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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Headlight confusion

My MG ZS 120+ has a habit of blowing headlight bulbs in tyhe dipped beam position, i.e the outboard pair of the four headlamps.

What confuses me is that the owners handbook states that the inboard pair are the dipped beam while the outboard pair are the main beam.

In fact the reverse is true, with the outer pair being dipped beam and the inner pair main beam.

Has anyone else experienced this, and is it just a typographical error in the handbook?

Any ideas on the regular failure of the dipped-beam bulbs?


Must be a typo, I'd always expect the dipped beam to be outboard i.e. closer to the sides of the car i.e. safer for oncoming road-users to gauge the width of the car. It's why Land Rover very inboard headlights were became illegal for new production.

Is it both sides that are blowing? If one side then I'd say check for high-resistance connections near the bulb which could be generating excess heat. If both sides, less likely but still possible, but I'd also be looking at alternator output voltage.
P Hunt

Yes, that makes sense, the outboard lights being the dipped-beam. Strange to have such a glaring (no pun intended) fault in the handbook though.

It's always the offside bulb that fails.

and what a fiddly job getting at the bulb and releasing that silly spring clip arrangement.


Another thought is that you have to be very careful not to handle the glass of these bulbs, and if you do to clean them carefully with white spirit and polish off any residue. Dirt even skin oils on the glass envelope can raise the heat of the bulb causing premature failure. Funnily enough I had to change my ZS180 offside dipped beam some months ago. The replacement still seems to be OK, although being a gentleman I don't motor at night :o)
P Hunt

This thread was discussed between 01/01/2010 and 03/01/2010

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