Can the headlights be changed - to be off manually ?

JohnTF

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Location
St. Paul , MN.
TDI
2003 Jetta 1.9 AT Wagon
Can the ECU be reset to allow turning the headlights off - do not want to use headlights on a bright sunny day ?
I think of it as a scam - headlights cost more than ever - and you can not turn off ;(
 

Hayze

Active member
Joined
May 30, 2020
Location
Oklahoma City
TDI
2009 Jetta TDI 2.0L
There is a switch in the parking break which turns the lights off.
You can see this by simply pulling parking brake up to 1 click.
If your car shuts the lights off.
Then you can find the wires in park brake, disconnect the plug, wire a toggle or button switch.

Not sure if VCDS would offer such setting for ecm.
Not even sure why vw would even have lights set this way other than
Claiming safety for all road conditions.
Also not sure which wires it would be if more than 2, because i havent done this yet as i never had the time for it.
 

94cobra2615

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Location
ohio
TDI
99 jetta tdi
Just pull the headlight switch out of the dash and bend the pin over flat that is for the daytime running lights and then plug it back in
I forget what pin number it is. You'll have to look it up. I do it to all my mk4 cars.
 

Justdrive

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Location
Raleigh NC
TDI
2015 TDi SE
I used vcds to disable DRL...

Any vw owner knows vcds is necessary because...

Step 1 enable remote windows
Step 2 disable drl
Step 3 enable fog lights with high beams
Step 4 country code germany
Save and enjoy your audi
 

JDSwan87

Black Swamp Thing
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Location
Michigan near Toledo
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI, 5 speed Lagoon Blue Metallic(sold); 2005 Jetta TDI Wagon auto
Set headlights to off
Push knob in and twist to right
Remove switch, disconnect
Look at pins and find pin labeled TFL
Bend TFL pin over
Reconnect switch
Put switch back in
Bam, now your headlights are either on or off.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
I not only disable the worthless DRLs in all my cars, but I install a proper two position headlamp switch like the rest of the world gets. I know what lights I need on and when. I also know when to turn my wipers on.

Newer cars are just done in the Long Coding of the appropriate module. Older cars, we have to disable the TFL pin on the headlight switch (although the B5s you can just yank the DRL relay out and throw it in the trash, and the Parking brake warning lamp still works like normal).
 

JB05

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 20, 2005
Location
Il.USA
TDI
Golf,2005,anthracite blue
Just disconnect the TFL wire(yellow-blue) IIRC. No need to bend the pin.
 

Sauaciden

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2019
Location
Lithuania
TDI
A3 8L 1.9TDI
I not only disable the worthless DRLs in all my cars, but I install a proper two position headlamp switch like the rest of the world gets. I know what lights I need on and when. I also know when to turn my wipers on.

Newer cars are just done in the Long Coding of the appropriate module. Older cars, we have to disable the TFL pin on the headlight switch (although the B5s you can just yank the DRL relay out and throw it in the trash, and the Parking brake warning lamp still works like normal).
You did not get position lights in US???
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
I just taped over the TFL pin; this way it's trivially re-enabled if you need to for some reason (hint: Canada requires DRLs, so if you ever go into Canada if/when they reopen to tourism you MAY get hassled at the border if your car doesn't have them and appears to be new enough to "require" them.)
 

KrashDH

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Location
Washington
TDI
2002 Golf
I just taped over the TFL pin; this way it's trivially re-enabled if you need to for some reason (hint: Canada requires DRLs, so if you ever go into Canada if/when they reopen to tourism you MAY get hassled at the border if your car doesn't have them and appears to be new enough to "require" them.)
Interesting, I have my Golf and an 04 truck. Last 8 years or so, I've been up in BC almost every weekend during the summer and never have been told or questioned at the border about that. Nor anywhere else on my way to and from my destination. I wonder if it's different if you have vehicles registered there maybe?
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Yeah I rate the odds of anyone caring as rather low but it's similar to a lot of situations within the US. What's a legal tint, for example, varies by state. In theory if you're legal in your home state you're legal everywhere (full faith and credit should apply), just like you can drive a 48 state vehicle into California even though it doesn't meet CARB standards. But what should be and what you could be harassed for is another matter, and if you are harassed being able to reverse whatever they're exercised about in 30 seconds is would be a good thing, so.....
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
The DRLs are a safety feature (think pedestrians). Very easy to bend the pin over on the connector.
 

