What Is DRL System In Honda Civic?

The DRL system in Honda Civic refers to the daytime running lights that come on automatically when the car is turned on. This lighting system improves visibility and safety when driving. Read on to learn more about what DRL is, when the lights turn on, the benefits for visibility and safety, how to check the system, if it drains the battery, turning it off, and why the light may be on.

What Are Daytime Running Lights (DRLs)?

Daytime running lights (DRLs) are lights on the front of a vehicle that automatically turn on when the vehicle is switched on. DRL systems help make vehicles more visible during daytime hours for improved safety.

DRLs are designed to be bright, usually using high-intensity discharge (HID) or LED bulbs. They increase the visibility and conspicuity of a vehicle during daylight conditions.

Having your lights on makes your vehicle stand out better against the background environment. This allows other drivers to see your car more clearly.

When Do DRLs Turn On Automatically?

In the Honda Civic DRL system, the daytime running lights turn on automatically when:

  1. The car is switched on to the “On” or “Run” position
  2. The vehicle is in drive mode and ready to drive off
  3. The parking brake is released
  4. The lights are switched to auto mode

As soon as the ignition is turned on and the gear selector is put into drive, the DRLs will illuminate without any other action needed by the driver.

Some Civics have auto headlamps that also turn on the DRLs automatically at sunrise or when light levels are low enough. This provides maximum visibility at dawn/dusk.

Why Are Vehicles With DRLs More Visible At Night?

DRL System in Honda Civic makes the car more noticeable at night for several key reasons:

  1. DRLs are bright, high-intensity lights designed for visibility
  2. They contrast against dark backgrounds better than regular headlights
  3. Many DRL systems keep lights on with low beams for fuller visibility
  4. DRL equipped vehicles have lights on more consistently in low light

Having your DRL system on gives added visibility and safety when driving at night, dawn, dusk, or any low light conditions. The lights help define the silhouette of your car.

DRL System In Honda Civic
DRL System In Honda Civic

Other drivers can see DRL equipped vehicles from farther away and react earlier. This extra time to spot your car and respond helps avoid collisions and accidents in the dark.

How Does The DRL System Provide Better Visibility And Safety?

There are several key benefits provided by DRL systems in Honda Civics when it comes to visibility and safety:

  1. Increased conspicuity – makes the car stand out better against its surroundings
  2. Improved visibility – lights up roadWAYs more effectively in low light conditions
  3. Earlier reaction time – gives other drivers more time to see your car and react
  4. Avoid accidents – helps prevent crashes in low visibility driving conditions
  5. Active safety feature – works automatically without driver input

Having daytime running lights on gives added visibility of your position to other motorists. This enhanced sightline translates into improved safety on the road.

With DRLs, Honda Civics are much easier for other drivers to see during dusk, dawn, and nighttime driving when visibility is reduced.

How To Check Your Honda Civic’s DRL System?

To verify that your Civic’s DRL system is working properly, follow these steps:

  1. Turn on the car – The DRLs should illuminate automatically when ignition turned to “On”
  2. Engage the parking brake – Lights should remain on
  3. Shift into drive – DRLs stay on as you begin to drive
  4. Turn on headlights – Low beams also activate now in addition to DRLs
  5. Turn signals, brake lights and reverse lights should function normally

Check that the DRL lights are both working on either side at the front. Inspect that they are bright and illuminated whenever the car is on.

If the DRL lights do not come on or seem dim, there may be an issue with the system. Refer to the owner’s manual or have a mechanic inspect the DRL system components and wiring.

Does DRL Drain The Battery In A Honda Civic?

The DRL system should not drain the battery excessively in normal operation. DRLs draw a relatively small amount of power from the electrical system.

Most Civics are designed to minimize battery drain from DRLs when the car is turned on and off during normal driving. The lights will automatically turn off when:

  1. Ignition is turned to the “Off” position
  2. Parking brake is engaged
  3. Car is shifted into park

This prevents the DRLs from staying on and draining battery charge after the car is stopped and parked.

DRL System Honda Civic
DRL System Honda Civic

Excessive battery drain from DRLs can indicate a faulty component or electrical issue. Have your Civic’s charging system inspected by a Honda technician if the battery runs down prematurely.

