cam belt change at 70000 mile intervals or 3 years but wouldnt wait that long. £20 for a continental belt from euro car parts and easy to do but quite tight to inner wing. timing belt tensioner hinge can wear causing early belt failure but is easy remedied at same time as timing belt change by removing injection pump casing and reversing entry point of pivot pin
bought mine for a token figure with a broken timing belt and no mot
managed to replace belt and cam followers with no damage to cylinder head or valves
going by the parts replaced on my car now at 112000 miles should give you some pointers on what to look out for, SOME ARE MOT REQUIREMENT AND SOME NOT.
all the obvious stuff like tyres , exhaust , and brakes should be in sound order
radiator support bracket rotten and had to make new one
mines is a 1996 and the headlamp silver reflective spray is starting to peel away from the plastic and new headlamps may be reqd next MOT. i replaced the front suspension strutt top mounts, swivel bearings and
springs, also both strutt to anti roll bar droplinks i had to do as these were also picked up on the pre mot.
as the car was sitting for a few months the wheel cylinders failed and i replaced them along with the brake shoes. the fuel tank straps were completely corroded and fuel tank was only held in by filler neck ,one bolt and the exhaust heat shield. i had to make up new from flatbar and fit.
the load proportion valve (brakes) was siezed but i managed to spray liberaly with wd40 and chainlube and worked it by hand till it freed off to satisfy MOT.
i may need to change a couple of brake pipes next mot as there is slight bubbles appearing on the protective coating near to where the load valve is.
the only rust on my car is near the load valve on the chassis (minor) and on the o/s rear wheel arch also minor bubbles.
i changed the alternator regulator which was only faulty due to car sitting for months. i changed discs and pads also due to car sitting and corrosion build up.
the plastic membranes behind the rear door cards can become unstuck and leave rain water running into the rear footwells, an easy fix with some glue or silicone but check for damp smells from carpet and lift up rear seats to check for mould.
the dreaded heater matrix and resistor pack for fan speed are notorious for needing replaced or repaired so check all fan speeds are working and that when engine warmed up that you get warm air from heaters required to demist your windscreen as the matrix becomes blocked from internal engine rust erosion and gets trapped in matrix core. easy fix or replacement for non air conditioning models but a nightmare on aircon models as ive heard its dash removal and discharge of aircon gas to get this repaired.
hope i havent put you off a good car as at this age problems are to be expected and the car you are looking at has had its mot and "should "be mechanicaly sound .
all parts are cheap and easy to get hold of and its one of the last cars of this injection pump type diesel which the novice diy-er can fix without plugging in computers to read error codes and will hold you at randsome with the renault dealers.
85bhp is smooth and comfy espescially on the motorway and is a nimble midsize car that you can throw into a roundabout provided you dont have budget tyres that are crap. the handling is very good!the boot is huge - no problem fitting prams and stuff. oh yours is an estate - al the better.