Parking Brake and Daytime Running Lights

On my 2002 Hyundai Accent (and presumably all other cars…) the daytime running light go off when I apply the parking brake. The car is an automatic transmission, so I don’t need to apply it except for occasional fun use, but I did notice that the D.R.L.'s do indeed go out when the brake is applied.
Anyone know why?

I don’t know the logic behind the circuitry (presumably you won’t be doing much Daytime Running with the parking brake on), but I’ve been told that if you pull the parking brake handle up one click on GM products, it turns off the lights without actually engaging the parking brakes, so you can drive with the lights turned off, if you like.

It seems to me that would be dependent to some degree on the adjustment of the parking brake.

Ah, so it’s to give you the option of driving with them off then… Clever, I think…

When I had my Pontiac 2001(?) Grand Am. The ONLY way to drive without the lights on was with the parking break up one click. REALLY bothered me. I understand the saftey of it, but there ARE times where you want to be able to drive with out the lights on. (For example, I’ve caught people stealing stuff at night from my place of bussiness, much easier to get their plates when they don’t realize that you’re right there)

I pulled the DRL fuse in my '97 GMC. Much easier. If I want my lights on, I put them on myself.

Are you asking why the parking brake is tied into the DRLs? When you’ve engaged the parking brake you are most likely parked, and therefore don’t need to have the DRLs lit.

Dang, I don’t know the sequence, but the GM cars usually have a maneuver you can do to unprogram the DRL system. Like shift into drive, tap the brake three times, or similar.

I miss NOT having DRL on my Continental.

Balthisar, I have never heard of that turn off feature before. Where did you hear it?

Wife’s Jetta does the same thing. I always figured that since they were ‘driving’ lights, it would only make sense that when parked, the lights would go off.
Additionally, if you apply the parking break whenever you park, when you return to start your car, your lights are off and there is no momentary drain on the battery when you turn the key.

Over a period of thousands of starts and in extreme conditions where you only have ONE good crank from the battery, then you want every possible accessory - like lights - OFF.

  • It’s just the best way to start a car.

Yeah, but the lights are off when the transmission’s in “Park,” also. I have a '98 Sunfire (and a '98 Cavalier) that do the same thing with the parking brake and the DRLs. I guess you could be talking about a manual transmission (Jetta?), and in that case I don’t know if the lights are always on (excepting the parking brake), but if it’s automatic the lights certainly shouldn’t be on when you start the car unless you like leaving your car in gear when you park it (though I think the lights are still on in Neutral).

Anyway other than sneaking around at night as mentioned above, I’ve never understood why so many people seem to be annoyed that their cars have this feature and seem hellbent on finding a way to turn it off. Maybe it’s the “coolness” factor–until DRLs came along, only cops and old people drove around with their headlights on all day? Sounds pretty silly to me, but that’s the only reason I can think of.

troub, instead of a car mfger concerning itself with whether you are getting a manual or automatic tranny, the simplest way is to put the defeat switch in the parking brake. - Simple assembly line issue.

Not in my car (automatic). Although when I start the car, the DRL only come on when the engine starts running, not during the start. I guess that’s because my headlights won’t use battery power, which makes it impossible for me to leave the lights on when the car isn’t running (even if I have the switch in the on position).

Well, so that’s interesting. . . Ahh, the pitfalls of extrapolating from a relatively small data set. Sorry. . .

You could put the car in neutral and use the parking brake. Not sure exactly why you’d do that, though. Maybe if you want to disengage the transmission at a traffic light but avoid the “rear-light blink” when you put it back in gear.

Then again, why would you want your DRL’s blinking on and off?

Car mfgers apply the defeat switch to the parking brake because it is simple and it keeps the lights off on start up.

(Additionally useful in places like Alaska, where drivers often shop with their cars running. Justa side note)

The simple way to kill the driving lights when the vehicle is shutdown/being started is to install the kill on the parking brake. It makes sense from a production standpoint, and has practical real world implications and uses.