Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Simo
My 1994 L reg Passat has just been in for an MOT and failed due to there being "no pattern" on one of the headlamps (NSF). Apparently the light just difuses everywhere.

The mechanic suggested that this can happen if the bulb is inserted upside down, but having had a look it is impossible to put the bulb in the wrong way.

I called the mechanic and told him this and he said that the only way to rectify the problem was to fit a complete new headlamp at a cost of £50 or so for the part. His reasoning was that the pattern on the glass had worn away.

Is this possible - it sounds a little unlikely to me but if anyone out there knows a bit more about it than me I would be grateful for some advice.

It may be worth mentioning that the bulbs in both headlamps do not sit securely in their mountings under the spring clips - could this be causing the problem? Presumably either the wrong bulbs are fitted or the spring clips are past their prime.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Sooty Tailpipes
"reasoning was that the pattern on the glass had worn away."

LMAO, if the lamp isn't damaged, try a new bulb from a good manufacturer like Philips or Osram www.powerbulbs.com
Some of the cheap illegally e-marked bulbs have poor filament placement, and the quartz capsule can be made in such a way as to bend the light. Check the bulb holder carefully to make sure there are no bits missing/damaged such as the clip.
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - solara
On my headlamp there is a major/minor adjuster. The minor adjuster is as user friendly knob which only does a few degrees. The major adjuster is done using an allen key. Usually near one another. However, if headlamp hasn't been changed then it shouldn't need major adjustment.
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Mike H
It is unlikely that the pattern has worn away, as it is on the inside of the headlamp glass. Therefore the only way it could have got worn away is by very abrasive photons rubbing against them :-)

Check the buld is inserted correctly - even if not upside down, is it properly located on the lugs? Is it clouded and therefore not suppling a proper source of light? How does the reflector look?
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Mike H
Sorry, re-read your post - yes, if the spring clips aren't working properly, then the bulbs may not be sitting at the correct point of focus within the reflector. Not sure where you'd get new clips.
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Victorbox
The only time I've heard of a "no pattern" MOT fail was with the Mk1 Cavalier & Opel Manta which often had awful sealing around the headlamp glass so the condensation corroded away the silver reflector behind the bulb. Hence it is either a faulty reflector or bulb not the glass.
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Blue {P}
A friends 1984 VW Polo failed it's MOT on exactly the same point not that long ago. Not much use to you, but at least you know he isn't making it up! :-)

Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - DL
Incorrectly fitted bulbs are a big fail-point on MOT's

I see loads. It doesn't take much to send the beam pattern haywire.
groups.msn.com/honestjohn/problems.msnw?Page=1 - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - John S
Yes, very easy to incorrrectly fit headlamp bulbs. My pal's Civic came out of the factory like it. The beam patern on one lamp was awful! Correctly seating the bulb cured it.


John S
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Civic8
I think it time I looked at mine.the nearside light`s up the motorway sign`s as I drive by no one else`s doe`s I recently replaced both.but did cut finger trying to replace them.At the time was more interested in getting them working not so much properly.the spring clips are not the best to deal with but as it was pouring with rain.and have a 414 I think it speaks for itself did pass MOT though don`t know why should`nt have done.say no more
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Cyd
I\'d suggest a second opinion. Get another garage to check the condition of the lights and fitted bulbs and rectify any problems. Ask them to confirm (in writing if poss) that the lights pass the MoT requirement.

Then go back to the original garage and ask him to pass that aspect of the test . If he refuses put in an appeal to the MoT - he won\'t like that.

He\'s pulling your leg about the worn out pattern. But you could have a corroded reflector or duff bulb.

If your second opinion confirms there is an issue, but it is easily rectified I\'d stick a complaint into your local trading standards anyway.
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Simo
Thanks everyone for your help and advice. The car has now got the MOT.

I got some new clips from VW (£1+VAT each so didn't break the bank) but when I came to fit them I noticed that the lugs on the headlight that the clips fit into were bent - don't know how, why or by whom and I broke one trying to bend it back, but I ended up securing the bulb in place with cable ties around the clip which worked fine and the pattern came back.

Thanks again for all your help.


Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - dieselnut
Wait till the heat from those bulbs gets to work on the plastic cable ties. LOL.
Headlamp Pattern MOT Fail - Sooty Tailpipes
Reminds of a time I had to make one of these clips from piano wire, after the old one burned! I ws changing the bulb on a Mazda at night, and had the headlights on so I could see, boucing the light of myself.
I know you aren't meant to but I was careful, somehow, the clip shorted out, and a white flash and red hot sparks shot from the back of the lamp, and the alternator nearly stopped the engine. There was nothing left of the clip, Mazda wanted £270 for a new headlamp - idiots


Value my car