Demystifying Fog Light Switch Selection
Safety conscious, are you? If you've only driven one type of car all your life, you'll probably wonder why you would need a guide to shopping for a fog light switch. It seems like such a simple and easy affair. Pick one and go for it, right? Different makes and models usually have different layouts, sizes, and wiring for their switches. This handy guide will give you all you need to know to make the smart choices.
Go for fit first
Before anything else, it's important to consider the physical fit of the switch on your dashboard. True, you could make a couple of modifications on the surface of the dash to make an over-sized switch fit, but why bother to go through the hassle? Additionally, it's not just the surface fit that is important here-you have to consider the actual bulk of the switch and whether or not it will fit behind and inside the dash.
The simple answer, it would seem, is to match like for like. What you have on hand, simply match with what you're going to get exactly and you're done. What's trickier is if you're shopping for a switch that goes on a vehicle that is discontinued or that no longer has OEM support.
Finding a suitable replacement
This takes a little more work, but if you have no option to get the exact same switch, measure out the one you have. Hold it, though, it doesn't stop there. Apart from trying to find a fit for size, look at the number of buttons that are on the switch you have, and look for a replacement with the same number-too little and you lose some functionality; too much and you have a lot of useless buttons!
It really helps to utilize online retailer search options because a lot have drop-down menus that allow you to fine-tune your search. When in doubt, call or ask around. It pays to be vigilant.
Putting in a New Fog Light Switch
If you ever had to face a situation where you might have to drive through fog or darkness, you know exactly how valuable your fog lights were. If you're reading this, with a new switch on hand, and are wondering whether or not installing it is a tough challenge, worry no more. With a little patience, a couple of tools, and this handy guide, your should be cutting through the fog in no time at all!
Difficulty level: Easy
Stuff you will need:
- New fog light switch
- Vehicle's owner's manual
- Flat-head screw driver
- Pen and paper
Step 1: Disconnect the negative terminal of your battery, and allow for 30 minutes to pass before beginning any work.
Step 2: While waiting, verify that the new for light switch is a match to the one you are replacing.
Step 3: Carefully pry out the old switch from its dashboard mounting position.
*Note* Do not yank it out as you might tear out the wiring connecting it to the power source.
Step 4: With the pen and paper, carefully document the wiring layout of the switch so you can reconnect them correctly later.
*Note* Use the owner's manual as reference as much as you can-some manuals even have a wiring guide in them!
Step 5: Slowly disconnect the wires from where they connect to the old switch-some will require a simple twist, others might require the use of a screwdriver.
Step 6: Remove the old switch and set it aside for now-take note of the switches position and re-set the new fog light switch to match it.
Step 7: Straighten out the wires and undo any tangles before attaching them to the new switch-do not mount the new switch on the dash just yet.
*Note* Verify the correctness of the wiring against your notes or the manual.
Step 8: Reconnect the battery.
Step 9: Test the functioning of the fog light switch.
Step 10: When you are satisfied, mount and secure it onto the dashboard. That's done!