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Re: espace mk4 2004 what to look for?
it would help to know what engine / gearbox combi you are looking at as there are issues peculiar to each .....
with dci's in general make sure during the test drive that you accelerate hard through all the gears and look for any signs of hesitation or even injection fault messages. Check for smoke from the exhaust on startup, especially from cold and when using the kickdown on an autobox. Use paperwork to check the last service date, the service interval on the dash can be easily reset so don't rely on it.
Ensure the power delivery is smooth and instant. Pull off from standing several times very slowly, ensure that the car responds well and doesn't pull away with a jerk, indicative of a common fault in the electronic throttle control.
Make sure the accessory switch position on the card reader works properly. When you insert the key card stop short of the point where it clicks. the radio should work. When you do click the key all the way in you should only need to press and release the start button. The starter should spin until the engine catches. If the start button needs holding down the reader is damaged, again a common problem but Renault will charge around £250 to replace it.
auto or manual walk away from anything with noisy gearboxes. there are enough espace mkIV's out there that you should not need to take the chance.
Espace diesels have an appalling reputation so expect to drive a very hard bargain, if not then again, walk away. Only the Range Rover lists lower in the this car /that car / what ever car annual reliability surveys so be aware of what your taking on. A service history is essential and as with any car avoid examples with multiple owners. Look for one or two owner vehicles.
Currently in d'espace between my ears's garage: