Every modern car is a bastion of functionality and safety, thanks to the drive to innovate (pun intended), the road safety laws, creative designers, and a very competitive market – amongst other numerous factors.
Every car brand worth its salt is always on the move to incorporate as much as they can into their models to cater to their customer base. And this, in turn, ensures that all cars on the road can operate safely and in various weather and periodic conditions. Amongst these safety gizmos, the DRL (Daytime Running lights) is one.
And like all others, it is prone to malfunction too. This article will explore the definition of the Daytime running light, its utility, the problems it is prone to, and how one can remedy them.
- Here Is What Check DRL System Means
- What is the DRL light for?
- What is the DRL sign on an Acura?
- What can cause the DRL system to malfunction?
- How to turn off the DRL lights
- Is it safe to drive with the DRL light on?
- Final thoughts
Here Is What Check DRL System Means
Check DRL system is one of the most common messages that you’ll see on your Acura’s dash. It means that there’s an issue with your daytime running lights. These lights are required by law in many states, so it’s important to get them fixed as soon as possible.
There are a few different things that could be causing your daytime running lights to malfunction. It could be a simple issue like a blown fuse or something more serious like a faulty sensor.
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What is the DRL light for?
There is an inherent problem that many drivers do not use their headlights in necessary conditions. And this is not all their fault; different people on the road have varied levels of visibility at different times of the day (though mostly at night). Because not everyone on the road interacts with each other, there needs to be a system that would help drivers from other cars identify your vehicle and vice versa.
The DRL light remedies this because, unlike the headlights and rear lights, it is a lamplight that does not focus on helping the driver to see their surroundings. Instead, it allows drivers in other cars to see and identify other vehicles on the road.
The daytime running light functions either through low-beam headlamps at full or reduced glare or through high-beam headlamps at the reduced glare. It is an automatic system that comes on at various moments (the exact time for different brands and models varies), from ignition to when the car starts motion. In some countries like Canada, every vehicle on the road is mandated to have DRLs and to use them.
What is the DRL sign on an Acura?
The DRL system has two symbols that are related to it. They are:
- The symbol indicates that the Daytime Running lights are on. It is green in color, and it only comes on when the DRL system is active. Its icons are oval-shaped imprints with either lines or dots coming out of them horizontally.
- The check DRL light icon is an icon that spells “DRL” in green letters. It indicates that there is a malfunction with the system.
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What can cause the DRL system to malfunction?
Like everything in the car, the DRL lamp is prone to malfunction and seeing as it is a safety measure, that scenario is not very desirable. It could be a blown fuse, a loose connector, a spoilt bulb, or a defective module. Let’s dive into what they mean:
Loose electrical connector
The DRL is an electrically powered system and can develop faults due to a loose connector. One cannot expect the gadget in question to function if it is not connected. The good news is that one does not need to replace the connector, unlike most of the other things here.
You can fix this problem by going to the hood of your car and locating the DRL assembly. It is important to note that while your Acura most likely has a different assembly from the headlights, it might still be lined up with them.
After locating, you should remove the assembly and slightly pull on the connector behind it. If it’s loose, then you reconnect. It would be best to pull on it again to ensure it is secure. You then assemble the DRL again and check if the light is on. If it is, then you’ve remedied the problem.
A burnt-out bulb
A burned-out bulb would most likely only happen on one side, either the left or right. Most DRL are LEDs, and they are liable to get burned out due to constant usage. A boon if your DRL assembly is different from your regular headlights assembly is that you would only have to replace the DRL.
To do this, you firstly open up the assembly like previously stated, detaching the upper lens from the headlight assembly (this is in case it is attached to the headlight assembly) and disconnect the wiring. You detach the lens from the DRL and unscrew the bulb. You then replace the bulb and reattach all relevant parts back. This is a relatively inexpensive thing to do. Most bulbs are less than $30.
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Blown out fuse
One thing to note about this particular fuse is that it is located behind the battery. It serves as a block to harmful electrical current, and when the fuse is broken, your DRL won’t receive any power. To fix it, you open the fuse box and trace the one that connects to the DRL. When you find it, you remove it and replace it with a new one.
Bad or failing DRL module
You know your module is bad when the DRL produces a burning smell or does not come on. The DRL module is the system that automatically turns the DRL on or off. You should look for the module itself to fix it, usually found behind the dashboard or within the engine compartment.
You then disconnect the negative battery wire and unbolt the DRLm from the car using a wrench. After this, you detach the connectors and remove them from the vehicle. To mount the new module, connect the connectors first and ensure they are secure. You then secure the bolts and connect the negative battery wire to the newly-secured module.
How to turn off the DRL lights
If your DRL system is malfunctioning, you may be able to turn it off by pressing the “DRL” button on your dash. This will disable the system until you can get it fixed. However, some models do not have this button.
Perhaps you might not like the fact that the lights come on automatically. To turn them off, you can disconnect the DRL fuse from the fusebox or detach and cut the negative and ground wires that lead to the DRL bulb.
Is it safe to drive with the DRL light on?
The DRL itself? Yes. The Check DRL System warning that indicates there is a problem with the DRL system? Yes, but only relatively. You should still consult a mechanic or an electrician because it could mean a much deeper issue, but your vehicle should still be safe to drive. However, keep in mind that some states require you to have the DRL running.
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Most of the time, the cause for the Check DRL System warning message is probably a blown fuse or burnt-out bulb. It is nothing that any driver shouldn’t be able to fix, but if you find yourself in need of assistance, it is better to drive the car to a mechanic.
Remember that driving with a faulty DRL system can get you in trouble in some states!
Every since I was a little boy, I can remember spending the afternoons in my dad’s repair shop. I got my first car at 16 and it was the best feeling ever!
I have contributed to various automotive publications but decided it’s finally time to settle for something constant.