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Shutting Off DRLs in a 2002 Malibu LS

gmallthewaygmalltheway Posts: 77
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
My wife has a 2002 Malibu LS and i HATE the Daytime Running Lights. I'd like to override the system. The only thing i know to do and i've done it is cut out i little peice of towel and put it over the auto headlights sensor located in the middle of the defroster but then you have to turn the swich to the parking lights and push the foglight button, it looks "cool" when that is done but i would just like to beable not have any lights whatsoever on in the front!! PLEASE HELP!


  • jc1973jc1973 Posts: 63
    i have the same stupid problem with my 97 grand am i just pull up the ebrake anotch tirns off all lights and it doesn,t effect the rear brakes all my lights come on even during daylight very dumb system but then again it,s a lousy car anyway im thru with gm from now on
  • is your e-brake on the floor or console? becuase i know it works with cars that have it on the console but does it work with e-brakes on the floor?
  • jc1973jc1973 Posts: 63
    i don,t know mine is on the console
  • Actually, the brake doesn't stop it. I found out one night. If you set the park brake a notch or two, the DRLs (Day Time Running Lights) go off, but if you begin to drive they come back on. One way to get them off is to remove the Circuit breaker, it is located in the fuse box under the hood. The manual has a fuse map, and the DRLs run on their on little circuit breaker. I have one question though, when you are inside the car (the driver), there is no indication that the DRLs are on outside the car, what is it that bothers you (the driver) so much to where you'll go through so much trouble to turn off the DRLs? It seems like it is more trouble trying to drive with them off, then actually driving with them on. Personally, they come in handy, because whenever I'm parked, my lights are off, of course unless it is night time, and when it rains i don't have to worry about turning the head lights on, because they are already on.
  • the DRL's are at reduced brightness, therefore in rain there are not as useful, the rear lights don't come on AND the dash doesn't light up either.
  • Very interesting web site. I think that it made some very good points, and sometimes, very reaching points. It has brought lots of things to my attention that I've never really considered before. Sadly, i think it is pretty much dead in the water, and a waste of time. Some car manufactures, Particularly GM for example, seems to have already started to possibly respond to the concerns of the group(s) opposing DRLs. It seems that GM is using the front parking lights at increased intensity, like on some buicks, the new Caddy CTS and the new Chevy Express and GMC Savana Vans. I think i see a pattern developing, in addition to using the parking lights as DRLs,the new Chevy Express and GMC Savana vans gives the driver the option to turn the DRLs off. That definitely solves the glare problem. What would be an area of possible concern for using the parking lights as DRLs? This is a real question. I completely understand how the glare of the current DRLs, such as on the Malibu, could be a problem/annoyance for some drivers.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Chevymalibu19: I think some people just need somthing to complain about. If gmalltheway so much then why did he/she buy a vehicle with them on it? He/she has a 2002 Malibu and it is no surprise that GM put DRL on all of it's vehicles.

    I've visited the site before and like you said there are some valid points but not enough for me to condemn the entire concept. It is still a plus to have them especially at dusk. Sometimes the car blends in with the trees and sky and the DRl are only thing the shows that a car is coming. As far as the stats are concerned, I'm not sure how you can measure something that does not happen. Also how you can contribute fewer accidents to DRL esp. when you are dealing with human beings.

    Meanwhile gmalltheway, if you must have the DRL turned off, call your local Chevy dealer and ask the service manager. I'm sure if anyone knows they do.
  • Something to COMPLAIN about!? If you would have read the MANY things i have said , I LOVE MY MALIBU LS, I KNOW all GM vehicles have DRL's anyone who drives would notice that as they drove down the road and saw the lights on all GM vehicles. I simply wanted to change something on my car and was looking for some help on doing that. I'm sure you've "complained" about your car before, seeing that it is a Ford Exploder.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    First off I have 1996 V8 Explorer not Exploder. It has 140k miles on it and has served me very well. I would put my Explorer (not Explorers in general) on par with the reliability of a Toyota Corolla. I only hope you and I can say that about our Malibus after 140k miles. I highly doubt it since I have already complained more about my Malibu in the 28k miles I have put on it then my Explorer in the 140k.

    I will note that your first post that the title was printed in capital letters which indicates "shouting" on web boards. Your first line of your post indicates that " ...and i HATE the Daytime Running Lights". So now I think you have some strong hatred towards DRL which is why I directed that statement towards you. I apologize if I offended you as that was not my intent. Personally, I could care less about DRL. I have a hard time understanding how DRL esp. when you can't even see theme from inside the car, evoke so much anger and consume so much time. Esp. when we tolerate things like people ride the left lane, people reading in their cars, kids not being properly buckled in the cars, dogs sitting on the driver's lap, etc.

