Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What does it mean if the Daytime Running Lights indicator comes on in the dash?

asked by on

What does it mean if the Daytime Running Lights indicator comes on in the dash?

Daytime running lights (DRL) are an automatic system that turn on when the vehicle is turned on and in motion. The purpose of daytime running lights are to make the vehicle more visible during daylight hours and to alert other drivers when/if they are in their blind spot. This improves safety and glare. For motorcycles, this feature is extremely beneficial for safety, as daytime running lights makes motorcycles easier to see.

The DRL indicator light means that the daytime running lights are ON and operating properly. When the headlights are turned on, the DRL indicator light should turn off. Whereas other warning indicator lights illuminate to indicate a problem, the DRL indicator light will not be illuminated if there is a problem with the system.

The following are some symptoms that may be present if there is a problem with the daytime running lights system:

  • The DRL indicator light is OFF in the dashboard.

  • The DRL indicator light is ON, but the actual DRL are not working properly.

  • The DRL are working properly during the operation of the vehicle, but do not turn off after the vehicle has been turned off.

In some vehicles, the daytime running lights use the same light bulbs as the headlights. For these vehicles, if one or both of the headlight light bulbs go out, one or both of the daytime running lights won’t work either. Other vehicles have separate bulbs that are designated for the daytime running lights and the headlights; and when one or both of these light bulbs go out, it will not affect the others. When the daytime running lights are not working properly, it is also possible that there is a problem with the DRL lamp module. Although this is not common, as the DRL lamp module is intended to last throughout the life of the vehicle.

If you are experiencing a problem with the DRL, make an appointment with a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to have the DRL problem diagnosed and repaired.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  • Home
  • Questions
  • What does it mean if the Daytime Running Lights indicator comes on in the dash?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do you turn off daytime running lights

Daytime running lights will come on and stay on all the time during the day and cannot be turned off unless the normal headlights are turned on. The daytime running lights should not stay on after the vehicle is turned...

Q: Daytime running light out

The HID controller may be bad. HID lights actually need the controller to turn the 12 volt DC from your car battery into 3 phase high voltage ac power. If it is not working correctly, the lights will not work....

Q: Running lights work, brake lights do not.

It sounds like you may have a bad brake light switch. But that's a common issue on these models with brake light not working, is the bulb socket contacts (aluminum) in the housing burn up. Remove the brake light bulb...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...