Join Date: Dec 2007
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Official timing belt replacement is 70K.
I've got a R reg meggie sitting outside the house now with its engine in bits. As mentioned elsewhere, the head gasket is very fragile. I'm sure ours blew after a long day of airport runs - back and forth 4 times. Engine refused to start the next day even after many attempts and sweet talking...
They're superb cars apart from that though. Basically, the engine head gasket and the timing belt are its only weak points. Apart from that, they'll rock on for a long time. Oh, there is also the engine mounts too which become fragile every now and again but thats not rocket science for most mechanics to replace quickly.
All in all, they are good cars. Sure, ours cost us a fortune since we've had it (if you read my posts on this forum you'll gather I'm not the luckiest with cars) but I used to drive it 350 miles per week and it simply didn't cope. Its come close to the scrap yard on many occassions but I just couldn't do it. That car has been overly loyal to me - even with a knackered head gasket it still gave me everything it had to offer for another 4 months before finally refusing to drive.
I love the megane. I'm not saying I'd buy another as the gasket thing put me off BUT what I would say is better the devil you know than the devil you don't right?
Apart from the gasket, belt and the mounts its a rock solid motor. Look after it and it will take you everywhere. Make sure though that you flush the cooling system and run something through it to deal with the corrosion internally. Fab motors spares are plentiful at the local scrap yard (most people scrap them once the gasket goes) and they're pretty decent on fuel economy.
Been there and done that with the FIAT and it didn't end happily. 2 weeks after purchase the gearbox blew up, month later the engine seized. Don't even think about it!
Currently in delta1066's garage: