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MG MGF Technical - Dipped Head Lights - Very poor, especially abroad

After much fuss, I've eventually got my dipped beams raised a fraction by my dealer. (Regualations etc.)

On the motorway, it is "just" acceptable (e.g lighting up cat's eyes". It is still the worse dipped lighting of any car I've driven at night.

When abroad, with the "MG approved" headlamps covers/deflectors on, the lighting is truly atrocious... and (I exaggerate here) have to drive behind someone else to drive safely above 50mph on unlit roads at night!

Any suggestions greatly received.

V272 ROH


Maybe your lights were dipped too much in the first place. I've heard numerous complaints about this from people in the past.

I have found the dipped lights on my 'F far brighter than say, the Astras and Caviliers I have owned in the past.

Then again, maybe its my car that has the problem. My lights could be set too high !!


Daniel Ginger

Get some of those Zenon bulbs (come in green or blue). They burn paint off the car you are following. Usually fitted by some spotty youth in a B plated Nova or Escort. Or, even better, drive around with front fogs on. This seems obligatory for BMW and Merc drivers!
"Whoops, its getting near dusk, better put full beam and fogs on, that way everyone will get out of my way" GITS!

Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

I agree that the MGF headlights lack 'penetration' but I have known worse and I also agree that official 'beam benders' make the lights worse.

As for the zenon bulbs I think you will find that proper gas discharge bulbs can not be fitted without a lot of other gear and I am told that the cost of this is several hundred pounds!

Not sure what the answer is - perhaps avoid driving in the dark when on the continent.

Ted Newman

Or get a LHD car just for your trips abroad :-)
Tony Smith

Can you drive abroad with "yellow painted" lights and no deflector? If so... can you buy this as "sticky film" instead?

V272 ROH

Can anybody put there hand on their heart and promise that those dodgy blue/green bulbs are brighter.

i know the real macoy are (£500+) after driving my dads omega, you end up dazzling your self on road signs and you forget what full beam is for - amazing.

does anybody know if its possible to get these for an MGF, i'm guessing you can't.

I think I remember in an earlier thread on the subject the ultimate solution is to have two sets of headlights for your car if you visit mainland Europe on a regular basis.

Sticking the so called converters (sticky back plastic tape) stop you from blinding oncoming traffic but stop you from seeing very well also.

As far as I know yellow lights are only for France (in Europe anyway) and as far as I know (little idea), are in theory illegal in the UK (Roger will know better, I have never known anyone nicked for it).
Tony Smith

Genuine Zenon EC approved bulbs do provide a brighter light, but any bulb is only as good as the lamp unit and reflector it sits in. Aiming this is critical and headlamp aim is somehting that can be seen on UK roads to be a pretty hit and miss affair!! Then you add suspension height variations and many will want to throw in the towel!

In the UK front lights may be white or yellow. This applies to both headlamp and side lamps. (Has to really if the sidelamp is part of a headlamp and behind that lens!) In Europe the general rule should be if it's legal in one member state it should be legal in others - but don't take my word for that!!!


Roger Parker

Yellow light were only used in France.
For a few years, new cars in France do come with white lights.
I don't know the exact legal issues, maybe Jerôme could help ?
I sometimes see old cars in Belgium with yellow lights, imported from France I guess.

Re. genuime Xenon headlights, I think Mike Satur wrote recently he will soon be able to supply Xenon conversion kits for the F.



I got mine raised a bit, is a bit better but still not that impressive at night. And my headlight reflectors are painted in the bodywork colour, but that had surprisingly no obvious effect on the beams, still as bad as before ;-)
But I bought foglights for some reason, will be rare to see me at night on the highway without these foglights, they create a nice full 180° light radius on the front. Without them it's more a centred 90° light radius.
Dirk Vael

Oooh this must be my thread. My first posting on this BBS was about the poor quality of the headlights.... and I am still disappointed. But there's hope! Mike Satur is developing a new front bumper (wake up Mike, I am still waiting !!!! *g*) which will include some nice driving lamps. Not the same (ugly) look as on the SS or Scooby, but nice ones. There will be a version with Xenon bulbs (for the ones who could afford it).


Oops ! I must have confused the headlights and the driving lights for the new MS front bumper ...

When in France I was told (by a Frenchman) that the yellow lights were introduced during/after the war to enable easy identification of Vichy/German cars.

More likely to be French manufacturers trying to be different and/or protecting their market!

Sounds a bit suspect, but you never know....

N837 OGF

Has anyone tried removing the round shield type piece
that sits in front of the dipped beam bulb.
If I remember rightly it looks like it unscrews.
possibly this would make the light TOO bright?
Philip Goozee

There is a difference between 'Xenon' and 'gas discharge'/HID units.
I say units because to get HID lights you need much more than just
a bulb. A friend (Robin, you there?) has looked into getting pukka gas
discharge units as he kinda likes the studio lights he works with. :-)
Price aside, it's near impossible.
These units need a huge voltage to start, require a ballast device, run
hot, need a relayed switch and big cables! :o)
Big job. :-(
...unless you want to add fog lights where you can get them from Demon
Tweeks for around £1300. Eeek!

So, go for funky Xenon as they (seem to me) brighter. :o)


Pauls comment is correct as the associated techy gubbins would not be marketed as an after market DIY kit, due to the high voltages used....I believe there is an additional beefed up wiring harness requirement.

As far as bulbs are concerned I have used the Halfords Laser Blue bulbs and found that they increase the white light especially on road markings/signs etc.

The "blue" sold at the market bulbs look pants! IMO ;)


This thread was discussed between 24/02/2000 and 28/02/2000

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