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MG MGF Technical - 'Stuttering'

I have recently bought a 1997 MGF 1.8i. It is a second hand model imported to New Zealand from Japan (this is common over here).

Car is great, but has an intermittent problem where it "stutters" when trying to accelerate.

Doesn't do it very often, but almost causes kangaroo hopping at worst. When it goes to dealer, it won't fault. Does it worst when engine is just warm or if car has been left for an hour then re-started.

Anyone got any ideas.

Had this with mine when I bought it. Turned out to be the spark plugs. When they get hot and are put under load they broke down (electrically). Could also be the HT leads, but my money is on the plugs,

Richard P

Dave, does the car fail to accelerate (indeed almost seems to stall) when attempting to accelerate from low speed in 3rd gear?

Had exactly the same: the original rotor arm and distributer cap were failing. Replaced, and all was right again in the world ;o)

I agree with Richard though: check the plugs and leads as well - indeed, if the car has not been properly serviced recently, might be worth replacing all the consumable parts of the ignition system as a matter of course (sparks/leads/dizzy cap and rotor)
Rob Bell

I had exactly the same problem recently. I was given the follwoing link for checking the ECU temporature sensor and I found I had a dodgy connection. I cleaned the connection up and its run fine since.

More on the ECU temp sensor here:


How about the fuel delivery system?

I have a similar problem with my car. It stutters only when I try to accelerate more while in a lower gear, but only when I have just started driving the car. The problem stops after driving for a few minutes. I brought it back to the workshop 2 months ago and they said their computer cannot find any fault with it. Since then, the car has been in the workshop for more than a month and its brake pump and clutch slave pump have had to be replaced, though they have not formally diagnosed the cause of the stuttering. While test-driving after replacing the brake pump, the car stalled. Now I am told the fuel pump has failed and needs to be replaced. I am wondering if it could have been a faulty fuel delivery that had caused the stuttering in the first place?

I miss my MG-F.

Hope you get yours sorted soon.
S J Umboh

*vote* aswell for looking at electrical problems with the coolant temperature sensor and harnees between sensor and connector.
The same to the throttle position sensor and wires.
Notice also the sensor earth wire at the ECU connector.

The Testbook will not see failures if the resistance of sensors just increased due to bad connections.

Dieter K.

Thanks for the feedback so far.

Have already done the plugs, but the coolant sensor and other electrics look promising. Will try the sensor this weekend.

Appreciate the help.

Also have a look at the manifold pressure (MAP) sensor, apparently the contacts are prone to going high resistance/intermittent. A fix from Rover includes a seperate little wiring harness that has bette quality connectors (or some such). Much easier is to pull it apart, give it a squirt of contact cleaner and plonk it back on.

Alan Brooke

on the 97 the MAP sensor is internal to the MEMS, so it shouldn't be that.
Will Munns

This thread was discussed between 07/07/2004 and 09/07/2004

MG MGF Technical index

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