MGF FAQ Part I
v2.5

This site is entirely independent of the Rover Car Company and MG Cars. It is compiled by enthusiastic owners and represents additional advice for owners. It is not a substitute for the official MGF handbook and no responsibility is accepted for any loss or damage.

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GAPS! Need info on MGF clubs, 2nd hand values

Fitting the Tonneau Cover

  1. A recommended 5 minute procedure is:

  2. Another way recommended is to attach the loops and all press-studs first. Then pull the wire around one side of the car, working towards the centre. Then go to the other side of the car, and pull the wire from the centre and the door towards the other corner, KEEPING THE WIRE CLOSE TO THE BODY of the car, or it will jump out ! Finally an extra tug on the elasticated end will secure the last few inches; you will need to practise this once or twice, the technique is in the wrist action !

Hood Closing

People have found that it helps to centralise the hood before closing the clips, do this by holding the center of the hood front rail and give it a good pull down for the last few inches, making sure that the fastening clips are fully open first. Then, keeping hold of the rail with one hand fasten the clips. On uneven ground where there is likely to be a slight degree of body twist it helps to locate and half fasten each clip before finally closing the clips into their locking position.

What is the best way to clean the back window ?

  1. Carefully J. A clean sponge with clean dilute car shampoo. Wet the outside of the window first - use either a very light hose spray or a sprinkler on a watering can.
  2. People have cleaned the inside with Mr Muscle window cleaner and paper towels.

Looking after the soft top

Be sure it is dry before putting it down, and if the car is new, take care to be sure the fabric folds correctly. Some people use Convertible top treatments, and some swear by Armor All. Any mild cleaner or protectorate should be safe to use. Test an inconspicuous spot to be sure!

Wing Mirrors

F heated wing mirrors are 'on whenever the engine is running

Misting and the Rear Windscreen

It mists a bit, particularly on cold damp days with two damp occupants. However, point the centre vents at it, turn on the fan and it will clear. Its not as good as a glass screen with a heating element, but its acceptable. Concentrate on getting clear front and side screens (using side ventilators), before turning to the rear. On a long run, its not a problem, once clear it will stay clear with minimal air flow. On a longish high speed trip when you want the roof up, try lowering the rear screen for some ventilation without wind buffeting.

Running In

See page 49 of the manual. The engine, gearbox, brakes and tires need time to `bed-in' and adjust to the demands of everyday motoring. During the first 600 miles (1,000 km) it is essential that you drive with consideration for the running-in process and heed the following advice: After the running-in distance has been completed, engine speeds may be gradually increased.

Contributed by Graeme Bishko.

The manual also states that you should allow the brakes time to bed in before any heavy braking.

Heated Washer Jets

If the temperature drops *well below* freezing and you drive, the nozzles will freeze. If you have enough alcohol in your screen wash (you need >50% in some cases) the pipes and bottle shouldn't freeze up but the pump is not strong enough to remove the plug of ice from the jets. The jets will not defrost on their own because there is no hot engine part within 1 meter of them.

The problem is that the action of the air flow over the jets evaporates the antifreeze from the screen wash in the jets themselves. This happens in other cars, but the heat from the engine quickly thaws the plug of ice. With the engine in the back obviously this will not happen in the F. The solution is heated wash jets. These are available and you should consider them far ahead of cosmetic (if rather nice) accessories such as high level stop lights or leather trim. It helps that they are around 80.00 including fitting.

If your dealer denies knowledge tell him to look on the MGF or Rover 200 accessory list under

H for Heated Washer Jets
part number VUB100220.

Contributed by Graeme Bishko.

Leaks

There are a number of things to check if your F leaks
  1. The rubber seals on the sides of the hood, at the front, are made such as to fit into a similar seal on the windscreen pillars and this must be done when the hood is raised to make it water-tight.
  2. There are two tiny rubber triangles on the corner of the roof. Both of these must lie inside the rubber on the windscreen/door when fitting the roof. water
  3. If you have water running down the inside of the glass, it may find it's way to the inside of the door trim and discharge into the car between the trim and the inside face of the door. This is a known problem, going back to last winter. The leak is at the front of the window rubbing felt, via the door mirror retaining components.Capillary action takes the water through, and from there it runs down the inside of the door between metal and plastic trim. This can be fixed

CD Player

Door Windows

They are adjustable. There are adjusting devices in the door to move the glass in just about any direction. Gaps and water leaks around the glass to hood seal are not uncommon on cars which are incorrectly adjusted.

Drainage Channels

It appears that occasionally the drainage channels get blocked, resulting in leaks. These are situated in the rubber seal at the very top of the A post just before it turns horizontal. Poke around and you will find them.

