the Renault 5 GT Turbo is one of the worst cars
for people getting rid of because they have
major problems so look over any potential purchase
with great detail and take some-one with you
who knows about these cars as they are not your
average small hatchback.
When looking at a
Renault 5 GT Turbo Check the following things:
With engine off
1. Check the
coolant bottle for signs of oil in it (rainbow
effect on top of the coolant). This means that
either the head gasket has blown or there is
a crack in the head itself (Very Expensive to
2. Also following
on from no.1 another sign that the head gasket
has blown is that if you pull the dipstick out
and there is a creamy substance on it the head
gasket has gone.
3. Start the
car up and get some-one to go and watch the
exhaust, if a puff of blue smoke comes out it
means that the Turbo is on it's way out (£250
for a recon plus fitting £80-£100)
the car when you turn the ignition(Not start
the car), make sure that the oil light/Battery
light and Handbrake light comes on, and that
the oil pressure gauge shoots up. This acts
as an oil level reading until the engine is
switched on and then it turns into an oil pressure
gauge. When you start the car give it a little
rev and make sure that the oil pressure gauge
moves up and down with the revs. The higher
the oil pressure the better. If the pressure
gauge is sitting flat on the bottom it either
means there is no oil pressure and that the
head gasket has gone or something major internally
wrong with the engine, or the gauge is simply
not working. So take some-one with you who knows
about these cars to make judgement. Also because
the 5 uses a chamical sealant in the front windscreen
they are known for coming away from the rubber
because of the movement in the A-pillars so
when in the car just push the windscreen with
a little pressure to see if it moves.
5. Check that
all the electrics inside work as French 80's/90's
cars are not the best when it comes to electrics.
Also the trim is flimsy so make sure everything
is bolted on properly. Also make sure that the
seats don't wobble about to much as the seat
frame under the seats are known for braking.
6. Check that
Damage to the body work as these cars are like
tin cans and the metal work is really thin so
look for any covered damage. Check alignment
of Body panels. Rust on rear wheel arches, wings,
tailgate, doors and floorpan. More specific
common places for the 5 to rust are along the
bottom of the front windscreen which is not
a good place to get rust. Check the rear windscreen
rubbers for rust near these. Also check around
the body kit around and under it for signs of
rust especially along the sills.
7. Once the
car has been running for a while switch the
engine off after about 5 minutes listen out
for the perc fan to cut in (A slight humming
sound). This is located on the right side of
the engine bay. What it does is cool the fuel
in the bottom of the carburettor and aids starting
of the car after it has been switched off. The
reason it needs this is because these cars run
so hot when you switch the car off the engine
is hot and it makes the fuel in the bottom of
the carburettor hot making the car hard to start,
the perc fan cools this petrol making the car
8. Leave the
car running at idle for about 10 mins and make
sure that the cooling fan cuts it, make a note
of how long it took to cut in and also where
on the temperature gauge it cut in. If you take
it for a test drive, while driving normal make
a note of where the temp gauge sits at (Just
below halfway - halfway is ok). Remember the
cooler these cars run the better. If a 5 has
a dodgy thermostat and the fan does not cut
in the car will overheat "DANGER"
if you let a 5 overheat then chances are you'll
either blow the head gasket or warp the Alloy
Head which then has to come off and be reskimmed
9. If while
on idle the cars starts puffing out smoke it
means that the oil seals on the Turbo are gone.
Time to get a new Turbo(£250 plus fitting).
10. When the
car is warmed up try to put it into reverse,
if it crunches like hell then its new clutch
time(Not cheap to be done properly with the
engine being dropped out £500 approx).
Can be done for £250 with just dropping
the gearbox out but getting correct alignment
is almost imposible so chances are you'll have
to replace it again soon.
11. The 5
Turbo with it's now old pushrod 1397cc Engine
is prone to the tappets making a bit of a noise
but this is not something to be worried about.
If you listen to the engine and it sounds at
bit tappety then don't think that it has something
major wrong with it as this is common amoungst
GT Turbos. The noise to worry about will be
a slightly more deeper sound than the tappets
and this is the Camshaft. If the pospective
GT Turbo has this then it means the Camshaft
is worn and than it won't be long before you
have to replace it (No cheap as this involves
the Head coming off to replace it).
12. When out
on a test drive put the car in 5th gear at about
35mph and put your foot on the accelerator and
look in your rear view mirror. If you see a
cloud of blue/white smoke then also the turbo
is on it's way out.
out for a test drive make sure that you drive
the Vehicle. Because these cars handle so well
chances are if its been owned by a boy racer
then its had the arse raged of it. Take a series
of turns left and right. While going round the
corner listen out for a knocking coming from
the opposite side you are turning into. If you
hear a knocking the Driveshaft needs replacing.
Not that expensive to replace but if you like
the rest of the car and everthing seems fine
then mention it when haggling over the asking
14. When driving
along at about 30mph on a flat road put the
car into 4th gear so the car is underload and
with the window open listen for a knocking noise
coming from the engine. This is the big end
bearings knocking and if you do hear this then
walk away from the car. (Needs engine rebuild).
15. Also listen
for the wheel bearing (A huming coming from
the wheels at about 40mph, this is when you
normally start to really notice them). Again
not terribly expensive to replace but also something
to haggle the price down.
16. Once the
car has warmed up and the car gets to about
2 1/2 thousand revs put you foot down and feel
the turbo kick in and enjoy but also watch the
boost gauge on the dashboard and see how far
up the gauge it goes. If it goes up to about
2 3rd of the way (this is standard), if it goes
up past this then someone has either altered
the wastegate actuator to increase the boost
or the car has a Hybrid Turbo which is set to
run more boost. But the more boost run the more
strain you put on the head gasket. So if the
car is running more boost then the Head Gasket
should be uprated to handle it.
17. Make sure
that the car does not mis-fire on boost (ignition
timing problem or serious engine fault).
cars service history. Make sure that the oil
has been changed at least every 6,000 miles.
Make a note of where the car serviced and get
in contact with them and ask their opinion about
the car. Check when the work was carried out.
Was there any other problems with the car and
was it rectified.
the car is owned from new by an old age pensioner
with 50,000 miles on the clock and a full Renault
Service History you know that you are getting
a good buy.
a HPI check on the vehicle, because of the nature
of these cars they may have been in accidents
and so on. So just to be on the safe side get
you have checked all the above and are satisfied
then haggle a good price which suits you and
the owner and hopefully enjoy the thrills and
spills of owning a