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MG MGF Technical - Central Locking Woes

Hi All,

Just arrived to visit family for the Christmas break
and the car has decided to throw a wobbly.

The central locking has gone into a strange auto
locking mode. When I unlock the door with the
remote, the door button pops up and then waits
for about a second before shooting down again.

Its not possible to unlock the door with the key
either. First time that I have tried to do this.

I call in at the dealers 30 minutes before they
shut at lunch time today Christmas Eve. Luckily
the guys as Rayrigg Rover in Morecambe had a look
at the car.

The mech said that the dead-locking mechanism
had jammed in the locked position. Hence the
door cannot be open in anyway. He attempted a
quick fix by lubricating in the lock's direction
down the window slot in the door but to no available.

The drastic solution it would appear to the cut
the interior door panel off and drill out the
lock mechanism !!!!!!

Is there anyway to attempt to unjam the locking
mechanism without having to trash the door
panel etc ?

Why do these things always happen when you are miles
from home and just before a holiday.

Thanks in Advance & Merry Christmas

Paul Waine

A colleague had this fault on his car. He just kept trying the lock anytime he had a spare few mins or was passing the car. Eventually it freed itself and allowed a new lock to be fitted with no damage. Not a great help but worth a try.
D Jamieson

I have never tried this but try disconnecting the battery and then unlocking the door with the key. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.

Happy Christmas

Bruce Caldwell


I am that "colleague" of David Jamieson's.

Exactly the same happened to me this summer. I took my car to the dealer and they confirmed that this was quite a common fault (on Rover 200s as well since it is the same door catch). They feared that they would have to cut out the door panel and chissel out the lock. However, they did not have a new catch in stock and advised me to keep trying the lock until they got one in - sometimes you're lucky and it opens. Every time I passed the car over the next few days I tried it (pressed the zapper and held the door nob up)and low and behold it worked. I drove to the dealer with the catch taped up so that the door could not lock and they fitted a new one in 20mins. The mistake that I made was that it was a lovely day and I had the hood down when the new catch was fitted. Everything looked fine but when I put the hood up the door didn't close 100%. Had to take it back, but everything is fine now.

David Clelland

Damn, Damn, Damn.

Same has happened to me.

Oh well best keep trying.


paul weatherill

<<I have never tried this but try disconnecting the battery and then unlocking the door with the key. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery.>>

I have bruce, it doesn't work :-(

Anyone got a price on a new door lock?

paul weatherill

....are we talking Fs or TFs or both here???

Something in the back of my Lagavulin sossled brain remembers the mid 50s

Somewhere in the 68 mark from memory Paul.

Bruce Caldwell


So far I have tried disconnecting the battery, no luck

I have also kept trying the lock every once in a
while still no luck.

I will try the RAC tommorrow to see if they can do
anything to open the door......clambering in
from the passenger side is no fun.

This should be covered under the warranty as the car
is only 17 months only. The car is an F Trophy.


Paul Waine

My interior lights stay on and ive removed the locks, cleaned and replaced , but it hasnt cured the fault. Looks like im going for 2 new locks when the dealer opens. I hope once he has to "order" them Im not waiting for weeks on end.
Seems December is NOT a good month for F door locks :-(
D Jamieson


My car was just over a year old when it happened, so it was covered under warranty. It wasn't the cost of replacement that bothered me it was the damage that would be caused just to get the old lock off. Just a thought, I dented my wing a while ago and when it was in the local body shop aparently the car locked itself with the keys in the ignition (it's never happened to me). Anyway the guy had to open it putting a strip of metal down the inside of the door - maybe your local bodyshop or even the RAC could open it this way, assuming that the alarm is switched off.

Best of luck

David Clelland


My car is a 2001 model and I'm assuming that it's the same door catch that is fitted to the TF and therefore they could be prone to this problem as well.

David Clelland

The door panel does not need to be cut off,its just held in place with poppers and pulls away quite easily, then remove the waterproof membrane (this can be quite messy) to gain access to the door lock.
A lock is available on ebay for 9.99 at present.

MGF and TF is the same as usual.
Inner door lock design got changed already in 1998. (connector only)

There is something more behind the key hole then sold at ebay currently.

Only some pictures (most courtesy Will M.)
I think the motors or cheap inner Cherry switches will be your problem.
Though the archives are full of discussions about wiring problems as well.


Dieter K.

But it is the lock mechanism which Paul said was broken and that is precisely what is being sold on ebay. And he doesn't need to trash the door panel to fix it either.


