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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Daytime Running Light Mod for the Honda Element

The DRL mod for the SC is posted in post #28 the mod as described in this post is for all other versions of the Element .

Objective:
Modify the US version of the Honda Element to provide Daytime Running Lights, DRL. The modification should function identically to the Canadian version turn on at reduce voltage both high beam filaments. The process should be totally automatic, and not interfere in any way with the manual control of the lighting system. The lights should not come on if the parking brake is set.
Requirements:
3 high current 12v DC SPDT relays ( 20 amp or better ) RLY3, RL4, RL5
2 low current 12v DC ( SPDT ) relays (low current relays) RLY1, RLY2
1 SPST switch – any type. (optional)
3 1N4004 diodes
A hand full of wire and some time.
Schematic:
headlight1.jpg

Installing:
There are a total of four wires that will have to be cut, and one that will be spliced, if you're squeamish about cutting the OEM wiring harness, this is probably not a mod you want to do. Please understand, I know this mod works - I have it installed in my E. But, I have no idea of anyones electrical skills, therefore if you try this mod and totally bugger up the wiring, It's not my fault. As long as you follow the schematics and descriptions posted - it will work as stated.

Three of the wires that need to be cut are in the Under-Dash Fuse/Relay Box, UDFR. The "C" connector contains four wires, they are:
  • #1 - RED wire with WHITE stripe (low beam)
  • #2 - BLUE wire with RED stripe (headlight relays)
  • #7 - RED wire with BLUE stripe (high beam)
Also the one wire that needs to be spliced is also in the "C" connector:
  • #8 - GREEN wire with ORANGE stripe (parking brake)
The other wire that must be cut is at the LEFT HEADLIGHT #2 the RED wire with a YELLOW stripe. This wire will be connected to RLY5. If you are using a standard automotive relay, use the following terminals
  • 85 - The wire from the engine compartment (power from relay #1 NO contact)
  • 86 - Connect to ground.
  • 87a - Connect the RED wire with the YELLOW stripe FROM the wire harness.
  • 87 - Connect to ground.
  • 30 - Connect the RED wire withe the YELLOW stripe FROM the connector.
I recommend building a small circuit board containing relays 1 through 4 along with the three diodes. Relay 5 can then be installed under the hood, near the left headlight. That way, only one wire will need to be taken from the cabin to the engine compartment.

As the schematic shows, the wires will be cut and a set of relay contacts inserted. There are two places where it is REQUIRED that you get the correct wire to the correct terminal of the relay, please note that the UDFR - C2 wires and the LEFT HEADLIGHT wires need to be correctly placed on the relay or the circuit will not work correctly. I have noted in the simplified schematic where the wires go. Notice the difference between the wire going to the connector and the wire from the harness - that is referring to the same wire but after it has been cut.

I'll will be building another circuit board and installing into an E in the near future, at that time I'll make some pictures and the whole process should be much clearer.

schematic_drl.jpg

Circuit Description:
This modification will give the US version the same Daytime Running Lights, DRL, as in the Canadian Element. The bright lights will come on at reduced voltage when the ignition switch is in the "RUN" or "II" position as long as the parking brake is not set. However, unlike the Canadian version, if the parking brake is set after the DRLs come on, they will go out.

This mod will work as posted for any 03-07 Honda Element. It could possibly work with the 08 too, but I do not have the schematics for them so I cannot say for certain. If anyone can supply a copy of the US version headlight circuit, I can make certain this will work for the 08.

Power is drawn from the middle pin of connector "V", one of the "Option Connectors" in the Under-dash Fuse/Relay box.
The "V" option connector
v3_connector.JPG
The terminal (V3) is fused through fuse 14, on a circuit that is only ‘hot’ when the ignition switch is in the “RUN” or “II” position. (If you prefer to have a method to override the DRL and turn the whole thing off place a SPST switch in line with the wire from the V3 terminal.) The DRL will function automatically without any intervention.

When the ignition switch is in the “RUN” position, the headlight switch is in the OFF position, the parking brake is not set, power is applied to the coil of relays 2 through 5 through the contact of relay 1.

The two headlight relays are energized by relay 2. The low beam circuit is opened by relay 3. The high beam circuit is opened by relay 4. The high beam circuit is modified by relay 5.

The four relays (2, 3, 4, and 5) come on - relay 5 modifies the power connection of the left high beam lamp effectively placing the two headlights in series by applying a ground while not altering the +12v on the other headlight. Effectively, applying half power to the two high beam lamps.

In the event the lights are turned on, either by the “Flash – to – Pass” or turning on the headlight switch, relay 1 energizes. This relay cuts the path for the power to relays 2, 3, 4, and 5. With the power gone to the coils of relays 2, 3, 4, and 5 the headlight circuitry returns to normal and the headlights function exactly as Honda originally designed.

