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MG MGF Technical - steering at mot

hi all this is a question for all experts rob will etc..

my f had its first mot today the story goes
it passed all parts off the car but the steering was in question. the statement they put was this is not a mgr garege could not get booked in..


fault on steering when jacked up and running the wheels automatically turned to the near side..

but when front wheels are on the ground by feel at the steering the wheel system is running ok ...

they phoned mgr and and passed my car after a talk...

anyway the story goes my car has passed ...


can you help

many thanks darrren
darren

Hi,
raising the front of the car off the ground is a way to test if the pwer steering is centering OK.

When you have front off the ground, set the steering/wheels in straight ahead position.

Then turn on the engine.

If the steering moves to one side the power steering rack may need adjusting.

Sounds like yours is only slightly out.

Branko.
Branko

Yes, on a non-electric power steering (hydraulic). But at the electric one on the "F" ?? The centering force is at least on mine non-existent!
No force applied by the steering wheel (to the left or right) = no EPAS action = no centering force! / Carl.
Carl

Very Good Point Carl.!

I forgot it was not the hyraulic system.

Silly me. :-}

So should the electric system behave as the hyraulic system when the car is off the ground?

Good to know this info.

thanks.
Branko

any more help needed is rob bell there to help

darren jeffery
darren

Hi Darren,

yes, this does sound like an EPAS fault - if you have a quick search of the archives, there are a number of entries whereby MGFs appear to 'steer by themselves'.

This can be caused by one of two problems:
1. a poor electrical contact with the EPAS ECU. Fortunately, the EPAS ECU is pretty easy to get to: you just need to remove the glove box. Remove the connectors, and use a spray-on contact cleaner to clean the connectors and reassemble.
2. failure of the torque sensors: the calibration offset fails, causing the electric motors that assist movement of the steering column to turn the wheel in an attempt to reach an equilibrium that doesn't exist.

For getting the car through an MOT it is possible to disable the EPAS pretty easily - by simply removing the 40A fuse from under the bonnet (it is near the main fuse box).

You can read more about the EPAS on the page detailing Will's EPAS bypass switch - http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/group2/DIY/epas/epas_bypass.htm

hope this helps
Rob Bell

hi if i was to adjust the steering rack how do i go about it .. and what the procedure many thanks ..
whats the best contact cleaner for epas box is it behind the glove box
darren jeffery

I've used the contact cleaner available from Maplins - about 4 quid - and it works a treat :o)
Rob Bell

if i was to clean the terminals on the epas box would all the settings go back the sameway on the car lights etc when cleaned ... what will be the response as mine is pulling to the left ...

darren
darren

If a dirty contact is responsible, you should get "restoration of normal service" Darren. :o)
Rob Bell

Just to bump this back up again...

My MGF also failed its MOT again this morning - its actually never passed first time since I've owned it.. despite getting it serviced at MGR all the time...

To get to the point, there is a problem with the power steering that sounds familiar to the problem outlined by Darren... they said when its jacked up and turned on the wheels turn to the left.. when its down and turned off its fine.

Its now off to MGR on Monday and all the stuff to do with steering, EPAS etc seem to be on my warranty "list of things that are covered" so thats quite hopeful.

I will let you know what the fix is.

Cheers

Chris

ps. it also failed on the handbrake efficiency... bit like last year when MGR had a bit of trouble with that as well.
Chris Tromans

hi chris
could you let me know..
mine failed but passed next time try taken the fuse out under the bonnet .. 40amps


rob bell told me try using contact cleaner to the switches under the glove compartment epas...
darren.
darren jeffery

Well... all being well, all this will be done on warranty so I'm just going to let MGR sort it all out for me... but yep, I will keep you updated Darren...
Chris Tromans

It'll be interesting to hear what MGR decide to replace to fix the problem: not unheard of for the complete steering column to be replaced (not cheap - but at least covered by your warranty Chris)
Rob Bell

Rob and all...

Hmmm... I'm hearing dodgy things from my warranty company. They say they might not be able to cover stuff to get it through the MOT and questioned whether the PAS fault was an actual breakdown... er, no... if I'd have waited until it was completely broken.. then I'd probably have a lot more to fix than just the PAS because it would probably be wrapped around a tree :-(

Looks like I'm going to have an interesting week next week... I don't think the ECU is covered but the mechanical side might be if I can persuade them that it IS a mechanical breakdown of sorts..

Alternatively, Rob... can you really get the car to pass just by taking the 40amp fuse out... will they allow that? I presume I shouldn't tell them if go down that route ;-)

Cheers

ChrisT.
Chris Tromans

If you deactivate the EPAS, then it certainly is not going to have that wierd self-steering effect when the car is jacked up into the air. Plus, having inactivated power steering is not an MoT failure point, so yes, you'll pass by inactivating the EPAS.

I can't see why you'd need to tell the MoT tester what you'd done?

