Renault Laguna 2

Renault Laguna of the second generation has some relation to the Nissan MS platform, but still the model is independent and truly French. Two types of a body, a large saloon even by measures of D-class, not bad equipment, very wide range of motors - from modest atmospherics and economical diesels up to V6.

The body here is really almost entirely of galvanized steel, except for the roof panel, brackets and plastic wings, and the quality of detailing is impressive. The basic technical decisions are typical: front McPherson, behind twisting beam, only front drive, usual rack-and-pinion steering. 

Though in trifles, of course, there is something original and sometimes difficult to explain. Rear hub bearings are pressed into brake disks, ignition is switched on by key-card, springs of a gas tank hatch are plastic. And there are dozens of such small strange decisions.

Laguna owners like to boast of fully galvanized body. It is really almost entirely made of galvanized rolled steel of good quality, but there is bad news: galvanization, as well as on PSA cars, is one-sided. But on the underbody the metal is galvanized too, which is not always done. As a result, the corrosion pattern is quite original.

It is useless to look at the underbody: it is almost always perfect, and if it rots, it is on the interior side. And only a little bit of rust can occur at the weld seams in the rear part of the body. Usually you can see only brake and fuel line covers and their brackets rotting to dust. These parts are replaceable, and if they completely fall apart, you can cut a decent replacement from a single piece of aluminum millimeter thick.

From the outside, you can clearly see the fraying edges of the rear arches, the junction of the rear fender and bumper, corrosion in the rear part of the sill and in the lower part of the rear door opening, chips under the door handles and under the moldings, as well as numerous chips on the sills and bottoms of the doors. Rear arch corrosion is the most serious of the visible problems. Due to the lack of galvanization, they rust from the inside, and the process becomes visible from the outside when holes appear when you clean them.

Chips on the leading edge of the roof rust well too - as you may recall, the roof is also made of ungalvanized metal. Once in a while, corrosion is triggered in this area and it spreads to the roof seams from the frame.  You can't find anything else on the outside unless the car is beat up. The tailgate is not rotten, the front fenders are plastic, the hood is aluminum.

But the list of problems does not end with this - get ready to look for corrosion in unusual places. The overmotor niche is rotten at the corners, moisture accumulates there because of perpetually clogged drainage. Front strut supports are rotted and buckling. The upper front spar stiffeners are a little rusty inside, but mostly their lower edge inside the arch suffers. The front mounting bracket for headlight, fender and bumper just crumbles into dust, it is made as a kind of "shelf" on which dirt accumulates.  

In the niche between the fender, sill, engine shield and front wheel locker also accumulates dirt, and mainly the sill suffers. The engine shield and strut are made "galvanized outwards", but the sill is exposed with the less protected side.  

The rear shock absorber mounting brackets in the rear wheel arch suffer almost always. The part made of double layer of metal is heavily loaded and not protected by anything, by 15 years it rots through, often damaging the surrounding metal of the arch - it is not very thick there.

The interior is also something to look at. Small signs of corrosion just under the floor mat in the driver's or passenger's feet indicate that the doors are filling with water, and the plastic covers of the drain holes have not been removed. Over time, they stop being valves and become plugs, and water from the door starts leaking into the passenger compartment. The door itself rusts slowly, mostly corrosion comes out in the area of the moldings, not at the bottom. Several liters of water can accumulate inside. Many owners persistently seal the inner diaphragm instead of cleaning the drains.  

The brake cable of the parking system in the car runs through the interior and almost all the way to the wheel in a steel tube. It's corroding on the outside itself, but the rear floor drain plug can still fall out. And if the floor carpet is wet, the tube corrodes all over, jamming the cable inside. Complicating things is the extremely strange carpet fastening - sometimes it can't be removed without damage.

On hatchbacks, the rear door rusts where the OEM spoiler is mounted.  The front door opening stop literally breaks a piece out of the body pillar. The rubber door glass seals are rusting, they have a metal base inside and the bubbles that come out are not treated. 

