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MG MGF Technical - Creaking Steering

Hi everyone.
I wonder if anyone can offer me some suggestions. Whilst traveling on a bumpy road the other day I noticed a clicking/cracking (bit like electricity arcing) noise coming from around the steering. I thought it was my keys jangling.
My wife then commented on it too. So I investigated it further. If i tap the steering wheel on either side it makes the noise. If I tap the top or bottom it doesn't. Also turning the wheel rapidly causes the noise.
The steering itself feels fine.

Does anyone have any thoughts?



Are you sure its not just the colder weather making everything (especially plastic) creek more as it not as flexible when its cold.... My car is a lot more vocal in the cooler weather !!

On the other hand if it really sounds like electricity arcing get it checked out pronto !! the ignition switch circuitry isn't far away !!


Perhaps the steering column bushes? Is there any excess play in the column if you attempt to move it from side to side? MoT failure point if there is...
Rob Bell

Andy, you don't indicate the mileage the car has done but if it is highish then this noise could be the lower column joints, easy to replace .If it is the column bushes as Rob suggests then this is much more serious pocket damage.The arcing/cracking noise is a bit weird as worn joints /bushed would cause more of a knocking or clunking type of noise.If the steering wheel can be moved l-r then the plastic shear pins in the column mounts might be damaged.Could it be somthing simple like the plastic cowl loose and catching?

this was the easy failure option ;)

Depending on the age of your car (a late ?) it could be as well a broken fixture of the cross member bar joints where the steering column is mounted.

Easy check by dismanteling the steering column cover on top, or a look from below.

I have pictures from broken joints anywhere. Was from Jon ?

Dieter K.

Dieter you are right ,again;-) I have seen these brackets with faulty or missing weld, worth a look.
going home now.

Many thanks for that guys. Sorry about the lack of detail in the original post. The car is a V reg VVC with 38,000 on the clock.
I think the best thing is if I get the screwdriver out, when the wife isn't about, and have a little look.

I'll let you know what I find.
Again many thanks


I too have encountered this same sound on my new(ish) Dec 2001 MGF. I've only got 22000km's on the clock, but when I drove down a really bumpy road a few months ago, a sound like a great mass of metal bristles rubbing together starting coming out of the steering column.

It reminded me of the noise those long bristle things drum players use. It was quite loud, and you could definitely hear it coming straight out of the column.

It stopped once we got off the rough road, and I have't been on anything that bumpy since, so I've not heard it again. I must admit I was a bit concerned when I heard it, given the car is quite new. I'd be interested to know what it is if you manage to find out.

David Crawford

Long search :)

Mike, wasn't it you who found that ? Err, can't recall the sender.
Dieter K.

answer to myself ;
During a trip across Norway to Bergen my MGF developed an irritating creaking sound from the central dahsboard area.

It took me quite a while to find what was causing it. Eventually, with my wife driving and myself lying on the floor after having removed the glove compartment and the centre console side cover I found that one of the top fixing points to the brace between the crossmember and the central tunnel had cracked.
Email from Jon F. Norway. 16.07.2002 23:56
An older MGF.

Though, this or similar is IMO a known problem at newer cars from the range of MGF Trophy IMO.

The other common case of broken weld lines at the outer mounts of the crossmember bar seam to having nearly disapeared since I think 1998.

Dieter K.

This thread was discussed between 23/10/2002 and 25/10/2002

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