Front Foglights

Ever needed to replace a bulb on a front foglight ?

If your answer is 'Yes' then you will already know, what's in this chapter.
If your answer is 'No' then read the following very closely to avoid unneccessary actions and stress.

European front foglights have that little black fox on the front glass, which indicates, that the manufacturer is Marchal in France. Daniel Stern told me, that his original US-foglights have this little fox too, but have a front-'glass' made of plastic. I can't figure out, if the procedure to replace the bulb is the same as on my european lights, but it is supposed to be the same.

Okay - the worst thing happened: one bulb is blown. What to do ?
Three things at first:

  • Buy two H3-55 Watts bulbs from your supplier
    Experience shows, that if one bulb is gone, the second will not last very long, too.
  • Get a high-quality Phillips-type screwdriver and a copper- or brass-brush
    A cheap screwdriver will ruin the fixing screws easily and that will cause much stress.
    It pays to buy high-quality tools anyway.
  • Spray the two fixing screws with oil spray to make the job easier

The two fixing screws are located from the front side, just under the foglight. In some cases they are hidden under the front bumper and you can't see them at first sight, but the plastic bumper cover, which surrounds the foglights, can be bended easily down a little and then you find them.
In most cases they are either rusted or full of dirt or both. Use a little brush (copper or brass - no steel-brush) to free the inside of this cross-slotted screws from dirt. Then use some oil-spray and try to spray behind the head of the screw. That will help loosen them much easier. It does not help just spraying oil on the head of them.
Then wait a moment (about 3 or 5 minutes) for the oil to flow into the screws.
Use only a high-quality Phillips-type screwdriver to remove the screws. If you use a cheap one and ruin the heads of the screws you will have much trouble to get them open. Take notice that there are different sizes of Phillips-screws and screwdrivers. They must match ! It is size 2.

After removing the two fixing screws you will be able to pull the foglight gently forward and out of its holder. Watch for the cabling, which is leaded through a hole in the rear of the lamp-holder. The wiring is long enough to pull the entire unit for about 15 cm (6 Inch) from the holder. Turn it around.
You see:
  1. A plastic bulb cover with a slot in and an arrow on it
  2. A rubber type tube which contains the contacts
  3. The spiralic wiring protector

This Picture will show, what you see, after removing the front foglight from the holder.

Now: first separate the rubber tube and the plastic cover. Pull back the spiral wiring protection and push the rubber tube backwards. It needs some fumbling to get it off from the plastic cover. You will find the two bulb contacts under the rubber tube. Disconnect them. You should now hold the foglight in your hand.
The plastic cover has an arrow on it. It points to turn clockwise - but that's the direction to close it. Turn counter-clockwise to open it. It is only a turn of 15 degrees. Remove the cover. Now you see the underside of the bulb. One black cable is the ground wire (connected with the housing) - no need to remove this, the other wire is the plus-wire to the bulb. The bulb cable is tooled through the plastic cover. Two metal wire-brackets are fixing the bulb in the housing. Each has to be pressed a little down and to the middle to release it. Flip them open and you can replace the bulb.

Please do not touch the new bulb with bare fingers. Oil and grease from your fingertips will evaporate from the glass of the bulb, which gets very hot, condense on the inside again and reducing light intensity and lifetime of the bulb. Only handle it on the metal socket.

Re-Assembling of the front foglight is of course the disassembling in reverse order. The contacts cannot be interchanged. A problem might occur while reconnecting plastic cover and rubber tube before they really fit. But that's easy to handle if you've made it up to here.

Now do the same job on the other lamp. You will kick yourself in case that you have to repeat the same procedure for the other lamp one week after the first. It has shown very often that if one bulb burns out, the second in the other lamp won't wait very much longer to burn out, too. Now you just have all your tools together, your hands are already dirty and the weather is that way that you could do it easily.
And it wasn't that complicated at all, right ? Sure not.

Last Update 30. January 1997
© 1997 by Peter H. Wendt