It seems like nothing particularly serious, at first glance, but the car will go very badly without a rear suspension shock absorber, and a hole in the overmotor niche will flood the cabin. Not to mention the weakening of the bodywork and loss of appearance. As with other cars that are considered well protected from corrosion, Laguna is often not anticorroded, and body repairs are limited to cosmetic paint jobs.

Body equipment is sturdy, but the front bumper suffers badly at the bottom due to the length of the overhang. The optics have problems with cracked housings, foggy glass and weak connectors. The windshield has a special problem - it on the Laguna delaminates with the appearance of matte spots in the depth, it is treated only by replacing the glass. The wiper motor could be more powerful.  

Door handles and other "chrome" are also fading badly, it is quite weak here, it is a problem to find a car with all serviceable decorative elements. 

Interior

The interior of Laguna is made of quality materials - this is one of the strong points of the model. Soft plastic everywhere, abundance of configurations with velour and leather, many variants of color solution of salons and execution of trifles at a high level.

The doors are solid, they have good seals, the locks work well, and the door seals hold up well - even first-year cars don't suffer from them warping, and the openings stay clean. However, there are enough problems. For example, it is, for example, the already mentioned trouble with the door limiter. Most cars have cracks on the body in the area of its fastening. The cable drive of window elevators is reliable enough, but if there is moisture inside the doors (and it is often found there), the cables very quickly come into disrepair. 

The interior holds up quite well. There are almost no cars with mileage up to 200 thousand now, but it can be seen that once the leather on the steering wheel was not bad, but the plastic is even too soft, it wears out faster here. 

The condition of fabric seats strongly depends on the weight of the driver. Their soft frame is very easily crumpled, and fabric in folds is wiped and torn. Leather very much loses its appearance, cracks, and does not help even a hair dryer and repainting, in addition, the seats are characterized by a complex, even flamboyant shape, which greatly complicates their stitching - not all workshops take on such work and not all can perform it qualitatively. The door armrests are heavily rubbed: soft plastic absorbs dirt perfectly, and plastic covers lose their texture and coloring.

In general, given the average mileage, it is unlikely to find a perfect interior. In most cases, there are scratches on the plastic covers of the power window panels, door handles, center console panel, scuffs on many control elements. 

You will have to put up with not only imperfections in the state of the trim, but also non-functioning electronics. Displays fail with time, losing segments. And there are a lot of displays here: in the climate system, in the multimedia system, on the dashboard. It is unpleasant, but in most cases it is curable. Loops are available for sale, their replacement usually saves the situation.

The system of starting with a chip key and especially its "improved" version on cars after restyling with remote reading turned out to be extremely capricious. In addition to the increased probability of breakage of the key itself, which is not cheap, there are chances of breakage of the card receiver, clutch and neutral sensors (for cars with ICP). By the way, the not too smart starting system does not allow you to choose the time of the starter, which sometimes leads to the inability to start the engine in winter and often does not give a timely realization that the starter or retractor relay is worn out.

The climate control system can also cause problems. Be prepared for a breakdown of the control unit and not only. For some reason, the diameter of air conditioning system tubes differs depending on the engine, which leads to higher prices of rare variants. The compressor of conditioner here is of funny design, it is of variable volumetric capacity, but with a clutch. Let me remind you that usually compressors of this type have no clutch, the shaft rotates constantly, and the working pressure is regulated by a by-pass valve, but in this case the stroke of pistons in idle mode is still a couple of millimeters. As a result, their mechanical part wears out by mileage of 150-200 thousand kilometers. At creation of Renault Laguna II this drawback is considered, but at the cost of increase of complexity of a design. As a result, the resource has increased, but there are two problematic nodes in the harness.

The clutch traditionally suffers from flying dirt, as the compressor is located low down. The capacity control valve leaks oil to the outside (the oil here, by the way, is special, as in modern models, with high frost resistance), which can kill the whole compressor quite quickly. Fortunately, the valve is changed separately, and the owners have even invented a repair method with a jack resting on the valve to remove it - in this case it is not even necessary to dismantle the compressor. Replacement on the removed compressor without special equipment usually leads to breakage of the connector or valve body. 

