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Day-Time Running Lights (DRL) Question

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by rwilsond, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Aug 22, 2008 at 12:25 PM
    #1
    rwilsond

    rwilsond [OP] Member

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    I recently bought a 2008 tacoma, with the DRL (Daytime Running Lights) option. But I don't understand it. The manual elaborates on the need for them, but does not explain exactly how the lamps behave, under different circumstances. The only thing that is clear, is that the front turn signals stay solid when the selector switch is in certain positions (big deal).

    Can someone explain exactly what DRL is as it applies to this vehicle, as opposed to one without DRL?
     
  2. Aug 22, 2008 at 1:02 PM
    #2
    jpmorrisvb

    jpmorrisvb Well-Known Member

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    I believe that they are just a safety feature. Our Canadian brothers would tell us that they (the lights) are manatory.

    I did the DIY mode and have had people ask how I had them installed. I have noticed that cars coming out of side street have paused ... I am thinking it is due to the lights.


    Also, they look great with the Indigo Ink ... imo.
     
  3. Aug 22, 2008 at 1:12 PM
    #3
    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    I believe they make the turn signals light up solid until you twist the knob enough to turn on the headlights. May even be tied into the parking brake too so they only come on when that's released (way my 98 Corolla worked until I bypassed it).

    They are supposed to make the vehicle more visible in inclement weather, but that's only the front. That's why I think OEM setups are stupid. They completely ignore the rear like you'll never be going slower than the people behind you and want them to see you sooner, or vice versa. Which is why I prefer a DIY mod that turns on the tail lights with the lights on the front. Too many shadowy sharp turns, underpasses, trees, and cloudy days here in NY. :laugh:
     
  4. Aug 22, 2008 at 1:17 PM
    #4
    Jester243

    Jester243 mod status????

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    That is correct they do not come on until the parking brake is released. Also they do shut off when the headlights come on. However I think that the manual missed the most important reason...they just look cool :cool: and they are not the usual headlights as the DRL. They are also suprisingly bright!!!

    -Dan
     
  5. Aug 22, 2008 at 1:21 PM
    #5
    jpmorrisvb

    jpmorrisvb Well-Known Member

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    Now that's what I'm talking about!
     
  6. Aug 22, 2008 at 1:26 PM
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    raycie

    raycie Well-Known Member

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    I did it for the cool factor.. factor 2 was a small discount on insurance..
     
  7. Aug 22, 2008 at 2:03 PM
    #7
    Okkine

    Okkine Well-Known Member

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    They're cool until you live in a country where everyone has them (by law):p
     
  8. Aug 22, 2008 at 2:53 PM
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    Jester243

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    Then you mod the fog lights to the DRL!!!

    -Dan
     
  9. Aug 22, 2008 at 4:26 PM
    #9
    jhodge83

    jhodge83 Any dog under 50# is a cat and cats are useless... Moderator

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    wat?
    i hate the DRL's on mine. i did the fog mod so it looks a lil different, but i think they're just annoying
     
  10. Aug 24, 2008 at 9:46 AM
    #10
    rwilsond

    rwilsond [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the replies. Here's an update:

    Of the dozen, or so, dealerships sales and service people I spoke with, they were all of the misconception that DRL caused the headlights to stay on at all times, with the intensity varying (inversely) on the ambient light detected by a sensor. But, then I spoke to Toyota / Corporate, and they said DRL simply keeps the front turn signals solid when the headlights are turned off. It does nothing whatsoever to the headlights.

    So, for Toyota, it seems to me that they have applied a special name (DRL) to a feature that is very unspecial.

    Compare this with the DRL system on a new Honda Accord. When the switch is in "Auto", the headlights remain on at all times, but with the intensity dependant upon a dash-mounted sensor.
     
  11. Aug 25, 2008 at 4:33 AM
    #11
    CanTac

    CanTac Well-Known Member

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    They (DRL) have been manditory in Canada since 1990. They are for safety reasons. When you go to pass someone, especially on a a two lane road, the on coming vehicle could be closer than you think and looks it too, and may prevent a terrible collision. They do work well and the road related accidents from passing, have been cut down significantly since it's inception.

    CanTac

    Hal
     
  12. Apr 25, 2012 at 7:07 AM
    #12
    coveylane

    coveylane Well-Known Member

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    I also bought a 2008 Tacoma from USA and had it brought in to Canada. DRL had to be installed. My wife looks out the window and says your lights are on. I get dressed and go out. I just reach the truck and they go off. So every now and then, someone says your lights are on and I say I know, they'll go off. So eventually I decide I should replace the DRL module and I purchase a new one. Before I install the new one, another local guy buys a Tundra out of US and no DRLs. He has the module installed and right away his lights come on every now and then. So I decided it probably wasn't a defective module and I returned it. Does anyone have any suggestions or have you heard of this before. Canadian Tire does the installs for the government. When I purchased mine, they are basically there for Toyota only no choice...one module number.
     
  13. Apr 25, 2012 at 4:20 PM
    #13
    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    The safety feature is mostly to avoid head-on collisions, or getting t-boned by turning out in front of some one. Those risks are far greater than getting hit from behind on the open road (exponentially so). If you're stopping, or stopped, most likely your brake lights will be on so it's a non-issue.

    But, the DRLs still work with the parking lights on, they only go out with headlights. So, just turn on your park lights if you're worried. I've done that at dusk, where it's too early for headlights but still need something.
     
