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MG MGF Technical - MGF EPAS Steering Bias Fixed - by Alan, SE London

Hi All,

Please read all before replying - sorry its a bit long.

First a bit of background - for the past 18 months my '99 MY2000 MGF has suffered from the now becoming rather common EPAS (electronic power assisted steering) bias where, when going slowly the steering wheel will turn to the left on its own quite dramatically. A way of proving this problem is evident is to raise the front of the car on a jack and then switch the ignition on - the steering will obviously turn to the left.

At my last but one MOT (March 2005), ATS failed it on this problem (it IS an MOT failure issue) and only when the MGR dealer wrote a letter would ATS agree to pass it but weren't happy to. After discussing it with the MGR dealer, B&G and MGOC they all said the only way to fix it is to replace the entire steering column - at a new part cost of 800 or a second hand part cost of less if you can find a second hand one from ebay or a breaker - you are then looking at fitting it yourself.

Another way of fixing it is to visit a man called Alan - a specialist in power steering. He has advertised on here before and on eBay but had a few negative comments in return. I was happy to ignore these and so this is the method I chose. I visited Alan a couple of weeks ago with only his word over the phone that he could fix it in a couple of hours.

Well, after a couple of hours of my MGF being with Alan it is now perfectly fixed. It is now a delight to drive again - I no longer have to hold on tight to the wheel at all times while driving slowly. It was a pleasure to talk to Alan about the problem and the history behind it - an easy to get on with person who, yes although earns money from doing the fix, clearly wants to help where he can. He was also extremely flexible at when he could fit me in.

As with the majority of issues with MGFs such as head gasket failure, suspension problems, gear linkage cables snapping and simpler tasks such as replacing brake pads, oil changes etc I'm fully aware there are instructions out there on how to perform these jobs as DIY and some mechanically minded people are happy to follow these to fix them. However there are also a lot of people who lack the ability or confidence to do it themselves - these are the people who visit garages instead. I don't know of any of the normal MGF specialists (MS, MGFC, B&G, MGOC etc) who will do the EPAS fix as above without going down the costly route of replacement parts. So I'd very much recommended a trip to see Alan as a much cheaper alternative to solve the problem.

So, finally to pass on Alan's details - give him a call and discuss it with him:

Telephone: 07971 420682
Email: quoman_bigg@[NOSPAM]ntlworld.com (remove the [NOSPAM] part to send an email to him)

If you have any questions for me personally on this, please PM me - more than happy to help.

Thanks for reading and regards

ChrisT.
Chris Tromans

Yes that's all very well Chris, but how much did Alan charge you for fixing your EPAS?
David Clelland

David - good question! BUT I would guess a lot less than than having a new column fitted!
Ted Newman

And the more technical part of it : What is the reason for the need of "re-aligning" the pot? Could it be a ageing problem of the cermet track on the potentiometer? Wear on that track due to the moving slider? Most probably there is no permanent fix,in due time it will pop up again if it is based upon wear.
Just wonder if that pot can be found at any electronics part dealer at a fraction of cost for a new steering column.
Carl

Did you check out rob bells and keith starbucks way to mend the epas steering. i did mine it saved me mega bucks i think you where done there chris sorry mate ..

darren jeffery

theres a page on robs site how to save money mr starbucks info and me check it out
darren jeffery

Darren,

Take another read of the post - as mentioned in para 5 ("As with the majority...." - I'm fully aware of Rob and Keiths instructions on how to fix the epas steering but my report was simply intended to point out that, for those who are not confident at all of carrying out this task (similar to those who don't carry out their own HGF repairs) they need to be aware of specialists who can carry out the job for them.

My wish was to make people aware that Alan is a specialist on this and is very capable of completing the fix (yes, at a cost) and is a good friendly bloke who's there to help people. This is in a similar way to many people posting that the MGF Centre (for example) did a cracking job on an HGF repair for them (but again, at a cost).

Hope this is understood. Essentially, those people who do pay specialists to complete work should not feel they have been 'done' because they don't have the abilities themselves.

Cheers

Chris
Chris Tromans

With any safety related item it is far better to have an expert do the job if you are not confident in doing it yourself.

And I should like to thank Chris for bring it to our attention that there is guy available to do it for us.
Ted Newman

Sorry chris for running off i see your point now.. argh that goes to show you should read things first before typing argh.. wasnt havent a dig at you honest. And thanks for the number matey. As you said some people have confindence to do things and others dont .

cheers mate no hard feelings

darren
darren jeffery

Hey Darren,

Absolutely no offence taken :-)

Chris
Chris Tromans

thank you chris for your very positive response
i am glad that you didnt feel "done".i would also like to thank ted for his positive statement i hope to deal with some of you very soon!!
alan bigg

hey chris did mine in the end remember last year???mine passed but still steering left they said i would need a new rack. well i done mine just moved the sensor and bingo job done,,, has not moved since

darren

darren jeffery

Adressing this problem has until the arrival of those prepared to tackle repairs been a complete column replacement at a new cost of well in excess of 600 plus fitting plus vat.

Of those who have had the repair done I have not had any negative feedback of recurring problems, and then if the steering does develop the bias again then it would be a matter of further adjustment and you would have to suffer around four repeat failures before even getting to the cost of a standard repair.

In addition to the services offered by those based in the Grenwich area of London, MGOC Workshop is able to offfer this repair service for a very competitive price (ring 01954 234001 for more details) and would be more convenient for many over the location of other current specialists offering the same service.

I expect that as more specialists start to offer such a service in more locations the price will drop some more with that growing competition.

Rog
Roger Parker

Chris, we have been fixing the EPAS bias for well over a year by adjusting the bias, we ususlly alow 1-2 hours labour.
mike

my price for this job is 95 to people who mention this site
alan bigg

Mike, Roger...

Thanks for correcting my post in that others are already doing this work. Roger - I've had my F serviced at MGOC for the last two services - it had the problem last year at my service and you didn't mention it was fixable by yourselves so thats why assumed you still didn't. Mike - I just didn't see it on your online price list so again, assumed you didn't. My mistake.

I guess for those near and around London, Alan is the quickest to get to :-)

Chris
Chris Tromans

Hi,

I have a recent problems with EPAS - warning light is constantly on and steering is no longer power assisted. The car was not used all winter and this problem just started.

I am based in Ireland and previous Rover dealer has said it is a sealed unit + the entire steering would need to be replaced i.e. I don't think there was too much diagnosis.

He also warned against driving the car and said the steering could lock at any time.

I don't know too much about this are and am not aware of 'experts' based in Ireland. can anyone advise?

Thanks, Claire
CE Smith


<He also warned against driving the car and said the steering could lock at any time.>
Sounds like bo**ocks to me.
mike

If EPAS light is on and EPAS not working, it is definately safe to drive???


I have had dying battery issues so I now see this could be related.

what is the recommended battery size for 1997 MGF (not a VVC) with EPAS?


/Claire
CE Smith

Both the MPi and VVC have the same size battery if they both have EPAS - the early MPi came with a smaller battery if the steering was not power.
Ted Newman

Claire, silly question: is the speedo working correctly? Commonest cause of a non-operational EPAS is failure of the speedo cable - although this only really applies to pre-2000 MGFs.

Regarding driving with the EPAS reporting a fault - I'd remove the EPAS fuse from its holder under the bonnet. The car is safe to drive in this condition, although clearly, the fault needs sorting out.

Is the EPAS ECU receiving power?
Rob Bell

This thread was discussed between 19/05/2006 and 30/05/2006

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