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Installing or Programming Daytime Running lights (DRL)

Discussion in 'Modified 2011 + Explorer Sport Tuning' started by Sharin, July 16, 2011.

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    1. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      Ford really pisses me off when it come to the simple stuff. This is my fifth ford explorer and Ford STILL does not have daytime running light on the vehicle. Only in Canada. Why Not US?

      Every time I call the insurance company the first question they ask about my new car is "Does it have running lights?" If so, there's a discount available. This is really dumb. How much could it add to the price of the car? I probably get it back through my discount. Besides, it's a safety issue!

      SH
       
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    3. new to ford

      new to ford Active Member

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      I'm actually happy we don't have daytime running lights, my two previous cars have had and after a few years the headlamps turn yellowish because of the constant heat from the bulbs being on.
       
    4. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      Never considered that problem but it shouldn't be an issue today with LEDs. No reason why Ford couldn't add them into the light assemblies.
       
    5. BPVigs

      BPVigs New Member

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      On my F150 I just took black electrical tape and put it over the light sensor on the dash and turn my light switch to automatic. Every time I turn my truck on, I have daytime running lights. I know it's not the same, but I always have lights on...night or day. I haven't done it on my Ex yet, but I might.

      Just a thought...
       
    6. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      Now that's creative. Thanks
       
    7. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      Hey just a heads up ......the DRL's for Canada are NOT the headlights they are the front amber marker lights.

      I asked one of the electrical engineers why amber instead of headlights and he advised that the HID's require a 'Shutter" to open and close each time they turn on and off. The concern is the duty cycle of every off and on.

      The Explorers without HID's wont have the issue so there is the possibility of a work around.

      PS Trade you DRL for SYNC Services? LOL
       
    8. 1tufgt

      1tufgt Active Member

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      The work around for DRL is to have it integrated into the vehicle. It would use a standard halogen bulb as the DRL. That's how our MDX uses the DRL and then HID when the headlights are on and DRLs go off.
       
    9. Sgt1411

      Sgt1411 Elite Explorer

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      So the OEM headlight HID assembly is replaced with a dual Halogen/HID dual purpose assembly?

      I was also thinking what about just running the 50W driving lights as DRL's?
       
    10. JDraper

      JDraper Somewhat Functional Moderator Emeritus

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      I just turn my headlights on every time I get in the vehicle. Problem solved.
       
    11. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      You miss the point. Unless the vehicle is equipped with daytime running lights that turn on when the vehicle is started, you don't get the insurance discount.

      SH
       
    12. BPVigs

      BPVigs New Member

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      Did you try the tape?
       
    13. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      Naw, that just messes with the rest of the lighting. Have to change the MFT settings, dash lights...at least I think. Right now I'm trying to get my nav system up and running. Dealer screwed it up. I will try the tape but, again, the biggest reason for the Daytime Lights is to get the insurance discount.

      I looked into this issue with the 2004 Ex and discovered there is a relay position dedicated to the lights but....No Wiring.
       
    14. jrmexplorer

      jrmexplorer Well-Known Member

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      How much of a discount are we talking about here? I can't imagine its that much.
       
    15. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      good question, I'll get you an answer.
       
    16. RandyH2

      RandyH2 Active Member

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      I'm hoping someone will come out with an LED install for DRL's- it should be relatively easy, right? ;)

      I've read elsewhere about cycling the HID's and concerns about durability- and I often think about that when I pull into my garage and the lights flick on for the last 4 feet before I stop the car.

      Regarding the amber lights in Canada- my old, dusty, memory from U.S. drivers education is that it is illegal to drive with parking lights (ambers) only. At least in Michigan and Minnesota.
       
    17. vulnox

      vulnox Member

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      I lived in Michigan all my life up to about 2 years ago. I have never heard of driving with ambers only as being illegal (doesn't make it not true, but I did it a lot and never had any trouble, so who knows). A lot of US states do have laws against not having your lights on, or just using amber lights, if it is dusk.

      Basically for the same reasons that fog lights exist, it isn't about what you see with the lights, its the lights allowing others to see you better. Same with using lights in the rain (something that still blows my mind that people cannot grasp, especially those in gray or black vehicles).

      I would love to get some DRL LED lights as someone else mentioned though. Our Fiesta has the LED Strip lights where the standard fog lights would be, but even they don't stay on all the time, and aren't very bright in the daylight. Would be nice if they worked as DRL and had decent output during the daytime.
       
    18. bfocussvt

      bfocussvt New Member

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      I can CONFIRM that factory DRLs can be enabled on the Explorer.

