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Latest Renault Repair and Radiator Installation Advice

CarJunky AutoAdvice


Showing 2 out of 2 Posts
Question From Guest on radiator

hi i have a renault espace p reg 2.0 i petrol and the radiator has gone.i have been offered another radiator but its from a diesel espace can i put that one in to replace my old one?...many thanks

Response From dmac0923 Top Rated Answer

you would have to compare the dimensions of the two radiators side by side. such as overall length width height. outlet diameters, locations. trans cooler lines etc.

oil in the water tank

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Question From gavin davies on oil in the water tank

hi there everyone i am interested in buying a s reg renault kangoo van 1.9 i think been left standing for about two months when the current owner went to check the levels today he noticed the water coolant tank was black with oil is this a head gasket needing replacing or something else and help would be greatfull

Response From Sidom

Well I'm not familiar with the model but those problems are common to all makes & models...

You have to realize you are buying something with some major engine problems and could go way deeper than just a gasket set and a lot of work.... You better price it accordly and make sure the vehicle is even worth investing that type of money & time in....

Response From chickenhouse Top Rated Answer

Totally agree with Sidom, you would be buying a vehicle needing major engine repair and the first order would be to pressuretest the cooling system. Coolant and oil should NEVER mix. Is this an auto trans ? Asking because of the possibility of a trans cooler leaking into the radiator. Guessing

Blue/white smoke

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Question From king2807 on Blue/white smoke

I have a 2001 Renault laguna 2 1.9 dci 120 hp. I have blue/white smoke pooring out the back .The turbo is fine the smoke is not an oil burning smell.Anyone got any ideas ?

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Be fast - check oil and engine coolant levels. Any mixing of either stop running this engine. If sudden without much provocation I would suspect a head gasket issue to chase down. Think this is diesel which if over fueled should show about black smoke out tailpipe. Anything resembling blue/white suggest engine coolant involved,


Response From king2807

There is no oil in the water. Its clean oil levels are all normal.I still have all power

Response From Tom Greenleaf Top Rated Answer

It doesn't take much to make a scene. White (fog like) out tailpipe suggests coolant/water anywhere it could get in. If a cooler for turbo or something is involved could be that.

Coolant level could be elusive. Need to know it's full in radiator not just a recovery tank and some that is all you get to look at. If cold where you are some fog upon initial start up is normal but subsides.

If you can wet a paper with that smoke if plain water it would dry, antifreeze would not and be a clue,


Blown head gasket need new ENGINE!! HELP!!!!

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Question From gk68 on Blown head gasket need new ENGINE!! HELP!!!!

HELP! Need new engine from a crooked repair shop!!! Got this 1994 Renault Clio 1.3 liter in July. Supposedly got a head gasket. Heard noise like metal clapping. Garage said that the engine was gone and the head gasket didn't cause it??? They took it apart and said I had to pay $500 for them to replace the engine and pay $$850 when work is done. Plus another $200 for 'engine mounts' which were faulty. i'm in a war zone and getting badly burned. Can a bad head gasket lead to engine failure??? Symptoms were poor gas mileage, temperature guage getting to 'hot' very quickly, severe engine noise and a thief I bought this lemon from. please advise guys!!! Thank you.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

The head gasket seals everything to where it should stay. You said it ran hot, driven with noise. Was that before the head gasket and it still did this?

Answer is YES a head gasket can be the cause of the demise of the engine. By itself it doesn't really blow the engine but it can't be run hot or perhaps even oil couldn't get where it belonged and if driven that way for any reason it would be real trouble.

If someone pawned off this car knowing it had this trouble that isn't nice. Do you somehow think the shop is reponsible for the damage?


Response From gk68

Thanks Tom!
Small world. I'm from Boston and i'm here just to be with my 2 great kids. Go Red Sox!!

I appreciate your response. I wrote this next note to explain the predicament of a con man seller and my getting slammed.
You are really perceptive and the kind of honest person that keeps my faith in humanity going. The problem was the con man who sold me the car...at a time when I was desperate for transport in a dangerous environment. He told me that he put in new brakes, etc. and spent $1,000 at the garage in question to 'rebuild the engine'. He even produced a fake receipt and brought me to the garage in July-the mechanic said it was guaranteed but the language barrier was a problem. Now the seller won't give me the receipt and I found out that he only replaced the head gasket. He did this after he got cash from me to get the receipt-he said he'd go with me to the garage but he never showed and then I realized I'd been taken for a serious ride. So, to answer your question, I don't know what the priginal problem was but the engine was always 'tired' and I had to get new brakes, a regulator/generator. accelerator cable. There was never any acceleration whatsoever and I barely made it up hills. The really good mechanic who rebuilt the generator told me that the heat guage gets hot really fast. I got a complete tuneup but that didn't chance the tired engine that barely made it up hills.

