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: Headlight Issue

Hello. The daytime running lights are not supposed to function at the same time as the headlights. The daytime running lights are only supposed to come on during the day, to provide additional visibility for daytime driving, independently of the...

Q: One of my running lights is out can I still pass Texas state inspection?

I have lived and worked in 3 states. Each state's safety inspection required all lights be functioning to pass. I'm fairly certain that is consistent across all 50 states. It's possible that the mechanic took it to a friend who...

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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.