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Thread: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

  1. #1

    Question GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    So I am having a problem with the daytime running lights on my 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
    The issue is that the voltage that runs to the daytime running lights spikes between 12v - 14.5v and causes the light bulbs to burn out.
    I have already replaced the bulbs multiple times and am getting tired of this patchwork solution.

    I am currently running LED 3156 which are now burning out because of the voltage spikes.

    So is there a way I could attach a voltage regulator in-line to the lights so that it will not spike?
    If so, what kind of regulator would I get and what kind of specs am I looking for?
    Any ideas where to buy this kind of thing?

    thanks for any help guys!
    Last edited by YZINGERR; 12-11-2008 at 11:11 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    I havent heard anything on the spikes but it makes sense as its being run by the dirty automotive 12v power supply, but I have a 2001 GMC Sierra C3 and I had the same problem. I used to work at a GM dealership and I asked a few of the mechanics I worked with what I should do to fix the problem. I was told by one that using some dielectric grease on the base of the bulb would help seal and get a better connection. Another told me that they had a weak ground and that adding in a better ground wire to each light would fix it. This seemed to be my problem so, I added in a better ground and I have had my DRLs on every time I drive for the last year and they havent burned out. Hopefully this helps.

    Trevor.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!




    All of the smart guys on this site and no answers?!?
    Im actually amazed!
    I found these, I think this maybe what I am looking for:

    http://www.theledlight.com/au12A2_led_driver.html
    Last edited by YZINGERR; 12-08-2008 at 06:10 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by YZINGERR View Post
    All of the smart guys on this site and no answers?!?
    Im actually amazed!
    I found these, I think this maybe what I am looking for:

    http://www.theledlight.com/rg12regulator.html

    That one is only rated for 850mA, the bulbs in your truck use over 2000mA if they are the 3157 bulbs that most GMT900 trucks use.

  5. #5

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Morelite View Post
    That one is only rated for 850mA, the bulbs in your truck use over 2000mA if they are the 3157 bulbs that most GMT900 trucks use.
    Sorry i put the wrong link and picture.. this is the one i meant..

    http://www.theledlight.com/au12A2_led_driver.html


    Last edited by YZINGERR; 12-08-2008 at 06:20 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by YZINGERR View Post
    Sorry i put the wrong link and picture.. this is the one i meant..

    http://www.theledlight.com/au12A2_led_driver.html

    Says output power is 10watts max. Aren't the 3357 up to 30 watts?

  7. #7

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by tebore View Post
    Says output power is 10watts max. Aren't the 3357 up to 30 watts?
    I think this is the one that YZINGERR meant.

    http://www.theledlight.com/rg12a2_regulator-module.html

    Unlike the other two links, this is an actual regulator. As I don't see any ESD rating or voltage spike ratings, I am not sure what the true automotive value of this product is, but could be good enough.

  8. #8

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    could try getting some of those capacitors they use for car amps that look like a large can of beans to filter out spikes better or put a resistor inline with the lights to drop the voltage a little.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    The problem is that GM's voltage regulator setpoints, which have long been higher than average, are now reaching truly ridiculous levels. Some of the regulators in their recent alternators have setpoints above 15v! Bulb life is exponential to the power -13 (negative 13) with voltage change, and the bulbs they picked for those DRLs aren't generally known for their longevity.

    But that's all kind of academic. There's no need to get fancy with resistors or capacitors. All you need to do is run the right bulbs. It is not a 3157 or 4157, it is a 4114K (4114LL), which has its bright filament rated at 14v rather than at 12.8v. Lifespan is much, much longer than even the long-life versions of 3157 and 4157. Tough to find on the open market, but most Chev/GMC dealers will carry them. GM P/N is 15199562.

  10. #10

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    That doesn't make any sense, automotive electronics can go to 14 or 15v, thats normal for any place on a vehicle not just the drl's. So its normal for voltage to hit 14+ volts. Your DRL's are probably blowing because of arcing contacts, look at the light holders and see if they are looking slightly burnt or melted, somewhere in those years they had a bad batch and they didn;t tolerate the bulb heat. replace the bulb sockets and you should be good. My truck is a later built 2004 and has the good ones, My DRL's are still stock with 4+ years and 76,000 miles.

  11. #11

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    That doesn't make any sense, automotive electronics can go to 14 or 15v, thats normal for any place on a vehicle not just the drl's.
    Read more carefully what was written. The problem and solution as described are laid out in GM TSB #00-08-42-010A. which reads as follows:

    ====
    Bulletin No.: 00-08-42-010A

    Date: June 20, 2003

    INFORMATION
    Subject:
    Daytime Running Lamp (DRL) Bulb Replacement

    Models:
    2002-2003 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT
    2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV
    1999-2003 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Models
    2000-2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban
    2002-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche
    1999-2003 GMC Sierra Pickup Models
    2000-2003 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL
    2001-2003 GMC Denali, Denali XL

    Supercede:

    This bulletin is being revised to add model information and to announce availability of new DRL bulb part number.

    Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 00-08-42-010 (Section 08 - Body and Accessories).

