How to Disable the Daytime Running Lights on a 07 Chevy Aveo.




About: Howdy, I am a bit of a tinker gnome. I like playing with hardware/technology along with making stuff I want out of old stuff I have or find. I should warn you that I am like Dog from "Up". There will be ...

Howdy everyone. My commuter car is a 2007 Chevy Aveo with about 160k on the odometer. I received a letter stating that my vehicle is part of a recall campaign that the Daytime Running Light "DRL" Module may overheat and catch fire. I extrapolate that this fix will apply to 2004-2008 model years but I cannot be certain.

The NHTSA release is at this link.

Due to the fact GM has no schedule of when they are going to get this issue fixed, I tossed a fire extinguisher in the passenger floor board and drove on.... until last week when my headlights would not turn off. The customer care line was as useless as was the local Chevy dealer.

There has to be a way to disable the daytime running lights if that is the issue or I guess I will be playing the fuse hokey pokey. I basically guessed where the module is due to the line "Heat generated in the vicinity of the daytime running lamp (DRL) module, in the center console in the instrument panel," and figured well I got nothing to loose and I assume there is some form of safety redundancy that makes the headlights work independent of this faulty module.

OK this band-aid fix should take about 15 minutes, the only tool required is a 10mm socket wrench or nut driver.

Step 1: We can have lots of fun.... (record scratching) whoops cars not NKOTB.... Oh yeah... ummm... sorry about that... Carefully remove the plastic dash panel underneath the steering column. I started on the right side and pretty much just kept yanking until the panel came off I could care less about the careful part as the car is going to be driven to its death and damage to one piece of trim plastic is not too high up on my list of worries. .

Step 2: Remove the 6 x 10mm bolts (location highlighted in the pictures) holding a sheet metal panel to expose the ECU (above and to the right of the brake pedal) and DRL module ( mounted behind the A/C and radio area and identified with a Yellow sticker in the pictures.) The panel was removed by lifting up slighly and by rotating the left side out first to clear the dash panel in the center console.

Step 3: Unplug the DRL module. The DRL module is identified as the one with the yellow label. I sort of guessed from the description in the recall filing. (identified in pictures, no tool needed)

Step 4: Test it out. I reconnected the battery, and started the engine. Yaaa it fired up with no DRL! Now time to cross my fingers and turn on the headlights. WOO HOO i have running lights, Low Beams, High Beams and none of the daytime running light garbage.

Step 5: Reverse your dash dis-assembly procedure and button it all back up. Well all except the DRL module I left that unplugged.

Step 6..... ummmm OH wait yeah.

Step 7: Enter instructable into contest sponsored by Ford indicating a solution that the GM Engineers couldn't resolve,for a known problem in their design process. GM if you are out there and listening this fix is a freebie however this is also the last GM car we will ever own... Bask in the Irony of the situation and relax.

All kidding aside, This should have been resolved. at the least GM should be able to source parts that don't overheat melt or burn cars down. I hope you all have enjoyed this instructable and if you are one of the 218,000 people affected by this issue hopefully i saved you some frustration. Oh and make sure you change your timing belt every 60k miles... Seriously if you don't your car will die a horrible death when the pistons bash the valves from the inside out.




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8 Discussions


1 year ago

Just followed instructions here to unplugged my bad DRL module, when my lights could not turned off. Mine is a 08 Aveo hatchback, and exactly the same as posted. Only trouble was to find a 10mm socket wrench at King Dollar, and I am glad to learn from you experts. I went to two Chevy dealers and those suckers all required me to leave my car their all day to fix the recall problem, which should not take more than 30 minutes.


3 years ago on Introduction

The only tool you need to do this is a flashlight. Thanks to your pics I got upside down in the footwell, reached up and unplugged that damn module without needing to remove any panels or bolts. GM should have included these pics in the recall notice!

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

LOL I agree. Unfortunately my Aveo went to the great junk man in the sky. With the amount of front end parts it needed along with 4 tires and a busted windshield. (I broke it accidentally while hauling wood for my 2x4 tower game.) The cost benefits analysis were just not adding up. $5000 in repairs for a car worth about $3000 was no bueno in my book.


Reply 3 years ago

Heh. Yeah, this is actually my wife's car but I'm driving it because it's got no AC any more (FL summer), my car's AC works fine, and wife has a longer commute. This one is definitely in the same boat; more than a few hundred bucks repair and it's going out to the back nine to get shot in the head.


4 years ago

Amazing!! I have wondered if there was a way to do this as our one car goes through headlamps like crazy because of DTRL....THANKS for showing us what is possible!!!

I agree with you about "last GM car we will ever own" but our catalyst was a 2000 Saturn with a Saturn tranny that needed replaced every 30-40K miles. Sad. My dad always had GOOD GM cars and trucks but times change.

I LUV your 'ibles!!
Keep up the good work!!!

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Don't get me wrong I still like GM trucks I just think that their cars were an afterthought in the past 15 years. I mean the 1993 Chevy caprice was the most durable police car made in the 90's and some departments were rebuilding them from the frame up so that they didn't have to replace Crown Vic intake manifolds every 40k miles. But the 2000's have not been nice to GM.

Hope you are able to get it going if replacing a headlight is anything like in my Aveo the module is easier to get to with less hassle.


4 years ago on Introduction

I like fixes like this. It always makes me happy when I try something (not having any idea if it will work) and it works out great on the first try. Thanks for sharing!

1 reply

When it worked I basically took pictures and put it all up in reverse order like HOLY COW THAT ACTUALLY WORKED!!!! I was thinking it was going to be something expensive like the fuse box.