All vehicles come equipped with headlights, and some vehicles offer you more in terms of lighting. Fog lights are a popular option with drivers as they are perfect for foggy conditions obviously, as well as snow, rain, and any other time your night vision isn't the greatest.

A vehicle's fog lights have their own separate switch so that you can use your headlights on their own, or you have the option of also using your fog lights. The fog light relay is used as the switch to turn them on. As soon as you flip this switch on, the power is sent to the lights. Thanks to this relay a low voltage fog light switch is possible. This relay should last the entire lifespan of your car, but sometimes things can happen and it will need replacing.

Because your fog light relay isn’t inspected on a regular basis, you need to be proactive and be aware of the early warning signs that your relay may have gone bad. Here’s a look at some signs that you can watch out for.

  • Despite whether you turn your fog lights on or off, they may remain on at all times. This can signal there is something going on with the relay. You don't want to leave the lights on at all times as it can be drawing too much current. This may end up damaging your entire lighting system, leading to a very expensive repair job.

  • It may be that your switch doesn't light up when you try to turn your fog lights on. Again this is a sign that something is probably going on with the relay and that it needs to be looked at. A professional mechanic is able to diagnose the situation for you so you can get to the bottom of things. Keep in mind if your fog lights aren't working, you won't be able to pass inspection.

  • When you turn on your fog light switch and you hear a clicking sound but no lights come on, this is likely the sign of a bad fog light relay.

Your fog lights are designed to help you with nighttime driving in foggy, rainy, or snowy conditions. If you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms and suspect your fog light relay is in need of replacement, get a diagnostic or book a fog light relay replacement service with a certified mechanic.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Fog Light Relay Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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