BimmerFest BMW Forum banner
1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Quality
Joined
·
639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So it was a little over a year ago that I did the modification to activate both rear fog lamps that are factory pre-configured on all E46 BMW cars from 1998 thru 9/2001. The DIY cost me literally around $30 (required were bulbs, 20 gauge wiring, and the euro rear fog LKM) and the work took less than 2 hrs to complete.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=404228&highlight=rear+fogs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RZ1x1DfwKI&feature=player_embedded

A year later and it is one of my favorite and most effective mod for what it does: First stunning and then warding off annoying tailgaters and truckers.

It is also a great winter time modification for making your car's rear end more visible to other motorists on the road during snow and rain storms.

Tail Lamps Off-Parked:


Tails On-Normal Driving:





Rear Fogs On-Back off/Do not tail gate.


 

·
Supporter of Bimmer Lore
Joined
·
5,192 Posts
Rear lamps, called fog pilots in the Bimmer manual, are meant to help drivers behind you see your presence in dense fog, not as a get-even tool against real or preceived tailgaters. As such, they're supposed to be done in a way not to be confused with the brake lights (the Peugeots. for instance, have a single lamp set in the middle and below the rear bumper). Also important that they do not impede your reduced visibility on the rear of the car (just like when you have to turn off the headlamps and use just the low-set foglamps in extreme conditions).

These twin bright lights fail on all counts and anyone having them SHOULD get a fat ticket :thumbdwn: Double fail for disabling lifesaving safety features.

And anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about has never had to drive in killer fog. But don't worry; the way this forthcoming Winter is shaping up, you will probably get plenty of experience in the fog department before Spring shows up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
Rear lamps, called fog pilots in the Bimmer manual, are meant to help drivers behind you see your presence in dense fog, not as a get-even tool against real or preceived tailgaters. As such, they're supposed to be done in a way not to be confused with the brake lights (the Peugeots. for instance, have a single lamp set in the middle and below the rear bumper). Also important that they do not impede your reduced visibility on the rear of the car (just like when you have to turn off the headlamps and use just the low-set foglamps in extreme conditions).

These twin bright lights fail on all counts and anyone having them SHOULD get a fat ticket :thumbdwn: Double fail for disabling lifesaving safety features.

And anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about has never had to drive in killer fog. But don't worry; the way this forthcoming Winter is shaping up, you will probably get plenty of experience in the fog department before Spring shows up.
Again, that's legal in many jurisdictions. Many Audis in the US come w/ the dual rear fogs from the factory. I'm pretty sure it's actually legal in many parts of Europe. And either way, the third brake light won't be active; an attentive driver would notice that. I'm not quite sure what you're referring to with the "life saving safety features."

We all know what they're meant for, but they do work nicely for getting someone off your ass. Drivers in NY are really bad with the tailgating; you can be going 20mph faster than the guy in the right lane and not have any room to get in, but they'll still follow you with less than .25s to respond. It's *much* safer than brake checking, which is unfortunately a fairly common practice in the US. If I had to choose between getting rear ended or bending the rules by using the rear fogs to get the tailgater to back off, I'm going with the latter. In the rare instance that I use it for that purpose, I'll usually flash it on/off rapidly to see if he gets the message. If they don't, then I might try leaving it on for a little longer

Note the bolded sections:
In Europe and other countries adhering to ECE Regulation 48, vehicles must be equipped with one or two bright red "rear fog lamps" (or "fog taillamps"), which serve as high-intensity rear position lamps to be energised by the driver in conditions of poor visibility to enhance vehicle conspicuity from the rear. The allowable range of intensity for a rear fog lamp is 150 to 300 candelas,[15] which is within the range of a U.S. stop lamp.[5] For this reason, some European vehicles imported to the United States have their rear fog lamps wired as stop lamps, since their European-specification stop lamps may not be sufficiently intense to comply with U.S. regulations, and in North America rear fog lamps are not required equipment. However, they are permitted, and are found almost exclusively on European-brand vehicles in North America - Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes, MINI, Land Rover, Saab and Volvo provide functional rear fog lights on their North American models. The final generation Oldsmobile Aurora also had dual rear fog lights installed in the rear bumper as standard equipment.

