
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Champion Author Twin Cities

Joined:Jun 2009
Message Posted: Jan 17, 2013 8:41:36 AM

Titanic1985. Hello, I understand that DRL's are mandatory for cars sold in Candada but when I said "automatic headlamps" I was meaning the ones that will come on by themselves at certain light levels.

My car has DRL's AND automatic headlamps. The DRL's come on anytime the car is in gear and the automatic headlamps turn all the exterior lights on when it starts to get dark outside.

Some auto makers put automatic headlamps on all their cars and others only offer it on the upper trim levels, I am sure this is true even in Canada.

If more cars offered Automatic headlamps or made them standard rather than a option then we might not have the problem that Pugpal is mentioning, where people mistakenly think their DRL's are headlights.
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Champion Author South Carolina

Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Jan 16, 2013 3:34:42 PM

Hello mnrick041. You said, "Automatic headlamps are either standard or optional on many of the upper trim levels of most new cars today." DRLs have been the law in Canada, where Pugpal is from, since January 1, 1990. In the United States the NTHSA (National Transportation Highway Administration has said "we do not find data that provides a definitive safety benefit that justifies Federal regulation." I find the contrast between nations interesting. Here is the entire article:

Daylight Running Light (DRL) Information

Take care :-) . MGY
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Champion Author Twin Cities

Joined:Jun 2009
Message Posted: Jan 15, 2013 7:52:08 PM

In my Ford Fusion and my previous car (Toyota Camry XLE) the instrument display lit up anytime the car was turned on whether the lights were on or not. Some cars are like that and some cars you need the lights turned on in order for the instrument panel lights to be on. Just depends on the car.

In any case, my Fusion has automatic head lamps, I think that is standard if you get the SEL trim level. Automatic headlamps are either standard or optional on many of the upper trim levels of most new cars today.
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Champion Author Nashville

Joined:Oct 2005
Message Posted: Jan 14, 2013 9:46:27 AM

Never had a problem with any of the daytime running lights and normal lights after dark. In fact, my lights come on earlier then most use their headlights.
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Champion Author South Carolina

Joined:Dec 2010
Message Posted: Jan 14, 2013 9:42:41 AM

Good Morning Pugpal. I own a 2012 Chevrolet Sonic which has an all digital dash, except for the analog Tachometer, and does have DRLs. When the vehicle is in the carport, the sensor thinks it is dark (somewhere between dusk, night & dawn). After I back out into the brighter light, the digital readout increases in brightness intensity. That is how I know the DRLs are on as well as a DRL indicator lamp (a green headlight symbol) turns on. If I need full bright headlights, they either automatically dim down the digital readout or I depress the driving/running light switch. There is another green headlight symbol dash light called "Lamps on Reminder" with two reversed headlight symbols. My other option would be to turn them on manually, but I prefer driving with the driving/running lights. I also have a green running light indicator. Reading your prior responses from GBs, this is unique as my "dash lights" are actually blue digital numbers with a light blue background. As with other vehicles, DRLs don't turn on my rear lights. I am aware of that fact and usually, before the automatic switchover turn on the headlights using the method previously described. I'll have to check the analog Tachometer as I've never noticed if the guage light is on or off. This vehicle has approximately thirty dash indicator lights and their descriptions take up several pages of the Owner's Manual.

I learned something today :-). Take care. MGY
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Champion Author South Dakota

Joined:Sep 2006
Message Posted: Jan 14, 2013 8:55:15 AM

It must vary by brand. My VW has DRLs, but, they do not illuminate the dash lights. I have driven with headlights on when on trips for years.. I prefer others to see me!
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Champion Author Pennsylvania

Joined:Jun 2003
Message Posted: Jan 14, 2013 5:09:26 AM

I have an indicator on my dash that tells me only my DRL's are on. My dash lights are not illuminated until I put my headlights on. In my wife's car her dash lights are on all the time.
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Champion Author Los Angeles

Joined:Nov 2012
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 6:35:21 PM

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Champion Author Birmingham

Joined:May 2005
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 6:29:07 PM

I personally have never noted at car with DLR's that also turned the dash lights on. That does not mean no car does that, but, I've never driven one.

That said, yes, it could be a big problem. Wonder if anyone at any car-maker HQ is reading this.
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Champion Author Cleveland

Joined:Aug 2012
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 6:14:58 PM

Usually cars with drl have the system in place for auto headlights. And some cars do have self checks that tell the driver that lights are burnt out.
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Champion Author South Dakota

Joined:Mar 2005
Message Posted: Jan 13, 2013 5:37:10 PM

My light come on automatically. I think there should be something to tell you that a light is burned out. I see lots of vehicles on the road with burned out lights.
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