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can you drive with no running lights (or headlights)?


Jul 7, 2018
los angeles
I was in a drive through halloween thing last night and they asked us to turn off headlights. Turning off headlights is easy, but how about the DRL (daytime running lights?). Is that even possible while driving? I felt like a bit of a prick being that guy a) unable to operate his car as I frantically fiddled with various buttons and menus b) that guy that has his lights on.

Similar thing happened at the drive in cinema. Took me a while to figure out how to turn off all lights and stay in the car. At first I turned off the headlights and put the car in camp mode but they DRL stayed lit. The staff and neighbouring cars were pissed off with me and I felt like a right idiot as I tried to youtube a solution. Eventually I managed to get all the lights off while staying in the car and parked but it wasn't as trivial or obvious as a button saying "all lights off". I do think that, like the car wash there are a few operations people need to do that are not as obvious or simple as they should be especially for new drivers


Sep 3, 2020
If you want climate on but everything else off you could try Dog Mode in climate.

I had always been able to turn off headlights when I sat in my car after arriving home but not opened the door yet. Then, last weekend, I tried to turn off all lights on a daytime ferry (which they request you do) and I could not get the headlights fully turned off. I tried all the setting and “off” still had lights. Maybe there’s a spot for daytime running lights I missed (now that I think about it).


May 5, 2016
San Jose, CA
Does anybody know a way to drive with all lights off (short of taping the lights)?

On my 2016 Model-S you can enable range mode to turn off the DRLs.
I don't know if that applies to the Model 3 too, and IIRC in some countries (Canada) DRLs are required by law, so can't be turned off.


Jul 7, 2018
los angeles
angelman said: PARKED. If it's in park the DRL turn off. There is no way to drive without the DRL.
The first time I tried this the lights didn't turn off.. or at least not immediately. I am sure if we waited long enough they would turn off but I wasn't sure. When I manually turned off the headlights when parked then it refused to turn off the DRL. I had to put the car back into drive and then park it again and then the DRL turned off.. It was a bit weird. I felt like a real tool though when the attendant came round to see why I was being a douche and I tried to explain that I didn't know how to use my car properly.. :) I was one of those "Tesla bros".. haha
  • Funny
Reactions: chrstna4


Jun 17, 2020
I don't know if that applies to the Model 3 too, and IIRC in some countries (Canada) DRLs are required by law, so can't be turned off.

I guess they are required when driving on public roads. But you can drive on private ground too, so I consider not being able to drive with all lights off is a mistake. There can be good reasons to do exactly that. Private nature reserves are just one possible example where you may have to drive with a night vision system. And it is easy to conceive of other cases where you want to drive in total darkness, like escaping from attackers.

I will never be content when using any important system over which I do not have full control. I guess one day, just like I have to root my Android phone, I will have to root my car to wrest control back from the manufacturer.


Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
Los Angeles
I also had a drive-through Halloween exhibit this weekend and when first asked to turn off the headlights; had no idea how to turn them off (for some strange reason, I kept looking on the stalk to turn off the lights). Setting the lights to "Off" turn on the DRL which was pointless. Luckily, they were fine with us driving with just the parking lights on.

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