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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Quality Rover MGZR not !!!

Now I would like to think I'm quite mild tempered but this time I'm fuming !!!.

Picked up my new MGZR on Monday at 12pm. By 6.30pm the car was loaded on to a flat bed truck to be returned to Martin's of Winchester after only 18 miles driving !.

The problem was with a leaking power steering pipe which caused me to loose all fluid after just 18 miles. Also found out whilst waiting for the AA that there is a huge chip in the rear windscreen.

The Warranty Manager has agreed to replace the window but I'll have to wait until one is delivered. Drove the car today to work and every time I press the clutch I now find there is a loud click noise ?.

I've also noticed tonight that the handbrake takes 12 clicks before it takes hold.

What ever happened to pre delivery inspections ?. Who exactly is making these cars at Rover?. Mechanics who cannot get jobs in local McDonalds making burgers cos they cant has hell make cars.

I paid over 13K for this car and after one week I've had enough of MG already.

Went on a tour of MG last week, saw quality control at first hand, your car would not have left Longbridge in that condition!!
Reject car and demand replacement!


Been chating to a client/friend today about his sons Honda Type"R". Tells me its group 16, not as i thought 17. He tells me there is a fair amout of power across the rev range.

Went to Southport Honda tonight to see if they had any in, YES! A new red one and a test car in silver.

Honda build second to no one, ringing for a test drive tomorrow!

Can I reject it ?. After 300 miles ?.

Paul, as far as i know mgr dont offer the commitment scheme anymore where a customer could return their car before 1000miles or 1 month (whichever came first).
Suppose they had to stop that really because at least 1in3 would be returned by dissatisfied customers, i would have been the first in the queue.


Hi Rob
Some made some head way on the "Project". I will e-mail you. So how's life with the ZR?
Best Regards.

I thought I had reason to moan at build quality but not a patch on you Paul. Just hold on in there...think how many speeding fines you're not getting which you would in your Zed (temptation to burn all the time).

Keep calm. Let's hope all is resolved soon.


Hi Mega, if you look at my latest postings you'll see things are as bad as ever.
Glad to hear thing are coming together with the "project".
I'm looking into a pipercross induction kit at the mo, hoping it'll give a bit better mid -range pull (with a bit of induction roar).


Wha did you expect from Martins?,they are ALWAYS advertising for staff,no one lasts more than 6 weeks there,they are a bunch of *******!,i wouldnt buy a packet of sweets from there let alone a car!.Why did'nt you go to Wrynams Of Salisbury?.
Kevin Davis

I did go to Salisbury and a very nice sales rep explained on the day I took in all my bank details etc that they (Wrynams) were no longer able to sell MG Rovers. The company have been taken over and are offloading what they can off the forecourt.

They are now selling Skoda's and SMART cars.

Can you blame them if 1 in 3 MG's are taken back ?. Would you want that hastle ?.


Its really disappointing to hear of your quality problems with your ZR. My recent experiances with MGRover vehicles are very positive. I've had a Rover 75 V6 since Nov 1999, and it's covered 64000 miles with total reliabilty. Paint finish is still superb, so is trim fit and overall build integrity. On this basis I'd definately consider a MG ZT when it comes to choosing a replacement.

When it comes to dealers however its another issue. I haven't yet found any dealer of any manufacturer - Japanese makes like Honda and Mitubishi included - that manage to look after your vehicle properly when its in for a service. Before my Rover 75 I had a Ford Galaxy, and before the Galaxy a Scorpio, and some of the Ford dealers in the Midlands have to be experianced to be believed - like jacking the car up using the outer skin of the sill as a load bearing member !! - result big hole in sill, and of course returning so called serviced car to the poor old customer -me- with a hole in the sill, - or omitting to replace the air filter after its removal in a basic service, or delivering a new Honda Accord I ordered a few years ago with the drivers door badly resprayed by the dealership in the wrong mix of paint (a brand new car bodged by the dealer before delivery to me).
I could go on but I won't - these days the build quality of virtually all major manufacturers is first class, but when your car gets in the hands of the average dealer, QA controls go out of the window.

Try mentioning the QA methodologies like Six Sigma or Kiazen to the average dealer and see what reaction you get - no I think you'd have more luck if you asked for a BigMac and Fries!

A Menzies

Adrian WROTE (much snipped):

>>these days the build quality of virtually all major manufacturers is first class<<

Your observations are spot on Adrian. Been saying things like this for many years based on my own similar experiences. Even so, funny how folks often tend to blame the car rather than the professionals who you pay to look after it. Even worse, tend to believe dealerships when they tell them that "They all do that Sir" or something similar .....