Unless I have missed something Paul can not get the door open - which means he will not ba able to get the inner panel off without damaging it as parts of it (the panel) are shut into the door jams.

Ted Newman

You may have tried this already but try sitting in the car and opening it from the inside.

Use the blipper and when the button pops up quickly try to open the door. Alternatively grab the puller as it pops up and try to prevent it going back inside, then open the door.


@ Chris,
ooops, missed that. I'm sorry, reffered to the initial writer.

BTW. that ebay lock can more or less easy get 'customised' to the individual lock/key setup and usage of the own key. Original lock should be dismantled at first to check how the tiny lock spades need to be sorted or coverted to the new.

Dieter K.

Hi Again,

Hvae tried the door from the inside and the out.
The locks have a mind of their own. It unlocks
with the plipper and then relocks straight away.

The key turns and the button pops up but the
door will not open. It seems to be permanently
dead locked ........

Looks like the door panel may need to be wrecked
as you can't get at the front screw and the two
in the door jamb.

Dunno how the lock needs to be removed if the
door cannot be opened......

Waiting for the RAC guy at the moment....

Paul Waine

Latest update on the Central locking problem.
Dropped the car off at Rowes Rover in Basingstoke,
who managed to open the door and confirm that
the latch on the door is broken.

A new latach needs to be fitted so that has been
ordered and hopefully all will be fine sometime
next week.

Paul Waine

Central locking was working fine, as passenger door was opening.

And yeah, had problem because the drivers door was locked, so couldn't remove panel.

Anyway all fixed now, and covered under my extended warranty.

So that's, whole new clutch and cylinders, alternator and now door lock fixed under warranty.

Best money i ever spent.

paul weatherill

Paul W,

I'm sure that everyone would like to know what warranty you have and how much it cost.

David Clelland

When I bought my 1996 F VVC at Easter it included a dealer supplied 12 month AA Warranty but I have no idea of the cost. I shall be looking into extending it when it expires in April.

It seems to cover most things, including HGF, door lock replacements and rewiring the boot section of the main loom.

If it ever stops raining I shall go to the car and get the warranty book to see what details I can provide.


You should definately renew the AA warranty.
My F has an AA motordrive policy

I cant recommend it enough, every MGF owner needs one!

They have paid out over 1200 in repairs including (in order)
key fob, cylinder head, cambelt, gearbox, and clutch.

Superb value for money, two years cover cost a couple of hundred quid.

They will pay out up to the purchase value of the vehicle, no excess, accept the use MG main dealers and are surprising friendly given the amount of money they have lost due to my F.

I all just a line to say i have the same problem it seem to happen when my wife was getting out of the passinger side.With the door open I pressed the key fob then the door was closed ,The following day I had all the same problems has the others on this page .Just wondering if it was all my fault by pressing the fob with the door open many thanks Paul
Paul Midgley

This may be related, but any other ideas.

Tried to get in my TF this morning and the central locking went click, the passenger door unlocked, but the drivers door remained locked. Tried a number of times and exactly the same.

As i had washed the car over the weekend and put the hard top on, I thought it may just be frozen. Drove to work with heater on full. At work locked and unlocked doors. Yes the driver's door opened.

But, now it locks and opens, but wont dead lock (double click on blipper).

Any suggestions
David Mills


Mine has done this many times. The solution is apparently a new set of locks. I believe water gets in and messes up the electrics. Currently mine is OK until it rains and then goes faulty for a couple of days. Need to have a look at it some time - next job fix the heater linkage :-(

Dave Driver

As has mine - I have had 2 new drivers side locks
and 3 passenger side locks since I've had my car (nearly 3 years now).

The dealer once tried to claim we were slamming the
doors to hard and that broke the locks !!



If the extended warranty you have includes clutch parts, I would be interested in this. How do I get hold on one? :-)

Thanks in advance for any help



had no problems in over 6 years with my vvc. Just spoke to dealer who thinks it might be the lock which needs changing. Booking the car in for this and some other bits.
David Mills

Hi guys.

My extended warranty i believe is with cornhill insurance, but was organised at time of purchase through MacHargs in Glasgow.

It is called their AutoCare scheme.

It cost me 330 for 2 years.

No it doesn't cover the clutch as this is counted as a wear and tear item, but the master cylinder failed on my F, which caused the trashed clutch. hence all damage was covered.

They are willing to extend my warranty further (even after my claims), which i most certainly will be doing.


paul weatherill

This thread was discussed between 24/12/2002 and 06/01/2003

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