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Vrooom! 2003 Grand Espace MkIV 3.5 V6


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34 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   djoptix

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 11:47 AM

I usually hang around on the French Car Forum but seeing r.welfare's thread on his Espace, I thought I'd put mine up here as well. Hopefully get some feedback/banter, document things as a resource for anyone thinking about getting one, give you all some amusement if it develops some hideous electrical malady.

 

Why?

 

* Need to carry three children plus their paraphernalia plus Mrs Optix

* Need to carry large speakers and lights and stuff around for work

* You only live once

 

I've previously had lots of Citroens - AX, BX, Synergie x 2, C5 x 2. I decided I needed a people carrier again because of the imminent arrival of nanoOptix (we already have mini and micro). Started off looking at Synergies again (not many around, and those that are have been to the moon), C8s (meh), Galaxy (overpriced)... Eventually I started looking at Espaces and convinced myself that bigger and bigger engines were a good idea. I did actually buy a 3.0 V6 DCi on ebay, but the seller then got in touch to say "already got someone here looking at it", blah blah, FFS. Anyway, that didn't happen. Then this one came up and I ended up getting it for £600.

 

It's an Initiale (top spec) model with all the toys, though not all of the toys work. Major issues when bought were non working aircon, non working electronic parking brake, non working sat nav. But on the plus side, I worked out from the MOT history that it's probably done sub 100k, and it's MOTd until May 2018.

 

It is in fact this one. Some of the issues mentioned in that thread are still there.

 

Anyway, I've had it since mid July but have only been driving it in the last few days. Yesterday I sent it to get its aircon regassed, but I'm now waiting for a hot day to see whether that's really been successful or not. Depending on whether it behaves itself, I'll be sending it to a place in Wales that specialises in replacing/refurbishing the parking brakes.

 

I'm sure there will be plenty of negatives to come, but it looks good, has plenty of space, and goes well - not too quick off the line but the midrange shove is hilarious for such a big car.

 

 

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#2 OFFLINE   djoptix

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:30 PM

Sit rep.

 

I think the aircon is OK so far - 24 hours later - it is dropping condensate out of the bottom of the car so I reckon it's doing what it should. I was a little concerned because it smelled a bit gaseous when I picked it up from the AC place, and I wondered if it was about to vent 1kg of freon into the cabin, but it seems to have gone now.

 

However, the EML light is now on and it's complaining of an "Antipollution Monitor Fault" - bollocks - but it hasn't gone into limp mode. I'm going to try an Italian tuneup, Redex, and then getting it diagnosed (probably at the same time as sorting the parking brake) in that order.



#3 ONLINE   panhard65

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:18 PM

Shit you are brave taking one of these on. They really are hopeless the C8 is a far better motor with a lot more room and a hell of a lot more reliable. I hope it isn't a 1.9dci. On the plus side they are virtually a collectors item already as so many have been scrapped I can't remember when I last saw one. Good luck and I would invest in a cloned Renault Clip for sorting the inevitable electrical faults.


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#4 OFFLINE   Supernaut

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:27 PM

I think somebody on here has made an android app for diagnosing Renault faults. Can't remember who, but I'm sure they'll show themself soon enough.

You aren't the nutter who made a wanted post on the French Car Forum for an Espace 3.5 V6? I remember it gaining a heap of replies along the lines of "WHY?!"


EDIT: Teehee, it was you! https://frenchcarfor...php?f=7&t=58031

#5 OFFLINE   spartacus

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:30 PM

You're going to need a lot of space and power to lug your huge balls of steel around...
Good effort.

#6 OFFLINE   Bren

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:38 PM

Suddenly I feel like my balls have shrunk despite having a vectra V6 cdti.
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#7 ONLINE   r.welfare

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:48 PM

Great stuff! This is the one I should have bought, as the 2 litre petrol is massively underengined. I get less than 30mpg an' all. Yours is the Grand model so should actually have some usable boot depth (if not width - Panhard is right, space utilisation is shite on these).

