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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Daytime running lights

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4 replies to this topic


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Posted 08 August 2003 - 03:13 AM

I went to engineering school in Kansas in the sixties. There was a craze that was running around the country that may have started in western Kansas of mounting a single white light in the center of the grille. I actually asked a guy what it was for just to see what he would say! He said it was for SAFETY 'cause then other cars would see him in the daytime! Well, I and others thought this concept was pretty stupid until we saw one guy that had rigged up two of the things side-by-side centered in his grille! I guess he was double safe. All us snooty, snotty sports car club types thought it would be a good idea that if visibility were marginal to TURN ON THE HEADLIGHTS!!

Fast forward thirty or forty years and GM introduces the DTR lights. Could this be the same guy I talked to in the sixties? I even saw a commercial on regular TV of some EE wag telling us how great and idea it was to have our headlights on all the time at 75% power. Then I buy a Baja and guess what? It has DTR lights!

Actually I think the 75 percent power set-up is a pretty good idea for having your lights on in reduced daytime visibility. So where do I get some switches that pop into the console coin thingy aft of the gear shift? I will just wire it in series with the switch on the hand brake.


#2 Guest_gbhrps_*

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 07:55 PM

Crossbolt, you are behind the times. We Canadians have had DTR's for almost 15 years. My 1990 300ZX has them, and they use the highbeams at 60% power. Its a great idea that should have been mandated 30 years ago. Here in Southern Ontario, for instance, we've had fog every morning for the last 4 days. Thank god for the DTR's on most of the cars coming at you, but anything from the mid 80's back ..you can't see them, because most of these morons don't think to turn on their lights. (By the way....is she going to get the Beetle?)

#3 Guest_Setright_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 01:24 AM

We've had DTR here in Denmark since 1991, after copying it off the Swedes, who have used DTR for God knows how long. Research in Denmark indicates a 10% drop in collisions at junctions because oncoming traffic is more conspicuos.

When I go "abroad" it always annoys me that moving cars have their lights off :D


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Posted 14 August 2003 - 03:55 AM

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I AM a dinosaur. I guess I spent too much time wanting to fly and then too much time flying where virtually nothing was "automatic" that I have transferred the habits and preferences to driving. Turning on one's lights when visibility is poor or marginal seems second nature. I am surprised that anyone from Europe or Canada could be, ah, so lazy maybe. I always thought those folks were born with rally steering wheels in their hands.

Anyway, thanks for the input. Ya give insight. I still want to turn them off. I need/want switch(es) that fit into the coin holders on the console. Any ideas?


#5 Guest_pjsemmer_*

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 05:49 AM

I was born and raised here in the good ol' US of A and I agree that DRL would make a huge difference in terms of car visibility and in the number of accidents due to "not seeing the other car coming". However, Americans as a whole are a lazy society and are extremely resistant and slow to adopt to any new regulations. Look how long it took for us to conform to wearing a seatbelt after it became law. Still to this day, not everybody does. We still need to be reminded from time-to-time with random spot checks, usually around the holidays. Heaven only knows how long it will take for everyone to conform to the "hands-free" cell phone law! I still see people talking on the phone while driving.

Anyway, the point of my message is that I love the way we can simulate the Daytime Running Lights on the Outback. I have a '99 and I like how you can leave the headlight switch in the 'on' position and how the headlights will shut off with the car. If you think about it, why aren't all cars designed like that? What is the purpose of having the headlights on a constant power source, so that a person can leave them on accidentally and drain the battery? Which has led to another "designed for the lazy American" feature - headlights that will automatically shut off a minute or so after you turn off the ignition. What is the purpose of this?? Why not have them just shut off immediately with the car? I guess if you think about it, the two features are pretty similar, but something just irks me about the fact that the headlights don't shut off right away. It lets the driver actually see and think to himself "oh gee, I left my headlights on. Oops." The only reason I can think of for that kind of design is that Americans love all the googaws and gadgets in their cars and that it is just another selling feature of the car.

Anyway, enough ranting about that! I have been turning my headlights on during the day ever since I first heard of DRL, back in the late '80s, before any American cars were even equipped with them. Sure, it may cost a few extra burned out headlight bulbs, but if it prevents an accident because the other driver was able to see me better, it is well worth the cost. I have since "trained" my wife to do the same as well on the Outback. We both actually turn the switch off before shutting off the car, but I like to know that the headlights will shut off in case we forget. I have also picked up a kit for my Mazda MX-6 that will perform the same function. In case anybody asks, I picked up the kit from JC Whitney a few years ago (no I haven't installed it yet. That's just me and my procrastinatory nature! I just recently installed the Turbo Timer that I bought 13 years ago, into my Mazda MX-6! It only took about an hour to install and why I didn't install it up till now, who knows!) The kit was relatively inexpensive, maybe around $20 if I remember correctly.

'99 Outback Wagon: 46K miles
'90 Mazda MX-6 GT: turbo 2.2 liter 4-cyl, 5-spd, 68K miles
'80 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme: awaiting restoration

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