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MG Midget and Sprite Technical - Reverse light staying on

Hi can anyone help me with my light issue -

73 midget 1275 - the reverse light is constantly on -

Fitted a new switch - new wiring loom and new reverse lights in the rebuild - had a play around but can't get them working correctly -

They stay on whichever gear the car is in
Have tried the old light units and still the same -

Any ideas at all ?

richard weaver

NEW switch? = faulty component, at a guess.
David Smith


...assuming everything was connected correctly.
Dave O'Neill 2

Richard. Not familiar with the Midget transmission. Does it have the reverse light switch on the transmission like the MGB does? If so, the switch is installed with one or more fiber washers to shim it upwards to work properly. If the washers are not installed, or if insufficient washers are installed, the plunger of the switch is depressed all the time and the lights are on all the time.

Les Bengtson

What happens if you pull the gear lever out? Perhaps the plunger is sticking closed.
graeme jackson

Is the reverse light circuit a permanent power switched to earth one (like the horn). If it is then this could be a wiring problem, i.e. the switch line or one of the light units could be shorting to earth somewhere.
Jeremy Cogman


On the 1500, and I can't imagine it being radically different on the 1275s, it is the "live" side of the reversing lamps that is switched. The lamps are earthed in the boot.

Agreed with others, sounds like a switch problem of some description.

M Le Chevalier

Richard, could you clarify whether the lights were on all the time before you changed the switch? Why did you change the switch?
Jeremy Cogman


He is building it up from a bare shell.
Dave O'Neill 2

Lots of interesting info in the above. Lets take it back to first principals...
1, if you disconnect the cables at the switch do the lights go off?
2. If yes the problem is the switch. If No your problem is I. The loom somewhere (and that's a whole other task!).
3, if yes in 2 remove the switch and reconnect the cables, are the lights still off?
4, if yes, reinstall the switch and adjust so the lights come at the correct time ie when reverse selected, if No ie light still on, replace switch.

Best of....
M McAndrew

You ruin all the fun Mike, posting a sensible step by step trouble shooting guide! That is not the game, the game is to shout out random, unrelated suggestions in the hope that someone gets lucky with the right answer! :-D

M Le Chevalier

And on that note. Did you use self or non-raising flour in the cake? ;)
Lawrence Slater

probably the condenser... ;-)
David Smith

and all done on the bus home after a few pints! Could have had all sorts of errors in it :-D

I'll remember to join in the fun next time..

best of...
M McAndrew

Is this a bus in South America, or are you home again now?

M Le Chevalier

Home again Malc, didn't try the bus in Central America, taxi's were bad enough!

Taking a bit of time out and finally getting to work on a car :-D
Might have one or two on the road by Christmas if no other financially tempting offers comes along....

Get back in the garage and finish that bodywork ;-D

Best of...

M McAndrew

This thread was discussed between 28/10/2014 and 02/11/2014

MG Midget and Sprite Technical index

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