Renault, France, dCi – these key words combined into one are the source of terrifying facts and myths about used compact cars from 2002-2008. Renault created the second generation Megane with a view to tough competition from Germany and Japan. A modern compact for small money scares away many people, but is it worth being afraid?
Renault Megane MK2 Characteristic
The car debuted in 2002 and it was a good time. European rivals still had quite old designs on the market, such as Focus MK1, Golf MK4 and Astra II. Renault Megane MK2 was a next-generation car, thanks to which it won the compact market very quickly. It was simply fresh and together with the Peugeot 307 debuting the year before, they took customers from the competition.
In addition, the Megane MK2 was the first compact car to achieve a 5-star EuroNCAP rating, and at that time it was taken very seriously. In addition, the customer had good equipment as standard, and in the richer versions – basically everything.
An advantage in the eyes of customers at that time was the classic card replacing the key. The interior, like the body, is quite original, and to this day it is enough to say “Megane with that strange rear window” and everyone knows what’s going on. Not everyone likes the rear of the Megane MK2, but overall the car is nice and the practicality of the exterior cannot be objected to.
The car stood out from its competitors above all in terms of driving comfort. There was plenty of roominess, and the hatchback offered a trunk with a capacity of 330 liters. A year after the premiere, station wagons and sedans with a slightly longer wheelbase appeared.
Both had a large 520-liter luggage compartment, and the original styling of the rear of the hatchback has disappeared in favor of more conservative lines. In 2003, the Megane CC hardtop convertible, rarely seen on the market, also appeared. In 2005, facelift was carried out, improving the quality of workmanship and modernizing the engines, especially the diesel ones. Production ended in 2008.
Renault Megane MK2 Construction
Structurally, the Renault Megane MK2 does not differ from its competitors. The simple suspension is a big advantage in terms of operation. MacPherson struts with triangular wishbones are used at the front, while the rear is a classic torsion beam with separate springs and large-angle shock absorbers.
Renault Megane MK2 Engine
Customers had a wide choice of engines, from small gasoline and diesel engines to powerful turbocharged engines. The smallest were the 1.4 16V gasoline (82 and 98 HP), a very successful and durable engine and the hero of the 1.5 dCi engine with a power of 82 to 106 HP.
The larger 1.6 16V and 2.0 16V engine produce 113 and 135hp respectively. The most powerful gasoline engine in the standard Megane was 2.0 turbo 165 HP, while the larger and more powerful diesel engines were 1.9 dCi and the rare 2.0 dCi with outputs from 90 to 150 HP.
What’s Common Faults On Renault Megane MK2?
- Mainly 1.5 dCi engine. It is the most deterrent and at the same time tempting with the price and operating costs. The design of this engine is theoretically very successful, although it is based on the old 1.5 diesel with Common Rail injection. The engine debuted on the market with the first-generation Delphi injection, but shortly after the debut of the Megane MK2, the second generation appeared.
- Initial Delphi equipment was short-lived, but fairly cheap to repair. At the end of production, first in stronger versions, then also in weaker ones, Siemens injection appeared, which gave better parameters, was durable, but the repair of the injectors turned out to be practically impossible.
- The engine has had numerous upgrades to adapt it to increasingly stringent exhaust emission standards, and at the same time there are large differences between the years. After 2005 (facelift), particulate filters and variable geometry turbochargers were almost standard, but this is not a rule.
- Weaker versions also sometimes featured dual mass wheels, but long had fixed geometry turbochargers, which in turn were standard on versions above 100hp. The more powerful engines also had an oil spray on the piston crowns.
- It is difficult to find an unambiguous configuration of the most important equipment in 1.5 dCi engines, especially since many cars on the US and UK secondary market were imported, and the configurations differed depending on the country of origin. Generally, however, it can be assumed that the more expensive-to-operate Siemens injection, dual-mass wheels, diesel particulate filters and variable geometry turbochargers relate to more powerful engines, and especially those produced after 2005.
- I mention all of this for a reason – in almost every area, 1.5 dCi had problems. Siemens injectors are durable, but expensive to repair, although in practice not repairable. Delphi offered electromagnetic injectors that were relatively cheap to be new and easy to remanufacture, but very prone to wear.
- With poor quality fuel, they did not always last 100,000. km. Each of them could damage the engine. When they started pouring too much fuel, they could burn out the piston bottoms. Injector protection is helped by regular, much more frequent replacement of the fuel filter than expected by the manufacturer. The manufacturer has provided a replacement period every 60 thousand. km.
- Another problem is the timing, but only when someone extended its maximum mileage. It is best to shorten the replacement period to 100,000. km. Fixed geometry turbochargers are great, but variable geometries don’t like urban use.
