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Brakes and First Service

First service yesterday; 5500 miles 14 months old.

Bad news on the brakes front. Service report advised immediate rear pad and disc replacement. I can confirm the price mentioned elsewhere on this forum. A whopping £700 to fit both rear discs and pads…!!!

Discs are 216 each and pads 65 for rear set inc. VAT. Fitting pads and discs is “2.5 units” which apparently is quite a lot. Part nos are stamped on the discs; pad no. is 440608195R.

Checked for myself and inner pads are almost on the metal (<1mm left) - in 5k miles?? Outer pad is 3mm.

Service report states disc thickness measures 4.33 which I confirmed yet 4mm min thickness was entered on the report…?? Stamped on the disc it says min thickness 3.5mm. Not much difference I agree but it doesn’t say what the initial thickness was. On the area of the disc right next to the pad where there has never been any contact, I measure 4.6mm. I think the disc wear life is from 4.5 to 3.5 =1mm. So in theory my discs are only 25% worn. These are very small figures compared to a normal car and so I can see how someone might think there is not much life left when really they are ok.

What I need to confirm is what is the thickness of a new disc. I shall ring Renault tomorrow and ask them to measure one - suppose they will have non in stock though…

For now i’ll get some pads from the dealer to fit myself. They are available for 54 Euros on the net but too much hassle for small saving.

The other brake issue I had was a sticking front brake piston. Freed it by taking the caliper off and cleaning the piston sides when pushed out some way.

Anyone else been here with the brakes??


That is a shocking price for discs and pads, I’d guess they are bespoke to the Twizy, the wheel bearings are built into them, the discs and hub are a single peice. I can understand your course of action, and going on your measurements that would make logical sense.

The disc thickness matters to the prevention of a worn set of pads dropping out of the caliper (I had that once on a Rover 800 at high speed on heavy braking into a bend, not a good situation, no foot brake, no handbrake, got it round 10mph faster than I thought the car would make it, scarey). If you take one pad out and close the caliper up and look to see if it’s likely the other pad could come out (test both) it will give you an idea if it’s likely to be a risk with the Twizy.

Disk thickness also matters to it’s heat performance. Thinner discs will heat up quicker (less mass of metal to disperse the heat) if we take 4.6mm to be the original disc thickness and 3.5mm, the discs will over heat in just over 2/3rds the time. It can give you brake fade and they discs are more prone to warp being both thinner and heating quicker. However down to 3.5mm that safety has been factored in by the disc manufacturer.

There is a reason for being stamped “3.5mm min thickness”, it’s because that’s the safe limit for those discs and you are measuring 4.3mm. Even if you measured 4mm (I suspect the dealer has rounded down not being used to such small discs) you have 45% of your disk wear left, the new pads will wear slightly quicker (bedding into a used disk). I think you will be fine with new pads, by the time you get to 1mm pad thickness again the disk will be at it’s minimum and then due changing.

Most people (and mechanics) miss understand and incorrectly identify “brake fade” to be the “brake fluid boiling”. Braking material doesn’t melt it sublimes, turning from solid to gas above it’s maximum temperature giving your pads an “air hocky puck” effect and like an air bearing almost no friction, that’s “Brake Fade”. It’s why race brakes are cross drilled with lots of holes to let the gasses escape. I’ve never had the brake fluid boil, it would give the same effect as air in the line, that’s more likely to happen to a sticking brake which will constantly heat while you travel. The pedal would go down further and have a spongy feel and unless they had boiled so badly that the pedal went to the floor it would merely make the car harder to stop (pump the peddle till it no longer goes to the floor). Severe brake fade will still have almost the right peddle feel, but not braking effect. It can leave a car impossible to hold stationary on a slope for a few mins until the discs and pads cool down.

I have to admire that the Twizy, driven very hard with 2 people, I’ve never managed to get the discs hot enough to get anywhere near fading. They are well spec’ed for the weight of car. It’s a different matter if you have a caliper or handbrake sticking.

