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2004 Chevrolet Impala Base 4dr Sedan

2004 Chevrolet Impala
Trim Info:
Front Wheel Drive, 4 Door Sedan, Large
21 mpg city / 32 mpg hwy
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June 10, 2013, 5:26 pm

Kyle B
 

Question: Had parking brake on while starting, now lights stay on.

I found out today that my new employer requires me to have a car that does not have DRL (daytime running lights), or a car that has it disabled. I have a 2004 Chevy Impala. I got online and saw one possible solution: to take out the DRL relay from the fuse box, or if that didn't work, bend over pin 87 and try that. When I tried taking out the relay, the DRL did not come on, but one of the high beam lights did would not come on, and I had a "service engine light." I tried out the method where you bend over pin 87. This time, the normal lights (low beam and corner lights) were on all the time. (The DRL lights on my car use the high beam bulbs only.) I bent back pin 87 and put it back in the fuse box. I wasn't sure if it would work now that one of the pins were bent and bent back, but it appeared to be back to normal now.

An hour or so later, I was reading on the internet that with some cars, you can start them with the emergency brake pressed in and this will disable the DLR until you start it again. I decided to give it a try. Now, the car was back to the problem of having on the low beam lights and corner lights all the time. Also, the dash lights would not come on unless I turned the dial over like I have to do at night (I can't remember if this was an issue after I bent over pin 87 or not). What surprised me was that even after I turned off the car and turned it back off again, it was still doing the same thing.

I thought that perhaps that relay was no good. Maybe when I bent it back, I thought, it worked for a little bit and then stopped. I thought that certainly starting your car with a parking brake applied would not cause a permanent problem. I went to O'Reilley's and picked up another relay. Same problem.

What is going on? Right now, I just want to get the car back to the way it initially was. If I can do that, I'll ask a local mechanic if he can work on the wiring to turn DRL later. For my job, I could just unscrew the high beam light bulbs for the time being. But with the way the car is now, I'm screwed.


June 11, 2013, 4:44 pm

Richard W
Expert Mechanic

Your DRL lights are not the high beam bulb. Also on any car you can start it with the park brake on with no problem to any thing. When you bent the tab over on the relay you could have shorted something out. At this point you need a shop to fix your car. You are not going to be able to shut off the DRL lights very easy if at all. Now a days it's a safty issue. If you have to drive for the new job and tell you that you have to get rid of the DRL and you get in a car crash they could be responsable for the crash.


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