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Daytime Running Lights Disable Instructions

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Old 05-30-06, 08:18 PM   #1
tkrussell
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Default Daytime Running Lights Disable Instructions

How-to Instructions for Disabling the Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
on RX 330 and RX350.

The process is completely reversible, and causes no result other than disabling the DRL.
It should take about 30 minutes to complete.

Unlike some Lexus models, the RX 330/ 350 /400 does not have a software switch to disable DRL in the Lexus personalized Settings (LPS).

Disclaimer: Although these instructions have been demonstrated to work well on the RX330, use of the information is AT YOUR OWN RISK. I am unaware of any legal or contractual sanctions incurred by disabling the DRL in the USA, but again, you should check your State Laws (or other country laws) before proceeding.

Background: The DRL works by running 12v current through BOTH High Beams in series, producing a low intensity light. In essence, each 12v bulb sees only 6v. DRL is switched to be on whenever Low or High Beam headlamps are off and the engine is running with the parking brake off. The headlamp system uses 5 fuses and 5 relays to control everything.

DRL is disabled by interrupting the ground circuit of the DRL series current. Removing the "DRL" fuse or a "DRL" relay will also disable the RH High Beam, or worse, depending on the relay removed.

Tools Required:
Small Screwdriver. Electricians Tape, Miniature Screwdriver 0.070" or a 1/8" wide by 0.050 thick flat metal shim about the size of a shirt collar stay.

Procedure:
1) Make sure everything is working to begin with. Start the engine, release the parking brake, and with the headlamps to "Off", make sure both high beams are ON at low intensity.
Turn the switch to "Parking Lights". 2 small bulbs above the High Beams should also come on, as well as the tail lamps. Turn the switch to "Headlamps". The Low beams should come On, and the low intensity High beams should turn Off. Note that the 2 small bulbs in the High Beam housing are still On (these are the front Parking Lights) Toggle the Dimmer to High Beams. The High Beams should both come on at Full intensity. Now turn Lights and Engine Off.

2) Open the Hood. Remove the Black Panel covering the Right Side (of the car) Engine Compartment (4 fasteners). Push the fastener center dot to release. DO NOT lose the fasteners in the engine bowels! Set the fasteners aside, and remove the cover and set aside.

3) On the Right Inner Fender is a rectangular Black Box labeled "Relay". Open the top by using a small screwdriver to gently pry the end locks. Set the top aside. Inside are 2 Relays.

4) Remove the FRONT Relay by gently pulling it out. Note that it has 5 Contacts. 3 in a Row, and 2 on the other side. Set it aside.

5) Restart the engine. Confirm that the DRL are off. Turn on the Headlamps and Toggle the High Beam. Confirm that the LH High Beam is ON, and the RH High Beam is OFF. This insures that you at the correct Relay. Turn the Engine and Lights Off.

6) Gently Remove the Other Relay from the Box as well, and set it aside. It has a different Prong configuration. Gently pull the Relay Box up and off of its mounting. Gently extend the Wiring Harness leading to it to give yourself some slack.

7) Open the Bottom of the Relay Box by gently Prying the locks. It will pivot open on one edge.
Turn the entire Relay Box over to see the Wiring inside.

8) The Front Relay has 5 wires leading to it. Orange, Turquoise, Blue, and 2 White/Black Stripe.
Note that Turquoise , Blue, and 1 White/Black Stripe are Thicker in Diameter. The Orange and the other White/Black Stripe are thinner.

9) Find the Thicker White/Black Stripe Wire. It should lead to the Center Contact of the 3 in a Row set. THIS IS YOUR TARGET.

10) For a permanent fix, you can cut the wire. I HIGHLY recommend you proceed in a reversible fashion. This way you or the next owner can reinstate the DRL easily.

11) Turn the Relay Box upright. To remove the Center Contact of the 3 in a Row, use the Miniature Screwdriver or the Metal Shim to Release the locking Pin of the Contact. This is the only tricky part, and is easy after you have done it once and can see how the Contact locks in place.

12) Look at the Contact from above. It has a Flat side, and a Rounded Side. Slide the Shim or Miniature Screwdriver down the Middle of the Rounded Side against the plastic. Stay in the Middle, You will meet an obstruction (the locking Pin). Push the screwdriver or shim through and GENTLY pull the thicker White/Black Stripe wire from the backside. The wire and Contact should come out of the Box. If it does not, repeat the process. It does NOT take Brute Force.

13) With the Contact free of the Housing, wrap the metal with electricians tape for insulation.
Fold the wire into the Relay Box, and Close the Bottom. Make sure both sides snap in place.
Reset the Relay Box in its Mounting on the Inner Fender.

14) Replace both Relays, pushing them firmly in place. The Front Relay is still needed for the RH High Beam. Replace the Relay Box Cover, making sure both ends snap in place.

15) Replace the Right Engine Cover and 4 fasteners. To Reset the Fasteners, Gently separate the 2 legs until the center Dot can be pushed back up from the bottom to a protruding postion. This is also tricky until you have done it once. Just be gentle. With the Dots protruding, insert the fastener and click the Dot down part way. This will lock the Engine Cover in place.

16) Start the Engine. The DRL should be Off. Go through all positions of the Light Switch and Dimmer to make sure both Low and High Beams on L and R sides come On as they should.

That's it. Make sure you have retrieved all your tools from the Engine Compartment, close the Hood, and enjoy your work.

This Process should work on all US RX 330, RX350, and RX400, in that the Headlight wiring is the same. It will work on Standard and Xenon Low Beams. Please let me know if you discover any Kinks. I have looked only at US wiring diagrams, so I cannot say with certainty if things are the same in Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Note that I have repeatedly used the word "Gently" Plastic will break, and new Lexus parts are expensive.