    A new 14 volt DRL bulb, PIN 15199562 (trade bulb # 4114K), is now available for use whenever a DRL lamp bulb on the above listed vehicles requires replacement. This more robust, higher voltage DRL bulb replaces P/N 1999482 (trade bulb #.4157K). These bulbs should be replaced in pairs for customer satisfaction.
    ====

    Oddly enough, there's no TSB about early-production vs. late-production DRL bulb sockets. H'mmmm! ;-)

    Many aftermarket bulb application charts continue to show the 3157/4157 12.8v bulbs for these and later-year versions of these vehicles, because the 4114K bulbs aren't widely serviced in the aftermarket.

    YZINGERR, if your local dealer tries to charge $10+ for the 14v-rated #4114K DRL bulbs, you can also get them here.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 12-11-2008 at 07:16 PM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    Read more carefully what was written. The problem and solution as described are laid out in GM TSB #00-08-42-010A. which reads as follows:

    ====
    Bulletin No.: 00-08-42-010A

    Date: June 20, 2003

    INFORMATION
    Subject:
    Daytime Running Lamp (DRL) Bulb Replacement

    Models:
    2002-2003 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT
    2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV
    1999-2003 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup Models
    2000-2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban
    2002-2003 Chevrolet Avalanche
    1999-2003 GMC Sierra Pickup Models
    2000-2003 GMC Yukon, Yukon XL
    2001-2003 GMC Denali, Denali XL

    Supercede:

    This bulletin is being revised to add model information and to announce availability of new DRL bulb part number.

    Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 00-08-42-010 (Section 08 - Body and Accessories).

    A new 14 volt DRL bulb, PIN 15199562 (trade bulb # 4114K), is now available for use whenever a DRL lamp bulb on the above listed vehicles requires replacement. This more robust, higher voltage DRL bulb replaces P/N 1999482 (trade bulb #.4157K). These bulbs should be replaced in pairs for customer satisfaction.
    ====

    Oddly enough, there's no TSB about early-production vs. late-production DRL bulb sockets. H'mmmm! ;-)

    Many aftermarket bulb application charts continue to show the 3157/4157 12.8v bulbs for these and later-year versions of these vehicles, because the 4114K bulbs aren't widely serviced in the aftermarket.

    YZINGERR, if your local dealer tries to charge $10+ for the 14v-rated #4114K DRL bulbs, you can also get them here.
    Im glad you posted the bulletin.. i couldnt find it online. I am trying to run LEDs instead of the 4114 bulbs (that i already have).

    I have been running the LEds for about 8 mo., but they are now burning out and need to find a way to regulate them.

  13. #13

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Maybe it wasn't a TSB, maybe just a known issue that never made it to tsb status. I rememer finidng it right after I bought my 2004 in Feb 2005 and started looking around the full size forums. I pulled my DRL's out to check the sockets but mine looked fine. So it was around then or before when the problems were appearing.
    But I've never replaced my bulbs either.

  14. #14

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by YZINGERR View Post
    Im glad you posted the bulletin.. i couldnt find it online. I am trying to run LEDs instead of the 4114 bulbs (that i already have).
    That's not going to work, optically. You may as well just yank the bulbs altogether if you don't want to run the 4114s.

  15. #15

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    It definently works. Todays LEDs are a lot brighter than they used to be. I have been running LEDs around the perimeter of my truck for years now. Only the DRLs are having a problem as inheritied by GMs problematic design.


  16. #16

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    It definitely doesn't work, until you show us an isoplot and/or compliance report of the operating lamp equipped with "LED bulbs".

    Photos of operating lamps give us even less usable info than peering at an operating lamp and saying "Yep, it definitely works". The dynamic range of the human eye is several orders of magnitude greater than that of any photographic imaging system we presently have, whether digital or film. Even if the photographer is seriously interested in presenting an accurate representation of what a lamp does, he's using the wrong tool for the job and his results amount to nothing but a picture of an illuminated lamp. Same goes for the observer using his eyes to "judge" the performance of a lamp. No way! That is why goniophotometers are used to evaluate the performance of automotive lamps and determine whether they meet the relevant legal requirements.

    You can almost sort of fake it with careful, knowledgeable, methodical use of an accurate light meter. But photos? Subjective "Yeah, they work great" assertions? Not good enough, not even a little bit.

  17. #17

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    It definitely doesn't work, until you show us an isoplot and/or compliance report of the operating lamp equipped with "LED bulbs".

    Photos of operating lamps give us even less usable info than peering at an operating lamp and saying "Yep, it definitely works". The dynamic range of the human eye is several orders of magnitude greater than that of any photographic imaging system we presently have, whether digital or film. Even if the photographer is seriously interested in presenting an accurate representation of what a lamp does, he's using the wrong tool for the job and his results amount to nothing but a picture of an illuminated lamp. Same goes for the observer using his eyes to "judge" the performance of a lamp. No way! That is why goniophotometers are used to evaluate the performance of automotive lamps and determine whether they meet the relevant legal requirements.

