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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old July 4th, 1999, 14:25   #1
christi
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Location: Ruislip, Middlesex, UK
Default One rear fog light or two?

Just messing about with my B4 wagon this evening, noticed that it has only one functioning rear fog light (in Europe you have to have at least one). I had a look in the other side. The hole in the lense is blanked off in a way which looks deliberately easy to remove, and there is a bulb holder with power on it. So why did VW fit only one? Is there some safety advantage that I haven't thought off? Surely they didn't do it to save the cost of a 21W light bulb.
The only thing which I can think of is this:-
When rear fog lights are in use, it can be difficult to tell that the brake lights have come on on the car in front. This is because the rear fog lights are just as bright as the brake lights. Therefore maybe by fitting the bulb in one side only, the driver behind can at least see some difference on the other side when one presses the brake peddle. Remember that the European B4s don't have a high level brake light, just the two low down ones (near the rear fog lights!).
However, my car has got a high level brake light, in fact a very bright LED one, which I added myself. It's at the top of the rear window just below the roof line, so would I be better off with two rear fog lights?
Positive point: more rear light in fog, and redundancy against one bulb blowing.
Negative point: someone crashes into the back of my car in fog, and the insurance company realise that I have modified my car. They then have a way out and won't fix my car.
Opinions?

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1996 Passat Tdi estate (wagon)
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Old July 5th, 1999, 14:30   #2
Sooty
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

Why do you want more light behind you?

As most people in the UK donít seem to know the difference between fog and rain, I find it annoying to be dazzled by a red haze in the wet. Iím not implying that you do that of course christi, but it is a pet hate of mine.

The purpose of a fog light is act as a beacon at the rear of the car, to help those behind you to see where you are. Just think of somebody following you if you did have two fog lights on, they would not know if you had a high level brake light or not, so to them it could just look like youíre braking, also the contrast when you do brake would be less noticeable.

Yes, if a bulb does blow then a second light would be useful, but donít you carry a spare bulb? In real fog its obvious if your fog bulb is working or not, a great red mist will be following you.

I donít think that your insurance company would penalise you for a second bulb, but the guy who ran into the back of you may try to say that he was dazzled by it, and therefore blame it on you! - donít laugh its happened before.


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Old July 5th, 1999, 14:57   #3
christi
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

Funny thing is, I think that most other makes of car on the road have two rear fog lights. Unless the guy behind was a real Passat expert, he would never know.
I hate people driving round with fog lights on too much as well.
If it's really foggy during the day I'll use them, but at night I only switch them on if there's no one behind me. Once someone has caught up and has obviously seen me, I switch them off, as they are too bright at night, even in fog.
Part of the problem is with car design. The warning lights on the dash are pathetic, and the VW system seems to be unique in "self calcelling" when the headlamps are turned off- very intelligent design.

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Old July 5th, 1999, 15:10   #4
Sooty
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

Sounds about right to me. I definitely agree about the switch, I followed an Escort who into a car park the other day and mentioned to the driver we met at the pay and display meter that they had their fog lights on, she cocked her head looked at the back of her car and said ďWell its off nowĒ !

Iíve come to a conclusion about VW cars. If VW thought that a__________(fill in an item) was needed, then it would have been built in as standard.
Apart from of course chipping the engine, air intakes and exhaust mods, which they make so easy for us to do, means that they really do want us to do it, doesnít it?


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Old July 5th, 1999, 17:10   #5
The Sparky Glow Plug
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

I have posted this question a couple times. I live in Minnesota and it does get Really foggy here. Can you put in fog lights in the factory ports? On the Front that is. Also Do the A4 Jetta's have the ablity to add the rear fog light? I know the A3's do my brother did it to his...
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Old July 5th, 1999, 20:28   #6
Jerry C
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

Only one fog light is required.

Having lived in the UK for about 3 years, here are 2 thoughts...
1. They are really useful in the fog.
2. The required rear fog light (single bulb) is on the rear "driver side". Since the UK folks drive on the proper side of the road (left lane), all cars imported into the UK must compliant or they will not pass the MOT check. We brought over a US spec 1993 Volvo 850 GLT. It was equipped with a single bulb but on the "wrong side" for the UK. Since the 850 is sold in the UK, it came with a spot for a bulb on the other side. We put in another bulb (for a total of 2 bulbs)and passed. My guess is VW is designed the same way. They were not being cheap by putting in 1 bulb.

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Old July 6th, 1999, 07:51   #7
Peter Cheuk
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

I live just off the coast south of San Francisco (Daly City) and we get fog for about 40% of the year (it was almost pea soup this morning when I left the house) and I've been trying to wire my rear fogs up. On my A3 TDI, there are two places for bulbs and only the driver's side is wired. I've already bored the hole for the bulb and put one in and did the same for the passenger side but there's no wiring to it. I need to wire this up to the Euro switch that I bought from New Dimensions to get the rear fogs to work. Next I'm waiting for the reply to the other post about the front fogs because I want to wire in some Piaa fogs in the front.

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Old July 6th, 1999, 10:03   #8
BeetleGo
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

Hi all,

My understanding is that the single foglight in the rear is both to better indicate that it IS a foglight <alluded to above>, but also to provide that beacon to the most important side of the car - namely the drivers/passing side. If you are in the passing lane, there really isn't a need to mark you passenger side, and will cause less glare to the people you pass. And if you are NOT passing, then the most important side is marked so that no one hits you as they go past you. I'll admit, the first time I saw this feature <on a Saab 900> I thought, geez, expensive car and the light's already blown on that one....>

Hear in Boston, they really make a difference - we've got the weather for them. Now if we could only get people to use their fogs when there actually IS fog. Way WAY too many people flip them on because they look FANCY. Sheesh. <Too bad seatbelts don't make ya look FANCY...>

Note: In Boston, I often see people driving around withOUT their headlights on at night.... This can only mean that they NEVER consult their dash. YIKES!

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Old July 6th, 1999, 10:36   #9
christi
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

If the bulb blows, then you're still better off with two..
I've often wondered if it would be possible to mount a mirror in my car so that when someone is driving behind me with their headlamp alignment too high (very common in UK) or on main beam, they end up dassling themselves with their own light. Maybe a forward facing mirror is required so that people get a shot of their own fog light in their mirrors (guess it wouldn't be bright enough though). It's amazing how you can follow someone on a perfectly clear night, flashing at them and dassling them for miles on end, and they don't think to see if their fog light are switched on. I've never succeeded in getting any one to turn the damn things off.

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Old July 7th, 1999, 00:19   #10
VW Derf
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Default Re: One rear fog light or two?

What about people with NO rear lights at all. I was following a Ford Windstar home last night and the person was driving at 11pm with only his daytime running lights (ie only the fronts were lite). I flashed him to let him know, and what does he do... brakes and slows down. Argh.... Now that I think about it, the van looked very run down... quit possible ALL the rear lights (except the on brake light) don't work!!!
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