Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Dark Side... Of Daytime Run Lights

Hamsar Daytime Running Light module. Not available in designer colours.

Come on try a little, Nothing is forever. There's got to be something better than in the middle. But me and Cinderella, we put it all together. We can drive it home with one headlight.

- The Wallflowers

Our poor U.S. spec Honda Insight suffered at the hands of an automotive electrician yesterday. The electrician was attempting to install Daytime Running Lights, as required by our stodgy Canadian Government, which resulted, basically, in one working headlight.

The Daytime Run Light law is retarded at best. The Canadian goverment decided to make it law that every car manufactured after 1989 had to have Daytime Running Lights. This "law" is obviously quite flexible, since my 1991 Talon does not have daytime running lights, nor do any cars with pop-up headlights. Furthermore, people continue to drive 1980's cars every single day. None of these cars have D.R.L., and the government is not forcing them to add that particular feature. So I have to ask... Why me? Why only new cars? Why aren't pop-up headlights illegal?

I don't know the answer to that question, but I'm sure it's just as shite as the D.R.L. law. Regardless, we still had to have Daytime Running Lights installed on our 2006 Honda Insight. We purchased the only kit available, made in Canada by Hamsar. The installation was done by experienced professionals at "Auto Electrics" as Suz likes to call them.

 'Made in Canada' means about as much to me as 'Made in Kabukistan.' When we picked up the car we noticed the lights were not working properly despite what the Auto Electrics guys told us. The driver's side D.R.L. was twice as bright as the passenger side, the lights on our gauges flickered on and off randomly, the tail lights did not function, and when we turned our headlights to the ON position, nothing changed. So, we left the car with the electrical gurus again.

When we picked up our car the second time, they assured us that everything was installed correctly, and that in its current state, the Insight would pass the Federal Inspection on Saturday. The tail lights were working and the dash lights stopped flickering, but the headlights remained compromised.

The Hamsar package states that the kit does not work with Geo, Mitsubishi or Subaru vehicles. It makes no mention of Honda. So, was Honda accidentally left off their list of incompatible cars? The electrical geniuses spent many extra hours double-checking their wiring, and they're brilliant, so it's doubtful that they've installed it incorrectly.

Once we pass the Federal Inspection for Imported Vehicles, I'm pulling the fuse on the Hamsar D.R.L. module. It just doesn't work properly and I don't want to risk an electrical short, fire or burned out headlights. If the government requires headlights on, I will bloody well turn on my headlights. It's not that complicated.

In the meantime, I've emailed Hamsar and asked them why this is happening. I await their reply.

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16 Comments:

Blogger Chana said...

he suffered but so did you. i hope you get your answer. i like that you try to change the world. every one man can but often nobody tries. go for it.

1:43:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I truly hate when people or corporations get away with stuff. They should realize that customers do notice their incompetence, or poor quality. They think people won't care, won't notice, or won't have the balls to stand up to them, but then there are people like me.

2:55:00 PM

 
Blogger Rainypete said...

Wolcome to ANroth America my friend. Nothing needs to be built right anymore. All you have to do is release shoddy merchandise and have your chequebook or a raft of coupons at your disposal when they call you about your deplorable wares. Sure you'll have to pony up some cash, but you'll make money in the long run because North American consumers are cowards and don't exercise their rights often enough.

3:25:00 PM

 
Blogger Rowan said...

yay martini has written one of his infamous letters!

I have the same problem, one light is brighter than the other by a lot! They told us to leave it like that, so we have.

We turn on our headlights all the time in any case as it's a habit from driving school we picked up that we havne't shook. So, yeah, we keep our headlights on all the time.

10:01:00 AM

 
Blogger Rowan said...

oh and meant to say: I had no idea that daytime running lights were law! shows what I know.

10:02:00 AM

 
Blogger VicZan said...

are you ready for some karaoke fun tomorrow night?!

6:21:00 PM

 
Blogger VicZan said...

I'm totally off-topic today, but oh well :D

6:22:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

"YAY"

11:56:00 AM

 
Anonymous Peter said...

Do you have an installation schematic for the Hamsar module? I just had my import fitted with one and I don't like the way it works.
Thank you.

3:37:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Peter,
The electricians kept the installation instructions and left me the wiring diagram for my car.

When I contacted Hamsar, a customer service rep told me there are many different modules to choose from. She said if I faxed her the wiring diagram, she could hook me up with the right module.

If you need help, you could email them at sales@hamsar.com or phone 1800-567-5483.

M.

3:26:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same trouble importing my car. I hate this DRL modification stuff!

10:07:00 AM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Hey Anon, it's pretty frustrating, isn't it? Leaves you with butterflies in your stomach, not knowing if you'll get to keep your car!

4:49:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem is that the Honda's headlights are what some people call ground side switched. All three headlight wires have positive voltage on them with the headlights off, and then flip-flop a wire from a power to a ground to activate low beams, and then high beams, when appropriate. For a DRL module that actually works on everything, that connects to the turn signal bulbs instead of the headlight system, check this site out: www.daytime-running-lights.com

Their product is a little pricey, but it is high quality and is better than a non-compliance ticket or a wrecked car.

2:40:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Sounds bizarre! No wonder half the shops I called said, "Sure, no problem." until I told them it was a Honda. Then they said "Oh, sorry. Can't do it."

11:35:00 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The red wire going from my module to the battery caught on fire today! 1999 Civic EX!!

12:10:00 AM

 
Blogger Martini said...

That's too bad. Hopefully there wasn't any damage!

12:55:00 PM

 

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