How to Disable Daytime Running Lights

2009 2010 2011 Subaru Impreza (non turbo)

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The following are step by step instructions to disable the DRL daytime running lights on the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Subaru Impreza. This is for the 2.5i non-turbo cars. The WRX and WRX STI are different due to the turbo and intercooler plumbing. For those vehicles, the front bumper needs to removed to access the DRL resistor.

To disable the DRLs we will be disconnecting the DRL resistor. This disables the DRL lights - all other lighting functions continue to work normally.

Tools needed. I think the only tool needed is a 10mm socket socket wrench.

Tools needed:

Subaru Datytime Running Light Tool

STEP 1: Remove Intake Filter box.

The intake filter box is directly over the DRL resistor so you need to remove it to get access.

The pic below show what we will be doing to remove it.

Subaru IMpreza Air Intake Assembly


OK, First unclip the connector for the air flow sensor as below:

Subaru Imprexa Air Flow Sensor Connector


Next, unclip the filter housing and stow the top half out of the way. No need to disconnect the hoses going to the throttle body.

2009 Subaru Impreza


Now we are left with the front half of the housing and front air intake. We need to move these out of the way also. In the picture below, it shows how to slide the front of the front air intake to remove it. It is on rubber grommets and should just push back. No need to remove the large plastic retainers. The back half just slides into the air cleaner housing - there is no connector. Just wiggle out the front air intake scoop and set it to the side.

Subaru Impreza Intake front

Now we are left with just the front half of the air filter box. There is only one nut holding this on. It is inside the housing, under the orange dot in the picture.

2009 2010 2011 impreza intake


Here is another picture of the where the nut is (nut is removed in picture). This is a 10mm nut. Remove it with a socket wrench.

Subaru Impreza intake removal

With the nut off, the front half of the intake box can now be removed by wiggling it out. The picture below show how the box is retained at the bottom. This is also on a rubber grommet and the housing can be just pushed to the side to remove it.

Subaru INtake

Pull the housing up and out. Wow, there is a big chamber attached.
impreza housing

Ok, now set the housing to side. We finally can see under the intake housing. Now we can simply disconnect the connector from the resistor.

Subaru IMpreza DRL resistor connector

It is a good idea to tape it up after disconnecting to prevent moisture from getting in. You can also zip tie it to something near by to prevent it from flopping around.

The Daytime Running Lights are now disabled!

Optionally, you can also remove the resister assembly. I weighed it and it only weighs 8 ounces so leaving it in is OK too.

To remove it, you need to take out the 10mm bolt holding it in. You can do this with the ratchet and socket but you do need to contort yourself to get it done. Below is a picture showing which bolt to remove. You have to remove it from the other side, of course.

Subaru Impreza Daytime Running Lights Resistore Remove

And here is what it looks like:

Subaru Impreza DRL resistor



By its size and heat sink I suspect this is a pretty high current resistor. Probably was drawing a bit of electrical power.

Reassemble everything in reverse order. Don't forget to reconnect the air flow sensor!


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