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Last edited by tkrussell; 05-31-06 at 04:19 PM..
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Old 05-30-06, 08:26 PM   #2
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WOW, thats quite a process. Do like I did with my 06 GX470 and just let the dealer turn the DRL's off in the LPS (Lexus Personalized Settings). Takes all of 5 minutes to do.
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Old 05-30-06, 08:48 PM   #3
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On many Lexus models the dealer can disable the DRL by a software setting in the Lexus Personalized Settings (LPS). Unfortunately, on the RX 330 there is no such option.
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Old 05-31-06, 12:51 PM   #4
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Thanks. This will be good information for those certain people who want to disable the DRL. For those that like DRL they have no reason to perform this modification. No need to turn this into a DRL debate.
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Old 06-01-06, 03:17 PM   #5
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I have no intention of starting a debate but curiosity has the best of me. What's the advantage of doing this? My 2006 Audi has a switch for the drls but the owners manual doesn't say why I should ever turn them off. Just curious.
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Old 06-13-06, 04:18 PM   #6
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THANK YOU !!

Working fine on my 400h. A few differences to note for this model:

Right side cover is in two pieces (front and back). Both need to be removed. 3 fasteners.

You will find 3 black boxes along the right inner fender, marked (from front to back): "Relay/Fuse", "Fuse", "Relay/Fuse". You want the one furthest towards the back of the car. There are two relays in there, along with some fuses. The relays are identical in appearance and prong configuration. You want the one on the right. Inside the top cover of the box this relay is notated as "DRL Relay 3".

The relay box is easily removable, but there is no slack on the wiring harness to be found. (Not a problem.) The bottom of the box has 2 fasteners on per side (not hinged). The wiring color code and all other details were as you stated.


I'm glad to have my lights back under my own control again...

PS: those plastic fasteners are NOT user friendly. I think we're being persuaded to stay out from under the hood.
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Old 06-13-06, 10:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydunn
I have no intention of starting a debate but curiosity has the best of me. What's the advantage of doing this? My 2006 Audi has a switch for the drls but the owners manual doesn't say why I should ever turn them off. Just curious.
Maybe some people dislike seeing a light during broad daylight, since it doesn't really contribute much other then for some safety reasons. Another advantage maybe is that it'll have a longer lifetime if you use it less.
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Old 06-14-06, 01:41 AM   #8
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We all know people have a difference of opinion when it comes to DRL, so leave that discussion for a different topic. This one is purely for the technical information. Thanks.
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Old 06-14-06, 03:11 PM   #9
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tkrussell: wow, that sounds like rocket science!?! not as simple as my is300 was

thanks for the info...
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Old 06-18-06, 01:24 PM   #10
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SAS,
Thanks for the update on the 400h.
Sounds like a few more wires and relays on the hybrid.
At least the headlamp wiring is the same.
Glad the instructions were easy to follow.
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Old 06-20-06, 10:12 PM   #11
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Default DRL Disable

tkrussell, thank you for those instructions.

I haven't tried them yet but will very soon.

Just got my RX a few weeks ago and those lights are driving me nuts.

I asked the dealer but he said they could not be disabled.
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Old 07-02-06, 09:04 PM   #12
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Default Help w/DRL Disable

tkrussell, I tried your instructions to disable the DRLs, but I just cannot get the wire out from the contact. I tried pushing on the relay pin as you describe, but with my screwdriver I don't seem to be able to 'push through' the lock. Basically the screwdriver goes so far and no further. I tried to keep ressure on it while tugging on the wire from underneath, but it wouldn't budge.

Any tips on this?

Thank you.
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Old 07-02-06, 10:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srashid
tkrussell, thank you for those instructions.

I haven't tried them yet but will very soon.

Just got my RX a few weeks ago and those lights are driving me nuts.

I asked the dealer but he said they could not be disabled.
Hi,
I had disable DRL on RX330/350 by change "OEM DRL Relay (5-pins) to Relay with 4 pins.
Photo in http://www.alflash.narod.ru/RX/DRL330.pdf (long file, Russian).
My be useful:
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...oldid=43951071
http://dmses.dot.gov/docimages/pdf29/41090_web.pdf [Standards (FMVSS) No. 108; Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment - Daytime Running Lights (DRL)].
http://www.lightsout.org/story.html (THE STORY OF DRLs).

HTH,
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Old 07-03-06, 11:13 AM   #14
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Default DRL Disable

Alflash, thanks for your response but I don't speak Russian. Is there anywhere I can get the 4-pin relay which disbles the DRL in the US?

Thanks.
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Old 07-03-06, 03:58 PM   #15
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Srashid,
I agree removing the contact from the housing is the most frustrating step of the process.
The BEST tool is the shim I mentioned. About the size of a collar stay, made of steel, with a rounded end. It should be the width of the opening in the housing.

A small screwdriver is the expedient alternative, since it is easier to find. The blade should be about 1/8" or less. It is important the shaft should be as thin as possible. It is more important the shaft be thin enough to slide through the opening. The medium screwdriver from a set of jeweler's screwdrivers will work well.

If you think of the width of the contact in thirds, you should be able to slide the screwdriver down either end third easily. The locking pin is in the middle third, and is a flap of the contact which sticks out and catches on a shelf of the plastic housing. What you are doing is pushing the metal flap down flush with the shim or screwdriver.

Do not pull on the wire until the screwdriver is all the way through. Otherwise you will jam the flap against the shelf. It may help to push the contact in slightly with the wire.as you slide the screwdriver through.

Like a lot of things, this is awkward the first time, and once you have done it once, you think "Duh, How could that have been so difficult?" Just be patient, pushing the screwdriver all the way through in the middle.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-03-06, 03:58 PM
 
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