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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default It's been a long time between drinks

    In 1981 I was the proud and happy owner of a Renault 12, I loved that little 1300cc bugger, for 4 years it started every time I turned the key and only asked for an oil change some new plugs and the timing adjusted every 6 months or so.

    It returned 40 miles of driving for every gallon of petrol I put into it.

    I now find myself looking to get a small, economical and reliable car to drive the wild streets of Adelaide.
    There's a 2006 Megane Dynamique auto with low kms in my price range.

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    I suppose my questions are --

    Are modern Renault as sturdy and bulletproof as my 1979 R12?
    I was able to change the oil (after getting a 'special' sump plug spanner), replace the plugs and points then hook up a timing light. I doubt that this would be possible nowadays so how much can I expect to pay for a service.
    Also I am terrified that some of the horror $2000 minor Citroen repair stories might be replicated in new Renault how are the replacement parts costs compared to, say, a Mazda or a Honda?

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    You probably need to canvas the Frogger Adelaide Community for advice as to where to get your intended purchase serviced at reasonable cost with dependable results.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    You probably need to canvas the Frogger Adelaide Community for advice as to where to get your intended purchase serviced at reasonable cost with dependable results.
    I was hoping that was what I was doing, but that still leaves the question about Megane Dynamique II personal reviews and comparisons

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    They've all been struck dumb due to their involvement with the Targa, I think!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    What?
    - everyone??

  6. #6
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Hmm. I quote "Are modern Renault as sturdy and bulletproof as my 1979 R12?" What is as sturdy and bulletproof as an R12?? Not much. Our Peugeot 306 has been close to that I guess, over 18 years now. The newer the car, the more there IS to go wrong it seems to me.

    My outside impression is that Meganes aren't bad - can't comment on service or parts cost, but Honda isn't renowned for cheap parts.

    Did you REALLY get 40 mpg out of a 12? I struggle to get that from our R8 in normal city driving.

    Good luck with some local advice.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
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    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  7. #7
    COL
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    Hi John

    I have got 40 MPG from an R12 but you need to drive them at 80Km/h to achieve this. My average is usually low 30's
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    1976 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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  8. #8
    COL
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    I personally reckon if you want a car as robust and reliable as an R12, buy another R12
    Regards Col

    1973 Renault R12 Station Wagon
    1976 Renault R12 Station Wagon
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    1973 Alpine A110

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  9. #9
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    ok, here goes.

    I've had 2 Virage wagons & drove the first one to destruction & the second are until my wife overheated & cooked the motor. She wanted out of it so we got a then brand new (2005) Forester (which will be driven to destruction). The second Virage joined its worn out ancestor at my Renault mechanic's & he re-engined it with a motor from an R18 & still uses it.

    If what you want is a reliable runabout, then your choices are things like Toyota, Mazda, Honda &, yes, Subaru. The choices don't include modern Renaults. Of course if tribal loyalty rules then get the Scenic but I wouldn't advise it. Nor is the driving experience of any modern Renault, bar the RS models &, it seems, the Clio 4, any case for preference over Japanese (or Korean) rivals.

    No modern car will be as "blacksmithable" as an R12. You could get a good second hand R12, refurbish it & repeat your earlier experience - that's what I'd do. That would give you a more entertaining drive & be pretty well depreciation neutral. But if wanting modern, then Renaults have nothing much to recommend them beyond affection for the badge & that's no basis for a sensible decision.

    cheers! Peter
    Last edited by 4cvg; 25th August 2013 at 10:31 PM.

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    I got 40mpg, but I was a country lad (and the car lived with me) so no traffic lights or stop signs, or traffic jams.
    However it's easier to find a Megane than another R12

  11. #11
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by COL View Post
    Hi John

    I have got 40 MPG from an R12 but you need to drive them at 80Km/h to achieve this. My average is usually low 30's
    Agreed. Thanks Col.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

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  12. #12
    Too many posts! JohnW's Avatar
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    Yes, good idea. Find another R12. The only negative aspect is lower safety engineering.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Renault Scenic 2006 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I disagree with a lot of our highly esteemed and experienced contributors. Modern cars are generally extremely reliable, if they have occasional faults they are easily discovered and rectified. Owning a modern vehicle is not cheap, not in the way an older vehicle is, (provided that the older vehicles have parts freely and cheaply available) but the good part is that a more modern vehicle well maintained and under 10 years old should provide a level of performance, fuel economy and safety that owners of 40 year old cars can only dream of. If it's a daily drive you want, an upgrade is what you need. If it's heritage, go with the National Trust!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  14. #14
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    You'll want a code reader for diagnosis of what the computer thinks what's wrong.

    Have found and fixed several little things on mine. Next up is a clutch switch lead.

