Since the R14 and R18 have been on the
roads for 23 and 21 years respectively, various weaknesses have been observed.
The following is a list of weak spots as complete as possible, so that
you can keep your vehicle in good condition and check vehicles out before
Renault 14 runs... and rusts!
Body. No secret here, the steel sheets
of the seventies and early eighties were particularly prone to corrosion,
the reason being that continuous industrial unrest in the Italian steel
industry led to stockpiles being left in the open air awaiting resumption
of work. Unfortunately, the rusting of the steel did not prevent it from
being exported! The rust prone vehicles were at the time not even guaranteed
for perforation (or rust proofed either!). The R14 was no exception
with lower doors, rear suspension mountings, inner and outer wings, bonnet
and tailgate. This litany of poor build quality explains why so few
models are seen on the roads today, especially in coastal districts.
If you have a well maintained model, preserve it as it should go up in
value one day.
Who said "the usual driving position
of R14 owners"?
||Engine. The owners are unanimous,
R14 run very well... between breakdowns! The unreliability of the
14 perhaps played in their commercial failure.
My data on the 14 are incomplete...
I'm waiting for your testimonies. Write
to me !
Body. If bottoms of case, well-protected,
seem rather not very sensitive to corrosion, the passages of wheel, and
particularly the left back, are decorated very quickly revealing bubos
of a corrosion perforating in the sheet folds. A failing evacuation
of moisture in the doors results in a nibbling of bottoms of gates, being
able to go until the rupture. Prudence thus. If cockpit seems enough saved
(for those who thought of maintaining the joints rubber of the doors),
the trunk and the bottom of this one can wipe the underhand attacks of
rust, particularly under the tank of the trucks. The fault falls about
it on the joint of often failing trunk. The bases of the entourages of
front and back windshield, the lower part of the cap as well as the notch
of the rod of support of the cap are also to supervise closely. Additional
problem of body, the metal part which retains the door of the conductor
at the time of the opening can release in the event of blow of wind
or violent opening. Result: a folded door and a nest with additional rust.
Have fun to observe R18 in the street, you will see that 98% carry the
traces of this forced opening! More classically, the vat which supports
the battery is prone to attacks of the acid escaped of the pile. If the
problem is not dealt with in time, it is all the skirt before which will
disaggregate in the medium term, with expenses of body out of matter for
a model of this value. Lastly, how not to evoke the trunk and its system
of whimsical fastener (especially after the restylage of the year 1984),
which is worth with the owners a beautiful fright (the spring of tension
of the trunk releases abruptly in a detonation dries). If paintings are
not directly causes some in the problem of body, they less were not during
the first years of an average quality. Tarnishing, even pure and simple
disappearance for the hues Bordeaux wine and red of the Eighties! A blow
of polish is not enough often anymore to give them of balance. The " turbo
" stickers of the models of 84-86 do not resist time either. Engine. Of
a simple and tested design, the engines gasoline are in the unit reliable.
Be vigilant in the event of overheating, a circuit coolant in good condition
avoids breakdowns of cylinder head gaskets. At the end of the production,
a defect of the stoppers of the mud of expansion also could cause incidents.
Renault knows this defect and carried out replacements in the past. The
diesel engines are as for them extremely robust. Indeed, the 2 068 cm3,
assembled into atmospheric on the 20, 21, 25, Traffic and 20, 21, 25, 30,
Espace 1 and 2, Trafic and... Safrane into turbo, is with the 18 opposite
lightest the cases than it had to move, from where an increased reliability.
Attention however with the assembly of the injection pump: if Bosch does
not pose any problem, the Roto-Diesel knew some defects. When it is known
that today, the price of this part in nine exceeds the monetary value of
the last 18 GTD of 1986... The regular maintenance of the circuit of injection
(a taring of the injectors can save 200 km of autonomy!) condition the
good health of the engine, and, especially, a passage without concern with
anti-pollution controls of the technical visit and the police forces.
|Renault 18: an engine...
Is the 18 a monster of robustness?
One could be tried to affirm it, so much the engines of this one exceed
by far the average reliability of the time. Thus, it is not rare to see
gasoline engines reaching the 200 000 kilometers without a problem,
while Diesel models pulverize records (see the endurance page). However,
a solid engine does not make a reliable car, and R18 rusts as much as R14
in its category.
A 18 (mine) being restored. Yes, it runs
Above: burst of the gear boxes
assembled on gasoline-powered 18s.
Cockpit. In addition to affaisement from
sat seats, rather normal on vehicles of this design and this age, R18 suffer
from a fast wear of saddlery on the basic models, equipped with cloth,
less fast on the models " of luxury " out of velvet. Also to announce,
the discolouration of the trimmings of gates and a marked wear of the fitteds
carpet not protected from groundsheet. The management report is decorated
of a plastic rod whose coating imitation chromium often fades away. As
for the higher part of the visor of the instruments (at least for the first
version, 1978-1983), it is prone to cracks and resists the ultraviolet
rays very fairly. The side ventilation ducts are not great solidity. Let
us underline all the same that the cast solid design of thefirst instrument
panel avoids in R18 the majority of the " nightingales " which had with
the vibrations still seen (and heard) in R25. If the pull knobs of heating
resist, do not force and lubricate the sheaths after disassembling of the
central console: the plastic plate which supports the stops would not resist
your efforts a long time. The vats glove box of the doors before
are not formidable quality, and it happens that an awkward kick takes
down them bonnement all of their support.
|Mechanical parts. The 18 knows some
weaknesses of use, which require regular controls. Thus the suspension
springs back seem rather fragile (case of rupture). If the car leans on
a side, do not seek further. More disturbing, the Cardan joints of
diesel transmission of the models, under-dimensioned, suffer to transmit
the high torque to the wheels. Their lifespan (less than 40.000 km) feels
some. The endurance of the muffler seems correct. The clutch can
last 300.000 km, the suspensions accept 80 000 km (think of providing you
in original parts). Nothing to announce to my knowledge on the silent-blocks.
The pipes of heating and the durits should not pose problem if they are
Mitja Jaksa tells us more :"On
the first series of 18's there is a problem with window mechanism. After
100.000+ km joints become loose and the effect is that you cannot close
the window entirely - there is about 0.5 cm gap between window glass and
door frame. You must then try to tilt the glass with one hand and at the
same time turn the lever to close it - quite awkward. I've talked to a
mechanic who owned 2 R18 (still owns one) and he said that he had exactly
the same problem and that it has to be factory error."
Electricity. The 18 is Renault of
the Seventies... what means some electric troubles. Especially problems
of mass due to corrosion (it will then be enough for you to connect a wire
(-) directly to the battery), but also some tired engines of windscreen
wiper, exhausted starters and failing electric panes. The alternators have
sometimes imaginations of their regulator. The blower of heating squeaks,
is seized up before releasing. The bulbs of the rear lights are driven
on printed cards sensitive to corrosion, from where an operation sometimes
diverting. A passage to the abrasive cloth should solve the problem
at least temporarily. The bulbs of the management report do not suffer
too much from breakdowns. On the other hand, those which light the switches
of the central console do not last a long time. Buy bulbs in advance if
you are a maniac! The rear window can not be more de-icing. That often
comes from the switch of the management report (eh yes!). In general, these
failures occur with already sizeable mileages, it is true. Provide with
fuses in advance, and say you that you did not buy a large German car all
You know some more, wish to bring
a precision? Do not hesitate to write
© 1998-2001 Tangi
Quéméner, all rights reserved on original articles.