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A simple task?


Doesn't it drive you up the wall when you get to that time of the year when you need to use your headlights for nearly every journey you make? In fact, I don't think I see daylight very often between October - March. Perhaps, the most annoying part of it all is the seemingly obvious bulb failure which will soon follow. This year I had, at least, managed to make it right through until 11 January. I noticed as soon as I pulled up that my distinctive dot-dot, dot-dot was now down to dot-dot, dot. I verified my thoughts as soon as I pulled up at work. Sure enough, the dipped headlight was out on the drivers side. It was then that I remembered being caught out the year before, by relying too much on the handbook...

... only to find that the book is actually printed incorrectly! The inboard headlights on the MG ZS actually contain the sidelights and the main beam headlights. The dipped headlights are the outboard headlights. Needless to say the bulb types also quoted in the book are wrong!

Being determined not to get caught out again.. I set about the simple task of changing the bulb. In my favour, I was working on the drivers side - so space restrictions because of the battery were a thing of the past!

The plastic cover came off a breeze, the spring clip unclipped easily, and bulb was out within a matter of minutes. But.. the bulb looked absolutely fine. To verify it was tested on a battery that is kept in the garage for such jobs, it lit with no problems. This immediately set off a new thought process, maybe the fuse had blown?

Again, getting access to the fusebox on the ZS can be a nightmare - unless you've made a simple modification, which means you do not need to remove the drivers cubby box every time you need to check a fuse. Simply remove the screw above the cubby box and do not put it back. Each time thereafter you only have the screws in the top left and right hand corners of the fusebox cover to remove. With the fusebox cover removed everything looked OK, except the fuse looked like it has been extremely warm, it was warped on one edge. To be on the safe side, a replacement fuse was fitted, and everything was re-tested. As if by magic the bulb re-lit, only to go off moments later. Again, the fuse was removed, checked and was in order. Further investigation with the lights on revealed a worrying sight...

... the bare burnt remains of a poorly crimped wire.

Further investigation revealed a white sheen on the inside of the headlamp unit, presumably as the car was traveling along the wire was arcing and electrical smoke had no escape other than to fill the headlamp. The smell from inside the unit backed up this theory.

So, what started off as a seemingly easy task ended up with a trip to scrap yard, the front bumper being removed and spending many hours in the garage!

The joys of being a motorist!

 
 

By Michael Turner

 

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