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MG MGF Technical - Phantom bulb blower

I have had my MGF for about a month now( and i must say i have enjoyed every day) and it seems not a week goes by that I donít have to replace a bulb in it? is this normal or is there something wrong with the electrics on the car? Itís 6 years old now and maybe itís just time to change the bulbs

David Smith

Could be. There should be no reason that bulbs 'go' unless someone has gone round and fingered all the bulbs, or the regulator on the alternator has gone, but if this were so I would expect lots of other problems (like your battery boiling over)
Will Munns

Years ago I got flashed and pulled over on the motorway by a kind van driver telling me that my lights and brake lights had failed.
I checked and they had.
Thinking 'electrics failure' I called the AA out.

When they came out they discovered that I had three bulbs that had all blown at once.

I thought this was electrical, but the AA bloke told a now embarrassed me that bulbs these days are built so consistently that they have very similar lifespans and are prone to blowing at similar times.

Now whether he might have been saving my embarrassment and telling porkies, or he could have been right..

Neil H

Never change a bulb again:


Allthough I think you may need to change the flasher unit to stop the lights flashing really quick.

Anyone tried these?

J Price

Looks interesting James... but you are right, the flashers are unlikely to work properly on the MGF if you use these particular LED lamps.

Perhaps by increasing the circuit resistance one could overcome this problem?
Rob Bell

Rob yeah mabee addin a resistor in parallel some where :)
J Price

High Intensity (for LEDS)

followed by
led bulbs are generally not as bright as standard incandescent bulbs, they have many advantages over filament bulbs but brightness is not one of them.
Will Munns

Are they legal?
Daft question considering various TVRs and the like use them.... but isn't there some law that stops them being used on push bikes?
Paul Nothard

I think they're legal.
I have them on my motorbike and it goes through its MOT okay!
Neil H

I suspect that Mr MoT tester won't care what kind of bulb is fitted so long as it goes bright when it is supposed to, and isn't so bright as to burn retinas at 50 paces... ;o)

Will, point taken - but you may have also noticed that an increasing number of cars are now using LEDS in preference to bulbs in their rear light clusters. Not just TVR, but also the new BMW 5 and 7 series...

So I guess that suitable LEDS are now available? And these may be examples of this new breed?
Rob Bell

Lamps which are designed to take LED bulbs are going to be made diffrently to ones for standard incandesant lamps,
consider a brake light, a lot of effort is taken by the reflector to shape the discharge, which would otherwise be equal in all directions of a sphere (avoiding the obvious), hence a lot of light gets thrown backwards, but a reasonable amount gets thrown sideways. An LED throws almost all it's dischange out of the face, hence the reflector is no longer required, _but_ some system of throwing light sideways is. Now consider driving at night on a three lane motorway and attempting to change lanes, if all the light falls out the back, then seeing the lamps from the side becomes much more difficult.

Incidently the LED traffic lights appear to have an incandesent bulb as a failsafe.
Will Munns

Are the legal ?

When the led-lamps have an E-logo they are legal.
BV Bruno

Fair point regarding the reflector design Will - certainly BMW seem to get over that by 'peppering' the whole lamp with LEDS to take into account this very directional nature of the light...
Rob Bell

Thanks - as usual guys - there's always something to learn about owning an 'F'. I'm going to look at these LED's in more detail (I used to make them for a living).

Happy hoods down

Dave SMith
David Smith

This thread was discussed between 13/06/2003 and 14/06/2003

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