headlights on all day

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i have a 325is 95 and the high beams on on as soon as i turn on my car .. they are quite a bit dimmer then if i turn on my lights .. i know there suposed to be like that but i want to know how make them not come
on untill i want them to.
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Kriznaft wrote:

That is called "Daytime Running Lights" or DRLs for short.
This link should help you locate the module to remove. http://www.unofficialbmw.com/e36/electrical/e36_daytime_running_lights.html
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

I don't get how BMW can be stupid enough to use the high beams as DRLs. Turn signals, fog lights or low beams at a reduced voltage would have been much better...

Ulf
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sweet.. thanks guys ... this worked
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Ulf wrote:

Actually, no. The high beams at reduced intensity are the best option for two reasons.
One: They are more apt to get the attention of other drivers as they are fairly bright, even at reduced intensity. Two: If you burn one of them out (due to them being constantly on) you will not lose any of the more important light functions: signalling turns, or low beams. Don't forget, not all cars come equiped with fog lights. Having fog lights where I live is completely unnecesary as we seldom get real fog.
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On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 10:04:38 -0400, Fred W

The best option is a set of lights specifically designed to be used as running lights, i.e., with the appropriate intensity and beam pattern.

Yes, they are fairly bright, and annoyingly distractive in my rear view mirror. I don't consider either of those attributes to be a feature.

This is not a justification to use the high beams as running lights, this is a reason to have a separate set of running lights.
If I remember correctly, GM made the same foolish engineering decision regarding running lights. I thought BMW knew better....
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bjn wrote:

Exactly.
They're more than fairly bright, they're way too bright to be used as DRLs.

Yup, GM likes to equip Saturns with them. Fortunately a few new BMW's have "angle eyes" DRLs. I assume this is mostly due to Audi's successful LED DRLs.
Ulf
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I'm reminded of the old joke about the schoolkid in math class who talked about 'a cute angel.'
--
Dan.

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Ulf wrote:

"Angle" (sic) eyes are not DRLs. I suppose that they they take the place of "city lights" in those obscure European places that still require such, but they are most certainly NOT DRLs.
DRLs are *supposed* to be obnoxious. If they aren't getting your attention, they aren't doing what they are intended to do...
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

Please keep up. On the "older" BMW's they're used as parking lights only, but starting on the new E90 coupe they'll be used as DRLs too. And most countries in the world require parking lights, even the US, so they're not reserved for "obscure European places."

No, they're not. High beams, even at a reduced voltage, are *too* bright to be used with oncoming traffic. They're also illegal outside NA, why do you think that is..?

Ulf
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Ulf wrote:

Please try to comprehend. Parking lights and city lights are two different things. Parking lights are used when the car is parked (obviously) in an attempt to keep it from being hit by passing motorists. City lights were intended to be used in lieu of headlights when operating in certain designated city limits, where the streetlights supposedly were adequate, to prevent glare to oncoming drivers. That practice is obsolete AFAIK, but the "city lights" are still sometimes found on some cars and are used as parking lights.
There are no requirements to have or use parking lights or city lights anywhere in the US that I am aware of. Having *any* lights on when a car is parked is not common practice here. What is required are "running lights" which are usually the same lamps that you might call "parking lights" except they are illuminated while driving so that other drivers can get a sense of the width of the vehicle, especially in the event of a burnt out headlamp.

High beams even at full voltage are not too bright to be used as DRLs when they are intended to be used, DURING THE DAY!!! They are run at reduced level to save the headlamps from burning out, not to decrease glare to oncoming drivers. During daylight hours your pupils are adjusted to the higher ambient light and glare from headlights is not an issue. You may be irritated by these headlights, but you know they are there, so they are accomplishing their goal. Running around during the day with just angel eyes on is akin to having no DRLs as nobody will be alerted to your presence by them.
If you're saying that you are using your DRLs at night (instead of your headlights) and that is when there is a glare problem, then you are obviously using your lights incorrectly. In most cars, when operating on DRLs there are no rear or running lights on, which is obviously against the law at night.
Do you have some evidence that high beam running lights are illegal everywhere except North America? I kind of doubt that this is true.
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

My Yamaha XTZ750 has a small bulb in the lower part of the headlight reflector, my BMW E34 with projector headlights has a bulb in the upper part of the headlight, and my Camaro has separate lights in the bumper cover (shared with the turn signal, side marker lights, and DRLs). All of these lights are what I call parking lights. You may call them whatever you want, but the point of the matter is that it's illegal to drive around with nothing but them on. Of course, the are allowed to be on in combination with the headlights, fog lights, etc.

