Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The New Megane Is Renault’s Latest Attack on the Golf

Renault is launching an all-new Mégane at the Frankfurt auto show. The bulbous, slightly overwrought four-door hatchback will be powered by fuel-efficient diesel and gasoline engines; Europe is likely to be the model’s biggest market.
The next Mégane will be the nameplate’s fourth model generation; the first one, designed in-house under Patrick Le Quément, was launched in 1995 as the successor of the Renault 19, which had replaced the Renault 11 (a.k.a. Renault Encore) in 1988.
While the Mégane comes to market as a four-door hatchback, it will soon be joined by a station-wagon version, as well as a low-slung two-door coupe. The proportions of the new models benefit from a new chassis with a far wider track, and the car is lower than its predecessor.
In the teaser release, Renault is touting the sporty GT model, but there is no doubt that the brand will ultimately launch a higher-performance Renault Sport version that should produce around 300 horsepower.
In global markets, the new Mégane competes with vehicles like the Ford Focus, the Opel Astra, the Peugeot 308, and the Volkswagen Golf. Will it come to the U.S.? Highly unlikely. But a lot of Renault parts are shared with Nissan, and we expect to see more technological overlap down the road.
The Mégane is available from a Group 1 Renault dealership. Test drive the Renault Megane and see why it’s the car for you!
Article source: https://blog.caranddriver.com/the-new-megane-is-renaults-latest-attack-on-the-golf/

2017 Renault Captur Goes Under The Knife, Gets New Face And Features

Having been on the market for four years, Renault decided to give the Captur small crossover a mid-cycle facelift.

On display at the brand's stand at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, the small SUV comes with a new grille, inspired by the Kadjar, a chrome side strip, new skid plates on both bumpers, and fresh wheel patterns in 16- or 17-inches.

Three new body colors - Desert Orange, Ocean Blue and Amethyst, along with the new Mercury Silver option for the roof, and full-LED headlights on higher grades round up the list of exterior updates.

Inside, the facelifted Renault Captur is said to benefit from higher-quality plastics, chrome trim, more upmarket materials used on the steering wheel, or full-grain leather on certain versions, revised door panels and gear lever, LED roof light, and tweaked seats available on several variants.

For the first time, Renault added a new Signature S Nav/Initiale Paris trim level to the Captur, which features a metallic grey finish for the front and rear skid plates, around the windows and drip seals, and a specific range of colors.

The interior of the new addition brings heated Nappa leather seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, and door panels, aluminum pedals, and aluminum door sills. Standard features include keyless entry and push-button start, Easy Park Assist, and Blind Spot Warning, and are complemented by the latest version of the R-Link infotainment, Android Auto, and premium Bose sound system.

Visit a Group 1 Renault dealership and take the Captur for a test drive. Speak to a Group 1 Renault consultant or view the full specs and prices of the Captur, online.

Story has been updated with photos from the Geneva show

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

2017 Renault Clio Update Revealed - Cosmetic Refresh, New Diesel

Renault has given its Clio small hatch range a modest refresh for the 2017 model year, with some minor tweaks to exterior styling that help modernise its appearance, but stop short of bringing it into line with Renault’s new breed of passenger cars.
Bumpers are new, with a wider lower grille at front and a new shape at the rear that Renault says sports “additional robustness”. The headlamps and tail lamps sport new internals and LED elements, though the Clio doesn’t receive the same “extended-C” daytime running lamp arrangement as the new Megane, Koleos or Talisman.

New wheel covers and alloy wheel designs round out the remainder of the external changes, and four new colours have been added to the Clio’s colour palette - Intense Red, Titanium Grey, Pearlescent White and Iron Blue.
Interior changes are minor, with the Clio retaining its dashboard layout virtually unchanged - though Renault says material quality has improved, with all-new cloth and leather upholstery too.

