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Fog / Driving Lights

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Fog / Driving Lights

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What is a fog light and where is it located?

Fog lights, also commonly referred to as “fog lamps,” “driving lights,” and “driving lamps,” are located on the front of cars and trucks and are there to help drivers see the road better during foggy, rainy, and snowy weather. Fog lights are mounted on the front of a car at a lower level than the headlights with the intention of providing extra illumination in order to light up the road as much as possible in times when it is needed. However, while the headlights on a car or truck light up everything that is in front of the vehicle, the purpose of fog lights is to focus on the road itself.

When a vehicle is driven through fog, rain, heavy dust, or snow, the light that automotive headlights produce can be reflected back into the driver’s eyes, causing an almost blinding-like condition that temporary negates your sensitivity to light, which of course is very dangerous. This occurs because of the location of the headlights on a car or truck and the fact that they are focused on what’s straight ahead in front of you. Because automotive fog lights are mounted and aimed so low, this allows for their wide beams of bright light to be directed solely towards the road surface in front of the vehicle, underneath the fog, snow, etc. This angling helps avoid the reflection of light that occurs and increase visibility, and makes driving a car or truck during harsh conditions such as these just a little bit easier and safer, especially at night. Fog lamps also help to make you more visible to other traffic as well.

Are fog lights and driving lights one in the same or different?

A front fog light assembly may produce a white or selective yellow light, depending on the type of lens the light has, and this where some confusion sets in. Many people believe that the lights with yellow lenses that produce a yellow light are fog lights (or fog lamps), and the ones with white or clear lenses that produce a white light are driving lights (or driving lamps). However, at 1A Auto that hasn’t been our experience. We feel that the words "fog" and "driving" light (or "lamp" for that matter) are totally interchangeable no matter what the lens or bulb color is. That is why you will see the phrase “fog / driving light” used so often not only here at 1A Auto, but elsewhere as well.

How do I know my fog / driving lights need to be replaced?

Due to their location on a car or truck, fog / driving lights are subject to extremely harsh conditions. Every puddle, rock, curb, snow pile, and rogue log can bring an end to a fog / driving light assembly. If any of your fog lamps have been badly damaged or are missing, then it is time for a replacement. Fog lamps can also suffer from general wear and tear and become dull or discolored, or they can get badly scratched from the various things they may come in contact with on a day-to-day basis. This may also require replacement. Lastly, one may choose to replace fog / driving lights simply for cosmetic improvements, and not for any functional need whatsoever.

For more detailed information about fog lights, how they work, replacement tips and more, check out our in-depth guide to replacement fog lights.

Can I replace fog / driving lights myself?

The difficulty of replacing fog lights can vary from vehicle to vehicle. On some cars, it can be as simple as removing a few screws from the light, pulling the light out, disconnecting the wiring harness, and twisting out the bulb. On others, the process might involve removing the bumper and/or grille. Whatever your vehicle entails, it's a good idea to consult a repair guide before tackling a fog light repair to get an idea of how long it will take and how difficult it may be.

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