All new passenger vehicles in the US, and Europe, must be equipped with parking lights. That's the law.

I don't know where you live, but here the weather isn't just hot and sunny. There's rain, overcast, fog, snow, etc. and in all of those situations high beam DRLs are too bright. Likewise during dusk and dawn. "Angle eye" DRLs, just like the LED DRLs on Audi's, are a great idea on the new E90 IMO.

I'm sure you do, but there's no way you can get high beam DRLs approved as DRLs in "ECE-land". IIRC the maximum light from DRLs in Europe is 800 cd, while in NA it's 7000 cd. That should tell you something...

Ulf
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i have one for all of you ... how about everyone on this planet learns how to drive better and start paying more atention to what thier doing instead of driving like asses all the time ... then we wouldnt need .. DRL's or parking lights ... or ne of the other bullshit on our cars that .. lets face it makes them look ridiculus ..
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Hear, hear! Like the woman I saw get into her car yesterday who had to dial someone on her cell phone before she even started the engine! Boy I wish cells were illegal in moving vehicles.
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They are in the UK. Unless you have a proper hands free kit. But it made absolutely no difference to the numbers using them as it's not enforced. And despite them now having been around for many a year, plenty still can't multi-task with them. So the driving gets neglected.
--
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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wrote:

Or the multi-tasker who lost control on a 2-lane road this past July. She was drinking coffee, using her computer and cell phone and eating a snack. That person hit two people on bicycles, killed one, put the other in the hospital and ruined her own life. My wife was on the same bike trip; but won't be doing that again.
Too bad.
You can't legislate common sense and what about smart people whose priorities are screwed up and just don't get it? I'd like to see devices in cars that disable the car when drivers aren't paying attention.
TKM
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Back on subject. Standards are useful and the world lacks standards. In North America front amber colored lights are most often used as DRL's and parking lights and turn signals and front marker lights, often from the same unit.
In Europe amber is typically only used for flashing turn signals, and DRL's and front marker lights (be they called city lights or parking lights, etc.), are white.
But North America mandates side reflectors and rear reflectors, amber in the front and red in the rear. This is not required or even permitted in many countries and I have even seen amber rear side reflectors in Italy.
German manufactures are the worse in North America in having eliminated amber rear turn signals to make the vehicles look more American. BMW/Mini, VW/Audi just don't care about providing this safety feature to the drivers of North America. Honda is not far behind in this trend. The irony is that Chrysler is slowly adding this feature across its line here in North America.
Richard.
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Richard wrote:

That's not quite true as written. The world *has* automotive lighting standards. Two of them: USA and ECE. Most of the world requires or accepts ECE-compliant automotive lighting and prohibits USA-compliant equipment; the US prohibits ECE and requires USA.

Yes.
Yes, but there's a terminology problem here. What we are talking about in this thread as "city lights" or "parking lights" are properly called *front position lamps* in ECE regulations and "parking lamps" in USA regulations. There is another function, properly called "parking lamps" in ECE regulations. This is the left-side-only / right-side-only front and rear lighting that can be switched on by the driver, as called for in the German road code (StVZO) when the vehicle is parked in certain kinds of streets after dark. ECE "parking lamps" are generally required to be white to the front and red to the rear, but may in some configurations be amber.

USA and ECE regulations both require red rear reflectors.
USA regulations have required amber front and red rear sidemarker lights _and_ reflectors on all vehicles since 1/1/70. In addition to improving side conspicuity by displaying the presence, position and direction of vehicles circulating in traffic after dark, the sidemarker reflectors serve the same function as the ECE "parking lamps" (i.e., provide parked-vehicle conspicuity in dark narrow roads). The US method is better in this case, for it is passive -- no action required by the driver to switch on -- and it consumes no power.
ECE regulations require sidemarker lights on vehicles over 6m long, and permit but don't require them on vehicles under 6m long. They are required to emit amber light, except that a vehicle's rearmost sidemarkers may emit red light if they are grouped, combined, or reciprocally incorporated with the taillamp, the rear end-outline marker lamp, the rear fog lamp, the brake lamp, or it is grouped or has part of the light emitting surface in common with the rear reflector. Most ECE-spec vehicles that have sidemarkers have amber front and rear ones. The new Citron C6 has amber front and rear sidemarkers even though the rear ones are built into the rear lamp cluster (and therefore could legally emit red light). But, many vehicles which in their US-spec configurations create the red rear sidemarker function by means of a wraparound red lens providing a "side view" of the bulb, likewise have the same setup in their ECE-spec configurations. Many BMW and Mercedes models have such a setup.
As for side retroreflectors: They are, as already mentioned, mandatory in the US on all vehicles. Amber front and intermediate, red rearmost. They are mandatory under ECE regulations on vehicles over 6m long, optional on vehicles under 6m long, and the ECE color requirement is amber, but the rearmost side retroreflector may be red if it is grouped or has part of the light emitting surface in common with the rear position lamp, the rear end-outline marker lamp, the rear fog lamp, the brake lamp or the red rearmost sidemarker lamp. Many vehicles which in their US-spec configurations have the red side retroreflector built into the side of the rear lamp cluster lens also have this configuration in their ECE models. Examples abound from BMW, Mercedes, Chrysler, Volvo and other makers.

