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post #30 of (permalink) Old 10th May 2007
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Wink Thank you again Chris

Here is the text of our letter to be posted tomorrow (phone - you and get a moron - email via their website and you get no reply); so back to snail mail:

The Service Manager
Slaters North Wales Car Centre
Market Street
LL22 7AL 10 May 2007

Dear Sir/Madam

We recently (October 2006) bought a Renault Clio 1.4L 16 V (original Registration Number: PK53 YVE - now H8 LKJ) with an automatic transmission. The car was only 3 years old (October 2003) and was just out of warranty. It had one previous elderly female owner and had just over 1000 miles on the clock. It has a full service history. For the first 500 miles or so everything was fine. Then, just as last winter started, the automatic transmission started playing up.

The symptoms occur when the engine and transmission are cold:

1. Jerky gear changes
2. When going uphill and in auto mode - sudden change down and the
"auto" warning light comes on.
3. Stopping the car and restarting the engine clears the fault warning.
4. This behaviour can re-occur up to four times.

Once the transmission has warmed up there is no problem.

We took the Clio to the local Peugeot dealers (Elim, Llangefni) as we were advised that the AL4/DL4 transmission is common to Renault, Peugeot and Citroen. They took nearly 3 hours to run the diagnostics at a cost of 70. This confirmed what other people had already told us - it was the pressure regulation solenoid valve (fault code P0745). However they suggested replacement of the whole valve body (@ about 700), but recommended replacement of the complete transmission (cost unknown - too busy running away!). The problem with the automatic transmission still exists and we sort of began to live with it.

However, upon starting the car the other morning it was clear that the engine was not very happy and sounded as though it was mis-firing on one cylinder. Thinking that it was simply due to the engine being cold and that it was possibly condensation we carried on driving. Soon however it started to sound like an old diesel tractor and the Toxic Fume Monitoring Warning light came on and it remains on.

Do you think that this is related to the gearbox problem (Top Dead Centre sensor perhaps)? Would water in the petrol explain it (the car had recently been completely topped up from nearly empty)? Alternatively it might be as simple as a faulty ignition coil ?

We are not going to use the car until the problems are fixed (the second car is a very reliable 1987 2.0 Litre Ford Capri). Given the problems, we are prepared to have the Clio transported to Abergele in order for you to look at it.

The questions I would like you to address are:

1. Do you agree with our diagnosis?
2. Can you arrange transportation or should I do it myself?
3. Can you estimate the cost of repairs?
4. Do you think that Renault UK would be prepared to make a contribution to such repairs given the very low mileage?
5. When can you book the vehicle in for repairs?
6. Would you also check out the bonnet catch FOC?

Perhaps you, or one of your staff, might phone or email us with a view to answering these questions and resolving the problems with this vehicle.


Lawrence and Hilarie
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