Question:- How do you fit Twizy windows on an Urban? I take it you went for the doors upgrade when you bought it… :slight_smile:

Someone might in the future make a replacement disc for thr Twizy, because these running costs will write them off as they get older. The discs are very complex, with the hub built in, so it’s easy to see why they are pricey.
Megane rear hubs are similar, in that they come with the bearing & hub, these used to be Renault only for about £90 each, but brake manufacturers copy them , and they are about £35 each now.
Trouble is there are so few Twizy’s about , it is unlikely they will bother.

That is bad news for us Twizy owners. In a previous thread someone got 10K miles out of a set of rear pads and discs, which I thought bad enough as the Twizy is such a light vehicle. And now you only got 5.5K miles!! Tell us something, are you one of those late brakers? I tend to find myself driving the Twizy a little different from my other ICE cars. I don’t use the brakes a lot in the Twizy, anticipating having to slow down or stop and use the brake regen to slow the car down, when conditions allow, of course. Hopefully my discs and pads will last a bit longer.

Im not surprised the rear brakes seem to go on a lot of these first, most cars its always the fronts… but it seems that so many people say their rear brakes drag and bind a little…maybe thats why…

use the brake regen to slow the car down, when conditions allow, of course. Hopefully my discs and pads will last a bit longer.

I do the same so I am hoping my brakes will also last…


Im surprised people have not looked at trading standards with some of these brake problems, under the not fit for purpose, there is no way that a brake disc can go at so low mileage, it’s not right, they can point to wear and tear, but not a chance, too many brake problems for my liking.

When you realise TS is simply your local council’s old ‘Weights & Measures’ Dept they rarely do more than sent a letter (if that!). They seem to act only as in information gathering consolidator for consumer’s concerns in that area alone, and would never pursue an out-of-area miscreant - I doubt anyone would get any satisfactory resolution from their involvement.

After 16 years of watching, I’ve never been even slightly surprised at their action/in actions!

This is a real shame Renault have decided to make the brake pads so expensive to replace.

We were all open minded enough to buy into the Z.E concept and support Renault yet at every turn it feels like we’re being fleeced. No wonder resale value is so low.

It doesn’t feel like Renault give a damn about their customers and this is highlighted by the fact that they’re so slow to respond to possible faults if at all.

You would think, if they were so concerned with CS, that they would at least have someone from their PR department on these forums, answering questions and helping us out.

I suspect after 7000 miles my Twizy brake pads need replacing as I was hearing the brake rubbing noise probably for at least a month before I left the country. :frowning:

they have passed me onto consumer direct in the past, consumer direct were great, always got things sorted, sadly the goverment scrapped it last year, now it’s
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/consumer_e I don’t know how good it is. But brakes failing on like 800 or 1500 miles is just plain wrong, it’s not fit for purpose, I also feel the dragging rear brakes could be part of the problem.

Patrick, I wonder if it is worth your while to appeal to the better side of Renault and ask them if they will replace the discs and pads under warranty, or at least contribute to their replacement. I know brakes come under “wear and tear” items and are not covered by warranty, but to last only 5500 miles is ridiculous. If Renault look after their customers, they should do something here as a good will gesture.
I have experience with Lexus who will contribute or even replace items that fail prematurely, even outside the warranty period. That’s why they are always top in customer satisfaction surveys. Renault can learn something there.

i think we should act on this problem and get our brake disks measured for wear, its fairly easy to do and some motor factors with perform the check for free.

if we can prove that we are all having issues with the disk then we might be able to force Renault to look at the problem?

my feeling is that either the brake pad material is too abrasive or the material for the disk is not hard enough.

if enough of us shout I think Renault will take notice.

There are two issues here,
1/ The parts are extremely overpriced and cost more than the equivalent Clio, Megane etc parts which need to be of higher spec due to weight of vehicle
2/ Being fitted on such a light vehicle which also has regen braking, they should last a great deal longer than on the equivalent heavier petrol car (to which the same type of bearing type disc is fitted). 12 months/5000-odd miles is ridiculous and shows there is a design fault

Put simply, the parts do not need to be as high spec as for a 200BHP Clio so therefore should be cheaper. All brakes (if used constantly and not allowed to rust deeply) should last for 25,000+ and at least a few years. For the parts to fail so soon is wrong and for the replacement parts to be so expensive is wrong.