Electrical equipment

As you have already realized, electrics and electronics are not a strong point of Laguna. Everything is complicated by the presence of a still "raw" and complex starting system and an abundance of equipment with not the best quality of performance. Here even banal electric seat drives are made so that many owners are looking for a car without them. Door handles with sensors are literally a consumable item. The quality of execution of engine wiring, interior button blocks, temperature sensors and a lot of control units is very low. As a result, the car feels like a very troublesome car in terms of electronics.

This is compounded by the lack of specialists for this make and model - it takes a long time to find typical faults, as it's difficult to do without a Renault Clip dealer scanner. Fortunately, the community of owners has made its own scanner with the same capabilities as the dealer scanner, but with a version for Android. This kit is called PyRen software. It works with an ordinary ELM327 adapter, compatible with version 1.5, and provides diagnostic and flashing capabilities for almost all blocks. And it's even upgradeable. Having mobile software with a simple adapter allows you to avoid regular visits to the dealer and simplifies the life of a Laguna owner.

Brakes, suspension and steering

The braking system of the Renault Laguna is made quite simply and reliably, but it is not without punctures. About the wear and tear of the handbrake cable has already been mentioned above. The second big problem is associated with ABS units on cars before restyling. Its location is very original. It is placed on a bracket in the front overhang, as a result, its wiring suffers greatly, and the bracket itself rots and breaks in small accidents.

Especially problematic were ESP/BA series units (surprisingly enough, but made by Bosch), which can be found on cars manufactured before 2002, they are almost all already dead due to problems with soldering contacts. ABS/ADAM units are more reliable, but they don't physically have ESP, which most cars have. But ESP/ADAM blocks have this functionality and are the most popular, their price on the secondary market is very high, and there are not so many serviceable ones among them. The block is capricious, its soldering also falls off, but sometimes the motor and valves fail.  

The best reliability are blocks from cars after restyling CDC/ADAM, but some blocks do not have ESP, it can be understood by the absence of the third row of contacts in the connector. Well and the price of blocks in any case "bites". If possible, you should look for masters who know how to solder conductors to the ceramic board. Besides, on cars after restyling with navigation system electric drive of handbrake was applied. The block is not characterized by reliability, but it is expensive. It is almost impossible to order it new, and its emergency unlocking drive is made in exactly the same souring tube as the standard parking brake.

The hub bearing, as mentioned above, is pressed into the brake disk on the rear axle, but this is a typical solution for a French car. The "handbrake" mechanism in the rear caliper jams when rarely used. But the power of the system is chosen with a reserve, as a result, disks and pads go very long. The cost of non-original components is small.

The suspension of the car is both one of its advantages and a headache for most owners. Very soft and comfortable, but providing quite acceptable controllability. For our roads it could be considered an excellent option, if not reliability. Unfortunately, the resource of many of its elements is very small.   

It is easier to list what is reliable in the suspension. These are the front struts themselves, ball bearings, subframe and rear suspension beam. The rest of the elements require constant care.

The list of typical front suspension problems is opened by the strut supports. Not the most reliable bearing in them is combined with a weak plate and rubber part. In addition to delamination and tearing of the rubber, the metal of the support plate itself corrodes and twists backwards from the loads. Installing a large washer on the shock absorber stem helps a little, but it only reduces the chances of the stem reaching the hood. The suspension geometry will "walk" in a wide range. 

Transverse stability stabilizer itself does not break so often, but its bushings and rods need to be changed constantly. And if the bushings are not changed in time, the torsion itself will rub and it will break. 

Front brake pads 

Silent blocks of the front lever serve 30-50 thousand kilometers maximum, and if you take a non-original, then often the resource is quite ridiculous. At sagging springs resource may not exceed 10 thousand kilometers even at Lemforder. The springs themselves break with time, and they sag very strongly. Pulls and steering knuckles are not so unreliable, but if the motor is heavy, and the rubber is wide, they may not last 30 thousand kilometers.

In the rear beam, the shock absorber and spring supports are the first to fail, because of corrosion they fall apart, as described above. This causes misalignment of the rear suspension - if not eliminated immediately, the beam will have to be replaced later. Well and beam bushings do not like sagging springs, high load and incorrect installation. Taking into account not bad stroke of suspension, they simply rotate, and if the material of silentblock is bad, it tears off the rubber from the cage.