The silver interior trim is more subdued, with a matte rather than glossy finish. The texture of some cabin plastics has been improved as well to help impart a more premium feel to the Clio’s cabin. Three infotainment systems will be offered in Europe depending on specification, starting with a base “R&Go” system, a midgrade R-Link Evolution and Media Nav Evolution.
Under the bonnet changes are limited to the addition of a range-topping 80kW 1.5 litre diesel to the range, plus a six-speed manual transmission for the formerly auto-only 88kW TCe 120 petrol engine.
The diesel is highly unlikely to come here, though it remains to be seen whether Renault will equip locally-delivered Clios fitted with the TCe 120 engine - namely the automatic version of the Clio Expression, the Clio Dynamique and Clio GT/GT Premium - with the six-speed manual.
Check out the Renault Clio range at a Group 1 Renault dealership. Find a Renault Clio that suits you here and take it for a test drive.

Article source: http://www.themotorreport.com.au/63608/2017-renault-clio-update-revealed-cosmetic-refresh-new-diesel

Thursday, 3 August 2017

2016 Renault Trafic Review: Long-term report one

We get long-term loan vehicles of all shapes and sizes in the CarAdvice offices, and the 2016 Renault Trafic could be the biggest yet.
The Renault Trafic L1H1 we have here measures 4999 millimetres long, 1956mm wide, 1971mm tall and rides on a 3098mm wheelbase. That makes it a big bus, so it’s strange to think that there’s an even bigger Trafic – the L2H1 long-wheelbase model – that measures 5399mm from nose to tail, with a 3498mm wheelbase.
As you can probably tell from the dimensions (and the pictures), this mid-sized van from French brand Renault is essentially a box on wheels. And that’s the exact purpose for which we took delivery of this Trafic, which starts at $37,990 plus on-road costs.
This is the new Sydney camera crew van. It will be used primarily as a vehicle to transport all the gear required for shooting photos or videos out on the road for the reviews you see here on CarAdvice.
Now, a little about the Renault Trafic in a more general sense.
White vans, as they’re commonly referred to, are massively popular in Europe, and Renault leads the sales race on The Continent.
In fact, the previous-generation Trafic – which was often available for $30,000 or less – was the biggest-selling light commercial vehicle for the company and the third-best-selling vehicle in the range behind the Koleos SUV and Clio hatch.
But this new model hasn’t fared quite so well; while the majority of the Renault range has risen, the Trafic has dropped to seventh on the brand's sales ranks. Even the smaller Kangoo and larger Master vans yielded better sales than the Trafic in 2015.
Renault sold 1070 examples of the Trafic last year, down from 1643 the year prior. That was the old model, which was bolstered by fleet deals with the likes of Australia Post, and by the fact it came with a (semi-) automatic gearbox.
That's right: the Trafic – unlike most competitor vehicles in the segment – doesn't come with an auto ‘box. Instead, buyers have to deal with a six-speed manual transmission.
The Toyota HiAce smashes it in the sales race – it comes with petrol and diesel, manual and auto options – and while the Hyundai iLoad doesn’t have as extensive a range, it runs second by some margin. The recently released Volkswagen Transporter also has diesel drivetrain options aplenty.
For the Trafic there is the choice of two engines – the base model dCi90 single turbo diesel model has 66kW of power and 260Nm of torque, while the dCi140 model we’ve got has two turbochargers and 103kW/340Nm.
As we’ve found in the past, the fact the engine in the Trafic is a tiny 1.6-litre unit doesn’t mean it can’t haul a heavy load. This engine is a pearler, and thankfully the six-speed manual shift action is very user-friendly.
We’ve also praised the road manners of the Trafic in reviews past, so it will be intriguing to see how comfortable the members of the video team find it over the next few months. Oh, and with three seats, we’re sure there’ll be occasions where the front-seat comfort is tested in other ways.
Because it will be used on set, we asked for some accessories to be fitted to the van, including a roof rack ($1881 including fitting) with walking platform (adds $686, inc. fitting) and a steel ladder (a further $577, inc. fitting) to help the guys with the lenses get up to the top.
Further to those bits, our Trafic also has the Premium Pack ($2490), which consists of a number of convenience items to make motoring around in a van all the time.
The goodies list includes a wide-view mirror (in the passenger’s-side sun visor) that gives a better view of what you can’t see to the side of you, as well as a 7.0-inch touchscreen with satellite-navigation, and a smartphone dock – which we’ve already found is too small for the iPhone 6S Plus or Samsung S6.
It also gets 17-inch alloy wheels, Java cloth seat trim, chrome and gloss black cabin trim highlights, and heated seats. Yeah, even van drivers get cold bums.
As part of a recent update, Renault added front-side airbags to complement the dual front airbags previously fitted as standard. We told them at the launch of the new model in May last year that side airbags should have been standard from the get-go, and we’re glad the message got across.
Further to that, all Trafic models have rear parking sensors, and both twin-turbo models – the short-wheelbase we have here and the long-wheelbase version – have a rear-view camera.
This is one aspect of the van that got the production team talking as soon as we got it in the garage. Without side glazed doors (which are available at extra cost), it is hard to see what’s coming when you’re reversing out of a driveway, but the high-mounted camera offers something of a wide-angle view of your surroundings. It isn’t as good as one of those clever rear cross-traffic alert systems you can get in some cars nowadays, but it’s a damn sight better than relying on hope and luck.
Stay tuned for more on the Renault Trafic over the coming months. We’re sure it’ll be present on set at a number of exciting content production shoots, and it might even get in front of the camera, too…

