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View Full Version : Is it just me or are the fog lights all but useless


FlyingDutchMan
09-27-2003, 09:00 PM
any one know of a bulb or lamp upgrade we can do for the fog lights, I can't hardly see any added light went I turn them on?

FDM

jw
09-27-2003, 09:10 PM
I think they work great! They illuminate the ground near the front of the car. :D

Seriously, I only use them on dark back-roads or when the weather is especially foul. In the latter case, it's mostly so my car is more visible to others so they can steer into someone or something else.

FlyingDutchMan
09-27-2003, 09:22 PM
I think they work great! They illuminate the ground near the front of the car. :D

Seriously, I only use them on dark back-roads or when the weather is especially foul. In the latter case, it's mostly so my car is more visible to others so they can steer into someone or something else.


Really, I wonder if my headlights need to be aimed up a little higher, I constantly feel like I am out running my xenons, and swithc to my brights. If my stock headlights are aimed too low that would explain why turning on the fogs doesn't help...duh.

I have to admit the high beams are great.

jw
09-27-2003, 09:30 PM
Really, I wonder if my headlights need to be aimed up a little higher, I constantly feel like I am out running my xenons, and swithc to my brights. If my stock headlights are aimed too low that would explain why turning on the fogs doesn't help...duh.

I have to admit the high beams are great.
Definitely took me a while to get used to the Xenons. I thought at first that one light was beamed a bit low, but read that it was designed that way. I'm getting used to it after 2 years.

Unfortunately, I'm not outrunning my Xenons in a 330i. :(

Druppy
09-27-2003, 10:57 PM
Definitely took me a while to get used to the Xenons. I thought at first that one light was beamed a bit low, but read that it was designed that way. I'm getting used to it after 2 years.

Unfortunately, I'm not outrunning my Xenons in a 330i. :(


I felt the same way about my xenons. In my infiniti they were much more useful. So one night i took out the I30 and the 528 and started playing with the lights.

I parked the cars side by side on the street and started looking at how far each light would reach. The 528 lights definatly difused less and had a much sharper stoping point. After some fiddling I got it to what i consider a useful distance.

It turned out when I aimed the 528 xenons all the way up they still didnt go as far as the I30 lights.

So I left them there and had my gf drive her car towards me to make sure I wasnt going to be blinding anyone, and it was fine so I left them all the way up, now I can see great!

Pinecone
09-28-2003, 03:47 AM
Fog lights are supposed to add light close to the ground for use in FOG. :)

The idea is that normal lights are up high enough that fog will scatter most of the light back to teh driver. Fogs, mounted low with a very sharp upper cut off, illuminate the road, with little blinding scatter back to the driver.

Fogs should really only be used with NO headlights. Using headlights defeats the purpose of reducing the scattered light, while still illuminating the road.

FlyingDutchMan
09-28-2003, 11:17 AM
Fog lights are supposed to add light close to the ground for use in FOG. :)

The idea is that normal lights are up high enough that fog will scatter most of the light back to teh driver. Fogs, mounted low with a very sharp upper cut off, illuminate the road, with little blinding scatter back to the driver.

Fogs should really only be used with NO headlights. Using headlights defeats the purpose of reducing the scattered light, while still illuminating the road.

Yeah that makes sense, we hardly if ever encounter fog out here in Agoura Hills(8miles inland from Malibu.) I don't have much experience driving in heavy fog where like you describe the light actually bounced back at you. I'll just leave them alone and get the headlights adjusted where I want them. Thanks for your input on this.

cruztopless
09-28-2003, 07:42 PM
Fog lights are supposed to add light close to the ground for use in FOG. :)

The idea is that normal lights are up high enough that fog will scatter most of the light back to teh driver. Fogs, mounted low with a very sharp upper cut off, illuminate the road, with little blinding scatter back to the driver.

Fogs should really only be used with NO headlights. Using headlights defeats the purpose of reducing the scattered light, while still illuminating the road.

Here in the Sacramento Valley we get lots of fog but I've never seen anyone driving w/ just the fogs on. It seems logical to just drive w/ the fogs only but I'm concerned about it being legal. It seems to me that some cars that I've driven in the past required the headlights to be on before the fogs can be activated.

:dunno:

Next time I hit fog down a country road I should do a comparison between the 2.

Pinecone
09-29-2003, 02:10 AM
Maybe because just about no one really knows how to use them. :)

And you are right, many cars are wired to only allow them on with the headlights on. Not right, but what can you do?

SergioK
09-29-2003, 03:00 PM
... It seems logical to just drive w/ the fogs only but I'm concerned about it being legal....

It is illegal to drive with just the fogs on.

I got pulled over years ago when a quite dense fog bank rolled in by where I live (the beach). It was at night and I couldn't see more than about 30 feet in front of me. I decided to run just my fogs, no headlights. A Seal Beach PD officer pulled me over. He was kind enough to fully blind me with what seemed to me was several million candlelights worth of spotlights. To this day I still don't know where I stopped, it would have been in the middle of the damn street for all I know. Either way, I was about 2 blocks from my house and his sole purpose of all of this was to tell me that I was committing an infraction by driving with just the fog lights on.

I retorted that given the density of the fog, my regular low beam headlights were blinding me enough to not see the road. (can't remember if I nudged him about his 'help' with his lights though). :mad: :mad:

Pinecone
09-30-2003, 05:39 AM
That's not where I focus when I'm driving in the fog. The fog lights are best to be seen by the opposing traffic, otherwise, I agree, they are used useless. They are used only for those who thinks it is a macho thing to do on a clear night.

Then where do you fous when driving in the fog?

In heavy fog, the ONLY thing you may see is the area right infront of the car, illuminated by the fog lights.

If the fog is light enough that your regular headlights illuminate further than the fogs, you shouldn't be using the ffogs.

The fog lights are visible to other cars no further than your headlights are.

Artslinger
09-30-2003, 07:06 AM
I have no problem with my fog lights.

If you shine light directly into the fog, it bounces off the fog droplets and reflects, making it even harder to see. Bright lights will only illuminate and bounce off the fog, creating a wall of fog. You also want the fog lights low on the car and to project downward because fog tends to hover about a foot off the ground. So by projecting light in that fog-free area, you can illuminate the road and see farther ahead. The idea of fog lights is to illuminate the road immediately in front of the car.

----------------
"The difference between a fog lights & a driving lights?
Fog lights provide illumination forward of the vehicle that enhances visibility in fog, rain, snow, or dust. Fog lights are intended to be used in conjunction with standard headlamp low beams. Driving lights are mounted to provide illumination forward of the vehicle and intended to supplement the high beam of a standard headlamp system. It is not intended for use alone or with the low beam of a standard headlamp system." From PIAAs website.

TGray5
09-30-2003, 05:59 PM
Really, I wonder if my headlights need to be aimed up a little higher, I constantly feel like I am out running my xenons, and swithc to my brights. If my stock headlights are aimed too low that would explain why turning on the fogs doesn't help...duh.

I have to admit the high beams are great.

I felt the same way and raised my low beams a little bit and it made a huge difference! I highly recommend it. Also, since raising them I have not been high beam flashed once, so I know they aren't too high. I think BMW has been setting them low.