Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - malct

Bought a Pre Reg Clio a few months back, 2 weeks after buying the car, I checked the car for oil, water etc and noticed that the water reservoir was totally empty, To i topped it up with approx 1 to 2 litres of water, So i thought that the water cant have been checked before i bought the car or that maybe there had been a air lock in the system.

and closed the bonnet and thought nothing more about it.

2 months later, I was driving home and i got a red light telling me to stop due to engine failure hazard with a red light on the water symbol on the display. Luckily i was just half a mile from home, so i was Ok, Checked the water level and i could not see any water in the reservoir, So i phoned my local Renault dealer up and told them about the issue, They told me not to drive the car and to call out the RAC and they also booked the car into the garage to check it over, but i had to wait 3 weeks.

The rac came to my home, Unable to find a leak, but told me if i was to drive the car, make sure its only short trips and to monitor the reservoir and top up with tap water when required and to get Renault to check the car ASAP plus for Renault to change the water coolant since i had been using tap water

Last Friday i took the car into Renault for 8:30, because it was a 25 miles to the garage, I asked that to check the car while the engine was hot and to give me a time when the car was going to be ready, after 2 and half hours, i asked whats happening to my car, i was told that they had not got round to my car, so i ended up going into town, 2 hours later i got a call telling me that my car was ready but unable to find any fault and did i want to go ahead to add the water coolant which i replied yes, The lady informed me that the price would be £40 changed to me since no fault was found, i told the lady that as far has i was concerned, my Car was still not fixed, But would not listen to me, So i told her not to add coolant.

on my return to Renault, I asked to speak to the guy working on my car, I was told it was not possible but the lady told me that the car had been pressure tested, Driven for 10 miles and then check and the water level stayed the same, I told the lady, That might be so, but my car was still loosing water, So she asked me to drive the car away and to monitor the water level and any issues to bring it in and they would keep the car for a couple of days.

I checked the water level on saturday and the water had gone of the max level and this morning which is wednesday, The reservoir is completly empty, I have got the car booked in again, but cant get the car in until the end of the month,

My issues are, My car has ony 2500 miles on the clock and it must have been loosing water since buying the car from renault Bolton.

Since reporting the fault to Renault a month a go, I am only able to take my car on short trips and cant plan on long trips due to the water loss, apart from trying to get the car fixed, i feel that i should be doing something, Either complaining to Renault customer care and trying to claim something because the car is not fit for purpos at the moment, Any advice on this?

Finally, i was sent away from Renault with them telling me that their was no fault and my car was OK, Plus the fact that renault wanted me to pay to change the water coolant.

Not a happy renault customer at the moment

Any help, advice or tips would be great

Malc

Edited by malct on 12/07/2017 at 17:59

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - RobJP

Assuming it's been back to the selling dealership, who've failed to faind the fault ...

Ask to speak to the service manager. The words 'thinking of rejecting the car under the Consumer Right Act ... one last chance to rectify', might just get their attention.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - elekie&a/c doctor

With a major fault soon after delivery and with little mileage,I would not want it repaired. As suggested above, rejection is the way forward,nothing else.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - skidpan

2 months later, I was driving home and i got a red light telling me to stop due to engine failure hazard with a red light on the water symbol on the display

Did you drive the car for 2 months without doing any of the checks specified in the manual. If you did you have just given Renault a get out of jail free card. Why should they repair a car that has been damaged by your neglect.

Even modern cars need weekly checks.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - focussed

2 months later, I was driving home and i got a red light telling me to stop due to engine failure hazard with a red light on the water symbol on the display

Did you drive the car for 2 months without doing any of the checks specified in the manual. If you did you have just given Renault a get out of jail free card. Why should they repair a car that has been damaged by your neglect.

Even modern cars need weekly checks.

How much coolant should a new car with 2500 miles on the clock use a week?

According to your post, Renault seem to going back to the days of your old Morris Minor and Ford Popular when it was prudent to carry a gallon of water in the boot to top up the radiator on long (more than 50 miles) trips?

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - Galaxy

I haven't added any water to the cooling system of my car in 10 years - it hasn't needed any!

I agree with Elekie when he says you should reject the car while you still can. Let the water loss be someone else's problem, not yours!

As for where the water is going I would suggest possibly a leaking head gasket which only leaks when the engine is hot, or a leaking water pump shaft seal which only leaks when the system is under pressure.

Moral of the story - never buy a Renault!

