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MG TF (2002 - 2005)

Last updated 27 February 2019


Buying Guide


MGs generally had slightly below average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 96.62 v/s lowest 31.93). Link:- 

Very useful site to MG owners

For parts try

Detailed electronic service and repair manual known as the MG TF RAVE disc is now available to MG TF owners from all XPart AutoService centres and wholesalers.

Exhaust systems from



Still no glass rear window. Cheap feeling dashboard trim. 

MGF/MGTF 4th bottom model in 2004 JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey. Came 2nd bottom in 2005 JD Power/What Car Survey of 23,000 cars reg Sep 2002 to Aug 2003 with satisfaction score of 70.6%.

Ddspite lots of specialists out there, parts may start to become more of a problem. 

Water level sensor kit available for the MGF and TF for £89.99 from MG Specialists such as Brown and Gammons (01462 490049)


Once the car has done about 30,000 miles owners should have torque of modular engine's stretch bolts checked as part of the service as these will have begun to loosen slightly over time. 

Check the coolant level at least twice a week and always before and after a long journey. Coolant piped under the car can corroded and leak, leading to head gasket failure.

Head gasket failure can still occur on K series four cylinder engines because very low coolant capacity of engine means small leaks rapidly lead to overheating. Weakest point is water heated inlet manifold gasket. 

An engineered solution to the coolant leak/head gasket problem is offered by Sterling Automotive. This involves a modified MLS (multi-layer shim) gasket, the more substantial lower oil rail (as fitted to Land Rover Freelanders) and a retro fit low coolant level warning system, with a 5 year guarantee which can be valid for up to 75,000 miles if this is reached before 5 years. In addition to this guarantee Sterling Automotive offers fixed price servicing as per the MG Rover recommendations throughout the period of cover as a reward for complying  with the conditions of the guarantee and also a free 6 monthly oil and filter change between the annual services. Sterling Automotive is currently only able to offer this on MGF/TF, Rover 25/Streetwise/MG ZR, Rover Commerce/MG Express Vans and the Rover 45/MG ZS range where fitted with the four cylinder K series engine due to the fact it is only able to provide a retro fit low coolant level system for these models but is actively seeking a way of adding the Rover 75/MG ZT 1.8 and 1.8 Turbo models to the offer as soon as possible. Sterling Automotive Limited. 4 Redward Business Park, Hammonds Drive, Eastbourne. East Sussex. BN23 6PW. 

XPart offers the MLS head gasket set which comes with a strengthened lower oil rail and new head bolts, as well as a water pump, from In designing the new kit, XPart and SAIC have used a combination of the revised lower oil rail designed by MG Rover engineers, higher tensile 10.9 grade long stretch bolts and a new single piece multi-layer steel gasket engineered by SAIC for its new N-series engine. The gasket should not be fitted in isolation and it is the kit together with revised torque settings that provides the best known repair. The XPart parts warranty only applies when the full kit has been used. 

New MGF Electronic Power Steering Cure. New Repair Service from Sterling Automotive could save MGF and TF owners nearly £900 over the official repair for Power Steering Problem. Some MGF owners have reported a fault with the electronic power steering system on their car which leads to heavier steering in one direction, pulling during braking and in some extreme cases MOT failure. The electronic power steering or EPAS fitted to the MGF and TF works by sensing the vehicle speed and then providing the optimum assistance. For example during low speed manouvres such as parking, the system provides greater assistance but on higher speed roads where corners are not so tight, the system provides less assistance ensuring you remain in more control of the car. The official rectification approved by MG Rover Group and their successors at NAC MG/SAIC involves the replacement of the EPAS control unit and steering column at a cost in the region of £1,000. Sterling Automotive are now able to offer a better value alternative which involves rebalancing the EPAS system to restore even power assistance at the right time for just £129.95 including VAT. This can usually be performed within two to three hours which can be pre-booked at its Eastbourne premises”. MGF or TF owners who do not live within the Eastbourne area, can take advantage of the Sterling Automotive ‘Service Tourism’ program which enables customers to combine a service, repair or even the unique 5 Year Head Gasket Guarantee with a break by the seaside. For more information, visit or call (01323) 438754 for more details or to discuss a booking.

27-9-2010: Fix for Fault with Security Control Unit. A number of owners of MG and Rover cars built between 2003 and 2005 will be aware of faults that can develop with the Security Control Unit or SCU. This commonly involves seemingly minor faults such as the horn not working or an electric window not operating but can also cause much bigger problems with the alarm, immobiliser and central locking systems which cause the car to become un-drivable. Until now rectification work has necessitated the replacement of the SCU and at times the remote handsets as well often costing £700 or more at some of the larger former Rover Dealers. However as part of Sterling Automotive's ongoing program of customer commitment, SA are always looking at new ways of making MG and Rover cars more reliable for future peace of mind and reduce the ongoing costs of motoring.

Sterling Automotive has inteoduced a new SCU repair service from just £350 including labour, components and VAT. The modified replacement parts fitted during the repair are guaranteed for 2 years which is double the time of the guarantee offered on the new SCU part. As an added bonus, if you think that your MG or Rover car might be suffering from an SCU related problem, Sterling Automotive will even carry out a free health check by appointment at its Eastbourne Service Centre to confirm if this is being caused by the SCU.

Additionally, for customers who are unable to get their car to Sterling Automotive or who reside overseas, they are also able to provide a mail order repair service. If long distance customers can remove the SCU from their car, SA advises them not to open the casing but to send it to us for repair. SA will then carry out the necessary refurbishment and repairs and return it to them for a reduced price of £320 including VAT. Postage and packing adds a further £9 within the UK, £12 within Europe or £15 for the rest of the world.

This fault can only be present on the following MG Rover vehicles; MG TF, MG ZR & MG ZS, Rover Streetwise, Rover 25 & 45 and the light commercial van derivatives, Rover Commerce and MG Express.

22-7-2018: Report of knocking noise from the front end of 2002 MGTF.  Owner spent hundreds of pounds with a repair garage who said it had a broken spring so changed the pair, also fitted two lower front arms and did some extra work on the steering bushes and replaced 12 sub frame bolts but owner still has the same noise. The noise happens when I move the car just slowly on my tarmac drive without touching the steering or brakes,it had Mike Satur Spax adjustable shocks fitted less than 10k miles ago. We wondered if one or both anti-roll bar skeeve bushes had dropped out.


11-2-2003: 19,945 MGTFs recalled, VINs RD 000101 to RD 000154 and RD 600155 to 611045 because bolts that attach the dampers to the upper suspension arms may loosen and in extreme cases fracture. Check torque of front and rear suspension attachment bolts and tighten or replace as appropriate.

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