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MG MGF Technical - car off road for 2 years - I need advice

My MGF has been off the road for 2 years - and having eventually opened the bonnet (thanks folks) I now need some advice on whether to just try and start it up (if it will and if the petrol is still any good)OR should I get it towed to a garage and have a full check up - sounds expensive....

My real concern is what damage could I do if I try and fire it up after it has been idle for so long.

Should I at least take some precautions e.g. top up the oil, take the spark plugs out and pour some oil in there etc. etc. (how do you get to the spark plus ?)

Any thoughts gratefully received.

Cheers, Ian

Congratulations on opening the bonnet, from experinece I'd say it is the second worse problem to solve, (the worst is replacing the gear cables).

No need to tow it to a garage unless it fails to start and you get to the end of your tether.

FThe biggest problem you face is to run the engine with no lubrication, so turnit over first with the plugs removed. Don't put oil in the cylinders because you might damge the catalyst or at least oil up the plugs. I would also check the oil is still clear and golden and if you have any doubts drain the lot and refill with fresh.

Your petrol will probably have lost the most volatile ingredients, so either drain it down, or if there is not much in the tank just add a couple of gallons of fresh fuel. you can still use the old sfuff, but it will not help an engine that is difficult to start.

Next turn over the engine with the plugs removed. These are very deep set on the side of the engine nearest the back, (just follow the leads), so you will probably need a socket with a rubber grip to hold the plug once it is unscrewed.

Be careful refitting the plugs: If they are too loose they tend towork ther way out and if too tight, you can strip the thread.

Then away you go!

I would disconnect the fuel pump (pull the fuse) if you are planning on cranking with the plugs out.

After a couple of years you might have a stuck handbreak or clutch, both of these can be 'broken' free with a good deal of rocking, or failing that, starting in gear with the handbreak on and the clutch fully depressed
Will Munns

This thread was discussed on 30/11/2006

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