Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - sja
2.0 RX Espace (Auto) rolls back on hill starts and revs without pulling when under load (as if the clutch was slipping on a manual). Anybody had a similar experience or got any ideas what the problem is likely to be/cost to fix?


Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Onetap
I had a Renault 21 GTX auto which 'flared' between 3rd & 4th, i.e., revved wildly for a second before changing up. I was told it was probably a defective hydraulic valve, that Renault auto gearboxes were infamous for their unreliability and that the only fix available was a replacement gearbox at £1,000ish. I tried various auto gearbox specialists, but none offered any option cheaper than changing the box. The valves aren't accessible other than by getting the box out.

I scrapped the (otherwise good) car after living with it for a year or so. I've gone off Renaults.

Although this doesn't help diagnose your problem, you'll probably find you've got to replace the gearbox. Good luck.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - sja
Thanks, unfortunately having called both specialists and dealers they all reach the same conclusion. New box fo circa £1700. I am advised that the way the unit is designed any lesser option is equally costly. This will be my last Renault too.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Aprilia
SJA

Renaults have long been infamous for their unreliable autoboxes. They are not designed for the 'long haul'. There used to be a problem with a seal failing on one of the servo pistons - unfortunately the seal was not available on its own and repairers had to buy the whole assembly at some obscene cost. I think Colin Farr, who was the president of FATE (Federation of Automatic Transmission Engineers) at the time managed to get pattern parts made up in Africa (it may have been India - not sure) and this cut down on the cost of repair. Not sure what the quality was like though!

As a rule, Renault autos should be avoided like the plague - they WILL cost you big money.
If you want an auto people carrier you should be looking at a Japanese model. They are not 100% perfect, but they are several orders of magnitude better than Renault!
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - CMark {P}
SJA, when was the atf last changed? If it has not been changed for a while I would definately try that first. Also be sure to put in exactly the correct specification of fluid.

I say this because I had the exact same symptoms in my Grand Cherokee when I bought it. The fluid had not been changed for an age and it was bog-standard Dextron III and not the required high spec Jeep stuff. This cured the fault (for a while). The Jeep dealer had diagnosed the gearbox as requiring a rebuild.

Two years later I did have to get the valve body replaced as the damage had been done. See cbcb for 95 Grand Cherokee for further details.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - daryld
..funny...

My wife's friend recently bought a year old Espace automatic from a main dealer. My wife drives a Golf auto (Mk IV, 1999) but she noticed that the gearchange on the Espace was very noisy and jerky between lower gears. My wife said nothing to her friend--but she was convinced that the transmission was not right, though her friend did not seem to notice.

Is that what 'flare' is? And what is the issue with Renault Auto transmissions??? Why are they so poor?
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Aprilia
Flare is when one gear fully disengages before the other engages - the engine races. It can also be due to slipping bands/clutches. A lot of heat is generated resulting in overheated components and 'burnt' ATF.
The opposite is 'tie up' where two gears engage at once.

Renault boxes are so poor because they are poorly designed and poorly manufactured - simple really!
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - daryld
It definateley has 'flare'; it appears to slip into neutral between gears for about 0.5 seconds. Awful.

We will diplomatically tell her to get it seen to by the dealer though I bet they will say 'they all do that!' but unfortunately they would be right.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Aprilia
She needs to get it looked at ASAP. I suspect the news will not be good. If the dealer says it is 'OK' then take it to a transmission specialist (preferably a FATE member) and have them test drive it and do a few pressure checks. Be prepared for a fight to get it sorted under warranty. If the 'box is left then you will be looking at the best part of £2000 to replace it.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Big Cat
As has already been mentioned, Renault auto boxes are renowned in the trade for being unreliable and expensive to fix. A bit late now, but my advice would be to steer well clear. Unfortunately in your case I would get it repaired as cheaply as possible & sell it straight away.

The reason they are so poor is because the french are so nationalistic - they wouldn't consider buying in a decent auto box from a supplier such as ZF of Germany. We can't be good at everything.
However I've heard the six speed box fitted to some Renaults is a Nissan unit, so maybe things will get better.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Reggie
Big Cat, my Peugeot 505TD estate was fitted with a ZF auto box!
Reggie
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Aprilia
Big Cat

Not really a 'French' thing since Puegeot and Citroen have, for years, used ZF boxes.
Renault have a long history of building semi- and fully-auto boxes going back to the 1960's. They were one of the first companies to try electronically-controlled boxes in the early 1970's. Sadly, none of them every worked very well. I think it is down to the fact that Renault engineering is poor - both at the design stage and at the prodcution stage.

ZF are not without problems either. The 4HP14/18 had troubles and the 4HP22E as fitted to many BMW's was a lousy 'box (although BMW owners will no doubt jump up and down and deny it).

Mercedes build good solid 'boxes, but personally I think for good reliability you need to go to either GM or the Japanese (Aisan-Warner, Jatco, Mitsi). Ford have all but given up on building good autoboxes and have sold their automatic transmission making business to ZF.
Renault Espace ('98) Autobox - Big Cat
My criticism was more aimed at Renault rather than Peugeot or Citroen. Infact back in the late 70's we had two Peugeot 504's from new which had the three speed ZF box fitted. I seem to remember they were very smooth and pleasant, although a fourth gear would have been nice. I guess it has to do with PSA being a private business - they have to fit good kit.

Why don't Peugeot build cars like the 504 anymore? They were reliable and very tough. I think the rot set in with the 205, a likeable car but very flimsy in comparison to the 204, 504's and 505 we had.
 

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