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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - buying a ZT180 auto

Hi All,

Just considering to buy a 2002 MG Zt 2.5I V6 180 4DR Automatic with 70K miles on the clock.

Any weak spots I should look for ?

Was the underside just as rust sensitive as an MG F ?

Thanks for your help.

Marjori Prikett

Can't help you on the auto transmission which I believe was a JATco unit and no problems that I have heard about on other forums.
As to rust, all the bolts in the engine bay on my June 02 ZT 160V6 have corroded, but that would be about the only problem I have noted. I replaced teh exhaust back box with one from Moto-build in March this year and had a good long look underneath and all looked well, despite 82k miles of motoring including many of those on gritted motorways in Winter.

A few things to consider:

Cost of tyres. 600 per set of 4 (invariably all need replacing at once) and depending on how you drive anything between 10k and 25k miles, although thye lighter 1.8T engine apparently results in up to 30k miles. The 225/45 18 are only available from a few manufacturers although more recently Maxxis have become available at 350 for a ste and I have had some fitted for the last 18k miles and no real difference in tread life but poorer wet weather handling than the original factory Michelins I used to fit.

Fuel consumption - anywhere between 18-38mpg on the manual V6, and probably a mix of motorway and town at around 25mpg. I use Optimax all the time and it does feel a little more responsive, but don't bother if you are not a hard driver.

Servicing - typically around 250 but spark plug changes are more but not needed very often. Service interval supposed to be 15k miles, but my meter shows up approx every 12-13k miles based on an algorithm that calculates from your driving style, use and temperature conditions. Cam belt is every 90k miles or 6 yrs - not cheap - minimum 600. I also use Mobil1's 0W40 in my car, no oil consumption since new, and oil is always fine between services according to my tests, but I found the recommended semi 10w40 would not go the full service.

Variable Intake System - this is a clever device set to ensure best inlet tract length at higher revs versus lower revs. The valves are known to give trouble, and if you are unlucky could be a 5000 replacement of the inlet system, or possibly a 50 replacement of the valves. My 160 does not use the VIS as the factory detuned the engine, but I have had two of these replaced under warranty in the past. Part of the problem is the crank breather that sucks a lot of oil vapour and clogs the sensors so I periodically strip out the airbox and blow through carb cleaner. It seems to help. I also have a cold air feed and ITG panel filter.

Looking back over 4 yrs and 82k miles, this is the best car I have bought - I chose teh 160 on budget reasons, but I have not been disappointed with the performance as the handling is superb (mine was one of the last with the firmer suspension as standard - after July 02 it became a cost extra). I would not say the firm suspension was a problem (I came from a 75 to the ZT) and prefer the better road holding over the better ride comfort of the 75. As to quality, I have had two AA call-outs, the first for an overheating incident - worrying at the time as the KV6 in the 75/ZT is not known for HGF. However, it was the service that had just been done - the expansion cap had been left loose. The other was a well known problem! The fuel pump packed up. The quality German unit fitted is known to have a loose clip issue and can be rectified DIY although getting the rear bench out is a pain, but mine went while I was up in Teeside on business and cost 130 to be sorted. Been fine since.
As to squeaks and rattles, a couple of slight squeaks and rattles from the driver's door, but that is it! Despite the firm suspension, it has held to gether well, and has been a better quality car than my Cowley built 75 was in that sense. The CD player started playing up today but apart from that, it has been a bargain in the fun stakes! With better reliability and quality than many of the so-called German cars based on what I have heard from owners I talk to in the course of business.

Martin ZT

Thanks Martin, sounds all very positive! Getting more enthousiastic by the day. Unfortunately the one I had in mind was unfortunately just sold before I showed my interest.

Now looking for another one
Marjori Prikett

This thread was discussed between 13/08/2006 and 15/08/2006

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