      Unfortunately, I promised the techs that I would NOT disclose who/where I had it done as the IDS laptop states that any changes to the BCM are not authorized and the techs are solely liable for any changes not authorized by Ford.

      Ford's online service manual states that DRLs cannot be programmed by the dealership and is only available on Canadian and Fleet vehicles. The service department wanted the opportunity to play with it so they agreed to check it out and they let me see.

      Hooked up the laptop, confirmed VIN/specs. Then went to exterior lighting, daytime running lights. Now the warning pops up about unauthorized changes. I gave him my "blessing" and he moved forward. There are two options: Daytime Running Lights - disable or enable AND Daytime Running Lights - None or Parking Lamps(HID)/Headlamps(Halogen). The first one tells the BCM to enable or disable the DRL function and the second one tells it which lights to illuminate.

      On the non-HID models the headlamps come on with reduced power while the HID vehicles have the turn signal (3157?) bulb light up.

      Once that is complete, the tech needs to do a key cycle thing to clear codes and VOILA! DRLs enabled.

      Enjoy and press the dealership that it can be done if you really want it... Now make this a sticky!
       
    19. RandyH2

      RandyH2 Active Member

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      +1 Sticky

      Thanks!!!!! for sharing this info. SO- Cory/Rebecca/IVT folks, now that we know it can be done can one of you share information as to why we shouldn't have it done? I'd like to know if DRL's are a hold-back for a future model "upgrade" or if they were disabled because of some reliability issue.
       
    20. bfocussvt

      bfocussvt New Member

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      No problem.

      It's amazing how Ford is the ONLY domestic automaker that has not embraced DRLs in one way or another. Seems like every Ford I have owned has DRLs "disabled" and no possible way of getting them activated according to Ford. Yet, my Contour SVT only needed a relay to activate them, my Mercury Montego and Ford Flex just needed them to be turned on via the SJB and now the Explorer just needed the "switch" to be flipped in the body control module.

      I can tell you I don't believe they will be an upgrade to ANY Ford model anytime soon as Ford does not actively tout that their vehicles come with daytime running lights. As far as reliability - reliability for what? Headlamp bulbs? Turn signal bulbs? Almost every other manufacturer offers them standard, even Ford offers them on Fleet vehicles and our EXACT same vehicle/options north of the border. If that's the case, Canadians better be pissed that they will have issues with the vehicles due to DRLs.

      Either way Randy, prepare for the standard one liner from any Ford rep about this "unauthorized" modification.

      P.S. Still love Ford as I'm only 31 and have owned Ford vehicles.
       
    21. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      Going to the dealer next week for an MFT fix...I hope. I'm going to try to talk my way in with this tip but I don't hold much hope. Regardless, it will go in the glove box for future reference. Sooner or later I'll find someone with a computer willing to tweak Ford's stupid restriction.
       
    22. bfocussvt

      bfocussvt New Member

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      It's been proven that it works and the steps are here how to do it so there is no reason why they shouldn't try it out.
       
    23. Sharin

      Sharin Elite Explorer

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      OK, here's the deal. Took the 2011 Explorer in today to finally get our MFT Nav fixed. Jury still out on that but, while there I gave the dealer a copy of your instructions on how to set up the DRL. The service tech called at mid morning to tell me that the DRL fix required the use of one of their computers and it would cost $31. Nobody argued about whether it was doable or would violate any Ford policy. Yesterday I checked with the insurance company to see how much of a discount I was getting.........$3.61 for DRL I'll be really old before I break even but I'm happy to have the ambers lighting my way...and hopefully keeping me safer on the road...thanks for the great tip.
       
    24. bfocussvt

      bfocussvt New Member

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      It definitely requires their computer. It needs to be connected to the car to access the BCM options. Once he gets to the exterior light/drl option it will throw a prompt that any changes are unauthorized by Ford, etc... I know because the tech let me watch over his shoulder the entire time.

      $3.61 for every 6-month policy or per year? If it's every six months you'll break even at 4 years.

      Either way, glad it will hopefully work out for you!:thumbsup:
       
    25. tropicvi

      tropicvi Elite Explorer

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      Great post... I took delivery last week and am going to march the vehicle back to the dealer to have this fix made. I have DRL on my 07 Solstice, they have had no impact on bulb life (have not had to replace any in 5 years). The factor of being more visible to others, is the big plus on safety .
       
    26. bfocussvt

      bfocussvt New Member

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      I agree. Because it's the 3157 bulb I cannot see the bulb life being impacted enough to the point to where it needs to be replaced frequently.

      Though, as close as that bulb is it's a pain in the arse to replace...
       

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