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MG MGF Technical - clock & radio failure

hello, am new here and have a problem in that my stereo and clock stopped working at the same time this morning. (didn't realise i was late 2 work !!) . also the heater control is always blowing hot (has been for about a month now) so have read the thread further down and will attempt to check this. should i kill 2 birds with one stone and check the wiring for radio and clock controls aswell ? any step-by-step tips gratefully received as i am reluctant to go the dealer and spend an awful lot of money if it's something i can attempt myself.
many thanks

Hi Helen, welcome to the site :o)

The clock and the radio are on the same fuse, so this should be a simple case of removing the old fuse and replacing (you'll find the fuse box under the steering wheel, I can't remember the fuse number- but it should be either on the lid or in the handbook).

The heater controller is slightly harder - it sounds as though the heater control cable has come adrift. Quite alot on this in the archive (free to register here and access the archives! :o)

Hope that's some help! :o)
Rob Bell

thanks rob, i will try it now on my lunchbreak !!

Hi Helen

As far as I know the radio and clock have the same fuse. So maybe the fuse is gone. I don't have the car's user manual at hand so I can't tell You which fuse it is. Should be one of the fuses under the dash (You need a coin to remove the cover). Should be described in Your user manual as well as the number of the fuse for clock and radio.
Sets of spare fuses are available at every petrol station and replacing them is a easy job. It's strongly advised to have some spare fuses at hand anytime. On my car once the fuse for the radiator vent was blown which is a little more dramatic than a dead radio because in summer city traffic the car overheats within minutes - Was a nic cloud of steam coming out of the boot...
However if the new fuse should last only for a few days maybe check with the workshop for a short circuit.

Beat Fischer

I've bought a new fuse and replaced it. Slightly worrying was that when I put it in blue sparks appeared. is this normal ? it doesn't seem to have done the trick though as the radio still doesn't work and the clock still says 8:50 !!
any other ideas?

Hmmmm ... could be a problem with the wiring under the dash. Did it blow the new fuse? If so, then I would suggest that there is something shorting. This is a known fault as there are a number of cables tied to metal stuff behind there, and over time this can wear through the sleeving exposing the wire.

- Andy
Andrew Gilhooley

Blue sparks are not supposed to appear because there shouldn' be high current on that fuse.
Probably a shortcircuit as Andrew says.
Check with the workshop and maybe before in this BBS's archive in order to have an idea about the source of the problem before You talk to the people at the workshop.
You must register to use the archive but it is free.

Beat Fischer

Under absolutely no conditions should you see blue sparks! As the guys say, this suggests a more serious problem- a short circuit being the most likely.

Have you replaced the stereo recently? Or had any work on the centre console been performed?

I wonder if this may have anything to do with the recent recall, A169?

See and

This is a recall concerning chaffing of the wiring loom against the internal metal dash support structure... I'd certainly go and see your local dealership, or failing that, an auto-electrician.
Rob Bell

The fuse is there to protect the wiring from fire. If the fuse blows then in 99% of cases there is a fault either in the wiring or the accessory at the end of it.

You could put a 12 volt bulb in place of the fuse by soldering some solid wires to it. If the bulb glows at full brilliance you have a short to chassis in the wiring. By moving the wiring until the lamp goes out, you may find the problem. This needs patience and an observer to watch the bulb.

How can the clock and radio have the same fuse? The clock is on all the time, the radio is ignition controlled.

But the radio has two feeds, one for the good stuff(noise etc) and one to keep the memory.

Will Munns

thanks for all your help guys
looks like a trip to the dealers is now in order. typical cos this is absolutely the kind of day when i should be cruising around with the top off and listening to my fave tunes. oh well if you see a girl driving around singing to herself it'll be me ;)

H E Collyer

In fact it has three (one for the lights) but thats not important right now...
What IS important is that the other things swung of that circuit include the bonnet lamp, the interior lights and our old friend the boot lamp. I would put money (if I hadn't had to pay them to take the 214 away) that your problem is where the wireing goes from the boot to the car, this point is well known because you are continually rubbing the wires against the body every time you open the boot.
So sopen the boot and have a good look around the wires- re insulate the offending critter (should be [P]urple ) with some insulating tape and have another go with the fuse.

Have a good driving long weekend.

Will Munns

As Will says could well be the wiring on the left hand boot hinge chafing and shorting to ground. Try opening the boot and then insert your fuse. Close the boot and if the fuse blows then you've found the right area. Of course it could be the LH Footwell lamp, RH Footwell lamp, Interior Lamp Unit, your Radio/Cassette or the Bonnet lamp! As Brian in Bucks suggested, wire a 12v side light bulb across the fuse and then wiggle a few wires to trace the fault. The bulb glows brightest when the fault occurs. I used an old blown fuse and connected a bulb across it for this job. Saves blowing fuses. Happy hunting!
and Happy Easter

Bruce Caldwell


This happened to my car when I first bought it. (1998 VVC). You should also find that your interior lights don't work and the car won't 'superlock'.

My problem was a short with the boot light wiring going to ground when I went over a bump. If you're getting a big blue spark and a crack, don't do what I did and keep putting new fuses in hoping it would fix it.

If your car isn't under warranty, the dealers will probably phone an auto-electrician who will be able to trace the fault in minutes (did with mine). Phone the auto spark yourself and it'll probably cost you 20, rather than "Rover" rates.

HTH, and good luck, let us know where the problem was,


Sounds exactly like the problem i had, same as Leigh and others, boot loom chaffing. As Leigh says if the car doesn't double lock it confirms it. As does inserting a fuse and openning and shutting the boot to see if it blowsas also suggested . Not that difficult to re-do wiring, and also if you took it to a dealer with it diagnosed (ie they don't have to spend time on it) they shouldn't charge too much to do the work.

Oddly the fuse in my car could / would blow even with the boot closed! Hence the big blue spark and loud crack as I attempted to replace the blown fuse, and a burning smell as another one bit the dust.

Auto spark's the way to go. Found my problem in 20mins.

L Reid

Remove the radio you will find the wires chaffed behind the set on a metal bracket

This thread was discussed between 28/03/2002 and 01/04/2002

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