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French car anomalies


grogee
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I haven't owned anything French (quel dommage) but my parents owned a pair of Megane Scenics. The first was a 1.6e RT 8v which had a gearbox that didn't allow 1st gear to be engaged on the first go. 

The second was a phase 2 1.6 16v that was nicer with a fully functioning gearbox  but leaked (V338 CCL) . My dad spent a lot of time trying to stop it but to no avail. I like to think it's still on the road as it was low mileage and otherwise in decent nick when he traded it in for a dreary C Max. 

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Had 3 frenchies in years gone by. 

Renault 21 turbo quadra. One of my favourites ever. 

Citroen xantia td wagon -  broke down in a cloud of black smoke on the motorway near Durham. Left it there... 

Pug 306 cabrio.  Minty mint but didn't live up to drop top fun like the barchetta had. 

Next daily will be a French wagon.... 

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I suppose I should check off my French histoire, skimpy as it is...

Renault Trafic 1.4, rental van in 1981.

Peugeot 304 van in 1984.

Renault 30TS auto in 1985, never drove it anywhere.

Couple of holiday rentals: 306 cabrio in Tenerife, 206 in Portugal.

406 2.0GLX in 2013, sold to @Cavcraft of this parish.  Still the only car of my own that I've driven in continental Europe.

Xantia TD estate, very much a forum bike, went to @Moog who had already owned it at least once.  Once is how many times I drove it.

Citroen C3 from @busmansholiday which was a great little tool, moved it on to @jmsguzzi.

I think that covers it...

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6 hours ago, St.Jude said:

If it pleases the court, may these two be stricken from the record as Toyota showed PSA how to make a reliable car. I think Toyota only let PSA design the brake calipers?

Conversely, I've noticed that since replacing its own Hiace with the PSA-sourced Proace, Toyota now backs its vans with a much meatier warranty. One can only assume Toyota has greater confidence in French engineering than it does in its own!

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I've had various ones over the years, 205, 306's, ZX's and 405's, most electric foibles can be solved by simply cleaning up the earthing blocks, plastics wise Q Bond is your friend. 

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I much prefer the 405 to the V50 I've got but sadly it's too good to use every day, it's frugal, comfortable and handles really well. I've had a NAD 405 in the past and sold it with over 250k on the clock, my mums 306 had 280K+ on it when D Spares and Tyres ran it into a deep puddle and locked it up. It's a pity Peugeot lost their way but so has Volvo etc.

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6 hours ago, ProgRocker said:

I haven't owned anything French (quel dommage) but my parents owned a pair of Megane Scenics. The first was a 1.6e RT 8v which had a gearbox that didn't allow 1st gear to be engaged on the first go. 

The second was a phase 2 1.6 16v that was nicer with a fully functioning gearbox  but leaked (V338 CCL) . My dad spent a lot of time trying to stop it but to no avail. I like to think it's still on the road as it was low mileage and otherwise in decent nick when he traded it in for a dreary C Max. 

You've reminded me I had a Scenic RX4 for a bit. It was a stop gap car while something else was being fixed. It too had a sick gearbox, because it had some stupid rubber bag with a bearing it it over the driveshaft. I did fix that but sold it very soon after as I didn't trust the 'box.

The only long journey I used it on, 5th had a bit of a bang/wobble so I nursed it to destination in 4th. (That was before I fixed the stupid rubber seal thing).

The best thing, absolute best thing about it was the crazy purple-green-grey paint (chromaflair?). 

I put 2nd hand leather seats in it to make it cooler, must have worked because it sold 'first to see will buy'.

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The only French cars I've owned were a Renault 11 which survived a days banger racing mixed ability rallying then drove to the nearest scrapyard, and a Peugeot 309 GTI acquired for the same purposes but sold to a lad from Clee Hill (presumably not Catsinthewelder) before it suffered the same fate.

My experience is mainly of driving work vehicles, including a 1.9 NA Citroen Dispatch or something which was immortal but was flat out at 50, a Peugeot Partner Tepee (fucking stupid name for quite a practical little car) and our current Peugeot Expert which has hilarious performance for a van, characterised by a rally car style powercurve once its on boost. 

My favourite French commercials were the old Renault Masters, such a cool design and cavernous interior. The one I drove was bombe aerosol bleu, suicide rear doors and a 45mph top speed. 

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Would a 1978 Chrysler Alpine 1300GL count as French? Had one from 1984 to 1992.

