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Old 03-13-2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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Unhappy DRL Voltage Issue

Ever had a great idea/project backfire? Well, Iím there right now.

I try not to drive my motorhome at night, but once in a while it's unavoidable. Iíve never cared for my factory headlights and have tried different bulb upgrades, including Sylvania UltraStars, but have been somewhat disappointed. Iím aware that some coaches have low voltage at the headlight harness, but that isnít an issue in my case, as I get 12.8V at the headlight socket with the engine running.

I just installed an HID headlight kit to increase my visibility. I drove the coach around the neighborhood at night to test them and the results were exceptional...much better lighting. But during the day, itís another story.

My coach is equipped with DRLís. As I said, the voltage at my headlight socket with the headlights on, is 12.8V. During the day when my DRLís are on, that voltage drops down to 11.4V. The HIDís will not function at this voltage. The 12V relay supplied with my HID kits begins buzzing loudly and the HID headlights themselves flicker. The tech support team of the company that sold me the HID kit has no suggestion, other than to disconnect the DRLís. I realize thatís an option, but not one that I want to take.

My first thought was to increase the voltage supplied by the DRL circuit somehow, but Iíll be darned if I have any idea how to do that. I know itís hard to try and diagnose stuff like this over the internet, but there are tons of savvy folks on here. Can anyone think of a remedy?

Craig
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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It is normal to operate DRL's at a lower voltage, I have seen them down to around 7 volts, How to do with with HID's I do not know. I know they worked well with the headlights on my Lumina and with the OEM headlights on my motor home.

I am a believer when it comes to DRL's by the way
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:21 PM   #3
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Why not just add another relay? Wire the new relay to the HIDs with direct battery power (in-line fuse also) and then the light switch/DDL as the energizing power to the new relay.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:25 PM   #4
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On our DSDP I just removed the DRL relay so they don't work. Haven't been run off the road by a trucker since. And yes, I was actually run off onto the shoulder twice on I-5 by truckers. Guess they can't tell the difference between steady burning DRL's and flashing regular beams.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich and Cork
Why not just add another relay? Wire the new relay to the HIDs with direct battery power (in-line fuse also) and then the light switch/DDL as the energizing power to the new relay.
I thought the same thing, but with my limited knowledge of electrical systems, I was worried that this would bypass the headlight switch, causing the lights to be constantly lit. But if I use a 2nd relay triggered by the switch but powered by separate 12V source, this may just solve my issue.

I'll give that a try, thanks.

Craig
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:01 AM   #6
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If you have Freightliner chassis, you could call their help desk and see if removing a relay would solve your problem. They should be able to tell you exactly where the relay is as well.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmac
If you have Freightliner chassis, you could call their help desk and see if removing a relay would solve your problem. They should be able to tell you exactly where the relay is as well.
I spoke with them yesterday and they sent me the wiring diagram in case I end up disconnecting the DRL's. They were very helpful.

Thanks.

Craig
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich and Cork View Post
Why not just add another relay? Wire the new relay to the HIDs with direct battery power (in-line fuse also) and then the light switch/DDL as the energizing power to the new relay.
This didn't work. Now I have TWO buzzing relays with flickering headlights.

I think I'm down to two options: Go back to factory headlights or disconnect the DRL's. I guess I'd rather be able to see better at night than to make myself more visible during the day.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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Hi Craig:
How about trying this. Reinstall the original headlight bulbs so you have DRL. Then installing a pair of auxiliary driving lights for night time ?
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aguyfromcalg
Hi Craig:
How about trying this. Reinstall the original headlight bulbs so you have DRL. Then installing a pair of auxiliary driving lights for night time ?
My coach came with a set. One option is to convert those over to HID's instead. Not sure at this point what I'm going to end up doing.

Thanks.

Craig
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:13 PM   #11
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Hi Craig:
I was rereading your posts and I may have a possible solution. As part of your HID upgrade you added a new relay to handle the increased current demand. Now you have posted that your new relay buzzes and your DRL flicker.
You tried adding another relay to the DRL to compensate for this and it didn't work.
I believe the relay is buzzing due to the low current demand of the DRL not being enough to operate the new HID relay.
Now my solution is to use an smaller relay for the DRL wire to increase the current before it goes into the new HID relay.
Just as you had to supply more current with a relay to meet the needs of your new head light bulbs, you also have to supply more current to your DRL by matching it with the appropriate relay.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:49 PM   #12
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If you like the new HID headlights, then remove the DRL relay and be done with it. When you are driving during the day, just turn your headlight switch on and you now have daylight running lights.


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Old 03-14-2012, 08:28 PM   #13
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How about just turning on the headlights whenever you are driving, day and night.
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Old 03-15-2012, 03:29 AM   #14
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The installation of a proper Zener diode circuit into the HID/DRL control circuit will isolate power to the HID relay when DRL are in use and yet still activate the relay when the driving lights are turned on.
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