I have just joined this site, to try and find out some info but also to speak to other people who are or have been in the same boat as me.
Last month I bought a 53 plate Espace Authentique 1.9 dCi from auction, it has approx. 78k on the clock, some service history and MOT til next April. Engine looked sound and all that was visibly wrong was a couple of bald tyres and the tracking was out. Nothing major right?
I ended up with the winning bid of £2700 plus £95 admin costs. Bargain! Or so I thought.
What seemed to be a great catch has turned into A NIGHTMARE. Ok, the auctions I went to, well, in absolute honesty sold me a DEATH TRAP. After paying £46 for a nearby garage to give it the once over, what they found was for me, to say the least, unexpected.
It turned out the o/s/r brake was completely seized solid, and the owner before never got it sorted but kept driving with the problem - thus making more and more problems. So far, I've needed to replace:
Rear shock absorbers
Front and rear brake pads
2 tyres & tracking needs doing
Electronic handbrake (This is the part that is scaring me the most)
And I am almost certain that's not going to be it, but I've spent approx. £560 for the above so far (and that certainly isn't all brand new parts because if I bought new I'd be talking a couple of grand at least by now) - and the price so far is without labour. I'm hoping a friend of my mum will be able to do it all cheaper for me, but that's hoping that we don't have major problems with the electronic handbrake as I've only found out AFTER buying the 2nd hand one at £214 (new would be around £900!) that they are coded to the car they are fitted in - and so it could turn out it won't work when it's fitted because the code won't match the car... It's all too expensive and too much hassle. Making more and more car components electronic is for one reason only - to make you fork out BIG when it goes wrong - And believe me you - it WILL go wrong at some point. Go on google and type in 'renault electronic dashboard fault' and see what you find. The amount of people saying their relatively new cars are having electronic faults is unbelievable. And to fix the problem - all are being quoted from around £700 to a £1000 and even more. I've been reading that a lot of the customers have even contacted Watchdog regarding the matter - I can definately understand why they are so frustrated.
Seriously, mate, if I can give you one decent piece of advice then this is it: Do NOT buy an Espace. Yeah it's a nice car when it's alright. But when things need fixing / replacing etc. ... The honeymoon period will soon wear off and leave you with one hell of a bad taste in your mouth... accompanied by an EMPTY wallet. Renault parts are too expensive. Maybe you should consider a Vauxhall Zafira, I know plenty of people who have had or still have one, including my mum, and everyone rates it highly.
I just wish I'd never took one look at a Renault, let alone buy one. NEVER again.