The Renault Scenic is a small multi-purpose vehicle that originally started its life in 1996 as a Renault Megane Scenic but was later renamed Scenic. The Grand Scenic spawned four different generations and is one of the most successful Renault family cars to date. In addition to the normal Scenic, Renault also offers the Grand Scenic which is a slightly bigger version.
In this article, we are going to go through all the common problems with Renault Scenic and tell you what you need to look out for when buying one used. First of all, the Grand Scenic is known to suffer from various electrical issues, some of which are just a nuisance while others can make the car undrivable.
One of the more frustrating things that can happen to a Scenic owner is water getting into the car for obvious reasons. The suspension is also known to experience issues such as squeaking or grinding. Fuel is known to leak while the engine is also prone to a few notable problems.
All in all, we can say that the Scenic is not the world’s most reliable car, but if properly maintained, it is able to last a decent amount of time. Now it is time to go in-depth about all of these issues and tell you how they affect the ownership experience.
As mentioned in the intro, there are many different electrical problems the Scenic can suffer from. The alarm is known to go off for no obvious reason which is indeed annoying but does not pose any significant problems to the car’s overall usability. The air blower can also stop blowing air and thus further deteriorate the driving experience.
However, older Scenic models are equipped with a weird safety system that can stop you from starting the car up when turning the key. Last but not least, the battery is known to die prematurely if the car keeps on sipping power even after a few hours from turning the car off.
Sadly, there are many documented instances in which owners reported their Scenic models being filled with water, predominantly in the front foot space and around the sunroof. The latter is mostly a thing for late 90s Scenic models while the former is present on models made in the 2000s.
To fix this, you will have to replace the sunroof seals and clean the drain often while the front foot space water problem can be solved if you clean the front plenum chamber which typically causes a blockade and forces the water into the passenger compartment.
If you hear any squeaking and chaffing noises coming from the front suspension area, there is a good chance that your Scenic is suffering from failed anti-roll bar bushes. These tend to be most noticeable while going over road undulations such as speed bumps and deeper potholes.
The only way to fix this problem is to replace the anti-roll bars with newer ones. Be sure to replace these early on after noticing the problem as ignoring this problem typically causes it to worsen over time.
Many 2018 and 2019 Scenic models leak fuel due to problems with fuel lines and hoses, so much so that the car can lose lots of fuel in a very short amount of time. This means that you should be able to spot puddles underneath the car. Problems such as these are really serious and have even ended up in flames a few times.
Try to inspect your car’s fuel supply pipes as these are typically the ones with the highest percentage of leaks. If so, go ahead and replace it immediately, don’t try to fix it as these tend to deteriorate relatively quickly.
Scenic models made in the 2000s can experience problems with the crankshaft position sensor and thus cause the engine to cut out. Thankfully, this problem is fairly easy to replace as all you need to do is buy a new sensor. Diesel models can suffer from faulty glow plugs which typically prompt up the “Check Injection Light” warning light on the dash.
Last, but certainly not least, the Scenic is also known to suffer from faulty EGR valves which can make the engine explode if the valve gets stuck in its closed position and you don’t notice it in time. If it stays open, your turbocharger might explode.
As such, it’s imperative to pay close attention to the EGR valve when driving the Scenic as both of these components are expensive and rather difficult to replace.
Should I Buy the Renault Scenic?
If you want a spacious, really safe, and fairly well-equipped family hauler, you should consider buying the Renault Scenic. It really is a great car for families and that is why so many families go for it over some of its main rivals. Reliability isn’t perfect, but if you stay on top of everything that can go wrong, you should enjoy a fairly trouble-free ownership experience.
On the other hand, if you are used to driving luxury cars, the Scenic is not going to impress you one bit as it does come with lots of cheap plastic interior bits and the car’s equipment levels are only good in regards to family features, not luxury car features.
What is the Difference Between the Renault Scenic and Grand Scenic?
The Renault Grand Scenic is longer, wider, and taller than the normal Scenic. The Grand Scenic has more seating space and is available with seven seats while the normal Scenic is strictly a five-seater. Moreover, the Grand Scenic has more ground clearance, different trim pieces, different wheels, and a larger price tag.
Is the Renault Scenic an SUV?
No, the Renault Scenic is an MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) primarily designed for chauffeuring people. The most consistent customer group with the Scenic are families wanting lots of space and a really safe car without paying the purchasing or the maintenance premiums typically associated with luxury brands and models.