    Mine's an RS, and has been let down only by a blanking plug on the cooling system and a fuel pump that decided it didn't want to go one day.

    Fruit images shown are illustrative of flavour only and are not ingredients of the product.

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    ok, here goes.

    I've had 2 Virage wagons & drove the first one to destruction & the second are until my wife overheated & cooked the motor. She wanted out of it so we got a then brand new (2005) Forester (which will be driven to destruction). The second Virage joined its worn out ancestor at my Renault mechanic's & he re-engined it with a motor from an R18 & still uses it.

    If what you want is a reliable runabout, then your choices are things like Toyota, Mazda, Honda &, yes, Subaru. The choices don't include modern Renaults. Of course if tribal loyalty rules then get the Scenic but I wouldn't advise it. Nor is the driving experience of any modern Renault, bar the RS models &, it seems, the Clio 4, any case for preference over Japanese (or Korean) rivals.

    No modern car will be as "blacksmithable" as an R12. You could get a good second hand R12, refurbish it & repeat your earlier experience - that's what I'd do. That would give you a more entertaining drive & be pretty well depreciation neutral. But if wanting modern, then Renaults have nothing much to recommend them beyond affection for the badge & that's no basis for a sensible decision.

    cheers! Peter
    Wow...My experiences and yours must be very very different.


    Even yesterday, talking to my work mate in the carpark where we were comparing each others similar suv's, Guess who felt better about their car....The renault driver who spent sub $5k and who's car has no major issues, or the forester owner who spent sub $10k and whose motor burns 1L of oil every 1000 km.

    Jo

  16. #16
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Wow...My experiences and yours must be very very different.


    Even yesterday, talking to my work mate in the carpark where we were comparing each others similar suv's, Guess who felt better about their car....The renault driver who spent sub $5k and who's car has no major issues, or the forester owner who spent sub $10k and whose motor burns 1L of oil every 1000 km.

    Jo
    Agree with Jo, some of the modern car stories I've heard the Renault wins hand down, especialy compared to Suby and Honda.
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  17. #17
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    We have had a lot of cars over the years,Pugs and Renaults, currently have a 307hdi wagon with 230000kms absolutely trouble free driving, but I never service it myself, I'm too bloody scared to look under the bonnet. On the other hand I've rebuilt plenty of early Renault and Pug motors qiute confidently and successfully. Even though my current project is my favourite, an R8.., the most reliable and easily maintained car we have ever owned is a tan R12 station wagon!!

  18. #18
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    "Wow...My experiences and yours must be very very different.


    Even yesterday, talking to my work mate in the carpark where we were comparing each others similar suv's, Guess who felt better about their car....The renault driver who spent sub $5k and who's car has no major issues, or the forester owner who spent sub $10k and whose motor burns 1L of oil every 1000 km.

    Jo"

    "Agree with Jo, some of the modern car stories I've heard the Renault wins hand down, especialy compared to Suby and Honda."
    (dave)

    Not a personal experience remark (although I'm happy with my wife's Forester's 225K km record & my daughter's 90 series Corolla's 300+K km) but more a condensed summary of what I've read (like, for instance, "The Dog & Lemon Guide" & Power's reliability surveys). Unless one has a huge range of them, personal experience stories concerning reliability are not, in my view, a rational guide to action.

    Dave, on another matter, do you happen to have a good RX4 transaxle?

    cheers! Peter

  19. #19
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    "Wow...My experiences and yours must be very very different.


    Even yesterday, talking to my work mate in the carpark where we were comparing each others similar suv's, Guess who felt better about their car....The renault driver who spent sub $5k and who's car has no major issues, or the forester owner who spent sub $10k and whose motor burns 1L of oil every 1000 km.

    Jo"

    "Agree with Jo, some of the modern car stories I've heard the Renault wins hand down, especialy compared to Suby and Honda."
    (dave)

    Not a personal experience remark (although I'm happy with my wife's Forester's 225K km record & my daughter's 90 series Corolla's 300+K km) but more a condensed summary of what I've read (like, for instance, "The Dog & Lemon Guide" & Power's reliability surveys). Unless one has a huge range of them, personal experience stories concerning reliability are not, in my view, a rational guide to action.

    Dave, on another matter, do you happen to have a good RX4 transaxle?

    cheers! Peter

    Hi Peter, no RX4 gearboxes right now. There starting to get hard to find. We bought an RX4 just recently because the seller asured us the gearbox was excellent but the engine was stuffed so therefore we paid more than we should but when it arrived it was the gearbox that was stuffed and the engine was excellent. Not happy, I feel like cancelling his cheque.

    I've read the dog & lemon guide and wondered if anyone believed it. Seemed to me to be the usual Aussie jurno canning anything made in Europe. Especially if its French.

