What does DRL Mean in a Car?

Owing to the advancement of technology and the means of making life worthy of living, motorists have always asked, ‘what does DRL mean on a car?’ and automakers have as well discovered various means to ensure a smooth ride irrespective of the weather conditions or the environment in general by enhancing the functionality of vehicles. One of these components is the DRL. 

What does DRL mean in a car?

what does drl mean volkswagen

DRL is an abbreviation for “daytime running lights”. These lights are specifically designed to enhance the visibility of your vehicle in traffic or hazy weather conditions during the daytime. They prevent you from bumping into other vehicles and others from crashing into yours. They perform a unique function majorly in Honda and Toyota vehicles.

 The daytime running lights (DRL) are meant to make your vehicle more visible to other drivers. Every automaker deploys something a bit different to stand out from others, and DRL is one of such things. You will understand more about the DRL and its amazing features as you digress further in this article.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Q: “Why did my DRL light come on?”

In more technologically advanced cars, the running lights come alive by activating them on a computer sensor that senses ambient daylight. The lights improve the visibility of your car by other vehicles if they are in their blind spots. DRL in Toyota cars usually comes on automatically without the driver making any input.

On the other hand, if the daytime running lights refuse to come on, then it could be that the headlight switch might be on, or it could be a wiring issue that would need to be addressed by an expert mechanic.

Q: Can you drive with daytime running lights?

Daytime running lights do not serve as the main lights of a vehicle but help other vehicles to be aware of you and not bump into your car. It is therefore regarded as illegal to use daytime running lights in the place of headlights and taillights when they are not available or not functional.

DRL lights are not sufficient enough for night hours but are used in gloomy weather conditions. Vehicles require full light-emitting headlights to drive safely at night. Therefore, driving with daytime running lights when headlights are required will be regarded as a violation.

what does drl mean on a honda civic

Q: Do daytime running lights drain the battery?

The answer to this question is, no. These lights come on only when the engine has been turned on or activated, and go off when the ignition has been turned off. DRL lights in Honda civic 2008 come on and off automatically and have low chances of running down the battery life of the vehicle.

This is unlike the headlights, which are the major lights of a vehicle, and consumes much of the battery strength. However, the daytime running lights could result in battery drainage when it stays on even when the vehicle has been turned off.

Q: Can DRL be turned off?

DRL lights have the ability to be turned off. However, vehicle users should be aware of the dangers in the action. The DRL lights aids users of the road to be observant of other vehicles while driving. It so enhances the vision of the driver while driving through low sunlight conditions.

What does the check DRL system mean on Honda civic? Usually, checking the “DRL system in Honda civic” means that your vehicle ignition is activated, but the brake light for parking was activated when you started the car. Releasing the parking brake turns on the DRL lights and switches off the indicator. Then you’re good to drive.

Q: How do I turn off my daytime running lights?

To turn off your DRL lights, you simply pull at the e-brake lever. Even though the engine is turned on, the lights will remain off. In turning off Toyota DRL which has the “DRL OFF” setting, it can be turned off by turning the knob controlling the headlight to “DRL OFF”.

You can as well turn off the DRL lights of your Honda odyssey by pulling the #27 fuse located on the driver’s seat panel, which will switch off the DRL lights.

Q: Can you drive without running lights?

 It is not deemed illegal to driving the road without running lights. The lights are only meant to make your vehicle more visible for other drivers, and not necessarily to brighten the road before you.

Countries like the United States or the UK don’t even see the necessity of these lights. They do not think running lights by any means decrease road fatalities from happening.

However, it becomes necessary in foggy or rainy weather conditions, or when the atmosphere is clouded with dust particles or smoke to enhance the vision of our vehicle users.

Q: What color can daytime running lights be?

Daytime running lights have specific colors which they can come in. These colors include white, yellow, or ember. No other colors outside these are allowed. More specifically, there is a clearly stated law that tagged it illegal for vehicle users to fix blue daytime running lights on their vehicles.

Users caught with blue running lights can go in for it. Using red-colored DRL lights in the Honda accord is also illegal to be used in the front of a vehicle because red indicates an emergency and is used only by emergency vehicles. White DRL lights are recommended as the most recommended for car users.


 Daytime running lights serve valid purposes in the safe use of highways and other public roads and are most important while driving through tunnels or under bridges, or through the dusty atmosphere.

In a nutshell, the question of what does DRL means to a car can fish in lots of responses. As a safety precaution, do ensure you always keep your lights clean and free from particles like leaves or dust. No doubt, daytime running lights, to a reasonable extent, enhance the use of roads by the vehicle owner and aim towards a smooth and easy ride.

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Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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