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post #146 of (permalink) Old 5th May 2006
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Originally Posted by Paulo
I had a Renault engineer and my insurers representative looking at my car today....

They both agreed that...

Main catch cable mechanism moved freely but the return mechanism had ceased... Problem 1 You mean seized, right? sorry if I'm being pedantic. What caused it to seize? If it has movement, it is not seized.

The safety catch return was being hindered by the plastic dowel holding the lever...Problem 2 Do you mean the dowel that the "hook" pivots on? What causes it to obstruct movement? How is it hindering?

The guy from renault reckoned I was driving with just the safety catch holding the bonnet and I have hit a bump that has loosened it or something... my insurers suggested that it could have been due to the non/partial return of the safety catch. Careful here Paulo.

[1] If you were driving with just the safety catch in place, you would have had visible movement (bonnet moving up and down and rattling) and they will say you should not have driven on or even started your journey; thus, it would be your fault and they will wave tarra. You were on the Mway weren't you? So where is this bump you hit, because Mways are built with very strict tolerances? It already sounds to me like he has decided it has nothing to do with the design... this will probably not be the first time he has had to check one of these out, and I suspect he will be protecting his employer. Don't fall for it!!! A small-claims court will consider if the engineer is prejudiced in favour of his employer.

[2] On the other hand, if you did not see any movement, it must be that the main lock was working but not returning fully (you have no way of discerning this), and then decided to release completely when it did. Resonance/vibration of specific frequency can cause this, even on a good lock that is not protected from the transmission of such vibrations. They should accept this as NOT YOUR fault.

I am speculating that you are not explaining it as they said it: if they said it the way you relayed it above, I would question their qualifications as engineers because the suggestion does not make sense.

If it is down to safety catch return due to the plastic on plastic hinderance which I believe it is... Is this "hinderance" flat-surface friction? If it is, this can happen if the car is left in the hot sun at any time during its life (especially if it has a black bonnet which absorbs more heat and then transmits it to the black plastic catch on the underside of it. The flat surfaces then contort and will have specific points where they bind or come under face-plate pressure so they don't travel or only travel partially depending on the clearances and tolerances calculated at the design stage). Flat plastic is renowned for turning into corrugations when subjected to heat... leave an old black plastic disk (music) on your seat and leave the car in the sun to see what I mean... but make sure its not your favourite album because you won't be able to ever play again.
...then I think it is a poor design and Renault should recall and rectify for other people...The return spring for this mechanism is strong but the plastic design of the lever stops the spring working properly. If you push the lever slightly when it is open the spring recoils the mechanism very positively.... I don't know if I have explained this well... I am trying to find my PC bluetooth adapter to put on some pics.

I will now have to wait for an official response from Renault (and my insurers).
I hope you get a result from this and they fix your car at their expense; I mean completely at their expense and with a nice bunch of flowers for your girlfriend by way of apology for the distress they caused you both.

Ciao mate,


To all those advocating spraying oil or grease onto these surfaces, consider whether graphite would be more effective, even if incorporated within the grease.
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