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MG MGF Technical - Warranty woes

I would appreciate any views or similar experiences. I have had my VVC for little over 8 months (having imported it from belgium) On the whole I have had few problems - If I was picky I'm sure I could fill a page but you forgive the minor ones because its an MG your driving :-). The only annoying problem has been a high toned squeel when in the lower gears and at low revs. I am not technical in anyway but it sounded very like a 'belt' slipping I took it in to my local dealer (Abercromby - Dunfermline)and after initial hasles with the warranty (well I did import it so I think they tried to make things a little akward) they had a look said they had fixed it and I took it away - they hadn't so in it went again - they replaced the water pump, the timing belt and a section of the exhaust. That seemed to solve it - until now (2 months later) and the same symptoms are back as bad as ever and to knock it for six it seems to have difficulty starting first thing in the morning and since being returned from the garage the handling is very poor. Anyway enough rambling - the car is scheduled to make another visit to the dealer at the end of this week and my mate (MG Member) pointed me to here. If there is anything that anyone thinks I could suggest to the dealer then it would be appreciated.


Ok - after further inspection of some of the posts - alternator belt might be the issue here - although I can create it at will (low gears - low revs) and keep it as prolonged as I want. The only way not to get it is to increase the revs in the lower gears - something I don't mind doing once the car has warmed up but not when cold (seem to remember someone telling me to always take it easy until the oil temp increased - so thats what I do).

If it's the alternator/belt causing the problem it will depend on there being an electrical load too ie - headlamps,radio, blower all on.

Test it with and without electrical load - if it come and goes with load its the alternator arena - and vice versa

However a belt is very simple a problem to diagnose and would have been fixed straight away without changing water pump etc - so if it is the alternator maybe its the bearings.

Poor starting - change ign leads and distrib cap.

Handling poor - in the mind? :-)

John Thomas

Well I took it into the garage and ended up feeling a bit of a fraud when they said that they couldn't find anything wrong. I was also informed that a belt in the VVC section of the engine was changed last time as well. HOWEVER when I went out to the car I still noticed the noise (constant whine at about 1500 - 1700 revs - with the car standing still!) The mechanic suggested that he was going to have to get in touch with MG as the noise was coming from the same area again and get back to me - It was not the alternator belt as he had just tightened this half an hour before.

(Sorry about the lack of technical details).

Poor starting no longer an issue - cleaned ign leads and dist cap and sprayed with ignition sealer.

Handling could well be in the mind - but it was feeling very light at the front (almost as if the front of the car was higher than it should have been) but the suspension has been checked and no problems there so yep maybe your right but IMO in ideal wheather conditions it is not quite as sharp as it was a few months ago - ah well.

I'll update the post when MG get back to me for anyone who is interested - thanks for the response.

A squeal, especially when the engine is cold, dampness is in the engine bay and the alternator is working hard to replensish the battery from the overnight settlement, starting drain and supplying the various systems, is not unusual. A worn belt (less so with these 'Poly V' designs - multiple V design) is quite possible where the contact area of the belt has been slipping for so long wear and a polished surface is induced. After this no ammount of belt adjustement will remove the problem and if overtightened there is a probability of introducing wear to component bearings and 'belt whine'!!

Belt Whine is achieved when a belt is over tightened and is similar to a wheel bearing noise. It is most audible at the rpms you experience it since at higher rpm the engine noise drowns it out, plus the frequency changes. Cam belts can also be overtightened and display the same noises. Normally belt noise will be present immediately and not be something that comes in later after remedial work.

Access to the MGF engine bay is restricted so although the cambelt adjustement is 'automatic' it is still possible to set it too tight inadvertantly.

A much less likely possibility would be if there was a tight bearing in the alternator. It is an 85amp output unit that at full load will draw several BHP from the engine to drive it. A stiff bearing will add to this and if dry will also generate noise.

I could add all sorts of other possible causes to noise generation and then still miss the one you have. It is something that hands on work should be able to identify and cure, so if you can't obtain a result with this dealer then try another.

Roger Parker


Could be ride height, Normally checkd / adjusted first service or tracking set up.

I know that MG have recently issude new settings (I'm told quite radically altered) Are the new settings being applied to all vechicles as part of the service?

Noises, Could be many causes as stated above, but if belt related try spraying on some Loctite Belt dressing spray (from good motor factors and industrial bearing and transmissin stockists) this is by no means a cure, but if you spray it on to the belt and the noise goes you know that it is either belt slip or whining, a cheap diagnostic tools if you can get in to spray it on.

This thread was discussed between 14/12/1999 and 25/12/1999

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