DRL's and Automatic Headlights

Messages
168
Location
Charlotte, NC
After all these years why is it that some cars don't come equipped with drl's and automatic headlights? I can't tell you how many times I have seen cars driving around at dusk without the proper illumination. I think this is a safety issue as well. Its nice to be able to put the key in the ignition and have the headlights turn on a night automatically and vice versa when the car is turned off.
 
Messages
6,318
Location
Canton, GA
I agree with you, however some people really dont like drl`s. A new Lexus I drove a few month`s ago actually had a drl over ride switch in it.
 
I think it's the always illuminated gauge clusters, coupled with DRLs, that cause people to forget their lights. In the old days, the cluster was illuminated when the lights were turned on. If you could not see the speedo, you turned the lights on. Now with constantly illuminated gauges, there is no need to turn on the lights, I bet a lot of people think they have automatic lights since their gauges are always illuminated and their head lights are on.
 
Messages
26,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
I disconnect them on every car that i ever owned. The plastic headlight lenses seem to suffer premature yellowing to say nothing about shortened bulb lifespan. IMO if someone cant turn on the headlights or fasten a seatbelt on their own they need to get from behind the wheel. All these creature comforts make today's modern car a point and shoot affair, no wonder so many people cant drive anymore.
 
Messages
1,746
Location
Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
I think it's the always illuminated gauge clusters, coupled with DRLs, that cause people to forget their lights. In the old days, the cluster was illuminated when the lights were turned on. If you could not see the speedo, you turned the lights on. Now with constantly illuminated gauges, there is no need to turn on the lights, I bet a lot of people think they have automatic lights since their gauges are always illuminated and their head lights are on.
This happens to me all the time. The Cobalt has fully automatic lighting, while the Subaru has DRLs and gauges always lit. When I drive the Subaru at night, which doesn't happen all that often, I always drive for a while before realizing the headlights aren't on.
 
Messages
1,746
Location
Rochester, NY
Originally Posted By: Trav
I disconnect them on every car that i ever owned. The plastic headlight lenses seem to suffer premature yellowing to say nothing about shortened bulb lifespan. IMO if someone cant turn on the headlights or fasten a seatbelt on their own they need to get from behind the wheel. All these creature comforts make today's modern car a point and shoot affair, no wonder so many people cant drive anymore.
I agree in theory, but the fact is that many people don't, and automatic lights and DRLs make them safer.
 
Messages
14,505
Location
Top of Virginia
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
I think it's the always illuminated gauge clusters, coupled with DRLs, that cause people to forget their lights. In the old days, the cluster was illuminated when the lights were turned on. If you could not see the speedo, you turned the lights on. Now with constantly illuminated gauges, there is no need to turn on the lights, I bet a lot of people think they have automatic lights since their gauges are always illuminated and their head lights are on.
This is exactly it.
 
Messages
26,181
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Quote:
I agree in theory, but the fact is that many people don't, and automatic lights and DRLs make them safer.
Not really, by your own admission you run around sometimes with the lights off for a time before realizing it.
Quote:
This happens to me all the time. The Cobalt has fully automatic lighting, while the Subaru has DRLs and gauges always lit. When I drive the Subaru at night, which doesn't happen all that often, I always drive for a while before realizing the headlights aren't on.
Unless all vehicles have DRL or auto on lighting and old cars are mandated to be retrofitted it may actually be more dangerous for the very reason you point out. IMO mandating such a thing is something we just do need big brother doing, IMO they have done far to much mandating recently as it is.
 
Messages
932
Location
USA
After getting chewed out by our Sergeant Major (and subsequently my 1SG) close to 20 years ago for driving without headlights on, I automatically turn headlights on whenever I'm in the driver's seat.
 
Messages
370
Location
Suwanee, GA
Originally Posted By: mike7139
After all these years why is it that some cars don't come equipped with drl's and automatic headlights? I can't tell you how many times I have seen cars driving around at dusk without the proper illumination. I think this is a safety issue as well. Its nice to be able to put the key in the ignition and have the headlights turn on a night automatically and vice versa when the car is turned off.
I personally think such features are useless. I always override the DRL feature if I can, to prevent premature bulb wear/lens hazing. As for the automatic headlamps, I control it manually especially on cars with HID bulbs. Having them automatically turn on while going through an underpass only to have them cut off 2-3 seconds later cannot be good for the bulbs. KISS: "keep it simple, stupid"
 
Messages
1,388
Location
Nebraska
I've disable the auto-lights on my Camaro. I don't like them. If I want lights on I can reach over and turn them on. Or off. It's not a safety issue, it's a lame driver issue. Everyone is lame sometimes, some are lame all the time. That's nothing new. Turn their lights on for them and they'll just screw up something else.
 
Messages
2,406
Location
Chicago IL USA
DRLs haven't been shown to increase safety from the last round of long-term studies I've read on them. Couple that with the folks that think those are good enough for driving at night (they're not, plus your rear running lights aren't working) and the car companies that stupidly use the *[email protected]%*)$#% high beams for DRLs (hint: they're still too bright & annoying even at the reduced output) I'm happy to disable DRLs on every car I have. I'll decide when to turn the lights on, thanks. And don't get me started on GM's hyper-annoying automatic "we're smarter than you" headlight system. Or their insistence on illuminating the reversing lights on late model vehicles when the owner has unlocked it via the remote fob, that's a massive brain [censored]. Sure, let's make it look like somebody's about to back out of a parking spot when the car isn't even running! That's a seriously WINNING idea, guys. Rant off, I think Trav may be on to something regarding headlight lenses yellowing more with consistent DRL usage. I think my old Volvo had the most intelligent system - no DRLs and when the ignition was off, the headlights were off. So I just left the headlight switch on all the time. No issues with the lenses yellowing on it - I believe they were glass.
 