Can You Turn Off DRLs In A Honda Civic?

DRL systems in the Honda Civic cannot be permanently deactivated, as they are a legally required safety feature. However, the DRL function can be temporarily switched off in certain situations:

  1. Turn headlight switch to “Off” – DRLs will turn off until headlights turned back on
  2. Engage parking brake – Lights switch off when parked brake applied
  3. Access diagnostic mode – DRLs can be switched off here for maintenance checks
  4. Disconnecting or removing DRL controller fuse – will disable DRL function

Turning off the DRLs while temporarily parked is fine. However, it is not recommended to drive a Civic for prolonged periods with the DRL system deactivated, as this defeats its safety purpose.

Why Would The DRL Light Be On In A Honda Civic?

The DRL indicator light coming on in your Honda Civic’s instrument cluster could signal a few different things:

  1. DRL system is activated – Light reminds you DRLs are on
  2. Problem with DRL circuit – Indicates fault in the system wiring
  3. DRL controller issue – Controller unit/module may be malfunctioning
  4. Faulty DRL bulbs – Light on with blown DRL bulbs
  5. Low system voltage – Not enough voltage reaching DRL lights

A DRL indicator light does not necessarily mean something is wrong. It is normal for it to come on when the system activates. But if it stays on persistently, takes a long time to go off after starting the car, or comes on while driving, have the DRL system inspected for faults.

Is It OK To Drive With DRL Light On?

Yes, it is okay to drive with the DRL indicator light illuminated in your Honda Civic. This light coming on is normal when the daytime running lights system activates. It is a reminder that the DRLs are turned on for visibility. 

Driving with properly functioning DRLs improves safety, so you do not need to be concerned if the DRL light is on while operating your vehicle. Only if the indicator remains on long after starting or comes on while driving should you have the DRL system inspected.

What Causes The DRL Light To Come On?

The DRL indicator light illuminates for a few reasons in a Honda Civic. It comes on when the system first activates with ignition to show the daytime lights are working. It could also indicate a fault like blown bulbs, bad wiring, low voltage, or a bad DRL control module. 

The light may persist after starting or come on during driving if there is a problem. But by itself, an illuminated DRL light does not necessarily mean something is wrong, as it functions as a status indicator.

What Is The DRL On My Honda Dashboard?

The DRL on the dashboard of your Honda Civic is a light that indicates the status of the daytime running lights system. When illuminated, it informs you that the DRLs at the front of your vehicle are switched on and operating. 

This happens automatically when you start your Civic. The DRL light serves as a handy visual reminder that the headlights are on in auto DRL mode for better visibility in low light conditions. It allows you to easily check that this safety feature is active.

What Is The Advantage Of DRL?

DRLs offer major advantages for visibility and safety. Daytime running lights make your vehicle more conspicuous by increasing how noticeable it is against the surroundings. DRLs help other motorists spot your car sooner thanks to bright, high-contrast lights. 

This gives added reaction time to avoid collisions. DRL systems also activate lights consistently in low light when visibility is reduced, improving your view of the road. In short, DRLs boost visibility and active safety.


The daytime running light system in the Honda Civic provides automatic illumination of the front lights whenever the car is turned on. This offers valuable improvements in visibility and safety when driving in low light conditions. 

Check that your Civic’s DRL system activates properly and have any indicator lights or faults inspected if the lights do not function normally. With properly working DRLs, you can drive with the added peace of mind that your vehicle is more visible to other motorists on the road.

Also Read:

Author's Image

Ammar Masoud

I have had a long and fulfilling career in the automotive industry, primarily with Honda and Acura. With 15 years of experience as a Honda service technician, I became highly skilled in repair and maintenance, gaining a deep understanding of these vehicles. After many years in the automotive field, I decided to embark on a second career in industrial manufacturing. It was a significant change, but I found that the skills I had honed in the automotive industry were incredibly valuable in my new role. In my current position in industrial manufacturing, the demand for quality workmanship and meticulous attention to detail is paramount. Fortunately, these are traits that I have cultivated throughout my years in the automotive industry. I take pride in applying these skills to meet the high standards expected in the manufacturing sector.