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MG MGF Technical - Petrol smell

I have been browsing through the recent BBS archieves on this subject ... it appears that there are 2 versions of petrol tank.

Does anyone know the part no.s and which of these is the "non smelly one".

My F is a 1.8i YM2000 (originally imported from France according to the registration doc) and has done 23K, great fun to drive but smelly when you get in with the roof up.

Not been to MG Rover yet as the car is under warrenty from an independant garage (warranty limit per claim 700).
Would this be enough to cover a new tank etc ..?

Grateful for any advice ..?

Richard X178 CPA (new member)
RL Lane

I noticed this when I first got mine but I put it down to some side effect of lack of use. My car had done 3000 miles in four years! Since I've had it and used it regularly the smell dissapeared!

See for more.
I remember there is only one P/N for the fueltank (IMO). Only the newer is availible from new.
The pix here may be of interst as well. (german language only regarding fuel pump assemly with not approved suggestions, though)

But you need not just change the tank to fget rid of fuel smell. At first try the other points of trouble.
Kinked filler connection hose, blocked non return flap inside the filler pipe (lower end), sill to the cabin behind the seats.
SF has best pictures on his >> the rebuild.
Dieter K.

Thanks for the response, I have checked out the sites you suggested and found them really useful. Sounds a bit dangerous though removing pipes with petrol fumes about.
I read in one of the BBS threads that a kinked pipe can sometimes make filling the car with petrol difficult. I don't appear to have this problem.

Some observations: When I stop the car and open the boot and sniff through the grill into the engine (very technical), it just smells hot - no obvious smell of petrol. If I go to the petrol filler cap there is a whiff of petrol.
I have cleaned the seal on the petrol cap, maybe I should replace the rubber seal ..?

I did read in another thread that after a journey the fuel system becomes slightly pressurised - by slowly opening the petrol cap a slight hiss can be heard as the pressure equalises.
Maybe the fumes are escaping past the cap so it does not pressurise - I don't hear any hissing.
Not sure if a leak from the petrol cap gives off enough fumes to make the cab smell.

Regards Richard
Richard Lane

OK, if filling is easy the kinked hose could be left out. Though the jubilee clamps shouldbe checked.

To get a better feeling, remove the small cubby box from tunnel and put your nose into the tunnel.
If it stinks you probabbly have a *porous* tank or fuel gets out of the breather connection hose on top of the tank. This could be fixed by swapping the cheap clamps against stronger jubilee clamps. You find it under the the circular panel below the carpet beside the engine cover. (hood to be raised at the rear).

If the tank itself has the porous problem then the most effective but illegal action is removing an O-ring at the connection between tank to the purge valve in the engine bay. ;)
Damp pressure will expand free to the engine bay then and not enter the cabin.
Dieter K.


Our first MGF, it was 'R' reg and three years old when we bought it smelt of petrol. I printed of loads of material on the subject from the archive, showed this to my local Rover MG garage and said since this was clearly a design fault, what were they going to do about it. In the end, they paid for a new tank and I paid their labour and then smell went away. My 2001 Trophy does not smell of petrol. Good luck.

Dieter, Nic,
Thanks for the advice. I have some holidays coming up so will start replacing clamps for jubilee clips.
Is the "small cubby box" easy to remove, it looks as though it goes right up to the gear lever.

Good idea Nic, I'll start compiling some of these threads from BBS and take it to the local MG garage ... as I mentioned my F was originally imported from France, so probably not covered by Rovers 3 yr warranty.
Its got to be the next step though if replacing the clamps does not work.

Cheers Richard

RL Lane

Some pictures for you:

'Small Cubby Box'
>> <<

The instructions are for removing the lid, but for the purposes of this exercise, you only ned to remove the inner box (it just lifts out). Open the lid, unclip the front of the inner bin, then lift it out thus:

>> <<

'Petrol Tank'
>> <<


>> <<

There is a membrane and a metal panel between the petrol tank and the cabin. Obviously to get these pictures i had to remove these items :-)

'Circular panel beside inspection panel'
>> <<

'breather connection hose on top of the tank'
>> <<

Hope this makes it a bit clearer.

Scarlet Fever

The F is subject to a limited recall because of petrol odour. A number were fitted with tanks that have a faulty seam and the only cure is to replace the tank completely, which I have just had done under warranty.

If you take the car to an MGR dealer they should be aware of this issue and will agree to examine the motor. One final word of caution - MGF petrol tanks are in extremely short supply at the moment. I ended up having to get MGR customer services to source one for me and it still took a fortnight!

Ken Soper

This thread was discussed between 04/07/2003 and 07/07/2003

MG MGF Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGF Technical BBS is active now.