Most jurisdictions permit rear fog lamps to be installed either singly or in pairs.
If a single rear fog is fitted, most jurisdictions require it to be located at or to the driver's side of the vehicle's centreline - whichever side is the prevailing driver's side in the country in which the vehicle is registered.[15] This is to maximise the sight line of following drivers to the rear fog lamp. In many cases, a single reversing lamp is mounted on the passenger side of the vehicle, positionally symmetrical with the rear fog. If two rear fog lamps are fitted, they must be symmetrical with respect to the vehicle's centreline.[15] Proponents of twin rear fog lamps say two lamps provide vehicle distance information not available from a single lamp. Proponents of the single rear fog lamp say dual rear fog lamps closely mimic the appearance of illuminated stop lamps (which are mandatorily installed in pairs), reducing the conspicuity of the stop lamps' message when the rear fogs are activated. To provide some safeguard against rear fog lamps being confused with stop lamps, ECE R48 requires a separation of at least 10 cm between the closest illuminated edges of any stop lamp and any rear fog lamp.[15]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_lighting#Rear_fog_lamps
 

·
Rambling Wreck
Joined
·
2,073 Posts
I wonder though, why the newer E46's do not come with this feature?
It may have something to do with the geniuses who drive in clear weather with their front and rear fog lights blazing...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,774 Posts
They are really annoying to drivers behind even if far away.

They stand out like someone who is riding their brakes (i.e. an idiot), then when you see they are actually rear fog lights, and it's not foggy, you know they are an idiot.

I was behind a mini cooper today coming home that had them on and when I first saw them I thought he was braking and briefly hesitated, then noticed his speed was not decreasing.

Yeah, I hate them.:thumbdwn:

Question: do they come on together with the front fog lights or are they an independent switch like on my non-US 2000 Z-3?
 

·
Tar Heel Faithful
Joined
·
14,127 Posts
I think it's a good idea for BMW to not make this feature standard equip on US BMWs. Way too many folks don't know they have them on even if there's a warning symbol on the dash.

Recent Audis (although not the current one) and Mercs are the most frequent offenders because of their switch designs. On those vehicles, one pulls the knob out 1 click for front foglights, 2 clicks for rear foglights. Guess what happens to unknowing drivers.........:rolleyes:

I retrofitted the rear foglights on the E90 (easy) and my X3 (hard), and only use them in extremely low visibility situations (less than 100m) as they are intended. There is a fair amount of fog that occurs in the mountains of VA, especially I-64 crossing over Afton.
 

·
No User Serviceable Parts
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
There is a fair amount of fog that occurs in the mountains of VA, especially I-64 crossing over Afton.
That section of 64 is nothing like it used to be; they have radically improved the interstate since it first opened. Afton Mtn (also known as Walton's Mtn) used to be a true nightmare.

And rear mounted fogs are fine if used properly. When used aggressively (as the OP appears to be doing), there should be a hefty fine.

Sounds like something on James Bond's car. What's next? Knife-edge wheel spinners that can protrude and shred another motorist's tires? How about some machine guns behind the front fog lights?

I mean, if you're gonna play the road rage game, let's get serious about it! :violent:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
438 Posts
That section of 64 is nothing like it used to be; they have radically improved the interstate since it first opened. Afton Mtn (also known as Walton's Mtn) used to be a true nightmare.

<SNIP>
Used to be?

65 Car pile up April 20, 1998
18 Car Pile up May 7 1998
43 car pile up Dec 13 2002
25 car pile up February 13 2007

You were saying...... :rolleyes:

There have been no improvements (other than regular maintenance) to that stretch of road over the last 25+ years. And these were only the MAJOR incidnets.
Google Afton Mountain Accident or Fatality and see what comes up. Then tell me this road isnt still a nightmare......
 

