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2005 OBXT Ltd Obsidian Black 5MT
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Fog Lights without Headlights





This modification was made on a 2005 OBXT Ltd. I assume it will work on all 05's and should be similar through MY2009.

NOTE: Use caution when working with the wires, especially wires located in the steering column. I accept no responsibility if you short out your wiring harness or injure yourself by setting off your airbags. You've been warned.
Disconnect your battery to be safe.


Difficulty: 2/5

Tools needed: 10mm socket, Phillips screw driver, wire cutters, razor blade and wire strippers, soldering iron and solder, electrical tape and heat shrink tubing. Heat shrink is optional.

Overview: This modification will allow the use of the factory fog lights independent of the headlight function. The fog lights will be tied to the parking lights and still turn on and off with the stalk switch.

The first thing I want to get into is the operation of how the fog lights work normally.

If you look at the wiring diagram for the fog lights in the service manual, it looks deceptively simple.



In this diagram it shows the fog light relay coil positive signal comes from the daytime running light module and the coil connects to ground through the on/off switch in the turn signal stalk, and that's it.

But looking closer at headlight wiring section, you can see that is not the case.



If you follow the +12 path that I've marked from the DRL module you can see that it does indeed go to the positive side of the coil, but also see that it goes on to connect to the low/high beam selector. When you select either pass or high beam position, it connects the line to ground which is what causes the fog lights to shut off when high beams are on.

Secondly, the ground side of the coil does not go straight to ground from on/off switch in the stalk.




Following the red/white color wire line at the bottom marked with a "D" under the diode marked B85, you can see that it goes to the DRL module and also to the low/high beam selector and that it only connects the negative side of the relay coil to ground when the low beam headlights are on.

If you have performed the DRL disable by pulling the white connector from the DRL module, then that makes the red/white line disconnected from the DRL.

So now let's get into the nitty gritty of how I modified the wiring.

Remove the under dash cover, dash cover, knee protector and lower half of the steering wheel cover.

This is what the diagram will look like when we're done. Green lines denote new connections.



I started by tracing the red/white line that is shown going to the stalk in the steering wheel. This is the hardest wire to get to and the only place I found enough room to work with was to actually get at it under the steering wheel itself.

Here is the underside of the steering wheel with the plugs unplugged.



The plug on the far left, marked as B71 in the diagrams, contains the red/white wire that goes to the fog light relay and the black/white wire that runs to the parking light relay.

Here are the two wires we're looking for. The red/white and the black/white.



In the diagram you can see that I am cutting the red/white and soldering it to the black/white. Do not cut the black/white wire.



The remainder of the red/white wire is just left unconnected. I always cut my wires with a just enough so that if I need, I can reconnect at a later time. Just make sure to cover the bare end of the wire and then tape all the wires back up.



Moving on to the +12v side of the fog light relay, we focus on the relay bank attached to the right side of the fuse panel on the left side of the dash.



The two relays we are focused on are at the bottom. The relay on the left is the fog light and the right one is what is marked in the diagram as 'daytime running light relay.' The DRL relay is actually the path to ground for the headlights. So it is marked incorrectly as far as I'm concerned.

Detaching the relay block from the fuse panel is fairly easy with just two tabs then pulling it towards you and allows it to be turned over for easy access to the wires.

The wires we're looking for are a green/white wire going to the fog relay and a green/blue wire going to the DRL relay. The green/white wire is a slightly higher gauge wire, but this has no effect since we're running it elsewhere.



We're going to cut the green/white wire and solder the portion going to the fog relay to the green/blue wire running to the DRL relay.



The reason for this is because the positive line to the relay goes through the DRL box and it cuts off the power if the headlights aren't on. Doing this also bypasses the low/high beam selector, so that the power doesn't get interrupted when the high beams are on.
Tape up the bare end of the green/white wire that runs back into the dash as this will still be carrying +12v when we're done, but it's now useless to us.



THAT'S IT!!

Once you get all the wires properly taped/heatshrinked/protected, put it back together and marvel at the way the lights should look.

The foglights will now come on with the parking lights and are unaffected by the high beams. :29:


Feel free to post any questions or comments.

Thanks!

LogieOBXT
 

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2011 Outback 3.6R Limited, Red
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578 Posts
Good stuff, will have to remember this and compare the wiring diagrams to that of my 2011 to see what's changed.
First I would like to get proficient in the diagrams themselves, lol.
 

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82 Posts
oh yeah, certainly going to be bookmarking this and making this happen. thanks so much for an excellent writeup. wish the honda guys would make a writeup this clear.
 