    I've read through the website a couple of years ago. And like I stated earlier some valid points but they lost me when they started to indicate that DRL hurt fuel economy and down played some of the obvious conditions where DRL lights are beneficial. Now I do agree that some manufacturers took the easy route and are using high beams and that some of the DRL are a little bright. But the concept of DRL lights is still sound to me. Heck you have a number of people disputing the benefits of ABS (and still do) and seatbelt use.

    As I suggested in my previous post, call your Chevy dealership and talk to the service manager on how to turn off the DRL. They can probably tell you the best way to do it... if it is possible. Or check your manual for the fuse box configuration. See if there is a dedicated fuse for the DRL.
  • alcanalcan Posts: 2,550
    Disconnect the DRL resistor, rear of front impact bar behind front fascia. Wiring harness ID is:

    Pin A, GRAY, Circuit 589, DRL Resistor Supply Voltage
    Pin B,BLACK, Circuit 1350, Ground

    Will probably set DTC B2600 and light the SERVICE indicator.
  • Is it not possible to pull the circuit breaker? The Fuse map in the manual says that the DRLs have there on breaker, so I'd guess, and it's just a guess, that that can be pulled disabling the DRL system.
  • moonshadowmoonshadow Posts: 256
    I just discovered this board on DRLs and could not believe my eyes. I'm being blinded by a complaint against DRLs. It boggles my mind that people are so upset about this. I read the anti DRL site and was bewildered. Are these people for real, Is this the only thing they can cry about. Give me a break. I know, i know, i am stepping on somebodys toes with spiked shoes.

    Really what is the problem. Where do i start and will i be able to finish. hehe

    The other site was rambling about the glare of these lights and the blinding effect they have and the problem of being followed by "blinding" DRLs in the daytime. I suggest that these people hang up their liscence if they are bothered by these lights in the daytime. How on earth do they drive at night when their eyes are dilated and the littlest bit of light burrows to the back of your skull. Come on people. If you want to stare at these lights because you have a pet peeve that they make you stare at them , go ahead. But do not try and convince me that i am blinded by them in the daytime. They are far less intense than a regular low beam light at night when you pupil is wide open. Do you stare at those in the night when the DRLs go off.

    I'm surprise that there isn't a website dedicated to having all lights turned off at night because when you stare at every car coming towards you at night, they are blinding and can cause a dangerous situation. Geeeessss

    The sun is in the sky, it is bright and if you stare at it every time you notice it out of the corner of your eye, it will bother you and will most probably, will literally blind you. That is why 99.99999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of the people DO NOT look at it.

    Crappers i hardly even notice them,(people tell me i'm a stickler for detail) and never have thought that they were bright and blinding. I think that the only time that i would notice them is if the other buddy was coming at me head on, and then i would be glad that they were there.

    This crap about the climate and ambient light is crapola. I always found that when you are driving into the sun or the sun reflects off a car to render it almost invisible, the one thing i see is the coherent DRL peeking through, that is unaffected by the reflection , glare et al. Hence their use on motorbikes.

    If you fixate on something like you have OCD then for sure they will bother you. It's like when you drive through some off the wall town and everybody seems to have the same weird lawn oraments, like the fat lady bending over, showing her knickers(like the British say). Then you start to fixate and start looking and staring at them,(not in a pre-vert way,bad example hehe) hence taking your eyes off the road more than one should.

    The whole time i read the other site, i kept thinking about all those motorcycles out there running people off the road, blinding and maiming people.(sarcastic) But then, ta da, they even had an excuse for that saying that the sea of DRLs will detract you from seeing a motorcycle. Ummm, ahem, you cant have it both ways, why is that daytime running lights work for motorcycles and not for cars. give me a break.

    This reminds me of the seat belt thingee way back in the dark ages where people would rather go through the windshield, across the hood and get run over by their own car because they heard a story that some "one", once, somewhere died because the seat belt would not come off.

    People hate change and i think if these drl people were running the world for the last couple hundred years, we would be riding around in wagons and living in huts. No wonder the aliens do not want to have anything to do with us down here. LOL
    Anyway , i appoligize in advance, to all the crusaders out there, that i have offended, that believe they are saving the world but i saw nothing convincing, other than the fuel consumption that is really an issue. If you want to complain about fuel than think about your air conditioner. It takes a hell of a lot of DRLs to make up for one AC.

    PS> if you really want to stop carnage on the road try fixating on drunk drivers and unfit/not maintained cars and big trucks.

    Here's a thought to fixate on, those moron cell phone users that can't unglue the stupid phone from the side of their stupid head while they weave their way down the middle of the road drinking their 8 million degree coffee from MacDonalds, reading the newspaper, shifting their standard while fiddling with their CD player.

    I am truly sorry but "i don't get it"

    there ! thats enough!
  • I'd have to agree with most of what Mooonshadow said, just not quite as passionately and as elequantly.

