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MG MGF Technical - mgf fails to start

Car usually starts ok but sometimes when moving the key from "ignition on" to "turn starter motor" psoition nothing happens - engine fails to turn over, no other noise and all lights on dashboard go out save for the central oil one which comes on. The car can be bump started. Changing the battery and igntion coil and leads has had no effect. If the car is left alone for a couple of hours the fault may go away. Does the MGF still use a solenoid switch to direct current to the starter motor - which could be faulty? Or does anyone have any other suggestions?
dave taylor


The problem sounds like the connections to the solenoid on the starter motor are failing. Lift the boot lid. Remove the grille above the engine compartment. Look down on the lefthand side of the engine at the bottom. You will see the starter motor and solenoid attached. Both are cylindrical. Check the tightness of the small wire attached to the solenoid. The wire is usually tie wrapped onto the solenoid as well, to stop it vibrating. Although there is no great current flowing through this wire when starting there is a big inductive load in the solenoid which will cause any loose wire connections to become dirty and intermittent. BE CAREFULL NOT TO SHORT THE LARGE 'BOLT ON' CONNECTION TO CHASSIS or you may find things get a little hot. This connection is direct to the battery. Disconnect the earth of the battery first if you want to be safe.

Intermittent failure of the starter motor/solenoid is also another thing to consider. Some owners, including myself, have had to resort to tapping the motor/solenoid with a stick or brolly to get started. In this case the long term fix is a replacement.

Good luck and hope this helped

Bruce Caldwell

What Bruce said are the most common reasons.
Another one but very seldom could be a problem with the ignition lock switch behind the steering wheel. Heard of that only once in my 4 years MGF BBS live.
Dieter K.

This thread was discussed between 15/01/2003 and 16/01/2003

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