How to Turn off Daytime Running Lights (Explained)

How to Turn off Daytime Running Lights

Just as the car has the headlight for illumination at night, there is also the Daytime Running Light (DRLs) that helps to make the car visible during the day.

This is a new safety feature in cars that helps to prevent a head-on collision with other cars. Once the ignition is on, the DRL also comes on and stays like that.

Some people, however, do not like the light being on at all times and proceed to turn it off. The question here now is, how do you turn off daytime running lights?

Depending on the model and brand of your car, the daytime running lights can be turned off by locating the power distribution box and removing the fuse labeled with”DRL” which controls the daytime running lights. 

Is it Possible to Turn off Daytime Running Lights in a Car?

Yes, it is possible to turn off daytime running light either temporarily or permanently although turning it off permanently is not advisable.

Daytime running light (DRL) is the light other than the headlight but also located in front of the vehicle. Whenever the engine is on and running, DRL will remain on.

If the engine is running throughout the day, the light will also be on throughout. It has been put in place as a safety feature in modern cars.

As the name implies, the light is meant for use in the daytime. It helps by making your car visible to other road users. Although not usually as illuminating as the headlight the light is enough to serve its purpose.

Some drivers do not like the DRL being on all day long hence their reason for turning it off. As stated earlier, it could be for a short time or turned off for a long time.

How to Turn Off Daytime Running Lights

The possibility of turning the daytime running lights off has been established but how can you turn it off without taking the car to the auto shop?

You should bear in mind that the process of turning the DRLs off may vary depending on the type of car you use.

To turn off DRLs, you can use the following steps

Slightly Press the Parking Brake

Pressing the parking brake till it clicks once is the first step in turning off the daylight running lights.

By doing this, you are making the switch and believe the car is parked when it is not, because the brake is slightly pressed you are not actually activating the parking brake. The brake light will most likely be activated on the dashboard.

Proceed to Locate the Power Distribution Box

You should check out the location of the power distribution box in the schematic if you have a manual or a vehicle repair manual.

Depending on your type of car, the box will most likely be found in the instrumental panel on the driver’s side, in the door jamb, or under the hood.

Once found, proceed to remove the cover on the box, you may need to unscrew a few screws or clips to get inside the box. Then locate the fuse labeled DRL, this fuse is usually small in size.

Remove the Fuse

After you must have located the DRL fuse, remove it from the box then check all other electrical parts/systems in the car. This is to ensure other electrical components are working even with the fuse removed. If they are not working, it simply means their operation is tied to the fuse.

You May Need to Check the Manual

In case the aforementioned process doesn’t work, you should consult the owner’s manual for a procedure that will work for your car.

For some cars, by just turning the headlight knob left all the way the light will go off. This method works well if you want to turn the light off temporarily.

The DRL Wire Should be Cut Off

Another method will be cutting off the wire (negative) that leads to the daylight running light bulb. This wire should be attached to a metal screw with the exposed end of the wire taped but with enough ground for reconnection in case this method doesn’t work for your car.

You should also check other electrical systems in the car and ensure they are all working. However, cutting off the DRL wires is not recommended.

Why are Daytime Running Lights Staying On?

Daylight running lights stays on while the engine is running because they are ignition controlled. Therefore, for as long as the engine is running the daylight running light will stay on. You will need to manually turn it off if you no longer want it on.

The DRL can also stay on even after the ignition has been turned off if there is a headlight relay. When this happens, you will need to replace the relay and see if it will go off.

Pros of Turning Off the Daytime Running Lights

  • Although Daytime running lights are good there are still advantages when you decide to turn them off. Some advantages of turning the lights off are;
  • It helps you Preserve the Light Bulbs: Turning off the daytime running light is an easy way to preserve the bulbs. If you have the DRL on for as long as the engine is running, the bulbs will run out fast. Turning the light off is a good way to make them last longer.
  • The Road becomes Safer: Well this is an argued advantage of turning off the daytime running lights. Daylight running lights are meant to make your car visible thereby making the road safer not the other way around. It has however been argued by some people that daylight running lights can be bright enough to make the unsafe.

Cons of Turning Off the Daytime Running Lights

Here are some disadvantages of turning the daytime running lights off;

Your Car Becomes Less Visible to Others

One of the disadvantages of turning off the daylight running light is it makes your car less visible to other road users.

Daytime running lights are especially needed in some states up North where it can get foggy which makes it nearly impossible for you to see an oncoming vehicle.

In states like this, turning off the daytime running light is not advisable, especially in winter.

Risk of Collision

There is a high risk of collision and crashing into other cars if the daylight running light is turned off. Due to the fact that an oncoming car won’t be able to see you until it is too late to move aside, there is a high chance of crashing into each other.


Rather than trying various methods to find the one that works in turning off your car’s DRL, consult the owner’s manual and you will be sure to find a method that works for your car.