Mine also had an anti pollution monitor fault which my mobile air conditioning repairman sorted by plugging in an errant cable near the receiver dryer. Perhaps something was disturbed with yours during the recharge? I ended up with a new condenser and wiring repair to the compressor but the a/c is excellent now. It's needed on sunny days as the glass area turns these into greenhouses.
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2003 Renault Espace IV 2.0 petrol - living up to its reputation...


#8 OFFLINE   Schaefft

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:51 PM

I feel a huge, high-spec french minivan with a 3.5l V6 has a certain appeal. Since I've been seeing Vel Satis with the same engine come up for under a grand regularly, they might be a great, very well equipped beater for the time they last. And I think most of the reliability issues were caused by the diesels, which wouldn't be an option for me anyway.


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#9 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:56 PM

I think somebody on here has made an android app for diagnosing Renault faults. Can't remember who, but I'm sure they'll show themself soon enough.

You aren't the nutter who made a wanted post on the French Car Forum for an Espace 3.5 V6? I remember it gaining a heap of replies along the lines of "WHY?!"


Oh no renault.

I can see your massive stones from here. Welcome, from a fellow Russian roulette owning modern renault!
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#10 ONLINE   dome

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:15 PM

Splendid work. I looked at one of these as a way of taking some mates to the autosport show at the NEC in January. I was vetod sadly.

350z tourer innit?

#11 ONLINE   dome

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:16 PM

Splendid work. I looked at one of these as a way of taking some mates to the autosport show at the NEC in January. I was vetod sadly.

350z tourer innit?

#12 OFFLINE   clayts450

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:18 PM

Top chodding, sir, you'll fit right in here.


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#13 OFFLINE   djoptix

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:46 PM

Ha, thanks... I think ;)

 

Another trip, another warning light! This time it was "engine immobiliser faulty", accompanied by a pretty yellow "SERVICE" light.

 

I had mixed feelings about the car (and the bloke I bought it from) at this point. Took it for a motorway blast, and next time I started it, the light was gone. Then I took it for an hilarious B-road blast back home again. It's definitely flawed but I do like it. It has the full panoramic roof which (touch wood) works. Still considering whether to leave feedback or not... I'm starting to suspect it might have had all of its fault codes cleared the day before I went to pick it up  :shock:

 

I have ordered a one of these. *rolls up sleeves*



#14 OFFLINE   wuvvum

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:24 PM

When I were a lad we fitted my parents and us three kids (two in child seats) in a Renault Six.  Just sayin' like.

 

Top bombing though - I've always fancied trying one of these.  I was idly wondering how hard it'd be to tune the engine back up to full 350Z spec, but then the Aisin-Warner would probably nom itself even more quickly than normal.



#15 OFFLINE   Kiltox

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 09:36 PM

Testicle wheelbarrow to aisle three....

Love it.
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#16 OFFLINE   Pete-M

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 12:39 AM

My brother paid nearly £20k for a high spec 2.2 dci grenade spec Espace ex-demonstrator in 2005. List was closer to £30k but it was three months old..

Anyway, the V6 one could actually be the only one to have. Even as a 2.2 diseasel they were a decent drive when new.

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#17 OFFLINE   RichardK

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 09:52 AM

V6 isn't bad. The bits attached to it...

"It's probably coilpacks".

 

Seriously considered one of these myself, but have epic fear of the automatic gearboxes fitted to Renaults in the UK, specifically "the attitude of UK dealers and owners to maintenance of Renaults and automatic gearboxes, colluding to form a perfect storm of "it's shagged by 80K miles"". Probably a much better car than anyone thinks it is.


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#18 OFFLINE   djoptix

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:08 PM

No sign of the immobiliser fault, and thanks to my new gadget I have cleared the "air pollution monitor" fault - I believe that means lambda sensor. This is what it told me:

 

IMG_20170809_183337.jpg

 

(Excuse my Mario trousers)

 

I'm going to assume, since it suits my purposes to do so, that possibly it was just a bit dirty or coked or something. This tank I've filled it up with sweet sweet Optimax, so that might help too.

