Common Problems with the Renault Clio

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 2 years ago

5 min read

  • Renault
  • Common problems

WhoCanFixMyCar covers the most common Renault Clio faults, discussing overall reliability and repair costs

The Renault Clio is a popular supermini that was first launched in 1990. Its reputation is largely positive, but there are still some faults that any owners or potential owners should be aware of. 

Common issues for the Renault Clio include:

As you’d expect there have been various model updates since the Clio first came out, each one coming with its own unique issues. Let’s take a look at how these common problems vary from one update to the next.





Renault Clio general problems

Are Renault Clios reliable?

Renault Clio recalls

Renault Clio

Renault Clio 2001 to 2005

1. Brake problems

The 2002 model is renowned for having brake issues. In particular, there’s a risk of brake servo assistance failure which is caused by the incorrect position of the air pressure sensor. 

Likewise, a common problem with the Renault Clio 1.2 is that these models sometimes have faulty electrical connections affecting the wheel speed sensor, resulting in the ABS warning light coming on.

On average, it costs £34.00 for Clio ABS repairs according to our data.

Brake servo repairs, on the other hand, cost £300.00 on average.

2. Renault Clio suspension problems

Some Clios that were built in October 2002 have faulty suspension systems thanks to a manufacturing defect. The problem usually manifests in the form of the front left or right suspension arm breaking if subjected to impact.

The average cost of suspension repairs on a Clio is £126.40.

3. Accelerator problems

This issue relates specifically to V6 cars built between 2002-2004. The accelerator pedal sensor sometimes has a faulty contact. 

Renault Clio 2005 to 2012

1. Gearbox problems

Clios built between November 2005 and May 2006 sometimes suffer gearbox issues wherein the gearbox malfunctions and switches to manual mode or third gear without driver intervention. A warning light is sometimes displayed. 

Renault Clio 2010 gearbox issues are also fairly common.

On average, it costs £47.67 for gearbox repairs on a Clio based on our data.

2. Brake light problems

Brake light issues are frequently experienced in Clios that were built between December 2005 and February 2006. When grease in the circuit switches overheats, it’s possible for the brake lights to melt.

Fortunately, this is relatively cheap and easy to fix. New brake lights can be purchased for under £10, but you’ll need a trained mechanic to remove the melted light and fix any issues that have been caused by overheating.

3. Check engine light

This problem is particularly prevalent when it comes to the Renault Clio 1.5 dCI. An excessive buildup of engine oil on the spark plug electrode is usually to blame. 

Cleaning and replacing spark plugs is a simple task that can be done at home, but if you’d rather have it done by a mechanic you can expect to pay £151.98 on average, though the price will depend on how many plugs need replacing.

4. Valve problems

This is one of the more serious issues that may be encountered by Clio owners, particularly in models built between September and November 2010. Engine valve problems could, in the worst case scenario, lead to the destruction of the engine.

These problems should have been resolved by Renault, so before you buy a second hand car make sure that that is the case.

Renault Clio 2013 to 2019

1. Brake hoses

On two separate occasions the Clio has been recalled over concerns about how the protectors over the brake hoses were fitted. If they are not fitted correctly this can cause the hoses to become worn, resulting in a fluid leak and reduced overall performance.

This issue mostly affects Mk4 Clios built up until April 2015.

2. Electrical wiring

Renault Clio electrical fault problems are common in almost all generations of the car, but there has actually been a recall for models built in 2019 due to the risk of short circuiting.

Electrical repairs for a Clio cost £58.68 on average.

Renault Clio 2019 to 2021

Power steering failure

Fortunately, this problem only affects a small number of Clio's that were made between June and November 2019. A warning message might appear on the instrument cluster and you’ll probably notice less steering assistance as well. 

If this issue happens to your car you’ll need the steering column to be replaced by a Renault dealer since it's subject to a recall.

Renault Clio general problems

There are some issues you might experience with your Clio that have been reported by owners, but these are more generic and haven’t been attributed to a particular version or year. 

Boot lock problem

Some Clios develop a problem with the boot lock mechanism causing the boot to remain locked. This can happen intermittently. The cause of the problem is the motor, also known as the actuator or solenoid. A mechanic will be able to fix this issue for you relatively easily by replacing the part.

ECU problems

ECU problems are encountered in a wide range of Clio's that were made prior to 2015. Symptoms can include the engine failing to start, no communication with the ECU, and an inactive main relay.

ECU repairs cost £177.88 on average for a Renault Clio.

Are Renault Clios reliable?

The most recent iterations of the Clio have considerably fewer common problems than some of the earlier releases and are generally deemed to be fairly reliable. 

The fifth-generation Clio is built on a whole new platform, so we won’t know exactly how reliable it is until it’s been on our roads for a few more years, but Renault typically scores averagely in customer satisfaction.


Renault Clio recalls

ProblemModels Affected
Wipers may not perform as expectedNov 2012-July 2015
Rear wheel may detachFeb 1st-17th 2016
Wheel may detachApril - Nov 2015
Rear spoiler may detachJan - Dec 2015
Reduction in braking performanceMarch 2013 - April 2015
Fuel may leakApril 2013 - April 2014
Braking efficiency might be reducedNovember 2012-July 2014
Potential loss of controlMar 2013
Engine valve faultSept 2010 - Nov 2010
Stop light failureDec 2005 - Feb 2006
Gearbox may malfunctionMarch 2006 - May 2006
Engine speed can differ from speed requested by driverSept 2002 - June 2004
Front suspension arm may breakOct 2002
Possible loss of brake servo assistanceApril 2002 - June 2002
Passenger airbag securityJuly 27 2000 - July 29 2000

If you're having problems with your Renault Clio, WhoCanFixMyCar can help you find the right garage at the right price.

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