Steering control with the usual GUR, on the contrary, is quite reliable and does not cause special problems. True, the pressure sensor of a trunk line leaks - approximately as in Logan, but it is a penny problem. The resource of the rack before the appearance of knocks and appreciable backlash is more than 200 thousand kilometers.

Transmission

Renault Laguna is strictly front-wheel drive, and therefore no special transmission difficulties are expected. Except that the resource of covers of шРУС could be higher, but the matter is not in quality of a material, but in a design. They are very openly located.

Manual transmissions are mainly of BVM5/BVA4 series, and six-speed BVM6/BVA5 were put on diesel engines and powerful gasoline ones. These series of MCP (they were also put on Peugeot and Citroen) are quite reliable and do not have serious problems with resource at least up to 200 thousand mileage, except that oil leaks should be watched carefully. In case of low level or dirty oil, bearings are the first to give up - they are inexpensive, but the boxes require careful work. Often repeated repairs are connected with unskilled intervention. 

On the cars before restyling with the drive of MKP by a pull rod with time there are strong backlashes in the mechanism of gear selection, first of all, the wear of the lever rocker, to a lesser extent - the gear shifting mechanism itself.

On diesel engines, there is a problem with the life of the dual mass flywheel. Its design is as cheap as possible, often at mileage over 150 thousand it already has a very large backlash and can not be repaired, requiring a lot of machine operations. The clutch in all versions with hydraulic release, and it exists in several versions for different travel of the clutch basket. Installation of incompatible versions usually leads to failure of not cheap unit. The resource of the bearing itself is more than 200 thousand, but often the bearing is "dismantled" because of the wear of the basket lobes and disk linings. 

The main mass of "automated" Renault Laguna is the cars with atmospheric motors 1,8/2,0 and the youngest version of diesel 1,9, they were supposed four-stage automatic transmission of DP0 series, it is AL4. You can read in detail about its problems in a separate material. Here I will limit myself to stating the fact: it is not the most successful transmission. The main problem is in reliability and maintenance regulations and high sensitivity of the hydraulic block to increased temperature and contamination. Besides, the box from a purely consumer point of view does not work very well: adaptive algorithms were not the most successful, the box greatly worsens the dynamics of cars, and fuel consumption with a two-liter atmospheric engine can reach 20 liters in the city. Well and it is not much suitable for dynamic movement.

The advantages of this automatic transmission are very inexpensive repair by the standards of hydromechanical automatics and the possibility of relatively simple means to increase reliability to an acceptable one. A good radiator with thermostat and external filter of automatic transmission, frequent oil change, at least once in 30 thousand kilometers - and its resource after the next repair will be very large, because mechanically it is not bad.

Automatic five-speed automatic transmission on cars with diesel engines 2,2 and gasoline 3,0 and 2,0 Turbo is Aisin 55-50SN, after 2003 it was replaced by an improved version 55-51SN. There are cars with it rarely, but by experience of Volvo, Saab and Opel cars we can say that this box is quite reliable, especially version 55-51, but the hydraulic block is worn out by dirty oil and is expensive to repair. The service regulations are again too stretched. But even with oil change once in 60 thousand it usually passes its 200+ thousand, if the box was not overloaded.

Unfortunately, more often than not, the oil is changed irregularly, the hydraulic block is worn out, and the life of the GDT locking pads is not monitored and people like to push the gas pedal to the floor. Not only solenoids wear out, but also the material of the plate itself, which requires Sonnax repair kits and very skilled work. Worn out hydroblock achieves the mechanical part of the automatic transmission by lack of pressure, slippage, wear of bushings and pump. If to bring to full wear of GDT linings and getting glue layer in oil, the box failure follows almost immediately and with the most severe consequences. 

From purely resource problems, weakly connected with the mode of operation and maintenance, it is possible to note wear of seals of caliper rear cover, oil pump and axes of satellites of planetary gears of rear planetary gear. But these damages manifest themselves at mileages well over 200 thousand.  

