A Connecticut driver writes to a popular Ram truck forum wanting to know how difficult it is to change the lights on a 2017 Ram 1500. The truck has Daytime Running Lights, which are required in Massachusetts. Dodge writes, “I'm in the process of buying a 2017 Ram 1500 Laramie from a dealer in Massachusetts. I haven't actually seen this particular truck, so far everything has been done over the phone. The lights that come on though, are the low beams (I assume at reduced brightness). My question is, is it possible in this instance to change which lights come on as the DRL's? I would like to have the amber LED's on instead of the low beams, partially for looks but more importantly for longevity - the LED's should last a whole lot longer than the low beams. Is this just a matter of changing the sales code or is this somehow cast in stone?”
DRLs are different in U.S. and Canada
A number of 2017 Ram 1500 owners quickly responded and it quickly became apparent that the set up in Canada is different than in the U.S. Canadian trucks automatically have amber daytime running lights, but that isn’t true in the states. A driver named Stimpy explains, “US trucks don't have the DRL's activated from the factory (Canada trucks do). If you want them activated, you need to find a dealership that knows how to turn them on for you.”
A Canadian owner, who calls himself 300, says, “The amber LED's come on as soon as you start the engine; the low beams come on when daylight dims enough for the dash sensor to turn them on, and the LED's stay on even then. The LED's are always on except in "park".
Different model trucks will have different configurations
Swan, from Iowa, seems to be up on how to configure the lights. “In the United States, DRLs can be "turned on" thru dealership putting the correct sales code in. Also, depending on which model level of truck you have, also determines what comes on, LEDs or low beam on "low power", etc. I have a Limited so my DRLs are the LED parking lamps. The DRLs will come on when the engine is running, parking brake is disengaged and the shifter knob is in any position other then Park.”
Tread, from Kansas, has already been through the service questions and says it is best to be prepared. “I've had a couple of guys ask me about DRLs since I got mine turned on back in Sept. I downloaded the PDF, and copied & pasted several replies from another post about DRLs, and handed them to the service manager. Oh yeah, along with $50.00. They said we'll see if we can activate those for you. I told them, I hope so. I already told the insurance company I had DRLs. They're on now.”
Rammer, from North Carolina, had a great experience with his dealer. “My dealership activated my DRLs at no cost. It took less than 15 minutes......I like having them on. On my truck, the LED amber lights are the DRLs.”
Several people commented that their service departments seemed unfamiliar with the DRLs or were unwilling to do the work. Jeff suggests, “The dealer (any willing dealer) can do it by adding sales code LM5 to your VIN. Make friends with your local service advisor and they may do it for free, as it's quick. Search the forums for the wiki. You can print it out and give it to your dealer. That's what I did.”
While some of the drivers who responded were able to switch on their Daytime Running Lights for free or at minimal cost, you should be prepared to have to pay for the change. It is definitely possible to make the upgrade if you find a willing and competent service department.