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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in a 17 LT and am having some trouble with my DRL that's proving difficult to ascertain a solution for. I've outlined the current behavior below:

Daylight:
-No headlights
-DRL should be ON
-Drivers Side DRL is on
-Passenger Side DRL is off.

Night/Low-Light:
-Headlights turn on
-DRL should be ON but more dimly lit than during the daytime.
-Both DRLs turn on in this dimmed state as expected.

Manual Activation of DRL:
-Turn knob on dash to DRL mode.
-Both DRL turn on in the dimmed state as expected.

Steps taken so far:
-Replaced passenger side DRL with the dealership and confirmed its wiring to be correct.
-Received confirmation from the dealer I purchased from that the dim/fully-lit behavior is correct for my model.

I'm hesitant to start tracking down a wiring problem as the light works under certain parameters (see above behavior description). As far as I can tell, both DRL are connected to the same fuse and controlled by the same relay, so I can't imagine replacing either one would resolve the issue. Unless perhaps the relay has two output channels and one control channel, I dont believe this to be the case but I've been wrong before.

Any ideas on what could cause this behavior or how I should go about correcting it? I'm almost at the point of pulling the fuse and relay and running without them, the car looks funny with its lights lopsided all the time.
 

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2011 Malibu LTZ 3.6L V6 Red Jewel Tintcoat
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If the plug has 2 wires, then it's likely controlled via PWM with no other feedback mechanism. If it has 3 or 4 wires, then there may be a resistor that limits the voltage going to the LEDs during nighttime use, and during daytime it bypasses the resistor and receives full power. If it has a resistor then that component may have failed.

A way to check it is to have them both plugged in and turned on and then check the wires for the same voltages on each wire.

You could also have a poor ground, although that is not a likely scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If the plug has 2 wires, then it's likely controlled via PWM with no other feedback mechanism. If it has 3 or 4 wires, then there may be a resistor that limits the voltage going to the LEDs during nighttime use, and during daytime it bypasses the resistor and receives full power. If it has a resistor then that component may have failed.

A way to check it is to have them both plugged in and turned on and then check the wires for the same voltages on each wire.

You could also have a poor ground, although that is not a likely scenario.
Maybe the feedback circuitry isn't integral to the light fixture in that case. I'm going to check some other fuses and such before I go drop a load of money at the dealer again. I'm seeing some fuses that seem to have different purposes depending on your model. (I've seen where HID Low Beam left/right have separate fuses, and those fuses are installed in my vehicle but I dont have HID headlamps. Here's hoping!) Thanks for the info.
 

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I had the same issue that you're experiencing. I had a broken wire on the male end of the connector. it's a 3 pin connector where ground is shared between the 2 circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had the same issue that you're experiencing. I had a broken wire on the male end of the connector. it's a 3 pin connector where ground is shared between the 2 circuits.
Yours functioned in the 'dim' state as well? I wonder how it got a ground for the dim state in that case. I'll eventually build up the frustration to take off my bumper fascia but I'm really not looking forward to it. Patching that wire or splicing a new connector on should be trivial once I can get to the pesky connector without cracking the paint or something.
 

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Yes mine functioned when dim as well. The grounds for both circuits were fine. The circuit wire that provides power when the headlights are turned off was broken at the DRL connector. The dim circuit power wire was undamaged. I included some pics below:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Yes mine functioned when dim as well. The grounds for both circuits were fine. The circuit wire that provides power when the headlights are turned off was broken at the DRL connector. The dim circuit power wire was undamaged. I included some pics below:
These will come in handy, thank you.

A few questions that may help me out when I go to do this sometime this week.

Did you use a meter to determine the wire damage or was it pretty obvious?

Did you splice the broken section or replace the connector?

Thanks again.
 