Now this one's definitely French. 1979 Peugeot 504 Family estate automatique, owned from 1988 to 1996.

2002 Renault Master 2.5 dci minibus from 2004 to 2017.Most expensive vehicle I've ever bought(£15k).

2010 Renault Kangoo MPV. 1.5 dci. From 2011 to 2019,when the engine expired at 125k miles. 

And finally 1989 Renault 25 GTS auto. Bought in July. 

Just noticed that apart from the 25, they're the cars we've kept the longest,which must say something. 

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"Would a 1978 Chrysler Alpine 1300GL count as French? Had one from 1984 to 1992."

If that car were a football player, it would be eligible to play for just about every national side on the planet 

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Whenever I visit my grandparents I often have a chat with a neighbour of there's who's a fellow Citroen buff and like clockwork we always seem to discuss how they still have very low market values compared to other cars, which he blames on the DS and CX with the hydropneumatic suspension that loved to scare off mechanics. 

Not sure if its as bad as it used to be, nor if its still due to that but from what I can see it makes a lot more sense to get your double chevronned beauty a couple of years after it was first registered... Or be like everyone on here and wait 20 years. Your choice really. 

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Only Frenchie I've run was a 2004 Clio. I'd describe it as "generic but competent". Only issue I had with it was a leaky sunroof, which I managed to rectify with a new seal around the frame. I only PX'd it when the sump became porous and it began sweating oil, with a replacement sump costing more than the car was worth at the time. It lived on for about a year after I sold it, I even got overtaken by it once. It was leaving a trail of blue smoke like it was in the Red Arrows, so I assume its oil issues had somewhat worsened by this point.

Still, nice car to drive. 8/10, would own again.

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13 minutes ago, MiniMort said:

.... very low market values compared to other cars, which he blames on the DS and CX with the hydropneumatic suspension that loved to scare off mechanics. 

Not sure if its as bad as it used to be, nor if its still due to that.... 

'Tis not for want of trying, as I'm sure several flippers can confirm. Most recent example is the eBay flipper trying to flog a late white S2 DTR Safari for ten bags.

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Should I be including work vehicles?  In about 1991 I had a 7.5 tonne Renault Midliner for a couple of weeks; didn't think much of it, mostly because the clutch was so heavy it was like pressing on someone's chest.  About a decade later I got my hands on several Renault Masters (Movano type), which were pretty good but had no cupholders and a massive turning circle; and when I started at the bakery I got my hands on their 2000 Citroen Relay, which was pretty worn-out by then.  Oh and while working in care I got to drive a Citroen Picasso and a C3 allocated to the houses I was working in.  I liked them enough to have a C3 of my own later (see upthread somewhere) and would happily take on a (petrol-only) Picasso if the price was right.

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I’ve had 4 ‘French’ cars:

2 Pug 104SLs when I was a student in the  eighties.  The second regularly did 400-mile trips. Thin, rusty steel but otherwise quite robust. Miles nicer to drive than contemporary Metro, Fiesta etc.  
Pug 309 1.4 (and yes I know it was built in Coventry). Company car, had it from new for 3.5 years and 90k miles. A few niggles but it only broke once. A nice, sweet-handling thing. Again, much nicer than Escort, Astra. 
Citroen BX16.  Hmm.  To paraphrase the advert, ‘hated driving, loved garages.’  Not great.  Comfy and a good handler but lots of daft niggles.  One suspension related. 

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On 10/26/2021 at 5:43 PM, lesapandre said:

Looking from France here are some of the reasons.

Distances are often huge and a lot of people live in the countryside - a 100% reliable car is a must. Cars are expected to make 150,000km + easily. Lots of towns have lost their shops so the supermarket trip is important. There is virtually zero public transport about in many areas and trains are expensive and infrequent in the sticks.

People buy cars to keep and run into the ground - they expect them to last. Things like decent ground clearance, able to stand sub-zero starts and interior space and kpg are really important too.

Only middle class city dwellers and those on the Riviere buy the French fashion cars that fascinate the British - everybody else drives the basic reliable box usually with few frills.

Equally  - flashy cars are looked down on by most French I know something to do with the Revolution and 1968. France remains a determined Republic of equals. 

There is a surprisingly limited range of everyday cars bought - most people are happy to drive the reliable box without much in the way if extras.

So all in all cars are seen as useful tools and expected to be 100% issue free.  People  are very unemotional  when it comes to cars preferring to spend thir € on their families and lifestyle in general.

