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MG MGF Technical - Ticking noise on start up

Anyone noticed a ticking noise - *maybe* from the exhaust after a cold start?

Ticking speed varies with revs but goes completely once the engine reaches normal temperature (one notch below halfway)

FTR - 2001 Y Reg 1.8 with no mods 16.5K miles

Anyone had similar problems?

Incidentally, we also have the infamous intermittant cooling problem - which we combat by running the heater on full with the windows / roof down whatever the weather.


p hodson

The ticking is the tappets, nought to worry about (but check the oil level).

>Incidentally, we also have the infamous intermittant cooling problem

Infamous? what problem?

Will Munns

Hi Philip,

the ticking could be noisy hydraulic tappets - and often they get noisy when cold if the oil level is on the low side... Check the oil level as your first check. Other wise, it could be a tappet sticking (can be solved by an oil flush) or a problem with one of the tappets (which would be a warranty issue).

Cooling problem? What are the symptoms? There shouldn't be any cooling problems at all on the F or TF.
Rob Bell

May not be your problem but ... Fs have a tendency to tick from the hydraulic tappets after a cold start and this will sound worse if oil level is down a bit. The oil has to get to the tappets and obviously takes a while when cold or low.

must learn to type faster - no replies when I started

That'll be your tappets.....

The tappets (followers) in the MGF are hydraulic and filled with oil. What can happen on older engines is that the tappets can get clogged thereby affecting there perfomance. Also if you are using thin oil the tappets can drain after turning the engine off and it take a few minutes for the tappets to pump up with oil again.

In the case of continual tappet noise it is likely that the tappet is bloked this might be rectified by an application of 'Taappet freeing additive' available from MGR.

If, as it seems in your case, the noise goes after a few minutes it might be that your oil is too thin.... Have you changed to 0-W40 fully synth recently...?
tim woolcott

B*gger, Ditto......
tim woolcott

Thanks for the quick response guys

I'll check the oil level

The symptoms of the cooling problem as follows

Engine at normal operating temperature, but in stationary traffic water temperature guage rises towards the red zone.

We've had two incidences of steam venting out the grill in the boot lid.

The frustrating thing is that this does not happening everytime, you might even go so far as to say it happens rarely but when it does its quite alarming.

Also, we recently left the car parked for a week and came back to find the expansion tank completely empty.

I make a habit of checking the levels everytime we use the car


p hodson

I assume that the oil was changed when it had its annual service in back in April / May

p hodson

Your problem sounds like the fan aint working, this could be because the sensor is faulty, I would expect hight revs and difficult hot starting (try unplugging the sensor, then with the engine running the fan ought to run too)
Or it might be the fan fuse (under the bonnet IIRC)
Or it might be a stuck fan.

UNfortunatly if the car has overheated a lot you might have cooked you head gasket, hence the water loss after leaving the car for a while... any puddles?
Will Munns

Buy a new pressure cap immediately..... also buy a temperature sensor and check to see if the fan kicks in after the car has been idling (thins may take 20 minutes) Have a look at Rob Bells site for a expansive description...
tim woolcott

Did anyone mention the Hydraulic Tappets?


Ted Newman

I am sure the fan works. You can hear it when the engine is switched off. Though I haven't purposely listened to it

No puddles and this has only happened once in two and a half years of ownership (actually it is my g/f's car)

You've certainly given me a lot to think (worry?) about.

We should get it in to the garage asap

Thanks for all your help - it is appreciated

p hodson


The fan they are talking about is the radiator fan at the front.

The fan you hear when the engine is switched off is the engine bay fan at the rear as the radiator fan only works when the engine is on.

Ted Newman

The ticking noise might be down to your hydraulic tappets..oh and heres a wave thing will be "where can I get it looked at "..then the reply will be MGF Centre or Mike Satur....but 14 folk will probably repeat it anyway.
Glandular Fever

Probably best to get it looked at then !

Thanks again to all

p hodson

Hmmm, i seem to have picked up a fan. :-)

Scarlet Fever

>>Hmmm, i seem to have picked up a fan. :-)<<

I think you need to check the fuse on this one!


Diagnosing that non-operating radiator fan of yours Philip (I can be pretty confident that this is the problem - do you also have a highish idle speed) can be found, as Tim says, on

I hope this gets you sorted :o)
Rob Bell

Haven't noticed the high idle speed - but i have a better understanding of the problem.

I've booked the car in to the local mg specialist for an investigation and an oil change!

Thanks to all for the valuable advice

p hodson

mg dealer quoted me 230 +VAT for one tappet then 20 for every other one that needed replacing
sr foster

This thread was discussed between 13/10/2003 and 15/10/2003

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