Messages
5,153
Location
MW
I have DRL-s and have set the cars to automatic headlights. It's quite nice not to worry about forgetting to turn the lights on, or off although the off part seems to have been resolved with the car buzzing if the lights are on but the key is removed. I also like the 'get home' feature on some cars when there are external LEDs and they turn on for a few minutes after you open the door.
 
Messages
10,060
Location
Central Washington
I disabled DRLs on my Cavalier. That shows what I think about them. My CV does have automatic headlights, but only if you want them. Most of the time I run with automatic on, be occasionally I will shut them off. If I am driving during dusk, it will often get confused and switch them on and off depending on which way I am facing. So I will lock them on or off; whichever I feel is best.
 
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Messages
1,340
Location
Louisville,KY
Firstly I wanted to disable my DRLs, but as I found out later I also have automatic lights, and double checked it (tail lights turn on and headlights become brighter along with dashboard). It is fine with me, I drive in dusk or dark a lot, and they turn on when it is to dark and turn off then I shut off engine and open my door. If I put parking brake on with engine running it will leave only parking lights.
 
Messages
5,091
Location
USA
I think its a conspiracy by bulb manufacturers just to increase their sales...H1/H7/and H11 bulbs seem to last the shortest amount of time.Pity those Subaru and Volvo (and VW) owners.....
 
Messages
11,443
Location
Phoenix
I thought auto headlights were silly when I first had them, now I can't live without them. Something so simple should be automatic.
 
Messages
895
Location
Midwest
Originally Posted By: Trav
I disconnect them on every car that i ever owned. The plastic headlight lenses seem to suffer premature yellowing to say nothing about shortened bulb lifespan. IMO if someone cant turn on the headlights or fasten a seatbelt on their own they need to get from behind the wheel. All these creature comforts make today's modern car a point and shoot affair, no wonder so many people cant drive anymore.
I killed the DRLs on my Buick and my wife's VW. The Buick was a matter of cutting 4 wires going into/out of the body control module in the driver's footwell area. Then just use an inline crimp connector to join like pairs (blue to blue, blue/white stripe to blue/white stripe). Bypassing the BCM turns the control for the parking/running lights over to the dash switch. Automatic headlights/running lights are not affected as they are on a separate BCM circuit. The VW was ridiculously easy. Turn the rotary switch for the headlights slightly counter-clockwise until it clicks - push in and then turn another 1/4 turn and the whole assembly comes out. Take off the wire harness connector, bend over one pin on the back of the switch and cover with electrical tape and reassemble. The Buick's were disabled because of GM's poor design. The turn signal/running lights were also the DRLs. I don't remember the specifics now, but when the DRL's were on and you were doing something else (turn signals perhaps?) the bulb was over-volted to 15.9V (check with my volt-meter) instead of the 14.x it they are rated to handle. The bulbs would overheat, causing the bulb holder to overheat/melt. Once the holder overheated enough it no longer made proper contact to help dissipate the heat of the bulb and the bulb would burn out within a month. I ended up having to replace both bulb holders once I deleted the DRLs due to damage to them from the DRL's terrible design. Regarding the hazing issue... that is indeed what happened to my Buick's lenses because of the overheating DRLs. The top portion of the lenses over the turn signals are hazed over from the overheating. The VW's were deleted because A) Hey I felt like it, B) it was easy and C) many other VWs don't have them but the MkIV Golf's do because they are required in Canada and the design is carried over to the US versions. I had her car in for some work at the dealer (under a TSB) and they said "Hey did you know your DRL's aren't functioning?" I said, "Yep, I disabled those." The service manager asked me how as his wife also drove a Golf and he was curious. Hearing how easy it was, he went home and did it that night to her car.
 
Messages
1,048
Location
Sunny Calif
Originally Posted By: KrisZ
I think it's the always illuminated gauge clusters, coupled with DRLs, that cause people to forget their lights. In the old days, the cluster was illuminated when the lights were turned on. If you could not see the speedo, you turned the lights on. Now with constantly illuminated gauges, there is no need to turn on the lights, I bet a lot of people think they have automatic lights since their gauges are always illuminated and their head lights are on.
In the old days, the dashboard lighting would come on if the parking light (at a minimum) was turned on. It didn't require you to turn on the headlights. So you would see some people driving around with just their parking lights on.
 
Messages
4,353
Location
FL
Originally Posted By: semaj281
I personally think such features are useless. I always override the DRL feature if I can, to prevent premature bulb wear/lens hazing. As for the automatic headlamps, I control it manually especially on cars with HID bulbs. Having them automatically turn on while going through an underpass only to have them cut off 2-3 seconds later cannot be good for the bulbs. KISS: "keep it simple, stupid"
My car is 10 years old with HID and auto lights. The bulbs still burn bright. And aftermarket bulbs are cheap enough that replacement cost isn't a huge issue.
 
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