That's  why middle of the rue French cars are a good purchase avoiding the fashion cars. 

We will see how the latest Cactus holds up - but I'd expect to see plenty about in 10 years time with dents and the paint falling off... 😀 

I remain surprised  how imported cars have still not significantly  go a foothold in France - its still largely Renault/Peugeot/Citroen.  Dacia have made some inroads but they are seen as virtually  French - Nissan/Toyota a bit..etc.

 

I am led to believe that the reason Jap cars were not seen much in France before the EU was because rather than being seen to be protectionist the government just insisted that all Jap produce had to be imported through the most unusable harbours.

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On 10/27/2021 at 1:57 PM, Six-cylinder said:

Currently for every day transport we are using 3 old Frenchies,

1997 Citroen XM SX 16v Auto

1996 Citroen ZX TD Estate Avantage

1998 Renault Clio 1.6 RN Auto

All of them do a good job.

Yes we have lots of other Frenchies, currently 17 and ½.

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Like good French wine and cheese the XM saloon's styling improves with age.

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Learned driving in a panda, as soon as I passed my test I got a Renault 5 with 1237ccs. I thought I was the bollocks with my colour coded bumpers and electric windows. Never broke down. Central locking never worked properly. didn't dare use sunroof after a failure. 

Sold it when I went to work abroad.

Came back got a fucking miserable but we'll paid job in a chipboard factory, and my reward was a GT Turbo. It lasted a week. The guy I bought it off rebuilt the engine but used water not coolant/antifreeze. Minus 7 and headgasket went. Rebuilt painstakingly by myself, so happy when it started up, only the fucking liners had gone too. Sold on.

Next GT turbo was my favourite car ever. Never ever needed anything except pads and tyres in three years and I drove it hard. Parked up ony mother's drive for twelve years till I eventually parted with it. Wish I hadn't.

When I had children got an espace and that was great apart from a couple of electrical faults. 

Grand scenic, absolute shite worst car ever.

 

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I thought I didn’t like French cars , then thought about ones I’ve owned …

Dyane 4, R16TL, R17 Gordini, R17 TL, R15TL, GSA estate, 505  Family, BX 16 GT , BX Meteor, R21 1.7 , R21 2.0 Savanna 7 seat.. 4 Espaces from M1 to MkGrand. 3 406s all 2.0 HDi GLXs.

Company cars; a 405 1.9 GRi followed by BX1.9TZi estate, Drove many many miles in 405s, BXes , XMs and 605s most of them flat out , never had an FTP, had a few FTS’s in XMs, the brakes used to fade horribly !

I remember late one night after dropping my  Guvnor off at home ,  making good progress in an LS400 and my security ‘ chase car’ crewed by 2 moonlighting Coppers was heroically keeping me in sight in an auto 2.0Sei XM, I was very impressed when he outbraked and overtook me on the approach to a roundabout, just about missed the kerbs with lots of tyresmoke from the understeer and a nice view of the underneath of the car as the door handles dug in. When we got to the office, the driver threw me the keys and said “ That’s the last time I’ll ever drive a fucking Citroen”  At the time his day job was driving V6 Camrys in the Flying Squad and after that we always found him a Scorpio, Carlton, 800 anything but an XM, to use .

In recent years , kids have had a 5 Campus, a 5 Monaco,  206cc and 307 2.0 petrol of some  sort, a 406 Coupe HDi,  again all good as gold.

I drive a fully laden Renault Master everyday in my Test and Trace role. It’s great, I’d love to try an unladen one as mine goes like feck. In fact we’re supposed to be getting trackers etc fitted soon and it’ll be very difficult keeping it under 90 on motorways.

Apparently I do like French cars!

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Back in the 80s I had a Peugeot 305S. Here‘s one I found on that den of french temptation, leboncoin.fr.

https://www.leboncoin.fr/voitures/2062880255.htm

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I loved it and it was my daily driver for 2 years. Mostly reliable, except the autochoke on the fiendishly complex Solex twin choke carb disintegrated and the accessory relay fell out of its contacts as it was mounted upside down in the bottom of the fuse box - who the hell designed that?

Rust got the better of it eventually and I was really sad to see it go. Miles nicer to drive than a contemporary Ford or BL product. Just look at that interior and those lovely squishy seats.

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oh dear god no

i've done 3,000 miles in the past month in my super unreliable french car....apparently

guess how many times i broke down, or had issues

none

okay, the gearbox goes into limp mode when cold if you drive it a little hard, but that's getting sorted

never had a Citroen properly let me down, just saying

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I've had two Xantias and three C5s. 

