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MG MGF Technical - My dealer sux, so they can't tell what's wrong with my F, so I have to tell them what to do! What's your analysis on the problem?

Hi all.

I recently put up a thread 'Squeaking dash'.

As I mentioned on the title of this msg, My dealer sux. Well most dealers in NZ sux anyway, and I have to tell them what to do most of the time.

So this is the problem I have...

Could you analysis what the problem is? I think I know what it is, but please give me your comments as well. Thanks.

* It still relates to the dash squeak/creak, I am just not 100% sure if it is a cracked cross member. Before the dealer starts taking the dash off (and I am paying for it!!), I want to make sure that it is a cross member.

The car creaks / squeaks...
1) When the body flexes
2) It comes from the driver's side (behind the steering wheel). Doesn't creak from passengers (I don't think yet)
3) It only started in summer time. (I got it in autumn)
4) If I push up and down the steering wheel, I can reproduce similar / same squeaks / creaks.
5) Tried to stabilise plastic trims, with no help.
6) Also looked at speedo plastic glass, but no sqeak from there.
7) It squeaks when coming down a steep drive way (thus body flexes), on hard corners, sudden corner, uneven road surfaces (never squeaks on motorways).
8) Sometimes has this tick (or small crackle noises)

So, come to an end, i think it's a cracked-crossmember.

Dealer quoted me for about 4~5 hours labour. Over at least 2 days he says.

What do you think? Please let me know.

After a rear speaker installation yesterday, I can hear less creak, but still I can hear it when the radio is off!

Some said it's dodgy to remove and refit the dash, and just live with it... [but I can't!!]

I have the workshop manual and all pictures, photos, etc. so I can go in and show the mechanic what I have. I will tell him to do the job properly!!! :-)

And regarding to the steering column assembly, do you know how much it costs?


My car is going into dealers next Monday (UK time that is, Tuesday for NZ time here).

Hanah Kim

Maybe out of place for saying this, but if you have no confidence in your dealer and you're paying anyway, why not go someplace else? No tech likes being told how to diagnose/repair - sounds like a recipe for more problems. Good luck.

long shot, but I once had a sqeak I swore came from the dash behind the steering wheel, then the bolt fell out of the hood catch on the drivers side. When replaced and tightened, no more sqeaking. Needs an allan key.
Good luck


Trying to do 'long distant' diagnosis is almost as bad as trying to do a long distant operation!

However - to me the noises you are complaing about DO NOT sound like a cracked brace tube welds more like scuttle shake and I am sorry but the open top car without this has yet to be invented! And with all due respect if what you want is is a totally quiet car try the Toyota Starlet - I had one on hire last week in Morocco and it was quiet on their almost non existent tarmac road surfaces, mind you it was an absolute w***er with no go or guts.

Failing that try contacting you NZ MG club and see if anyone thre can reccomend a body shop for looking at your car.

Ted Newman

To Joaquin,

Yes, you are right, but these people were quite good when I took my car last time get it serviced. They are only a Rover dealer now, and they don't look after MGs officialy any more.

To Gareth,

Yes, I looked at your thread through the archieve. I tightned them 2 weeks ago. They were not lose.. :( But I found my seat belt a little loose, so I tighted them up.

To Ted,

I actually contacted NZ MG club, and found one good panel beater, but he has probably never took the dash out from the MGF. I have the copies of work shop manual to do that though.
When I say a quite car, it's at least not as noisy as a bus! Whenever my dad's in the car, he calls my F a bus, cuz it sounds like one... squeak and rattle.
Even a 12 year old MX-5s were more quite... on this matter...

Still can't decide what to do..

I am just hoping they actually put the dash back in perfectly..

Hanah Kim

I have been reading through the workshop manual, and the official fix for the cracked crossmember beam.

It doesn't look too difficult.. to me.

[but I know I can't do it myself]

It also suggests making 3 holes to do extra weld, does it mean right through the beam and the socket, or just top of the socket and not the actualy beam, thus increasing the surface area for more welds.

At Dieter's site, the pictures provide more holes than 3. I guess more holes better it is.

I am still waiting for more comments..

Plz, Help!

Thanks to you all.

