Bought in December 2000. When bought (148.k km) the bargain issue was the left front spring broken. So front suspension needed replacement.
Cost 500 Euros to fix to renault dealer. Changed almost the whole front suspension. I mean new shock absorbers, new springs, new CV-joints. (boge absorbers and volvo springs).
Next happy was a weird problem with ignition system (150.000 kms). When it was very humid outside, problems with start. At a traffic light stalled completely. Towed to dealer cost 80 Euros to fix. Actually the only thing was to clean some contacts to the ignition module. That happened in February 2001, and it was -28 Celcius degrees outside. Not too funny.
Two months after (April or May 2001) (150.000 kms) the left front wheel bearing started to ask for replacement. At renault dealer it was 100 euros (parts+ work). A careful inspection of the brake pads indicated that the pads were "sand" (i have never understood how it was breaking until then???). Anyhow new brake pads and brake disks were replaced also. Extra 100 euros (parts elf + bendix??? and work).
After 2 days I came back to the mechanics. I noticed the electrin fan did not kick and the engine was overheating. A badly corroded contact. Something like 50 euros to fix.
10.000 km run without any problem. Mainly highway driven. in May-June.
A new holiday trip to Paris and Germany (via sweden). Other 8.000 km run.
Technical inspection (MOT in Uk) failed due to Lambda sond. Costed 300 euros to fix (the sond and the work).
In January 2002 the timing belt needed change. Wanted to be gentleman with my car so, I have been to my mechanic with it. Also the idler + tensioner needed replaced. Surprise??? A seal of an auxiliary shaft driven also by the belt, was leaking oil and warning on it was given. Seemed also that 2 bearings (inside the engine needed to be changed). The mechanics changed that time only the belt, since they did not have on stock the bearings (they said 10.000 km would have lasted, but no more). They charged me 100 euros, and they did not even finish the job!!! I got really angry!
That was too much for me, and from that moment on I started to play the mechanic with my car! I bought the Haynes book for it (25 euros), and the Do It Yourself charade started.
In March the same symptoms of stopping in humid weather showed up. I cleaned again the contact and works again.
In April 2002 the heater matrix leaks. Thanks to the big hearts from the renault 19 forum and haynes book, the Do it yourself succeeds (the dash board out etc) and the cost was only the spare part (75 euros for a original Valeo).
Try to change also by myself the belt + the bearings, but a broken wrench (yes!!! the wrench got broken, and it also destroyed the bold from the idler) prevented me from do it myself. Back to mechanics. 200 euros (100 euros the belt+ idler+ tensioner bought by me, and 100 euros their work). That happened in June this year.
Again two long trips about 20.000 km without problem. Except that on the highway in Italy between Rome and Livorno, the regulator from the alternator got broken. In fact one brush was worn out completely.
For now it works(almost 200.000 km). For how long???
PS. Release bearing is noisy when temperatures goes below 10 degrees Celsius (in the summer time is silent). It is doing since I bought it, and still does. Didn't get any worse.
At a corner the head gasket leaks coolant (not that badly). Few drops of Super glue "fixed" the problem.