 

Looking at the literature about the gearbox (AW 55-50?) does make one feel a bit queasy! I'm going to go digging through the receipts and see if I can find evidence of a fluid change, or rather something else having been done that might have meant a fluid change as well. Odds are it's never been done, and indeed Wikipedia says that experts say (so it must be true) that they should have the fluid done at 80k...



#19 OFFLINE   Kiltox

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:23 PM

Tips for AW55 gearbox ownership

Does it slip or bang into gear?

(No)

Did it cost next to nothing? 

(Yes)

LEAVE IT THE FUCK ALONE

 

I keep telling Beko this too :)


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#20 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:28 PM

I've done the fluid change on a AW55. Twice. One Renault, one Saab.

If you have the dipstick tube then it's easy enough to do with a Pela 6000 oil suction and a Draper fill kit. Extract out all the fluid when it's cold using the Pela. Measure exactly what came out. Fill back up with exactly the same amount. Getting the same amount in is essential.

To read the fluid properly, you need diagnostic tools that allow you to read the oil temp due to fluid expansion. The level is read usually at 80C and the box being shifted into neutral/drive/reverse a couple times before. Get this too low or too high and problems will happen. 300ml is the difference between Min and Max.

Drive for a bit. Let it cool (essential). And repeat. You'll need to take out and replace around 20 litres before the vast majority of the fluid is changed. Each time you get out around 2l to 3l. You can't get it all out as a lot stays in the TC.

I've always think these engines Espaces are great/bonkers. Proper sleeper rocket ships.
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My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#21 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:29 PM

I'm heeding it too! Mine noticably changes gear, and bangs into 1st from N when pulling away if I do it sharply but apart from that it fine! It's waaaaaaay down my list of shit to do


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#22 OFFLINE   25v6turbo

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:37 PM

Gearbox shunt is a common issue in the AW boxes,it would need a good few changes as SIC says,i did my 3.5 Vel satis about 5 times,the Laguna doesn,t suffer from the shunt but I still changed the oil a few times,it can be very annoying,most evident at N at junction/lights then when you release the brake it shunts into D. 



#23 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:37 PM

Too quick on the pedals. When you hold the brake stationary it'll go into neutral. Release the brake, wait a brief moment for it to engage a gear and then accelerate. Otherwise it'll still be engaging when your trying to accelerate. I have had on my old Laguna happen twice where I went from full brake to accelerator far too quickly and it just thumps, goes nowhere and doesn't accelerate. I learnt to not do that again as obviously the gearbox computer didn't appreciate being hurried along like that and told the ECU a big NO.

Despite the power from the engines associated with what these boxes are usually attached to, they aren't designed to be speed machines. Think more wafting with a strong midrange acceleration. Treat them like that and you'll get the most satisfaction. They're certainly no creamy smooth ZF auto box that are quick and seemless changes nearly no matter what type of driving is done.
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Current Fleet:
1974 MGB GT - A stereotypical classic car.
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#24 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:40 PM

The worst shunt I had was on the Saab that Hooli now has when it was hot/fucked state. That changing from neutral to drive have a massive shunt that was very disconcerting! Unfortunately that was due to the previous owner not realising the fluid needing changing and the box doing 210k odd.

However that old bus is still going strong (ask Hooli)! Saab didn't have the drag reduction mode (going to neutral when in drive and stationary) in their AW55 software though. Volvo did but then removed it later.
Current Fleet:
1974 MGB GT - A stereotypical classic car.
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#25 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:46 PM

Finally. Easiest way to avoid problems with the AW55 box is to make sure the fluid is changed as it gets older. Unfortunately most car manufacturers had them as "sealed for life". Life being 100k/10yrs or so. Saab and Aisin Warner both spec the box to have the fluid changed at 5yrs/80k.

Change the fluid and it'll last a lot longer. If you don't the valve bodies suffer accelerated internal wear and sticking of the valves. This leads to the shunting as it can't maintain line pressure of the ATF fluid, because it leaks out of the valves.

