1994 Renault Laguna Reviews

1994 Renault Laguna RXE 2.0 - 8v from Brazil

Model year1995
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.0 - 8v Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 0 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.6 / 10
Distance when acquired120000 kilometres
Most recent distance184000 kilometres
Previous carFord Maverick

Summary:

This car kills 2.0 chevrolet's for a living

Faults:

4 axle joints in 4 months.

Air conditioning fan broke, had to bypass it to start A.C.

Headlights are candles, even with xenon.

Parts are expensive, too expensive.

Accelerator cable broke, never replaced, just tied with a shoelace and tie-wraps, 2 years now =)

Noisy tranny when downshifting.

Electric seats not working every time I need.

Lots of expensive electronics that WILL break sometime.

General Comments:

It is a monster out on the highway; fast, silent and making 16 km/l, ten miles per one litre of gas.

Loves the higher revolutions, feels like a racer.

17 inch wheels make this baby climb any wall.

Extremely comfortable anywhere.

Rides great when loaded too.

One of the best cars I ever had. My son was born, and brought back home in it. I'm keeping him now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th February, 2008

1994 Renault Laguna V6 3.0 V6 from Netherlands

Model year1994
Year of manufacture1994
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 3.0 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired108500 kilometres
Most recent distance242000 kilometres
Previous carRenault 21

Summary:

Very smooth and quite reliable

Faults:

Apart from normal maintenance this is what happened:

109700: leaky coolant expansion container (replaced without costs)

126000: rear exhaust box

141000: battery + starter motor

147000: thermostat

185000: front-left brake caliper strut

204900: new back-wing (had rusted from inside out because of bad repair first owner after accident)

208500: position-switch gearbox

217000: brake pedal ABS position switch

219300: front springs

223700: left axle shaft cover and fuel hoses.

General Comments:

Engine:

The best part of this car is its engine. It's so smooth and quiet. When overtaking in 3rd gear, you'll have to listen carefully to detect any engine or exhaust sound at all.

It was probably the last version (Z7X) of the good old PRV-engine. It's totally problem-free and cheap to maintain.

It's got timing chains instead of belts, three coils which are directly connected to the spark plugs and it has hydraulic valve lifters.

Its fuel consumption is not bad. I can do more than 10 kilometres on a litre of petrol.

The engine is converted to LPG. It does about a litre every 8.5 kilometres.

Gearbox:

Renault automatics have a bad reputation, but it's not justified.

When used gentle and, very important, with good maintenance they can last very long.

When mileage gets higher, good gearbox maintenance is often overlooked.

And there's another problem.

Renault states a change interval of 60000 kilometres which is really the maximum for ordinary ATF.

When changing ATF, a lot of ATF stays behind in the torque convertor. You sometimes only get half of it out!

In such cases 60000 kilometers is way too much if you change only once each time.

I changed the ATF once. After the refill the ATF was still black (definitely not burned, just old)!

I changed it again several times until it was red again.

The auto-box has shifted very consistent since then.

Tip 1: my gearbox doesn't have a dipstick. There's a special procedure. The oil must be heated up until 60 degrees Celsius and then a special plug is opened for 20 seconds. If less than 0.1 litre comes out you have to put in 1 litre (yes 1 whole litre) and try again. This procedure is hard, if not impossible, to do at home.

If you know it is roughly at the right level, go for a drive and pay attention to the gearbox.

Does it go out of gear (revs go up) when doing a tight corner? Fill it with another 0.2 litre. Repeat until solved.

Does it bang into second gear? Take some oil out. There's too much in it.

Tip 2: it's unofficial advice from Renault to let the car idle for at least a minute when it's colder than 10 degrees Celsius outside. This is necessary for the gearbox to build up pressure.

I experienced it also helps to put the lever in D and wait for at least ten seconds before releasing the brakes.

The gearbox will shift more smoothly.

Reliability:

The car's reliability has been quite good. If you want better buy a Toyota...

I've had this strange problem for a while:

When the fuel-tank is less than half full and it's cold, the engine will start coughing a bit for a few seconds right after it has started.

