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Fog Light Bulb Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a fog light bulb replacement is between $44 and $79. Labor costs are estimated between $26 and $56 while parts are priced between $18 and $23. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Fog Lamp Bulb?

Since headlamps pointing directly into fog cause reflections in front of the driver, fog lamps are used to light the roadway below the fog, allowing the driver to see through the dense moisture in the air. These bulbs are historically a standard bulb, but more vehicles are using high powered fog lamps to increase visibility during adverse weather conditions. They are mounted as low as possible on the front bumper cover, which allows them to direct most of the light produced onto the road.

How do Fog Lamp Bulbs work?

Like the headlights, they receive power from the headlamp switch, or in some cases a separate switch within reach of the driver. They receive power through a fog lamp relay, which allows the switch inside the vehicle to have a smaller amperage capacity. When activated, the particles of water that are tightly packed above ground level are less likely to reflect this light into the drivers field of view because the reflection will point towards the ground and fog light positions. The headlamps will still cast a reflection, but the glare of this reflection is offset by the ability to see the roadway at a greater distance.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Fog Lamp Bulb?

Fog lamps will either fail to illuminate, fail to turn off, or only one may function. For fog lamps that will not turn on, the error can be that the headlight switch or fog lamp switch has failed internally, a bad relay or wiring, or even both bulbs failing at the same time. The same components are suspected when the lights will not turn off, but the bulbs are understood to be functional. Finally, when only one works, the chances are the bulb is burned out, but further investigation should be conducted.

Can I drive with a bad Fog Lamp Bulb?

Fog lamps are only added safety features, but they are not as important as a seat belt, airbag, or any more active safety feature of the vehicle. In fact, most vehicles do not have fog lights unless the original owner has purchased this option. Any vehicle can be driven indefinitely with non-functional fog lights. It does not pose an issue. However, if the fog lights are staying on all the time, they should be repaired to stop the battery from draining every day.

How often do Fog Lamp Bulbs need replacement?

Failure rate of any bulb depends on the amount of use, quality of the bulb, and how the vehicle is driven. Aggressive driving or hitting large bumps in the road will cause them to fail due to shock. Even the highest grade of bulbs still must have extremely thin wire filaments in order to shine brightly, and a hard bump can cause these to separate. High intensity discharge (HID) light bulbs, as well as other more costly options, tend to fail due to age or corrosion of the socket, so these are better suited for longevity. Fog lamps should be expected to last at least 50,000 miles, and HID or similar lights should be expected to last 75,000-100.000 miles. Of course the age of the vehicle will play a role, as well the humidity in the local environment and whether the vehicle is stored indoors or outdoors.

How are Fog Lamp Bulb issues diagnosed?

When diagnosing a typical fog lamp failure, the first chore is to remove the bad fog lamp bulb from behind the front bumper cover. Once removed, the fog lamp bulb will be removed and inspected to identify if the filament wire is intact or broken. For a severed filament wire, the bulb will likely be replaced right away, tested, and reinstalled. If the filament does not appear to be broken, the socket will be tested for proper voltage and amperage, and the results of this test will either call for inspection of the rest of the circuit or replacement of the bulb. If the bulb is getting no electrical power from the socket, the circuit will be tested back to the last point with known power, and the fault will be repaired. Note, if both bulbs suffer from loss of power, the switch and relay will be tested first.

How are Fog Lamp Bulbs replaced?

Removing and installing a fog lamp bulb can range in difficulty from simple to tedious. HID fog lamps will be the tedious range, while traditional fog lamp bulbs are simple. Removal in both cases will call for access to the rear of the fog lamp, and this may be accomplished from the front of the bumper on many traditional bulbs, but HID bulbs will likely require the removal of plastic undercarriage guards and the removal of the ballast, socket, and bulb from underneath the vehicle. Once accessed, changing the bulb in either case requires twisting the bulb from the socket, and replacing the socket or ballast.

RepairPal Recommendations for Fog Lamp Bulb issues

Due to applicable local laws in many locations, we recommend replacing the fog light bulbs with the same color of bulbs that the vehicle was originally manufactured with. This can prevent costly or inconvenient tickets, and repeating the repair. Also, we recommend avoiding the use of power tools when working with trim panels such as those surrounding and securing the fog lights. These are typically plastic, and the screws are small, so using power tools will likely result in stripped screw holes or cracked plastic.

What to look out for when dealing with Fog Lamp Bulb issues

In the case of HID lights, it is imperative to take the time necessary to avoid touching the bulb. These bulbs are costly, and the oil from fingers can cause the bulb to overheat and fail quickly.

Can I replace the Fog Lamp Bulb myself?

This is a fairly easy repair, and the tools required are few, if any. As long as the fog lights are a typical light bulb, and can be removed without the removal of additional components, fog lamp replacement is simple. However, as noted, HID fog lamps can be a little more tedious and generally not user friendly. For the novice DIYer, this task can still be completed in less than an hour.

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