Could tell you a few stories ... But, long story short, on a number of occasions over the years, when dealerships have failed to identify or fix a problem with my new cars, I've ended up fixing it myself ... and in so doing run the risk of invalidating the warranty ... DOH ... but then, who's to know ... :o)

John McFeely

I know how you feel but when you have to entrust your car to a dealer to keep its 3 year warranty entact, you tend to resent having to pay at least 50 per hour +vat to have it bodged.

A Menzies

bloody car, for the 2nd time now the side skirts falling off my zr. The last time i had the n/s bonded on and now the o/s is comming off :-((

I found myself driving line astern of a ZR for several minutes through Amersham today, admiring its' purposeful little Trophy blue rump from a couple of car lengths behind, but wondering what masking tape was doing all along the O/S sill...
I guess the self-demounting sill syndrome has hit this part of the world too, or was it you rob, yorkshire?

With refernece to build quality on the MG, I have an MGZR 160 which i have owned since Sept 2001 and apart from some niggling faults , rip seat cover, loose gear knob, etc i havent really had that many problems with it.. My view is that I brought the car because of its looks and performance and as long as it does,nt break down i will remain happy..
I have owned many cars and by far the worst car/ dealer/ manufacturer was VW..

I brought a brand new Golf GTI Turbo from **** in 1999
and the list of faults went something like this..
2 *Turbo dump valves
4 * sets door locks and catch,s
Faulty dash assembly
Ripped drivers seat
Soft paint on 4 panels
2 seat release handles

Everytime the dealer tried to fix it they made it worse and on 1 occasion i found 10 screws from the dash in the footwell and the glove box was jammed shut.

MY advice to anyone who has a crap car is never bother with customer services or anyone at the dealership , they are put there solely to waste your time , especially if you are coming to the end of your first year warranty.. Get a solicitor involved ..

So with regards to MG build quality there are far worst manufactures cars out there for a lot more money who promise quality and workmanship they have no intention of delivering..

IF youve got a ZR160 just keep it clean, enjoy the admiring glances and wait till you get about 5000miles on the clock, then any other problems with it will fade into insignificance.. Mines got 12000 on it and its now transformed into pure evil..

sorry about the spelling/grammer

nope, it wasn't me Howard.
seems sticky tape or blue tack is a better fix than the factory double sided tape, hmm might bang some nails in, they'd stay on then...

Hi Rob
Do you think MGR got the idea from "Blue Peter"?

Hi Mega, the skirts were held on origionaly by screws at either end under wheel arches and 3 pieces of double sided tape approx 2" each? cheapskates or what...surely mgr could bond them on properly at the factory.

rob...the double sided tape sounds unbelievably poor. However I know the rear spoiler is held on (either totally or in part) by similarly hi-tech methods! I've just been walking round my ZR looking for evidence of Simon Groom's handywork! I'm sure there's an egg carton I spotted.

I know you're bitterly disappointed with the build quality. Maybe you've just been unlucky with a crap car (you did get yours quite early on after they were launched so maybe teething troubles) or crap dealer (or combination of both).

Have you tried a different dealer?

A strongly worded email/letter outlining (in depth) your woes often yields rewards.

But if your mind is made up then it's made up. If I had 13K lying around I'd buy it off you just so I could get a feel for 160.

Some of us will miss your postings on this BBS.


Hi Rob
From "F" post i take it that you are going to "Jump ship"? I am very sorry to hear this, to be honest this is why i joined the BB. I didn't wish to buy a Mg till i had sussed if they have problems.......They HAVE!

I too will miss your posts, whats next for ROB? Would you like to try a Honda sir?

Funny in some ways to read of the poor adhesive qualities for fixing those ZR skirts. Puzzling too because as anyone who's tried to remove the side rubbing strips from old Maestro or Montego doors will tell you, they're stuck on with the strongest double sided adhesive known to science!!!

Paul's experience with cars from a firm with a highly rated (over?) reputation for so called superior build quality is far from unusual. He is unusual in volunteering information on these faults. Why are so many of the buyers of such cars usually so reticent when their superior product has BIG problems - which they OFTEN do .... why the BIG secret? Yeah, I know about those over-rated results from surveys which give such a false impression ... the punters believe every word ..... In some ways maybe serves 'em right when to their chagrin, actual personal experience tells a different story and they are much, much wiser AFTER the event.

