RRLeafEV
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:18 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 304580
Location: PNW

"internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:10 am

Great job on the couple of DRL threads here already, but this post is about utilizing the OEM equipment on our vehicles and "activating the existing DRLs" for U.S. model LEAFs.

BACKGROUND

This is important to me because my insurance company offers a discount (later learned that may be for USAA only & even that's not verified) for adding DRLs to my LEAF AND because I live near the border and may want to sell my LEAF to a Canadian at some point. Canada has a strict mandate that vehicles newer that 15 years old must have DRLs to pass inspection. And for cars "equipped" with OEM DRLs, those must be utilized. If your factory vehicle is NOT equipped with DRLs, then aftermarket lights can be added (this would include the externally-mounted LED strip lights covered in previous MNL posts).

Our LEAFs, according to a few articles I've read, supposedly already have DRLs, but they're "not activated."

For the reasons stated in the previous paragraph, this "U.S. LEAFs have DRLs, they're just not activated" statement is an important distinction. If our LEAFs are equipped with DRLs, they must be activated for import to Canada, which means the other MNL threads adding externally-mounted DRLs are not germane to this discussion.

THEREFORE

1) Can anyone clarify/confirm that we need to "activate" our existing DRLs for Canadian compliance?

2) I've spoken with several Canadian shops that will make the U.S. LEAF's "existing" DRLs compliant. Canadian Tire locations around Vancouver want approx. $200-$350C (don't ask why such a disparity in cost, but they both state it's "about 2-3 hours in labour alone") to "activate" via adding a "module & fuse," while a Victoria EV Dealer can get the job done in five minutes with a "kit" (one for LED headlight-equipped U.S. LEAFs, and a different kit for non-LED) for about $120C installed.

NOTE: the Victoria solution also runs the existing lights at a percentage of power, meaning their install saves energy, too!

Can anyone explain how the Victoria dealer might be accomplishing this for 1/2 the price, with what seems to be a better and FAR easier solution?

3) A viable DRL solution without adding external lights could be great for 10s of thousands of U.S. LEAF owners, because there's no denying that DRLs are a practical safety feature that could literally save your life by avoiding an accident. Plus, installing them just might make you eligible for a discount under your existing auto insurance policy.
Last edited by RRLeafEV on Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2017 Nissan Leaf SV in Gun Metallic
2014 SL (sold)

RRLeafEV
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:18 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 304580
Location: PNW

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:43 am

I just found this on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOUD083Dkzw):

Leafman Leaf1 year ago (edited)
On US LEAF this is fairly simple. Just connect a positive lead from for instance sigarette ligher (this is always on when the car is ON, and will therefor not drain the battery when the car is OFF) to a (Normally closed) relay that connects to the "fog lights" on a new positive lead. OR buy a LED DRL relay kit. This connects directly from your battery and will know when the car is ON.

Then you connect your positive lead from your headlamp to preferably an optocoupler, OR a (normally closed) relay to your parking lights. The "other end" of this relay must be connected to your new positive lead to the foglamp. This way you will be able to use the "AUTO" function to switch between fog lights as DRL and full head lamp. Your foglamps will always be ON when the car is ON, but when the car turns on your headlamps in AUTO when it dark this will cut the power on your new positive lead to the foglights. In this configuration your will still be able to turn ON the foglights in addition to headlamp. Just be VERY VERY aware that you connect positive to positve... or you will be in for a nasty surprise..

I have swappet the OEM foglights to LED, but had a bit of diffuculties due to reversed polarity. To keep things simple and reversable I bought some "extenstion cords" for the bulb sockets and reversed the polarity and added the extra positive lead on the extensions. So IF the next owner wants to have the car back to "factory settings" it can be done by only replace the bulbs and remove the extension cables. Let me know if you need a link to the extension cords or the bulbs for the fog lights. Or if you need a drawing of the schematics.


