Renault Clio 3 flood

photo of a Clio IIIThe subject tackles the delicate problem that may encounter many owners of this type of vehicle, in all its versions. I therefore offer you a long tutorial that I designed during this intervention, which consists of 2 phases, disassembly and reassembly.
To begin with, I strongly advise against parking under trees, you will understand this by reading the rest of my article ...

When we lift the hood of the engine compartment, we discover below the windshield a grid designed to prevent the intrusion of leaves and other plant debris ( hence my reflection in the previous paragraph ... ). During the maintenance of this car which still had a water level of several cm throughout the cabin, I undertook its complete dismantling including the upholstery, carpet, and foams, without forgetting of course, gently disconnect the various connectors connected both to the front seats and to the rear lights multiplexing unit and other electrical accessories located in front of the handbrake lever.

In this regard, it is obvious that it is necessary to park your car correctly outside, then to disconnect the positive pole of the battery, it is imperative for what will follow because the vehicle will not be then any more movable!

For information, I did not know the vehicle at all because I bought it recently used, and I do not have the RTA ( Revue Technique Automobile ).
The complete disassembly occupied me for 6 hours but making sure I did not forget anything ( connectors ... ) and taking my time, so allow time in front of you before starting!

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Before reading the following, please know that I can in no way be held responsible for any damage that your equipment may suffer during or / and after this type of intervention.


§ Disassembly section

Dismantling of upholstery, consoles and other carpets and accessories :

I took the opportunity to take some pictures that I offer you below:
As you can see after all this time, here is what the interior of your favorite car should look like ...
The disassembly of the seats requires a pay particular attention to the different wiring connectors for which finesse is required, and you will need a Ø 40 TORX key to unscrew the 4 fixing bolts of the 2 front seats. All that remains is to disconnect the seat belt from the seat, and this is easily done with a simple screwdriver.

Be careful, however, to avoid any unfortunate impact, because the locking plug is connected to the bottom of the seat on the side to a pyrotechnic system which actuates, among other things, the belt pretensioner. As for the side airbag integrated into the seat, apart from the connecting cables, I did not see a sensor ...

view of the seat belt unlocking system

view of the system for locking the seat belt

For the rear seats, nothing could be simpler, you lift them forward to fold them vertically, and then disengage the rods serving as hinges by bending them slightly. For the backrests, you have a locking latch at each end that you will release using a simple screwdriver, then with a Ø 17 socket you will remove the central support which also incorporates the belt supports. I didn't take any pictures for this phase, it's so obvious ...

To remove the carpet and then the foams, it will be necessary to disconnect many wiring connectors ( sometimes using a small flat screwdriver to operate the locking levers ... ) for which dexterity is required ( I allows me to recall it ... ), and also proceed with the disassembly of the multiplexing box of all the rear electrical part, located I recall it on the central bridge between the gear lever and the hand brake lever.

Previously I was referring to the fact of parking your car properly, this is obviously due to the fact that it will be necessary to be able to leave all the doors wide open without risking blocking the street, because drying may take several days! Indeed, the only preformed foam that I have not removed is the one that starts from the bottom of the windshield behind the dashboard, the heating / air conditioning system, pedals and steering column. I no longer wanted to play, so I placed 2 wooden wedges to raise this moss to ground level ... They are also clearly visible in the photo below.
So it's up to you ...

Photo of the interior of the dismantled Clio III

The following photo shows an area of ​​corrosion due to the accumulation of water for ... I don't know how long!

interior photo of the vehicle

This photo shows the location of the plastic sandblasting pellet, which is clipped and glued, which you will need to remove to empty the standing water.
If it is not too damaged, you can put it back in place by gluing it with silicone for example, or buy 2 new ones
( one on each side at the front )

view of the location of the sanding tablet to be removed ...

Let's see what to do on the side of the engine compartment ...
To be able to remove the 2 wiper blade arms, open the bonnet because we do not have access to the Ø 17 nuts ... They are securely fitted on conical grooved shafts, it is not always easy to remove them ... once this has been done, on either side of the protection grid are 2 plastic screws which can be removed by levering with a screwdriver is special, but it comes ... now remove the hood gasket, then remove the grille.
You will also need to remove the protective flap from the ventilation grille, held in place by 4 Ø 10 bolts, and 2 Ø 10 nuts at the ends which hold the covers of the shock absorber cups.

You now have access to your mini pool! Normally, this should not happen, but me, this is already the second time that this has happened to me, and it is probably only the beginning, especially if you plan to keep the vehicle for several years!

Dismantling and cleaning the overflow drains:

engine compartment photo

As you can see in this photo, I have spotted the locations of the 2 evacuation holes ( which are blocked ... ), and if like me you are really unlucky, you may even see traces of moisture through the ventilation grille in the center under the windshield. This is where the excess water infiltrates, which then dribbles down behind the dashboard and then soaks the foam ( and the carpet ... ) under your feet. For information, the side exhaust ports communicate with the engine compartment through rubber hoses. To unblock them, after spotting with the fingers since we can see a drop ( !!!), I use Ø 2.5mm electric wire, one end of which I carefully bend, but the ideal is to have a nylon electrician's cable pullerwith at its end a small metal part fitted with a small ball. It is more convenient to use because the 2.5 wire tends to bend during insertion! It only remains to use it by making it penetrate several times and thus observe, finally, the disappearance of the accumulated water. In the process, you will also notice the accumulation of water in the shock absorber cups.

