Tacoma DRLs and ARB Bumper Fix
Written by Kevan Ray
A funny thing happens when you install a nice ARB bumper and hookup the ARB indicators with a Toyota that’s equipped with a daytime running lights (DRLs) system. The excessive draw of the additional ARB lights on that circuit trips the relay and leaves either the left or right side off/ dark. A quick flick of the headlights on/ off will reset the DRL circuit and bring both sides back to operation, but it’s a detail that weighed heavy on my OCD mind after adding the ARB bumper to my rig. After some extensive research I sourced a rather elegant solution. The Sylvania website lists the below bulb types for the 2nd gen Tacoma. I also noted that ARB has a solution in fine print, on their website, for the ARB bar (see below).
So my solution is based around the fact that the Tacoma indicators and DRLs run off the same bulbs and circuit. Adding the ARB bulbs into the mix puts too much draw on that circuit’s relay. Said a different way, Toyota never designed the DRL system for the extra draw of the aftermarket bumper’s extra halogen indictor bulbs. Thanks to modern technology, the K.I.S.S. way to reduce the draw is by swapping bulbs for LED units. ARB’s website confirmed this without strictly saying it was necessary.
With this knowledge, I ran down to my local auto parts store and found 1156 amber LED bulbs and threw them into the ARB bar’s indicator housings (the amber reflector spots). While installing the bulbs I noticed that ARB uses full spectrum white bulbs. This means you don’t need amber colored LEDs for the swap. Any 1156 LED unit will work, including white
The install took maybe 5 minutes. Results included no change in brightness. No change in color. And, DRLs operating as Toyota designed them, once again.