When the ignition switch is turned off (or to “ACC”) the power is lost to the coils of relays which in turn shuts off the whole DRL circuit. There is no parasitic drain on the E’s battery when the car is turned off. The entire circuit is automatic, it's on only when the ignition switch is in the "RUN" or "II" position, and turns off anytime the light switch is turned on or the ignition switch turned off or to the accessory position or the parking brake is set.

Special notes:

A) the option connector (V) has three connections
...............................................................................................Parking
Ignition Switch Position----------Off------.I------Run----Start------Lights On .......Fuse
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Left "V" connection................. -......+12 .. +12 .....- .................-............... 8 (7.5 amp)
Center "V" connection .............- ........- ....+12...... - .................- .............14 (10 amp)
Right "V" connection ...............- ........- ......- ........-...............+12 ..............2 (15 amp)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

B) I recommend building a small circuit board with relays 1, 2, 3, 4 and the diodes then placing all this in a project box, and mounting under the dash.

C) Relay 5 should be mounted under the hood, as shown earlier. A super easy way to run the ONE wire necessary to the engine compartment is described by another EOC member K-Dogg in this post.

udfr_drl.jpg

Notes:
Due to requests I have modified the circuit to provide a way for the DRL to be off and still have the car running. Hence, the parking brake. That way, the circuit will work correctly as posted regardless of the type transmission you have. Additionally if you prefer - for whatever reason - to have a way to disable the DRL you can always place a SPST switch in the circuit from the V3 terminal. Just remember, if you do that the DRLs are no longer totally automatic - if you have the switch off the DRL will not work.

If you are planning to modify your lights, and have any questions, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Also - if anyone in the general Shelby area is planning to do this mod, please contact me - I really need to make some photographs of the process. (Consider that an offer for free help) ;-)

I'll get the PDF files updated and reposted in the next day or so.
 

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I broke into a sweat just reading this. I want DRLs but am not brave enough to start cutting wires or doing other mods to the electrical system. Too bad this isn't something the dealer would do as a "dealer install". I think it would be a money maker for the dealer.

Thanks for all the work and information. Maybe I will get this done once the warranty is gone. Until then I will leave things as they are unless the dealer is willing to do the mod and I don't see that happening.
 

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:lol: What he said. I know when I had my '98 Lexus GS400, I wanted DRL's for it and I bought a simple kit that just wired into my headlights but the guys doing it couldn't figure out the proper grounding for a Japanese auto and therefore my HID lights were flashing like I was in my patrol car trying to pull someone over for a traffic violation. I sent it back and was refunded though the company said it could be installed. I'm glad to see someone has the knowledge and fortitude to break it all down but I know I dare not get into cutting wires and such. If someone does embark on this mod, please, please take pictures and give step by step directions. Personally, I want someone to hold my hand on this one.. :razz:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Gee guys, It's only three wires. :confused:

Tell you what, I'll get the stuff together and do this mod on mine and post some clear pictures and a step-by-step.

I'll try and get it done this coming weekend, but no promises.
 

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I've wanted DRL's since I bought my E a little over a year ago.

For me it's a safety issue, plus many auto insurance companies give a discount for having this feature.

Here is a link to a company that makes the module for the 03 — 05 Elements.

http://www.hamsar.com/drlkits.htm

It is the same item # even though they break the model years into two segments (03 - 04 and 05) Item #45020 (with extra set of lamps). I guess the "(with extra set of lamps)" means fog lights, but I am not positive.

There are two US Distributors listed on the site:

Muncie Reclamation & Supply Co.
3720 South Madison Street
Muncie, IN 47302
Phone: (765) 288-1971
Fax: (765) 286-0164
±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±
P.U.M.A.
1670 Enterprise Parkway Unit E
Twinsburg, OH 44087
Phone: (330) 425-2800
Fax: (330) 425-2818
Toll Free: (800) 354-3552
±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±
±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±±

bh241: Since you understand this what are your thoughts?

chozn4service: Your making me look bad by clearing your headlight so fast.
That's still on my six month old 'Do Today' list.



.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Missing Element said:
bh241: Since you understand this what are your thoughts?
There's not much to go on there on the web site. I couldn't find out any specifics about it, but was able to see a larger picture of the unit
45021b.jpg
It does appear to be a unit that you will have to splice into the wiring though. Do you have an idea of the costs? Installation? It may well be the option for some, but I would need more info about it to make any kind of realistic statement about it, Some of the other units they have on their site look to be 'plug in' type installs - but again I don't really know.

I've built up everything for the mod, and hope to have it installed this weekend. So far, the costs are coming in at $12.75 total. Although, I did not have to purchase any solder, soldering iron, or any tools. I'm figuring once the wire and connectors are bought, you're looking at a total of about $20.00 tops.

I started doing this mod because someone else made it and then decided they didn't want to share it with everyone or something - I kinna came in a t the tail end of the whole thing so I'm not real sure what happened. At any rate, i figured it was an easy enough mod that most anyone with some electrical skills could tackle with a minimal of guidance. thus the mod as posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm curious - some seem a tad 'worried' to start cutting into the wiring of their E, I can't honestly blame you. I don't think a lot of it, but I do deal in electronics for a living.

