Guide How To Disable Daytime Running Lights (instructions)

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2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
This thread got me curious about what my DRLs even look like from outside the car. I never would have cared enough to take a look, let alone, to go through all that to turn them off. Is there some perceived advantage to turning them off?
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
I never realized that the DRLs only come on when you put the CR in drive. Every other car I’ve had they came on as soon as you start the engine. I got out to see what they looked like today, and no lights. As soon as I put it in drive, on they came. Learn something new every day.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
I thought maybe that was the reason. I wonder how long these lights last under normal conditions. LEDs have an incredibly long life.
You would think so. But most LED DRLs on 2016 CX-5, and on some 2016.5 CX-5’s, have failed after 2 ~ 4 years. A recall was issued last year after a class action lawsuit was initiated earlier. But there’s a major delay for the recall process
so far.

Before the recall, it’d cost us $1,200 for part only to fix ONE failed DRL without new car warranty.

Daytime running lights dim/flickering
 
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2018 CX-5 Sport
I turned mine off because my neighbor friend said that when I turn in my driveway, my lights shined right into his window. And I sometimes went for a late night snack. So I turned them off and turned my headlights on after turning into the street so he couldn't see me going out for a late night snack.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
You would think so. But most LED DRLs on 2016 CX-5, and on some 2016.5 CX-5’s, have failed after 2 ~ 4 years. A recall was issued last year after a class action lawsuit was initiated earlier. But there’s a major delay for the recall process
so far.

Before the recall, it’d cost us $1,200 for part only to fix ONE failed DRL without new car warranty.

Daytime running lights dim/flickering
I’ll look for more information on all that. Was the recall just for the earlier models? Mine's close, 2017. Do you know if that figure is for parts and labor, or just the light itself. I don’t even know if my DRL is a separate light, or if it's one of my actual headlights. I’ve never given it any thought until this thread. Seems like I saw someplace that it is the main headlight on a low power setting. I still haven’t seen it in person since it shuts off as soon as you put the car in park.

Thanks for that information.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I’ll look for more information on all that. Was the recall just for the earlier models? Mine's close, 2017. Do you know if that figure is for parts and labor, or just the light itself. I don’t even know if my DRL is a separate light, or if it's one of my actual headlights. I’ve never given it any thought until this thread. Seems like I saw someplace that it is the main headlight on a low power setting. I still haven’t seen it in person since it shuts off as soon as you put the car in park.

Thanks for that information.
~$1,200 at the time is for the part only, the adjustment on AFS after the entire LED headlight replacement is additional. Fortunately after Mazda was forced to recall those problematic LED headlights with build-in LED accent strip DRLs on 2015 / 2016 CX-5 by the government in Japanese market, Mazda North American Operations had decided to issue a recall for 2016 US CX-5 in 2020. The price on those LED headlights have since come down to $500 ~ $900 range depending on MY. But most 2016 CX-5 owners are still waiting for the parts to get their LED headlights replaced.

The problem is from LED connecter sealing gasket which is emitting sulfur and damaging the LED circuit. Mazda had changed the previous gray gasket to a low sulfur black gasket in order to improve a separate cosmetic issue on headlights with a different TSB. There’re many revisions on LED headlights for 2016 CX-5. The latest “J” version on part number, or those headlights manufactured after 11/20/2015 with newer low sulfur black gasket should be fine for the problem.

Here’s a good summarization by zoomies on LED headlight problem for 2016 CX-5:

Daytime running lights dim/flickering 2

For gen-2 CX-5 like yours, I wouldn’t worry too much on LED DRLs. But all LEDs do have a service life. By using the low-beam LED headlights as DRLs on gen-2 US CX-5 is not a wise decision by Mazda. They’ll fail eventually if the low-beam LEDs are heavily used day and night, even with low-power mode when they serve as part of DRL setup.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GS
~$1,200 at the time is for the part only, the adjustment on AFS after the entire LED headlight replacement is additional. Fortunately after Mazda was forced to recall those problematic LED headlights with build-in LED accent strip DRLs on 2015 / 2016 CX-5 by the government in Japanese market, Mazda North American Operations had decided to issue a recall for 2016 US CX-5 in 2020. The price on those LED headlights have since come down to $500 ~ $900 range depending on MY. But most 2016 CX-5 owners are still waiting for the parts to get their LED headlights replaced.