  14. Apr 25, 2012 at 4:28 PM
    #14
    xJuice

    xJuice My spoon is too Big!

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    You're describing two separate systems with the accord. DRL and AHL (automatic headlights) There are two separate sets of lights on the accord. One set is the DRLs and the other is the headlights. Intensity doesn't change, the AHL system (with the dash sensor) turns on the headlights and turns off the DRLs.

    The Tacoma only has DRL available.
     
  15. Apr 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM
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    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    That's why I don't bother with factory DRLs. I just turn on driving lights.

    And while you may be right about head-ons and t-bones, I've come close to hitting far more people in fog, snow, rain, or shadows on winding roads than head-ons or T-bones. Too many people seem to think "oh, well, my headlights come on automatically so I don't have to worry about it". People driving in pouring rain that legally requires them to turn on headlights, but they don't. Why bother? The DRLs are on right? :rolleyes:

    Besides, would it really be that hard or expensive to add a couple more wires or relays to turn on tail lights with the DRLs? My 98 Corolla at least did it in a semi-intelligent way. A light sensor caused the tails, full headlights, and dash lights to come on if it was dark enough. Driving under some trees or a bridge on a bright sunny day was enough to do it. Obviously other auto manufacturers don't do that, or it wouldn't be an issue.

    Regardless, I disabled them on the Corolla and manually controlled those too. Nothing like going to a drive-in movie, night christmas light display or other public event like that and not being able to turn off your headlights so you don't blind and piss off everyone else.
     
  16. Apr 25, 2012 at 5:34 PM
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    F75gunslinger

    F75gunslinger Ka like a wheel

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    What is one of the most common statements after any type of accident ?

    " I didn't see you !" or " I never even saw you " . This is one of the reasons that motorcycles are required to have the headlights on full time ( in NY anyway ). The vehicle becomes more noticeable against the background when the lights are on,and I think that the amber color makes them even more noticeable than the headlights being on at a dimmer level. I like the look,and have been considering adding them to my truck,but saw the threads about the DRLs burning the amber turn signal lenses, so I'm still thinking about it.

    For those of you buying a truck in the states and importing to Canada you might just want to get the relay and Y cable and add it yourself since you can get them from Toyota.I would think this would be a much better option than letting Canadian tire do it with an aftermarket unit.
     
  17. Apr 25, 2012 at 5:42 PM
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    mcdowell

    mcdowell My name is Mudd

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    Tacoma, Tundra, and Sequoia have them. Alaways can tell when a Toyota is coming at cha
     
  18. Apr 25, 2012 at 6:02 PM
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    piercedtiger

    piercedtiger Devout Atheist

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    I've had the "free" DRL with the 1 wire splice for several years now without issues. I have the lens removed from when I did the BHLM, but I've never even replace one of those bulbs. My first set of new turn signal bulbs were installed when I got 2 new headlight assemblies after a deer strike and they came with all the bulbs. So I wouldn't think it would affect the lens.
     
  19. Apr 25, 2012 at 7:37 PM
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    elmo7

    elmo7 Easily Replaceable Member

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    I think they are BS, esp on a Taco. Some states can ticket you for driving around w/parking lights on. Taco DRLs look just like parking lights, from the front obviously. And IMO, if you can't see cars during the day, then GTFO the road; you're blind! In fog/rain/night/etc, turn on your headlights when driving around. DRL's aren't rated for those conditions so they're useless in that regard. And it seems the only thing they are good for is recalls, due to the issues many have. Motorcycles run headlights; they have very low profiles and so that's safer I suppose. Would wonder about the actual stats to back it up. Of course the brain bucket is not required around here. Go figure. But that's another chat. Call me crazy, but I just drive like I know what I'm doing and that everyone else is an idiot.
     
  20. Apr 25, 2012 at 9:52 PM
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    iroc409

    iroc409 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have Adobe installed on my netbook, but here are a couple likely relevant links:

    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/809760.pdf
    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811029.pdf
    http://www.swov.nl/rapport/r-97-36.pdf


    I've seen actual photos taken comparing DRL and no DRL in a lot of situations--some just like you describe (under shade, winding roads, under a bridge, etc), and the car is WAY more visible. I tried to Google for the images quick, but didn't find any.

    The front signal is a good implementation of the lights. The ones that use the headlights often use the high beams, which can be nasty and glaring (even though they use lower power). Plain ol' signal lights aren't often enough; DRLs have a minimum brightness spec to be useful.

    ETA: I think a lot of rear-end accidents would not be prevented by lights. It's probably due to inattention, and if you're not paying attention brake lights or running lights won't make a difference really. DRLs can help fight a lot of "illusions", like oncoming cars and so forth. It *can* sometimes be deceiving when trying to overtake another car on a two-lane.

    I should clarify, too: I don't think DRLs are a *substitute* for headlights. Rain, dark, etc, people need to use headlights per normal. In the rain, someone could definitely not see someone in front of them that doesn't have any lights on. That's why I would like to install a rear fog light, which is required in Europe. Sometimes plain running lights on the rear are insufficient as well, and I think they are a good idea--when used properly. A lot of Euro cars will turn on the rear fog with front fogs, and people seem to think they need fog lights on in clear weather--not realizing they are blinding people behind them!
     
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