    You can almost sort of fake it with careful, knowledgeable, methodical use of an accurate light meter. But photos? Subjective "Yeah, they work great" assertions? Not good enough, not even a little bit.
    How do they not work, you can obviously see them without your beloved isoplot. Eye-so see them just fine.
    Regardless, people can see them just fine while driving on the road. I dont really care about it one way or another as like many have said before, they are just DRLs and not headlights.

  18. #18

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Having gone through two standard LEDs in less than five days on my 2001 Yukon, I have encountered numerous warnings against using them in the DRLs.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-09-2013 at 10:17 PM. Reason: Rule 11 violation

  19. #19

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike in Pennsylvania View Post
    Having gone through two standard LEDs in less than five days on my 2001 Yukon, I have encountered numerous warnings against using them in the DRLs.
    LED replacements simply don't work. LEDs have a relatively narrow viewing angle compared to filament based bulbs. Even with placing numerous LEDs in a cylindrical pattern isn't going to come close to an approximation to how a filament outputs light. It is like trying to illuminate a room with a bundle of laser pointers versus turning on a 60 watt incandescent bulb.

    If the optical incompatibility isn't enough to dissuade you, it looks like those LEDs have no means of voltage regulation. They will fail just as readily as other LEDs and you'll be left $50 poorer. I can only imagine the profit margin on those.

    Don't fall for marketing hype meant to sell overpriced bulb replacements that are made by the lowest bidder in China. Don't believe me? You can find the same exact LED design with a different base on Alibaba.

    Here's a question to lighting gurus on this site such as Scheinwerfermann: Why aren't lambertarian emitting LED powerheads such as the Osram Joule not yet adapted to DRL use? I would think that the standardized design would bring the costs down of developing reflectors and the power savings would yield a negligible effect on fuel economy compared to traditional filament bulbs.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 04-09-2013 at 10:17 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by glarus View Post
    Here's a question to lighting gurus on this site such as Scheinwerfermann: Why aren't lambertarian emitting LED powerheads such as the Osram Joule not yet adapted to DRL use? I would think that the standardized design would bring the costs down of developing reflectors and the power savings would yield a negligible effect on fuel economy compared to traditional filament bulbs.
    Cost is one big obstacle. If you've seen the blue prints for the Audi LED DRLs and headlamp system you'd know it's not that easy. You gotta have heat pipes and perfectly designed airflow to prevent them from frying in desert heat and still melt ice in the Canadian winter. You can do this on a $60,000 luxury car but on a $9,999 KIA that's gonna be tough.

  21. #21

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by glarus View Post
    Why aren't lambertarian emitting LED powerheads such as the Osram Joule not yet adapted to DRL use?
    'Cause nobody's asked Osram for them yet. I'm not sure what the status of a white Joule is as far as achievable output and lifespan — so far, AFAIK, only red ones have been commercialized. If the output's sufficient, then reflector design for the DRL function (or for a dual-function DRL/parking lamp) is a piece of cake.

  22. #22

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    I have a 1999 Sierra and had the same problem. I replaced my bulbs with turn signal bulbs (I have no clue what the part number was).

    Now I have orange DRLs like the Corvettes and I have at least 7 years on these bulbs without them failing.
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  23. #23
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    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    I just pulled mine out....and have NO issues with them burning out....and defeated the auto headlight function as well.
    Now my truck can warm up in the winter here in Edmonton early in the morning and it doesn't stand out....
    I can also go into "Knight Rider Stealth" mode as my friends calls it.

  24. #24

    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beam Guru View Post
    I just pulled mine out....and have NO issues with them burning out....and defeated the auto headlight function as well.
    Now my truck can warm up in the winter here in Edmonton early in the morning and it doesn't stand out....
    I can also go into "Knight Rider Stealth" mode as my friends calls it.
    Speaking of Edmonton, I was just there. Nice place. Big Mall (kinda overrated after being there).

    You could put the Bulbs in that are now recommended for it, turn on the auto headlights (or keep them off), and have all functionality that is really nice to have (IMO). I think the DRLs should be made MANDATORY throughout the world. There have been times when they helped me avoid accidents and I know Im not the only one.
    Therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven. - 3 Nephi 12:16

  25. #25
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    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LEDobsession View Post
    Speaking of Edmonton, I was just there. Nice place. Big Mall (kinda overrated after being there).

    You could put the Bulbs in that are now recommended for it, turn on the auto headlights (or keep them off), and have all functionality that is really nice to have (IMO). I think the DRLs should be made MANDATORY throughout the world. There have been times when they helped me avoid accidents and I know Im not the only one.
    Yeah, the mall is kind of cool to check out...I don't go very often but like to go once in awhile, walk around and kill time.

    As for the DRL's, I always turn my headlights on when I drive, a habit I started when my first car didn't have DRL's....as for mandatory...I'm getting tired of seeing people driving at night without ANY lights on because there dash is lit up....READ YOUR MANUAL!!!! LOL!

    Next time your around let me know, I haven't started modding a light yet, but want too....

  26. #26
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    Default Re: GM trucks LED DRLs (Daytime Running Lights) -Voltage regulator? help!

    I have a voltage-regulated dome-light, I used sharp pq12rd21.

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