When Renault electrics go bad – volume 4

Mar 5th, 2008   9:36 pm

So most Renault owners and potential owners have heard the pretty widespread belief that their biggest failing is their electrical systems. Newer models don’t seem to do much to resolve that either. So I’d put my CD unti replacement and the two times I’ve had the ignition coils replaced down to those electrical faults, and as they were covered by warranty (outside of the general manufacturer warranty, but within the extended period for known problems such as the coils).

Then I’d to drive 3 hours in sub-zero temperatures on motorways with my driver window fully down. The cause? A faulty window regulator (the motor & mechanism used to drive the electric windows). It failed while the car was parked outside the house. Even better, when it did fail it decided to open fully, even though the car was locked/immobilised. Genius! So no, because it is less than a month outside the extended 4-year manufacturer warranty on the widely publicised window regulator problem Meganes have, Renault want 400 quid to fix it. 320 Euro for a new part.

Gus Murphy (of Ennis, Co. Clare fame) could rewire starter motors for 20 Irish punts some 15 euro!!! Once we get over the cost, there’s the bigger picture here. What if it failed in a car park (and duly opened itself fully)? What if I’d “locked” my laptop or mobile phone out of sight, per insurance requirements, and come back to have them stolen with no sign of forced entry? Better again, what if my central locking decided “oh, I’m about to fail, let’s just unlock myself (flashing my hazards, of course) because I think I’m going to break now”. Not a very clever design! So, it seems, “Renault electrics” (I use quotes as many people associated the 2 words, in a negative way!) still have plenty of room for improvement.

By comparison, I had to change my headlight main beam bulb. Without a Haynes workshop manual, it took me 2 hours to try to change the bulb (using the brief instructions in the Renault owner manual, which is accomponied by a recommendation to have your dealer do it), and I failed. The free-fitting service offered by Halfords doesn’t apply to Meganes, as I was told with a “are you mad?”-esque laugh by the shop assistant; I now know why! So back home, I find I’ve to take apart cable assemblies, headlight mounts and other bits and bobs to get easy access, or I could do it the Renault way and try and fiddle with a tiny wire clip, at arms reach completely blind. So a total of 2h45m to change one headlight bulb. The second bulb change took around 30 minutes when it failed about 3 days later!! The comparison? Replace a Nissan Micra odometer LCD backlight bulb in 15 minutes (including having to dissasemble the dash to get at it).