Last week I was shot at by 2 terrorists on the side of the road and the car almost stalled and I barely got away alive. Then I realized that the loud engine rattling was serious. The generator guy said that the noise was not from having the A/C on- that only added 'pressure' to the engine and the problem was not the A/C compressor. That's when I went to the garage to have them check it. They said that I would need to get the receipt from the seller and they wouldn't say what was in their computer as to the head gasket only repair. Then they said it wouldn't matter anyway because the work done had 'nothing to do with ' the dead engine . But now my luck's run out.

So bottom line, i think the engine was dead when i got the vehicle and now must figure out how to get it out of the shop since i gave them $500 and must give them the rest before i can get the car back

The seller still won't answer his phone or give the receipt to the garage or me. Sorry to bother you with this but you really have been a great help to me and my 2 kids who are devastated by this development and no way to get around.

Thanks man.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

WOW!! You have more than just your average car problems going on friend. Stay safe!

Seems like you are in quite a pickle. From what I see you are out the $500 now and need another $1,000 just to get a broken car back - is that right?

I don't know this car specifically and don't think it's sold to the states. No matter. It this a popular car for where you are? You need to know what it's worth as it sits right now with the known problems and make a decision based on that and expected cost to get this dependable for you. Sounds like you'd be best off to cut your losses now and start off with a better car.

If that sounds practical for you I can help you with how to determine the condition of a vehicle before you buy it.

Good luck. I'll help where I can,


Response From gk68

Thanks Tom,
Yes, I paid $500 and they demand another $1,000 to get the car released. Supposedly it will be dependable at that time.
The old French car is widely used over here but is known to be a lousy car, only for those who can't afford anything decent. A `real problem. I spent my last 3k to get this car and now I'm almost forced to pray that this 'new ' engine will be ok.
I guess my desperation has really gotten the better of me. It's a rough ride over here but I have to get this right so i can stay with my 14 and 15 year old kids.
Thanks a lot for your kind assistance and willingness to help. That means alot to us at this most difficult time. We'll try to stay safe.
Thanks T,

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Ok: I think I see the picture here a little better. If you forget all $ already spent you need the $1,200 to have your car back and running. Basically then you are buying this car right now for that much $ vs walking away. Do you have any faith in this shop to warranty this motor? If this used motor (that's what I would have done) is good then with care of it, it should work out for you. You would know soon if this motor is any good. Good salvage places have a good idea of what's ok as it wastes everyone's time and money if they are wrong.

I can't say much about the motor mounts as they could have been bad or broken by the engine failing or some abuse even before you got the car.

It seems like you can't trust much of anything in your situation there. Do you feel ok about this shop and will they warrant the engine that it is in fact ok? If this does work out YOU are starting from scratch with this engine and need to know as much as you can about it. How many miles if can believe it at all and what may be it's next maintenance needed and so fourth. Most of the time if you have a good engine you can keep it that way by not allowing overheats and being low on oil. Changing oil will buy years to an engine vs doing nothing ever. This should be delivered to you with a fresh oil change and new coolant. Tune-up items would probably just as needed to make it run at all.

What should be considered is that this probably uses a rubber timing belt and those need to be replaced on a schedule of miles and you may not know how long that one has been in there. I don't know this engine at all so you'll have to find out about that. I don't think this car will be on any of the guys here software so we may not be able to help with that from this site. Info for the engine and a maitenance schedule should be in the owner's manual and you should have one or get one. Some timing belts when they fail can destroy an engine and that's called an "interference engine" where the valves can collide with pistons if not in time so be warned and find out about that.

Again: Taking this moment forward, you either walk away now or have this car for the balance due. Would you pay that for this car with what you know about it this far and the expected condition of the engine right now?

Good luck Gary. Are you there in a military capacity of some sort?