If it's like a quarter full or less it will start, do some coughing and shuts down. Then I'm screwed. The engine won't get any fuel in the following attempts. Only when I put some fresh fuel in, it will start without a hitch.

The only explanation I have is that the fuel in the tank gets too old. But the fuel won't get older than about three months though...

The car has developed some (minor) aging problems. The fuel hoses where dried out (what's that smell?...)

The front springs were broken at the very top end because of rust. A common Renault problem.

You wouldn't notice when driving, but it's a MOT-failure.

This repair can easily be done by yourself. It's not hard to get the McPherson spring leg out. You can take it to your local garage to have the springs changed because you need a tensioner.

Its first electric fault was the rear window heater. Its earth connection was gone so I made a new one. This helped for a while, but recently it failed again. I found out it's a common problem with Lagunas. It's a corroded plug which can be found in the trunk behind the covering on the left side.

I cleaned it, but it failed again. Now it looks even worse. I'll make a bypass to cure this problem forever.

I'm also having trouble with the starter motor which was rebuilt a few years ago.

It makes a screaming noise right after the engine starts running. This is caused by a stuck bendix. I removed the starter motor, which is a pain to get to. The grease inside was all dried up. I cleaned and regreased it, but it still makes the noise. Argh!

The negatives:

Paintwork scratches easily.

Steering could be more direct.

Noisy suspension.

Dealer:

I've had good and bad experiences with Renault dealers.

At a time, I noticed the temperature gauge was getting higher every day until eventually it got too high. I took the car to the dealer for a diagnosis. I mentioned it's probably the thermostat which will fail in any car sooner or later. They diagnosed it as a clogged up radiator. I was surprised, but hey, they are the experts. So I changed the radiator myself with an after-market one. It took me a day to get it in.

It didn't help at all! I went back to the dealer. It turned out they hadn't checked the thermostat. After the thermostat was changed all was fine again. They never saw me again...

Other dealers have been helpful, but I rather not go there unless I really have to (I do all maintenance myself whenever possible)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2005

4th Aug 2006, 14:34

Correction: the springs were broken at the bottom end.

The coating of the spring tends to crack, water comes in and eventually the spring will break because of rust.

1st Jan 2007, 11:14

Update 01/01/2007:

245226:

Yearly checkup: right ball joint needed replacing. No surprise, cornering had become a bit scary...

I also replaced the headlights. The reflecting part on the left one was in poor state. Looks a lot better now.

246925:

I did some extensive maintenance. Details:

- exchanged the starter motor for a rebuilt one. This starter is a different model. It sounds a lot more civilized.

- replaced the (original) belts on the alternator and the waterpump/aircon pump.

- replaced the front brake discs and pads. I used Bosch discs. I'm happy with them so far.

- ATF-change. The old oil looked good.

Meanwhile, I've found out that the gearbox is actually from Volkswagen. Here comes the shocking part: Renault states an oil change of every 60000 kms, but VW says 30000 kms for what is basicly the same gearbox!!!

254400: I replaced the upper radiator hose. It looked like it was going to blow soon.

256000: I moved to Norway. That includes the car ;-). I won't be doing much more than 5000 kms per year from now on.

256500: mounting bracket of rear exhaust broken. Had it welded back on. Also the connection between the middle section and the rear section was replaced with some klamp thingy.

This car is actually still on its original front and middle exhaust!

257822: waterpump started leaking during cooling-off fase.

Not much of a surprise. I replaced the belt earlier this year. This often kills an old waterpump.

Replacement took me a whole weekend. The bolts are very hard to get to. The inlet manifold needs to be lifted. I checked Dialogys beforehand so I was able to figure out a strategy and order a bunch of O-rings.

Getting the coolant out is very messy. Lots of buckets are needed...

Looks like I accidentally solved the problem I had with starting when the fuel level is low and it's cold.

After I used up all of the petrol (gauge was lying flat) the engine now runs beautifully when cold. It used to drop very quickly to below 1000 rpm. Now it will stay at 1200 until warm.

So there must have been old crap/water? in the bottom of the tank.

I'm currently at 258200 kms. The homokinetic joints have become noisy. That's not an immediate problem.

No other issues. The car is in good shape.

Average review marks: 6.3 / 10, based on 15 reviews