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common clio problems


my name is Nick Swan and I am the website manager of We are currently developing a new feature of our website called auto-mine. This will be a searchable database of common problems and faults for cars. I was hoping someone would be able to help me compile a list of problems and solutions for Clios.

If you can help then please email me at

Many thanks
Nick Swan

actually thats a very good idea, give your things to look out for when your buyina car.

for a 98+ clio

-noisy sunroof (very common problem)

-sticky electric windows

on the above problem dealer manage to fix it by applying grease

-broken seat frame runners

im sure others will fill you in


ClioSport Club Member

gearboxes are made of metalpaper (tm)

they go all the damm time on my clio 1.2 16v 2001

also had problems with

Seat runners

rear light cluster wiring
  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

This is the nuts !

Come on everyone

172 Problems people - Water ingress, Air bag light, Rattling at 4K...

16v - Clutch cable snapping etc..


ClioSport Club Member

the air bag light problem is easy to fix

dont slam the bloody passenger seat about

its a loose connection under the passenger seat
  Subaru Forrester

Mk1 silver rusty paint speckles. Airbag light coming on (wiring under passenger seat).

This is for the 91-96 Clio 16-Valve:

The cars are fairly maintenace-intensive, but, as ever, the care it has received thus far will usually dictate condition. Look for a big folder of bills.

What you should then be looking for then can be split into categories:

Exterior: Rear arch lips are susceptible to rusting, front ones are plastic so arent a problem; rust also possible on door bottoms, around window rear quarters and boot bottom; front fogs (expensive) are prone to splitting due to stone chips; bonnet and front bumper also prone to stone chips.

Mechanical: N.B. due to engine size, many otherwise simple jobs on 16v/Willy are engine-out jobs. Cambelts must have been done before 72k; diffs, gbox and clutch are all expensive jobs so check carefully; rear brake callipers can seize; check aftermarket exhaust mountings - often a poor fit; rumbling can be caused by poor exhaust manifold to downpipe gasket (cheap job, disturbing noise); erratic idle commonly due to faulty throttle potentionometer; 16v/Willy run hot, so check coolant system - hoses, rad, expansion tank, water pump, anti-percolation (if you can); engine mounts often go - embarassing and expensive to have your engine fall out, so see if engine rocks back and forth by opening bonnet and pulling accelerator cable; if car has induction kit check security of air hoses; check for snapped front springs; CV gaiters should be checked; handbrake is normally not good; if lowered, will need new front strut top mounts sooner or later.

Interior: Sunroofs leak; electic window switches are £20 - so check them too.

On my MkI 172 so far (after 18,000 miles)

New fog lights, due to water ingress and fogging

New centre-section of exhaust, due to blown/loose baffles (Anybody else had this?)

Non-Working "Optimal gear-change indicator", never has worked

Plus a possible disc warping, I need to get it checked out!

And loads of idiots pulling out at junctions and rounderbouts in front of you, pressumably because they just think its "only a Clio" coming towards them, so you cant be going that fast!!

Hope that helps!

For all those with clutch problems, never replace a the clio clutch, get it oiled up.

I find sticking in 2nd gear on my 1.2, but i got it replaced with a Diesel1, shorter shifts and a lot tougher.

Just a suggestion
  Skoda Fabia vRS

a common Clio problem is a faulty coolant temp sensor, i think its the biggest selling item at my local Renault dealership

what about the good old knocking noise on the mk1 172s under acceleration

i know a few / lot of people have or still do have this...

i posted the solution a while back.. its worth knowing as all the renault dealers i spoke to had no idea !!! (as with a lot of problems !!)

and yes.. my baffles are going in my exhuast and ive done 14,000 miles so far
  Corsa 1.3 CDTI

Just remembered anoth one.

Clunk when you engage first but that is just a trait of the gearbox and everyone I have spoken to gets it.