Chicagoland MG Club: Tech Tips

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  Chicagoland MG Club:Tech Tips

Does the Light Go Off When the Door Closes?

As a small child, one of the great mysteries of life was whether or not the light stayed on in the refrigerator after you closed the door. This is a big issue for most kids. Unfortunately, I could never figure out how to tell for sure without getting inside and closing the door, and I wasn't that interested.

Several decades later, I find myself possessed by a 1977 MGB roadster whose battery went absolutely flat after the car had not been run for several days. Bob Mason, friend and noted MGB expert, told me that it was probably due to the trunk light staying on. He recommended removing the bulb to eliminate future problems. I was not sure he was right (a serious error) about the cause of my problem, and besides, I liked the light. As Yogi Berra is supposed to have once said, "It was deja vu all over again" as once again I was wondering how you tell if the light goes off when you close the door.

Well, it's easier with an MG (or a Midget) than a 1946 Coldspot refrigerator. I removed one back-up light (2 screws) and low and behold, I could see inside the trunk. The light was on, as it turns out because the bracket holding the switch was bent. I straightened that out and could see the light go off when the trunk lid was closed. Once I was satisfied I'd gotten the switch in the right place I replaced the back-up light.

It's too bad refrigerators don't have Lucas back-up lights; if they did we wouldn't have to grow up wondering if the light really does go out. Fortunately MGBs do, and so we can tell.

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