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - malct

I have Renault UK on the case and i have taken photos and mileage over 5 days from when the water Coolant Reservoir was to the max until it was completly empty giving days and milage covered which was around 110 miles from driving from the garage until the reservoir was drained, I then had to top it up.

The shocking thing that Renaut UK said to me, Maybe thats normal for a car to use that anount of water which i replied that i had never had to top the coolant up on a car since 1989.

Renault UK have told me that they will make a offer of compensation in the way of a good will payment only if they find a fault.

Not sure on my rights on returning a Pre reg car, But i would expect that i would have to give them a chance on finding and repairing the fault.

On top of the water leak, The car alarm has now started going off in the middle of the night!!!!

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - malct

Good news and news,

Found a moth in the car that was triggering the car alarm, so that's fixed, regards the water leak, they have found that the cylinder head gasket as gone and water is getting into the engine and coming out via the exhaust but not getting into the oil, so they say, it's going to take a week to sort it, just as well I didn't do long trips, still to speak to Renault UK about it, not good for a car bought in march

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - elekie&a/c doctor
No way would I want this repaired.Reject the car now,or at the very least a complete new engine.A motor that has had coolant loss and overheating for the last 6 months does not bode well for the future.Dump it now.You may not have the opportunity later big problems persist.
Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - RobJP
No way would I want this repaired.Reject the car now,or at the very least a complete new engine.A motor that has had coolant loss and overheating for the last 6 months does not bode well for the future.Dump it now.You may not have the opportunity later big problems persist.

Agreed. Complete new engine or reject under CRA. Otherwise it is almost certainly going to be problematic down the line.

If they agree to a complete new engine, you get their promise to do so in writing.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - malct

I have just wrote to renault Uk to inform them that i wish to reject the car, Or replace the car with like for like or replace the engine with a brand new engine explaining my reights under the consumer act October 2015 saying that they had 1 chance to repair the car and that they have had that chance when i was sent away saying that my car did not have a fault.

I have not informed the dealership where i bought the car from since i dont believe its their fault and that its a issue for renault UK since they built the car and passed it onto the dealership.

I have asked them to phone me to discuss

Edited by malct on 28/07/2017 at 12:09

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - Railroad.

I have not informed the dealership where i bought the car from since i dont believe its their fault and that its a issue for renault UK since they built the car and passed it onto the dealership.

I have asked them to phone me to discuss

Actually it IS the dealer's fault. They sold you the car, you paid them money, therefore your legal contract is with them, not Renault UK. The manufacturer offers a warranty with every new vehicle, but this is to cover manufacturing mechanical and electrical defects, not faults that crop up during the life of the car. Reject the car from the dealer under the October 2015 act.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - malct

Railroad, Your correct, Thank you

After a long phone call with Renault UK, They have informed me that the cycliner block has been sent to france for analysis, The cycliner head gasket was ok and they believe that there is a issue with the cycliner head.

We spoke at lenght regards my rights, But i need to write to the Bolton dealership were i bought my car from regards my rights and options, but it will be Renault UK who foots the bill.

Renault are trying to get me to have the car repaired with the possiblity of a new engine if the car needs a new engine along with compensation which they want me to name my price and they will consider it.

I have been asked to think it over and let him know next week of what i would expect , He also advises that we wont make a decision until they know what the fault is and what needs to be done regarding repairs.

Regards getting my money back or a like for like car, Renault UK explained that they would only do it at the book price, maybe loosing 20% which i would have to pay towards another renault which i would argue about since it looks like a fault when i bought the car, Renault would argue that i should have returned the car before 30 days to get the total cost.

He also talked about free servicing for the duration that i keep the car.

Not sure if this should now go onto the legal forum?

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - John F

After a long phone call with Renault UK, They have informed me that the cycliner block has been sent to france for analysis, The cycliner head gasket was ok and they believe that there is a issue with the cycliner head.

Interesting. If I, as an amateur, immediately thought from the symptom history that there is probably a defect in either the head gasket or the head/block casting, it beggars belief you got such ignorant brushoffs from the pros. In the 13yrs and nearly 100,000m we have had our Ford Focus, I have added only 250mls of water (from our rainwater butt).

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - John F

.... The cycliner head gasket was ok and they believe that there is a issue with the cycliner head.

