Installing daytime running lights

July 1, 2011 | By Richard Prince


I might be having a “senior moment” or whatever because I thought that you had an article on wiring in daytime running lights, maybe sometime in 2009, I think. However, I’ve looked and looked and haven’t found it in my stack of Auto Restorer issues.

I have a 1984 El Camino and I would like to put in amber daytime lights like those on the modern GM vehicles.


There’s really nothing mysterious about wiring daytime running lights. Make sure the light housings each have a good ground and then run a power line to them that draws power from an “accessory” terminal on the fuse block.

Make sure that the power source is hot only when the ignition is in the “run” position. Put an inline fuse in the power wire. The proper gauge of the wire as well as the rating of the fuse depend in part on the specifications of the lights you install. Adhere to the light manufacturer’s wire and fuse instructions and if you are in doubt use heavier gauge wire than you believe is required.

In a modern car the daytime running lights normally are on whenever the ignition is in the “run” position. Are you sure that you want the running lights in your El Camino on all the time? I suggest putting a switch in the light circuit so that you can turn them off if you want to.