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MG MGF Technical - Gearbox oil what type?

My car is going to the garage to have a new drive shaft seal fitted tomorrow (under warranty thankfully as my wallet cant take no more!).

I guess they will need to put new oil in it and I seem to remember someone saying something about using synthetic gear box oil rather than standard.

Is there such a thing? and is it worth using?, if so what type/manufacturer does anyone recommend?

Any comment gratefully received.
Ian Appleton

Its a special synthetic oil only available from main dealer (15 a bottle) MTF 94
Nathan Carnie

If that Texaco(?) Manual Transmission Fluid is syntetic I am Donald Duck !! The smell of it gives it all away, IMHO it is nothing but old Dino oil with all the extra additives . Fine for running in the gearbox , but after approx. 10.000 km time to smoothen up the gearbox with some real syntetic oil . Valvoline Syn-Guard is one of many brands...

Carl (Donald?)

My Elise is supposed to use Texaco MTF94 or something like that which is allegedly synthetic! It will cost me about 25 to fill my new CR gearbox.


Carl - are you quackers:-)

Seriously the manual says Texaco MTF 94 - it doesn't mention synthetic and I agree it does not smell like a synthetic specially when burning off the exhaust! As mine does at the moment - seals need changing.

Ted Newman

Hi all,

just got confirmed (again !) from dealer here in Sweden that Unipart (Texaco) MTF 94 is NOT an syntetic oil. It is specialy blended for the PG series of gearboxes and IMO heavy overpriced but still pure dino oil. It is even so that "for no reason " gearbox oil changes now is on the service list for MK2 MGF..

Regards , Carl.

These are the product details as copied from the manufacturers website:

Land Rover MTF-94

Land Rover MTF-94 is a specific manual transmission fluid formulated with dedicated additive technology and non conventional base stocks.


Passenger car synchronised manual transmissions and transaxles, and non-hypoid transfer boxes.

Light duty diesel utility and truck synchronised manual transmissions and non-hypoid transfer boxes.

R380 gearbox used in Land Rover Defender, Discovery and Range Rover vehicles.

PG1 gearboxes in Rover 200, 400, 600 and 800 Series, MG-F and Land Rover Freelander vehicles.

H gearboxes in Rover 600 Series vehicles.

Other manual transmissions requiring this type of SAE 75W-80 product (depending on the manufacturer's specific recommendations).

ZEXEL limited slip axles

MTF-94 is also specifically recommended for Honda manual transmissions, particularly where the Honda MTF-7289 specification is called for.

MTF-94 is not recommended for use in hypoid differentials where API GL-5 performance is required.


Maximises transmission life: Extremely shear stable viscosity index improver resists break down under the high shear stresses of modern transmissions, ensuring that oil viscosity and film thickness are sufficient for effective protection of gears against wear and scuffing. Proprietary antiwear and extreme pressure additives provide the load carrying capacity necessary to minimise wear of transmission components under all conditions.

Saves on maintenance: Excellent oxidation resistance and thermal stability of the non conventional base oils provide superior resistance to the formation of lacquer, deposits and corrosive acid by-products.

Longer oil drain periods: Exceptional oxidation resistance and thermal stability of the non conventional base oils resists degradation and provides longer term protection against oil thickening and acidity increase compared with more common MTFs.

Easy gear selection: Special viscosity and frictional characteristics allow synchroniser rings and cones to operate properly over a longer period, enabling light and easy shifting, even at low start-up temperatures.
Rover Group
MTF-94; R380, PG1 & H gearbox approvals
Honda MTF-7289
MG PG1 gearbox approval

SAE Viscosity 75W-80
Density at 15C, kg/L 0.870
Flash Point, COC, C 185
FZG, Load Stage 11
Pour Point, C -45
Viscosity at -40C, cP 60,000
Viscosity at 40C, cSt 53.2
Viscosity at 100C, cSt 10.50
Viscosity Index 190

Spyros Papageorghiou

BUT - B UT - please can anyone explain why the same PG1 'box when used in the Montego is spec'ed by Rover to use 10/40 engine oil ? Personally I use Mobil 1 (5/50 French grade) and it's been fine for at least 2 years so it's not a misprint....

Hi David,
As a GL4 oil with a SAE 75W-80 grade it is comparable to a good 10-40 motor oil. SAAB gearboxes is such an example where either normal engine oil 10-40(or better) OR a 75W-80 GL4 transmission oil can be used.
True syntetic gearbox oils are usually labeled GL4 + GL5 and can in all cases also be used for the more demanding hypoid gears. Most of the more aggressive additives are not needed in a syntetic oil = the smell is quite different from "normal" gearbox oil.

Regards , Carl.

David, the simple answer to that question is that the Maestro and Montego rpoduction ended some months before MTF94 became the standard recomended product.

On a side note I have several hundred thousand miles with PG1 series gearboxes with good old 10/40 mineral oils and half of these miles were done with a 240bhp turbo engine trying to screw the gearbox into little metal knots - failed I hasten to add.

Roger Parker

I'd recommend Redline - I've used it for 15 years in a variety of cars and it is absolutely superb - the very best synthetic IMO - transformed my Triumph TR7's gearshift!

This thread was discussed between 01/05/2001 and 06/05/2001

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