Interesting. If I, as an amateur, immediately thought from the symptom history that there is probably a defect in either the head gasket or the head/block casting, it beggars belief you got such ignorant brushoffs from the pros. In the 13yrs and nearly 100,000m we have had our Ford Focus, I have added only 250mls of water (from our rainwater butt).

Update - in the 15yrs ownership of our 19yr old Focus with nearly 136,000 on the clock I have added only 250mls.....etc.

If you have to regularly top up coolant with no sign of a leak, the odds are the CHG is failing. If buying a used car, always check coolant and oil appearance and level before and after the longest test drive you can get, working the engine as hard as possible. If not crystal clear like new, walk away.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - Andrew-T

<< Update - in the 15yrs ownership of our 19yr old Focus with nearly 136,000 on the clock I have added only 250mls.....etc. >>

I'm surprised at you, John. I would never use any water from our water-butt for anything other than the garden, knowing the carp that collects in it - old moss, bird poo, cherry stones, you name it. I wouldn't want any of that in my cooling system.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - John F

<< Update - in the 15yrs ownership of our 19yr old Focus with nearly 136,000 on the clock I have added only 250mls.....etc. >>

I'm surprised at you, John. I would never use any water from our water-butt for anything other than the garden, knowing the carp that collects in it - old moss, bird poo, cherry stones, you name it. I wouldn't want any of that in my cooling system.

I clean it regularly (well, once a year or so when it runs out). The tap is about six inches off the bottom and runs clear, 'cos carp either sinks or floats. Any suspended microscopic lifeforms are immaterial. The important thing is it contains no minerals (hardish water in my neck of the woods) or corrosive chlorine.

Renault Clio - Water leak, Renault/RAC unable to find - madf

Railroad, Your correct, Thank you

After a long phone call with Renault UK, They have informed me that the cycliner block has been sent to france for analysis, The cycliner head gasket was ok and they believe that there is a issue with the cycliner head.

We spoke at lenght regards my rights, But i need to write to the Bolton dealership were i bought my car from regards my rights and options, but it will be Renault UK who foots the bill.

Renault are trying to get me to have the car repaired with the possiblity of a new engine if the car needs a new engine along with compensation which they want me to name my price and they will consider it.

I have been asked to think it over and let him know next week of what i would expect , He also advises that we wont make a decision until they know what the fault is and what needs to be done regarding repairs.

Regards getting my money back or a like for like car, Renault UK explained that they would only do it at the book price, maybe loosing 20% which i would have to pay towards another renault which i would argue about since it looks like a fault when i bought the car, Renault would argue that i should have returned the car before 30 days to get the total cost.

He also talked about free servicing for the duration that i keep the car.

Not sure if this should now go onto the legal forum?

They know their legal position: they owe you a new car. The rest is BS.

Renault Clio - Water leak, US TOO...BOUGHT BRAND NEW 2015. - sleekitwan
Well then, I guess we are not alone!

I ignored it, thought the slight leak was some hose where those lousy OEM factory clips not put on properly. Thought it was strange no sign of coolant going anywhere...that using the telltale signs of the aluminium 'frosting' or dried out deposits of coolant, showed nothing.

Sadly, your view and the valuable contributions of this Honest John column, now give me that sinking feeling coolant is being burned up or evaporated disappearing via the exhaust.

No sign of emulsified oil.

I looked it up only now because it has taken three years for it to suddenly go from being a litre of Renault coolant per annum, to the entire reservoir disappearing from the last time i checked, about a month ago.

It's patently worsening, and I would put money it is the cause of performance seeming variable under acceleration, and what I retrospectively realise is more steam than usual, emerging from the exhaust.

It is my spouse's car, and other than this, it is brilliant. This was a big investment for us, and to be blunt, if we needed proof an electric vehicle is the sensible option, this is likely it, although we cannot afford one that matches the distance driving of this ICE car.

Now I wish we had got the diesel, they use different blocks and heads and are four cylinders.

I am too old and experienced to get livid about it, but I simply must roast Renault over a spit if they prove unhelpful.

It is not our fault, any notification to the dealer etc would have been fobbed off which is why I did not do anything before it got serious. Not my first rodeo.

Spouse will be upset, women get quite attached to their cars, that's what will get me going, her hard earned money down the toilet if Renault or the dealer try to slug it out.

First step, get a quote froma trusted mechanic, for the likely stripdown, if it comes to it. Armed with that, truncheon Renault dealership and write to Renault UK.

Hacks me off, because it is like saying 'write to your MP'. You say that for a laugh.

