Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGF Technical - Remember this?

Hi All,

Remember this previous posting of mine:

Hi all,

Have just got back from a blat in the New Forest only to discover steam coming from the coolant resvoir when I got out of the car. It was so bad I noticed it when the boot was still shut; steam was escaping from the panel gap between the boot and rear wing.

When I had a look the coolant was boiling. The level in the tank was above half way but when it had cooled down there was hardy anything left in the resvoir.

The fan had cut in and it can't be a HGF i had that replaced a couple of months ago.

Any ideas?

N809 MGH

Well I replaced the coolant cap and all seemed fine, for a few days at least!

Drove down the motorway on Thursday night only to have lots of cars start flashing me and beeping their horns, and pointing to the rear of the 'F'. As soon as I pulled over the car erupted into a mass of steam, yes you've guessed it a bl**dy HGF!

Now the thing that really pi**es me off is that only 6mths earlier I had, had the HG replaced (Rover told me it needed replacing, when I had an independent mechanic replace it he told me it was fine and hadn't needed to be replaced). The car is due to go into Rover on Thursday under a warrenty claim on the part, apparently this type of claim is a grey area and is not always easily sorted out so the car could be off the road for some time....great! :-(

I have to say I've had just about enough of this car now, I seem to be doing nothing but spending money on it. I was going to trade it for a new MG at my local dealer but I think I shall wait to see how Rover deal with this claim, if they prove to be difficult I certainly will not reward them by giving them even more money.

Don't get me wrong, when the car works it is brilliant and the best fun I've ever had on four wheels, I just whish it had been enginered by Mazda (sorry about that I'm feeling pretty low after a sunny weekend and no 'F').

I'll let you know how it goes as soon as I hear any more.


Matthew Wallis

I'm confused. Which isn't at all unusual.

>Rover told me it needed replacing, when I had an independent mechanic replace it he told me it was fine and hadn't needed to be replaced. <

Rover looked at, thought it needed replacing but didn't replace it?
Then an "independant" guy replaced it even though he thought it didn't need replacing?

I would say your complaint now is with whoever did the work the last time around. It shouldn't fail again 6 months later. It's not the car's fault this time, it's the servicing.

What's the warranty situation if you use an "independant", is this what you mean by "this type of claim is a grey area and is not always easily sorted out "?

But if you remove the head to get to the HG, you have to replace the HG as it's already been compressed.

I'd go back to the 'independent mechanic' and see what he says.

Also the fact that the steam was coming not from the block but from the reservoir would suggest that the problem is with the reservoir/cap, not the HG.

N837 OGF


The first time around the Rover Dealer pressure tested the system for me and said it was definatley on its way out they quoted about 1,000 to fix it. I then took it to a mechanic I have known for years who has serviced all my previous cars (including my TVR) and asked him to replace the HG as he charged a much more resonable price of 550.

Once he had taken the head off he stated that nothing was in fact wrong with the HG, but as sated once its off it has to be replaced. I wonder if when Rover initally pressure tested the system they got false readings as the coolant cap was faulty (rivet way off the centre).

My mechanic has said as it stands at the moment he can see a small piece of the HG poking out of the block which is obviously where the problem is. He knows someone at the local Rover dealer and has therefore arranged to try and make a warrenty claim against Rover for supplying a defective part. As I understand it, it can now go one of three ways:

1.) The dealer will find another reason for the fault - it has been suggested that the car may be running exceptionally hot due to a poorly flowing radiator - in which case I have a big arguement on my hands

2.) The dealer will find a problem with the origional fitting of the part, in which case my mechanic has said he will undertake the repairs.

3.) They will find the part to be defective and replace it under warrenty

Why do I get the feeling that it'll be number 1.

Matthew Wallis

>>1.) The dealer will find another reason for the fault - it has been suggested that the car may be running exceptionally hot due to a poorly flowing radiator - in which case I have a big arguement on my hands<<
or because it wasn't bled properly ?
I guess your independent garage didn't see any signs of the car running exceptionally hot when they replaced the gasket; ele they would have investigated.

1000 UKP to replace a head gasket. Any how many hours does it take ?

That's an interesting email address for someone who is having problems with a car ...


'That's an interesting email address for someone who is having problems with a car ...'

Yeah tell me about it, if it comes to a show down with Rover it may well be small advantage! ;)

As for not being noticed before well that is going to be the basis of my argument should they try using this excuse. It's the not knowing though thats driving me mad. I just want to get on with it, get it fixed and get back on the road; although the dealer reckons it will be off the road for at least a week. :(

Matthew Wallis

Matt, it's an MGF, so why be surprised?

A German chap had it 4 times I think (Dieter knows) until he finally made the right decision to sell it!!

500 is the max quote for HGF, try to find a UK guy to fax you the invoice of his HGF (there are plenty, so someone should have one ;)
Parts for a HGF cost really nothing (about 20 all in), its always labour costing an arm & a leg.

>>A German chap had it 4 times I think (Dieter knows) until he finally made the right decision to sell it!!