As an example main dealer fixed price for pads and discs for a Lexus IS (which need to be far higher spec) are as follows front £295, rear £275

There was an OTS recall for brakes; I believe it was for a leaking pipe and for sticking calipers, so if your Twizy fell into the number range, demand new discs/pads

I would not accept this cost as being part of routine maintenance, it needs dealing with urgently before you all get stuck with it. I wonder if the Dacias use the bearing type discs and if so how much do they cost? Compare and contrast…

Another thing to be dealt with by the Twizy Action Group*?? I loved mine but if I had faced the epic depreciation, the throttle issues, the parts supply issues, the charging issues and the total lack of interest from Renault and then got saddled with this, mine would have been launched through their head office window and made national media!

*The Twizy bunch are a calm lot, but seriously, could you see any of the other forums letting all of the above ride without some sort of action?
Pistonheads would be out with flaming torches, effigies and pitchforks by now if this related to say…an Impreza…:lol:

Ho hum

I agree, you can see that I have taken action before, said the right things… It works… It’s not right that a car should need discs on the low miles… Don’t just settle for the wear and tear bull sh*t… Any expert will have them for this, they won’t stand a chance… Have you ever know a car to need discs at like 1000 or 2000 miles?

… Have you ever know a car to need discs at like 1000 or 2000 miles?

Where did you read that? I missed that one. The worst one I have read is Patrick at 5500miles, which is totally unacceptable. Having said that I just can’t see Renault specify the use of pads and discs that will wear out after a few thousand miles with normal use. In fact I just can’t see any reputable supplier/manufacturer even making such discs and pads, unless maybe some cheap Chinese copies, for after market. So there has got to be some other explaination, and the most probable one is binding rear brakes. Didn’t they have a recall on that? If it happens to me, I will certainly take it up with Renault, because it just doesn’t sound right.

I suggest all of those with problems of any kind start making a fuss about this.

Lets start tweeting about our problems, specifically including @electricandy in our tweets. His name is Andy Heiron and he’s the head of ZE at Renault. I’ve met him, he’s a nice guy but he hasn’t responded much to any of my tweets made from the TwizyOwners twitter account.

If more of us start sending him tweets then surely he can’t ignore the problems. Also include @renaultze too!

Andy has been replaced by Ben Fletcher @ben_bik on Twitter.

I’ve been talking to Ben Fletcher and have spoken to Andy Heiron. Both great guys to deal with, there’s some great people at Renault.

Sadly they can be very limited by the companies procedures. Pointing at a problem, diagnosing it and even giving them the telephone number of the guy at the company who made the component (the charger in my case) and saying “this guy will know both the answer and the solution” has got me nowhere in 8weeks.

Only way I can charge my Twizy at the moment is to put it on the end of a long extension cable, drop the mains voltage below 248volts with a heater and then it will charge. If you think 248v is high (I think it is) the UK grid network up to 253v AC is within specification and UK Power Networks quite rightly say (because that is within European Mains spec 230v +10% they don’t have to turn it down). The Twizy was spec’d to charge up to a ceiling of 260v. Someone in France set it lower, it’s either a programming error or more worryingly the mains side components of it’s switch mode power supply can’t take it. The amount of BS I’ve been getting worries me.

France is now on holiday for the month, nothing is going to get done with my car, I’ve asked Renault to send me a device to allow me to reduce the voltage so I can charge my Twizy safely on the mains here until they sort it out. Ben tells me RCS have the budget and the authority to do that, they are claiming the car doesn’t have a problem so the won’t send it. I can demonstrate the problem.

In fact this week I might be making a video as RCS WILL NOT allow me to demonstrate the problem to the dealer and I know the Dealer does not have the necessary equipment to reproduce the fault… Yet I can reproduce it every time.

Thanks for the suggestion askho. Eventually it may come to that but I could do without the hassle of endless phone calls and emails that I am sure it would entail. For now the plan is to replace the pads and use my own judgement that the discs are fine and should be good for another 3 yrs. (25% worn today). By then, there may be a cheaper disc available.

My real issue with Renault would be - has the service technician been told the wrong min thickness, did he just make a mistake or is the 3.5mm stamped on the disc relating to some other application?