Stay safe,,


Response From gk68

Hi Tom,
Thanks for the info and opinion. I talked to the shop today and he said the car will be ready today, 2 days shy of 2 weeks. He said the engine is 'new', i.e. 24k miles on it. I asked about the timing chain and he said that I need to come in after 6,000 miles to have it ?checked or replaced? I'm going to try to find out exactly what the damage was and how he determined that the head gasket 'had nothing to do with it'. Anything else I should demand or ask- they're really treating me like I'm some rich American idiot. I do have some knowledge of cars and a smidgeon of self-respect left! Thanks so much for your help.
Also I looked up 'engine mounts' and found that they range from 20 to 80 bucks yet they tacked on $200 to the bill for that. the engine was already out of the bay so it seems that it would not have been so much labor, especially since I'm already paying a pretty penny for the work. Comments??


Response From Tom Greenleaf

The engine itself sound great by miles. Timing chain or belt care will vary by specific vehicle. The typical rubber timing belts used frequently on the cars I know of here usually just suggest replacement at 60-70K.

The motor mounts: I'm guessing this is a four cylinder transverse mounted engine, FWD only. As a unit it may require 4 mounts for the engine and trans bolted up to it. Why are all bad?? Really don't think they should all be bad. The used engine would have had good motor mounts you would think but for removal of parts they don't take time to properly unbolt everything and just cut stuff off or "torch" things off to get the unit out in little time. The shop has the job of removing the cut items and using the best of the two engines for some assorted things. Mounts are generally a metal part to engine and to body with a semi-soft rubber puck that is glued/vulcanized to the metal parts and the rubber where it is glued is the weak link but I haven't run into more than one at a time being bad without some severe trauma. If they were bad I can't say. It should have been much easier to replace them during this work and the labor would be minimal.

It's like when you have to take a belt of to replace a part you may want a new belt but why is there labor at all for putting a new one on or the used one back on?? Same goes here when a shop charges to inspect brakes (wheels off) and then tacks on a charge to rotate the wheels. That's a rip as the wheels are off anyway. Here the shop space is so expensive that the shop just has to charge that back to the customers. Just now looked at an old 3 bay shop for rent for $3000/mo in Marlborough (you must recall the city) which is generally cheaper than east of here and new shops are so regulated it's out of control. Figure just the fixed cost of that shop is $6,000 a mo with taxes, fees, utilities before you have employees to pay for so to stay in biz at all requires charging more for work. So be that and it should be up front what the charges are. Another cost at the moment is probably the exchange rate. You keep mantioning dollars like US$ and the currency is at record low right now and they may be buying or paying for things in other currency and the buck gets beat up.

You mentioned the general volitility of where you are with terrorists and that instability that probably makes ordinary biz and activities a real challenge and a price for that.

Hang in there buddy. This too shall pass.

Right now you could pay for the whole job and then some if you just had a couple tickets to a Bo-Sox game for sale!


Response From gk68 Top Rated Answer

Hey Tom,
Thanks for your comprehensive assessment.The garage here removed any doubt about their intentions as they jacked up the price again upon pickup. The manager also said that the head gasket, which they replaced back in June, was not the problem after all ; he said that the 'crank' went because I had no oil in the engine!! The reason I took the car to them 2 weeks ago was because the clanking noise was worse and I went to an A/C tech who told me that the A/C compressor was ok and only added pressure to make the noise louder. He checked the oil and showed me that it was full. 5 minutes later I went to this shop. The shop also refused to show me a copy of the work order for the head gasket and still insisted that the motor failure had nothing to do with the head gasket and then went on with the new 'no oil in the motor' cause for the engine failure.
He removed all doubt when he extracted another $250 from me and then said he would not let me have the car until I paid the now inflated balance of $700 more!! So I had to take some kind of action. the mechanic gave me the keys so I could listen to the engine and I heard noises. I got this sinking feeling and saw that they did not even road test the vehicle.\]. The reason I had the car at all was because (in the tradtion of the Wild West atmosphere here) I jumped into my car and took off . So they have $750 and I have a noisy 'new' engine not mounted properly. What a nightmare. If only I had someone like you because I know that most shops are honest and I am an honest customer who wants to pay a fair price for a fair day's work.
So I have the car back with the shop guy demanding more money. I'm taking the car to a known honest guy tomorrow and I think he'll re-mount the engine . What a farce!!!
The dollar is at an all-time low but these guys are just milking the whole thing dry. I really felt that they would just blame me for the noises and have to take my chances with finishing this engine installation. Am I totally nurs or what??!! All I wanted was something to go around town and pick up my kids. So now I have over $5,000 into it and pray that my honest friend can re-mount the engine to get rid of the radiator clacking noise and other noises.
The crooked shop left little doubt as to their intentions.
In 1967 I was just a kid and went to Fenway to get some tickets and wound up with 2 tickets to see Jim Lonborg pitch..but I had to work that day so I sold them and wound up like $50 ahead . Wish I could have done that now because I'm REALLY getting scalped over here. If the terrorists don't get you, the bandits will. Don't get me wrong, most of the people here are salt-of the-earth working class heroes mostly from north african arab countries so they know what opression is... but there are some real nasty con men who exploit any weakness.
As you and I know, being an honest mechanic is the right thing to be and you can still make a living. I never begrudged that...but predatory practices leave a real sour taste in my mouth. Wow..I never did anything like this before but trust me, this shop was making a humiliating monkey out of me.
Go red Sox!!
P.s. I worked in Marlbourough for a few months around this time in 2004..at a nursiong home..small world.
Be well, friend. Thanks for listening.

