Can daytime running lights be disabled in a Volkswagen?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Tips & Tricks on Monday, October 14th, 2019 at 9:06 pm
Blue 2019 Volkswagen Jetta cruises up a highway with its daytime running lights activated.

How to Turn Off Volkswagen Daytime Running Lights

Daytime running lights, which are activated all the time regardless of time or visibility level, are appearing in almost every new vehicle these days. This is because they’ve been statistically shown to make driving safer. However, occasional situations arise where a driver wishes they could turn off their daytime running lights. How do you turn off daytime running lights in a Volkswagen?

2019 Volkswagen Atlas tows a camper up a highway with its daytime running lights activated.

View More Volkswagen Tips & Tricks!

The simplest way to turn off daytime running lights with the engine on in a Volkswagen is by activating the emergency brake. Simply pull the e-brake lever, and the DRLs should turn off. This is because the vehicle is confirmed to no longer be “running,” so even though the engine is activated the lights should turn off.

It’s very important that you realize the risk of deactivating your daytime running lights. We highly recommend that you keep them activated at all times while driving. However, we understand that some situations can occur in which you wish to turn them off.

Read More: What’s new on the 2020 Volkswagen models?

Why might someone want to turn off their daytime running lights?

Common reasons people wish to turn off their DRLs include any time they want to sit in their car with the engine running but without the lights on. Perhaps they want to run the AC or heater without broadcasting their existence, or they want to charge their phone.

One of the most common reasons we hear about is the attendance of a drive-in movie. Families may want to sit in their vehicle with the climate control or radio on (with the doors open), but it’s very disruptive to have the lights shining on other viewers. This is a situation where we can certainly understand using the emergency brake to deactivate daytime running lights.

Do daytime running lights drain the battery?

Some drivers complain that continuously running the DRLs wears down the bulbs, drains the battery, and puts continued strain on the alternator. This is true, though the effect is very slight. It’s a small price to pay for the boosted safety brought along by daytime running lights.

DRLs can be permanently disabled by modifying the wiring, but we don’t recommend this for the safety reasons stated above.

If you have any more questions about daytime running lights, contact our knowledgeable service team!


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