The problem is from LED connecter sealing gasket which is emitting sulfur and damaging the LED circuit. Mazda had changed the previous gray gasket to a low sulfur black gasket in order to improve a separate cosmetic issue on headlights with a different TSB. There’re many revisions on LED headlights for 2016 CX-5. The latest “J” version on part number, or those headlights manufactured after 11/20/2015 with newer low sulfur black gasket should be fine for the problem.

Here’s a good summarization by zoomies on LED headlight problem for 2016 CX-5:

Daytime running lights dim/flickering 2

For gen-2 CX-5 like yours, I wouldn’t worry too much on LED DRLs. But all LEDs do have a service life. By using the low-beam LED headlights as DRLs on gen-2 US CX-5 is not a wise decision by Mazda. They’ll fail eventually if the low-beam LEDs are heavily used day and night, even with low-power mode when they serve as part of DRL setup.
Thank you!
 
2021 CX-5 Signature (2.5L Turbo, AWD). I tried the preceding instructions (original post and post #165) to turn off the DRLs many(!) times without positive results. What I finally ended up doing was removing the DRL relay located in the engine compartment fuse box. No more DRLs. All other exterior lights (headlight low/high beams, all parking lights, turn signals, etc.) appear to work as expected. No dash warnings received so far.

Here are images showing the location of my DRL relay as shown on inside cover of the fuse box. FWIW, the DRL relay (and others) are not shown in the fuse diagrams located in the owner's manual. Note that this procedure may not be applicable to other trim levels:

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CarpeDiem

Under Pressure
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Superstitions
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2021 CE Turbo
Thank you for such a clear, concise description of what worked for you. I have no problem with DRLs and fully understand the value they bring to all drivers, but for those who want the option to disable them your post is golden.
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
I had to try the instructions 3 or 4 times to get mine off so I could drive my family through the zoo lights display a while ago. It worked. I re-enabled them a day or two later.
 
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2016.5 CX-5 GT AWD titanium/black 2016 Miata Club ST MT white
But, why?
Here's why!

I was out on my motorcycle yesterday. It was a bit hazy in the morning but the sun was out. I came up on a slow moving car on a two lane. The other lane looked clear and I was just about to pass when I noticed that it wasn't clear to pass after all. There was a dark colored car coming at me. If that person had had their DRLs on I would have seen them immediately.

To each their own but for me the additional bit of viewability, and safety, that DRLs provide are most definitely worth it.

What's the down side? I still don't get it...
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Here's why!

I was out on my motorcycle yesterday. It was a bit hazy in the morning but the sun was out. I came up on a slow moving car on a two lane. The other lane looked clear and I was just about to pass when I noticed that it wasn't clear to pass after all. There was a dark colored car coming at me. If that person had had their DRLs on I would have seen them immediately.

To each their own but for me the additional bit of viewability, and safety, that DRLs provide are most definitely worth it.

What's the down side? I still don't get it...
I thought motorcycle riders mostly are against DRLs as they and school buses have lost their distinctiveness of the old days with the headlights on on the road in the daytime?

I usually believe the DRLs are controversial and I only against them if the high-beams are used as the DRLs. I disabled all the DRLs on my vehicles until our 2016 CX-5 GT with Tech, as it has dedicated Signature LED DRLs which “should” last a lot longer (unfortunately not!).

Nowadays very few vehicles still use high-beams as the DRLs, and LED DRLs can support the required longevity of the DRLs. The only reason I want to disable my DRLs is the reliability concerns since I don’t ride motorcycle and I don’t drive school bus. :whistle:
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
Here's why!

