Elec­tronic Di­ag­nos­tics: Re­nault Me­gane II 1.4

With the Sagem 3000 man­age­ment sys­tem.

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Contents -

The first-gen­er­a­tion Re­nault

Mé­gane made its de­but in 1995, with a range of body types, but owing much to the pre­ced­ing Re­nault 19 in terms of its plat­form, driv­e­train and run­ning gear. The restyled and re-en­gi­neered se­cond-gen­er­a­tion Mé­gane was voted Euro­pean Car of the Year for 2003, and was no­table for be­ing the first model in its class to be awarded five stars in the Euro NCAP safety rat­ings.

The new­comer had some dis­tinc­tively mod­ernistic styling fea­tures sim­i­lar to those of the Avan­time and, at the time of its in­tro­duc­tion, much was also made of the stan­dard-fit key­card ig­ni­tion ac­ti­va­tion sys­tem, which re­lied on a card be­ing in­serted into a slot in the fas­cia. The key­card also con­trolled the ve­hi­cle’s cen­tral lock­ing sys­tem.

In­no­va­tive or not, this sys­tem – which has also been used on other mod­els in the line-up – has over time proved to be flawed in many ways. At worst, it has left many a Re­nault owner stranded with a ve­hi­cle that re­fuses to start. Of­ten the card reader sim­ply doesn’t recog­nise a key­card that has be­come dam­aged. More about this later, but for now it is im­per­a­tive that own­ers are aware that Re­nault key­cards are frag­ile and need to be treated with ut­most care; in par­tic­u­lar, try to avoid drop­ping, sit­ting on or flex­ing the card. Rec­ti­fi­ca­tion of card-re­lated prob­lems is usu­ally ex­pen­sive and time-con­sum­ing.

It should also be noted that Mé­gane electrics are sim­i­larly del­i­cate. Pa­tience is cer­tainly a virtue for own­ers and op­er­a­tors of these mod­els, which were su­per­seded by third-gen­er­a­tion cars from late 2008.

A va­ri­ety of petrol and diesel en­gines was of­fered in the Mé­gane II and our ve­hi­cle here is a 1.4-litre petrol model reg­is­tered in 2003. The en­gine code K4J is con­trolled by a Sagem 3000 man­age­ment sys­tem.

Our guide to this model’s en­gine and its sys­tem is Ed­ward Hag­gar.


These Re­naults suf­fer from a num­ber of wiring/elec­tri­cal faults that can chal­lenge the pa­tience and wal­let of even the keen­est owner. Preven­tion rather than cure is the best way for­ward in or­der to re­tain your san­ity and bank bal­ance! En­sure that all the wiring and con­nec­tions are dry at all times – a good cov­er­ing of sil­i­cone pro­tec­tant will help.

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