The main problem of these automatic transmissions on Lagunas is the rarity of used boxes. But the reassembly of the automatic transmission is not very difficult, the hydroblock is compatible with the Opel/Saab version, although the housing is different.

Engines

The bulk of motors on the Renault Laguna are gasoline atmospheric motors 1.8 and 2.0 liter series F4P and F4R. Less common are versions with diesel engines 1.9 dCi series F9Q and cars with a basic gasoline 1.6 K4M. Rarely there are versions of gasoline engines 2.0 with supercharging or direct injection. Everything else on our market is exotic: diesel engines 2,2 and 2,0, and gasoline V6 3,0. 

The design of the cooling system clearly has a good safety margin in terms of performance and pressure, the layout of the engine compartment is also quite convenient, all the main units of the motors are moved forward to facilitate maintenance, in extreme cases convenient access from below is provided, and the front panel is removable.  

The main problem with all gasoline motors is the quality of wiring already mentioned in the first part. Some trouble is also caused by such typical problems as broken ignition module latches, broken threads of their fasteners, weak injector connectors and leaky throttle shaft. Unsurprisingly, the 2.0 IDE F5R series direct-injection motors have proven to be extremely problematic - with such an attitude toward quality wiring and sensor workmanship, it was to be expected.

The best way to drive your Laguna without problems is to completely replace the entire engine harness with a new one or have it rewired by a good craftsman. Pay special attention to the wires on the engine itself, ground points, power wiring to the ambient temperature sensor, radiator fans, ABS unit. If all this is done, it will turn out that French cars are not so scary....

Engines of F series (1,8 and 2,0) are considered quite reliable, but this reliability is very specific. It is difficult to kill them by load or intensive operation, it is undoubtedly. They do not break anything globally, they are simple in design and even quite economical. Owners of Duster and Kaptur have long been convinced of this. Cast-iron block, aluminum cylinder-head, hydrocompensators and timing belt drive make it very unpretentious, requiring only routine maintenance during 200+ thousand kilometers of mileage. However, these motors cause quite a lot of minor troubles when the mileage exceeds a hundred and a half thousand kilometers. 

The main complaint about them is oil leaks from all crevices, impossibility of quality resealing without overhaul, weak rubber elements, primarily oil seals and gaskets. Wiring and control system failures, poor quality throttle assembly and cracked plastic intake manifold add to the troubles.   

And also this motor does not like detonation. Its versions F4R-713 after restyling received a new piston and slightly increased compression ratio, so they do not like 92nd gasoline. On it detonation is very likely and often destroys the jumpers between the rings. So do not be lazy to look into the cylinder with an endoscope: if there are characteristic microcraters on the surface of the piston, the motor was obviously operated on 92 and did not pay attention to suspicious sounds.  

The use of rubber parts of better quality than the original, and a successful mode of operation, when the engine works in highway modes with low temperature, constant use of air conditioner, when all fans work, can reduce the severity of the problem. But on most cars oil will leak from the engine.

The crankcase ventilation system is initially weak, and over the years, crankcase gases become more, the system becomes clogged, and to restore its functionality, you need quality restoration and cleaning, as well as light modification. In practice, few people do this until the appearance of oil consumption in liters per thousand kilometers. 

Failures in the work of the ignition system, not very successful phase regulator, air leaks through the throttle and intake manifold seals endow the motors with an unpleasant tendency to speed jumps and vibrations. The problems usually manifest themselves at mileage 150+, but in the case of the Laguna II, that means "on just about every car". 

Add to the list of problems the tendency to lose oil pressure in the cylinder head due to leaks through the phasoregulator at mileage 100+ and the use of oils with viscosity 0W30 and 5W30, because of what scuffs the camshaft beds - and the list of problems will be complete. Note that yes, the piston group and crankshaft are virtually unaffected.

The turbocharged version of the F4Rt motor is noticeably different from the atmospheric ones - first of all, no phase controllers, no problems with oil pressure in the cylinder-head, slightly lower temperature, stronger piston group and no detonation when the control system is working properly. Too bad the wiring and leaking problems aren't going anywhere. 

