Daytime running lights, or DRL, have been implemented in many places around the world as an added safety measure for cars. These lights help to make cars more visible in low light situations and show that the engine is running.
Systems like the daytime running lights are designed to keep you from getting into an accident so it’s important to know the warning signs that indicate their failure.
What the DRL light means
Every manufacturer does things a little bit differently so refer to the owner’s manual for any specific information regarding your vehicle. Usually, if the DRL light is on, it indicates that the computer has detected an issue. When you start the engine, the DRL light will come on for a few seconds or until you release the parking brake. This light should turn off afterwards once the system verifies that everything is working as intended. Typically, a faulty bulb may be the culprit, but there are fuses and relays in the circuit that can cause similar issues. Keep in mind that some systems will leave this warning light on to tell the driver that the lights are on.
Is it safe to drive with the DRL light on?
Even if the light is warning you of a fault, the car is still pretty safe to drive. As long as your car’s normal headlights are working, you have nothing to worry about. You should still have the warning light investigated by a professional as there could be a worse problem developing.
If your daytime running lights are malfunctioning, one of our certified technicians would be able to help you diagnose the issue.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as What Does the DRL Warning Light Mean? and was authored by Spencer Cates.