Hanah Kim

>No tech likes being told how to diagnose/repair

When I first got my F I found I had to learn about it because my dealer seemed not to have a clue with many of the problems with my car. It found it was easier all round if I did the research myself first. The dealer actually seemed happy that he did not have to try and work out some of this for himself. I assume the word tech is in quotes or something, as tech is not something that has to be too high when it comes to fixing motor cars. I even gave my first dealer the URL of the FAQ.

I think it is that many garages (not just Rover) have got used to doing a bad job on fleet cars over many years and many have forgotten how to care about the customer or even his (or her) car. This can only happen if the customer lets them get away with it. Maybe it's because many people have this "tech" image of garage mechanics :-).

The reason I am a crap mechanic is because I hate getting wet and cold and smashing my fingers to bits. I hate the taste of oil and if a nut won't come off I lose it really quickly and cut the bloody thing off. This is why I don't do it for a job or much at home because if pushed I'm more likely to do more damage then anything else. I can handle the theory, it's just the practice I hate.

If someone can find me a doctor for my car instead of a quack let me know, because I aint found one yet.
Tony Smith


I really don't think that we can confidently say exactly what is happening here. Not your fault at all, simply because describing noises is difficult, and to track down noise is so notorously difficult.

So if you are asking for an opinion, mine would be that this sounds more like a trim problem than something inheritantly wrong with the structural integrity of the car.

Therefore you have two options:

1. Ask your Rover dealer to strip the dashboard. Ask him to look for evidence of trim/trim movement (maybe wear evident) and to spay a silicon based lubricant over the trim components- so if trim parts are moving over one another, at least they'll do so quietly!

2. Strip the dashboard yourself piece by piece until the car is quiet to drive. Time consuming, but ultimately more likely to reveal exactly were the noise is eminating from.

On a similar direction to Gareth's alternative noise source, do check out the windows in the doors. Something simple there could be the culprit of alot of noise- such as an expired window stop.

Don't give up yet, and keep us posted Hannah!

Rob Bell

Hi all,

was involved in the threads the other week.
In consumption it is as Hanah asks.

Cross member bar on the right hand side, or as Mike Satur mentioned, it could be the plastic things where the steering column is bolted to the bar at the cross member bar.

Sorry for the poor description. The steering column is bolted to the chassis in a way that it breakes off in case of an impact. (See workshop manual, steering subject)
Mikes thoughts went into this direction cause Hanah was told to rattle strong at the steering wheel to find out failures and he did. But we do not know how strong he rattled and wether such rattling can break the fixture.

Its said before and I only can underline. Description of noises in a BBS is nearly impossible.

Anyway, helpfull could be descriptions of other chaps who got the cross member welded.

Also it would be interestting to hearing about any case where this 'should break' inserted nuts got broken cause of rattling at the steering wheel.

At last Hanah can only made confident in this or into the other direction by more or less helpful opinions.

Hanah, I got no time to look for the plastic nuts. They are still in the wreck.
Earlyest date will be next weekend to look for them.

IMHO it is the cross member bars welding in his case. And immidiate advise is to do the welding job on both sides. The broken and the currently not broken one.
The picture on the webside shows only what any official papers contend. I've never seen a welded bar myself.

Anyway, I can't be sure, nobody can. Its really only my opinion after having chatted in two threads here and at the MGF General BBS in the last two weeks.

Dieter Koennecke

Thanks for the information Tony, Rob, and Dieter!

To Dieter,

About rattling (or trying to push up and down) the steering wheel. I didn't really do it hard. And the point is that the same noise was produced before I did that, and after I did. The degree of the squeak / creak did not increase.

About the rivets, don't worry too much Dieter, even if I have a problem with it, I will get it sorted some how, maybe even inserting couple of custom made metal ones.

So in a day time, this is what I am planning to do...

1) Since the Rover dealer is supposed to take the dash out.. and a seperate welder is coming to the dealer to do the job, I am going to print out 2 separate intructions for both of them.

2) I will (as Rob mentioned) ask the dealer to strip down the dash and make them to check each parts to see or to find the sign of rubbing. (that could produce the noise)

3) And I will make the welder weld the bars, why not do it anyway when the dash is off.

4) After the welding and some other primers put on the point of welding, Dash refit carefully.

5) Then Rover carries out my 20000km (I am on 17500km) service at that point without changing my engine oil / coolant / oil filter, as I have done them 3000km ago with full synthetic oil. (Castrol SLX)

That's my plan..


Thanks to all.

Hanah Kim

This thread was discussed between 04/01/2001 and 07/01/2001

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