I agree with you that amber rear turn signals are an utterly basic component of a proper automotive lighting system, and I agree with you that it's shameful to treat safety devices as stylistic toys, but having just returned the other day from a large automotive lighting technology congress in France, I can say you haven't got the whole story. I spoke with the BMW exterior lighting chief, and he told me they wanted to use the same type of amber rear signal on their US-market E90 3er as they use everywhere else in the world, but the US DOT objected. This type of "hidden" amber rear signal uses a clear bulb with a green plastic balloon over it, all behind a rose-red (dark pink) lens. The result is a lamp that looks red when off, but shines amber when on. It's subtractive color mixing. The technique has been in use for about 13 years or so -- no problem, such signals work fine and don't notably degrade with age or use. But, the DOT said the green plastic for the balloon was not on the list of approved plastic materials for use in car lights, and they kept saying "no!" or simply stalling and not answering at all regardless of how much test data BMW submitted. Finally DOT said "OK", but by then it was too late; in order to meet production schedules, BMW had to make an alternate choice for the US market. They could've gone to a plain amber lens, or a clear lens with amber bulb, but for whatever reason (probably related to tooling cost), the red lens was their emergency "Plan B". This is the same reason why the first-year Audi A8 had these green-ballon/pink-lens/amber-light rear turn signals, but subsequent years had red lenses: DOT bitched about the green balloons being made out of an unapproved plastic.
The situation is different with Audi: On some of their present car designs, they couldn't have an amber rear turn signal without the red brake/tail lamps being too small to comply with US surface area requirements, so the only choices were to redesign the rear lamps entirely (larger - not approved by the stylists) or have a red rear turn signal for the North American market. This is the same reason why older BMW 5er wagons had red rear turn signals. Other Audi models have plenty of rear lamp area to have an amber turn signal, but as Audi's chief of exterior lighting explained, "if some of your vehicles have red and some have amber, this does not look like a coherent line of vehicles. I don't like red rear signals, but they're just as legal as amber in North America."
I didn't get a chance to ask about the MINI's red rear signals; that's neither a materials nor a surface area problem.

Honda, Toyota and Subaru are actually markedly *worse*, together with Ford, GM and Chrysler: All their models have rear lamp designs with ample area for amber rear signals, and they don't tend to use materials that DOT gets itchy about -- they use red signals in North America for specious "customer preference" reasons (have you ever been asked to vote?) or because red ones are cheaper to make and "show us the pile of dead bodies indicating that amber is better!".

No, they aren't. They play with it, back and forth, red to amber and back to red, as a stylistic toy. The newest Jeeps all have red, after many years of using amber, for instance.
Red ones would be almost marginally tolerable if they were all the combination brake/turn type, but immediately-adjacent, colorimetrically- and photometrically-identical separate red brake and turn lights duelling with each other make it very difficult to acquire the vehicle's signalling messages quickly and accurately in traffic. It's known that following drivers react significantly more quickly and accurately to a vehicles *brake* lamps if the vehicle's turn signals are amber rather than red, but nobody's bothered doing a study in actual traffic, so while all the regulators know red ones are dumb and amber ones are good, the automakers' lobbyists prevent legislating for amber rear signals in North America. "Show us the pile of dead bodies!" (the Ford guy actually said "It's the only light that flashes on the back of the car, why does it need to be a different color?".)
DS
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Thanks for that comprehensive response.
So Dan, which do you think is going to be more difficult; getting the UN to impose world peace, or getting the UN to reconcile differences between US and ECE lighting requirements in our lifetime?
Richard.
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Richard wrote:

The latter is not the UN's job.
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