Finally make 100% sure you're using the correct fluid. I.e. JWS3309. Not so expensive as it used to be.

Put Dexron III in it that some places day and you'll kill it extremely quickly. It doesn't have the correct additives in it that JWS3309 has to allow the gearbox to slip properly. To make better changes, the AW55 box software allows it to slip during some changes. But it needs the special fluid to do that without causing massive internal wear.
Current Fleet:
1974 MGB GT - A stereotypical classic car.
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#26 OFFLINE   HarmonicCheeseburger

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:58 PM

So no drag racing at Santa Pod?


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#27 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:53 PM

So no drag racing at Santa Pod?


Not with the delay you get. Even on full foot to the floor there's a second or 2 of nothing then wooooah here we go as the box redline through every gear then drops unceremoniously into 5th when you ease off

Its the only time I ever get clag from it, it's very boring

2005 Gooner2 2.2dci Auto ex taxi (apparently) (Ex Kiltox)

2008 orl Vauxhalls r Shit Zafira 1.8 SRI 140 (Hers)
 


#28 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 05:58 AM

If you shift it into manual selection mode (stick to left when in drive), it stops doing the drag reduction mode. Thus will stay in first and not go into neutral when at the lights. If I wanted a quick getaway from the lights, I often shifted it into the manual mode and floored it in that. Even in manual mode, when you run out of revs, it'll still change up for you still anyway.
Current Fleet:
1974 MGB GT - A stereotypical classic car.
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)

#29 OFFLINE   beko1987

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:57 AM

If you shift it into manual selection mode (stick to left when in drive), it stops doing the drag reduction mode. Thus will stay in first and not go into neutral when at the lights. If I wanted a quick getaway from the lights, I often shifted it into the manual mode and floored it in that. Even in manual mode, when you run out of revs, it'll still change up for you still anyway.


Mine doesn't! I've done that before, the a404 out of Marlow is on a slight hill, it likes to hold 4th at 50mph,so I knock it up to 5th then forget about it.

14 miles later when I come off, I stop at the junction then pull out.... Then it sits on the redline until I remember why and stop panicking that it's fucked!

2005 Gooner2 2.2dci Auto ex taxi (apparently) (Ex Kiltox)

2008 orl Vauxhalls r Shit Zafira 1.8 SRI 140 (Hers)
 


#30 ONLINE   SiC

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:02 AM

Then it sits on the redline until I remember why and stop panicking that it's fucked!


So if you try accelerating through the redline, it bounces off the limit and not changes up? Might be a quirk of the diesel with the autobox, as diesels often don't have a rev limiter like petrols do and can't carry on accelerating past it. Even so, you can still manually shift up at the redline if you're going for a sprint* at the Traffic Light GP.
Current Fleet:
1974 MGB GT - A stereotypical classic car.
2007 Honda Civic EX CTDi - The reliable runner that is like the family pet.
2010 Aldi A4 - Owned to placate the wife on my crap buying


My history: 2003 Clio II 1.2 16v (First car), 2003 Honda Civic 3dr 1.7 CTDi (Isuzu lump), 1992 Mazda MX5 1.6, 2005 Mazda RX8 192bhp, 2005 Saab 9-3 1.9TiD 150bhp, 2007 Honda Civic 2.2 CTDi, 2004 Renault Scenic 1.6 Auto (Now Kiltox FiL), 2004 Saab 9-5 2.3t (Now Hooli), 2004 Smart Roadster 80bhp
Wife history (that she used/owned but I had frequent use of): 2002 Renault Clio II 1.2 16v (Billabong!), 2006 Mazda MX5 1.8, 2004 VW Golf 1.6 FSI, 2005 Renault Scenic II 2.0 (went bad from the drive back when buying it!), 2002 Vauxhall Astra 1.6 16v (now phil_lihp ex-colleague), 2005 Renault Laguna II v6 (Now angle)




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