Remember this was two years ago, when nearly none of the workshops got told about:
- how to bleed the system right
- thinking on the auto air lock valve release
- veryfy the crap sensor which cuts the front fan in

On the other hand I'm very sure.
Some of that anones will never learn it ;-)

PS 1000 quid for a HG repair sounds insane in any way.
Dieter Koennecke

Now this is what I cal a worrying post. Ill be leaving in 4 weeks for a

Oops, something went wrong there...

So, I am leaving for a 3 week round trip to France/Spain/Portugal. The last thing I want is a HGF in the Spanish Pyrenees. My car has 36.000km. Id say its about time for my share in HGF misery. Should I pack MSs HG and pack tools in my luggage??

What are the signs of a pre-HGF lurking around the corner?


"The parts for a head gasket cost 20"...

Not at Rover Dealer Dirk.

Gasket set GUG-701154-HS 87.50

To replace head gasket and timing belt cost me 465 in November 99, which I eventually got refunded.
That included 25 for skimming the head.
Jon Baker

>>> - veryfy the crap sensor which cuts the front fan in <<<

Could these things be tested by a non-technical person (you know who)? It looks like (or better feels like) the engine bay is running a bit hot and the fan at the side is more operational than before. I was thinking 'bout installing some additional fans, but maybe it's better to check the front one.


Jon, I'll scan some invoices and post them on the net. Ok, descriptions will be in French but part-no are included. Gaskets are cheaps, really ;-)

David, some tips:
as weird it might sound, in warm environments put your heater on max all the time;
don't park you car right after a long straight, drive a few minutes before parking at low speeds (80kmh) to have some forced cooling before then waterpump is shut down;
don't drive too fast, MGFs aren't build for that, esp in hot regions (sorry!);
keep an eye on the gauge, even if it moves 1 unit up and stays there you are chosen by the MG God as the next HGF victim within minutes/hours;
nothing wrong to check from time to time under the car (at parkings on highway) for suspicious greenish drops of coolant - same applies for coolant inside reservoir itself ofcourse!;
make sure your mobile is always up 'n running in case you have to call someone;

In case havoc happens (let's hope not), some helpful things are:
spare car ;-)
some insurance so they come & get you wherever you are in Europe
go buy a 2nd coolant cap at your dealer, cheap and could save a lot of hassle
a few bottles of Vittel, these got me back from Italy to Luxembourg despite a malfunctioning HGF!


My 1.8 non-VVC did 50 odd thousand miles, including a long European tour from Zeebrugge down to Italian lakes and back with no HGF and no 'special' measures.


Greg Hilton


Thanks for the reccomendations, the list looks like the ten commandments *LOL*. Lately Ive been driving around with my eye focussed more on the temp gauge than on the road. Not a great feeling, driving around with suspicious mind (ecept with the song playing of course).


This oughta keep me from worrying during my trip,

thanks a lot,

If you are really worried about your engine bay temp, than I can send you a "thermometer strip" - which is a stick on temperature recorder.

It has 8 segments corresponding to temps from 71 to 110 deg C in 6/7 degree increments. These segments turn black when that temperature is reached. It can be stuck to the underside of the coolant res. access flap (right near to the bay temp sensor) where they will, with a 1% accuracy, indicate the max bay temperature reached at the sensor.

I've had one on my VVC since I got it (as I never heard the engine bay fan running, and thought it or the sensor was cattle trucked) but it only has turned the 71 degree segment black. The VVC fan kicks in at 75 deg C, so I'm not surprised.

They are made by 3M and are called 5420 Thermometer Strips. The above quoted range is called range B.

Send me an email if you want one.
Paul Lane

Paul, where can I buy these temp strips?


No idea I am afraid. However, if you want one, let me know (by email) and I will send you one on. I have 4 here at home, and can "obtain" a few more if required!
Paul Lane

Hi All,

Well things just keeping getting better! The car was delivered into the dealership this morning who have now called to tell me that I will have to pay for the work after which time they will send the HG to Rover to ask them to refund my money.

Not what they told me a week ago! I get the feeling that their mechanic has looked at it, decided its too much work to do on spec and so is trying to get rid of the job. The last thing I'm going to do is pay first and then try and get a refund it will be far to easy for Rover to back out of that one.

I'm waiting for a call back from Rover customer services, not very impressed so far. The person I spoke to had no authority to authorise the work and then they said they would call me back in 24hrs! Obviously the words Customer Service don't actually mean what I thought they did.

I'm expecting a call back today so we shall see.

Now where did I put that MR2 brochure.....
Matthew Wallis

Just heard from the dealer who have been called by Rover who have stated that they are not willing to make any goodwill payment!

Now I'm really mad, they could even be bothered to call me direct. Now where did I put that number....

Matthew Wallis

Hi All,

After even more complaining they have passed the case to the Area Manager who will get back to me within 48hrs. What wonderful response times these people work to, anybody would think that they don't have to worry about repeat custom (or lack of it!)

Because I'm having a bad day and I want to get it off my chest I have decided to write to MG Rover direct and have a rant. Does anybody know the HO address and the names of the directors?


Matthew Wallis

This thread was discussed between 11/06/2001 and 14/06/2001

MG MGF Technical index

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