Long-term update: Vivek’s Renault Megane running the marathon
It has been quite a long time since we posted an update about our Renault Megane. Nine months, three dealer services, and 37,000 km later, the odometer in our Megane now ticked over at 67,246 km, thanks to my other business that requires a lot of driving. Contrary to popular belief, the Megane seems to be easy on running costs even with dealer maintenance, so its Nissan underpinnings are a blessing.
The 40,000 km service was free, and also marked the end of our free service and maintenance contract. There were no troubles at all to report except for a suspected weak a/c blower motor, which we later figured was ‘normal’ in all Meganes.
The 50,000 km service was our first non-fuel related expense on this car, costing us Dhs 550. Besides the regular oil and filter change, the cabin particulate filter and the air filter were replaced. We had complained of bad windscreen wipers, but elected not to replace those then. We thought we could buy the wipers for cheap from outside, but the wiper blade design in the Megane is different from the generic ones, due to a locking clip built into the wiper blade. And those types of wiper blades seem to be available only with the dealer. Smart move, Renault!
The 60,000 km, which we did only at 65,000+ km, was semi-major and cost us Dhs 760. In addition to the oil and filter, the air filter, a/c filter, coolant and the brake oil were changed. The factory-fit front and rear brake-pad set were found to have worn out almost completely, and we got those replaced. We got the wipers replaced too this time. The front and rear brake pads and wiper replacement cost us Dhs 870, inclusive of all labour. That came in as a surprise, considering that the wiper blades alone cost us Dhs 222. We had also noticed the front-right passenger door leaving a gap while closing, which seemed to grow gradually. The dealer inspected the door and traced the cause down to loose door hinges, which they promptly adjusted and re-tightened.
During the recent rainy days, we had the opportunity to test the auto wipers, and found that even the rear wiper is automatic. The auto sensor made no mistake most of the time, but finding the right sensitivity setting was a chore. We somehow felt that our old Ford Mondeo had a better auto-wiper system, as we hardly ever had to interfere with the wiper stalk or settings in the Ford.
Recently during one of the weekdays as my wife was driving back home from work, our car was hit by another car, as it abruptly cut us off at a high speed from the wrong side in a roundabout during an exit manoeuvre. Our Megane survived with only a few scratches and some paint from the other car. We have yet to claim insurance and get the front bumper fixed due to lack of time.
The stock Michelin tyres on our Megane had worn out by 67,000 km, and we replaced those with Maxxis tyres, which cost us only Dhs 1,020 for four tyres, including balancing and fitting, from a reputed tyre shop in Sharjah.
The random howls that we hear from the CVT transmission turns out to be the transmission heating up. While slowing down or stopping for ten to fifteen minutes solves the issue temporarily, a better solution is to accelerate more gently all the time, although during the peak of summer temperatures, a rather heavy foot is usually required to get the Megane moving. The fuel efficiency averages at 10 litres/100 km in mixed driving conditions during the cooler months.
In May, the Megane will complete two years in our hands. Besides a few minor build-quality issues and niggles that are rather negligible, the Renault Megane has not disappointed us. We find the dealer servicing costs to be very reasonable and cheaper in comparison to most other cars in its class. Aside from the weather-dependent performance issues, our Megane has been a very practical and cheap-to-run hatchback so far, and hopefully remains that way for years to come.
Original Mileage When Bought: 0 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 67,246 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 10.0 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 1630
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 3200