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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, looking for help & advice please.
I recently purchased a brand new Renault Traffic Sport on the 22ndMay 2021. I had the vehicle for 5 days and covered 358 miles. I discovered a leak coming from the coolant tank and called out the RAC. They couldn't detect the problem and advised taking back to the dealership.What was noticed was on inspection under the bonnet the plastic pipe that hooks on underneath the coolant tank was dangling and not hooked on properly. On Friday 28th May I had the dealership phone me to tell me the radiator was severely damaged due to a stone chipping and hitting the radiator through the bottom half of the grill. As this part is Not under warranty this will cost £741 to repair, 3/4 hrs labour at £120 per hr plus new radiator. Am I extremely unlucky ? Is this a common problem? Upon inspection I see a design flaw in the fancy looking grill that isn't fit for purpose. After only 358 miles in a brand new vehicle my concern is this happening again. The dealership nor Renault UK are interested in this matter. Any help would be greatly welcomed. Thank you.
 

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Hi Peter and Welcome:)
Any chance of a few pictures.
Radiators get damaged by stones but it's rare. The co-incidence with a coolant hose adrift is a bit much.
Did the van overheat or throw a warning on the dash.
A bashed rad would empty the coolant quite quickly.
How much was lost from the reservoir? Is the rad even leaking?
 

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One week between buying the car and needing a new radiator? And they say it is your fault? As Brendan says, this sort of damage can happen but it is rare. It might be worth getting a second opinion where the problem really is. Were you flying along the motorway and did you feel something hit you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi Peter and Welcome:)
Any chance of a few pictures.
Radiators get damaged by stones but it's rare. The co-incidence with a coolant hose adrift is a bit much.
Did the van overheat or throw a warning on the dash.
A bashed rad would empty the coolant quite quickly.
How much was lost from the reservoir? Is the rad even leaking?
Hi Brendan, please find photos attached.
The van didn't overheat as I found it like this in the morning, I would say a slow drip not like an explosion of water or steam anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One week between buying the car and needing a new radiator? And they say it is your fault? As Brendan says, this sort of damage can happen but it is rare. It might be worth getting a second opinion where the problem really is. Were you flying along the motorway and did you feel something hit you?
I drove from Brighton to Watford round trip 200 miles roughly on the Monday, then locally until I noticed the leak on the Thursday. I've been driving over 30yts and never had this happen. Also I never heard anything hit the vehicle like you would when driving. I've had chippings hit the screen before and it certainly wakes you up when you hear it.
 

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Yes the cooling fins are bent and it looks like a stone hit it but are you sure the radiator is leaking water there. Those fins are lightweight aluminium and bend easily. A pressure washer can do the same thing. To make a hole in the radiator is a different matter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes the cooling fins are bent and it looks like a stone hit it but are you sure the radiator is leaking water there. Those fins are lightweight aluminium and bend easily. A pressure washer can do the same thing. To make a hole in the radiator is a different matter.
I'm only taking the advice I was given by the dealership. I only know that the coolant tank was empty and I can't see any evidence it is the radiator. I am having an independent mechanic remove the radiator tomorrow and replace a new one as I don't have anymore faith or confidence with the dealers. I just think this seems too easy to have happened so soon and now worried how many more times could it potentially happen. Is this a design flaw just so the vehicle looks smart ?
 

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Is that a jet of water from the rad in the second picture?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I thought the same. It looks like the coolant jetting out under pressure.
It did seem to happen around about the same time I turned on the a/c for the first time. Would this have any bearing on the problem. ?? I know renault will not take any blame or responsibility as it's always the "big guy" that's wins.
 

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Is that the coolant radiator or the a/c condensor?
It looks small for the coolant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is that the coolant radiator or the a/c condensor?
It looks small for the coolant.
Under the hood it's the large plastic container at the front middle that holds the majority of the water. This is where the water disappeared from. I'm no expert obviously but I believe this is the tank for the radiator. I may have a better idea tomorrow when I speak to the mechanic. I know accidents happen I just wished renault would have helped me out better than the service I received. Pretty disgusted at the lack of empathy. £741 after 6 days from new was the last thing I was expecting.
 

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Is that the coolant radiator or the a/c condensor?
It looks small for the coolant.
I've just been spending the last 10 minutes trying to work out the same.
Add in Intercooler and no coolant/fluid in there anyway.
The coolant rad is the big bu55er BEHIND the little one with bent fins and a mysterious jet of fluid.

It does make it sorta difficult to comment on the damage if we are not even looking at the right part?

I can understand OP's frustration when a brand new van needs an expensive repair but the amount Renault want is eye watering and ridiculous.

I've had major stone chips into rads while driving. Invariably it has led to loads of steam and pretty dramatic.... the coolant system is under pressure once it is up to temp. Release that pressure and the coolant flash boils.
Which makes me question the dealer's "severely damaged" against the OP's slight leak ?

All of which would make me want to have a good look and plenty of photos of whatever damage is found once the rad is out.
If it is an obvious stone chip, you will not succeed with any claim on the dealer/Renault, best will in the world, it happens, might be rare but it happens.
If it is not an obvious stone chip, I would be getting straight back to dealers with a bill for them to settle and the photos, stating absolutely that it is a manufacturing error.... if we see the photos, we may be able to give you some nice words to bandy at them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you very much. I will take as many photos as I can and send back. I also did look at the grill and found no evidence of scratches or chips to the grill. So if it is a stone chipping it went straight into the radiator with a perfect bullseye.
 

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With all those faults showing, is there any chance the battery is low on charge?
 

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It doesn't mean the charge is good I'm afraid. Is the Stop-Start working OK? This will turn off if battery is low. I would give it a good charge and see if the faults disappear. These faults are nothing to do with the rad issues, but a low voltage can play havoc with the sensor inputs. If a good charge doesn't help, then it's back to the dealer again I'm afraid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It doesn't mean the charge is good I'm afraid. Is the Stop-Start working OK? This will turn off if battery is low. I would give it a good charge and see if the faults disappear. These faults are nothing to do with the rad issues, but a low voltage can play havoc with the sensor inputs. If a good charge doesn't help, then it's back to the dealer again I'm afraid.
Thank you. Stop/start appears to be working fine.
 
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