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

asked by on December 15, 2015

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.

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