AMC listers--- if you are buying an AMC/Renault, here are a few tips to look out
AMC/Renault Alliances, Encores are generally a good running and well engineered little
car. It is reliable, can be cheap to operate, gets great mileage and can be a lot of fun.
There are a few trouble spots with the car, now in its service history, but, you can
expect a well maintained Alliance, Encore to go over 200,000 miles with the usual repairs,
brakes wear etc..... JUST LIKE ANY OTHER CAR.
- If you buy a Renault nowget one that has not been mechanically abused. This is
sort of a misnomer, since the Alliances, Encores have filtered down through the population
and pretty much settled on the poor TYPE people who sometimes neglect proper service.
- Automatic transmissions in the 1.4 and 1.7 engines were notoriously weak, and have cost
past $1200, and UP to repair. If you get an automatic trans nowand it still holds
gear, then put on a trans cooler immidiately BEFORE the Radiator and do not connect
it to the radiator anymore. Also change the auto trans immediatelyand flush and fill
it every 8 to 10,000 miles. Also check it for any burn smell on a regular basis. Use
dextron 3 trans fluid, good stuff too... not cheapie crap!
- Get a stick transmissionpreferably a 5 speed. Fluid changes on stick transmissions
are required. 4 speeds with high miles and unchanged gear oil have been known to break
gears and trans cases....
- The 1.4 uses a chain timing mechanism., the 1.7 and the 2.0 uses a rubber timing
beltand I have seen probably 85 dead Renaults with broken timing belts in the junk
yards. THIS IS AN INTERFERENCE ENGINE AND REQUIRES A NEW BELT EVERY 50,000 MILES BEFORE
THEY BREAK!!! If the belt breaks, be prepared to spend over $1,000 for labor and
partsIE,, the reason so many are in the junk yards.....
- Keep you brake fluid clean, flush the system, check rear wheel bearings for wear.
- Replace the torn rubber boots immediately of the front half drive shafts- or have them
re-built at a local shop, then put them back in.
If you like the carbuy one-- a lot of people liked them in the early 80s
and a lot of people still like them NOW in 2000 . LIKE ANY OLDER CAR- It must have regular
and decent preventative maintaince performed on a regular basis. A bonus to the Alliance,
Encore and 87 GTA (with 2.0 liter) is that parts cars and the cars themselves, are still
plentiful in big cities, and the hobby of owning the AMC/Renault can be a lot of fun for
little $$$$$$. In other words- depressed prices.
Now the bad news!
A 1.4 engined Alliance can be very slow- almost irritating if you are used to a barn
- It would be wise to get a parts car, with Dealer items almost gone from Chrysler.
- You will be "on you own" with the Alliances, Encores with little help from
others except Me, the Renault clubs, here in USA ( ROCONA) and Europe, and a lot of others
who love their North American made Renaults check e-mails and Hemmings motor news, (also
egroups.com) and personal Renault private sites.
- You will be virtually ignored by AMC list, except for the occasional hate mail from
Ignoramuses who disliked the corporate AMC/Renault merger in l980 to keep AMC from
But the rest of the Good news!!
Be prepared to get a car with computer fuel injection, good handling, great mileage,
fairly cheap used parts, and meet a bunch of great people who love AMC Renaults!!!! Good
luck !!!! Joe Wagner