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MG MGF Technical - Noise - From brakes?


I was just cruising around in this lovely hot weather yesterday and I started getting what sounded like a squeeky brake noise when I wasn't touching the brakes at all!

What seemed to kick it off was any movement right on the steering wheel, and to stop it I needed to stop steering right and then press down the brake a little and let it off again.

The sound seemed to be coming from the rear passenger wheel so I had a look at the pad on the outside and it looks like there is plenty of pad there although the disc on that side does have some corrosion round the outer edge. Could this be causing it?

Didn't happen on the return journey at about 11pm so it may be related to heat. Also it does seem to only have started after I adjusted the handbrake as the light was coming on when driving because the cable had got slack.

Pad replacement first? Does a bit of corrosion on the disc make much difference?


D Wavell

Dan, is it an F or a TF?

The rear pads on the F have a wear indicator built in. Not very sophisticated, just a strip of spring steel that touches the edge of the disk when the pads wear down. It is suposed to make a noise that gets louder and more persistent as pad wera increases. This is not present on my TF so I'm not sure when it was dropped.

BUT I had a similar experience with my TF - noise from left rear wheel when right hand cornering. Was the wheel bearing breaking up and eating in to the flange.
John Ponting

>>The rear pads on the F have a wear indicator built in.

Only true, of course, on standard OEM pads. If someone's fitted alternative pads then this indicator may not be there.
Dave Livingstone

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply, my car is an F (1997), I wonder if it is that indicator thing kicking in then?

Hopefully it's not the bearing breaking up! That sounds expensive! Was it? What are the bearings like to replace? I have done them on older cars, but I'm guessing the F may well need some special tools. Any way you know to check this? Can I jack the car up and check for wheel wobble?

Dan Wavell


I've changed bearings in years gone by but didn't have time, or wasn't totally sure what the problem was this time.

Had the job done by Brown & Gammons, bearing, flange, labour, vat etc etc 193 and I was quite pleased as it could easily have been more serious, given my original problem when the hub nut came loose inspite of the lock tab.
John Ponting

Hi Dan,

A possible cause of your handbrake cable going slack is partial siezing of the sprung lever on the caliper - if this isn't moving & returning freely the handbrake won't fully release (the return spring on the lever isn't particularly strong). This could be leaving the pads rubbing on the disc until a footpedal braking/release process has been completed.
Mike Hankin

Cheers Mike,

Does sound possible, although the noise only seems to appear when I've been driving for quite a few miles and isn't related to when I've had the handbrake on.

If it was this problem how do I check the lever to see if it's siezed? Will it look corroded or something? Sorry, new to the mgf world!
Dan Wavell

If you remove the wheel and have someone apply and release the handbrake you'll see the lever moving; note the direction it moves when being released and see if there is any more travel possible when 'helped' with a screwdriver or other lever. If so, try sluicing out the recess the shaft goes into with brake cleaner spray, then apply a liberal dose of 3in1 or other lubricating oil and then work the lever to and fro until its moving smoothly. This is easiest/best to do with the cable disconnected (wire clip & pin) or slacken off the adjusters under the cubby box to give some free play.
Rear calipers are not really 'overhaulable' so in severe cases replacement is the only option, but costs are not outrageous.
I am of course working on the basis that if it sounds like brake noise then it probably is coming from the brakes... I think if it was the bearing the noise wouldn't be controllable with a jab on the brakes. Maybe a simple re-greasing of the backs of the pads is all that's needed, but the fact that the cable needed adjusting suggests something isn't working/releasing the way it should.
Mike Hankin

Cheers Mike, will get on and have a look at that option next time I'm at my Dad's and have access to all the jacking and greasing/oiling things I need!
Dan Wavell

This thread was discussed between 11/07/2005 and 18/07/2005

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