Some of you may recall at the turn of the year my mention on this BBS of heated discussions at a New Year's Party with other car owners. Being outnumbered three to one, much urine was extracted at my ownership of Montegos by owners of a New Porsche Boxster, Merc and A-Romeo. Much talk of superior German build quality, road holding and all the other stuff. I had not realised who it was at the time but a few days before, a driver of a certain Boxster took some miles trying to catch me and my aged Montego (not for the first time) and only did so when I slowed to turn into my workplace. To be fair, weather and road conditions were against the pendulous Porsche. More recently, in fact a few days ago, I learned on the grapevine that said Boxster IGNITED and burnt out its engine on the motorway!! .. Still, bet that fire was of superior build quality ...... cant wait for the next party .... he who laughs last, laughs and laughs AND LAUGHS .... :o)

Funny old game cars and their owners ..... ;o)

Happy MotorinG .... JMcF
John McFeely

When I picked my car up I was told that the all the skirts would be rebonded later in the week -its a known fault.
Tim Ellingham

My father's Porsche Boxster needed it's entire front suspension assembly replacing to cure annoying squeaks and groans (a very common problem on current model 911's too apparantly).

Hats off to the dealership, who just went on and replaced everything under warranty on the same day as the problem was identified. No problem. No fuss.

Whilst this prestige manufacturered car clearly had faults, the top class service from the dealership just smoothed the whole problem away.

Why does Jag, Merc et al top customer service surveys? Because their dealerships have excellent customer relations, that's why.

Calling MGR - get this dealership problem under control!
Rob Bell

Outline your grievances (in writing) with your car, and say you want a new replacement. If no joy, tell them you will write to Autocar, AutoExpress, Watchdog etc. They (dealer) will just laugh but when Auto Express ring them about your woes and tell them they may be printing it in a forthcoming edition you'll be surprised how their attitude changes. DO IT NOW!

John Oxon

With reference to your advise to Paul (Salisbury) when I had problems with my VW i contacted The Top Gear Drivers Club of which i was a member, and after some initial help they went very quite and stopped returning my calls.. I later learned that it is rumored that TG are in bed with VW and BMW and do not give them Bad reviews and in return get test cars befor any other motoring Mags.

I now assume the person dealing with my case was told to butt out.. I had,nt asked for a replacement car though i did want to reject the car as the faults were from day one, all i wanted was a more generous trade in than what i would get from a dealer against another VW...

I wish now i had got autoexpress involved as they seem much more independant..

Paul .Autoexpress will be more honest as to what you can expect but alternatively try returning the car to the dealership on a saturday afternoon and sit in the showroom talking very loudly about how crap the dealer is until either your car is replaced or the police turn up..

I,ve read about people who have gone to dealerships with a lawyer in tow and got some very fast results..

Good luck Paul

Spelling and Grammer excuse again


I emailed Autoexpress re MG Parts shortages - they declined to get involved:-

"Thank you for your email.I am sorry to hear about the problems you have experienced with your car and can imagine how frustrated you must feel. As you can understand (Auto express) Watchdog is a very busy desk and we can only help in cases where we can make the most difference. Unfortunately we do not think we can help in yours, however it may be worth your while seeking professional advice. I am sorry we could not have been of further assistance and I hope you continue to enjoy Auto Express. Yours sincerely,"

I thought the bit about only getting involved where they can make a difference and saying they couldn't re MG parts crisis quite funny!

Best bet as always is legal support; are you a member of AA/RAC and therefore get free legal advice. Most helpful in my case. I especially like the idea of taking a lawyer into a dealer (or a friend with a suit...) but in a sense it's not the dealers fault it's MG's build / design quality not being up to the job.

Ian Walker

and what did you think AutoExpress could do to remendy the situation, other than stir it up further?

Very prudent response from them, IMO

Well so far Ive had the rear windscreen replaced due to a "manufacturing "fault". Clutch changed and Hand brake tightened.

When the rear windscreen was replaced I saw at first hand the use of the double sided sticky tape on the rear spoiler.

What a mess. I'd buy an MG again but not whilst they are part of the shoddy ROver set up.

I also complained about the paintwork chipping really easily. The Warranty Manager said he had not heard of any other reports of the paint chipping so early.

Looks like he will be looking for another job soon because more cars are going back than are being kept by the looks of things at Martins



My experience of the faults has been through the dealer network, and having had reason to work in the Longbridge assembly area on contract, I think Rover are doing their best. In fcat I heard that the 75 achieved a better build qaulity index than the 3 series a few years back. I think that more effort has gone into the 75/ZT than the rest of the range, but some of these design (rather than build) quality issues will be resolved when new models are launched. I have had my fair share of Rovers and their attendant faults, but I have never yet been stuck at the side of the road unlike other so-called quality German manufacturers.

This thread was discussed between 03/05/2002 and 04/06/2002

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