What Are Cornering Lights?
Cornering lights are (usually) low wide angled beam fog lights that illuminate as you take bends. These just illuminate on the side that you are steering towards to light up kerbs, potholes, white lines and pedestrians. Generally they work when you are at a stand still and between 2 set speeds and only illuminate the lower lights when the steering wheel is rotated passed a certain angle.
Smartkits.net Cornering Lights
The Smartkits cornering light system activates either of the fog lights when the car
is stationary or travelling between 35km/h and 55km/h (21mph and 34mph) as this
is generally the speed you would be driving down winding lanes.
If you drive any faster than that you won't have enough time to react to what you see anyway.
The corner light will also only illuminate if the steering wheel is turned more than 90 degrees.
But in true American TV advert style...
But Wait, There's More!
This add on isn't just cornering lights. In the same unit you also get:
Daytime running lights that come on with the ignition and go off when the headlights come on.
This and having them dim is the only legal way to have DRLs function. If they come on with a switch
and not the ignition and don't turn off or dim when the headlights come on, they aren't road legal.
Coming home and leaving home lights that come on when you lock or unlock the car using the key fob. They stay on for 30 seconds to illuminate your way to or from the car and gently fade out.
What Smarts Do They Fit?
Smartkits does a kit for every smart. The fitting will be very similar but in this example I will be demonstrating how to fit the cornering light system to a smart fortwo 451.
Fitting - Interior
As always, you should disconnect the battery when doing any electrical work on your car.
Pull the speedo away from the dash and look at the back. Press down the tab (arrowed in white) and swing the grey arm in an arc down (black arrow) to disconnect the speedo.
Slide the black insert out of the white housing...
...and slide it into the supplied black housing.
Take the short wiring loom out of your cornering light kit and slide the black
connector into the white housing that you have left over from earlier.
The small wiring loom is now complete and ready to fit.
Push the black female connector coming from under the dashboard into the black male connector
of the short wiring loom that came with the kit. Flip the top tab over so it clicks in place.
Push the grey cable down behind the dash. Make sure it doesn't touch the steering column.
Plug the remaining white connector back into the speedo and click the tab in place.
Push the speedo back into place to secure it.
On a right hand drive model (like mine) the grey wire needs to go from the driver side
over to the passenger side. There is a gap through just behind the centre console.
If you have a wire guide then you can use that, if not, a wire coathanger can be pushed through,
the grey wire attached to it and the coathanger pulled back through, bringing the grey wire with it.
You can now get out the long wiring loom from your kit.
Find the SAM unit fuse holder on the end of the red wire and push the clip in.
Take the small control box and plug the 2 connections in, cable tie the cables as shown to secure.
1 issue I had that is worth checking is that the small clip that holds the small black connector
to the box was fouling the edge so it wasn't locking into place. This could cause the connector
to come out over time and stop the cornering light kit from working.
I simply took a razor blade and trimmed back the corner of the plastic as seen below.
Take the green, yellow and orange wire and pass them through the bulkhead grommet.
For more information on wiring through the bulkhead, click here.
Take the orange fuse connector with the 10 amp fuse in it and push it into 1 of the 5 furthest
holes in the SAM unit. The 5 spaces nearest the front of the car are permanently live. It pushes
in with a click. The other 4 spaces are switched lives and aren't required for this kit.
You now have a single wire left (blue) and this attaches to one of the indicator live wires.
This controls the coming home and leaving home lights.
I haven't done this connection yet but will add it shortly.
You have completed all the work inside the car, so place the controller box out of the way
and cable tie all of the wires in a safe position so they don't get kicked by your passenger.
Fitting - Exterior
There is no need to remove the front panels, just open the front bonnet panel.
You do need to route the wires to their intended position. The green and orange wire needs
to go straight down to the right hand fog light. The yellow wire needs to go over to the left
hand fog light. The best route is across the top of the radiator and then straight down.
Again, if you have a wire guide it makes it easy to thread the wires. Push your wire guide in
through the fog light aperture, bend the end up and push it until the end appears. Grab the
wire ends that need pulling and slowly draw the wire guide out to thread the wires into place.
Pull the fog light surrounds off from each side. Use a Torx20 to remove the fog light fixings.
Unclip the front panel from under the car so you can pull the front panel forwards,
this gives you enough room to spin the fog light around and disconnect the bulb.
With a bit of twisting you can get the fog light housing out through the hole.
You now have a 2 wire connector with a brown and a grey/yellow wire on each side of the car.
Right Side (As You Look At It)
Cut the grey/yellow wire, bare the copper and crimp a butt connector on each end.
Crimp the orange wire to the nearest and the green wire to the furthest. See below.
Left Side (As You Look At It)
Cut the grey/green wire but only bare the copper from the section coming from the connector.
The other end of the cable isn't required so should be blanked off with electical tape or a crimp
as I have done. Place a straight crimp on the grey/green wire coming from the connector.
Bare and crimp the yellow wire to the grey/green wire going to the connector.
Plug the connectors back into the fog light housings and refit.
Dress the new wires so they don't rub and secure the fog lights in place with their screws.
Replace the surrounds and ensure the clip in place all the way around.
That is the fitting complete
How It All Works
With the engine running and the headlights on, turn the steering wheel
more than 90 degrees to the right and it will illuminate that side.
Spin the wheel around the other direction and the other side will light up.
So that's the corner lights working.
Turn on the ignition and both of the fog lights will come on...
...but as soon as you turn on the headlights, the fog lights fade out.
100% legal DRL's.
Coming Home/Leaving Home Lights
When you lock or unlock the car using the key fob, the fog lights illuminate.
So now you won't step in that fox poo or walk into the gate.
30 seconds later the fog light fade out and turn off.
Tools That Will Help
A flexible grab can be used to grab and pull wires through awkward places.
A crimping tool to get a decent electrical connection on your crimps.
Scissors for cutting the wires to a useable length and cutting the end off the grommet.