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MG MGF Technical - Temporary Loss of Power Steering

Yesterday, for no apparent reason, the power steering warning light came on and there was a loss of power steering. I had just restarted the car and negoiated a left hand corner, then a rounabout. I noticed the loss at the next set of lights. When I eventually stopped, 4 miles later, and stopped the car, all was OK on restarting. This happened to any one else? Any ideas?


Tillman Kleinhans


Happened to me once, never could explain it and it hasen't happened since. The only thing different on the car when it happened was the new 16" wheels and F1 tyres, Maybe the computer got confused about the loading from the new tyres??


My MGF has 16" wheels with F1 tyres, but they have been on since new - 5K miles ago. Car is still in warranty - just. Will let dealer worry about it, but would like to know if others have had same problem and how they resolved it.

Tillman Kleinhans

Had you been running high revs and no speed?

If so then the ECU for the PAS will 'fail safe' and cut out PAS operation. It will then reset when power is turned off and on again.

The PAS is speed related and its tiny brain thinks that high revs means high speed, so if for instance you sit kerbside with the engine running at high revs the tiny brain becomes confused - I know its problem my tiny brain does the same thing.

Ted Newman

Ted, you could well be right. I seem to recall that on the occasion that my EPAS switched off i had a few moments previously, missed 2nd gear from 1st and the revs shot up whilst in neutral. It was when 3rd gear was then selected and engaged that the light came on.


too bad the tiny brain doesn't use the speedo clock instead of the revs clock to determine car speed... must be Rover logic here! :-)
Dirk Vael


It uses both, but it is a design feature that the PAS switches off if it finds a dicrepancy in the expected readings. High revs and little or no speed could indicate a speedo failure, there is however a time factor built in as well so it should not 'fail' for just a few seconds mis-reading, I seem to remember that it actually needs a couple of minutes of this mis-match. I will check out the workshop manual and I seem to remember that there is a mention of the criteria for this in the owners handbook.

But of course it does give Dirk a chance to slag-off Rover once again, I sometimes wonder if Dirk has a perverse streak in him and he only purchased an MGF so as to enable him to be in a position to complain, God help BMW when he gets his M3 because I can assure Dirk that BMW have their failings, even the Senior Side of BMW - The Bikes - do go wrong so I am certain the Junior Side - the Cars - will also have problems.


Ted Newman

Sorry Ted, but Rover made once again a fool out of itself with the 75 recall last week. Not for a minor problem either... I have no longer a problem slagging off Rover, these guys costed me more than enough, and they keep screwing up... >:-(
Dirk Vael

I have to agree with Ted... I'm a bit fed up with all the 'anti' postings.
Rover are not perfect - far from it.
Any chance to snipe after someone's own world has been directly affected I guess.
Just boring for the rest of us. :o(

But look on the bright side... the sun is out, the hood is down, the car is loosening up
still more and I had a HUGE blast on the way home yesterday.
And, and, and I'm about to go the S02 route on the rears. Cool!
..and then the gear shift.. and then the front tyres.. and then the pukka lights..
and then the polishing.. and then the sprints... etc. ;o)

Just got a Pug306 which is meant to be a bit of a 'warm hatch'. It's just made
me re-realised how good the little MG is! :o)



I am actually begining to feel sorry for Rover.

If they issue a recall they 'make fools of themselves' and if they dont issue a recall they are trying to hide something!

Poor sods can't win.

BTW I hear that BMW are still having problems with their 3 series engines - seems our petrol is too strong for them!

Ted Newman

>BTW I hear that BMW are still having problems with their 3 series engines - seems our petrol is too strong for them!

