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MG MGF Technical - Is this HGF on my TF160

Hi all,
Last night, the heater on my TF160 started to blow cold. I checked the coolant level this morning and the bottle was completely dry. I checked the oil and it is very milky -- only checked and topped up last weekend and it was fine.
Is this HGF?
Steve Greenhalgh

Sorry mate but it does sound like it.Getting water in the oil should never happen, when you get head gaskett failiure water mixes with the oil, its a tell tale sign im afraid. Dont drive it, as the oil will not do its job properly and will only make things worse. Time to get it trailered off to the garage , happened to me.


How long does it take to repair?
Steve Greenhalgh

Depends on the plce you take it, quite a big job,probably about 5 hours labour are you still covered by a warranty?? the dealers took mine and repaired it in about 2 weeks i if i recall correctly. Problem was i wasnt under warranty so i paid for the job and didnt get a courtesy car.


Steve, is your 160 fitted with the pressure sensitive 'stat set up(Jan 2003 on)? if it's not, and your HGF is covered by warranty ask about having it fitted under warranty.That's what I'm doing at this very moment.Not had any answer yet.Rob Bell revealed on another thread that Land Rover are fitting the modified 'stat as a matter of course to all warranty covered HGF's on Freelanders(K series).As GC says, DON'T drive it! if you wreck the engine dealer will say it's your fault for driving it. Regards.
H.R. Bridge

Don't forget to add your details to the Hall of Shame website. Regards.
H.R. Bridge

I'll contact my dealer on Monday.
Steve Greenhalgh


I had a HGF about a year ago. My dealer did all the work under warranty and also turned it all around in about 3 days IIRC. Went in on a Tuesday and I had it back in time for the weekend!
Billy Bob

Incidentally, have you ever visited any other car forum?. And if so, have you ever seen any worry of HGF? After two HGF a row and some research I feel that MG is the only car with that problem. My friends who own sport cars -other than MGs- dont even know what a HGF is. I am very disppointed.
Ronald Gibson

No It's not just MG's ! - I've had HGF recently in a Fiat Punto and a Rover 620 and further in the past a Ford Capri, Triumph Herald and Opel Rekord - I might have a small one in the F at the moment though - getting it checked next week !

No it's not only MGs..... many marques have these so called "head gasket failures" including all those better 'build quality' ones. Head gaskets can and do fail. However, more often than not, the gaskets do not actually fail but are damaged as a result of some other problem with the car ... like loss of coolant which often happens for the silliest of reasons and goes unseen until it's too late and the damage is done. At motorway speeds a small leak in a coolant hose or some such could mean the total loss of coolant in very short time. No coolant = overheated engine = various failures ...

John McFeely

I had one in December which required a new head as I was driving when it happened and carried on the 2 miles to my dealer. Just like you say, the heater started blowing cold and the temp gauge was at top. The car was 33 months old and had 30k. It was all covered by MGR warranty and the car was repaired in under a week. No make of car is exempt, a gasket will always be a weak spot and a certain percentage will fail no matter what badge is on the bonnet.

Alan Dunlop

I may have been lucky, when the heater started to blow cold I was almost home. The temp guage was still at normal (only driving at about 50mph at the time). The garage have confimed HGF and said it will be about 4/5 days before I have it back - they are sending the head away for checks. Like you said it is covered under warranty.
The garage are arranging for a loan car -- hopefully ready today.
Steve Greenhalgh

> I've had HGF recently in a Fiat Punto

I've also had an HGF in a Fiat Punto and I also have 3 friends who have also had HGF with their Puntos.

Asked the dealer if it was a common problem and he said no but thats 5 out of 5 cases that I'm aware of!!!
Bob Millar

Sorry friends but I feel that Ron Gibson might be right although a bit of a pride punishing. Are MGs substandard quality? I can not say... but may be. I would not consider that you can fairly compare cheap cars like Puntos and other to a mgtf. I believe that in order to be fair we all should compare MGs to other cars within the similar price range. And doing that you will arrive to the sad conclusion that HGF are almost unknown in the forums of Subaru Impreza, Z3, S2000, MX5 and many other. Those chaps are most bored as the most exciting new seems to be in the need to change a flat battery! I have owned two MGs -F and FT- and had three HGF so I feel, sadly indeed, that I can speak from my own experience. Richard.
Richard Sanders

I bought my 1996 VVC 2 years ago in full knowledge of potential problems. I seriously considered the MX5 and test drove an early 1.6 and a late 1.8; ruled out the MR2 although very tempted by the last of the old styles; BMW were not even considered because I had several years experience of their outrageous service and parts costs; Elise very tempting but too impractical FOR ME as a daily driver; TVR too frightening.

