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Old 07-24-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
MagicRat
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New cars, no headlights on.

My primary interest is older and vintage cars. I am not too familiar with the operation of the newest cars out there, so this question might be way off base here.

Every time I go for a night-time drive, I see at least 1 or 2 late model cars driving around with no lights on, (usually its Nissan/Infiniti and Honda products, especially the Honda Pilot).

Since this is Canada, the dim daytime running lights are on but no tail lights and no side marker lights. Obviously this is dangerous.

As I drive past them, I can see their instrument cluster is illuminated.

So, my question is - do these dash lights come on automatically at night, on some models?

If so, what reminder exists to prompt drivers to switch on their proper headlight system at night?

Personally, I am so used to cars where the instruments are dark until the full lights are on, I cannot imagine any other way. It seems to me some cars may have a dangerous flaw if dash lights fool drivers into assuming all the lights are on.

I would welcome comments on this issue.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:40 AM   #2
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Re: New cars, no headlights on.

I can totally understand your confusion. I never understood why some manufacturers chose to implement DRL without also turning the taillights on. That does not make sense to me, and like you've also stated, it seems a lot of folks don't realize that and fail to turn their headlights on when it's dark.

My 2004 Aviator has a light sensor that turns the instrument panel lights on even if I don't have the headlights on. Although I think it turns the headlights on at the same time IF I have the lights in the Auto mode. It does not have DRL and I don't leave the headlights in Auto because it has the HID headlights which are expensive to replace. I park in a garage, so every morning the HIDs would come on as soon as I start the engine, then shut off by the end of my driveway.

If my 2004 Aviator uses a light sensor to turn the instrument panel lights on, I imagine several newer cars do as well. I'll have to pay attention to see if my 2011 SHO functions this way or not, I don't think it does. From what I've seen on the cars that have DRL, there is a green indicator that resembles the high beam indicator (except green vs. blue) that lights when the DRLs are on. That is apparently not enough of a reminder for many owners.

-Rod
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
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Re: New cars, no headlights on.

My wifes Toyo 2012, Rav has DTRL there is no dash lite on , easy to forget to turn on the lites, my Lesabre has auto h'lites and DTRL they turn on all the lights when using the wipers, plus of course when it get somewhat dark the low beams, dash and tailites are on. In America DTRL's are not required.
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Old 07-27-2013, 08:02 AM   #4
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Re: New cars, no headlights on.

I wired my tail lamps to come on when the light sensor is activated to turn on the running lights. The manufacturers must be book smart but have no common sense. Now I dont have to worry about remembering to turn the lights on.
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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Re: New cars, no headlights on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12V View Post
Now I dont have to worry about remembering to turn the lights on.
This might be true if your car does not decrease the power to the headlights (often the high beams) when the DRLs are on versus actually turning the headlights on. There are a fair number of cars here in the US that have a reduced power mode for the DRLs.

-Rod
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