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Thread: Do you use running lights or always headlights?

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    Senior Member Fummins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timw4mail View Post

    I think some countries also have daytime running lights (eg, dim headlights), so there may be additional confusion there.
    Yesh, look across them great lakes. Drl has been standard equipment since the 90's in the Canada land. The Mirage uses dim high beams as do most vehicles that didn't come with fandangled led lights.

    I've never heard of driving with just park lights being illegal. At least not during the daytime. That might be one of those "a friend's neighbor's,uncle's cousin got pulled over for.........". Or maybe it is just a law that isn't enforced unless the cops want a reason to pull someone over.
    Driving with park lights on used to be cool in high school. Why I have no idea. Now I have park lights on when broke down or parked at night. Oncoming traffic can't see your signals or 4 ways when your headlights are on, I'm assuming that's why most 06+ Dodges turn one headlight off when signalling.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fummins View Post
    Oncoming traffic can't see your signals or 4 ways when your headlights are on, I'm assuming that's why most 06+ Dodges turn one headlight off when signalling.
    That's actually a really common thing for almost all new cars both with and without dedicated LED DRLs. Some vehicles have been using dual-color LEDs to combine the DRL and turn signal into the same lamp (look at the current-gen Honda CRV or GMC Yukon). Then you have manufacturers that go that extra step like Mercedes, when you turn the amber signal off the white DRL fades into brightness instead of snapping on.

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    Senior Member Fummins's Avatar
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    I try not to pay attention to what goes on around me. I'm sure it's common now, I just remember "new" 06 dodge trucks were the first one's I saw like that. Now, I couldn't tell a Toyota from a Hyundai. I have no idea how our Kia drl's work. I pay zero attention to how anything on that thing works. I've only opened the hood to add washer fluid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Magenta View Post
    Mark, you might be the person to answer this. I'm 48 and when I learned to drive in Iowa, I don't remember anything about "running lights" but I do remember "parking lights" and it being illegal to drive with them on. People used to call them bright lights, driving lights and "dims". It might have to do with the color of the bulbs...white lights vs ambers... What's your take on that?
    This entire thread has been a bit confusing. Day running lights & parking lights are two different features.

    If a Mirage was equipped with day running lights (DRL), you would have no control over them. When the car is started, the day running headlights will come on (except for when the parking brake is set). The only other way you could turn them off is by removing your headlights or pulling your headlight fuse. If your Mirage has the DRL feature, you don't turn them on or off. The manual is very clear on this. The only time the DRL would go out while the car is running is when the parking brake is set.

    My 2011 Subaru Forester has DRL. When the Forester is running, the DRL are on. I can't turn them on or off. The only time they go off is when I set my parking brake. Now, my Forester is a manual. I am not certain about a CVT/Automatic set in Park?

    DRL don't include all the other lights on the car. Thus, you must turn on your headlights to have all your other lights come on i(ncluding license plate lights).

    Parking lights are basically irrelevant today. Prior to 1968 parking lights were on their own circuit. Parking lights were designed to be used while parked. Since 1968, they are on the same circuit as your headlights. Roads being narrower years ago is part of the logic for parking lights. Some European countries may still enforce the use of them, maybe? Most people don't use their parking lights for their intended purpose any more. Most people are inclined to use their emergency flashers instead.

    If you google - "is driving with parking lights on legal"? This is the first things you see -

    "Parking lights are located at the front and back of your vehicles; they are white or amber in the front and red on the back. ... It is never legal to drive with your parking lights on; they are only to be used during parking."

    quoted from Lights - Drivers Ed

    Personally, I don't think that is accurate or enforced. Legally, I don't think driving with your parking lights means anything. It's not a practice I would recommend, however.

    Wisconsin passed a 500' law in 2016. If you can't see beyond 500' (darkness, fog, rain, snow, etc.), your headlights must be on.

    If you are driving with your parking lights on under these conditions, you could be ticketed $160.

    Likewise, if you are driving with just your DRL on, you could also be ticketed (because your rear lights & such are not turned on).

    If your car has DRL, you still need to turn on your headlights. GM's automatic lights cloud this issue. I will just ignore that for now.

    The bottom line is this, (DRL or not) you are responsible for turning on your headlights when conditions warrant it. Each state looks at this a bit differently, but many are also the same.

    Those of you driving around with your parking lights are not really using them for what they were designed. I don't think it does any harm, & I don't think officers go out of their way to address it. Most probably don't care or know what is right.

    One of my good friends is a police officer. He's a retired county deputy, & he works part-time for the city police now. He pulls over more people for not having their headlights on than anything else. Ironically, we just had this discussion last night.