So far my car has cost me MOT failure Oxy and Lambda sensors and an exhaust. Still on original HG.

Looked at the "enthusiasts bbs" for MX5 and spoke with a friend who has one - the owners seem as exciting as the car!!

Yes, MGF fails more often than it should but it is the price I am prepared to pay to meet with and talk to people who love cars and driving.

I feel really sorry for anybody who has several and would understand them getting bitter.
sprinter @home

I own a MGF 1.8 R 98 as my third car. My father used to drive a beautiful MGB so last year I decided to follow familly tradition and bought that beautiful F with only 45k on. I still like the looks but the engeneering is awfully complicated and extremely unreliable. My car spend most of its time at the garage. Every time I get it fixed think will be the last time. However something wrong will appear again soon. At this stage I am trying to sell it and forget about MGs. I have never had such a bad experience with any other car.
Greg Cooper

Sorry to hear of your woes with your MGF, but believe as an x automotive technician and an MG owner for 40+years the MGF is a well engineered car,you may just have got a badly neglected car ! The mgf needs carefull looking after " I have owned a no of MGA's, MGb's and midgets and have had to replace head gaskets, valves , king pins ,clutches , springs , shocks, waterpumps , oil pumps, overdrive units,! i could go on for ever .I now own an Mgf and truely believe that it is a great car and will one day be as great a classic as the B, so the MGF is no different to any other but if neglected like most any other car will give you considerable grief, but do not despair , try and find a reliable and knowledgeable mechanic to look after it and hopefully you will enjoy the end result.MGf's due to the layout of their major components need carefull and thorough maintenance to prevent major problems occuring, Also anyone who says that the MGF is a Rover and not an mg should also be aware that an MGB is A British Leyland car.
R J Hemphill

Still not back, spoke to garage on Friday and they say it needs a new head -- expecting it back either tomorrow or Tuesday.
Steve Greenhalgh

Ditto, Steve, still waiting for mine."Waiting for parts" Still no answer regarding fitting modded 'stat,Did you get an answer?
H.R. Bridge

I would not like to be polemic however I believe that at present times most of the cars are almost maintenance free. Oil and filters every 15k, service every 25k and that is at about all. I have owned many cars and still do. I find the F very likeable, bought mine after full mechanic revision and have sent it for every schedulled maintenance, however something will always be wrong or broken. That should not be considered as normal and do not happen in other cars and for me is unreliability. And I take from the readings at the BBS that it is not my experience only.
Greg Cooper

Greg, I agree. Since 1966 I have suffered one HGF on a Mk 2 Mex' with 110K up. I can't accept that it's just a normal everyday occurrence now.Don't get me wrong, I love my TF, I think it knocks spots off MX5'S and MR2's, but that Head Gasket, hmmmm. Regards.
H.R. Bridge

I agree with Robert's comments: if the car has been neglected (and this is possible, even if the car appears to have a full service history), then you are going to get problems. That applies to ANY car on the market.
>> And I take from the readings at the BBS that it is not my experience only.<< True, Greg - this is not as uncommon as we'd like - BUT neither is it everyone's experience of the car!

I have had mine 8 years, and am still a contented MG owner! :o)
Rob Bell

Agree with Greg. Problems and again problems was the story with my Fs, a 99 1.8 and then a Trophy, happily both gone for good. I believe that you can be happy with these cars if you have plenty of time and lots of money to waste. They are most unreliable. They are expensive to fix. And are not worth the effort and energy you have to devote on them. Typical british quality am afraid.
John Spicer

Car Returned on Wednesday and seems fine. Had it serviced whilst it was in and the garage knocked off the cost of Oil and Filter as it was replaced when fixing HGF -- Just about offset the extortionate cost of having the brake pads replaced on the front - about 150
IMO, Car is much quiet than pre-HGF !!
Steve Greenhalgh

Have had to accept my TF back with new HG, but no modified 'stat "We could be waiting weeks and weeks for the parts".Rang Longridge, no possibility of it being fitted free of charge(modded'stat).Rang Land Rover,"Oh yes sir, we fit it to all Freelanders as a precaution, free of charge,we know MG don't".Why don't the directors at MG spend some of their millions decorating the Boardroom with inflated Condoms,and a big banner reading "F**K THE CUSTOMER!".
H.R. Bridge

This thread was discussed between 28/02/2004 and 12/03/2004

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