- In addition, the boost pressure sensor and the EGR valve are failures in the intake and exhaust systems. It is specifically about its contamination. Regular cleaning of carbon deposits will solve most problems. The electronics controlling the operation of the engine are also sensitive and unfortunately not very resistant to corrosion.
- The above faults, however, are nothing compared to the seizure of the crankshaft bearing shells. Unfortunately, this is what the 1.5 dCi engine became famous for. Some were so unlucky that after tens of thousands of kilometers of intensive use, the engine was actually replaced.
- Most after exceeding 150,000 km also faced this problem. However, there are those who have made over 200,000. and still run with no sign of bearing wear. What is the answer? There are two preventive measures: proper operation and frequent oil changes.
- The use of low revs, which is encouraged by the quiet and well-mannered 1.5 dCi engine, kills the acetabulum quickly. When the driver likes to spin the engine higher, but without depressing the accelerator pedal, it significantly extends the life of the engine.
- However, the biggest culprit for this breakdown is very rare oil changes. The manufacturer predicted it every 30 thousand. km, which is absurd. People changing oil every 15 thousand. km enjoyed the long operation of the engine. It is best to shorten this period to the normal 10 thousand. km. More frequent oil changes will also protect the turbocharger.
- What to do when the acetabulum seizes up? When you hear a knocking noise at the bottom of the engine, it may be too late. Unfortunately, renovation is not very profitable, unless we have a friendly workshop that will do many things at cost. Normally, the entire engine is replaced with a used one and the car is sold while it is running, and “better” to sell the car as long as the engine is running, because it happens that the buyer will drive a dozen or so thousand kilometers.
- So much for the engine, and what about the rest? The suspension wears normally and, importantly, it is easy to repair. Every time you replace the front shock absorbers, it is worth installing the entire set together with bearings, which wear out faster than the shock absorbers themselves.
- It is worse with the body, which, although it is well protected against corrosion (12-year warranty), can rot very quickly when repaired. In addition, rust appears at the screw connections and exhaust. It is worth remembering that the front fenders are made of plastic.
- In Megane MK2, electronics and equipment sometimes go wrong. Problems are caused by the air conditioning system in which sensors, valves or tightness of the system fail. There are problems with the automatic air conditioning, which is signaled by an error on the dashboard. Here, the repair requires reprogramming the computer and replacing the compressor plug, but Renault has included a service action.
Renault Megane MK2 Operating costs
This is Megane MK2 is strong point, provided that we buy a car with low mileage or a gasoline engine. 1.5 dCi uses a small amount of fuel. If someone says that the car burns less than 5 l / 100 km, it does not have to come up with fairy tales. Such results can be achieved with leisurely driving even with such models as modern Renault Kangoo or Dacia Dokker.
Apart from the engine, the suspension is cheap to repair, and any electrician, not necessarily familiar with Renault cars, can handle the electrics.
In the front suspension, usually the bushings are replaced, including the wishbones, and in the rear only the elements connecting the beam to the body.
It is best to do it when replacing shock absorbers and forget about the problem for many years. It is quite problematic to replace the headlight bulbs, sometimes you will have to visit an electrician.
Unfortunately, when buying a car with a 1.5 dCi engine, you must take into account a serious failure of the engine at any time. This is the cost of buying a car cheaper than the most popular compacts on the secondary market.
Renault Megane MK2 Parts pricing and availability
There are no problems with spare parts, especially with replacements. Only when selecting engine parts you should be careful and provide a gate in the form of returning the parts if something does not fit.
The chassis and driveline components are available at different prices and are readily available. When replacing the clutch, it is not worth leaving the old central slave cylinder.
It is worth looking for models without a dual mass flywheel, which are very expensive. There are also many specialized workshops for Renault cars and it is worth visiting them, especially before buying a car.
Renault Megane MK2 Market situation
There is a large selection of cars on the aftermarket, the vast majority being diesel versions. 1.5 dCi engines make up more than half of this, so quite a lot. The division between a hatchback and a station wagon is half and a half, but sedans and CCs are few.
Basically, prices do not exceed $4480, and for model in good condition from the last years you have to pay from $3300 up. When buying Megane MK2, it is best to focus on higher prices and the best model found, because if you want to buy something cheaper from older vintages, it is better to choose a more reliable Golf or Astra.
Megane MK2 can be bought for $2200, but here you should avoid diesel engines. The above rules do not apply to permanent gasoline engine, especially 1.4 16V, which can withstand gas operation and long mileage.
Is it worth For Buying Renault Megane MK2?
Basically no. Provided that we are talking about 1.5 dCi and 1.9 dCi engines. These are so problematic and risky that they cannot be recommended with a clear conscience. I personally advise against even low mileage cars. Better to look for a gasoline engine and install a gas installation. In this way, we will buy a cheap, less problematic car that will repay with low operating costs and travel comfort.