bpowell - Renault specified 5w/40 fully synthetic
, late 2003, they also fitted the modified intercoolers ( with the strap on) from new in 2003, not sure what other mods ( if any) they introduced.
I think it is probably due to the synthetic
that has been the main reason for improved reliability, as the
they originally specified was not up to lasting 18k.
When the car was still under renault warranty and Renault serviced the car, yes I did stick to 18k miles for servicing, now it is out of warranty I am changing
I do quite a few miles & very few short trips,so engine is better worked and gets up to temperature. Its the short trips to/from the shops/school etc that are the killer.