Thursday, 13 July 2017

2017 Renault Kangoo new car review

Renault's small van mixes work and family duties all at once.

What is it?
The Kangoo Crew is a small van for those who need the option of a work vehicle but also need to carry up to five passengers whether it be colleagues at work or family at home.
How does it drive?
Small vans have come a long way over the last few years, and the Kangoo is no exception as it drives more like a conventional car than a traditional commercial van.
Unladen the van is very comfortable as small bumps and rough roads are soaked up with little fuss. The 1.5-litre engine gets along very well too with minimal turbo lag and a healthy 240Nm of torque making it feel spritely around town. The steering is well weighted too, the clutch is light and the gearbox shift is direct, albeit a little notchy.
When the rear seats are folded down there is more road noise booming through from the cargo area compared with the seat upright.
Overall, the van has great vision with glass all round (our test van has optional rear cargo glass) and a low window line making a noticeable impression as soon as you look over your shoulder.
What's the interior like?
The interior is full of quality hard plastics with different colours and different textures of grain, which gives the appearance they could be made of a soft material, while some shiny black trim around the radio and ventilation controls is a nice touch.
There is a high rise centre console with plenty of storage space but elsewhere the glove box is deep yet it's small and fairly useless, as are the door pockets even though they have a cup and bottle holder.
The van has a storage shelf in the roof but it has no liner for things to grip on to under hard acceleration or on steep inclines. The sunvisors also don't have vanity mirrors and the steering wheel only has height adjustment. The front seats have good bolstering, are comfortable and supportive.
The hood lining in the van covers the second row of seats but then stops, which allows for a little more cargo height but creates some more noise resonance. The rear seat has plenty of room, all three seating positions have lap/sash seat belts and the seat itself, which has a 60:40 split-fold function, stows away nicely into the floor.
The Kangoo has cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and headlight adjustment as standard features.

What's the payload and towing capacity?
Payload is 750kg for this model variant. Its unbraked towing capacity is 750kg with a maximum 1050kg braked. Tow ball down weight is 90kg max.
What about load space dimensions and anchor points?
The length of the cargo bay, with the seats up, is 1008mm and 1862mm with them down. Its 1251mm high and, coincidentally, the same measurement in width between the wheel arches. It's total load volume seats up is 1.3 cubic metres as a five-seater and 3.4 cubic metres with the seats down. It has four tie down points at mid height and another four on the floor

