Using foglamps

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pictsidhe
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Using foglamps

Post by pictsidhe » Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:37 pm

After thinking about it for a while, we've bought an '04 Vibe about a month back. Didn't know about the handling! :D
Anyway, I come from a land of fog, on the other side of the Atlantic. I've done my fair share of driving in 10' vision and do know, that to see in fog, foglamps ON and headlights OFF is best. It seems that foglamps are mostly used to look 'cool' here. The Vibe already has decent headlamps and turning the fogs on as well doesn't add to vision, so I don't bother to look 'cool'.
Last week, however, we had some fog, not the proper stuff that obscures the other side of the road, but thick enough for me not to want regular headlamps. I spent 10 minutes trying to work out how the **** to have the foglamps on and headlamps off but failed miserably. :( Is there a trick with the switches? I could rewire it if I have to, but it seems like factory foglamps should actually be useable for fog? Or have GM decided that foglamps are just bling and needn't actually be useable for fog?

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09vGT
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by 09vGT » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:07 pm

I'm not 100% sure on your first generation Vibe, but on my 09 model the low beams have to be turned on in order for the fogs to work. Several members have done independent fog light mods. Try searching to see if you can dig through post. Someone will chime in with a link I'm sure.

In my opinion, low beams should be on when driving in fog, regardless of using fogs or not and I'm guessing the manufacturer was thinking the same. Some vehicles fog lights are tiny and seem pretty useless, especially meeting them in traffic. I want to SEE you.

My fog lights are on all of the time, well, when using the low beams. I don't use it for bling, but for extra lighting on the road. The '09-'10 GT models have HUGE fog lamps and provide quite a bit of extra lighting, otherwise I wouldn't bother. :)

pictsidhe
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by pictsidhe » Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:31 pm

In thick fog, headlamps just bounce off the fog and dazzle you, the driver. Foglamps shine low down where the fog tends to be a bit thinner and also not so near the drivers eye level. You get less of a wall of light in thick fog and can see that much further. Less light is better sometimes! I use my headlamps to see where I'm going, not to tell other drivers where I am, or I'd not bother to dip them, though that mentality is rather common here.
If you can use fogs instead of headlmaps, the acid test to is try fogs and then headlamps, use the set that lets you see best. Sometimes it's fogs, sometimes dipped, if high beam is best, it's not foggy! Our Vibe has it's headlamps on constantly, I thought there'd be a way to switch from headlamps to fogs as with every other car I've driven, but can't find one by fiddling with switches.
This is my first winter here, I have a feeling that you get far less fog than I'm used to, it's a lot drier. Maybe GM doesn't bother making foglamps that are useable instead of dips. It seems rather silly to disable the very feature they are supposed to be for, though. If you can't turn your headlamps off, you can't make proper use of fogs.

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09vGT
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by 09vGT » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:29 pm

I understand your reasoning, I just think that one should see the other drivers :) . Many people here don't even turn on their lights period when its foggy, rainy. etc... which is idiotic.

Try this: viewtopic.php?t=9844" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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vibolista
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by vibolista » Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:00 pm

Rules in most of the US as far as I know... fog lights on with low beams only. Might want to find a head light bulb that causes a good focussed cut off line. Philips makes one. I had them on my Vibe for a couple of years. I think you have to order them. Never found them in stores, X-treme Vision? Maybe in stores now.

Another thing that helps keep splaying light all over the place in fog is to keep the head light lenses polished. Scratches and haze spreads the light pattern in all kinds of directions and doesn't help in fog at all.

Unfortunately, there's not much driver's instruction going on, so if you talk to most people that drive with their fogs on all the time, you'll hear the "I can see the road much better" routine. And they are correct... you can see the road much better 5 to 15 feet in front of the car, but then can't see as well farther into the darkness where it's really important to see what's there. The iris diminishes the pupil size in the presence of that good expanse of bright light that you see when the fogs are on. Seeing the road much better 5 to 10 or even 20 feet ahead of the car will do little to help avoid contact when driving even as slow as 30 mph, never mind at 50 or 60 mph.

Fog lights are called fog lights, because they are used when fog is present and limits visibility severely. They shine low and allow you to see the edges of the road while you travel slowly and cautiously.

But old wives tales really die hard. Physics and physiology? Fergetabout it. Notice that Subaru (mostly the Outbacks) and pickup trucks run around with fogs on all the time when low beams are on. Lines of oncoming Subaru Outbacks and pickup trucks will blind you here in Maine, even the clearest nights. I don't think most of those Outback drivers even know how to turn their fogs off! I knew a guy that bought an Outback. I was telling him how most Outbacks always run around at night with fog lights on, fog or no fog. He said his weren't on. He went out to the parking lot to show me and turned on his lights. Fogs were on. Surprise, surprise! He hadn't realized it. Had to look up in manual how to turn them off, too. :roll:

They sure "look" cool when they're on though, whether on Vibes, Outbacks or Pickups. Especially when there's no fog'!
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pictsidhe
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by pictsidhe » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:53 pm

