How to Turn Off Daytime Running Lights

by David Roberts
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Daytime running lights, or DRLs, are a safety feature that statistics claim make driving safer. They increase visibility, especially during dusk and dawn. There are negatives to the use of DRLs. One of the obvious ones is that the continued use of DRLs shortens the life of the bulbs used. It also puts a continued drain on the alternator for what some feel is an unnecessary feature. And on rare occasions, having running lights makes viewing of a drive-in movie difficult when you need the A/C on. How you turn them off depends on your vehicle type.

Step 1

Press your parking brake slightly until it clicks once. This should be enough to trigger the switch to make the vehicle "believe" that it is parked, without being enough to actually activate the parking brake or damage the parking brake cables. This will cause the "Brake" light to activate on the dash so that if an actual brake problem occurs, you won't be able to tell.

Step 2

Locate the power distribution box in your vehicle. This is found in the schematic for your type of vehicle in the manual or in a vehicle repair manual such as Chilton's. Possible locations include under the hood, in the driver's side instrumental panel or in the door jamb. Remove the cover of the power distribution box; depending on your vehicle, this cover will be secured in place with clips or screws. Locate the relay or fuse labeled "DRL" or "Daytime." The fuse for the "DRL" will be a mini or small fuse, not a large one.

Step 3

Remove the "DRL" fuse from the power distribution box. Thoroughly check all electrical systems in your vehicle. Some car manufacturers tie in the operation of the headlights, the radio or air conditioning to the same fuse. Make sure these components are working before you attempt to drive anywhere.

Step 4

Consult the manual for your vehicle because there are different procedures for each one. If the prior three steps have not worked, locate your make and model vehicle on the website listed in the resources section. Turn the headlight knob all the way to the left. On some models of some vehicles, the DRLs are able to be turned off if the headlights knob is turned completely to the left. This cuts the power to the fuse that operates the DRLs. You will need to do this each time you start the vehicle.

Step 5

Cut the negative or ground wire that leads to the bulbs for the DRLs. Attach this negative wire to another metal screw in the vehicle. Tape up the wiring on the exposed end, and leave enough lead to reconnect the ground if this doesn't work for your vehicle. Perform a full check on the vehicle's other electronic systems to ensure each one works.

Step 6

Turn the "Dome Override" button on and off twice. On some trucks, doing so will turn off the running lights, but you will need to do this each time you start the vehicle. This solution however, does not work on all vehicles.

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