How does it perform under load?
The engine gets along fine and does a good job with the weight on board, and although you will find yourself going through the gears on hills the van had no problems sticking to speed limits when loaded up with our 600kg test weight.
Even though it looked as though it was going to struggle with that much on board, as the rear of the van sat very low. But it was still a full two inches clear of the bump stops and handled the weight surprisingly well.
Bumps and undulations in the road didn't fazed it, nor did average roads, but the Kangoo did tend to wander around in the back-end at highway speeds.
Any special features worth mentioning?
It takes a full-sized Australian pallet between the wheel arches, which is handy. It also has twin sliding doors as standard.
Our test vehicle was fitted with the optional Lifestyle pack which includes R-Link enhanced audio and navigation, leather steering wheel , rear air vents, body painted front and rear bumpers , gloss black door mirrors and extra tinted windows.
Any criticisms?
The radio controls are mounted behind the steering wheel, and are easily bumped when turning. The accelerator, clutch and brake pedals are too close together - you find your clutch foot catching the top of your brake foot when braking and downshifting, which can make you 'stab' the brakes unintentionally.  It misses out on a reverse camera as standard equipment and there's no automatic option for this model.
Also, the windows in the sliding doors do not wind down but rather push open a few inches. The rear barn doors open in two stages, the first to a 90 degree angle while the second is out to a full 270 degrees, which is handy, but it requires releasing a separate latch around the side of the van and they don't lock in place to stop them moving. We found this out the hard way when a slight breeze swung the doors shut, one of which gave us an almighty thud in the back while the other hit the pallet on the fork lift.

What else should I consider?
If safety is paramount then the VW Caddy is worth a look, while the Citroen Berlingo and Fiat Doblo represent viable alternatives.
The Kangoo Crew is a flexible small van if you need to mix work and family into the one vehicle, as there is plenty of room for both - even at the same time. But like others in its class the Kangoo is short changed in the safety department and doesn't have a lot of creature comforts.
The Kangoo Crew is unfortunately not available in all country, some offering only the commercial option, the Renault Kangoo. You can find out more about that model here.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Basic Car Maintenance Tips You Can’t Do Without

So you just bought a new car. Congratulations!

You’re thrilled with your new ride and you want to look after it – but when you lift the bonnet you can’t help feeling a little overwhelmed. Where do you even start?
There’s no denying that cars are getting more and more complicated every year, which makes them ever harder for the regular person to maintain. But the good news is that there are still lots of things you can do yourself to keep your vehicle in peak condition between your regular services.
The simple car care tips in MotorCartel’s quick car maintenance checklist can save you big dollars every year. And best of all, they don’t require tools, specialised knowledge, or the expensive services of mechanics and workshops.
So if you’re keen to learn basic car maintenance skills so you can give your new wheels the care it deserves, then this is the article for you!

Maintain engine oil levels

Always keep the oil level up to the ‘maximum’ mark on the dipstick. The more oil there is in your engine, the longer the oil will take to degrade – providing better lubrication for the engine and making it last longer. Don’t go overboard though! The markers are there for a reason, so always fill up as the dip-stick indicates and no more.

Protect the cooling system

Keep the liquid in your radiator topped up to a maximum, and the reservoir bottle topped up to half way between its indication markers. The radiator is an air-tight component, so as the coolant heats up and expands the overflow spills into the reservoir, and as the liquid cools back down it contracts and sucks the coolant back into the radiator. Theoretically it’s possible to fill the radiator up via the reservoir overflow bottle, as long as you never let it go empty, but it’s better to check both just in case.

Oh, and do make sure you only ever fill the radiator when the engine is cooled, not straight after using the car, as pressure can form in the radiator under heated conditions. If you open the cap too soon you could end up with a jet of boiling liquid and steam in your face!
It’s a good idea to use coolant rather than straight water in your radiator. Coolant liquid has a higher boiling point than regular water, so it keeps the engine at the right temperature more efficiently and maintains the engine integrity for longer.
There are variant coolants that allow water and coolant mixes, but it’s wise to use the type suggested in the car’s manual, or one recommended by your local mechanic.

