Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Headlights

My headlights do not work on high beam and the blue dashboard light does not work
Dipped beam is working.
However, when the headlight flasher on the column stalk is operated both high and dip work and the dashbord blue light illuminates.
Could this be any other fault than the column switch?
J Cowley

You've proved that you have power to the dip switch and that the wiring away from the dipswitch is sound, together with the filaments, so it does sound as though it is the column switch - either a burnt or bent contact.
Dave O'Neill 2

I agree with Dave. Sure sounds like an internal headlight switch problem. Everything works as it should except when the switch is in the actual high beam position.

Clare Ravenwood

Also agree. This is EXACTLY what mine did the day I bought it.

I fitted relays keep it from happening again. Recommended.

Yep. I am another for using relays. It's a great mod. Cheap and easy to do, saves the switch and boosts headlight brightness.

The only downside I found on mine is that split second of darkness you get when switching dipped to main or main to dipped as the relays click on and off.

Malcolm Le Chevalier

As always I think if the wiring and switches are good then there's no need for relays, they introduce more wiring and more connections so in actual fact more potential for things to possibly go wrong plus the cars have lasted decades without them.

If your wiring and switches are a bit iffy or if you just fancy them or think they help then that's fine, each to their own.
Nigel Atkins

<<if the wiring and switches are good>>
And there's the rub. The aftermarket column stalk switches have been of poor quality for a number of years. The contacts are no where near as good as the original factory parts. There is little or nothing that can be done about this - it seems that the spring brass contacts are just not as long lasting and they loose their springiness and then the contacts don't make proper contact, heat up and fail.

One solution is to reduce the current flow through the switch contacts so that they don't heat up as much. And this is most easily achieved by adding relays.

Try 'wriggling' the switch several times in quick succession; if you're really lucky it may just be dirty (lack of use) contacts and the wriggling may just be enough to clean them up.
Jeremy MkIII

Gday J, Greybeard, Malcolm and Guy W are correct. Fit relays. you may be able to clean the switch with electronic contact cleaner but getting access to the switch is the problem. Probably better to replace it and then fit relays to reduce the load on the switch thus extending it's life.
R W Bowers

Thank you everbody. A session of vigorous wiggling has restored the switch to working order.I will however take all your advice and fit relays particularly in view of the reported poor quality of replacement units. The issue of poor quality has been evident in a number of replacement parts I have purchased recently
J Cowley

I'm the first to moan about piss-poor quality of modern made parts but the new column switch I got 2-3 years ago and fitted last year seems fine. Obviously I can't (yet) say if it'll last decades like previous ones

I will say the column switch I got for my Triumph about 11 years ago was rubbish.

My midget came with a s/hand altered column stalk switch which has always been a bit loose but worked well even after a young lad was swinging on it at a special needs school. I only changed it because I was changing other stuff around it.

I can't think I've had relays on the lights of any of my classics and they all had good lighting from the headlights.
Nigel Atkins

This thread was discussed between 30/05/2017 and 31/05/2017

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG Midget and Sprite Technical BBS is active now.