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Bitter sweet 172


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Hi guys and girls!


Well I'm off to an awkward start of my entry into the Renault Sport world. I was after a cheepish runaround and stumbled across a silver '01 172 clio sport. I have in the past read amazing reviews on these pocket rockets, and therefore jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on one for a discount.

All you guys in the know, already can imagine what happens next...


Total LEMON!! Yes I know i got myself into this mess, but I'm looking for some help to get me out.


I put trust in the fact the day of purchase it was given a BLUE slip, Pink slip and rego. So assumed things like dodgy shocks and bent wheels etc wouldn't pass. However, the seller must have some well connected friends, and it passed(all up about $3000 worth of repairs just for blue slip requirements). The others i take full responsibility.


So I'm after some help regarding;


*Best service people close to Inner West Sydney

*Parts (I want to avoid some new parts where possible $$$)

*Any advice regarding which things can wait, which things are urgent.


To get an idea where I'm at:

*Already replaced R/H front engine mount, and two weeks later another one(or the same one is busted).


Front shocks need replacing

Front strut tops worn

L/h rear shock leaking

Pulley drive belt worn

L/H front wheel buckled

Front sway bushes worn

Rack ends have play??? (L/H rack boot torn)

Bottom steady bar bushes worn

Bottom trans mount needs replacing

Selector bush worn

Cambelt history unknown

Wrong battery

Exhaust leak

Clutch very heavy

Broken bolts at inlet manifold



There you go, I can be the new Renault Sport poster boy for what not to do when buying a car!


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Sorry that you've had such a tough introduction to RS's!


In terms of what needs to be repaired - the best place to take it would be Paul V @ AP Automotive. Unfortunately I believe the shop is still closed due to him falling ill.


I'd also be speaking to Wolf about getting new parts and hunting around for as many second hand parts as you can. I may be able to help you out with any second hand parts you need that are attached to the engine (ie. any pulleys, sensors etc).


Exactly how cheap was this car? Sounds like it's had a hard life with little care for it!


Edit: I'd be hitting up the RTA + other relevant authorities and getting the place that did the blue slip in trouble for passing the car with obvious faults. Perhaps you'll be able to chase them up for costs too.

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Get thee to a Renault Specialist.


Paul V or the Colliers would be my pick, but I'm a mexican.


The dodgy garage - check if they're registered with the MTA - http://www.mtansw.com.au/ - if so, lodge a formal complaint with them.

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I'm sorry to hear of your news - I too fell into the same sort of situation when I purchased my clio, so I really feel your pain!


The clio's are amazingly well mannered in terms of repairs and maintenace so long as they're serviced properly, just like any car. However if their service record is lacking and it hasn't been given any TLC, then they do work out to be very costly when things start failing.


In terms of your suspension, I would suggest getting a coilover kit for circa $1500 or koni shocks and H&R (or similar) springs. For the price it's a much better option than going for stock replacements.


Keep us up to date as to how everything goes.

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Welcome. Very sorry to hear of your problems :(


I have some new parts spare (originally bought from Wolf) that I can help you out with (some bits for a timing belt service + a new OEM clutch). I might be able to sort you out with a stock 172 wheel too.


RE: suspension, I would be buying Cooper's brand new K-tec coilovers in the for sale section. They are very well priced.


Heavy clutch might mean new clutch cable is needed or else a new clutch.


Will have to have a hunt around our garage as I have Clio bits floating around everywhere...

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Wow! Thanks for the quick responses!


Thanks Walkie, looks like I will be helping you clear some space in the garage! Ha Ha!


I did see those coilovers and thought if I'm paying 1200 for OEM shocks, I might as well go for the coilovers. My only question with them is will I need matching strut tops? or will they bolt on?

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You should be able to use them with the OEM strut tops - but if the OEM's you got are knackered, probably better off getting some after market solid ones whilst you're at it.

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There is a group buy on Bilstein coilovers that might go ahead depending on numbers. Otherwise I can help with brakes, suspension and exhaust in general amongst other things.


Wolf should be able to help with genuine parts.


Definitely go to Paul V, hopefully he is back at work, he was off sick the past month.


I've got solid top mounts on sale at the moment.


The engine mounts will all need to be replaced if they are worn out. You will find that if you replace one it makes the others worse. THere are three main mounts to worry about.


Is this a Phase 1 or Phase 2 172? Brendan225 has an aftermarket Phase 1 inline mount for sale going cheap, otherwise I can help with a complete engine mount kit.


