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What Are Fog Lights and When Should You Use Them? 

close up on fog light

Navigating the roads of California can be an experience filled with breathtaking views, smooth highways, and the joy of cruising along with the Pacific winds. Yet, for those of us in the Inland Empire, especially around Ontario, there is an aspect of driving that is often misunderstood – the phenomenon of fog. And as any seasoned driver will tell you, navigating foggy conditions can be tricky. So, whether you’re shopping in Ontario for a new car or looking for a reliable used car, it’s essential to be well-informed about fog lights. 

Understanding Fog Lights 

Contrary to the regular headlights on your vehicle, fog lights are specially designed for foggy conditions. They are positioned lower on the vehicle, usually near the front bumper. This strategic placement ensures that the light illuminates the road directly in front of the vehicle, reducing glare which is common when using regular headlights in fog. 

The difference in beam pattern is also noticeable. While regular headlights cast a wide, tall beam to light up a vast portion of the road and the area to the sides, fog lights produce a sharp, narrow beam. This narrow pattern cuts through the fog and provides better visibility of the road, allowing drivers to see potential hazards earlier. 

Did you know? Fog lights are not just limited to the front of your vehicle. Some vehicles come equipped with rear fog lights, which cast a bright red light to make your vehicle more visible to drivers behind you in thick fog. 

When to Use Fog Lights 

Just because they are called “fog lights” does not mean they should be turned on every time there’s a slight mist in the air. In fact, improper use of fog lights can dazzle other drivers, potentially leading to dangerous situations on the road. 

Here are some scenarios when turning on your fog lights is recommended: 

  • Thick Fog: This one might seem obvious, but it’s worth stating. If the fog is so dense that you cannot see more than a few car lengths ahead, it is time to turn on those fog lights. 
  • Rain & Snow: While their primary purpose is for fog, these lights can also be beneficial during heavy rain or snowfall. Their sharp, low beam can help illuminate the road better than traditional headlights. 
  • Dusty Roads: Just like fog, thick dust can also impede visibility. If you find yourself driving in such conditions, especially in some parts of the Inland Empire, consider using fog lights. 

However, remember to turn off fog lights once conditions improve. Having them on unnecessarily can be a nuisance, or even hazardous to other drivers. 

A Guide to Car Shopping with Fog Lights in Mind 

If you are in Ontario or anywhere in the Inland Empire and considering a new car or a used car, consider the importance of fog lights. Not all vehicles come equipped with these lights, so it is vital to check while exploring your options. 

Moreover, if you already own a vehicle and wish to get fog lights installed or require servicing for the existing ones, many service centers in the region can assist. They not only install but also guide on the proper usage and maintenance. Schedule service 


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