Sounds like the same problem they had with the 5 series then. Three of my bosses all have 5 series BMW's two of which have had to have their engines (blocks anyway) replaced due to this same problem. If the 'almighty' BMW can't get it right why should Rover? :-s
Paul Lathwell

I have had a similar problem with the PAS - mine kept cutting out when driving on the Motorway. Went back to garage who replaced "sensor" (ECU ?) under extended warranty - no problems since then. Suggest a trip to dealer.
Andrew Brown

Andrew, it's probably the rotary coupler they exchanged. I got this too, but it costed over 120, again money down the drain for no reason...

and to the others: your effort trying to put BMW on the same level of reputation, reliability & quality as Rover just makes me laugh! Sure BMW has problems too, but Rover just got 'a bit' too much of negative publicity lately (first virtually bankrupt, still huge losses despite governement funding, now BMW wants to get rid of it, recalls, MGF torpedoed in charts, the beautiful recurring stories on this BBS and at my dealer, and of course the heritage of being British, never considered for a car-brand as an advantage over here ;)
(and I did not get personal here)

Come on Ted, you can do better than that!

ps: compliment for Casey: a British colleague here told me he'd prefer a TVR even if it can be serviced over here in Luxembourg, than ever consider buying a Rover. He added "TVR is also British, but at least these cars don't break down every 2 weeks".
Dirk Vael


I know Luxemburg is not that far from the Black Forest but you really should emigrate from Cloud Cuckoo Land.

I have owned, driven and ridden BMW products for 45 years I have also owned, driven but not ridden Rover products for a little longer along with many other makers products and whilst I have to confess they have all improved their reliability over the years, they all still will and do go wrong. AND if you think by changing to the Blue & White propeller you are going to be able to beat the guts out of a M3 and not have problems then I am afraid you are in for a nasty surprise however having nailed your colours to the post you aren't going to tell us when it does happen.

My only hope is that when you do cross over to the other side of the BMW Group you will then stop whingeing on this board. I have nothing against people telling us of their problems and even asking for advice but what gets my goat is your constant running down of 'British' in general and Rover in particular.

If you find all things British so distasteful then please stop consuming them - it is after all your choice we do not force feed you, unfortunately you have the upper hand as try as I might I can not find anything bad to say about Luxemburg, in fact I can not find anything AT ALL to say about Luxemburg even Hughy Green left (dont ask).

Good luck

Ted Newman

Yes Ted is correct, the MEMS (I believe) compares the Revs against road speed, if the revs are high 4,000 or so and your not moving the system assumes that the speedo is broken and so disables the the power steering. I thought this was common knowledge.

I assume this is to be safe, personally I don't see why the speedo not working should be a reason to kill the power steering, but thar ye go. I think most people who bought new were told this by the Dealers. If high revs was not the case then I think it may be some kind of problem with the power steering it's self. Go to the dealer, do not pass go.
Tony Smith

Power steering is speed-sensitive. Therefore when the computer doesn't know what the speed is, it decides to turn the power steering off completely as it is preferable to have heavy steering at low speed than to having a parking-weighted steering wheel at 200kmh!

(does that make sense?)

n837 ogf

Thanks for the information, I was not aware of the relationship between, MEMS, EPAS and road speed etc.
Nobody told me!

Tillman Kleinhans

Bugger, the speedo cable on my car broke yesterday without any prior warning. Nuts.

Anyway, it does put me in a position to comment authoritively on the 'fail-safe' mechanism!

The EPAS control clearly relies on the dual input from the rpm and speedo. With a broken speedo cable the speedo reads zero all the time, and yet the fail safe does not cut in immediately. The time you have before the EPAS disables is variable. The rev threshold for failsafe cut-in appears to be around 2750rpm.

Interestingly, the failsafe will spontaneously cut out without the need to switch the engine off- but this requires minimal steering input (there must be an input from the steering load sensors?) and constant rpm- which is useful to exploit if you are in my current situation! Presumably this is to allow roadside emmisions tests or clutch slipping at fast idle without causing an error and triggering of the EPAS failsafe.

So I have no speedo drive, and mostly no EPAS assistance. Under most conditions I prefer the consistent steering feel. It actually isn't that heavy! Motorway assistance must be fairly minimal- but it is present. Low speed parking is a bit of a 'mare- makes you appreciate the assistance!

Car is going in for a service shortly, so hopefully will be fixed then (the gearbox and speedo end of the cable appears to be intact when we inspected it yesterday). I'll let you all know of the diagnosis- like it or not! :o)


Robert Bell

Hugh, yes of course, sorry, left my brain at home yesterday.....
Tony Smith

This thread was discussed between 12/03/2000 and 15/03/2000

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