Most of this is hieroglyphics to me, but I'll request his schematic and post it when I receive it.
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cliff
Posts: 105
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 10:36 am
Delivery Date: 15 Sep 2012
Leaf Number: 022673
Location: Federal Way, WA

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:23 pm

I looked at the wiring diagram for my 2012 to see what it would take. Nissan's
method for creating DRLs is by connecting the 2 high beams in series with a relay,
so half voltage for each, and one of them has reverse polarity, so no polarized
LEDs are possible. To get this would not only require adding the missing relay,
put also adding missing wires, and rewiring the inside of the light housing.
So the same or more work than converting a fog light to a DRL.

RRLeafEV
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:18 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 304580
Location: PNW

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:45 pm

Do you have step-by-step instructions on how to convert the fog lights to DRLs, please?

What would the difference be for cars with existing fogs and those LEAFs without?
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KillaWhat
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Location: Southeast Pennsylvania

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:12 pm

I'm Confused.

My 2012 Leaf HAS DRL's
If I set my headlight switch to Auto, and my "fog" light switch to on, then they both come on anytime I start the car.
Having the fog switch set "on" somehow over-rides the light sensor that controls whether the headlights come on.
I have been doing this since I bought this car.

Granted, the fog lights are now Cree LED's so the color matches.
Does this help?
Maybe only MY 2011/2012?
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RRLeafEV
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:18 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 304580
Location: PNW

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:21 pm

KillaWhat wrote:I'm Confused.

My 2012 Leaf HAS DRL's
If I set my headlight switch to Auto, and my "fog" light switch to on, then they both come on anytime I start the car.
Having the fog switch set "on" somehow over-rides the light sensor that controls whether the headlights come on.
I have been doing this since I bought this car.

Granted, the fog lights are now Cree LED's so the color matches.
Does this help?
Maybe only MY 2011/2012?


For insurance discounts and/or Canadian DRL compliance, the lights need to be "always on," meaning you cannot manually flip a switch to enable or disable.

The whole idea is that they are "automatic" and forget-proof.
2017 Nissan Leaf SV in Gun Metallic
2014 SL (sold)

RRLeafEV
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:18 pm
Delivery Date: 30 Apr 2017
Leaf Number: 304580
Location: PNW

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Sat Aug 27, 2016 12:48 pm

cliff wrote:I looked at the wiring diagram for my 2012 to see what it would take. Nissan's
method for creating DRLs is by connecting the 2 high beams in series with a relay,
so half voltage for each, and one of them has reverse polarity, so no polarized
LEDs are possible. To get this would not only require adding the missing relay,
put also adding missing wires, and rewiring the inside of the light housing.
So the same or more work than converting a fog light to a DRL.


Cliff, I posted this a while ago, but I'm not sure you saw it:

Do you have step-by-step instructions on how to convert the fog lights to DRLs, please?

What would the difference be for cars with existing fogs and those LEAFs without?

Can you please PM me?
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2014 SL (sold)

aminorjourney
Posts: 92
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Location: Porland, OR
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Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:46 pm

European LEAFs have two bulbs in the fog lamp housing: one for DLR and one for Fog.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NISSAN-LEAF-H ... SwZQxW4g89
Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

Editor, co-founder, transportevolved.com
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tk1971
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:38 am
Delivery Date: 15 Mar 2015

Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:36 am

FYI

I've been working on another thread to add Auto headlights to my S, and found that there's a software component to DTRL. Cars equipped with the hardware needs the software switch turned on.

See picture below from the BCS section of the service manual.

Imageautolight by tk_1971, on Flickr

alozzy
Posts: 626
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Re: "internal" Daytime Running Lights (DRL or DTRL) on U.S. LEAFs

Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:43 am

FYI to the OP, I used the method explained here on 2 different Leafs that were imported from WA to BC and both passed the RVI and BC inspections without issues:

viewtopic.php?f=37&t=21529&hilit=headlights

If your concern is with wiring the DRLs to ensure they will pass inspection, then you can use that method based on my experience
Vancouver, CA owner of a 2013 Ocean Blue SV + QC, purchased 01/2017 in WA
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