Best to all and thanks to Honest John for the forum and this opportunity to share.

Ian Margetts
Cleckheaton.
Renault Clio - Water leak, US TOO...BOUGHT BRAND NEW 2015. - Avant

Ian - you have our synmpatghy but your position depends very much on how old your car is and when you bought it. All we know so far is that it's a petrol Renault.

It's a pity nthat the original poster from 2017 never came back and told us the outcome.

Renault Clio - Water leak, US TOO...BOUGHT BRAND NEW 2015. - sleekitwan
Ok, sorry, yeah, my wife bought her Clio mk 4 as I refer to it, in 2015.

She bought it brand new, and we had several discussions with the dealer about when it would arrive, as wife paid a large deposit and the rest cash - large part of hard earned working life savings - and I recall deposit paid around feb or march 2015 but took until may or something for them to get the car to us.

A car they said they already had, or we thought they did. Turned out they had to go across the pennines, bring it from Bolton or similar back to us near Huddersfield, whereupon I expressed concern it had nearly a hundred miles on the clock.

After a discussion they got nice and technical during and where they finally blurted out anywhere under 500 miles was 'new' as far as they were concerned (!) Wife got car.

There was a panel out of true I noticed after a couple of months while washing it and made a mental note NOT to bother wife with this minor deviation from perfection. Her happiness is more important than a perfect world order!

It has honestly been really great, but there have been occasions where i put the foot down like once to show my brother how good it was, and it felt 'flat'.

Hearing the issue of coolant disappearing, makes me think of a car I had where it appeared inside the engine cover, emerging and crystallising when that VW's cylinder head gasket went at 200,000 miles. Power loss occurred, and also internal heater leaked...pressure created by the gas exiting into cooling system was to much. Blew out past pipes connections.

This seems like a recall that simply hasn't happened, no?! They must have thousands of cars out there, where owners haven't noticed or are just lving with it...maybe dealers getting servicing contracts for three years like wife did with ours, the dealers quietly top up and say nothing.

To balance and for context, we still have wife's first new car, an ex demonstrator Clio mk 2, year 2000. Bar none, including the venerable VW passat of 1999 vintage this Clio 2 is the most reliable car we have ever had. Now on 131,000 miles, I did the cam belt a year or so ago, yes it took me a week stop laughing at the back, and we had the clutch done around 95,000 miles, and I did the sunroof leak fix, and also replaced the two rear door locks.

These small things were fixed with internat assistance, as it were, and so were much less than they might have been. The only other issue I can think of, is the remote key unlocking stopped around 12 years into ownership. I know a little tech and have deduced it is the backup battery behind the glovebox in some electronics compartment. Sometimes, if i accidentally squash the keyfob as squeezing out door in a car park slot, the car locks even now. It is the backup battery. After driving, holds a tiny charge, works for three seconds remembering the keyfovb number code, then dies again!

So, Renault, how about admitting how many cars of the clio 4 Tce type, three cylinder turbo, have this issue worldwide?!

Lastly, there was only one recall for the clio 2, for a bonnet catch. Ours did not pop up at motorway speeds or ever, and nothing needed done, because i regularly lubed the catch i assume. But others were caught out.

Does make me think, they recall when it pleases them, and don't when it doesn't. This is the recall that hasn't yet happened, I am certain of it.

Not sure what to do, because it is the hardest issue to pin down being not quite constant or debilitating yet. Poss show to trusted mechanic in next town, get a quote as if to do whole head gasket job, give that quote to dealer and renault, see response?

Renault make some great stuff, and if they would be above board on this, I could still trust them.


Renault Clio - Water leak, US TOO...BOUGHT BRAND NEW 2015. - sandy56

It could be an airlock pressuring up and pushing water out?

WIth the engine cold take the radiator cap off, and run the engine for about 10- 15 minutes, until the water is circulating normally then stop,shut down, and check the water level. Top up if necessary.

Renault Clio - Water leak, US TOO...BOUGHT BRAND NEW 2015. - sleekitwan
UPDATE - but first the airlock suggestion...No chance. The cap is screwed tight, and the engine is literally disposing of water at a variable rate up to a litre a week. I stopped using coolant, it became too expensive.

The new information I have is two-fold, that I did not have back in February 2019:

ONE - Asked the best mechanic I know, what is the assessment. He replied perfectly reasonably after a short exchange, really he needs it in to look it over, etc. I view that as the beginning of costs. So, that’s a critical point. Back to this later...