Aha, rules, I was wondering why on earth you couldn't use foglights as foglights... I'll look it up though, I have seen some cars drive on fogs only here (NC).
It seems that the Vibes can't as standard have fogs on without dips, at night anyway.
My Vibe headlights are pretty new and very clear, they are excellent headlights.
I mostly skipped having a rant about people misusing foglights, but here I go! You've already pointed out that fogs don't do much for the drivers vison, the biggest effect of using fogs as well as dips being to dazzle oncoming drivers more than otherwise, rain is particularly bad. I'm of the opinion that dazzling everyone driving towards you isn't one of the safest things to do...
I share a car with the wife, otherwise I'm on a scooter. You do not want to be dazzled in wet weather when on two wheels; no demisting, no wipers, it's horrible. Many is the time I've had to slam the brakes on and STOP when faced with high beam HIDS. I've not always stayed on my side of the road when doing that, when I'm blinded, I have to guess where the road is. I've added a LED spotlight to the main beam to blind the ******** back who don't dip or are OTT with their lights, works great, suddenly people are far more 'polite' with their lights. Extra lights that don't do much for the drivers using them irk me, all those 'cool' foglights are really horrible when I'm riding in the rain.

Seriously, how many of you, when seeing a car coming towards you with dips AND foglights, thinks, 'Hey, what a cool dude/dudette'
Personally, I think '******', or '****', but thats partly because I'm a grumpy (removed).

pictsidhe
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by pictsidhe » Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:13 pm

I just found the NC statutes, looks like it's ok to drive on fogs only in fog, as long as the tail lights are also on, other states may vary.

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joatmon
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by joatmon » Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:55 am

In the first gen vibes, you can only turn on the foglights when the headlights are also on. The fogs also go off when you switch to high beams

viewtopic.php?t=9844" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has good instructions on how to rewire the fog lamp switch to have whatever fog light control you might like. I haven't done it, but lots of others have

I never use my fogs, they seem to not help me, and I'm getting to the point where oncoming cars with both headlights and fogs can be a bit blinding. Makes me a grumpy (removed) also ;)

pictsidhe
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by pictsidhe » Sun Dec 21, 2014 6:34 pm

Meh, looks like some creative rejigging of the DRL is needed, found a wiring diagram from guys who seem allergic to DRLs.
Why are people worrying about HID bulb life? Yes, HIDs cost a lot more than halogens, but they last about 10x as long (rated 3000 hours), if not junk ones... One big selling point of HIDs is that you don't need to change the bulbs.

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lannvouivre
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by lannvouivre » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:13 am

The ballasts are the weak points, so I've heard.
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leemur
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by leemur » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:30 pm

I can't speak to legalities but I was once in a whiteout snow condition and the 95 bonneville I was driving was able to run fogs only and it was the only way to see three feet in front of the car. Add the low beams and ...nothing but white.
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hotbug1776
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by hotbug1776 » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:50 pm

Just imagine using LED fogs with higher than filament output, and 100,000hrs life.
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pictsidhe
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by pictsidhe » Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:27 pm

leemur wrote:I can't speak to legalities but I was once in a whiteout snow condition and the 95 bonneville I was driving was able to run fogs only and it was the only way to see three feet in front of the car. Add the low beams and ...nothing but white.
Exactly the sort of weather that fogs were invented for. Heavy snow is extra nasty to drive in as everything turns white and changes shape...

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lobi
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by lobi » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:53 pm

To the op,
I love hearing the term 'dip beam'. For those scratching your head that's low beam as opposed to 'main beam'
Oncoming main beams will blind you right through your windscreen. I've owned a few British cars in the past and got a kick out of the nomenclature. A little petrol on a rag will remove road tar from your paint. Don't forget the bonnet and the boot. I had a 69 Triumph GT6 and a 69 MGB. I remember someone making fun of my Lucas electrical three way light switch..off, dim, and flicker. Loved those cars anyway.

Sorry, digressed a lot there. Do the research, you might be able to un-program your drl headlights and run your fog lights with just your running lights. Might be dealer programming with computer tho. Worst case, rewire your fog lights to a separate manual switch.

I'm old now and still like the look of just running lights and fog lights, no headlamps on. Always ran cars that way as a kid.
I spent most of my life hunting and fishing, the rest I just wasted.

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vibenvy
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Re: Using foglamps

Post by vibenvy » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:13 am

Within a few months of getting my Vibe, I did the independent fog light mod and disabled the Automatic Headlights (AHL) and Daytime Running Lights (DRL). I prefer to have full control over all the lights on my vehicle. I do a fair amount of nighttime driving on deserted country roads, so it's nice to be able to have the low beams, high beams and fog lights all on at the same time. I am very dilligent about turning the high beams off when another vehicle is coming towards me or if I am coming up behind another vehicle. When driving in town and such at night, I use low beams and fog lights. I have to admit, the fog lights may not provide a ton of extra light, but they sure do look good :cool:! Sometimes during the day if it's cloudy or if it's around sunrise or sunset, I will use the parking lights and fog lights without low beams. I have never driven at night in fog or snow with only fog lights and parking lights though. I know using the high beams in fog or snow is pointless and only makes things worse, but as far as using the low beams, it's not all about me the driver being able to see, it's also about everyone else on the road being able to see me. There's nothing I hate more than driving to work in the middle of the country on a foggy morning and people have no lights on whatsoever :roll:.
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