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Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown

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Old 15th March 2010   #1
Welsh123
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Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown

I bought a Renault Scenic 1.9dci about 4 months ago from a used car dealer. It is a 2006 model. Yesterday on the motorway we heard a strange whistling noise for some time, then the electrical fault button lit up. We pulled over, the button went off, so we continued driving, but about 10 minutes later the gearbox seemed to disengage (couldn't switch gear, had to stall car), thick smoke began trailing out the back of the car and there were actual sparks & fire which I'm told was from oil going down the exhaust.

There was a fire engine at us in less than 3 minutes and they spent about half hour hosing the car down underneath with thick steam coming off it and said under no circumstances could we try to restart the car. We were put in a very dangerous situation, we had animals in the back which were extremely distressed by the amount of heat and smoke and the fire truck as well as having to stand on the side of a motorway in a dangerous position in the freezing cold for two hours waiting for a tow truck on a sunday. My wife was extremely scared & upset and my animals need antibiotic eye drops for the smoke damage and we are just very grateful we got off the motorway safely and the fire brigade were so prompt.

We had to get it towed home (150 miles!) and the local garage says that the turbo has blown (we also need to replace the catalytic converter and exhaust due to the burning oil that created the sparks/smoke I'm told) and they are looking for quotes but I've been told it could potentially be 3000+

I have no warranty from the dealer - this was our first car and in hindsight perhaps we did not get the best one as it has 160,000 miles on the clock which I believe means Renault will have nothing to do with it as it comes under wear and tear, is that right? I strongly believe this problem if a known one, could put lives at risk which should never come under any wear and tear descriptor!

It has been frequently serviced in accordance with the mileage. I know this is a lot of mileage but we were told because it had a very good service history that there would be no problems, and I guess we had a good salesman. It was owned by a company and was used by sales reps so it does have a full and on time service history.

Is there anything we can do in regards to this problem? It seems now after searching that it is a known fault, but it seems an extremely dangerous fault, not only to ourselves but to all passing motorists as view was actually obscured for some drivers by the amount of smoke or do we have to chalk it down to us being stupid to buy a car with such a high mileage and no warranty.

Our first car so we are absolutely gutted and totally confused to have such a massive problem happen. The problem is going to cost almost as much to fix as the car cost to buy so it may be a scrappage job now but I know it's our own fault as we bought such a high mileage car and no warranty.

Is there anyone we can write to, to complain about this problem and how dangerous it potentially could be or is it pointless and we just have to suck up the cost or scrappage and learn from it.
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Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown Engines maccauk11 7 8205 15th March 2010 05:34 PM

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Old 16th March 2010   #2
Phonebox
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Smile Re: Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown

Hi, what an awful experience, you have my sympathy!
Turbo failure is indeed a common problem with the dci engine (I've had it happen twice)and in fact many other turbo diesels, but it would seem that when the Renault one fails it does so in a very dramatic fashion, often ruining the engine. I've personally never heard of it resulting in a fire but I guess it can happen.

If I read your post correctly it seems you managed to get the engine stalled and the garage isn't talking about engine damage so it should be ok.

However 3000 sounds way too much for what they're talking about replacing-I presume this is a Renault main dealer? If so I'd suggest you go to a good local independent garage. Ask them to source a good reconditioned turbo (or do so yourself -expect to pay around 350 for one on Ebay for example or googling dci turbo will bring up plenty of recon companies), an aftermarket cat if they reckon it's needed and possibly an intercooler. A good garage will know what they're doing but it's vital that as well as cleaning/replacing the intercooler all the turbo pipework is thoroughly cleaned to remove all traces of the shattered vanes from the old turbo. Going this way, you should be able to get back on the road for about 1000-still a lot of money but much less than 3000!

As to who you could complain to, Renault Customer Services would be your main option. Personally though I don't think you'll get much satisfaction from them. It would be worth checking the cars' service history to see if it's had a turbo replaced before. At 160k I'd be amazed if it hadn't as 90k seems to be the average lifespan for a dci turbocharger, and if it has and it was fitted and regularly serviced since by the main dealer, you might squeeze a goodwill contribution out of RCS. But they'll only do this if the work is done by their dealer which means you'll pay more even with their contribution than you would at an indie.

As to whether you fix or scrap, personally at 1k I'd fix it. The dci engine is basically pretty robust, many see service in taxis and vans and go on to mileages well over 250k. Regular servicing and in particular oil changes with fully synthetic oil are the key here. The fact yours has a full service history is reassuring. In most other respects the Scenic should be as reliable as the majority of its' peers.

Good luck and I hope you get it sorted!
Currently in Phonebox's garage:
1996 2.0 RT Family Estate and 2001 Laguna II 1.9Dci Privilege Sports Tourer.
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Old 14th June 2011   #3
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Re: Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown

We this weekend had a similar problem.
We bought a Scenic II 1.5 Dci Expression(53 plate) from a guy in Leeds. Just 4 days later on the M18 the turbo blew at 70 MPH and was lucky not to get killed in the process.
Had to be towed by AA back home
My mechanic has quoted 1000 for a new turbo & cat converter.
Told him not to bother as this is my last Renault.
After quite a bit of googling I find this is a common fault! If this had been my pregnant wife with our 3 year old in the back I shudder to think what would have happened.
So, if you are reading this forum and in the process of deciding whether or not to buy a Renault, STEER CLEAR! I will go back to my trusty Xsara Picasso after choosing a Scenic nearly cost my son and unborn child their father.
Currently in sheffandy's garage:
Non Runner Scenic II (For Sale offers?) Sheffield area.
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Old 14th June 2011   #4
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Re: Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheffandy View Post
We this weekend had a similar problem.
We bought a Scenic II 1.5 Dci Expression(53 plate) from a guy in Leeds. Just 4 days later on the M18 the turbo blew at 70 MPH and was lucky not to get killed in the process.
Had to be towed by AA back home
My mechanic has quoted 1000 for a new turbo & cat converter.
Told him not to bother as this is my last Renault.
After quite a bit of googling I find this is a common fault! If this had been my pregnant wife with our 3 year old in the back I shudder to think what would have happened.
So, if you are reading this forum and in the process of deciding whether or not to buy a Renault, STEER CLEAR! I will go back to my trusty Xsara Picasso after choosing a Scenic nearly cost my son and unborn child their father.
It most certainly isn't a common fault on the 1.5 dCi, or at least not any more than any other manufacturers turbodiesel engines. But then, I suspect you have a 1.9 dCi as its a 53 plate?
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Old 15th June 2011   #5
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Re: Scenic 1.9 dci Turbo Blown

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Originally Posted by Azurael View Post
It most certainly isn't a common fault on the 1.5 dCi, or at least not any more than any other manufacturers turbodiesel engines. But then, I suspect you have a 1.9 dCi as its a 53 plate?
Nope it's definatley a 1.5 Dci.
Try doing a google search for 'scenic blown turbo', and a quite a few forums cover exactly what happened to me.
One poor woman had her 2 kids in the back when it happened.
Once was enough for me.
Currently in sheffandy's garage:
Non Runner Scenic II (For Sale offers?) Sheffield area.
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