Fog lights significantly improve visibility, especially when you’re driving under poor weather conditions. Such is the case when the road and surroundings are heavy with mist and fog. Most cars come with a factory placement panel on the bumper, but the grille and the rack mounts are options depending on your car model.
If you want to DIY-install your fog lights, most kits for sale provide a wiring diagram and sufficient instructions to walk you through the task. If you find them lacking, this article will provide the general steps involved in installing fog lights on your car.
Tools You Need to Install Fog Lights
You will first need the following tools to get started: a screwdriver, wrench, ratchet and extension, pliers, vinyl electrical tape to insulate the naked wires, and diagonal cutters. You may also need a drill, zip ties and a flashlight.
Fog light kits come either as factory sets or universal types. Generally, the kits will have similar components, differing only in how they are mounted. A fog light kit should contain wiring and connectors, switches, fog light bulbs and hardware.
The hardware mainly includes brackets, nuts, and bolts for attaching the fog lights on the front bumper or grille guards. If you’re planning to buy a kit and on the fence about which type to buy, we recommend glass lens covers to plastic ones due to their durability.
Check the department of transportation for the state laws regarding fog lights to ensure that your chosen lights are compliant. Some states restrict the type and colour of lights you can install.
Step by Step Guide on How to Install Fog Lights
- Park your car on a level surface. Make sure to turn the engine off before commencing the process.
- Open the hood and loosen the screws and nuts to release the bumper, which you need to remove before you can install the lights. Make sure you don't lose the screws and nuts. If your car doesn't come with fog lights and there are no ready cutouts - some cars do - make the necessary measurements based on the fog light kit that you have and carefully cut through the area where the lights should be situated.
- Introduce the lights on both the right and left apertures. Screw back the lights tight. Put the bumper back on, and make sure that there are holes for wires to go through. If there are none, you can drill.
- Fasten the bumper then start working on the wiring. The kit usually has a green wire designated to be wired to the ignition fuse (the fuse box has marked instructions on how to do this). It helps ensure fog lights only operate when the car ignition is in the “on” position. Where the relay case is inside the car, drill the green wire over the firewall opening. In cars where the relay case is under the dashboard, open the relay board cover and connect, the user instructions should direct you on the specific relay.
- Now, join the connectors on each area of red wire together to power up the set. Join the black wires to the matching black ground wires at the back of the fog lights, connect them to the unpainted section of the vehicle frame.
- Bridge the white power wires together with the corresponding wires from the fog lights. Strap them to the Y-shaped white power wire that runs through to the ignition inside the vehicle. Steps five to six are very critical, as you are synching the power intended for fog lights through ignition.
- Locate your car’s pass-through hole in the firewall. It should be on the driver or passenger’s floor. It could also be positioned somewhere under the dashboard.
- Switch position, preferably on the dashboard beside the steering wheel. Drill sizable holes where the switch will be inserted, making sure not to tamper with any component.
- Affix the switch to the wires and confirm that it works before fastening it. The black wire connects to the black ground wire, the red wire connects to the relay (both are red typically). The third wire that connects to a fuse is often red in colour but thicker than the one connecting to the relay. Connect it to the green wire from the fuse box.
- Conclusion, check if the switch works and insulate the wires with vinyl electrical tape. Tighten the loose wires together with the cable ties and put everything back in place.
So, this was all about installing fog lights. You see, it’s a simple process, something that you can try on your vehicle. If you need some replacement parts, such as this fog light kit or any other auto part, don’t hesitate to use CarPart’s free Parts Request feature. It saves you time by doing the search for you and connecting you to the country's most reliable wreckers and auto parts suppliers. That hard to find spare part may just be a click away – try requesting a part today!
By George Nyingi