How To Stop Head Lights Popping Up On Sidelights? (Uk Model)

My car is a 1995 UK Spec 1.8i with the ‘dim dip’ headlight setup as standard.  So by default when I turn on my sidelights (first turn of the switch)  the sidelights come on and the  headlights also pop-up and main beam comes on at a reduced brightness (previous post I read says 16%).  Upon the second turn of the switch main beam comes on.  That’s normal for a 95 UK spec car as the ‘dim dip’ thing was required, apparently, by law at that time.   However… 

I recently had a turbo fitted and to make room for the air intake the dim dip resister ballast thing was removed.  Apologies if this is the incorrect term,  what I’m referring to it the little metal box (with metal heat surround thing) that sits just behind the passenger side headlight – it’s this little box that allows the main beam to be ‘dim dipped’. It’s a simple unplug job to remove it…which is what my turbo install mechanic did.  So I’m now in the situation where the ‘dim dip’ function has been disabled and upon first turn of the headlight switch the sidelights come on and my headlights pop up but don’t illuminate at all.  This is fine from a lighting perspective as I’ve replaced my indicators with TSI’s with motorbike LED’s installed,  so they are far brighter than the original sidelights and certainly brighter than the 16% silly dimmed dip.  

What I want is for the headlights NOT to pop up with the sidelights as there is no point having the lights up but not illuminated.  I only want the headlights to pop up on main beam.  So according to the various previous posts the way to achieve this is to remove relay HD22 located on the passenger wing near the wiper motor.  I’ve done this.  However when I do that it stops the headlights popping up entirely , even on main beam (two clicks of the switch) – yet the main beam still illuminates, albeit with the headlight down!  So in this scenario I’d have to use the manual headlight button to make the headlights go up…which is not ideal.  It also means I wouldn’t be able to flash anyone (unless the headlights were already up). 

I’ve also tried removing the 30amp ‘retractor’ fuse,  but that simply stops all pop up operation.

So, in simple terms I only want my headlights to pop up on main beam (2 clicks of the switch) or when I flash.  And NOT to pop up on the first turn of the switch for sidelights.   Surely there’s a way to do this???  


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There is a relay that you can remove to stop them coming up on side lights.

Yeah that’s the answer in most of the posts I’ve found…  however I’ve removed that relay (HD22) and it stops the lights popping up completely,  even on main beam (main beam comes on but lights remain down).   So it seems certain models behave differently.

So I’ve removed the dim dip resister and I’ve removed the relay, neither has the desired effect.   I’m looking for an alternative answer…

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According to the wiring diagram there are 2 relays that operate the head lights one connected to the side lights feed and one to the main beam feed (flash to pass) you need to locate the trigger wire to the side lights relay and rewire it to the second stage output on the lights control stalk

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OK this sounds very promising,  thank-you.  Are you able to give me any more info?  Do you know where the two relays are located exactly and what reference no’s may be on them?  The one I tried removing is HD22.  Could I simply remove the other one?


Also on the wiring?  Any advice on where exactly the wires are you referred to?  (colour and location??)   I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to car electrics,  although I’m willing to try as long as I have a fair idea of what I’m looking for!

I’m in work at the mo only had a quick look last night if I get home early enough tonight I’ll give you the wire colours etc if I don’t do it tonight I’ll do it tomorrow


Thanks,  that would be great.  No rush from my perspective,  I’ve been trying for months to crack this so waiting a little longer for the solution is absolutely fine.  Thanks again,  Paul

Just a quick thought stick your location up and some nice kind member might offer to help you out


Kimpton, Hertfordshire (SG4 - near Hitchin)

Bit far for me I’m in manchester had you been closer it would have given me an excuse to get ernie out lol

Thanks guys.  I didn’t expect offers of help in person.  Further instructions / details of what I need to do would be great though. It’s all really appreciated.

Any luck with this?




I have a 95 1.8 done the same put in new headlights and changed the bulbs to xenon halegon and now they stay down when side lights switched on so I can only assume its the type of bulb thats used


Interesting.  Which bulbs did you use?  I didn’t realise you could do a straight swap for Xenons…  does it involve doing anything else?  Isn’t there a rule about having washers on xenon lights?


I replaced my old ones with Wipac clear lenses and Osram nigtbreaker bulbs (just standard halogen but brighter) and it made a vast improvement.


If there’s no easy re-wire option for keeping the popups down on sidelights I’d consider xenons if it’s fairly easy.

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I just bought a pair of head light with the bulbs off e bay straight swap for the old lights the bulbs have a blue colour to them not sure what make they are

Do you mean something like this ?

It would be great if this were the solution but I don’t understand how the bulb can affect the pop-up action.   Any ideas?

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Wasn’t this type if you put in mx5 headlights in e bay the first ad is the headlights and bulb item number 215867501094 I can only assume being a double or single filament bulb that would cause this but i’m no genius all i can say is it stopped the lights coming up when fitted


OK ,  thank-you,  I really appreciate your help and I don’t want to be a pain.  I just don’t understand the bulb thing either so maybe someone else can help?

As far as I’m aware a H4 bulb (halogen and presumably the xenon version too) will have two filaments,  one for main beam and one for high beam (inc flash).  Then in addition there’s a dim dipped beam feature on UK 95 model MX5’s that is provided by the silly resister box that reduces the main beam to 16% of it’s normal brightness.  This comes on with the sidelights by default upon the first turn of the switch. The dim dipped feature has been eliminated on my car by removing the resister pack but the headlights still pop up upon the first turn of the switch… not illuminated.

I don’t really want to replace my wipacs but I’m happy to replace the bulb if it will have the desired effect (as that would be far easier than any re-wiring).  So far though I can’t find anything that appears to be any different to my Osram nightbreakers (H4).   I’d want to be sure before buying any other bulbs (and would only want pure white,  not blue tinged)

p,s.  item number 215867501094 is no longer listed but I can see the headlight/bulb package you purchased,  difficult to be 100% sure but they appear to be normal H4 bulbs,  just brighter xenon ones.


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No problem I’m as mystified as you lights go up with one set and not the other hope you get it sorted and somebody with more knoweledge than me can help