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MG MGF Technical - My VVC sounds like a turbo!!

Got a 60,000 mile service yesterday - including new water pump.

Now if I flick the revs above..say..3000 there's a whirring - a bit like a low-pressure turbo.

Also at very low revs you get that sound like a motorbike chain at slow speed.

Is this normal?
Neil H

would be interested to know the answers to this as i have a vvc that has a whistle once you get up to around the 4200 plus rpm range, any htoughts?
T Macleod

Any work been done on the cambelt??

My old car had work done on it, some of it included the cambelt - When I drove it, it could have been mistaken for a Renault 5GT Turbo (without the cheap dump valve).....turns out the cambelt was too tight. Got taken back and replaced....problem gone.

The noise did tend to be at all revs though.
A Smith

Ahh! That's what I worries about.
Will it loosen, r do I need to get it sorted ASAP?
Neil H

ASAP, or it might really losten on you 8-(
Will Munns

Neil, T McLoed,

This is the first time anybody on this BBS reports something I have experienced from day one in my current VVC, meaning the whirring, wooshing or whistling sound.

I am pretty sure that neither my ’96 MPI nor the ‘00 VVC made that sound. When I reach 4,000 revs I also get a whirring or wooshing sound coming from the engine bay, provided I am on full throttle, and the sound gradually increases in pitch until 7,000 revs. If you ease off the throttle the “woosh” disappears. It is especially obvious with the top down.

It’s definitely not an induction roar like on a KN filter, more like a wind noise, but coming from the engine and only when on full or near-full throttle. It’s not a turbo sound, either, I know that one well from the Audi S3 (incidentally, it was the only interesting sound that engine made).

When I changed my ’01 airbox for a Trophy/TF airbox with the extra induction pipe, the whoosh increased to a higher pitch, suggesting that more air was coming through whatever was making the noise. (It could be the TB though as I changed that at the same time).

My theory is that it comes from the new ’01 airbox, and its induction pipe that feeds directly into the airbox, unlike in the earlier models which have the resonator box.

Do you guys have 2001 models (or more recent?).

Of course if my reasoning is correct then a Trophy or TF should make the same noise. I’m not sure they do.

Rob, SF, any thoughts?


P.S. The wining sound of the VVC is normal I think, it’s due to the VVC camshaft, the MPI definitely doesn’t make that noise. Are you sure it didn’t make that noise before?


My VVC is pre-2000.
It does 'rise-in-tone' as you put your foot down.., but that may/may not be because it benefits from and ITG induction system.

When I got my car back from its 60,000 miler its picked up a much more pronounced turbo-y sound.

The next day, not sure if my car had the same kick as before, I gave her a little squeeze (on a test track of course), and now the sound has gone.

So.. my summation is that the belt was probably a little on the tight side.., but it was just settling in.

Neil H

Tight belts certainly do 'whistle' or 'hum' (has a bit of a warble about it - if you know what I mean) - and frequently, this can be heard at idle as well. The louder the whistle, the tighter the belt... However, quite often once a belt has been replaced and correctly tensioned, they can whistle- at least until they've bedded in. This sounds as though this is the case here Neil - which is good news.

I guess this is a case of observation now - but hopefully all is well... :o)
Rob Bell

Its that HGF panic.

My car's 60k in.., and touch wood, No HGF.
I officially have headgasobia and any slight noise, ever.., I'm thinking "I bet that's that sound of sweet mayo being made!" :-(

So yeah.., its obvioucly bedding, and I'm paranoid.
The top-end whistle has gone, but the low end revs still sound a little like a motorbike chain does when the wheel goes round at low speed..

Neil H

I don't know of any sound of HGF, but keep the nostrels tuned, it's how I caught my HGF before the water was past the MIN mark.
Will Munns

Hmm - I can't explain the 'motorcycle chain' noise...? Where in the engine is that eminating from Neil?
Rob Bell

The middle!

Standing outside the car - between 800-2000 revs, you can hear some kinda whirr.
Doesn't sound bad, and I'm counting on it going in the next 200 miles or so.. else she's going straight back to the garage that billed me £862 to do it in the first place..

yes... 862... a delicate subject..
Neil H

From the valve train?

