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MG MGF Technical - Power Steering Fault

Driving the car earlier today, red warning light came on to advise of a fault with PAS. Sure enough, it was obvious at the next roundabout that PAS was not working.

I thought that it may be a faulty fuse which I could sort out after work. However when I came to go home, there was no problem and no warning light illuminated.

Has anyone else had a similar problem? My car is a 1996 model.

Were you holding the car at high revs whilst stationary? - that would cause the PAS to cutout until the engine was switched off and restarted.
Other than that, I had major problems with my PAS earlier this year on 97 F. Ended up replacing the column and the EPAS ECU, only to find it was a faulty multi pin connector; so check these if the problem persists.
I too live in Bristol, and have a spare EPAS ECU if you find this needs replacing!
Jason Harris

I had the same problem, EPAS light coming on at a standstill. Re-start engine, light goes out but the same thing happens at the next roundabout. Replaced the the fuse and clean the contacts and the problem has gone. (well for the last six months it hasn't occured again).

Jason, as far as i know the high rev cut out doesn't cut out the steering until the car is restarted. the steering comes back pretty much as soon as you start driving normally. or it does on mine

The EPS fail safe cuts out the PAS whenever it gets confused! A typical example is when the car is static but the engine is being given the 'welly', the brain is told high revs equals road speed however the speedo is telling it there is no road speed and in its (the brains) books road speed equals minimum PAS and no road speed equals maximum PAS so the poor little brain is all confused and decides there must be a fault with the speedo and it goes into fail safe mode which is NO PAS. Stop the car, switch off the ignition, wait a few seconds and restart - the PAS brain is reset and should now be OK if it isnt then there is a good chance that there is a fault somewhere.

Ted Newman


My car is a '99 build (75th Ann. LE) and I recently had the PAS unit replaced. A couple of weeks ago, I began to notice that my steering felt like it was locking up on me and it took a bit of muscle to turn the steering wheel - a bit disconcerting when driving. Then, more recently, I've noticed a metallic scraping sound coming from inside the steering column shroud as I turn the steering wheel, but hasn't occured again since the EPAS unti was replaced - I don't if the this is related to the EPAS, can anyone offer any thoughts or ideas? I did mention it to the dealer recently but they couldn't replicate the sound.



It could well have been the torque measure device within the steering column - this is what decides if you need more PAS even when travelling at speed. On the other hand it could have been the air bag actuator ring, which of course has nothing to do with the PAS.

Ted Newman

Well, my problem with the EPAS is still not solved (would be easy for dealer to simply replace everything and charge me a huge invoice but I refused that and he didn't want to do this either ;)

Dealer does not understand that:
1) the EPAS warning light does not come on
2) the EPAS ECU does not receive speed data, but still reacts to speed changes!
As an MK1, 2 sensors need to be checked: revs sensor works, speedo sensor seemingly doesn't
3) the EPAS still works perfect at standstill, but too perfect at higher speeds, making it a life-endagering experience! So EPAS motor OK.
4) no fault is recorded in the ECU.
5) connectors checked, all OK...

now he's gonna replace the speedo, but Rover has no stock of it so this is the 2nd week without a car, got a replacement car from the dealer (Rover 200, sucks big time)but at 15 a day fee this is getting another expensive nightmare (don't dare to think how much the EPAS thing is gonna cost additionally).
If nothing helps, dealer will be forced to replaced the whole bonanza (1500?), but I guess at that moment I will simply leave car at dealer, so he can sell it to some dumbo and give me what's left of selling price minus invoice.
I'm totally totally fed up of this...

Thanks for everyones input. The light came on when the car was idling at normal revs in a traffic jam, having only been running from cold for 2 or 3 minutes, I doubt I had got anywhere near 3000rpm by then!

Anyway it seems to be all clear today so I will see how it progresses. I may need to be in contact Jason if it looks like a larger fault.


Well as ted says if confused go to default mode, off in other words. The speed rev confusion is no doubt one of many situations that will cause this to happen. Such a situation could indeed be caused by a faulty power connection confusing the poor thing.

So we have three versions of what happens when you go past 4000 revs when at standstill.

The dealer I got the car from told me this could happen and if it did I should bring it back to them because they know how to reset it. This I know to be wrong. As I understand it, what Rover say is it has to be reset, ie. by turning off the ignition and back on again. From what I have heard on this BBS it seems that on some cars at least, the thing will reset it's self.

So which is it? I think the MGF should be sold as a unique item, every one has it's own individual personality. Have Rover simply implemented Fuzzy Logic in the processors or was the circuitry designed by someone who was a 1960s BMC shop steward in a former life and some of his personality rubbed off on the hardware :-). Is that the time? Goodness..
Tony Smith

kris. i too had a simalar problem 6 months ago.
i found that because of the cars hard ride the connection on the power steering reservoir had worked loose.
once pushed back into place everything was fine.
hope this helps

The situation described in this thread is the so called "code 21" speed sensor fault flag.

It occurs when the engine revs are in excess of 4000rpm for 20 secs, at 0 mph. The reset is by key off / key on.

The fault code is retained by the ECU and can be read by the dealers testbook.

The ECU is connected directly to the vehicle speed sensor (reed switch on the gearbox).
Therefore changing the speedo will have no effect.

For information the ECU also has an engine speed input from the MEMS, this is purely to provide the failsafe as described above.

The failure mode for code 21 is for EPAS current to ramp down to zero over several seconds to avoid any sudden loss of assistance during driving.

hope this helps



Hi all,
FYI the reed-switch is situated in the speedo-meter itself and is a very crude affair !! The reason for this rather akward way to get speed info can be that from -96 an onwards to model year 99 (correct Dieter?) not all cars had ABS-brakes. Normally on other cars such a signal is tapped from one connection at the ABS electronic box.
By the way , it is a pitty that the electronic thingy used on Mark 2 cant be fitted with nice cream-white old type display. Guess some time in the future with the Mark 1 cars the plastic gear drive in gearbox is flushed out with the oil and cable system is bye -bye.....

regards , Carl.

This thread was discussed between 28/11/2000 and 02/12/2000

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