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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All, Well, 3 months into ownership of my MCS 5-door and I still seem to be discovering new things about it by the day. Believe it or not, I've only this week discovered that despite having the LED lights, I don't have the option of Daylight Running Lights (i.e. the LED "halo" around the main headlight).

It took me a while to get to the bottom of this: I usually have the lights switched to "auto" and let them take care of themselves, and noticed only recently that there were no lights on at all for most of the day. The Japanese manual said there should be DRL on "auto" and "0" switch settings, exactly what it says in the English manual, which made me wonder whether DRLs were an option I'd forgotten to specify. But I talked to the dealer yesterday and found out that the Japanese manual is wrong and all cars supplied to Japan come without DRLs. Apparently, they aren't exactly illegal here, but fall into something of a grey area.

Anyway, speaking "off the record" the dealer has put me in touch with a place about an hour's drive from me that can recode my F55 so as to unlock the DRLs. I'm still waiting to get a price on this, but in the meantime wondered whether there are any issues I need to think about. Here are a few I'm already aware of:
1) My dealer told me that although DRLs are not exactly "legal" in Japan, they're not explicitly "illegal" either, so he said he couldn't imagine my being pulled over by the police for having them. So OK on that score, I think, but I want to make sure that any re-coding would give me the option of turning off DRLs in the car settings - just in case (currently DRLs do not appear in any of my setting menus)
2) If I get the coding for DRLs done, this will invalidate my warranty for the lights, but I wonder if I should be too concerned about this given that the LED lights are supposed to last for the life of the car. Still, if something goes wrong with the lights post-DRL coding, it could prove an expensive repair (?)
3) Any coding I get done will be erased whenever I update the software for the car. The dealer said they will be updating the software for me when the car goes in for it's 12-month maintenance check in November. Interestingly, he said that with a software update and the removal of the DRL code the LED lights would once again be covered by the warranty. If I wanted to keep the DRLs after that, I'd need to go back and get the coding done again. Apparently though, having forked out for the coding the first time any subsequent recoding required would be done free of charge - I'd just need to make the 2-hour round trip to get it done each time.

I wonder if there are any other issues I need to consider. I do like the look of the DRLs, but can certainly live without them. From a safety point of view, when I think I need some lamps during the day (we have had some heavy snowstorms recently which didn't trigger the auto headlights), I can easily turn on the small parking lights or full lights if needed. But the LED halo has been so prominent in the promotion of the F56/F55, I feel like I'm missing out by not having them - especially having specced the LEDs and expecting to get the DRLs with them. Any thoughts?
 

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I just wish the DRL's (Halos) would would come on when you unlock the car with the remote during the day as they are going to come on anyway.
 

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Hmm, that's a strange one Shigaman. I'd have never thought that having your lights on would be construed as anything other than helpful (unless in full beam of course!).

They certainly look good so I can understand your predicament. Having been to Japan some time ago, it's not as if the country is adverse to light pollution in built up areas!

I suppose it would be great to have the best of both worlds, so that you can code the system to have the option of daylight running lights on, but through the console have the option of turning them off altogether; at least that way if in the unlikely event you get pulled over, you can just apologise and flick a switch, but that depends on whether the coding will give you that ability.

What about other brands of cars - do any have daylight running lights on in Japan, or it something to do with the LED technology perhaps?
 

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Depending on your ability, you could do the coding yourself with a pretty cheap cable.

In places where DRLs are enabled, there's an option in the settings on the head unit to turn them on and off. If you code them active, you may also enable this menu item, but I can't be sure.
 

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As father fork says here in the uk we have the option to switch them on or off . Seems crazy you can't have them. Why not have a chat with your dealer to see if head office ie Oxford might send you uk software? Unofficially of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, folks. Yes, Jeremy, I did ask the dealer whether they would be able to get the codes for me to do as fatherfork suggests, but "no can do", I'm afraid. I've just spoken to the manager of the company that can do the coding for me and apparently there are quite a few other things that for-Japan cars don't have that he can sort out for me at the same time (something to do with enhancing the destination search on the navigation, giving me more control over the windows etc.) They're asking for about £80 for the coding, which is a bit more than I was expecting, but for that they will re-code as many times as I need after software updates for up to 3 years. I'll probably go for it. Yes, Sunster, the coding they'll do for me will give me control over the DRLs via the Settings menu, so I will have the choice of turning them off. It's a bit of an unforeseen outlay, but for me the DRL halo was definitely part of the F55/F56 look that I wanted, so I'll take it on the chin. Happy to have the option!
 

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In Alberta, vehicles with Daytime running lights are assumed to be haunted. People are allowed to shoot the lights out with a BB gun as part of that province's official ghost reduction program.
 

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Thanks, folks. Yes, Jeremy, I did ask the dealer whether they would be able to get the codes for me to do as fatherfork suggests, but "no can do", I'm afraid. I've just spoken to the manager of the company that can do the coding for me and apparently there are quite a few other things that for-Japan cars don't have that he can sort out for me at the same time (something to do with enhancing the destination search on the navigation, giving me more control over the windows etc.) They're asking for about £80 for the coding, which is a bit more than I was expecting, but for that they will re-code as many times as I need after software updates for up to 3 years. I'll probably go for it. Yes, Sunster, the coding they'll do for me will give me control over the DRLs via the Settings menu, so I will have the choice of turning them off. It's a bit of an unforeseen outlay, but for me the DRL halo was definitely part of the F55/F56 look that I wanted, so I'll take it on the chin. Happy to have the option!
Glad to hear it Shigaman. To be honest, £80 for 3 years worth of updates sounds pretty good! (plus your fuel to get you there and back!)
 
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In Alberta, vehicles with Daytime running lights are assumed to be haunted. People are allowed to shoot the lights out with a BB gun as part of that province's official ghost reduction program.
Thank goodness you're in Alberta. South of the border, you would be allowed to use an automatic weapon instead of a BB gun. Or is that just for zombies?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's not what I suggested. The required coding changes and software are readily available online, you just have to purchase a cable for about £20. Then you can code as much as you want and redo everything if an update reverts your changes. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BMW-ENET-...t=Motors_Automotive_Tools&hash=item4ad71be0a4
Thanks, fatherfork, and sorry for the misunderstanding. That's a neat DIY solution, but I'll probably pay up and get the coding done by someone who knows what they're doing. Thanks again for the suggestion though.
 

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Thank goodness you're in Alberta. South of the border, you would be allowed to use an automatic weapon instead of a BB gun. Or is that just for zombies?
Real guns are for zombies, moose and bear. BB guns are for squirrel and ghosts. Water guns for witches. Spud guns for Irishmen. Price marking guns for Union labour organizers.
 

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Do we? I think they're on when the headlights are off, otherwise they're off.
Not bothered checking on my f56 but on my r56 the drls could be switched off in the menu under vehicle settings.sorry assuming it was the same. Ill have a look at some point unless some one knows
 

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DRLs are permanently on in the UK and the only way to turn them 'off' is to turn on the sidelight. There is no option in any of the menus to turn them off as it's now a UK requirement to have them on all cars which have been through the type approval process since Feb 2011.
 

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Aha,another massive development in road safety. When will they address the issue off the nut behind the wheel.
 
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