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MG MGF Technical - Condensation in oil gauge & Cam Bolt retorque

Just bought an MGF. Its got a build up of condensation in the oil gaugue(on the inside of the glass) on the dash. Is this normal when its cold or could this indicate a fault?


Its a 97 model and the mg garage said that after 5 yrs or 60,000 it needs the cam bolt re torqued, as this was a service action from mg. It hasnt been done as the last service was not with Rover. Its about 250. Is this something that needs doing urgently????

Many thanks


The condensation in the oil gauge is normal. I've driven 5 different MGFs (all MY2000 or later) and the oil gauge has always got condensation. Somehow it seems worse when the top is down, the heater is on and lights are on, but clears away as quickly as it appears. I wouldn't worry about it!
As for the cam bolts - 250 seems expensive, but it's better to be safe than sorry, as it will cost more than 250 to fix if they come away. Never had to do it myself as I've never owned an MGF with more than 9000 miles on the clock!!!
PK51VDY - Yellow Trophy

At 5 years, 60,000 F's are due for a main service. This should include replacement of cam belt and tensioners. Believe cost of main dealer service is 400-500!
Dicovered this just after buying my 97 vvc, doh!
I'm of the opinion its better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cam belts so will been getting mine done soon.
Steve White

Thanks Paul.
Appreciate your help!


Ooops. Seems ive made the same mistake.
500 squids a bit rich! Oh well. The hard top'll have to wait!

Is it worth getting it serviced at a general dealer rather than a main dealer. The service history is all rover except for the last one which is a crappy little garage. Will it effect the resale value if i dont go to rover?

Yes, for this major service go to Rover or an mg specialist like B&G

Will Munns

Is yours a vvc or not?
I would'nt trust my VVC with a non-MG dealer!
Non vvc may be OK though.
Where abouts in the midlands do you live?
There is a company called Techspeed in Leamington who I believe do servicing as well as suspention mods to F's. I have heard a lot of good things about them so will probably take mine there and save a bit on the dealer price.
Dealer service history makes little or no difference to re-sale values IMO, unless the car is less than a couple of years old.
The money you will save by not going to Rover is greater than the value you losse from not having a dealer service history.
Steve White

Thanks guys.

The cars done 35,000 and is a 97 P reg.

Will I need to get this done as a matter of urgency, or wait till later in the year???

Could do without the expense right now just after buying it!



Yeah its a vvc.

Im in notingham so thats a bit of trek but sounds pretty good.

So im better off sticking wth a rover or MG specialist then for a vvc.


Cam belts are a working or new engine item, they are also a time and distance item. So if they reach 5 years they need replaceing, if they reach 60k miles they need replaceing. If they fail then a new engine will set you back some k's. I would not take the car to an independant unless you are sure of the F experence, the engine is not in a friendly place, the cooling system has to be looked after in a way not common to most cars.
The cam belts need replaceing and a loose bolt (a VVC specific problem) needs looking at at the same time.
And a warning - if you do go to Techspeed you WILL end up spending more than if you go to a dealer, but this is what we call the 'darkside', and it is a slippery slope that will leave you talking about 4 nipple jobs and suspension geometry - beware.
Will Munns


Thanks mate.

So would you say id be silly to wait for another 6 months before. Whats the chances of something big going wrong.

Depends on how you drive it.

Depends on how it's been driven.

Depends on what day it rolled off the production line - Fridays are bad!

Are you a betting man ?

If I were you and I had the money I'd do it just because I seem to have little luck with cars breaking on me! :o(

Paul Nothard


When Will said:

"And a warning - if you do go to Techspeed you WILL end up spending more than if you go to a dealer, but this is what we call the 'darkside', and it is a slippery slope that will leave you talking about 4 nipple jobs and suspension geometry - beware."

he did of course imply a ;-)

If you _can_ control the 'darkside' in you, then TechSpeed is well worth the trip from Nottingham, because you will get

a) cheaper labour rates than your local MGR dealer
b) a professional job done
c) a valuable opinion on the general health of your new purchase.

Call Roy or Marvin on 01926 632066 - they're very quiet at this time of year and will be more than accomodating.

Anyway, wherever you decide to take it, I'd go with Paul's advice and get the belts changed now.


I wouldnt trust *any* cambelt beyond 20,000 miles, on the VVC it is under more duress than on some. As far as I know checking the pulley bolts is an integral part of any belt change operation, there was also a change of bolt specification at some time during the manufacture of the VVC engine due to recurrent problems with bolts coming undone.

Dave Andrews

Thanks everyone!

Cheers for all your help.

Got a quote from an MGR dealer in Lowestoft nr my folks(suffolk) for 475 for the 5 yr service. (Dealer in Romford Essex wanted 675!)
So ill get it sorted asap!

Thanks again!

This thread was discussed between 02/01/2003 and 03/01/2003

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