Response From Tom Greenleaf

Gary - I don't blame you for taking off with the car. If I had that job I would have been so embarrassed that the thing didn't run and sound like a new engine I wouldn't have called you to pick it up till it was!!!!

I don't understand the crooked mount as they really only fit in the right way?? Perhaps there was some hackery going on there - who knows at this point. Just don't let this engine fail now and get the details taken care of.

I don't know how a shop like you were dealing with can stay in biz! Doesn't really sound like they even know a lot about what they are doing except for charging money!

Relax for a while - at least you have the car back!

About the Sox. I no longer follow any sports but you can't help but notice them. The fans are going crazy as can be expected. I totally remember 1967 ---- Rico, Scott, Canigliaro, Yaz, Lonborg the whole bunch if you named them. I do remember bleacher tickets were just a few bucks back then. I grew up in Sudbury just a walk away from Babe Ruth's Summer house which is still there.

Take care. If you are back here look me up or hit back here,


Response From gk68

Hi Tom,
Really nice to get your reaction to this scam. seems like I'm getting hammered left and right but I refuse to give up...my kids need an unbeleagured father as it hurts them to see me getting slammed. It was real nice to be able to tell them that I had a friend back in Boston who will help us in the matter of the car. They feel better when they see that I'm not so isolated and have some Boston Backup.

The sports thrill is gone for me also as multi-millionaires running around a baseball diamond don't really care about workin' stiffs like us. But jon Lester fight of cancer and his comeback are a decent story and I'm happy for him. i played for Pawtucket Red Sox for 17 days in 1967; Mr. Yawkey gave me a shot as he saw me a couple of years earlier as I won the Babe Ruth League batting crown on the last day of the season. Glory days. But a first baseman who could hit anything but not a power hitter was a rude awakening...my wrists were just too thin...so a green slip on my locker was the end of my shot at the big leagues. oh well, it was all for the best as I at least got a fair chance.

Yeah, I'll definitely look you up and I'll take you to that awesome ribs place in Marlboro . I think I'll be around as some close calls here seem to indicate that the big guy in the sky wants me around for a while! i'm not religious but I was the lone survivor of a June 1, 2001 homicide bombing where 21 children were literally blown away. A horrific sight beyond the pale of what any human being should ever have to witness. as a supposed PTSD expert I have really had to suck it up the last 6 years. That's why gratuitous nastiness really gets to me; guess I've lost a step in toughness the last few years. Anyway, say a little prayer for my kids; I'd appreciate that.

Be well friend. I'll never forget your kindness and expertise. You, sir, are a gentleman or as they said at Boston Latin: "You are a gentleman and a scholar."


Response From Tom Greenleaf


Thanks for the kind words and good luck with all. Boston Latin no less!! I didn't check but let's move this on to the PM system. If you are not on it you can send things privately to me by just clicking on my name above the cat pic and look at that for the "Private Message" system.

It's about 2am here and Beantown is bracing for a riot again over the B0-Sox.

What place for Ribs did you mean? Marlborough is jamming with places and many have changed since you were here.

Take care and look for the PM,