Front "fog" lights

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OK, My gran had a BMW which whenever it went into the dealer (Farnboro' Hampshire) we found the front fog lights switched On
Why?

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The service bay was dark?
R / John
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Because somebody hit the button.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Probably an element of truth there :-)
However as she does not have a handbook**** I would be interested if BMW believe that front fogs are essential for BMW driving
*** Most handbooks call them driving lights or additional lights and warn on their legal use - wondered if BMW states something similar
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In the UK, fog lamps are just that - only to be used in conditions of poor visibility, other than just darkness. Hence their low mounted position. Driving or additional lamps are to supplement the main beam.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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The difference is the beam pattern.
Dricig lights throw a concentrated beam stright down the road.
Fog lights throw a short but very wide beam.
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Don't you hate drivers who don't know how to switch them off and drive ona clear night with rear fog lights blazing...?
...and don't get me started on drivers who don't know how to engage the handbrake at traffic lights and just hold the footbrake shining their high level LED brake lights into my eyes!
Steve.
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London SW

I was hoping someone else would ask, but nobody has.
What is the purpose of fog lights in the rear? I assume it is just for visibility.
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Yes - and not only in fog. Very heavy daylight rain and heavy snow too.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

In the UK, it's something like you should only use them if visibility is less than 100 metres. Generally if I find it difficult to see the car in front of me then I'll switch on my rear fogs *unless* the car behind is close enough that I'm sure he/she can see me anyway.
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The purpose is to be seen. If you've established difficulty in seeing a car ahead because of the poor conditions and it isn't using rear guard fog lights, you should switch yours on - regardless of who or what is behind you, as that is beyond your control. If in such conditions they dazzle the driver behind, he's driving too close and should drop back - indeed in poor weather many drive too close simply to keep 'in contact' with the vehicle in front.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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London SW

Trying to get educated since I never heard of rear fog lights until now:
What color are the fog lights front & rear? The ones here in the U.S. are only on the front and they are white (clear).
I am assuming the rears are not white since that may indicate someone is coming right at you (headlights).
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They are a very bright red color. Most Porsches have them. They are 2-3 times brighter than brake lights (which are about twice as bright as taillights). Daniel Stern has particulars, I think on his website.
FloydR
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In the UK, the actual bulbs are the same power as the brake lights. But of course the design of the reflectors may give the impression they are brighter. Some cars are only fitted with one - on the driver's side. They are a safety aid when used as intended - in very poor visibility - but are often abused and annoy following drivers.
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London SW

Thanks. That's very interesting and makes a lot of sense.
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Perhaps to 'prove' they'd been checked as part of the service? Same way as they leave a sticker on the spare wheel?
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Tom wrote on Sat, 21 Oct 2006 17:25:49 GMT:

Whenever my 320 has an MOT it always ends up with both foglight buttons depressed when I pick it up. They probably just tested the lights and didn't switch them back off again.
Dan
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I was possibly being ever so slightly paranoid / facetious (not sure which / bit of both maybe :-) - I think they are only allowed in fog and the headlights must be on, fogs only operate effectively with the dipped headlights off so its silly innit?
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Tom wrote:

I've only ever found fog lights to be of any use when visibility is down to inches. I probably haven't used fronts for 15 years and I use the rears maybe once every couple of years.
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All the BMWs I've owned allow the fogs to be used without headlights - as you say they'd be pointless otherwise. Other countries may have different regs, though.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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