Why do some vehicles allow you to run with parking and fog lights, but others don't?

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I have noticed it seems like Ford/Gm/Chevy an others allow you to run with just parking and fog lights active, while Honda/Hyundai/Toyota and others you need the headlights on. Why such the difference? I know there is a "standard" for lighting control output, but every Hyundai/Kia i've ever picked up the fog lights only work with the low beams, and every one i "mod" so the fog lights can either be either independent or on with the parking lights / normal head lights.. I also see some newer Kia's floating around with factory fog light daytime running lights. On any of my used Hyundai/Kia vehicles i follow the same suite and also use the fog lights as daytime running lights. I just leave the fog light switch on, and they come on and off with ignition with no other lights active after the "mod".

Legally is this illegal lol? I've never thought about it, and always do the independent fog light control, so the fog light can be on with no other lights, or on with the parking/headlights.

Whats your thinking on this? My thinking is it safer during the day to have daytime running lights on for visibility purposes - even if they are fog lights, and its also safer to be able to use the fog lights with parking lights, you know in fog or dusk and dawn where you dont need full lighting, but still want to be "seen". I also like the "look" of the fogs and parking lights combo.


Inspection station always passes even with the independent fog light control and fog lights being used as DRL's...

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I wish I knew. My 2015 Altima will only allow me to use the foglights in conjunction with the headlights ON.
Whereas my 2004 Altima allowed me to use just the foglights ONLY if I was so inclined...IDK! :unsure:
 

1 SX

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I wish I knew. My 2015 Altima will only allow me to use the foglights in conjunction with the headlights ON.
Whereas my 2004 Altima allowed me to use just the foglights ONLY if I was so inclined...IDK! :unsure:
When i had my 200SX SE-R it had factory fog lights, but fogs would only work with headlights on. a google search later and it was am simple as jumping one relay pin, and now you have independent fog lights that turn on and off at any time with the factory switch.. without headlights on.

Come to think of it, the neighbor has probably a 2011 ish Altima and I see them driving with just the fog lights as daytime running lights during the day. It's completely factory there is no way they are modifying anything on their vehicles and they bought it new.
 
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It depends on the inspection requirements for the individual state. For example, this is from the inspection code for N.Y.:

"Do not reject a vehicle for the condition or operation of any of the following:
Side marker lights (under 80” in width).
Any exterior headlamps, spotlights, fog lights, etc., added on to vehicle, as long as the headlights may be operated independently from such lights."

Whereas in the state of VA, the code states the following:

"13. Fog lamps are not required. However, if installed they must operate and be inspected. Inspect for and reject if:

f. Lamps are not wired and aimed according to the following instructions: 1) Fog lamps are general illumination lamps as covered in subsection A of this section.
They must burn through the tail light circuit even if on a separate switch. If installed on a vehicle with a four-headlamp system, or a vehicle equipped with driving lamps, they must be wired into the low beam circuit."


YMMV depending on the veracity of the individual performing the inspection. I don't think most inspectors will reject a vehicle that is wired a certain way from the factory; however, aftermarket add-on lights may be viewed differently.
 
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down in the park
I have noticed it seems like Ford/Gm/Chevy an others allow you to run with just parking and fog lights active, while Honda/Hyundai/Toyota and others you need the headlights on. Why such the difference? I know there is a "standard" for lighting control output, but every Hyundai/Kia i've ever picked up the fog lights only work with the low beams, and every one i "mod" so the fog lights can either be either independent or on with the parking lights / normal head lights.. I also see some newer Kia's floating around with factory fog light daytime running lights. On any of my used Hyundai/Kia vehicles i follow the same suite and also use the fog lights as daytime running lights. I just leave the fog light switch on, and they come on and off with ignition with no other lights active after the "mod".

Legally is this illegal lol? I've never thought about it, and always do the independent fog light control, so the fog light can be on with no other lights, or on with the parking/headlights.

Whats your thinking on this? My thinking is it safer during the day to have daytime running lights on for visibility purposes - even if they are fog lights, and its also safer to be able to use the fog lights with parking lights, you know in fog or dusk and dawn where you dont need full lighting, but still want to be "seen". I also like the "look" of the fogs and parking lights combo.


Inspection station always passes even with the independent fog light control and fog lights being used as DRL's...

View attachment 88776

View attachment 88775

None of the hyundai I ever encountered used the fog lights as DRL, they did however have a seperate bulb or LED for DRL, sometimes in the fog light housing but using a different mirror. But these are EU spec Hyundais, so legislation/type approval might have some say in this. I *think* those all could run with fog lights and parking lights, I'd remember if they couldn't. The use of fog lights is regulated however and improper use can get you fines.

I can drive with fogs and parking lights on my own car, but not with just parking lights. Makes sense as it's illegal to drive with only parking lights on. Can't think of any reason I'd want to either.
 
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OE fog lights are toys meant to make cars look cool. The domestics must think cars look their coolest with parking lights and fogs. NHTSA requires fogs to be muted with high beams. US lighting regs are pretty slack. I would not count on a state inspection station to care about the intricacies of illumination, and I used to do Maine stickers. Just turn everything on at once, and note what doesn't work.

Maine requires a driver to dip their high beam headlights and non-factory fogs when approaching or following another vehicle. But factory fogs get a pass.
 
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In my province, fog lights (SAE F/equivalent) must be accompanied by low beam headlights, and likewise for auxiliary lights (SAE Y/equivalent) and high beams.

It's possible that some manufacturers opt to equip their vehicles so as to make it impossible to run afoul of this type of regulation in provinces/states which have laws like mine.
 
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On my 08 Malibu LTZ I use the foglights to save the DRL's, have to remove the whole front bumper/grill assy. to change headlights. :(
 
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When you're actually driving through fog, is it better to have just the fog lights on, or to have both the headlights and the fog lights on?
 
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OE fog lights are toys meant to make cars look cool. The domestics must think cars look their coolest with parking lights and fogs. NHTSA requires fogs to be muted with high beams. US lighting regs are pretty slack. I would not count on a state inspection station to care about the intricacies of illumination, and I used to do Maine stickers. Just turn everything on at once, and note what doesn't work.

Maine requires a driver to dip their high beam headlights and non-factory fogs when approaching or following another vehicle. But factory fogs get a pass.

What is the reasoning behind requiring fogs to be muted with high beams?
 

Astro14

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What is the reasoning behind requiring fogs to be muted with high beams?
Really? Ever driven in real fog? High beams create only glare. Fog lights illuminate the road, but since you can’t see far, you have to go pretty slow.

If you need the high beams, you certainly don’t need the fogs.
 
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Really? Ever driven in real fog? High beams create only glare. Fog lights illuminate the road, but since you can’t see far, you have to go pretty slow.

If you need the high beams, you certainly don’t need the fogs.

For this question I wasn't talking about fog. I would find it helpful to see the ground better and potential potholes etc. while driving down a country road with the high beams on.
 

Astro14

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For this question I wasn't talking about fog. I would find it helpful to see the ground better and potential potholes etc. while driving down a country road with the high beams on.
If you're driving fast enough to need high beams, why are you looking 20 feet in front of the car and not down the road?
 
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