The C5s had this awful canbus type controller system, the BSI which controlled everything. Fussy about dead batteries and plugging the battery out. Changed the headlight bulb and thought I'd be clever to shift the battery out of a C5 and it forgot the keys it was paired to when I plugged it back in. Had to be low-loaderd to a garage and was lifted of £150 to pair the keys again. Ungrateful sod. 

Bit of a quirky car. The later 1.6 hdi had rear swing bearings which were always noisy. Otherwise a grand car(s). Would buy another, not an X7 C5, the early ones are defnet. 

The Xanita HDi was as late as you could get an Xantia, a run out 2001 model. Great car. Wish I'd never parted with it. 

I've also had a MK1 Clio which eventually went to the scrapheap in the sky as I couldn't source a steering rack for it. Otherwise a fine car, drove great. 

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9 minutes ago, Spurious said:

Bit of a quirky car

you got that right

they feel extremely french, have their own way of doing everything and just do random things, such as change their ride height in slow moving traffic

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46 minutes ago, Inspiral_Mondays said:

Back in the 80s I had a Peugeot 305S. Here‘s one I found on that den of french temptation, leboncoin.fr.

https://www.leboncoin.fr/voitures/2062880255.htm

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I loved it and it was my daily driver for 2 years. Mostly reliable, except the autochoke on the fiendishly complex Solex twin choke carb disintegrated and the accessory relay fell out of its contacts as it was mounted upside down in the bottom of the fuse box - who the hell designed that?

Rust got the better of it eventually and I was really sad to see it go. Miles nicer to drive than a contemporary Ford or BL product. Just look at that interior and those lovely squishy seats.

305s very highly rated by my employer at my garage mechanic job, and by the locals who were skint. I would definitely have one now but they very rarely seem to surface (compared to similar age 205, R5 etc).

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 26/10/2021 at 16:43, Daviemck2006 said:

French cars I have owned.
Renault 18 V reg
Renault 5 F reg
Citroen AX L reg
Pug 106 P reg
Renault clio M reg
Peugeot 806 S reg
Peugeot expert 51 reg
Citroen c5 03 reg
Peugeot 107 09 reg
Peugeot 205 N reg
Citroen c4 07 reg
Citroen c2 sensodrive 54 reg
Citroen c5 07 reg
Renault megane 54 reg
Peugeot 205 auto K reg
Citroen Xantia activa S reg
Citroen xantia TD S reg
Citroen berlingo 54 reg
Peugeot 407 coupe 57 reg
Peugeot 107 11 reg
Citroen c1 16 reg
I think that's them all in order of owning them. The only ones that did not give 100% reliability was the 57 reg peugeot 407, and cant even really count that as it was mis fuelled, nut ran for 50 miles before it conked out, and the c2 sensodrive which was the worst piece of shit I ever had and continually broke down. No electrical issues with any apart from the berlingo which permanently had the charge light on, but it charged fine. Both xantia needed a small patch on the left side door shut. No rust on any apart from that. I think I haven't had a French car for about a year and a half now, as they do not currently have a modern which appeals to me, and due to health issues I am not able to maintain older cars. I loved french stuff before I defected to vag stuff.

Sent from my SM-T585 using Tapatalk
 

A 107 hardly qualifies as French. It was made in the Czech Republic from. Toyota parts.

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Let's see here. My family has dabbled with French stuff:
Gran had a Renault 11 in brown
Parents had a Mk.1 Laguna
Dad drove his boss' BX17 RD for quite a while
He also drove a Peugeot 309 as a company car for a few years
My aunt had an R5 which had the rear windows fall out
And I now own a BX.

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I went Peugeot, Honda, Peugeot, Honda, Peugeot... then saw sense and went Subaru, Toyota, etc.

Peugeot 306 - best car ever, especially as a first car

Peugeot 107 - best car ever. Still got it, bought it brand new, won't ever get rid of it. It's that good.

Peugeot 3008 - the worst fucking car ever to have graced the roads. And it's telling because I've not seen anyone here own or drive one. Because they're so shite that a shiter won't ever consider driving it because they're utter shit. Don't get me wrong, it's a comfortable car, but the build quality is horrible and they're expensive when they do blow up. It's the one car that I wouldn't even have even if it was given to me free with a full tank of dizzle and a cheque book entitling me to 12 months of sweet sweet fornication with Amanda Lamb.

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