Good luck with the warranty company. If it is of any comfort, the EPAS ECU almost never ever fails - the problem invariably lies else where - either with the electrical connections, or with the torque sensors.

IIRC, there is a thread in the archives where adjusting the torque sensor is mentioned as a solution to this problem...

HTH
Rob Bell

hi sorry to hear that chris try robs method undo the the glove compartment and use the cleaner to the the connnectors it might work u never know. i am going to give it ago this weekend if the weather is nice . cant wait to get my hood off my car . lovely today in milton keynes . if i had to adjust the torque sensor where and how should i do it..
rob

cheers darren now a member now
darren jeffery

Darren,

Let me know if it works... I'm actually without the car now as MGR have it (the current MOT ran out today so I had to drop it off really). They're going to give me the good news/bad news story on monday. I would hope that it will be the first thing they check and I won't end up with a hefty bill on Monday... if I do... I think I'll be sorry to say... the MG's gonna go...

Chris
Chris Tromans

hi rob went to maplins they do a contact cleaner
and switch cleaner what should i get what the differnce.

darren went to pick up the switch cleaner and then took it back as u said the


how did u get on chris with the steering then

mate


darren milton keynes

darren jeffery

Darren,

Just phoned said MGR garage in Cambridge and they haven't even started looking at it yet... :-(

oh well, at least it keeps the mileage down...

Chris
Chris Tromans

keep our head up mate. it might just be the epas in that case you could do it yourself save on labour charges

darren mk is there any mgf clubs just mgfs not the b and c arounnd
darren jeffery

Darren, I've used the contact cleaner in the past - there is a picture of the spray tin on my website - check out the bottom of this page - http://www.mgf.ultimatemg.com/group2/common_problems/hgf_pages/related_problems_overheating.htm

HTH
Rob Bell

Darren...

for those asking about the power steering problem (wandering to left when jacked up and engine switched on)... MGR have said that its probably because they revved it highly for the emissions test and that resets the EPAS to "default mode" or something... I'll get the whole story when I pick it up later
Chris Tromans

See other thread - MGR have assumed it failed because it switched off and the red light came on. If it is wandering then it's wrong.
Will Munns

Darren...

You have an email from me...

Cheers

Chris
Chris Tromans

The saga continues :-( the MOT testing garage called me first thing this morning and said its got exactly the same problem with the PAS... they hadn't actually done the re-test... just driven it out of their building to park around the side for an hour... I think its good that they didn't just do the retest as I only get one free one.

I phoned MGR to "explain" (read "rant") and they said can I get it back over to them... so I said no but they can get one of their engineers to go and pick it up themselves... I think they will be doing that right now if they've got any sense... I will be speaking again soon... I'm not in a good mood this morning ;-)

Oh, and I seem to have paid approx 60 for their T4 diag tests yesterday for them to achieve sweet fa... I'm hedging my bets for a refund there and a swift call to MGR to see if they can help sort this mess out.

Finally, I'd just like to point out that this is two years in a row that the same MGR dealer has let the car out of their premises after doing repairs for it to then fail the MOT retest on exactly the same thing!!!!

Chris.
Chris Tromans

Kick some bottom Chris!
Rob Bell

Thats my plan Rob ;-)
Chris Tromans

hi chris sorry to here whats happening mate did u phone souls of olney then in mk.

i bet its a a straight clean with the contact cleaner then mate ...

darren
darren jeffery

This is not cool... I've got an MOT garage saying they won't pass it and an MG dealer saying there's nothing wrong with it... its passed all their diag tests and its not showing up anything so they are happy... I've had a few phone calls with each of them in the last hour and its yet to be solved. I've even said to both parties about your story Darren...

Darren - I told the MG dealer about cleaning the contacts... but no idea whether thats actually been done...

Chris
Chris Tromans

Latest score... After a letter was faxed from MGR to the dealer and then taken to the MOT garage they are now willing to pass it but they didn't still say they definately don't think its right... but I now think I'm in the same position as Darren realising there is definately a fault and it needs sorting by whoever... I'm going to talk to the MGF Centre and also B&G's tomorrow as I now have 6 days off work to attempt to rectify this mess...
Chris Tromans

hi chris those are the exact words my garage said the mot place i am going to get some contact claner this weekend and have a go let me know how it plans out for u

send u a email u have my address
cheers mate
darren jeffery

sorry chris if u speak to victoria at mgf. she will say u will need a new steering coloum. as it can not be replaced. but once again i am going down the avenue in which i said first contact cleaner it will be the cheapest for u mate

u cant go wrong 165 or 4
darren jeffery

hi chris any news on on the sterring then mate

did u phone victoria then ????

darren
darren jeffery

Nope... but I phoned B&G's and they said absolutely nothing to worry about... some of the F's just simply have a bias.. he's come across it a few times... also said the bloke from the MOT place obviously doesn't know what he's talking about :-)
Chris Tromans

This thread was discussed between 05/03/2005 and 26/03/2005

MG MGF Technical index

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