Wednesday, November 05, 2008

VW R32: City lights as DRLs

I previously posted that in the near future I'll be heading up to Canada for my next job. To meet Canadian safety requirements I need to have daytime running lights on my R. Stock, the 2004 R32 does have DRLs but stock the R doesn't have HIDs. I disabled my DRLs to prevent damage to my OEM HIDs caused by running them at partial power.

I'm not getting rid of the HIDs, so I needed to look for a way to have DRLs at the same time. I considered a few options:

  1. Install fog lights and wire them up as DRLs. For a time this option was leading the group but cost and time eventually ruled it out.
  2. Some R owners have wired up string LEDs in their front vents, a much different looking and cheaper alternative to real fogs. When the LEDs are on they look pretty good, when off they look a little chintzy if you notice them. I didn't see a problem with wiring them up like DRLs. But... what if down the road I have to replace the LEDs? When I talk about wiring things to DRLs please don't get the impression that I'd be doing anything like that myself. I feel much more comfortable letting a professional do the job. So back to a shop to replace LEDs/wiring? I don't think so.
  3. The option I'd settled on was to wire my DRLs to the city lights and replace the city lights with high-intensity LEDs -- the stock city bulbs aren't being bright enough to act legally as DRLs. Replacing city light bulbs should be something I can do myself (I've changed the low beams, before) though I've since taken a closer look under the hood and it looks extremely tight.
Anywhoo, after talking to my shop they recommended a different idea: connect the city lights to the ignition coil (or something like that) so they turn on whenever the R is turned on.

We have a winner!

For some reason pics aren't uploading properly for me, so follow this link for pictures.

Type rest of the post here.

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