Feel free to give me a call to discuss any of this.



0416 260 069

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Got lots of parts too.

Most Ph1 parts will fit the Ph2

Big top mount, stock suspension, cat back exhaust.

Front disks.

My car very low mileage, just been modding.


I'm across the road from Walkie.

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Hi Nate,

Firstly i agree with the first 2 posts... follow up on this, contact the guys that did the "passing" and negotiate how they are willing to help PAY for some of these items unless they don't care about there Rep and licence.

Now as for parts, may i sauggest you send me an email ASAP with your NAME and VIN in the subject line only.

I'll price all the parts i can including battery. I will act as fast as possible. Once you have the prices, then you can see what real OEM parts cost, and then you can decide what (if any) new parts you want and what you want leave for 2nd hand or "upgrade" parts.

WE do not want you having a Renault Sport experience start THIS bad and not help.



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I had similar problems... only instead of 'friends' of the previous owner, I had 'French Car Care' in Brisbane give the car a roadworthy with a number of problems that should have never passed (leaking rear shocks, worn tie rod ends, buckled rear wheels, oil leak etc.)


I learnt two valuable lessons.... never inspect a car at night with a torch before buying.... and never take your car to 'French Car Care' in Brisbane

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I learnt two valuable lessons.... never inspect a car at night with a torch before buying.... and never take your car to 'French Car Care' in Brisbane

+1 to both of those! where are you in brissie? I'm @ morningside not that far from french car care

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Seems I don't have permission to email you???


do you work on the car yourself? Sometimes I like to when I first buy a car, just to familiarise myself. check out some tech stickies section..

wrote a how to for changing the aux belt, can email you that if you let me know:




Have to admit I dont work on my car. Have more confidence in leaving it to the prof's, even at crazy prices.

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Sorry to hear about your clio. I have just been through a similar - by no means as bad as yours - experience with my 2005 megane.


i bought this car



full service records - major service - timing belt etc done - serviced at PaulV, thought it was a safe bet... but when took it to Carl @Virage ...


Cracked Sump, Undersized and 90% worn rotors (need replacing), brake Pads worn - need replacing, muffler cracked

two tyres worn to indicators - so might as well replace all 4, winscreen etc - usual RWC stuff

Also Engine bay seemed to resemble a 20 yr old car (he is going to investigate this further tomorrow) and car seems fo fill with water - enough in footwell compartment for my kids goldfish... and to cap it off - now turbo seems to be having issues.


But you can only really do three things at this stage

1. Spend some $$ and fix it

2. Spend a bit more money and upgrade it for some fun (i'm looking at this option)

3. Nurse it to your renault dealer and negotiate a good trade in + finance package for a new Gordini or RS250


I realised where i went wrong - even though i looked at the flawless service history - i never read the 4 pages of notes that PaulV wrote when he did the major service from previous, previous owner !! - which listed most of the above items. I know - Kicking myself :)


Also the guy i bought the car from (who i am in regular contact with - nice guy and did apologise for the hassles im having) never had a service since the previous owner before him. He only had the car for a little over 6 months and didnt know of the underlying issues.


So - the way i look at it - 3 options - treat as a learning experience.


Best of luck with your clio.

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I learnt two valuable lessons.... never inspect a car at night with a torch before buying.... and never take your car to 'French Car Care' in Brisbane

+1 to both of those! where are you in brissie? I'm @ morningside not that far from french car care

I'm out at Loganholme, but work in town so usually try and find mechanics who are on my commute.


But yeah, had nearly as bad of an experience as 'Le French Motors' as well (fitted my clutch incorrectly)... so I really can't recommend either of the 'known' French specialists in Brisbane.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey guys.


Got my car back from Paul V after a very thorough going over and timing belt replacement. Also changed harmonic balancer while he was at it.


So a couple jobs down, and lots more to go. The report was five pages long!!!


Managed to score a K-tec twisted mount from cooper, so that's going in soon. The day before I sent it in, the exhaust flange gave up, and my car now sounds horrible!! Gotta get that one fixed asap.


I didn't end up going further with the RTA Re; the dodgy blue slip. Cos it would mean they would have to defect my car, and I really need it for work. There wasn't much I could do anyway, except make a complaint.


Thanks everyone for their help, and I will be posting in the WANTED section soon for a couple parts I need.

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