If you own a new car that doesn’t have fog lights installed, chances are that you’ll need them so dearly to help you in improving visibility when driving in foggy, rainy, misty, or extremely dark conditions. While these lights are so important, one negative factor I’ve noticed is that most of them just have a wiring diagram but not a convenient manual that can help you during the installation. Since this is likely to make the installation process quite difficult, this guide has shouldered your troubles by offering a detailed step-by-step procedure on how to install fog lights.
Now, installing fog lights doesn’t start from connecting the wires. It starts with choosing the right fog lights that will meet your specific needs. Since such information cannot be found anywhere on the manuals, this guide will get started right from the bottom and walk you through to the top to give you a comprehensive understanding of how to install these special lights. If you’re ready, then let’s begin.
How to Install Fog Lights: Step by Step Guide
Step 1: Choosing the Lights
Although most people tend to skip this step, it’s one of the most important factors you can’t afford to neglect when installing fog lights. When making your choice, it’s important that you first enquire to ensure that your local regulations approve the use of aftermarket fog lights with certain colors.
Once you’re certain that your specific lights are compliant; then you can proceed to choose the type of bulbs you’ll be installing. Here, you can choose from LED, HID to Halogen bulbs. When you’re done, you need to choose the style of fog lights you’ll be installing.
In most cases, projector fog lights are considered the best as they have a curved center that projects a more focused beam that doesn’t blind oncoming motorists. Also, the type of lights you select should be able to direct light slightly on the edges of the road to guarantee safer driving and earlier detection of obstacles on the side of the road.
Step 2: Determine Where You’ll Install the Fog Lights
Now that you have an idea of the type of fog lights you’re going to install, the next step is to determine where exactly you’re going to install the lights. Luckily, most vehicles come with slots on the bumper where you can install the lights. However, if you’re unlucky to own a car that doesn’t have the slots on its bumper, then don’t panic as you’ll only need to cut holes on the bumper to fit the lights.
Step 3: Gather Your Supplies
Whether you’re installing factory sets or universal types of fog lights, the process of installation is pretty much the same with minor differences here and there. In our case, you will need;
- A screwdriver
- Masking tape
- Fog light kit
- Zip ties
Step 4: Remove the Bumper
Start by parking your vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake. Next, open the hood and disconnect the battery terminals. If your bumper doesn’t have the fog light slots, then you’ll have to remove it to cut the holes. With the hood open, simply loosen all the screws and nuts to take off the bumper.
In case the bumper has fog light slots, all you’ll have to do is to use a plastic pry tool to take off the stock bezel from its socket. This will give you enough clearance to work on when installing the lights.
Step 5: Lay Out the Wiring
If you’re installing fog lights in a new car that didn’t have them before, then you’ll need to lay out the wiring for your new lights. To do the wiring, you’ll have to study the wiring diagram that came with your fog lights to familiarize yourself with the entire system.
In most cases, the package comes with wires such as a white wire, a green switch wire, a red fog light split wire, a relay, a fog light switch, and a fuse. Since you’re installing fog lights in your car for the first time, you’ll have to locate a pass-through hole in your car’s firewall to make it easier for you to set the fog switch in a convenient position near the steering wheel.
The pass-through hole is used to pass cables from the hood to the inside of a vehicle and it’s usually located behind or under the dashboard. In case your vehicle doesn’t have a pass-through hole, then you’ll have to drill one yourself.
Step 6: Connect the Wires
Connecting the wires is usually the most delicate step in the entire process and it requires a lot of seriousness as a little mistake can ruin your fog lights. So, to do this, you’ll need to have your wiring diagram close enough for perusal and confirmation.
Start with the black wire which you’ll have to connect one of its sides to the back of the ignition switch while the other side is connected to the grounding terminal (most preferably an unpainted section of your vehicle’s body).
Next, pick a red wire that has a fuse on it. Connect one side to a terminal at the back of the switch. The other side of the wire should run through the pass-through hole from your vehicle’s interior to the hood area where it will connect with the relay then to another red wire that goes to the positive terminal.
Step 7: Install the Fog Lights
The final step in this guide is to power the fog lights. But, just before you do that, you need to ensure the lights are already installed on the car’s bumper. Not only that, you need to ensure that the bumper is already attached to the car.
Once you’ve done that, it’s now time to synch the wires. Start with the black wires that come from your fog lights and merge them to a ground wire extension that connects to your car’s unpainted metal section.
Next, connect the white wires from your lights to the Y-shaped power wire that runs inside the pass-through hole to the switch inside the vehicle. Once the whole project is through, you can now connect the red wire to the positive terminal of the battery to see whether the fog lights will go “on”.
As you can see, the process of installing fog lights in your vehicle is not as complex as rocket science. In fact, the process is fairly easy though it needs a lot of patience and understanding of basic electrical concepts. You need to study the available wiring diagrams to have a solid understanding of how to fix these lights. All in all, fog lights are very crucial accessories that will guarantee you perfect visibility when driving in snowy, smoky, foggy and very dark regions.