Life With A 10 Year Old Renault
Its not "quite" as bad as you might think ... if you don't think to much.
I'm a seasoned professional now when it comes to Renaults. If any warning light comes on. Give it 5 minutes. It will go away on its own.
Probably the biggest pain in Renaults are the electrics. They consistently cause me grief. I remember removing the whole dash of my 182 in the rain with my dad holding a torch so I could fix a steering column wiring issue. Just so I could get it down the MOT centre at 8 in the morning so it would pass, before blasting it round Snetterton.
There also always seems to be a number of parts that never go back quite right. Also Renault seem to love Interlocking panels to other panels so you have to dismantle half the car to get to where you wanted to go in the first place, and, without fail, I end up with 100+ screws and bits that I don't remember taking out.
The Megane I felt was a fresh start. I felt that I would enjoy driving the car more. That was until covid happened and she's not moved from her parking space in months, Apart from the odd "Necessary" hour long trip to the shops to get a carton of milk. (Sainsburys is 2 minutes up the road from me)
While sucking up the, quite frankly extortionate and pointlessly stupid, £305 a year road tax and the quite painful £450 tyres. The car its self is great. I enjoy long drives (ill be driving to Scotland soon with her) and unlike the clio, I don't get to my destination with a dust spine and a headache I would expect to get from a week long bender at some party destination holiday.
After owning the car for a couple of years. Some bone-head decided to reverse into it at 30000mph in a cul de sac. Smashed the light and bent the rear quarter. Thankfully it wasn't to bad, she got shipped off to a repair shop, they straightened it all out without filler, resprayed the rear bumper and I got her back a week later looking good as new. Now if someone could just damage the front end so I could get that bumper re-done.
Every so often thought, in true Renault style, I get airbag warning light pop-up on my dash. A little fiddle with some wires under my seat, and off it goes.
Then I can carryon my journey safe with the knowledge Ill be saved but quickly suffocated by a massive white balloon. A few times now the car has gone into limp mode, All because a light appears on my dash telling me there's an issue with the exhaust. There is no issue, just the wires have decided they will pop out of the heat protected sheath and bask in the heat of the engine.
Another issue with this car is how hot it runs. I always fear one day I'm going to look down and its going to be right in the red. I don't know if its the engine or just poor needle positioning but It unnerves me that the temperature gauge is never central. I've wrapped this, that and the other in heat proof tap to no avail. Thankfully I live in England where it gets hot for 2 days of the year, everyone trots around shirtless because its 11°C with some sun, aaaaand then back to cold.
The thing is, I wouldn't have them any other way. Yes the 182 was a death-trap tin can with plastic trims they made from melting down old mc-Donald's toys and the carpets wouldn't look a miss in a grotty student bedsit. But on a B road you could just put your foot down and fly thought the, some what clunky, gears. The Megane still feels more grown up, the plastic trims actually feel like plastic now. The carpets feel a bit more plush. Its also a nice bonus when I give it the beans round a corner the B pillar trim doesn't fall of and nock me in the head.
You just forget about everything wrong with the Renaults and just drive this, quite frankly practical, go-kart. The Renault runs at around 270Bhp (last dyno) With a fresh set of Michelin p4s and nice set of PFC pads the car feels even more nibble than when I picked it up. The Recaro seats are just there to keep you in place and let the savagery unfold, then you can peacefully roll in to small village for lunch. Before attacking some more unsuspecting corners. The harnesses keep my wife locked in as well as her over-dramatic self "apparently" nearly fell out the window several times when I was a little heavy footed into a corner. If you've ever seen a 250-275 Megane you'll know the slits, they have the audacity to call windows, are tiny.
After 10 years id expect to see some wear and tear. Anyone would. Of course there are stone chips, a few things might be a little loose. There is also an odd rattle I cant get to the bottom of. But the car is practical and durable, Its gone down rocky uneven roads, slowly, with H&R springs on that cup chassis. Its picked up a cat, Had the boot full of luggage. The back seat has enough room for multiple persons with legs! This really is, arguably, one of the best hot hatches in the last few years. Not to mention the little 5 year old inside me SQUEALED with joy when I discovered if you press the ABS button once you engage sport mode. The stock exhaust pops and crackles once she's warmed up enough.
Even though this car is considered old now, It still out performs some modern hatches. I've, much to my wife's dismay, put a few fiesta ST's in their places. Even a Porsche. Although there's still some debate on that one, my wife said he didn't even initiate a race. I'm sure he blinked.
- If you read this thank you. I'm a big petrol head and I love cars ever since I was a child, I've been trying this writing thing out for a while on various different platforms and really enjoy it. Cars are my passion and I love that I'm able to talk about them on here.