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Discussion Starter #1
Having ended up with far, far too many children, it is time.

But which Espace? We are only looking at Grand Espace, 3.0 CDi autos, full leather, satnav, towbar.

I've found an '04, 60k with a good FSH showing a new g/box & torque converter done. Needs another seat to make 7. They want £5,600

And also another '04, 85k miles this time, but with sunroof, 7-seater and heated front seats. They want £6k.

What to do? I'm buying a Warranty direct warranty for £500/year regardless. Is the top one the best to go for? Are these good prices?

Any advice much appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
 

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I bought a FSH 2.0 7 seater SWB a year ago for just over the £5k, 33000 miles.
Given that you are looking at Grandes the prices may not be far off the average.
Some people are being scared off by the fuel costs but there would still appear to be a demand for these cars. I know my 2.0 litre RT-X 2000reg was sold on by the dealer within a week of me trading in, also, I had to wait a good while before I managed to find the Mk IV I bought. A large dealership was looking for absolute silly money for one a year newer but with broken & ripped trim.
Have you experienced an Espace before?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sat in a few, mucked around with shifting seats etc - impressed. It's either that or a Grand Voyager, and we just can't see ourselves in a yank tank ;-)

Can all Espace IV's have the middle seats facing backward?

What do people do re: luggage/cargo barriers? is there a Renault accessory? In our Volvo we have a thick steel fold-down dog guard that retains suitcases up to the roof. Bit nervous about a crash or sudden stop with suitcases piled unrestrained behind the kids, esp if we take out one of the 3rd row seats.

Cheers

Mike
 

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Hi Mike, the early Mk3 had a load space/cargo net but it was discontinued through that models run and was horrifically dexpensive. I am not aware of there being one for the new Mk4 but that does n ot mean one doesn't exist - I've not looked for one for thde Mk4.
The way the seat system works is the floor has rails/runners which accomodate the lock bars with spring loaded feet attached to the seats which clip into the loking bars. as the Mk4 seats have the inertia reel seat belts incorporated in the seat it does make the seats very heavy to remove and has been the deciding factor in some peoples choice of car purchase. The rear seats would fit facing rearwards but it is not ebcouraged in the manuals if the vehicle is being driven with a rear facing passenger!
The seat backs of the drivers and front passenger seats are most likely fitted with picnic trays. All rear seats are recline adjustable and rake adjustable also featuring a level seat back when folded to make either an individual table or a larger table deopending on how many seats you wish to position like that.
Height adjustable headrestraints exist on all seats.
Accwss to the rearmost seats is gained by ti[pping either of the outer middle row seats forward.

Fuel consumption could also feature in a buyers choice - my 2 litre is doing approx 18mpg on a half mile school run trip from cold, which includes an uphill gradient, however on a run at 70mph I expect to see 36-38mpg with ease. To obtain an idea of how economical a prospective purchase may be, with theignition on and engine running, press the button on the end of the windscreen wiper stalk, gthrough the various readouts until you obtain the mpg from the last reset - hopefully the seller would not have reset the ciomputer to give an undeterminable readout - if the cars trip odometer, also selected in the mentioned scrolling method, has more than 100miles showing then yoou could be getting a near accurate readouyt of fuel consumption but the driving environment/style of driving could vary that figure tremendously.

Hope the foregoing is of some help.
David.
 

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Having been down that road and still wearing the t-shirt I would strongly advise against any pre 2006 MkIV 3.0 dci. If you are convinced that this is the engine you want then search 3.0 dci on this forum first.

Pre 2006 models use the P9X engine which was designed by General Motors and built by Isuzu under their code 6DE3. The engine was originally designed for the Vauxhall / Opel Signum project but never made it in to them. It was used in the Vectra, it was also used by Saab as the 3.0 TiD as well of course as by Renault in the Vel satis, Espace and Grand Espace. Both Saab and GM dropped the engine after short production runs due to the high number of total failure warranty claims they were receiving. Isuzu ceased production of the engine caliming design faults and the license for it returned to GM. whilst Saab and GM stopped using it Renault continued fitting it into 2006.
There are several inherant design problems coupled with the fact that the relative rarity of the engine means that non Renault sources don't carry parts and orginal equipment parts are hugely expensive. The fact the the engine is transversely mounted means that the entire rear bank is inaccessible without dropping the engine out.

Major faults include dropped cylinder liners (replacement engine and turbo, circa £8k new, £3.5k recon), premature high pressure diesel pump failures (pump rebuild circa £3.5k), premature EGR valve failures (replacement circa £750), Injector failure (not happened in mine yet, but injectors rrp is £150 each x 6 plus labour), failed engine mounts, countless electronic issues which due to the multiplexed computer system can be almost impossible to trace, even with the full diagnostic equipment, most common is dashboard failure, automatic park brake failure, immobiliser problems, abs problems. They also suffer from problems with the induction system, split intercoolers are common as are blown pipes and split resonators.