Leave everything wide open, in full sun if possible, and wait for it to dry ...

Securing the vehicle during the night :

To secure your car at night outside, given that it is no longer possible to lock the doors electrically, a problem arises ...

First :
the fuel door ... how to do it?
Unfortunately, there is only one solution, it is to remove the 2 screws which hold the small right rear shelf serving to support the rear shelf, to raise it ( not too hard ... ), to lower the piece of carpet and there ... stupor!
No access, we only see the support of the retractable belt ... if you have fairy fingers ( and I sincerely wish you ... ), you will have to slide a finger behind the top of the support belt, and by searching carefully, you will discover an access in the sheet metal behind which is hidden ... the rod of the fuel filler flap locking cylinder!
To do this, you obviously have to slide it down, and at the same time note that this time it is now locked.

Second :
the rear trunk: very simple, you just have to slam it normally, but you will not be able to open it from then on!
Except that Renault has still provided a small white plastic lever protected by a small black film glued that you will also have to remove. By sliding it to the left ( while being of course in the trunk ... ), you will hear the magical sound of the lock which emerges. It's a miracle !
rear trunk lock view

Third :
the doors: take your user manual ( if you have it ... ) and see page 1.16, the procedure is explained.
Lock the rear doors first, then the front right-hand door, and finally the driver's door. Your vehicle is completely locked.

Fourth :
to open, use your key in the lock on the driver's side ( in any case, there is only this one ... ), once the door is open, open the others from the inside and the turn is play !

copy of user manual on page 1.16

Checking and cleaning the seals :

It should be while the vehicle is at a standstill to visually check that all the door and tailgate gaskets are in good condition.
Here are some pictures again, much more telling than all the words ...

view of door seals

I tried with the Kärcher 160 bar, nothing helped, I had to resort to the good old bucket and sponge method, soaked in household floor cleaning liquid.
Because of course, the lip seals like the one seen above were full of junk ...

view of door seals

View of the door seal this time ...

view of door seals

They must all be free of cuts and other dirt, otherwise the lip seal will eventually overflow if the flow does not take place, and suddenly, when the doors are opened, water will enter the passenger compartment and come. wet the rear seats and the carpet!

Special feature of 5-door versions :Versatile blocking resin

Between the 2 windows of the rear doors there is a separation bar fixed from above using a rivet. To have read it on certain forums, it seems that an infiltration is possible by this place, and it is therefore necessary to replace these 2 rivets by new ones previously coated with silicone. But as I did not have any and my Loctite blue seal had taken the gel (...), I fell back on a product that I had in my workshop, this time it is a resin of RontProduction versatile blocker used among other things for thread blocking, but its use is wide.

view of the fixing rivet to be replaced

Unbox the window seal once lowered, and to remove the rivet, you will need a drill equipped with a 7mm drill bit at least to cut out the head of the rivet ( aluminum head ... ). This done, I recommend the use of a DREMEL with cutting discs, I have one that came immediately, but the second gave me a hard time!
For information, the drilling of the upright is Ø 5mm.
Thoroughly clean the gasket between the jamb and the top of the door, and apply the resin to a good surface around the drill hole. Also coat a new rivet ( aluminum head ... ) 4.8x16.9mm ( MAXIMUM length!), and rivet it taking care that there is no play between the vertical upright and the top of the door. Let dry before reassembling the window seal.

view of the new rivet and its resin seal

view of the new rivet and its resin seal

Drying foam mats :

Hardly any solutions, except to enjoy the sun, if there is any!

view of the moss drying in the sun

view of the foam drying

view of the foam drying

photo of a silicone seal cartridge§ Winding section

We have now arrived at the end of the drying of the various elements, all that remains is to reassemble the whole, and make sure that the vehicle is fully functional!
We will have to start first by locating the different foams in order to position them correctly and in the right place, because after ten days, the memory tends to forget certain details which may prove to be important during reassembly.

The following photo shows the reassembly of the sanding pellet using a silicone gasket so as to obtain a perfect waterproofness of the floor.

In this section, nothing very complicated, except to pay particular attention to the passage and fixing of the various cables, but also to take care to avoid any unexpected violent impact of a seat in particular, because of the pyrotechnic cartridges so much. both the seat belt pretensioner system and the side airbag systems integrated into the front seats.

view of the silicone sandblasting tablet 

view of the covering of the foams under the carpet ...

view of the connector location on the driver's sideview of the positioning of the multiplexing box of the car's rear wiringview of the fixing of the cable connecting the multiplexing boxview of the passage through the carpet of the cable connecting the passenger seat

For my part, at the end of the reassembly of all the elements mentioned, I reconnected the battery, and proceeded to the tests of all the electric components of the car.
Then, in order to check that everything was in order, I carried out a short test drive, just to check that no fault light comes on ...

Here, I know that this tutorial is very long, but at least, for those of you who would not dare to try this work because of ignorance now know what to expect.
It is achievable by everyone, provided that we have a minimum of tools, but also free time!
A last little word ... the assembly / test took me less than 5 hours ...

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