Tip & How-To about Acura TL


Acura's with daytime running light faults are draining their owners wallets. This feature, introduced in 1999, utilizes a low beam bulb containing an igniter/inverter circuit. The technology, although state of the art, has a serious flaw; Cost. Not just the cost of the bulb, but the tremendously inflated labor fee tacked on by dealers and repair shops.

There is a label on the back cover of the headlight assembly that warns of the presence of 24,000 volts which can kill you. This label is an attention getter. A safety statement; However it's a little over the top. The real message is clear; Take it to the dealer.

Others who experience loss of low beam lights, having not read the fright phrase, are shocked anyway when told; "This will cost you $600...it's the inverters". It's time to shine the high beams on the low beam issue.

The low beam bulb, roughly the same size as a regular bulb, has an electrode at it's base. Inside is a filament, igniter, and inverter circuit. This little bulb is what some mechanics refer to as "The Inverter". Some want to change the entire headlight assembly for $250 a side. In one reported instance, the customer was told they needed an entire front bumper and both headlight assemblies. Remarks like these boarder on the criminal. If you know it's only a bulb, why would you call it an inverter?

The price range of the low beam bulb is as wide as a canyon. Highs of $250 have been quoted. The bulb is manufactured by; Sylvania, Raytheon, and Heliolite, just to name a few. The best price I found is $61, although several were on E Bay for $45.

How do you change the bulb? I'll use a 2002 Acura TL as an example. The drivers side is the more difficult of the two.

Remove the positive battery cable...Remove the baffle that is in front of the air filter housing (2 plastic clips)...Pull the over flow container up and out...You will see a gray 2- wire connector under the light cover...Push down on the tab until it clicks...Pull back to release it...Now you can remove the cover over the bulb. It requires the use of a #20 Torx with a security tip. This tool is worth the $20 cost and can be purchased at major tool stores. You can find it quickly at; www.wihatools.com. Part #70142...When handling the new bulb it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to wear a pair of latex gloves...Skin oil transferred to the surface of the bulb will ruin it...Pull the old bulb and note the position of the electrode...Make sure the new one goes in straight; No twisting...Hold the bulb backing and install the locking clip.

If both bulbs work intermittently there is a wiring problem...Check for a solid ground (zero ohms on the X10 scale) on the black wire of the connector that was removed to replace the bulb; Measure with connector removed....Also, visually inspect the connector that plugs into the Daytime Running Lights Control Module located behind the left side of the dash; Pins have been known to back out of the connector housing.

The secret is out; It's only a bulb. Don't throw your hard earned cash into "The Money Pit".


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Daytime Running Lights Inoperative 2002 Toyota Camry

[Information] For a 2002 Toyota Camry, the Daytime Running Lights (DRL) operate utilizing the High Beams (inner Lamps closer to the center of the vehicle front) at a reduced power.

[The troubleshooting process:] Review the Owner's Manual and ensure the test configuration matches the following criteria:
1. According to the 2002 Toyota Camry Owner's Manual (Check your Owners Manual):
"The DRL system will make your headlights come on at a reduced brightness when:
The light switch s in the "DRL" position.
The ignition is on with the engine running.
The headlight switch is off.
The parking brake is released."

2. Set the Test Conditions according to Step 1 above.

3. Check the headlight bulbs to ensure they are not burned out. If one burns out, there is a fair chance that the other would have burned out at the same time. Replace as necessary. In this case, if the high beams operate, the DRLs should also operate.
4. Test the system, ensuring the step 1 conditions are set. (Engine running, Multi-function Switch on Turn Signals in "DRL" position, headlight switch off (repeating what the manual says -- it should be obvious that in the "DRL" position, the headlight switch should be off / do not have the switch positioned to "High Beam"), and the Parking Brake "off").
5. If DRL lights do not work, check the engine compartment Fuse and Relay Box. there is a 5 Amp DRL fuse -- replace it with the spare. Test (step 4).
6. If it does not work, swap around or replace relays -- there are three (3). Any one of them could be bad (stuck or burned out). Test (step 4).
7. Other less likely possible issues could be that the Multi-function Switch is broken or a connection / wire is broken. [Beyond the scope of this process.]

My problem was that the test configuration did not have the engine running and parking brake off - Step 1. Problem solved with much thought, repetitive tests on the vehicle and going back to the basics -- what does the Owner's Manual say and where are the applicable fuses and relays located?

Dec 30, 2011 | 2002 Toyota Camry

1 Answer

2002 Dodge Caravan headlamps: one works on dim the other works on high beam but not together. Also only one daytime running lamp.

Your van has dual diligent headlamp bulbs, that means each headlight has one bulb that serves as high beam and low beam. What has most likely happened is on one side the low beam filament has burnt out, and on the other side the high beam filiment has burnt out. The daytime running lights are just the high beam filament running on reduced power, so if the high beam doesn't work on one side, that same side will have no daytime running light. Replace both headlamp bulbs with matching, good quality bulbs.

Mar 06, 2011 | 2002 Dodge Grand Caravan

2 Answers

Low Bean Lights Inoperative on 1997 Acura TL

If your car is running daytime running light system .. there is a DTR relay that goes defective and needs replacing ... I had the identical problem that was fixed with this replacement. The DTR relay is behind the glovebox.

Feb 04, 2009 | 1997 Acura TL Series

1 Answer

1998 acura rl headlights dim

I would think ur low beams are burnt (the bulbs) because that dim light u see should be the daytime running lights, which are usually less bright that the lights turned on.
Verify ur fuses as well for the low beams.
Check on that for now and get back to me if u have questions.

Jul 14, 2008 | 1986 Toyota Camry

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