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MG MGF Technical - Petrol Smell in Cabin

Hello, i wondered whether anyone can help? I have recently bought an MGF year 2000. I have noticed that when i get in the car of a morning, the cabin smells strongly of petrol. The smell seems to go when driving (obviously because of the air flow). I have taken it to an MG Dealer in Manchester who did a "Chassis probe test" and said that there was nothing wrong. I asked whether it was the breather pipe that was faulty and they said no. I am concerned because the cabin should not smell of petrol. Can anyone help?????

If you become a member you can search the archives - theres plenty about it in there.

Basically, early F's had a problem with the fuel tank although this should have been fixed by the time they made yours.

There are other things you can try - I'll look them up if no one else volunteers the info soon...


The smell of petrol in the cockpit of your car is possibly due to the petrol tank to fuel pump seal leaking. This is quite a cheap fix if it turns out to be that.

Your car should be fitted with the later type of fuel tank as Russell said, so that can probably be eliminated.

Other possibilites are a small leak from the petrol tank caused by a foreign object puncturing it, the fuel filler cap seal could be damaged, finally I guess the breather pipe may be incorrectly routed, but MG Rover have checked that presumably when they did the chassis test.

My final advice is that if you are a smoker, then do not light up until you have done a couple of miles!!!


R Longmore

Thanks for your advice, i have searched through the archives and they all seem to be covering mk1 engines. Can anyone else offer some advice? I have contacted MG Rover, who assure me that i will get a call back in 48hrs.

I think that the dealer in Manchester fobbed me off, as he said that most soft tops have a petrol smell in the cabin and there is no problem with my car.

Obviously i need to take all the comments on this website back to the guy and tell him that there is definitely a problem!!!!!!!
A Hall

>> I think that the dealer in Manchester fobbed me off, as he said that most soft tops have a petrol smell in the cabin and there is no problem with my car. <<

Yes, this is a fob-off - your car has a problem; MGFs shouldn't smell of petrol!!!

Ross has the causes pretty much covered: leaking seals/ blocked breather pipes most common causes. Cars manufactured after November 1999 benefited from a double skinned fuel tank that effectively solved the porous tank problem - but it is possible that your tank may need replacing. Let's hope you get to the bottom of this problem soon :o)
Rob Bell

Thanks for all your comments. I am taking my car to an mgf specialist on Tuesday (a place recommended by a work colleague) so hopefully i will get to the bottom of it soon. I wasn't impressed by the Dealer in Mcr, and i got the impression that all they did was the chassis test, and did not check the breather pipe (only my guess though!)

A Hall

they should know about several *official* actions to seal the cabin against fuel smell. All written before MGR changed the name in 2002. This papers seam almost forgotten if you get to a non experianced dealership.

Some useful instructions as mentioned in the archives and a short consumption on this site.

Dieter K.

This thread was discussed on 21/08/2003

MG MGF Technical index

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