Protect the fuel system

Keep the fuel tank full at all times. This reduces evaporation and prevents the formation of condensation, which forms inside the fuel tank and causes surface rust on the interior walls. If this happens fine rust particles will eventually mix in with the fuel pump, prematurely clogging your fuel filters and blocking or damaging the fuel injectors.
So remember, the fuller the petrol tank remains, the better your cars fuel systems will serve you over the long haul.
You should also consider adding in a bottle of good quality fuel system cleaner at least twice a year, this helps to remove the gums and varnishes that form naturally in the pipes which can lead to fuel injector failures.

Protect the battery

It’s a good idea to neutralise battery acid accumulations periodically, by pouring a solution of food-grade baking soda and luke-warm water over each individual terminal. Ensure you’re wearing proper protective gloves whilst doing so and carefully wipe the battery terminals clean with a rag. Be sure to dispose of the rags safely afterwards.
Keeping the battery clean prevents current leakage through the dust, acid, and grime that builds up on your terminals and conducts electricity in damp or wet conditions. This will increase its lifespan.

Maintain tyre pressure

Check the pressure in your tyres at least once a month when the tyres are cold. Check the user manual, the inside of your car door or the side of the tyres for the correct pressure.
Maintaining correct tyre pressure saves fuel, extends tyre life and reduces wear on your steering and suspension components.

Protect the bodywork

Thoroughly clean your car and then apply a good quality, silicon-based car wax to the entire outside surface at least once every six weeks. Wax forms a thin film layer on the paintwork that protects the paint against the fading effects of the sun. It also protects it against rust formation caused by salt spray in coastal areas, as well as the effects of acidic pollutants in the atmosphere, particularly in city regions. These pollutants can eat through paint to attack the metal of the bodywork, eventually allowing rust to set in as the paint protecting the metal begins to degrade.
You may have noticed that we don’t suggest polishing your car. It’s actually not a good idea to polish your car too often, it is in fact an abrasive action that slightly grinds away the top layer of your paint each time, exposing the fresh new shiny paint underneath. As good as it makes the car look, do it too often and you’ll eventually end up grinding away your paint!
We recommend polishing only once every couple of years, and then protecting that great shine with the use of a good quality wax.

Protect the windscreen and wipers

Make sure you add some pH-neutral window cleaner to the windscreen washer reservoir. There are dozens of brands on the market, but be sure to check for pH-neutrality to prevent possible damage to the paintwork and trimmings.
Avoid using regular dish-washing liquids or similar detergents as these can clog your wipers. Only use a good quality car window cleaning product that are designed to be added to the window cleaner’s tank.

Keep the interior clean

Don’t just vacuum the insides and hang an odour disguiser on your review mirror! Regularly give your interior a good clean with some seat and carpet cleaners. There are plenty of great products on the market that’ll keep your interiors smelling fresh and looking fantastic.

The benefits of basic car maintenance

These basic car maintenance tips will not only go a long way to ensuring your car runs at peak efficiency, they will also help to maintain the appearance – and thus the resale value – of your car.
And the best part is that merely by using this handy vehicle maintenance checklist to help you learn basic car maintenance skills you can boost the power, the fuel economy, and even the reliability of your car without tools or technical expertise.
However, none of these car care tips eliminates the need for regular servicing, which should be done at scheduled intervals (with a maximum of 10,000 to 12,000kms between services).
Items like brake discs and pads (even if they are not noisy), timing belts and tensioners, serpentine belts and idler pulleys all have limited life spans, and must be replaced at prescribed intervals by a trained mechanic. Replacing these parts requires special tools and in-depth knowledge, so leave them to your regular workshop to inspect or replace.
Nonetheless, in the long run following these basic car maintenance tips will serve you and your car well and help you get years of pleasure from your hot new wheels.
Group1 Renault offers various excellent service and maintenance plans with their vehicles. Enquire about the Renault Captur’s available maintenance plans or take any of the great Renault vehicles available for a test drive today!