I was out on my motorcycle yesterday. It was a bit hazy in the morning but the sun was out. I came up on a slow moving car on a two lane. The other lane looked clear and I was just about to pass when I noticed that it wasn't clear to pass after all. There was a dark colored car coming at me. If that person had had their DRLs on I would have seen them immediately.

To each their own but for me the additional bit of viewability, and safety, that DRLs provide are most definitely worth it.

What's the down side? I still don't get it...
But, why?
Because fewer people die when DRLs are used.

Here, where we get more than our share of overcast days, there are always morons out there, seems like usually with road-colored cars, who don't even turn on their lights when its dusk and raining.

You don't know what your car looks like to other people, or when a little light improves their recognition of the presence of your car.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Because fewer people die when DRLs are used.

Here, where we get more than our share of overcast days, there are always morons out there, seems like usually with road-colored cars, who don't even turn on their lights when its dusk and raining.

You don't know what your car looks like to other people, or when a little light improves their recognition of the presence of your car.
Remember how many people we’ve seen didn’t turn on the headlights (hence no tail lights) in the dark when the DRLs are the high-beams? In addition to losing the distinctiveness driving with the headlights on from motorcycles and school buses, I missed the old days with an additional capability of using the headlights for some special purposes driving on the highway, such as “Stay away from me I’m tired”、“Be aware, the cops are at front”、”Thank you for letting me pass”、or any other warnings or gestures needed.

Of course a dedicated LED DRLs will eliminated all the complaints I used to have on DRLs. Unfortunately to save some pennies, Mazda doesn’t use dedicated LED DRLs on gen-2 CX-5 like they use in many other regions for the US market. Using headlights as DRLs simply is a bad idea, especially if the LED headlights get burned out due to the overuse and see how much $$$ you need to spend to replace them!

Everything has its good side and bad side, DRLs are the same.
 
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2018 AWD GT Premium Red/Black
Remember how many people we’ve seen didn’t turn on the headlights (hence no tail lights) in the dark when the DRLs are the high-beams? In addition to losing the distinctiveness driving with the headlights on from motorcycles and school buses, I missed the old days with an additional capability of using the headlights for some special purposes driving on the highway, such as “Stay away from me I’m tired”、“Be aware, the cops are at front”、”Thank you for letting me pass”、or any other warnings or gestures needed.

Of course a dedicated LED DRLs will eliminated all the complaints I used to have on DRLs. Unfortunately to save some pennies, Mazda doesn’t use dedicated LED DRLs on gen-2 CX-5 like they use in many other regions for the US market. Using headlights as DRLs simply is a bad idea, especially if the LED headlights get burned out due to the overuse and see how much $$$ you need to spend to replace them!

Everything has its good side and bad side, DRLs are the same.
I don't mind headlights as DRL. I think Mazda's culpability here is in having headlights that are so expensive to replace.

If the cost were similar to spark plugs, or even brakes, it wouldn't be a big deal.
 
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2016.5 CX-5 GT AWD titanium/black 2016 Miata Club ST MT white
I thought motorcycle riders mostly are against DRLs as they and school buses have lost their distinctiveness of the old days with the headlights on on the road in the daytime?

I usually believe the DRLs are controversial and I only against them if the high-beams are used as the DRLs. I disabled all the DRLs on my vehicles until our 2016 CX-5 GT with Tech, as it has dedicated Signature LED DRLs which “should” last a lot longer (unfortunately not!).

Nowadays very few vehicles still use high-beams as the DRLs, and LED DRLs can support the required longevity of the DRLs. The only reason I want to disable my DRLs is the reliability concerns since I don’t ride motorcycle and I don’t drive school bus. :whistle:
I can't speak for other MC riders but I can tell you that THIS MC rider is not against DRLs and I never have been. Being a rider I can tell you first hand that ANYTHNG that makes one more conspicuous on the road is a very good thing.

I know that some people are too stupid to understand that even if you have DRLs on your car that you still have to turn your headlights on when needed. DRLs or not these people still need to turn their headlights on. Nothing will change that.