Our Cars : MGF VVC

Keith Adams

1997 MGF VVC
1997 MGF VVC

Our new MGF is going from strength to strength. We’re racking up the miles and enjoying the experience. The only downside we’ve been encountering so far is the English weather, which continues to prove disappointingly drizzly and cold. It’s especially disappointing considering the heatwave we’d had here until the point I bought it – but I guess, them’s the breaks.

Anyway, as everyone has  suggested, I’ve been checking the coolant level daily (it’s fine) and the oil level (it’s good) so there are no concerns. This morning, I noticed a chuff of oil smoke on start-up, though. Stem seals? Rings? Gasket? Let’s see how it plays out though I am going to give it an oil change at the weekend.

I’d mentioned the stereo in my introductory piece… and my desire to change it. I know Richard, its previous owner, loved its originality, but I think I’d prefer sound quality and features – and that’s why I ended up forking out a mere £90 at Halfords for a new Philips head unit. I like its near-OEM look and the fact that it plays MP3 CDs, USB sticks and hooks up to my iPod.

Installation was nice and simple, plugging straight into the F’s ISO connector. Well, it should have been other than it started doing strange things – like not remembering its settings, powering up and powering straight down again. Strange… A quick prod with my voltmeter had it showing 12v on switched live and 9v on permanent. To cut a long and boring story short, I traced the fault to a blown fuse… and left myself wondering how the stereo worked at all with the fuse out.

Anyway, it’s all in now…

Finally, I swapped out the old standard fit gearknob for one out of a Citroen BX 16V. I’m not a fan of the big phallic item that comes with the car and thought the daintier, cylindrical item from the French car more suits the MGF‘s character. I’m looking forward to getting a few bits and pieces to upgrade the car (a windbreak would be excellent) and then enjoy it during what will, I hope, be a long and hot summer.

Keith Adams

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