Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGF Technical - MGF Cutting out

1997 MGF, having problems! First happened after a 15 mile motorway run, and again after driving 500yards from home! Complete loss of power, but can just catch it (maybe!) if I dip the clutch and rev the engine. To start off with this causes the revs to drop lower, followed by a sudden burst of revs. Then chances are it just dies.

I have already been through the replacement of the plug leads, rotor arm and distributor cap. Could this be caused by the coil breaking down?

Also, there is a really strong smell - not oil or petrol. After leaving the car sat lonely at the side of the road, eventually it will restart again, but is running lumpy.

Does anyone have any ideas, as previously Rover couldn't find out the stalling problem with the HT leads fault! Doin't want to waste another arm and a leg having them fault find.

Much appreciated,

What an irritating problem James :o(

The problem is likely to be one of two things: ignition or fuelling.

You've already performed all the basic checks and replacements on the ignition side - but this is not the whole story, as there are sensors too that dictate ignition and fuelling - such as the crank position sensor (I'd be looking at this one as it has been known to fail on K-series engines - and could result in similar problems to the one you report).

Fuelling wise, you'll want to know whether the fuel pump is functioning satisfactorily and whether the fuel rail pressure is up to specification (3psi 10%)

What may help is to get the car connected to Testbook at a garage that doesn't charge at a rate of a limb per hour: the MGF Centre has one, so it could be worth your while heading up to Wolverhampton for a comprehensive diagnostics session... Chat to Bill to see what he says.

The odd odour is curious: what does the car smell of? Electrical?
Rob Bell

It could be the coil - or the plugs.
Could also be an (intermittent) air leak - eg inlet manifold.
The 'really strong smell' isn't coolant by any chance ? How's the oil / coolant levels ?
Rather than using an MG dealer, then an independent/mobile mechanic might be able to help, coil / plug breakdown can be analysed by an electrical specialist in seconds.

How long have you owned the car - and what do you know of its service history ?


We've owned the car for about five years - from about six months old. FMGSH, including an 80k service yesterday! Problem is, this was happening before, and we thought that the service would highlight anything. They've replaced one of the sensors (don't know which though, as it's my wife's car, and she collected it).

The really string smell is difficult to pinpoint - it almost smells of burning plastic, but is different to that. As I said, definitely not petrol / oil.

My next step, I think, is to replace the coil. If it does fix it, then great - if not, then I think after 80k it will probably need replacing anyway.
J Clarke

Hi James,

I have found a similar problem to you, and had it since I owned my MG. Never really found out what it is.
Replaced the sensors, Leads, Coil, had various services, and ECU diagnostics and never found it.

Mine hits mainly (but not always) when its wet. The car is always cold and first thing in the morning and its normally winter time.
What I have found though is that at the time when I have really been suffering with this, there seems to be a link to a certain supermarket fuel.
Now that my cars had another year of services etc, I am hoping for a quiet year this year.

Its not very helpful, but if from home you can get onto a nice constant flowing road instead of in-town stuff, then I find the problem clears within a few minutes driving.

Neil H

if it is a coiled problem you normally have a problem with starting the engine (dampness), if the the car just cuts out and only restarts after a few minutes, the problem is normally a MEMS unit(engine ECU) or a MFU (multi function unit). in all honesty i would say the problem would more likely to be the MEMS unit. i have replaced loads of the units over the years for this problem, espeacially on the 1.9 version of MEMS (large cross on ECU). you will need to get a dealer to program a known good unit into car and test it, most dealers should have a good unit around for testing. hope this helps.

I have exactly the same problem,not with my f,but my subaru legacy (I know, but try getting 2 black labs in an f!)It simply dies at any revs,any temp,any time.restarts after a few tries,may run for 50 miles and stop without warning.If anyone can help I'd be grateful,I'm fed up with lane 1 on the m.way!

Paul, not a lot wrong with a Subaru Legacy. We also have a TF and a Subaru. Try getting a load of ski gear into the F, not to mention having to fit chains occasionally. However, we did take the F up Mt Ruapehu for a night last year, but not for skiing. Only reason was that we had a MGCC run on the Sunday for the MGBs 40th birthday to go to. Good day, well over 100 MGs atended.
Neil Courtney

This thread was discussed between 16/10/2003 and 17/10/2003

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.