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09 Outback PZEV, H4, 4EAT
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166 Posts
We're ok in BC -- as long as the fogs can only be turned on when the parking/tail lights are on, we're good!
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
not in our Parish. ;)
What are you going to use daytime for DRLs since you won't be able to use this setup during daytime hours? Will your dimmed high beams (a.k.a. daytime DRLs) be on?
Also, in LA only 4 lights are allowed on at anytime - your set up will have 6 at night (if I am not mistaken)... (RS 32:303, RS 32:326, RS 32:317, RS 32:301 AND RS 32:322).
Just wondering....but then again the fine is "only" $ 25.00...LOL
How do I know? Spent some time at LSP in Baton Rouge and still have some friends there...
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
We're ok in BC -- as long as the fogs can only be turned on when the parking/tail lights are on, we're good!
Wow - impressive history of your previous cars..... I had one of those Ford Cortinas as well... what a fine car that was...My first car was Simca Aronde (if you remember those...)
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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1,040 Posts
would fail the yearly inspection in most states.
For the fogs coming on without the headlights? Or for the highbeams being on with the fogs? Because the former many cars do from the factory...
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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would fail the yearly inspection in most states.
Actually, most states no longer, or never have, required periodic safety inspections. There are 29 states that have no safety inspection, two that only require inspection at time of sale, and Nebraska only requires an inspection when a car is brought in from another state.

While I currently live in a state that requires safety inspections, they would never check function of the fog lights. Fog lights are not a required safety feature of a car.

Personally, I think this is a great change. I plan on comparing the schematics to the Gen 4 schematics, and see if I can figure out how to do it on mine. It makes absolutely no sense to me, that the fog lights can only come on while the low beams are on. In foggy conditions, I only want the marker lights and fog lights on. The low beams interfere with the superior yellow fog lights. If I don't do this mod, the other choice is to replace the low beam bulbs with yellow bulbs. But that is not the best option.

It is hard for me to wrap my mind around the idea that having fog lights that can be on with the high beams, would be illegal. What about the millions of after market fog lights that people install? None of these are linked to the high beam relays, to assure the high beams are off when the fogs are on. It is reasonable that it may be illegal to have high beams and fog lights on at the same time. But simply being capable of it? I really doubt it.
 

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2005 Outback I
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102 Posts
okay... how about this.

if a cop see you with fog lights on and headlights off, they can write you a ticket.
 

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2013 Outback, 2.5i Limited w/ Moonroof
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okay... how about this.

if a cop see you with fog lights on and headlights off, they can write you a ticket.
Now that's just funny.

Actually, I would imagine that in foggy conditions, the LEO will have more important things to worry about, other than what lights on a car are, or are not, on. Unless you were driving in fog with no lights on, I seriously suspect a LEO would pester you.
 

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2005 Outback I
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102 Posts
Now that's just funny.

Actually, I would imagine that in foggy conditions, the LEO will have more important things to worry about, other than what lights on a car are, or are not, on. Unless you were driving in fog with no lights on, I seriously suspect a LEO would pester you.
so funny

I'm sure they have more important things to do then to write tickets for not coming to a complete stop at stop signs too.

hahahahahahaha
 

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2013 Legacy Lim CVT Car: 2011 OB Prem 6MT Car: 2006 Miata GT 6MT mc: 2003 Honda GL1800A * Reunite Gondwanaland *
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3,567 Posts
okay... how about this.

if a cop see you with fog lights on and headlights off, they can write you a ticket.
I believe that depends on state or local jurisdiction. I can't find
anything in US federal regs (NHTSA/FMVSS) that limits foglights
to low beams ON (or high beams OFF). However, fogs without
low beams, or fogs with high beams, WILL get you a citation in
my neck of the woods.

...nothin' in TheRuleBook™ sez it has to make sense,

Looby

PS: I believe jogosub's link in post #5 only applies to commercial vehicles.

.
 

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2005 3.0 R n totaled
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7,529 Posts
^^^

Yep - it appears that my post # 5 only applies to Motor Carrier only...sorry about that!

However, if I am not mistaken, each State has it's own rule when it comes to passenger cars and lights thereof....and each rule is subject to the cop's own interpretation...LOL
 

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What are you going to use daytime for DRLs since you won't be able to use this setup during daytime hours? Will your dimmed high beams (a.k.a. daytime DRLs) be on?
i wont be using DRL's since i'll be putting in HID's in a day or so. I already got a ticket for not having my lights on because i thought they were on. In our parish they dont check for DRL's.

Also, in LA only 4 lights are allowed on at anytime - your set up will have 6 at night (if I am not mistaken)... (RS 32:303, RS 32:326, RS 32:317, RS 32:301 AND RS 32:322).
I hardly ever drive with the Fog Lights on unless there is inclement weather. The only time i would have all six lights would be if i'm in the backwoods by my inlaw's house.

Just wondering....but then again the fine is "only" $ 25.00...LOL
How do I know? Spent some time at LSP in Baton Rouge and still have some friends there...
yup, that's where my inlaws are from but i reside in Jefferson Parish. Only kenner cops are the REAL assholes. also, the inspection sticker process in nowhere NEAR as detailed in Jefferson parish as it is in LP.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5
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601 Posts
Good stuff, will have to remember this and compare the wiring diagrams to that of my 2011 to see what's changed.
First I would like to get proficient in the diagrams themselves, lol.

Did you ever get a chance to check on this? I'd like to do the same thing to my 2014. I figure the wiring is pretty much the same on both our vehicles.
 
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