The Mitsubishi TD04 turbos used are very reliable, providing a 200+ life. But it is necessary to better monitor the condition of the timing belt, it is more loaded here and more often fails: the replacement schedule should be reduced from standard 120 thousand not to typical 90, but to 60 or even 50 thousand kilometers of mileage. 

It is very easy to kill the engine because of broken sensors or a loose injector connector, there are enough such examples. It requires careful maintenance and gentle, careful hands of the owner at mileage above a hundred thousand. Although at first it unambiguously only pleased its owners with excellent dynamics and safety margin for boosting, because without serious modifications, 250-300 forces and more were removed from it.

The 2.0 IDE series F5R engine with direct injection is better not to take. The design turned out to be crude both in terms of mechanics and control system. Cracks of the cylinder head and failures of fuel equipment forced to curtail production of the motor in less than three years after the announcement. The best option for the car with it is a conversion into a regular F4R, the cylinder block is the same. 

Diesel engines are represented mainly by F9Q motor with a volume of 1.9 liters in different versions, with power from 92 to 131 hp. All versions are eight-valve in a cast-iron block, similar to the block of gasoline motors F-series. Motors are quite reliable, they have a good fuel equipment Bosch Common Rail of the second generation and a good safety margin of the piston group. 

From the obvious disadvantages - very small resource of turbines: after a hundred thousand the repair is possible, besides they are very much clogged with soot, 8-valve diesel engines have not the best blowing. Among rare, but critical problems we can note the tendency to rotate the crankshaft liners and turning of the timing star on the crankshaft, which leads to damage to the cylinder head.

The not very successful EGR unit jams and requires regular cleaning after the first hundred thousand kilometers of mileage, however, it is often simply silenced in our country. And the system of silencing with a throttle sometimes does not allow the motor to develop full power - the throttle jams because of carbon deposits or problems with the vacuum drive. 

Turbine and liner problems are related, both resulting from low oil pressure. Installation of an oil pressure gauge is highly recommended for these motors: with mileage over a hundred thousand, control of oil pressure is very desirable. At the initial stage of wear of the pump and liners you can do with more viscous oil, but the liners will eventually have to be replaced. If you neglect to fill fresh oil, the oil pump will most likely need to be replaced. Otherwise, it is an excellent engine, there are copies with mileage over 500 thousand and the original piston, with a couple of times replaced in time liners, sometimes with repairs of the cylinder-head.

It is not recommended to buy cars with a 2.2 liter G9T series motor, it is another dubious experiment. Here too, as well as in the case with the F5R motor, the problem is primarily in the construction of the cylinder head: it is prone to cracking. A lot of trouble is also caused by unsuccessful timing with unpredictable resource. Many owners changed it once in 50 thousand, and still the belt breaks. High load on the liners increases the probability of rotation, this motor can not be loaded at speeds less than 2000 full torque after full warm-up. Often owners to save fuel constantly move at low speeds and are too lazy to switch "down". As a consequence, the automatic transmission does not have this problem, but on the "mechanics" it manifests itself regularly. In addition, the injectors on this series of motors were not very successful, atomizers very often require replacement. Fortunately, as for any other Bosch fuel equipment, repair is possible, although expensive, but possible.

Engines 3,0 series L7X of joint development with PSA is reliable, but inherited all typical problems of in-line fours F4R: here and oil leaks, and problems with ignition. It is complicated by a dense layout, high load on the cooling system and high price of repairs, in particular, the replacement of the timing gear.

There is no need to be afraid of it, but not for nothing it is extremely rare, as it is excessively complicated for the already much cheaper car, and its character is not very combative anyway.  True, the overall resource is not bad, but the fuel consumption of 18-20 liters will easily scare off potential buyers.

Should I buy Renault Laguna 2

In general, the reality is not far from the popular belief that buying an old French car is an adventure that will not be to everyone's taste. Perhaps, it makes sense for you to think about such a car, if you like to drive comfortably without sudden movements, you have enough patience to solve small annoying problems. People who are irritable, frugal and like to drive should definitely consider something else.