JohnTF

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 2009
Location
St. Paul , MN.
TDI
2003 Jetta 1.9 AT Wagon
Well ended up bending the pin over ;(
I prefer to have things like this reversable , in this case using my dislodge tool - multiple ends to unlock wiring - so that you can remove one wire / with connector from plastic connector , put tape over metal crimp / to avoid any possible of shorting .
Then if needed can just plug back in , but that tool is in storage .
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
I just stuck a carefully-crafted piece of electrical tape over the pin. Took a couple of tries but is reversible in seconds if you need or want to.
 

Rrusse11

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2014
Location
PA Deutsch Country
TDI
2002 Golf, 5spd; 05 Jeep CRD
I bought a chinesium "Euro" switch like this;


Plug in switch, now with headlights off, you retain DRLs, I do spend time in Canada.
One click and you have "parking lights" on, no DRLs. With blue LEDS in the headlights you have a very
visible front light, and the rear lights lit, (my big objection to the standard DRL configuration).

I standardly run with the parkers on at all times. I've been running the cheap switch now for ~ 5 years with
no problems. You also now have the option of running fogs, should you want to do the wiring.
The biggest problem with this was installing the tiny little bulbs in the headlights, my fat fingers couldn't quite
get in there. One of my friendly mechanic buddies with smaller hands could get in there. Only took a couple
minutes, $10 for the switch, a pair of little bulbs mebbe $6.

No problem in PA running blue parkers.

YMMV
 

C.Powell

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Location
Alberta
TDI
MkIV Jetta Station Wagon
Some countries require DRLs as they were found to reduce accidents, with pedestrians and also where vehicles pull out in front of vehicles approaching at speed and/or overtaking. Those were accidents that were more severe so any reduction is good and increasing visibility on the front of vehicles is easy and low hanging fruit in the safety world. All the hardware is already there, it only requires legislation. It annoys me not to have control of the lights when I do need to move the car without loosing night vision (e.g. winter star watching) but not enough to do anything about it or put up with being a cop magnet and get stopped.
 

tgray

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Marengo, IL
TDI
'02 Beetle, '05 Golf, 2000 Jetta, 2001 Jetta, 2002 Jetta
Day time running lights may be good for safety and can be turned on manually, but I have found the real problem is if I do need to turn them off while driving. Why would this happen? Loosing a belt or a failed alternator. I have lost an alternator charging and all I needed to do was to make it home for the repair. I suppose I could have done the "bend over the pin option" but when things go wrong it is hard to work on a car on the road. The battery doesn't last very long with the lights on. In my case I did barely make it home (65 miles) and I found the lights actually turn themselves off when the relay can't pull in any more. The car only needs about 9 volts to keep the computer running and the pump on and that is what it read when I pulled in the driveway. The good thing about these cars is you don't need the serpentine belt to drive as long as the battery is delivering enough volts.
 

C.Powell

Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2017
Location
Alberta
TDI
MkIV Jetta Station Wagon
' Loosing a belt or a failed alternator '
Had this happen on a Mk 2 golf 1.6td. For a week until I had chance to change the alternator I had to charge up the battery prior to every journey with no lights, no stereo, no fan, no electrical drains at all. A bit like having an EV but adding diesel too.
 

Terrific-In-Tahoma

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 4, 2012
Location
East-of-Toronto, Ontario, Canada
TDI
'01 ALH Jetta M5 / 05 BEW Jetta Wagon A4
Had this happen on a Mk 2 golf 1.6td. For a week until I had chance to change the alternator I had to charge up the battery prior to every journey with no lights, no stereo, no fan, no electrical drains at all. A bit like having an EV but adding diesel too.
For us Northern (North of the 50th parallel) types, you may have hit on an idea :

Have a built-in Battery Minder added to our Coolant or Oil pan power circuit that is connected to an external power source, so the alternator does not have to work so hard after the initial crank-over, and then replenish the energy lost in the battery from the glow plugs, DRL, and the other "energy saving" do dads wired into the car. At least 5 cents in electricity is far cheaper than 10 minutes of running energy, where the alternator is converting mechanical energy (horsepower and torque) from the serpentine belt, to the alternator.

But I could be over thinking it a bit, however on the contrary side , I just passed a fuel pump station locally, and petroleum has jumped on average from June 2020 of 97 cents per litre, to now nationally averaging $1.30 [1] (it varies by region with Grand Falls, NF being the highest at $1.50/litre (CAD) or [3.88/us gallon--USD or 4.48 for those in Grand Falls, compared to the Mississippi Delta and 500 miles average of 2.35 vs CAlifornia [2]of 3.93/gallon]

[1] Stats Canada : Statistics Canada -- Average National Diesel price
[2] GasBuddy.com : RUG gas price heat map
 
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