Article source: http://www.motorcartel.com.au/blog/basic-car-maintenance-tips-you-cant-do-without/

Car maintenance checklist for road trips

Two girls with arms crossed in back seat of car preparing for family road trip
The summer road trip is as American as apple pie and Fourth of July fireworks, so don’t fail in your national duty to hit the road this year just because Old Nellie is overdue for some car maintenance.
Those who neglect doing a quick mechanical check-over – even of newer cars – before taking to the highway are begging to be stranded. We’re not talking about rebuilding the cylinder head or performing a line-bore on the crankshaft mains. Below are just a few reminders that may slip your mental checklist in the rush to get bags packed and kids fed.
Your family is counting on you to take a few preventative measures before you hurl them into the gauntlet of our national highway system.
  • Engine oil: Check your oil levels and the date you’re due for an oil change, preferably in your driveway before you embark on that first 29-hour leg. If you’re close to the manufacturer-recommended oil-change interval listed in your manual, then change it. Nellie deserves better than a crankcase full of gunky old oil as she hauls you up the Loveland Pass.
If you’ll be going long distances, consider opting for a synthetic motor oil. If you’re traveling in hot weather or pulling a trailer, a fully synthetic engine oil such as Mobil Super™ Synthetic can give you the extra protection against thermal breakdowns that you need. It will also cut friction losses in the engine and bump your fuel economy while creating savings that you’ll see magnified on a long drive.
  • Transmission and differential fluids: Did you forget about the other oil reservoirs in your car? Both your transmission and drive axle have their own lubricant supply. Check your owner’s manual for their change intervals, as they are quite a bit longer than engine oil. A regular oil-change shop can handle the greasy job of changing manual transmission oil and the differential oil. While they are under the car, have them give the drive-shaft U-joints and any other grease points a squirt of grease.
  • Hoses: Rubber hoses would last 10 years if all they did were sit on a shelf. In a car, they are regularly exposed to temperatures around the 212-degree boiling point. At high temps, the plasticizers that make rubber squishy leach out at a faster rate. Once a hose gets hard, it cracks and hot water spurts out. Look first at where both the input and output radiator hoses attach to the engine and to the radiator. The extra stress on the hose from the pipe collar and hose clamp means they typically crack and fail there first. Also check your heater hoses, which run from the engine (usually near the thermostat housing) into the firewall and back. Look for bulges or blisters, which indicate a weakness in the hose wall. If your hoses have cracks or blisters, replace them. It’s easier to do it now than in the 112-degree heat of Death Valley. As a precaution, buy a hose-patch kit at the local auto parts store.
  • Belts: Check the engine belts by turning them sideways with your hand so you can see the friction surface. If they’re at all ragged, torn, cracked or showing the fiber cords, it’s time for fresh ones. Newer cars often have one large belt, called a serpentine, which runs the water pump and all the accessories (A/C, power steering and alternator). If your car has less than 50,000 miles, it’s probably fine. Older cars have more than one belt to run these devices. Make sure they are all in good condition. If you hear loud screeches when you pull away from a stoplight, a loose belt is probably the cause. If they are loose – in other words, if your finger can depress the belt more than a half-inch of deflection at a point halfway between pulleys – the belt is stretched. If it’s old and worn, replace. If it’s not, you’ll have to retension it or it may fall off, usually at a really inopportune moment such as in the 2-mile backup at the turnpike toll booth.
  • Engine coolant: New vehicles come equipped with engine coolant designed to go 100,000 to 150,000 miles. If your car is less than four years old, check that the under-hood coolant reservoir – usually a clear plastic bottle that says “engine coolant” on the cap – is topped up.
Water is water, right? Wrong. Not all coolants are the same, and they don’t want to be mixed. Be sure to use the same coolant type as is already in the engine. You can tell the difference from the color. Green coolant is the most common, indicating an ethylene glycol-based coolant with a standard package of rust inhibitors. Orange is called Dex-Cool, originally developed by General Motors but manufactured by other coolant name brands under license. The jug should have a large “Dex-Cool” trademark on it. It is also ethylene glycol-based, but it has an enhanced package of corrosion inhibitors (and, hence, tends to be more expensive). If you have an older vehicle, check both the coolant reservoir and the radiator. If your coolant is rust-colored or looks like mucky pond water, it’s time for a change.