Hard Top

Towing

Guy Pigounakis (General Manager - MG) said at the Gaydon birthday do, that it would actually damage the car's sub frame to tow anything at all (certainly anything as heavy as a trailer, even an empty one)

The F in America

This is a paraphrasing of comments made by Stephen Cox at an MG Car Club F register meeting in October 1996. Stephen Cox is an employee of MG Car Company which is a subsidiary of Rover.

The MGF will not be sold in the USA within 6 years. 6 years is the expected life of the model so the MGF will never be sold in its present configuration in the USA. There are two main reasons for this.

It was known from the start of the project that the car would not be sold in the US. The market is very tough and MG did not want to do what they did with the MGB and lose money on every car sold. Production was set at 16,000 units per year and it was recognised that it would take twice that number to satisfy the US in addition to the rest of the world. At this stage (1 year into sales) it would cost a huge amount to double production and doubling production would be the minimum step up in production. MG will not even consider this.

The second reason (which is a supporting reason for the original decision not to go into the US) is one of legal problems with a dealer network left over from the Rover Sterling sales attempt in the 80's. This problem is not insurmountable but contributed to making the US market even less attractive.

BMW's Z3 had absolutely nothing to do with the original decision. BMW had no connection with Rover back when the production levels were set and any information that MG might have had on the Z3 back then would have been very sketchy. In fact, in the UK, MG feels that they are picking up sales from the Z3 waiting list. There were a number of serious enquiries at the motor show from both prospective Z3 and Merk SLK customers. They even consider it likely that after driving the superior J F, some of these people may cancel their Z3 orders and stick with the F.

Currently the only MGFs in the US belong to Ford and are kept in Detroit. MGFs were climate tested in the US but those ones are no longer there. The car is pretty much US spec already but there would need to be some reworking of bumpers and re-testing of materials. MG don't consider that it would cost very much to make the necessary changes.

The long term plans are for MG to return to the US. This would be on the back of a concerted movement of a number of Rover models and will not be within the lifetime of the F.

Obviously Stephen wouldn't say any more about future plans for MG but it was satisfying to hear that there are some!

Disclaimer: The above constitutes the gist of what was said to me (and others). I was given permission to repeat all of this and to attach Stephen Cox's name to it. If any of this is untrue (or I misunderstood Stephen) I will withdraw it as soon as I am made aware of this.

Contributed by Graeme Bishko.

Real life MPG data.

I have so far completed roughly 12,000 miles in a 1.8i, and 4,500 miles in a VVC. I can say fairly easily that the sort of driving I performed in both cars has been roughly similar. In order to put the figures in to context I'll describe the types of driving I usually do.

During weeks I drive daily to and from work. It is only 3 miles across Leeds so the car barely heats up. If I've done nothing else but this journey on a tank then my fuel figures are very poor.

Another common journey is a 60 mile round trip to York. This is usually a B road blast and this seems to give better figures than the town driving but is highly dependent on the "right foot factor" :-). The VVC especially encourages one to stray into the 5500+ RPM zone which does have a noticeable effect on fuel consumption.

The figures also include a few motorway runs and here the car gives its best figures. About 30% of the miles in both samples are motorway miles with the rest being split between daily commutes and fun runs.

The best figures obviously come from motorway trips. The figures suggest that the VVC achieves a slightly better figure on the motorway than the 1.8i and I feel this is the case. The VVC, however, definitely uses more fuel when burbling around town before it warms up. I feel that if I were to restrict myself to around 6000 RPM then the VVC would deliver almost identical figures as the 1.8i on the back roads. Excursions up to the rev limitter are much more common in the VVC and I think this explains the slightly lower average figure.

MGF Fuel Consumption
1.8i
VVC
Miles completed

11,340

4,476

Best

39.21

42.75

Worst

26.89

25.52

Average

33.73

32.49

Contributed by Graeme Bishko.

Filling with Petrol.

The petrol pump will quickly switch off if you just shove the nozzle fully in and squeeze. There are a number of solutions:
  1. Insert the nozel so that the only 1st lumpy bit (technical here) is over the lip of the petrol filler lip, squeeze gently and off you go, a medium filling rate means that you do not fill too quickly!
  2. Turn the nozzle 90 degrees either clockwise or anticlockwise

The Heater.

When you adjust the heater it only controls the water flow to the matrix and does not divert the air flow so you have to wait for the matrix to cool or heat, rather basic but it gives out enough heat to keep you warm even with the hood down in wnter.
Greg Hilton Drop me an email if you wish to add something useful to these pages.

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