For 862 quid, I'd have expected them to gold-plate the cam cover. I'd be having words with the aforementioned garage - it doesn't sound entirely normal to me - perhaps other VVC owners could comment?
Rob Bell

Mine hasnt got the same sounds as you describe, but mine has a kinda supercharger noise to it (it hasnt got 1, had to point that out ;)), just wondering if anyone has any ideas of what it could be.


I was looking for some help to my problem and this seems like it could be it.

I bought a 1996 mgf vvc to replace my 1991 eunos roadster, (I did have 1964 midget when I was in 6th form and a 1970 midget through 4 years at uni, both rebuilt from the ground up by me)

My "new" mg has done 65,000 miles and has apparently had headgasket replaced in the last year. I picked it up last week from oxford and drove home fine. I noticed that front pipe of exhaust was blowing, so I had a new one fitted at local "mr tyre" place. within ten miles it had started a high pitched whistle.

I noticed the next day that the header tank was empty, it took half litre to top up.

I took car back to mr tyre who replaced the front pipe in hope of getting rid of turbo type noise, but new one did the same, they recommended giving it a few weeks to carbon up!

MG/rover reckon that its due to cheaper exhaust and poor materials causing tinny/whistle type noise. local dealer says a 45 had the same prob until they fitted full rover system.

the whistle is still there, and I did 300 mile round trip yesterday and had to top up coolant with about a litre of water/anti freeze today.

Ive looked under the car and noticed droplets of coolant forming on sump. maybe whistle is bearings on water pump? I hope its not head gasket.

what do you think?

Do I have any comeback against seller? it was private sale and the car was advertised as good mechanically.

Im using the eunos this week as scared to use the mg


J M Collins

Ouch! I'm afraid that does sound like an HGF to me.

Comments Will?
Neil H

Sounds like HG, but you'r right it could be the water pump (and if you don't fix it sharpish then you might end up with HGF, or worse*).

If you are spanner savvy, then pull up the carpet on the parcel shelf and undo the 10 nuts, then run the engine, if water appears on the alt tehn you have HGF. If you have ramps and water is comming down the front of the engine, at the alt end then it is HGF.

Is the exaust still pumping out clouds after 15 mins?

Is the water oily?

Is the oil mayo'ie?

>and has apparently had headgasket replaced in the last year.

If you have a receipt then I'd take it to them and say the repair was clearly faulty

It could well be the water pump (especially if the last HGF was caused by leaking water leading to low coolant etc), in which case you could be in for a smaller bill.

But unfortunatly at the end of the day I think most cars are 'sold as seen' and you have little comeback, On the plus side the amount of money you saved by buying privatly should buy you at least two HGF repairs!

*worse as in wet cam belt slips leading to bad timing leading to new engine required - eek!
Will Munns


You need to track down where the coolant is coming from. If there is no sign of water/oil mix i.e. no brown/cream mayo like substance on the dipstick or no oily residue around the inside of the expansion bottle then if it is an HGF it hopefully is the classic 'above the alternator' leak. Remove the engine cover and take a look in this area.

Obviously other options for leaks around the engine bay, besides the water pupmp are the hoses, clips and expansion bottle cap. The latter should be reasonably obvious with staining around the expansion bottle. The hoses that seem to play up are the engine outlet hose and the heater bypass and return hose - both need the engine cover to be removed for a check.

Dave Livingstone

Get the water pump investigated ASAP - they can leak and they can whine. Failure is an expensive diaster.
Rob Bell


Thanks for the ideas, I'll try to get cover off tonight, but Ive not got a garage, so it will be big lead light job.

Im not going to run the car this week, (back in the Eunos!)

It doesnt push out steam/smoke from exhaust, it doesnt overheat, it runs spot on, the oil is clean, so is the water, hopefully its a leaking pump then.


green mx5???

Do we have an imposter?! ;-)
Neil H

Hi Neil

Im using work computer to check this thread and I cant remember my log in details, I wrote them down and left them by pc at home.

I was going to change email to green_mgf@ but havent got round to it.

Ive only had car a week, and probs already, Ive had 4 years trouble free with eunos/mx5. Just wanted to get back into MG's(see my post above-JM Collins)


This thread was discussed between 10/12/2003 and 15/12/2003

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