  • Tire pressure and tread: Tires are your contact with the road, and since losing contact generally results in the remains of your vehicle being vacuumed up, check ’em out. Most people believe the appropriate tire pressure is listed on the tire itself. Actually, the number on the tire is the maximum amount of pressure the tire can hold and, if combined with extreme heat and speeds, could lead to a blowout. Be safe. Look on your driver’s side door, in the glove compartment, or on the fuel filler door for the recommended tire pressures, and check the pressure before you leave with a good gauge (available from your auto parts store) and an air hose (available at the corner gas station). Low tire pressures waste fuel and, more importantly, cause the tire to run hotter from the extra friction.
Also, look at the tread on all four tires to make sure it’s not too worn or unevenly worn. Most new tires come with about 10/32” of tread depth. If your tire tread-depth gauge (just a buck or two at the parts store) shows less than 2/32”, it’s time for new tires. You can also use a penny. If the depth is below Lincoln’s shoulder, it’s time to change. If your tires are on the bubble in terms of wear, or have a bubble in the sidewall from a recent bounce against a curb, it’s better to install new tires now than to take a chance on them wearing out while you’re on the road.
  • Brake system: Brake fluid classified by the government as DOT3 or DOT4 (most brake fluid, in other words) is a hygroscopic mineral oil, meaning that it attracts and absorbs moisture. As it ages, it turns the color of maple syrup and begins rusting your brake components. Check your brake reservoir for the color of the fluid, and make sure that it is topped up to the “full” mark. If you haven’t had a flush in two or three years, get one before you leave. Water-laden brake fluid, besides causing damage to very costly brake parts, also lowers the fluid’s boiling point. A lowered boiling point can lead to a squishy brake pedal, which may provide more excitement than you want while descending out of the Rockies with a 24-foot camper in tow. If your car is newer, it may be running DOT5 fluid, which is silicon-based and not subject to water absorption. Still, you will want to flush this fluid per the recommendations in your owner’s manual.
  • Battery: If the battery in your car is more than a couple years old, check that the terminals are corrosion-free and the positive and negative leads are tight. If your starter sounds sluggish, it’s either corrosion or a dying battery. Don’t wait to be stranded with a dead battery. If it’s not a sealed, maintenance-free battery, have a gas station test the electrolytes. If it is sealed, they can check the output voltage. If there is corrosion – white chalky stuff on the terminals – clean it off with a wire cable-brush available at your local parts store. Secure the leads tightly. If one falls off while you are driving, it can cause a harmful “voltage dump” that can kill the alternator, so make sure everything is tight.
  • Test the car: Do a quick run up the local freeway to listen for noises, feel for shakes, and watch for trouble signs in the gauges. Don’t assume everything is fine just because you drive your car every day. This is a test, not a commute, so focus on your car. Do you hear grinding or moaning from the wheels? That could be a bad wheel bearing or a worn CV joint. Does the car pull? Check for alignment problems or worn tires. Does it shimmy or squeal under braking? Might be warped rotors or worn pads. Does the brake pedal feel soft? Might mean worn pads or bad fluid. Do the headlights flicker at idle? It’s probably a loose alternator belt, a dying alternator or corroded battery terminals.
Consider checking off car maintenance items before you leave, because if Old Nellie acts up later, she could ruin your whole vacation. Family photos of America’s purple mountains’ majesty won’t put your relatives to sleep quite as quickly as those taken inside a grimy service station in Panguitch, Utah, while you’re waiting for a mechanic to get your new radiator hose drop-shipped from Fukuoka. Take time, take care, drive safely and we’ll see you out there.

Any Group1 Renault dealership can also assist you in doing a routine check of your vehicle before heading on a roadtrip. Contact a Renault dealership in your area for more information about the Renault Sandero - a great option for road tripping and everything in between.

Article source: https://bonjourrenault.wordpress.com/2017/05/23/car-maintenance-checklist-for-road-trips/