TWO - Cylinder head tightening isn’t what it used to be! Look, please don’t laugh when I tell you what I have discovered, is the bolt tightening sequence for these engines...I checked the dates on the material I obtained because I thought it must be April fool’s day, here it is, I paraphrase:

1 - Tighten bolts in the sequence given, to X torque.

2 - Go have some Chocolat et croissant - ok it actually said wait a few minutes

3 - Massage the head bolts with an even blend of creme de menthe and Napoleon brandy, for approximately 30 seconds, while looking askance at a photograph of Monsieur Macron and saying a prayer for the Notre Dame - you must be facing Sud at the time. Ok this one is made up.

4 - Tighten to X torque now, plus half a turn, after waiting the requisite amount of time.

Look, I make a mockery of this, but I cannot see thi complicated procedure being followed to the letter, by every shop floor worker that assembles these engines, on every occasion. It’s far too finicky. I am used to tightening in a certain sequence, and maybe yes, having got the correct torque, applying a quarter turn more or something. But this, waiting and so on, no way that always happens.

It suggests to me, these cylinder heads have become very prone to warping or at least distorting, and hence the complicated procedures. Other engines are similarly particular in their tightening-up, that I have seen the handbooks for.

Everything, points to either a design flaw/weakness, and/or an assembly failure to obey this rather fanciful procedure. It’s such a s*d of a problem to have, the manufacturer, the dealer, everyone can argue until the cows come home, about how you basically have failed to prove conclusively this party or that party is to blame.

I know who is not to blame - the hapless owner that was meticulous about putting it in for service, and kept a close eye on the coolant, oil, air etc situations.

In a nutshell, this problem has crept over us. In the beginning it is too slight for the dealer to take seriously, and by the time it is swallowing a litre per week, it’s out of warranty.

I couldn’t have done any more than I did. I wouldn’t take it to the dealer, because I don’t live on Mars. In this world you need to have a strong case, to get something fixed. My first horror thought was I hope it’s not the cylinder head/gasket.

Bottom line - if it was an easy fix, it wouldn’t be in these pages. If it’s a hard one, and as common as I believe, the dealers have circulated the info, and know the avoidance and delay tactics.

They maybe make a grand on these cars. Slightly more if you buy servicing or whatever.

It does not say to me not to buy Renault - it says to me that electric cars are long overdue. We almost bought one in 2015. We almost bought the diesel version of this Clio mk 4. Woulda coulda shoulda.

My pressing question now is, how to extract from the vexed situation. All the options are unpalatable. You buy a new car to avoid problems. We were sold an inherently flawed vehicle, and proving it is in practical terms impossible without spending more money than the thing is worth. You can’t play one lot of mechanics against the other - they usually won’t play that game.

I could whip off the top of the engine, the covers, and just guess-tighten the head a bit more. I could advise the wife to flog the car to some unsuspecting buyer. We could take it to the dealer and start the whole business off in that direction - it will begin with them needing the car, and as I can’t trust them, I doubt that will make me comfortable.

Lastly, give it to my trusted competent mechanic. Great. If it is the cylinder head, it’s a grand before you have your first tea-break.

We don’t want to flog somebody else our problems. We don’t want to be minus our car for an indefinite period. We don’t want to sign up for a non-specific cost that begins with the engine being dismantled, even if we do trust the garage doing it.

It’s absolutely wretched, this situation. I haven’t even covered all the options, because the ones I left out are even more undignified, risky, and repulsively lacking in integrity, from those already detailed.

My solution to 80% of the problems of the bulk of present cars, is to buy an EV. I think any other solution, is a stop-gap until that one is implemented. I really won’t be unhappy if the problems are relegated to software glitches and chassis/suspension/running gear repairs. Even the battery issues, are largely negated, if you buy an EV with liquid-cooling of the pack.

All the radiators go, all the engine problems go, virtually no transmission to speak of, you’ve even got secondary brakes by engine braking, should you have brake failure. If lorries were electric, all those accidents where the brakes fail, would never have happened, because in an EV the physical friction brakes are hardly ever used, when engine braking is properly implemented.

No, these things are museum pieces as far as I am concerned. I just want to offload the lot, and go EV. I am too old to find the allure of vibration and a screaming engine take precedent over practicalities! I will write all these unpalatable options down I think, and assign them the numbers one to six, then throw a die for it...

 

Value my car