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Thread: Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

  1. #1

    Default Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

    The first generation Mazda6 sold from 2003-2008 had two different fog light types.

    From 2003-2005, the fog lights were inside the headlight assembly, right between the high and low beam. It takes an H3 bulb and is a projector. Made by AL.

    From 2006-2008, the fog lights were mounted in the bumper at the corners, where most cars have their fog lights mounted of they have them. It takes an H11 and is a reflector. Made by Koito.

    Both style headlight assemblies are physically interchangeable between 03-08, and the 06+ headlights (and the 03-05 models that didn't come with them from the factory) still have the slot in the middle for the H3 fog light, and I think all 6 models from this generation are pre-wired for them.

    So my question is, are the 06+ H11 bumper-mounted fog lights better than the 03-05 H3 fogs built into the headlight assembly?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

    Almost all factory installed foglights are more a cosmetic feature to help influence sales rather than a truly useful,effective source of illumination.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

    Qship1996 is right. That applies to many (maybe even "most") aftermarket fog lamps, too. They're basically useless in most conditions. Big writeup on the subject here.

  4. #4
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

    Brand loyalty makes me think/wish the Koito lamps were better than those from American Lighting, but it's always good to remember that pretty much every brand has a bad product among them, and similarly every one has a good product among them (unless it's Morimoto or PIAA, of course). On the other hand, the earlier fog lamps are of the projector type, which could mean a better beam pattern.

    But today, the principal purpose of factory fog lamps is to be part of an option package so the car buyer thinks they're getting extra value when they add $1700 to their car in the form of the "Ultra-Luxe Package", which includes a heated turn signal switch, gold-plated badging, genuine velour glove compartment liner, and fog lamps.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-12-2018 at 08:38 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Brand loyalty makes me think/wish the Koito lamps were better than those from American Lighting
    AL is Automotive Lighting -- result of a merger between the lighting departments of Bosch and Magneti Marelli. They make a lot of really good lights, though of course, as you say, no company bats a thousand. Mazda has put a lot of AL lights on their cars over the last 20+ years.

    NAL is North American Lighting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koito.

  6. #6
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mazda 6 fog lights 03-05 H3 vs 06-08 H11

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    AL is Automotive Lighting -- result of a merger between the lighting departments of Bosch and Magneti Marelli. They make a lot of really good lights, though of course, as you say, no company bats a thousand.
    They probably bat better than Guide (did).

    NAL is North American Lighting, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koito.
    Yep. I can see how some might confuse NAL with AL (in fact, it's been done in this subforum before, some years ago), so pointing that out for others may help stem any later confusion for others.

    Still: Koito/NAL, or AL, or Stanley, or Valeo-Sylvania, or Hella, it's not a given that seeing the brand on a fog lamp is a guarantee of excellence. Perhaps a guarantee of at least bare minimum compliance. On the other hand, seeing PIAA on any lamp is a guarantee of junk. Fog lamps, being largely obviated by good low beam lamps, aren't really a target for development (much in the same way in veterinary medicine, so much more research is done for dogs, since they're a 'working animal' than on cats, which are typically just pets). If they were Federally-regulated and Federally-mandated lamps, maybe fog lamps might be a little better, but there I go editorializing.

    And, like almost EVERY OTHER fog lamp thread in which I am involved: Get a *rear* fog lamp, haha1234.
    Last edited by Alaric Darconville; 02-12-2018 at 12:28 PM.

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