Admit it. Headlights aren’t enough in several driving conditions and now you find yourself asking, how to install fog lights?
Rainy weather, dim roads, and near-zero visibility are just a few of the situations where fog lights can save you. They are powerful enough to significantly increase your visibility, allowing you to drive with more confidence and safety.
Fog lights are also friendly to opposing drivers – bright enough for the road but not blinding to other drivers. The beauty of fog lights is their ability to emit lights that can cut through the fog, smoke, and moisture.
While there are car models with pre-installed fog lights, there are more vehicles that don’t have a pair. If you’re one of the latter, here’s how to install fog lights.
Buying the right unit
You can’t just pick any random fog light. You need to make sure they are compatible with your specific make and model. Personal preference also comes to play in terms of selecting the type or color.
• Yellow light: Fewer aesthetics but more useful especially when driving in bad weather – a reason why you’re intending to buy a fog light in the first place.
• White/Blue light: More aesthetically pleasing and more uniform as they share similar colors with your main headlights. However, they can cause more glare when you’re driving through snow or fog.
Note: if you’re not sure what type of fog lights to use on your car, you can do any of the following:
• Consult your local dealership and ask them about your query
• Read your user manual and find the right specs
• Consult a local auto parts store. They’d be happy to help you
Evaluating where to install your fog lights
If you have one of the latest models, you’re fortunate because car manufacturers tend to design new cars with ready-to-use slots for fog lights.
With pre-installed slots
There should be a dedicated space in the bumper, usually at the lower part. If you have one, then you won’t have to make any drilling or modification. You only have to remove the cover and do the necessary steps to install the lights.
Without pre-installed slots
You’ll have to choose where to manually mount your fog lights since you have no pre-installed slots. The golden rule is it must be somewhere in the lower areas of your bumper, giving the fog lights the right opportunity to do their purpose.
You can also opt for fog lights designed with a bracket that you can screw straight to the grille of your bumper. This looks better for trucks and SUVs.
Study the wiring of your fog lights
This DIY stuff is not as simple as a plug and play. Whether you’re an expert or a beginner, everyone starts by doing a layout.
Evaluating where to plug it
This is imperative before making a permanent installation. Study the wiring diagram of your fog lights; it should come with the package. The diagram will show you the right connection to your car’s electrical system.
Knowing your wires
A conventional fog light consists of multiple wires. It includes a:
• White power wire
• Black-colored ground wire
• Red fog light split wire
• Green switch fog light
Locating the pass-through hole
Know the pass-through hole of your car’s firewall. This is where the fog light’s wires go through. The pass-through hole is usually at the front of the driver’s side.
If your car doesn’t have any pass-through hole or if you can’t find any, you’ll have no choice but to drill a hole.
Note: It’s important to wrap your wires with a rubber grommet to prevent possible damages and to prevent external elements from causing a disturbance.
Installing the fog light switch
Important steps to do first:
1. Open the hood of your vehicle
2. Find the negative battery terminal and disconnect it
Note: Step 2 is important because it eliminates the risk of short circuit which could happen when a metal tool gets in contact with any of the car’s metal parts or surfaces.
Installing a fog light switch
It would be better if your car already has a dedicated fog light switch. However, that’s not always the case especially if the car does not have a pre-installed fog light unit. Even if there are pre-installed slots, it doesn’t guarantee a switch is also available.
You’ll have to install one. Two ideal spots would either be somewhere on the dashboard or the steering wheel. The easier one would be the former.
1. Pick a spot where you can easily reach the on/off button
2. Somewhere on the dashboard is more recommended since it’s easier to install there
3. Find a ground to connect the ground wire. Look for a bolt directly connected to a metallic surface
4. See your fuse box cover and determine the right location for a spare accessory – in this case, a fog light switch
5. Now plug the light switch’s positive connector to the empty fuse
Installing the fog light wires
1. Grab the fog light’s wires and guide them through the pass-through hole in the firewall.
2. Now it’s time to connect the wiring of the on/off switch to the wiring of the fog lights.
3. Consult your fog light wiring diagram again to make sure you’re doing everything right.
4. Grab some cable ties and secure the wire placement.
5. Does your fog light kit come with a green wire? If yes, carefully connect the said green wire to the ignition fuse of your vehicle. This feature acts like an automatic ‘on’ switch that activates the fog lights once the ignition is turned on.
Mounting the fog light unit
Now that your wiring’s ready, it’s time to mount the fog lights.
With pre-installed slots
You simply have to remove the cover of your pre-installed slot. If you purchased the right fog light, the unit should fit right in. You can also check your owner’s manual for further info.
With no pre-installed slots
No pre-cut holes in your bumper? That means you have to create one.
1. Get a rotary cutting tool
2. Start cutting a hole in an ideal spot. Make sure the hole is slightly bigger than the actual unit to make the bezels fit (see next step)
3. Your fog light kit should have a plastic bezel. Use those when mounting the units. Making the holes slightly bigger than the fog lights will make the bezels fit.
Other types of fog lights
There are fog lights that you can simply mount on your grill guard. In that case, there’s no need to cut holes. Simply install the fog lights with their corresponding brackets that can you screw directly to the bumper or the grilles.
Few more steps
1. Connect the black ground wires of each unit to the ground wire extensions
2. The end part of these ground wires should be connected to any unpainted, metal section of your vehicle.
3. Link the fog light’s white power wires to the white power wire extension.
4. Connect the power wires that come out through the pass-through hole to the end of each power wires.
5. You’re done! Turn your engine on and see if the fog lights are working.
Congratulations! Knowing how to install fog lights seems like a daunting task to do. However, it only takes a little patience and comprehension of the steps to do it successfully. With your new fog lights on, you can say goodbye to near-zero visibility on the road!