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Author Topic: 2.1td type 2 spongy brakes and other problems  (Read 3972 times)
Posts: 4

« on: July 31, 2009, 09:52:12 pm »

Hello again. Looked at an Espace today. 138,000miles drove well except the brakes were really spongy not becoming effective until pedal about 3/4 way down. Owner is going to bleed the fluid. Any other likely culprits? Change fluid? Worst case scenario master/slave cylinder?? Difficult/expensive to do?
Also is the windscreen trim only cosmetic? A number of Espaces of this age seems to have shrunken trim that doesn't cover the edge of the glass and also leaves a gap in the middle above the screen. Car doesn't seem to be leaking any water.
Also a strange loud buzzing from the vent on the dashboard on drivers right hand side next to the windscreen. Sounds like a blowing exhaust does. Strangely its only whilst driving rather than stationary I think but I may have mis-remembered.
No evidence of a second timing belt change. difficult/expensive??
Thanks for your patience. I am still trying to become an Espace owner. This is the first one that has come up locally.
Sr. Member
Posts: 119

« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2009, 12:45:56 am »

I own a 2002 Grand Espace 2.2 Dci. Driven over 40,000 mils in it since I bought it. Excellent vehicle, BUT there are some serious issues with these things with regard to the Exhaust Gas Recirculation System ( EGR system) and on older models (1998 - 2000 or thereabouts) very expensive and apparently largely unsolvable issues with diesel fuel injectors. There is an EGR valve on the front of the engine (see numerous other posts on this forum) that can stick, causing all sorts of mayhem so be prepared for that.

In terms of cam belt change, this is very costly and should be done every 75,000 miles(not sure of an exact price but upwards of £600 at a UK renault dealers) Don't let any old fool try and change one either - they are not at all easy to do and very easy to do wrong causing serious engine damage!

Spongy brakes could be any number of things, many of which will be dear to put right. Best to let the current owner pay for that to be fixed and properly, before you buy the thing. As these things have discs all round, it would be obvious if any fluid leaks from caliper seals and the brake piping is all easy to view under the car too. Could be a brake servo or master cyclinder seal  issue, but make sure he gets it professionally looked at, brake fluid dosn't go off so badly in modern cars that it would fail like that so there is obviously something amiss.

The dash noises are not that uncommon. All these things were litraqlly hand built by matra, and you won't find any two screws in the same place on any car where the interior is concerned!   My dash rattled and it turned out to be a broken prong on a front speaker cover plate, but they are a bugger to get the dash apart on, and there are no books to help - even my renault dealer couldn't find me anything of any use - so make sure its not engine related - espaces do suffer from RHS front upper engine mountings breaking  - I know of four owners including me that have had this happen and that creates all sortts of odd noises, especially under acceleration.

Many people also complain of turbo failure, so before you buy it, make sure it has a decent service record, that it has been properly serviced and that it has been run on fully synthetic engine oil. These common rail diesels are quite fussy engines, they do not go well on cheap sub standard supermarket diesel, they do not wear well if the service intrvals are above 10,000 miles, they need clean oil, clean air (regularly replacd air filters) and decent fuel. I change the oil on mine every 8,000 miles and the air filter every 5,000 miles. Fuel filters need regular atttention too.

Though the petrol ones tend to have less engine problems, they are not bullt-proof. Bottom line is if he has not looked after the brakes or the cam belt, maybe he hasn't looked afte the car very wlell at all, in which case, find anothr one to buy. Service history is key, epecially if you are after a diesel one!
Elmo the Espace
Jr. Member
Posts: 46

« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 12:32:10 am »

The spongy brakes could be down to the vacum pump failing or the servo unit,
Or leaking wheel cylinders or air in the system, you would need to check very brake componant from master down to the wheel slave cylinders.
If it was adjustment or seized calipers the Espace would pall to the left or right.
A ticking noise on the right side could be the speedo cable or a relay you would need to start removing the binicle to check. check to make sure the air distribution flap wheel is not spinning when it should stop.
Personaly after driving old diesel espaces and owing a few petrol ones i would go for the petrol every time they do roughly 5 to 8 mpg less but dont smoke and sound like a old bus.
To change the cam belt both are easy enough better with out air con.
If you can get the radiator in a good position on the petrol then to change the belt can take around 2 hours with out rushing.
The trim on the windscreen is only a plastic bridge and can be made easily.

1965 Land rover 2a SWB
1966 Land Rover 2a SWB
2 x 1994 2.0i Espace's
Transit 140 bhp limited SWB 2009
Sr. Member
Posts: 119

« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 11:08:52 am »

In terms of cambelt, I assume you mean on a dieselt turbo engine?  If you do then Renault quote 3.25 hours to do this job. You have to jack up car, remove RHS front wheel, remove complete wheel arch inner liner. Then jack up engine and remove the top engine mount on the offside of the car at the front. Then you have to remove the air filter housing and all its ancillary bits. Next you need to remove the cam belt covers.

Now you'll need three special renault tools. Two to lock  both the overhead cams and camwheels in position so they don't turn when you start to remove the belt.  The other tool is related to removing the cam belt tensuioner ring which sits lower down in the engine and is recessed.  I am not clear on the detailed steps, but if you look on this forum for Esapce manuals - one of the PDF files covers changing the cambelt on the JE series diesel engines, and it is definitely not a simple home mechanic job.

Maybe different on the older models or petrol engines, but on any Mk3 diesel engine it is a long job.
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