Join Date: Jul 2007
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I had a "recall" notice for my 51 reg Clio II last week, and took it in to have the bonnet catch checked. I had understood from what I had seen on TV that it was the plastic safety catch that was the problem, and had checked and lubricated this. I check under the bonnet at least once a week and had never had a problem with the bonnet closing properly.
When they had checked it at Renault they called me out and advised me that the main release mechanism was seized, and the vehicle unsafe to drive as the bonnet would not close. When they tried to close the bonnet it just popped up until caught by the safety catch.
I was somewhat puzzled as it had never failed to work properly before. They have ordered a new main catch mechanism and will supply and fit free of charge.
Not sure if this was a miraculous piece of good timing - or whether, as I have always believed, every time a garage touches my car they break something, and I am far better off maintaining it myself like I usually do!
In 40 years of motoring, always with older cars as I cannot afford new ones, I have never had a bonnet fail to close properly or stay closed before.
As an update, when I advised that I needed to take the car away until the part came in the mechanic freed the mechanism byforcing it with a screwdriver. The bonnet then closed properly, so they noted that I was taking it away at my own risk having been advised it was unsafe. I drove it slowly home and didn't use it again until today when I went back to have the new catch fitted while I waited. After 20 mins I noticed the car had been moved out onto the road, and when I enquired how it could be fixed so quickly it transpired that the mechanic the job was given to thought it only needed checking - and had reported it was OK!!!
An hour later I got the car back with a new catch fitted.
So much for the safety check.
Moral of the story - if you know about the problem check it yourself if you know how.
I am certain the problem is due to cost-cutting resulting in inferior parts being used. Unfortunately most manufacturers adopt the same principles.
Currently in ivorredwun's garage:
1.5DCI Dynamique (practical) and 1997 Toyota MR2 Auto (for fun)