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MG MGF Technical - Complete Brake Failure !!!HELP!!!

HI Guys,

Hope you can help. Got in the car this afternoon, drove to the supermarket and the pedal felt a lot softer than usual. Went in and got some shopping came back to no resistance in the pedal at all and no brakes! Good ols AA arrived promptly and carted the car off to my local garage, hope they know what they are doing.

The hand brake still works so I guess it's a hydrolic problem of some sort. Any suggestions as to what it might be so I can be forearmed when they try to rip me off?

Guess we'll find out about that AA Warranty/Modifications issue if nothing else eh?

Any assistance grately appreciated. Thanks in advance.


PS. Hope to get to Stoneleigh by some means tomorrow, but it looks like the Curse is not limited to Andy & Rob.

Jeepers - bad news Phil :o( Failed seals in master cylinder/calipers? Failed servo?

Let us know what the problem turns out to be - and I hope you get to go to Stoneleigh!
Rob Bell

Fluid loss i suspect, could be from master cyl/caliper seal or damaged brake hose, if no fluid loss then master cyl failure the prime suspect.
R J Hemphill

Lost hinge bolt at the brake pedal inside or outside is another possible failure.
Dieter K.

Brake activation is mechanical up to the master cylinder then hydraulic beyond. There is very little that can go wrong with the mechanicals, but the cotter pins securing the linkage between the back of the brake pedal and the transfer bar are a possibility (the pedal is then effectively not connected to the brakes).

Assuming this is OK, then my next thought is fluid loss/leak, check the fluid in the reservoir on top of the master cylinder. Assuming this is OK too, then it could be as Rob says a failed seal/servo - i doubt it's a failed caliper as this i would have thought would only affect one wheel as opposed to the complete failure you describe.

Anyone know anything about ABS (Scarlet doesn't have it)? If a fuse goes or there is another mechanical/electric failure what happens (i would hope the brakes remain operational, but i don't know for sure. If they don't then this is serious).

Scarlet Fever

Interesting. I fitted new 'race' type pedals this morning. Maybe something came loose during this. But that would surely lead to instant failure, rather than the gradual loss that i experienced. On the trip to the supermarket I was 'pumping' the brakes and this firmed them up temporarily. however as I said, when I got back to the car they had lost all pressure, and although the pedal didn't slam straight to the floor, only a small amount of foot pressure was enough to sink it right down. Also noticed that the warning light (!) was on on the dash when I was parking the car at the garage after the tow. Does this more detailed description give any better clues.

Thanks again

Phil :-(

PS. Stoneleigh looking very unlikely, Mum not happy to lend the Eurobox out on just 3rd party insurance.
Phil Brindley

Yes the warning light will be on if the fluid level is low. As all brakes failed at the same time it must be a leak at the master cylinder.
Spyros Papageorghiou

Hi Phil,

Happened to me or at least nearly. I had a 100% failure on an MOT test. It was rotten break pipes. That were weeping and then ruptured under pressure.

Hope that helps.

Andrew McD JAZ5788

Gold star to Andrew.

Just spoken to the garage and it seems, on 1st inspection, that this may be the case for me too. Hope so coz that 'should' be a simple repair.

Just hope the garage are happy to go through the warranty claim process as I am guesing that even if it is simple it will cost more than the 25 excess!

Fingers crossed.
Phil Brindley (Work)

>> It was rotten break pipes. <<

Jeepers - that's scarey!!! 8-O
Rob Bell

I have a set of pretty good brake hoses if you want them. Otherwise get some of Mike Satur's braided hoses not very expensive and made of stainless so should be durable!

Phew! 100% brake failure worrying, bad enough with fade!!!

>Got in the car this afternoon, drove to the supermarket and the pedal felt a lot softer than usual.

Don't say it didn't warn you!

Glad to hear your OK, I've only had failure once, it was 2 days after Halfords gave me an MOT, like you the line rotted out and for me squirted fluid over the road, luckly I was just pulling out and the car I braked hard for swereved around me, so no damage done.
Will Munns

The MGF has dual braking circuits - the front and rear systems are separate (a poor split -but that's not the issue here).
Are you saying that both circuits failed ? or was it just one circuit ?

It's a damning criticism that the braking system cannot tolerate a single failure - I thought that was a legal requirement.

>It's a damning criticism that the braking system cannot
>tolerate a single failure - I thought that was a legal

But it did, not only did it bring him to a stop, it also brought him to tesco's, you cannot compleatly idiot proof somthing like this!
Will Munns

Spoke to the Garage again, bill is est 190. he says that the Front to rear pipes, rear O/S and rear N/S all need replacing 8-0

With regards to the Braided hoses, I thought about this but would not be able to claim for them under the AA cover (I'm pretty sure they would only pay like for like).

Depending on when the guy says he can actually do the work I might just get some anyway. but if he says he'll do them today/tomorrow then I will have normal ones fitted, rather than delay waiting for parts from MS or B&G. Shame I didn't know yesterday as I could have probably got some from stoneleigh. I am happy if I can get another 7 years out of them though (and would probably get them replaced at a later stage anyway)
Phil Brindley (Work)

What a complete waste of time the AA Parts & Labour Warranty is.

They are not going to cover the cost of this repair as it is due to corrosion which falls under the following paragraph in their Exclusions section

"failure of an insured component due to gradual deterioration, commensurate with the age and/or mileage of the vehicle"

What a complete load of balls, they could argue that for pretty much anything.
Phil Brindley (Work)

OK, so I have recovered from my rant about the AA cover.

Got the car back last night. Bill came to the afore mentioned 187, most of which was labour.

The aftermath is that the brake pedal seems to travel rather a long way. The brakes are working fine, I'm just concerned about the amount of travel. Maybe I'm just being paranoid having got used to my mums eurobox over the last few days.

Anyway I'll fit the servo bracket at the weekend (weather permitting) see if that helps.

Thanks for the advice above and apologies for the rant yesterday.
Phil Brindley (Work)

Sorry to hear about your experience with the AA, Phil - but as you know they've agreed (in principle) to cough up for my HGF. I read that corrosion exclusion as well - there's another one about "design faults" which the MGF HGF issue could argueably fall under. Glad your car's back now anyway - and 187 could have been a lot worse!

Tim Jenner

This thread was discussed between 14/02/2004 and 18/02/2004

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