In conjunction with HAS, we look at a selection of the elements that need attention during a typical routine service for an MGF or MG TF.
Some aspects of a service have already been covered in previous issues such as replacing the water pump, draining the coolant system if necessary and replacing the anti-freeze and changing the cambelt – an operation that is best done for economy and ease of operation during the recommended service intervals.
This month we cover three of the simpler service aspects that a competent DIY mechanic can tackle.
The first thing that needs to be done is to access the engine bay, this requires unclipping the hood and folding it forwards to allow you to then release the engine cover which is secured in place by 10mm bolts – this exposes most of the parts that you will need to pay attention to.
One of the additional checks that you can make for the coolant system is the condition of the cap on the fluid bottle – the container is located on the off-side under the engine grille and can be unbolted from its position – remembering to catch any surplus fluid when you remove the bottle.
A faulty cap can leak and cause a loss of pressure in the system so it is best to check the pressure when you can. At the same time you can clean out the coolant bottle and remove any debris that may have collected in it – often caused by the breakdown ageing anti-freeze.
The next item to tackle is the air filter which is located in its distinctive plastic housing at the nearside end of the engine bay. The cover is released by undoing the clips which expose the filter which can then be removed. Before replacing the filter you can vacume out the housing to remove any debris or dust that remains.
Another item to replace on a regular basis is the fuel filter which is located below the ECU unit, above the fuel tank and alongside the air filter. Before starting ensure you have something positioned below to catch any surplus fuel that will inevitably leak out one the filer is removed.
The filer is held in place at the top by 18mm securing bolt that needs to be removed holding the fuel line in place with a 13mm spanner for the connection. A new filter is inserted and secured in place.
Changing the oil on an MGF is a relatively simple process but, of course, requires raising the vehicle to a convenient working height and starts with undoing the sump nut which is located below the engine – remembering to then collect the oil as it drains out in a suitable container which needs to hold about five litres.
Fortunately on the MGF, the oil filter is located alongside the sump and can be unscrewed once the rest of the oil has drained from the sump remembering again to position a tray to catch any oil spill.
Of course you should always dispose of the old oil in an environmentally friendly manner – most civic amenity tips have a collecting point.
Fit a new oil filter and replace the sump plug before filling the engine with fresh oil. This is recommended as 10-40 oil and you will need about four-and-a half litres to fill the engine to the correct level.
Another relatively easy task is checking the spark plugs and distributor.
The engine cover is secured in place by two screws which exposes the plugs and their leads. With the leads off you will need a long reach socket to access and remove the spark plugs which should be replaced with new plugs at the recommended mileage intervals. It is an idea to use a little white grease on the plug threads to stop them binding in the future.
At the same time check the condition of the plug leads and replace if showing signs of wear.
Next, move onto the distributor which is located at the nearside end of the engine, close to the air filter box. This is held in place by a pair of clips and can be quickly removed.
Check the distributor points for signs of excessive wear and blackening and, at the same time, take off and examine the rotor arm for similar indications. Replace both if necessary.
At HAS a full service (including the aspects mentioned last month) takes around two-and-a-half hours.