Would you guys/gals be interested in a quick easy mod for DRL (kinna) ?

It's fairly easy to add one relay that will turn on the low beam headlamps? Would that be something you would be interested in?
 

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I would be interested. I have the habit of turning on my lights every time I drive but it might be nice for it to become a no brainer. I planned to add them on my own after seeing your post at a later date. Not shy about cutting into the electrics. But an easy kit would have value.
Thanks for your effort and time on this.
I have never had an original thought in my life and I marvel at the creativity and resourcefulness of everyone on this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
OK - here you are Daytime Running Lights - lite :)

Granted, they aren't exactly DRL at least not what I understand them to be, but it is quick and easy. The cost is pretty much nill, if you have the relay from your "rear socket always on mod"

You can make up three wires like I've shown here in this picture:

eoc-drl-quick.jpg

Then connect to your old rear outlet relay:
drl_relay.jpg

The Blue wire will connect to the two pins on the relay and then to any ground - (if you are looking at the under-dash fuse/relay box, look to your right, you should see a great ground point to the right.)

The Violet wire will connect to the BLUE wire with the RED stripe in the F connector of the UDFR box. Use one of the blue wire splice things, and you're good to go.

The Orange wire has two female spade connectors, one is a small one and that will connect to the V3 terminal of the under-dash fuse/relay box. The connector has three male spade terminals, use the one in the middle.

Connect the wires as described in this drawing:
drl-mini.jpg

The connectors on the Under-Dash Fuse/relay box:
udfrb.gif

Circuit operation will be automatic, when the ignition switch in in the RUN position, the relay will energize and in turn energize the two headlight relays. Since the low beam filaments are normally connected to ground, the low beams come on. Note: if the light switch is in the HIGH BEAM position, the high beams will come on.

Normal operation of the light switch is still available, you must turn the switch on before the parking lights will function.

Basically all this relay is doing is turning on the low beams at full power, if you want the fancy smancy half-power high beams, then you gotta do the original mod.

Happy now? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Here's some pictures of the #5 relay in the engine compartment. All the others were installed under the dash. The single wire was pulled through to the engine compartment to the coil of this relay.

The HIGH beam circuit of the left headlamp is modified when this relay is engaged, removing the normal +12 volts instead applying a ground. The circuit then has +12v feeding through the right headlamp, through the left headlamp and then to ground. In effect, half bright high beams. :)

drl-eoc_#5.JPG

drl-eoc_#5a.JPG

The relay is a standard 12v sealed relay. I purchased it from www.aerostitch.com for $3.00. (decent price) While I was there, I got a sheet of this "Headlight Shield" to go over the Fog Lights to prevent breaking from small rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have made the changes to the DRL circuit that were requested. I have edited the first post.

Now, the DRL will NOT come on if the parking brake is set.

I also tried to make the description clearer so everyone can understand it better.

I will be making another circuit board and installing this mod on another E in the near future, at that time I promise to make some pictures and post them.

If you are pondering this mod, and have any questions let me know. I'll help all I can.

:)
 

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Three questions about the intructions:
In the pictures of the underhood relay you mean relay #5 right, not #4 ?

What is the difference between a high and low current relay?

Which relays are high current and which are low current in the simple schematic?

I'm going to begin this as soon as I have it all pictured in my head. Do you think I can get all that I need in radio shack? or do i need to find a better store?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Three questions about the intructions:
In the pictures of the underhood relay you mean relay #5 right, not #4 ?
Yes, I added a relay for the high beam circuit, originally if the headlight switch were left in the HIGH beam position, then one headlight would be bright, while the other would be very dim. So, I added an 'anti-wink' relay. I just forgot to modify the other post. :oops: I'll get to that directly.

What is the difference between a high and low current relay?

Which relays are high current and which are low current in the simple schematic?
I'm talking about the current rating of the relays contacts. Relays 1 and 2 are the low current relays, 2 amp contacts would be fine. However, relays 3,4, and 5 actually carry the current for the actual headlights, typically these are 30 amp relays - but honestly anywhere from say 20 to 40 amp would be fine.

I'm going to begin this as soon as I have it all pictured in my head. Do you think I can get all that I need in radio shack? or do i need to find a better store?
Radio shack should have all the parts necessary, you could probably get the parts cheaper other places though. Remember, there's a lot of 'wiggle' room when it comes to selecting parts. As long as they meet the current/voltage requirements, it really doesn't matter who made it, or what the physical appearance is.

Good luck with your mod - make some pictures! (I still need to do that... )
 

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The BIG 24? Jeez, I got socks older than that.
Just kidding, I wish you a happy birthday and many more returns!

I like to have DRLs but I just turn on the headlites when I start the engine. The buzzer reminds me if I don't turn it off when I get out if I forget.
se
 
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