Turn off exterior lights in Ready, Prius Camping

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by Variv, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Variv

    Variv New Member

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    Hi guys,

    so I love to camp in my gen 2, 2006 prius, but in ready mode parking lights sometimes bother other people on the campsite.

    1 and 3 position turns on normal driving headlights.
    Position 2 leaves dimmer parking lights, tail lights and plate lights on.

    Is there any way to completely shut off all the exterior lights in ready mode ? Maybe there is a fuse that controls automatic on feature.
     
  2. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Isn’t there an OFF position? Make sure your parking brake is on, otherwise your DRLs will be on. Also, position 1 isn’t headlights, it’s DRL please do not drive at night in position 1 as your taillights are off.
     
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  3. Variv

    Variv New Member

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    Thank you for your answer. So my lights are in Off position (as on photo) and still my headlights, parking lights, plate and tail lights go on after I start the car.. Parking brake doesnt seem to make any difference, at least not within 20 seconds or so.

     
    #3 Variv, Mar 10, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  4. landspeed

    landspeed Active Member

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    Your car is 'configured' by Toyota in that way, probably due to local laws; most cars, including mine, have no lights when in 'ON' mode, even with engine running etc. I see your location, Reykjavik, may explain why; I also understand why you might need the heaters on overnight!

    The first thing to do, is to check whether your local laws do actually require all those lights to be switched on, when the car is in on' mode. Then, to decide what to do next (it might be your car is from a Scandinavian country, imported; Volvos have running lights on all the time even in the UK!

    Unless anyone knows how to reconfigure cars (which would be useful for many people but I don't think it has been cracked... yet...), it may be necessary to figure out a way to manually override the lights for camping mode. This would be possible and the wiring diagrams are available if needed; the risk would be that you would have to find a way to ensure the 'override' isn't accidentally left on when driving (or you could end up driving with no tail-lights in winter without realising)
     
  5. Variv

    Variv New Member

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    Is it normal that gen 2 prius beeps if I leave lights in on position and open doors ? Maybe previous owner had some simple auto headlight switch on module installed. So I can disable it.
     
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Ohhhh ok you're in Iceland. Sorry, I thought you were in North America. Is it a local configuration? For us in Canada and the US, the DRLs only come on after the car is out of Park and the parking brake is released. How are DRLs supposed to work in Iceland?

    In that case, you may have to modify the wiring or software to have it come on with the parking brake (so that you don't violate local laws of no lights on while driving) or maybe the previous owner modified the car.

    The beep only comes on if you left your headlights on with the car off and the driver's door open. So it's normal but not if it's in the OFF position.
     
  7. landspeed

    landspeed Active Member

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    In my Prius, there is a beep if the car is off, but I've left the headlights on; this is because the 12v battery is so small that the car *will* be dead if you leave them on when the car isn't powered up!

    Did a quick bit of research around Iceland, and a website says : 'You are also required by law to always keep the car‘s headlights on. This is doubly important in winter when the days are short and dark.'

    This would explain why the headlights come on and stay on. It is likely able to be reprogrammed, but I doubt anyone outside of Toyota currently has that knowledge. My Prius is New-Zealand new (not a used import). The benefits are that I get the display in English, but the downsides are that I can't switch it to miles per hour - that option is helpfully and permanently disabled by Toyota.

    What I would do would be, first, to check what the law in Iceland says, in detail, about a car that is technically 'powered up' but which is parked in a designated parking place. Does a car in this situation have to have the lights switched on? If not, then it should be legal to disable the 'always-on' lights in a reversible manner, only when properly parked. You would have to read the actual legislation and even then there is always a risk (statutory law vs case law etc).

    If, at this point, you still feel it is OK to disable the lights, it might be necessary to have a bank of switches that you can use to disable each of the lights that are 'on'; this would likely involve using relays for the higher-current lights, caution around ensuring proper fuses are used to prevent short circuits between the positive wire and any metal parts on the car, etc.

    (actually, another option would be to check where the fuses are; I've never had to check on my Prius). On my Bluebird I could disable all those lights by pulling fuses, so I could just make modified fuses with switches dangling from the fuse box inside the cabin... This may be the way to go even if the fuses are in the engine bay (however... you would have to use thick wiring for the headlight switches, would have to ensure there are fuses to prevent problems with short circuits, and would have to keep a set of spare fuses to 'reverse' the modification if and when it fails (e.g. the switches will eventually wear out etc). You would need high-current fuses for the headlights for sure. I have done a similar modification on my 200SX where there is a kill-switch located somewhere very sneaky, and which has the entire 12v load (besides starter motor) running through it. It uses a high-current switch and worked well!
     
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