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MG MGF Technical - Another HGF !

Well it happened last night, just got back from a very spirited drive home from the city kate at night and as I pulled into the drive I noticed clouds of steam out the back of the car.

Got under the car this morning and I have water running from the front of the block/head in the vicinity of the alternator, a very common place so I am led to believe!

The only consolation is that the car is 5 years old and I was already thinking about getting the cam belts changed!

Would like to take the car to MS, but getting the car there will be difficult and of course once i get my car to him I will hear the darkside calling even louder than I hear it in Bristol!

Jason H
Jason Harris

Sorry to hear this Jason, yes it is the common place for it to go, but as you say 5 years aint so bad i suppose. Out of interest, what mileage did it go at?

Remember, you want the uprated gasket and steel dowells when it is replaced.

Scarlet Fever

Sorry to hear about this Jason. Bear in mind that a couple of Fs have been trailered to Tech-speed from your area recently after similar problems and that the dark route from there to Milton Keynes (aka DVA land) is becoming a well-trodden path ;-) With the cost of removing the head, it's now or never!


Sympathy's. As you have read I'm sure, I have just come back from the same dark place. Yes it is a nasty, nasty thing to happen but in reality it shouldn't cost too much more than the 5 year service unless you hear the dark side calling.

It would still be worth giving MGR customer service dept a call as a known problem they may assist with the bill, it has been known....but you may have to use an MGR deealer. Choose wisely....

I would suggest making a few well chosen telephone calls before deciding where to take the car for the work, some may collect FOC or for a small charge. Nothing to loose and you might save a packet.

Good luck
tim woolcott

As we speak my 1998 VVC is on its way to Mike S for a HGF repair. I used a company called Prestige Vehicle Logistics 07980775743 to get it down there as my Green Flag would only take my car 10 miles to a garage. Its 300 miles and I got it for 180 with a bit of haggling and a free night in our hotel. Very good service from them from what I have seen. Can't wait to get the call from Mike to pick my car up- will be the first time I have driven it on a motorway-yipeee!

How many miles does the HGF usually occur at........and once repaired how long before it goes again?.........My VVC has now done 30k and I'm starting to worry about this??? Can anyone advise me?
J Jenkinson


There doesn't seem to be any magic number of miles or age, as a great deal depends on other factors, such as how you treat the engine (warm up gently/warm down gently) and the state of your cooling system (bled properly, leaks found quickly etc.) However, there are inevitably some wear and tear factors mixed in with this and these may typically show there face around mid-life, so to speak, say 35-45K miles and 4/5 years. Check out for more data, but essentially don't worry - many cars escape the HGF completely. Keep a prudent eye on the coolant level, warm the car up and down before driving hard and enjoy.


>> <<

This is the statistics page of the hall of shame and makes very interesting reading.

According to the site, the mean average miles at the time of first failure is 31,440, with 1997 vintage vehicles appearing to be the most affected.

Of course, all of the information on the H.O.S. site is based upon the database which is reliant on people posting their details. Therefore the catchment area is relatively small and can only be an indicator.

Jason, have you added your details yet? The more people reporting on the site the more accurate it will become.

>> <<

My advice is to either get an extended warrantee (there is talk of one provided by the AA on the General board at the moment in the 'I would like to thank' thread), or do as i did, put some cash away for a rainy day.

Scarlet Fever

It looks like I will be getting the Midland MGF centre to do the work, cheaper than local Rover dealers and not as far away as MS.

My car is 5 years old with 40,000 miles, so fits in well with the statistics!

Jason H
Jason H


I had HGF failure and had the car towed to Techspeed from Bath for 40 (they came and collected it).

Total cost just under 700 and included re-cored radiator new coolant pipes cambelt etc.

Chris Uren

Well the HGF got mine yesterday morning too. I am gutted, I have only had the car two months, its an 1999 S Reg, it had done 40K at time of purchase, and I have done approx 2.5K miles.

Very lucky for me it happened on the road just past Tech Speed.

Called the RAC out and they didn't have a clue!!
Got towed to Tech Speed and they confirmed the HG had failed. They kindly made me a cup of tea and gave me a lift home.

Also got a warranty at time of purchase which covers the HG but there is a limit of 500 per claim.

Roy called me last night and expalin that they also found the radiator corroded and the shock absorbers gone, and they feel it has not been looked after in the past, just shows you cannot believe anyone when the sell you a car.. "one careful lady owner, carefully maintained etc etc"

They are hopefully going to be able to fix it all by the latest Saturday morning.

I had the drive the 2nd car, a ford KA, today, missing the MGF already and but abit worried I have bought a duff car and paranoid that something else will go wrong now.

Tahiti Blue
S249 MRA

Cheryl in the Tahiti blue. Did you buy from a dealer, any car dealer not just MGR? If so, the Sale of Goods Act may help since your HGF happened so soon after purchase. You could argue that the cause of the failure was present at the time of sale and therefore the goods were not of satisfactory quality at the time sold. This is a statutory right and is not qualified by your warranty nor do you have to prove that the seller has been negligent. As a result you may be able to get the whole cost of the repair of the HGF.

There are a lot of factors that go into the meaning of "satisfactory quality" in law, but it is worth the argument (for example, worn shock abosorbers will not be a bad enough problem to claim under the SGA). I successfully recovered around 1000 from the specialist classic MG company that sold me my lovely MGF, arguing that since the HGF occurred after only 700 miles and five weeks and because they had used plastic dowels when they replaced the head gasket, they were in breach of the SGA.

Best of luck


The dreaded HGF happened to me yesterday. Engine suddenly died and when I checked, the water bottle was empty and the oil was the colour of milky tea.
Car details:
MGF 1.8i
Born Nov 1997
48500 miles on the clock

Just been quoted 800 by RMG dealer
Anyone know somewhere cheaper near me?

Chris Hall

... seems a bad month for HGF ...
Gaz R


Brown & Gammons are your nearest mg specialist (01462 490049). I have no experience of their workshop, but others on this board have and AFAIK it is favourable. I suspect that their labour rates will be lower than an MGR dealer.

Alternatively call Tech-speed who I can personally vouch for. They are near Leamington spa, but will usually collect the car from you by trailer. Call Roy or Marvin on 01926 632066.


>>missing the MGF already and but abit worried I have bought a duff car and paranoid that something else will go wrong now.<<

Happily Cheryl, your car is in the best possible hands right now. I reckon the lads @ Techspeed are very good at spotting potential problems :o)

Fingers crossed that the bill will not exceed the warranty claim limit - or if it does, not by much.
Rob Bell

Thanks for the advise, I'll give them a try
C.J. Hall

How do I go about claiming through the SGA?
The car came with a warranty which has a 500 claim limit, which will cover most of the HGF cost. Would this make any difference to the SGA as most of it will be paid by the warranty?

I know the guys at Techspeed are great. A god send that I only live 8 miles from them.

Hope to have the car back Friday night or Saturday morning!

C Puddicombe-Mason

This thread was discussed between 09/04/2003 and 10/04/2003

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