·
Tar Heel Faithful
Joined
·
14,127 Posts
:hi: Hey fellow Central Virginian. Bet you had them on this morning if you made the crossing.
Nah, stayed off the road this morning. It's not like frequently drive into the Shenandoah Valley. The "runway lights" are really sweet (that's the aforementioned improvement). VA refuses to build truck lanes on the steep gradients. I'm really annoyed of trucks pulling into the left lane at 70km/h (45mph) on that stretch. Two lanes are not enough given the truck traffic. But yeah, all the transportation money goes to Northern VA.

My winter tires are on their 6th season and should be replaced, so I'm not pushing my luck. I remember last winter in Charlottesville when there were mid-week snow squalls dropping 3-4" in an evening. Not enough to plow, but enough to make roads really tricky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
I was not aware of this, and have never seen this before, and I have been driving since the early 70's. I learn something new every day. I wonder though, why the newer E46's do not come with this feature?
It seems to be a BMW level decision. No BMW has ever come with rear fogs standard in the US. Sure it's easier to retrofit in some than others, but they refuse to make it standard (or even optional) on any models over here. Mini coopers do get them as an option, and there's a retrofit kit for the minis that didn't originally come with it. You'd think the BMWs would also get them since they're the same company and BMW is a higher end brand.

On facelift E46 sedan, BMW made it so that you cannot get the rear fogs unless you get the LCM recoded. On the + side, there's no wiring required whatsoever. From what I hear, the 02 and newer coupes have the worst of both worlds: The necessary wiring isn't present, and the pins won't energize until the LCM is recoded.
 

·
Quality
Joined
·
639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It seems to be a BMW level decision. No BMW has ever come with rear fogs standard in the US. Sure it's easier to retrofit in some than others, but they refuse to make it standard (or even optional) on any models over here. Mini coopers do get them as an option, and there's a retrofit kit for the minis that didn't originally come with it. You'd think the BMWs would also get them since they're the same company and BMW is a higher end brand.

On facelift E46 sedan, BMW made it so that you cannot get the rear fogs unless you get the LCM recoded. On the + side, there's no wiring required whatsoever. From what I hear, the 02 and newer coupes have the worst of both worlds: The necessary wiring isn't present, and the pins won't energize until the LCM is recoded.
T,
Can you code a facelift LCM to have rear fogs?

If so all you would need is the UK LKM switch plate with the rear fog button and your USA LCM body-coded for rear fogs?
 

·
No User Serviceable Parts
Joined
·
1,464 Posts
Used to be?

65 Car pile up April 20, 1998
18 Car Pile up May 7 1998
43 car pile up Dec 13 2002
25 car pile up February 13 2007

You were saying...... :rolleyes:

There have been no improvements (other than regular maintenance) to that stretch of road over the last 25+ years. And these were only the MAJOR incidnets.
Google Afton Mountain Accident or Fatality and see what comes up. Then tell me this road isnt still a nightmare......
Interesting. I remember driving that stretch in the '70s and thought it was far worse then than it is now. I drove up there a few weeks ago, and before I knew it, I was on the other side (heading west, and yes, the weather was clear).

I'm not from the area, so I don't have to deal with it on a regular basis. Cars are faster now; maybe that's the difference. Taking those old POS 70s cars over that road really sucked.

Oh, and Aznmpower32, there are three lanes on I81 going up Christiansburg Mtn! That pull is worse than Afton.

Sorry for the thread hijack everyone. Back to your regularly scheduled thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,892 Posts
T,
Can you code a facelift LCM to have rear fogs?

If so all you would need is the UK LKM switch plate with the rear fog button and your USA LCM body-coded for rear fogs?
Yea, and that's exactly what I did for my car. Facelift sedans have all the wiring present since they use those lights as part of the tail lights. When you turn the rear fogs on, it increases the voltage to those bulbs
 

·
Quality
Joined
·
639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yea, and that's exactly what I did for my car. Facelift sedans have all the wiring present since they use those lights as part of the tail lights. When you turn the rear fogs on, it increases the voltage to those bulbs
So you had to get a Euro LKM faceplace with the seperate rear fog lamp button?

I think someone said the front fog button can also turn on rear fogs with the turning on of the front fog so you have front and rear on at the same time.

Also can you code the LCM body for BOTH rear fogs to come on or is it limited to one side only?
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top