Jim'll Fix It - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd)
Dear Jim, can you fix it for me to meet the bunch of crass idiots, I mean, design team who contrived my Renault Espace 2.2 TDi? I spent a happy day yesterday replacing the sealed-for -life clutch master/slave cylinder, the pollen filters and the cambelt. The wiper assembly complete has to be removed to replace the drivers' side pollen filter, all of the lower dash has to be removed to replace the sealed, PLASTIC clutch master cylinder and the cam belt took over 7 hours to replace AND I had to make a special tool to undo the auxiliary belt tensioner to expose a belt cover bolt. Please Mr Renault and Mr Peugeot too, please spare a thought for us mechanics out there who have to service your product.
Please fix it for me Jim.
Love from Andrew (age 43)
What is it about the French cars. - David Woollard

And how much would you have to charge for this if a customer's? Makes you despair of such design.

An Espace I look after was towed to a Renault dealer on Monday by the AA with a blown rad. £380 estimate to replace. Advised they did the timing belt while they were in there to save me taking it all off again in the autumn.

Experience has taught me the Espace can be a crippling vehicle to run (and buy).

Actually have an awkward job on my Xantia this week. A metal hydraulic pipe is leaking in the engine compartment. Could be so easy but.....this must be the first thing fitted to the bodyshell after painting. It is a pre-shaped pipe that crosses behind the engine effetively joining the suspension units. If you wanted to replace the pipe in the original beatifully moulded/clipped position I guess it would be an engine out job, plus all the other pipework on top.

As I collected this work of art from the parts counter they wished me luck, "we've never got one back in position yet".

French Trash Cars - Pierre lacroix
I am the unfortunate driver of a company provided Peugeot 406 - it is an utter heap - I cant wait to get me a VW !!! I am in the dealer's so often it has become an utter embarrasment. . at least the receptionist is pretty . . .
Pierre's email address - David Lacey
Hmmm something fishy here
Check out Pierre's email address
Re: Pierre's email address - Darcy Kitchin
As Bogush might say

Re: What is it about the French cars. - Ian Cook
Ref: Andrew and David's posts.

Something's now troubling me about my Xantia HDi - it's not broken, but Andrew's post about the sealed clutch cylinder prompts my question.

The owner's handbook says the car has a hydraulically operated clutch, but there is no sign of a master cylinder that I can see. I presume that this will be a sealed unit, but where would it be. I don't want to fiddle with it - just put my mind at rest.

Knowing French vehicle designers, perhaps I should start by looking in the boot!
Xantia hydraulic clutch. - David Woollard

I think you will find this is a sealed unit so it looks a little diffreent to the norm. The master cylinder and reservoir are on the engine side of the pedal pushrod, behind the engine.

It will be hard to see from above and the route in to change any components is from underneath.

I think David L looks after several Xantias like this and may have some ideas but why did they have to change to yet another over complicated component?

"French trash cars"...... Thought the same but I'm in danget of treating the "freedom to post rubbish" far too seriously!

Re: Jim'll Fix It - Dave N
I told you when I saw you the other day that I hated Espaces. Now do you believe me?

Though to be fair to the french, all MPV's seem to be built this way. I feel sorry for the families that buy these, then get hit with bigger bills because everything is so tightly packaged and inaccessible. Then again, if they want a big 'inside', but not a big 'outside', that's the price to pay.
Re: Jim'll Fix It - John Slaughter

And owners complain about the brake master cylinder on Minors!


Re: Jim'll Fix It - Neil
I'm dreading the day the headlight bulbs go on the Golf (mkIv). In a VW magazine there was a whole section on how to change the bulbs.

There should be a move to make consumables accessable and to make major components with standard fittings - although with the platform and engine sharing partnerships maybe we'll see less unnecessary diversity for non-franchised servicing.
Golf Headlights - Darcy Kitchin
If it's a Golf, aren't you just supposed to change the whole light unit if a bulb goes?
Re: Golf Headlights - Neil
Along with the rest of the car!
Re: Jim'll Fix It - fecker
I reckon its just French cars - they don't care about the RHD conversion side of things leaving you with nasties like this.
I bet a LHD Espace ain't as bad.
Re: Jim'll Fix It - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up Ltd)
In reply to "fecker"
Nope, LHD is just as bad, except you only have to remove half of the dash for the master cylinder. Incidentally the master/slave cylinder is supplied in two parts with a racing type sealed snap connector near the slave cylinder. Why then, if the master cylinder has obviously failed is it not available as two seperate items. Also just for information the trade prices from an independent Renault specialist for the clutch parts, air, oil and fuel filters, 2 pollen filters, cam and auxiliary belts came to a staggering £233. Add to that 7 litres of semi synthetic Texaco Havoline plus the sundry parts makes a big hole in anyones wallet. If I had been doing it for a customer the final tally would have been around £700, ouch!!!
Still I must be a glutton for punishment, first job tomorrow ; 1986 Renault Espace Cam belt, honest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Jim'll Fix It - Darcy Kitchin
Might hack you off this, but Ulyssergie 806 has 3 pollen filters accessible by 6 crosshead screws under the windscreen. It's a 10 min job even for an amateur. Also brake master cylinder clearly visible on the LH bulkhead behind the battery.
Golf Headlights - Guy Lacey
I'm not getting involved.

My headlights are as simple as a Morris Minors yet just as effective as a MkIV Golf - and I'm quicker, more fuel efficient and about half a metric tonne lighter.

That's all.
Re: Can I fix it - Sir James Saville OBE KCSG
Now then now then now then, ururururuururur! (never had to spell that before!)

Dear Andrew Moorey (Tune Up Ltd)
I would love to fix it for you young fella me lad to meet the design team at Reggie Renault, but they have all gone on their holidays for the whole of August.

You see these French geezers cannot operate unless they disappear for the whole of August, and as we speak they are on the N something or other, frightening the living daylights out of some poor rosbif in his Mondectra by driving 5 feet behind and flashing their lights.

So I am sorry on this occasion I cannot fix it for you. But thankyou for a very nice letter, and here is your virtual Jim'll fixit badge.......................there. Give the lad a round of applause everybody.


Re: Can I fix it - Brian
Dear Sir James,
I would appreciate it if you could be a little less disparaging about the French.
I would have you know that my ancestors came from France around 1066 and that makes me a member of an ethnic minority, out of which it is politically incorrect to extract the urine.
Anyway, with a name like Saville, your lot must have come from Spain, so you should know better.
Brian Ward du Bois

Value my car