    The discussion came up, because yesterday morning was very foggy. Two or three cars piled up behind a school bus stopping to pick up students. A tanker semi-truck ran his entire rig off the road to avoid hitting all of them. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured. I found myself in the line up cars behind all this. I appreciated being able to make a U-turn with my little Mirage and head back around another way into town & school. At the time, none of us could see what had happened up ahead. I heard the local radio station announced the accident just as I was lining up with several other cars. This was on a state highway about 1-2 miles north of town.
    Last edited by Mark; 09-18-2019 at 01:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timw4mail View Post
    Unless it is actually dark, I tend to use the running lights.
    So in a case like this, you are using your parking lights. Your car does not have DRL.

    My 2017 Mirage ES MANUAL doesn't have Day Running Lights. If it did, I would have no control over them. They would be on as soon as the car is running & the parking brake is released.

    Personally, I like how my Mirage is set up. For example -

    My 2011 Forester has DRL & the dash lights are on regardless of the headlights being turned on or not. It's very easy to overlook turning on your headlights as evening approaches or leaving a very well lit parking lot at night. It's also why cars like this have a "headlight on" light on dash, & not just a "bright lights" are on.

    With Mirage, the dark dash at night instantly reminds you that your headlights need to come on. I'm less inclined to drive without my headlights being turned on this way. Just a preference for me. I don't care for DRL, & I wouldn't drive around with parking lights on.

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    Senior Member dspace9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daox View Post
    Yesterday it was a bit foggy going home. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't super clear either. I had my running lights on, no headlights. However, I certainly seem to be in the minority as every other vehicle on the road either has no lights on, or has all their lights on.

    My question to you is, do you use your running lights or do you always use headlights?


    Here is a pic of the weather. It looks clearer than it was.

    I use the second setting where the lights are on all around, but not my headlights full blast at all.

    Like there are 3 light settings on my mirage. 1 is off, 2 is all lights on all around the car (back lights are key here), and 3 is all lights all around on --and the headlights on (they can go high and low beam obviously). The middle one if I wanna be seen. Like daytime foggy weather.
    Last edited by dspace9; 09-18-2019 at 02:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dspace9 View Post
    I use the second setting where the lights are on all around, but not my headlights full blast at all.

    Like there are 3 light settings on my mirage. 1 is off, 2 is all lights on all around the car (back lights are key here), and 3 is all lights all around on --and the headlights on (they can go high and low beam obviously). The middle one if I wanna be seen. Like daytime foggy weather.
    My guess is that most of our Mirages don't have DRL (day running lights) in the U.S.? I don't want to make a total assumptions on that, however?

    Thus, we (Mirage owners) may drive with our headlights off, parking lights on, or headlights on. I understand why people may want to use their parking lights for driving, but they are called "parking lights". It's not really choice 1,2,3.

    If a person feels some type of light is warranted, turning on your headlights may be something to consider. As a driving instructor, I would never recommend driving with parking lights on. The term itself would be confusing to student drivers. Hey, we're going for a drive. Turn on your parking lights! I can see their reaction already! What????

    If a vehicle is not equipped with DRL and you want to be seen, I would suggest turning on your headlights instead. I would not instruct my driving students to use parking lights for driving.

    I just wanted to clarify day running lights & parking lights are two different features on a car. One is meant for day time driving, & the other is meant for parking. Dark, dawn, dusk, fog, rain, sleet, snow, etc... should equal turning on your headlights.

    All Mirages have parking lights, but most of us don't have the DRL feature at all. I would reconsider driving around with parking lights on, but it's not doing any great harm.
    Last edited by Mark; 09-18-2019 at 02:53 AM.

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    Moderator Eggman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    My guess is that most of our Mirages don't have DRL (day running lights) in the U.S.? I don't want to make a total assumptions on that, however?
    I'm pretty sure you are right, Mark. It appears that the circuits are there and except for some hardware (a relay) the feature is otherwise not enabled for our market.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    Thus, we (Mirage owners) may drive with our headlights off, parking lights on, or headlights on. I understand why people may want to use their parking lights for driving, but they are called "parking lights".
    Aren't they called Marker Lights? I also thought the term Parking Lights was confusing. Makes for a good joke though. Like drive on the parkway & park on the driveway.

    Wikipedia has a good article describing the various lamps: Automotive lighting
    Last edited by Eggman; 09-18-2019 at 08:49 AM.

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    Senior Member Fummins's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    My guess is that most of our Mirages don't have DRL (day running lights) in the U.S.? I don't want to make a total assumptions on that, however?
    I couldn't say for sure but I think you're either right or nobody is able to see their lights on while driving? On the Mirage the drl(low voltage high beams) don't turn on until you put it in gear in the cvt cars and I assume when you let off the park brake in manuals?
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    Senior Member timw4mail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    With Mirage, the dark dash at night instantly reminds you that your headlights need to come on. I'm less inclined to drive without my headlights being turned on this way. Just a preference for me. I don't care for DRL, & I wouldn't drive around with parking lights on.
    Dark dash? At least for my 2018, the dash is always illuminated (unfortunately?). With the led headlights I have, though, its really obvious if my headlights are on or not: the signs practically glow.


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