    2000 onwards Renaults are standing the test of time, I'm very impressed with series 1 Scenics as there getting older and the kms getting up they are prooving very good, best value for money on the used market I recon.

    Even Peugeots, we've just bought a 2007 307HDi wagon for wrecking. The transmission has failed at 305,000km. The seller says its a fantastic car, he bought it new and clocked up alot of kms very quickly without any problems at all, the problem with French cars is because of the way people see them they depreciate very quickly and he knew that a change over auto on a car with 305,000 on it would be more than he'd get for it so he's put the money into his replacement Pug.

    We hear stories like this all the time but we also here "bloody frog shit, this car is sending me broke I'll never have another one" to which we reply "get another mechanic, a bad tradesman also blames either his tools or the job he's working on".
    David Cavanagh

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  20. #20
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    thanks dave, pity about the rx4 boite.
    re d&l guide, he's a nz mechanic (but obviously going beyond personal experience) - we'll have to agree to differ as to its worth.
    re recent renaults: it does seem that autos are a weakness, motors are good & electrics are troublesome (just a general impression from a series of anecdotal sources); I hope that your impressions about Series 1 Scenics are right. It always struck me as one of Renault's better design efforts.
    Also, I don't see Renault doing enough to reassure potential buyers that the parts situation is, & will continue to be, good & that pricing won't be a rip-off. I remember Renault releasing the R8 1100 & deliberately countering the perception that parts would be a problem with an ad series showing crates of parts incoming on Australian wharves. Might be worth repeating.
    cheers! Peter

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Also, I don't see Renault doing enough to reassure potential buyers that the parts situation is, & will continue to be, good & that pricing won't be a rip-off. I remember Renault releasing the R8 1100 & deliberately countering the perception that parts would be a problem with an ad series showing crates of parts incoming on Australian wharves. Might be worth repeating.
    cheers! Peter
    That might send the wrong message to the plebs.

    I imagine most people don't even consider spare parts or consumables untill their car gets laid up for an extended time.

    Jo

  22. #22
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    That might send the wrong message to the plebs.

    I imagine most people don't even consider spare parts or consumables untill their car gets laid up for an extended time.

    Jo

    Remember BMW's back in the 60's and 70's had this fantastic tool kit that hinged inside the boot lid, it was a really good kit and to me was a sales pitch but to the plebs it just said they must break down alot.
    David Cavanagh

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  23. #23
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    thanks dave, pity about the rx4 boite.
    re d&l guide, he's a nz mechanic (but obviously going beyond personal experience) - we'll have to agree to differ as to its worth.
    re recent renaults: it does seem that autos are a weakness, motors are good & electrics are troublesome (just a general impression from a series of anecdotal sources); I hope that your impressions about Series 1 Scenics are right. It always struck me as one of Renault's better design efforts.
    Also, I don't see Renault doing enough to reassure potential buyers that the parts situation is, & will continue to be, good & that pricing won't be a rip-off. I remember Renault releasing the R8 1100 & deliberately countering the perception that parts would be a problem with an ad series showing crates of parts incoming on Australian wharves. Might be worth repeating.
    cheers! Peter

    I'm not so sure about how good there spare parts situation is. You'll never find me bagging Renault but plenty of times we get people in here looking for silly things like ABS sensors, cam belt pullies because the dealers can't supply them.

    But I needed a new engine mount for my wifes 95 model Laguna and they had one in stock so go figure.
    David Cavanagh

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  24. #24
    1000+ Posts Wildebeest's Avatar
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    The "Dog and Lemon Guide". Perfect if you are buying dogs 'n lemons.
    Advice from a Frenchman. "Buy with your 'ead not your 'eart."

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    I think our friend is at a disadvantage here. Trying to move on from an R12 is difficult. Their personality and quirks (sic) grow on you and if you get used to that there's not much that can satisfy. But those days are gone. Today's cars are no longer built to be functional in the hands of neglectful owners or with crap maintenance or spares. I am impressed by current cars' performance and quality in all aspects but I am always on a budget in this department and frankly no new purchase would qualify for the money I intend to spend. Simon's recent story about his Clio was an eye opener and a worthy read for prospective new car buyers (especially since he's in Adelaide as well). Compared to his expenditure, I run a full stable of bombs on less than what it cost for a major service for his car.

    Safety is a major concern, but I haven't found a device capable of replacing my brain yet. Not to say this is not going to change one day as inevitably senility and associated ills will probably take over. Until then, I am happy to keep flogging my good old GL.

    There was recently a nice one owner 12 wagon for sale in Mt Gambier if memory serves. Some sort of pale green, really beautiful car worth every penny of the 3000-odd (?) asking price. Four hours out of Adelaide, nice relaxed cruise in a well sorted 12.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

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