If I haven't put you off, and I sincerely hope that I have then you MUST find one which has had the engine changed, and check with the garage who changed it that the replacement used the redesigned block with "top hat" liners, otherwise engine life expectancy is sub 50k miles. My Espace had a new engine and turbo under warranty at 48k miles but alas the problems don't end there.

Insist on seeing any potential purchase with a cold engine, try and view it first thing in the morning before the garage can start it and warm it up. Have someone start it from cold and look for any smoke from the exhaust as it starts. give it a good test run including a patch of motorway / dual carriageway. Accelerate hard and watch for smoke haze behind you. Cruise along for at least a mile at 50mph in 5th manual then try to acclerate without changing down. Check for smooth power delivery and again, smoke haze behind you. Smoke, or the engine hunting for power are indicative of injection or turbo problems. Ensure that gear change is smooth even under heavy load. then brake sharply immediately after the hard acceleration and make sure that the down shift is equally smooth. Any jerkiness in the down shift is also indicative of an injection fault.

Make sure that the engine oil is changed at least every 10k miles regardless of service interval reccomendations and that the correct oil standard is used, fully synthetic of course. Don't just go with the viscosity rating, renault specify a specific acea rating. the lump uses just short of 8 litres a time at around £15/litre. Fuel and air filters must be changed regularly too.

Fuel economy is shocking, short runs from cold (school run etc) can return single figures, prolonged town driving will not get much above 20mpg though a good run on the motorway will get you 40+.

As for price these cars are pigs, and dealers know that so haggle hard and be prepared to walk away. You'll get sweet f.a. for it as trade in IF you can even find a dealer that will take it so expect it to be a rest of life "into the ground" purchase.

And finally warranty. I considered a warranty direct cover on mine but decided against it. Check all the small print especially with regard to labour cost, they originally quoted me max of £45/hour which is useless on this car. There are so many things that only renault can do (be aware that many components like injectors, fuel pump etc are programmed to the car and that few if any non main dealers carry the equipment to do it) that you must have full main dealer labour cover. Also check that there is not a single item value limit, my first quote was limited to £2000 for any fault. Once the labour cost and claim limit was removed they quoted me £1900 for two years on a 70k 7 year old car.

Even then, the limit per fault was still the "commercial trade value" of the car, and so a major fault like blown engine or diesel pump would not have been covered because the commercial trade value of these things is so low, thanks to their reputation.

I'm no great fan of the Chrysler myself, though have no experience of them. I looked at the Espace vs the Chrysler (LPG) vs a Kia (2.9 Diesel) when I bought. The only thing I know for sure is that I could not have done any worse then buying the Espace.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Many thanks d'Espace, Big Dav

Well, we've purchased a 2006 3.0 Initiale, 92k miles. I did floor it under load, and didn't see what I'd call excessive smoke. It passed its MOT emissions test, not sure how relevant that is.

It got 30mpg at 70, or 35mpg at 80 over 10 miles each on the M25. Go figure!

It's the facelift 2006 with the 6-speed auto, but I can't see any plate on the engine. How can I tell if it's one of the hand-grenades? It's a 1-keeper ex-lease with main dealer stamps.

We've got a Warranty Direct, with main dealer 100% labour and 50% parts cover.

This is a run-into-the-ground purchase.

Have I just condemned my family to a future of roadside misery and debtor's prison?

Mike
 

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There aren't many 3.0dCi Espaces around, but that's probably because they are barely any quicker than the 2.2 and use a lot more fuel.
If yours was going to blow up, it will have done so by now at 92,000 miles. So, you might just have an inherently reliable one or one that has had a few replacement engines and is now going to serve you well.
Look on the bright side.
 

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Hi Mike,

Just read these posts and congratulations on the Espace.

I also have a 3.0 DCi (2003) and have never had a major problem (been very lucky). I am holding on to a block of wood as I say this!

Its a brilliant car and if you are lucky enough to have a good one then it will service you and the family very well.

Let me know if you need an Espace mechanic as I know a fantastic one in Croydon, Surrey where the guy was once a Renault specialist mechanic but now works independently. His prices are very reasonable. In fact, before I brought mine he talked me through a long list of things I needed to check on the car and even recommended I get the 3.0 DCi instead of the other engines!

Hope this helps anyone else.
 

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Hi N5HNY,
Can your guy in Croydon change the solenoids without taking the engine out if so would you be so kind and pass me on his tel no.Thks ABS
 
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