    It puzzles me also how some people can come up with some of the reason they do to oppose DRLs. Although we must admit, without these such people opposing new things, some things wouldn't get better. For example, these DRLs have become very Sophisticated and more effective since they were first introduced. Like when they were first used with the high beams, I understand how that could have been a bit of a concern, but they evolved into the now low intensity DRLs which are more effective in more ways then one. Due to such groups and people similar to those who created that little web site, which i must admit is kinda ridiculous at times, but also very informative and thought provoking, they are partly responsible for the continued improvement of such ideas and inventions like DRLs. Speaking of improvements, I like the idea of the front parking lights at increased intensity better then the headlights at reduced intensity. The parking lights attract just as much, if not more, attention to the car. One reason i believe, is because the colour yellow automatically attracts attention.

     I'm a big fan of DRLs, because I too, have been saved by those lights several times. Especially at dawn and dusk (my goodness dusk can be a pain to drive in, cause the angle of the sun plus all the traffic.) Anyway, I'm still waiting to see the possible unforeseen concerns with the parking lights as DRLs, I'm interested to see what someone has to say about how they could have a negative impact on the road.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    if you press the dome override switch four times the DRLs go off...check the manual and see if there is something like that on these cars.
  • luckylouluckylou Posts: 308
    My wife and I just purchased a 2003 Toyota Land Cruiser that comes with the DRL's as standard equipment . A few days ago I went to the dealrship to ask them to remove the drl's and they told me they could not do it I said OK , then I pulled over to the service manager of the same dealer and he said no problem but it would cost me $126.00 to remove the chip from the computer job done all the other lights working perfect . For you guys out there this pesky lights that some auto manufacture want to impose on us are not the law of the country and is your right to have them disconnected by the dealer.
  • mwellmanmwellman Posts: 6
    For all of those experiencing problems with your Malibu (brakes, etc.), YOU CAN FILE A COMPLAINT with the Center for Auto Safety ( and with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - NHTSA ( Both offer online filing of complaints. These complaints are used for investigations and as the basis for forcing manufacturer recalls on defective products. You can also indicate if you would like to be part of a CLASS ACTION lawsuit.

    Both sites have a wealth of information about what you can do with a defective vehicle (info about lemon laws, attorney referrals by state, complaining to the manufacturer, "secret warranties" to extend the mfr's warranty, technical service bulletins, recalls and investigations, etc.).

  • mhgjr98mhgjr98 Posts: 6
    Hello to everyone...First of all, I have a 98 Malibu LS, and I like the DRL feature, as I think other drivers can see you better. However, I have put in those "Super White" bulbs and those bulbs cost around $40 for 2 bulbs. I have had these in the car before, and they seem to burn out more quickly than standard bulbs. So I chose to disable the DRLs because I don't want them on everytime I drive during the day, as they are expensive. I removed the DRL relay in the fuse box under the hood. The only problem with this, is the "sevice vehicle soon" light stays on, and the only purpose for this light is to let you know there is a problem in the DRL or automatic lighting system. With the relay out, just the DRLs are affected, not the automatic lighting that comes on at night when you start your car and release the parking brake. So if you can live with the "Service vehicle soon" light on, I think this is a good option for shutting off the DRLs.
  • swschradswschrad Posts: 2,171
    of the relay socket someplace would shut the confuser up, and keep the DRLs off, for those who absolutely, positively, totally cannot stand the thought of those lights being sorta on....
  • wpbharrywpbharry Posts: 399
    Why did you buy a Malibu and, knowlingly, aware that it had DRLs??? DUH!!! Only ugly people are afraid to be noticed. Tired of seeing this discussion on the top of the board.
  • mhgjr98mhgjr98 Posts: 6
    I bought my Malibu because I do really like the car, and I don't mind the DRLs at all, I just don't want my headlights burning out in 3 months. These super white lights I have put in, burn hotter than regular headlights, which operate at 55 watts. Super whites burn at 80 watts and belive me you can see much better at night with them. I had an 98 S-10 before and the high beams were the DRLs, and only lit up half of their brightness. My Malibu DRLs are lit at the same brightness as the regular headlights that come on at night. And belive me, I get noticed at night.
  • You said... "The only problem with this, is the "sevice vehicle soon" light stays on, and the only purpose for this light is to let you know there is a problem in the DRL or automatic lighting system."

    Well yes. if that is the only problem you have or will ever have.

    The problem with the idiot light being on for an idiot type reason is that if and when you get a real and serious problem, like sensor failure or misfire burning holes in your pistons, you will never know until it is to late.
  • I know I said the "service engine soon" light (the one under the tach) comes on with a problem with the DRLs or ALC, I am going by what the owner's manual says. There is a seperate light for the engine control system. The "check engine" (the light that has a icon of a engine and says check and is by the fuel gauge)is for the engine control sensors. Believe me, I have seen that light many of times. I have researched a repair manual and removing the DRL relay does throw off a few other things too. I have since put back in the relay.
This discussion has been closed.