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I could tell visually the wire was broken. I searched 5 different junkyards to find a replacement connector but came up empty. I purchased a replacement connector and used butt connectors. LED Daytime Fog Light Connector Pigtail for Chevrolet 2015-17 Cruze 16-18 Malibu | eBay. You could also search via part number AcDelco 19301648

Another ebay search result: LED Daytime Fog Light Connector Pigtail for Chevrolet 2015-17 Cruze 16-18 Malibu | eBay

To gain access to the connector, I removed the three T15 torx screws that secure the fender liner to the front bumper cover. Once the screws are removed, relocate the fender liner out of the way to gain access to the connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I could tell visually the wire was broken. I searched 5 different junkyards to find a replacement connector but came up empty. I purchased a replacement connector and used butt connectors. LED Daytime Fog Light Connector Pigtail for Chevrolet 2015-17 Cruze 16-18 Malibu | eBay. You could also search via part number AcDelco 19301648

Another ebay search result: LED Daytime Fog Light Connector Pigtail for Chevrolet 2015-17 Cruze 16-18 Malibu | eBay

To gain access to the connector, I removed the three T15 torx screws that secure the fender liner to the front bumper cover. Once the screws are removed, relocate the fender liner out of the way to gain access to the connector.
Thanks for all of the detailed information. I'm glad the lead is long enough to access from the wheel well rather than removing the front fascia. I'll report back once I do that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok. Bad news. When I got started working on the light it became clear that the connector had been repaired likely due to strain breaking one of the leads. They crimped it back together and repinned the factory connector, but I did see quite a bit of damage to it and some shoddy solder work near the connector. After replacing it (leaving the crimp connectors from before) the light still malfunctioned in the fashion described in the original post. I went and got some clear crimp connectors to be certain I was crimping onto wire and not insulation, cut out the old repair, and crimped the new connector on again. This did not resolve the problem.

I'm glad I know it isnt the connector, light, relay, or fuse, but now I have no clue where to begin investigating now. I'm gonna pull the fuse so it quits bothering me as much and see what I find with some more research.
 

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Ok. Bad news. When I got started working on the light it became clear that the connector had been repaired likely due to strain breaking one of the leads. They crimped it back together and repinned the factory connector, but I did see quite a bit of damage to it and some shoddy solder work near the connector. After replacing it (leaving the crimp connectors from before) the light still malfunctioned in the fashion described in the original post. I went and got some clear crimp connectors to be certain I was crimping onto wire and not insulation, cut out the old repair, and crimped the new connector on again. This did not resolve the problem.

I'm glad I know it isnt the connector, light, relay, or fuse, but now I have no clue where to begin investigating now. I'm gonna pull the fuse so it quits bothering me as much and see what I find with some more research.
Have you tested voltage at the light and continuity of the repaired wiring? Is the wiring bad somewhere else you may have missed?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Have you tested voltage at the light and continuity of the repaired wiring? Is the wiring bad somewhere else you may have missed?
That's next on the agenda. I attempted yesterday but none of my multimeters had leads small enough to get into the connector pins. I have some small leads on order as well as some leads with alligator clips which should let me test all of the circuit that I can get to (from connector to chassis ground and to the fuse). I also plan on soldering all of it in at that time as well, too much uncertainty with 2 crimp connectors on each line going into the connector. Thats really the only thing I can think of that could be wrong at this point. I may have to take it in to the shop if more exact tracing is required.
 

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Me personally I would of liked to know voltage was at the connector. If my test leads are too big I'll usually insert something small into the connector, such as paper clips and connector the leads to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Me personally I would of liked to know voltage was at the connector. If my test leads are too big I'll usually insert something small into the connector, such as paper clips and connector the leads to them.
I get that, but any excuse to buy more tools, am I right? Haha.

They should be here tomorrow, I'm going to test the working light and compare it to the malfunctioning one in both resistance and voltage before and after soldering everything back together again.

I'm starting to give up hope that I can DIY a solution to this, I can replace wiring but I have to know where it goes, what it grounds to and where, and I haven't been able to find a full schematic with my research so far. If soldering everything in doesn't fix anything I'm gonna pull the fuse and take it to the shop when I have money saved up to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Brief update, took longer than expected. I went ahead and soldered in the repair to get rid of all the shoddy repair work from prior to my ownership. It still didnt resolve the issue. I was able to measure continuity between the connector and my repair job on all three pins of the connector (only stabbed myself with the sharp probes of my DMM 3 times, a record low for me), so I know my repair isn't causing the malfunction. I get voltage on the parking lamp circuit (half dim state), but not on the daytime running light circuit (full brightness state). I was able to find a copy of the factory service manual for the vehicle thanks to a kind stranger on the internet, and beyond it being galaxies over my head, I think I found out the path I need to start looking at next for some break in the circuit for the daytime running light.

