What is a DRL Fuse?

DRL stands for the daytime running lamp. The DRL fuse makes your vehicle more noticeable to pedestrians and other drivers. It also makes it easier for you to see inside of your vehicle at night time. The DRL fuse buffers the current from the battery so that it does not overload the light bulbs in the DRL system.

What is DRL fuse meaning?

A DRL fuse is a fuse that is in the DRL system. Without this fuse, the wiring will not be able to handle the full strength of the electrical current from the battery. 

The DRL fuse acts as a buffer between the battery and the DRL wiring. The DRL is between the battery and the daytime running lamp system. 

The lights around the stick, the lights on the dashboard, the lights on the bottom of the floor, and the outside lights, as well as some other lights, are all components of the daytime running lamp system. 

Some vehicles may not have the daytime running lamp system connected to the headlights and taillights.

There is a warning light for the DRL system on my dashboard. What should I do?

To alert the driver to an issue in the vehicle, all systems and components have their own warning light. The DRL system has a DRL warning light. In most vehicles, the DRL warning light will appear somewhere around the speedometer. The warning light looks like large capital letters DRL in bright orange. 

Signs there’s an issue with the DRL system

Like any system in a car, the DRL system and the DRL fuses can wear down, break, or malfunction. Here are four signs that there is something wrong with the DRL system.

The visibility lights in and around the vehicle are fading. The lights also flicker off and on

If the lights are not as strong as they once were, or they randomly flicker off and on, then there is an issue with the fuse. The DRL fuse may have shorted out. The fuse can short out for several reasons, including wear and tear or an accident. 

It could also be the fault of the fuse itself. If you recently changed the fuse and the DRL lights are not as strong, then the fuse could be faulty.

A strong metallic or burning smell

No driver wants to smell a strong burning or gasoline smell when they turn on their vehicle. A foul smell doesn’t always indicate the issue is with the DRL system, as many parts of a vehicle can generate a burning smell. 

But burning or metallic smells can come from the DRL system. If the battery is overloading the wiring in the DRL system, there could be battery burns along the wires and around the components around the DRL system. 

You cannot fix this problem by changing the fuse. It will most likely be an issue with the wiring or an issue with the battery. It can also be an issue with the car battery’s connection to the DRL wiring. 

The mechanic may have to replace the fuse, but it also has to switch out a few other components as well.

Changing out the wiring in a DRL system is much more expensive than replacing a fuse. So that’s why it is important to check on the DRL system and its fuse. 

If the fuse blows out, then the daytime running lamps’ entire electrical system is at risk of shorting. The battery is far too strong to not have a buffer.

Can I still use my vehicle if the DRL warning light is on?

Yes, it is perfectly fine to drive your vehicle with the DRL warning light flashing off and on. However, it may be more difficult for vehicles and pedestrians to see you at night. Also, the lights inside the vehicle will not be as bright. 

Fixing a fuse in the DRL system is quick and easy, so it shouldn’t take more than an hour in the afternoon. You can visit your mechanic after work and have it done in no time. But if you cannot run to a mechanic for another two weeks, it’s fine to drive your vehicle. 

Just be aware that people cannot see you at night time.

Where is the DRL fuse located?

Like many other fuses in a vehicle, the DRL fuse is in the fuse box, with 30 to 40 other fuses. Vehicle manufacturers find it far more convenient to place all the fuses in one area than to have them scattered throughout the vehicle. 

If you can find your fuse box, then you can find the DRL fuse. The fuse box that houses the DRL fuse is somewhere near the engine or the battery. In certain vehicles, the driver’s manual will refer to the fuse box as the power distribution center.

The driver manual for your vehicle will help you locate the DRL fuse. If you don’t have a DRL fuse, Google the fuse’s location by typing into the browser the name of your vehicle, manufacturer, brand, and year. Include as many details as possible and add the word fuse.

Pull up the fuse and inspect. If the fuse blew out some time ago, then the metal will look worked. Also, there could be some black marks on the fuse. It is also possible that the plastic around the fuse warped.

However, if you can still blow and have no signs of warping or damage. Replace the DRL fuse with a brand new fuse and test out your vehicle’s lights. If the lights still don’t work as they should, then the problem isn’t with the fuse. The problem is with the wiring.


The DRL fuse is part of the daytime running lamp system. The daytime running lamp controls many of the smaller lights in a vehicle. When the fuse is not working as it should, the lights on the dashboard, the floor, and the outside of the vehicle will not be as bright or will not turn on.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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