Tracing this wire proved to be more challenging that I thought. No amount of coffee or bourbon in any combination was able to soothe my frustrations in trying to track this tiny wire through a very crowded engine bay. My next move will likely be to check the resistance of the DRL circuit on both lights to see definitively if there is a break somewhere, or if the problem resides in the control system for these lights, then I may remove the bumper fascia and trace from the radiator to the connector, as that seems to be the most likely area for a break in the circuit since the bumper has been removed several times already just during my ownership, increasing the likelihood of a strain/tension based break in the wire or other connectors along that path. That being said, I'm probably going to put this repair on hold for the time being. My area has an ever-increasing number of covid cases, and my wife needs my car as a backup to do on-call work at her hospital since her car is having heaps of transmission problems. So, until I get the patience to work on it again I have removed the fuse and buried it in my toolbox thats so messy I probably wont ever find it again. I'll find my 3 missing 10mm sockets before I find that fuse, good riddance!

I will continue to update this thread as I gradually make more progress, and if I give up and take it to the shop for repair, I will be sure to report back their diagnosis. With as little as I was able to find doing my own research some time ago, hopefully this will save someone else the frustration.
 

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Hey, I found three 10mm sockets that I didn't know I had . . .

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
As with most things in life, boredom got the best of me. We bought my wife a newer car which opened up the possibility of mine being out of commission for a period of time.

Utilizing this guide, I removed the bumper of my Malibu to begin tracing the wire back further than I could reach from the wheel well. Its not hard, its just time intensive. There's like 40+ fasteners to remove in a multitude of inconvenient locations.

The good:
I bought even more tools, which is never a bad thing.
-Ratcheting wrench set (open and closed end ratcheting sets). You will need a 10mm closed end for this particular job to remove the upper support just below the hood-line.
-Cordless ratchet. Unless you want to remove wheels, jack up the vehicle, put it on stands, and still have to crawl around on your butt. You could just crawl around on your butt with a new tool instead of doing all the prep work.
-Crimp connectors (they work fine, I perfer to solder since I know how and it results in a less resistive and more mechanically sound join)
-Truck loads of patience. (Can be found at most box liquor stores, comes in 750ml volumes of bourbon)

I removed the bumper and disconnected the lights to begin troubleshooting. Within around 15 seconds I was able to see the damage to the wiring harness near the bumper bar support. 20 seconds later I crimped the break in the line (I know I just said solder was better, but I wanted a more insulated repair in case it ever got pulled into the same frame rail again later). Now I have a repaired joint insulated with rigid plastic so hopefully it wont be causing anymore trouble. I pulled the car out into the sun and set the emergency brake while in neutral to keep the DRL on. Plugged in the light and presto! It worked.

In short..

Diagnosis:
Body work due to a minor collision meant the body shop took off the bumper several times. The shoddy work from earlier in the thread was likely from them. The bumper was removed after the repair to replace a part that was back-ordered at the time. During this removal the bumper had to have been pulled slightly too far, snagging the wire on the bumper bar support, breaking the wire in question.

The Fix:
Solder in a new connector to replace the damaged one. Crimp the break in the wire where it severed on the bumper bar support.

So this journey is over! Well, almost. Once I finish my lunch I have to put the lower fasteners on the bumper to finish it up. Then tomorrow its wash, polish, sealant, and detail; then my Bu is back to her former glory without lopsided lights!

Here's some pictures.


-Bumper Removal
69065


-Issue Found
69066


-Issue isolated
69067


-Location of break
69068


-Post-repair test. Note that the drivers DRL was not plugged in at this time. There wasn't enough room from the connector to connect with the bumper on the ground.
69069




Thanks for all the advice everyone, and if you're reading this in the future know that I felt as much frustration as you, but its fixable without spending $500+ USD at the dealer by a regular moron such as myself with some cheap and common hand tools.
 

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Welcome to taking the front bumper cover off crew! I'm taken mine off twice. MY DRL damage was also from the dealership. My front bumper cover was replaced prior to me purchasing the car. Do you hate the tape that's used to wrap the wires as much as I do? Congrats on the repair!
 
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