Twizy - second hand pre-purchace inspections

Hi guys,

Some time ago I posted a thread about whether or not a Twizy would make it up a steep hill in order to decide whether one could meet my requirements. Finally I managed to make my wife have a test-drive, which honestly has not been easy because of the disinterest of the local dealerships. Fortunately a nice local let my wife have a go in his Twizy and as could be expected she completely fell for his charm. Of the Twizy. I hope…

Now that the misses has approved, I am honestly more directed towards finding a second hand model in the area and I’ve made some viewing appointments for the next coming days. I’ve been looking online for some inspection tips or weak spots of Twizies in order to make good purchase evaluations and thought this thread could function as a container for all second hand buying advice.

From different threads and my own personal experience I’ll kick off with the following:

  • Charger problems
    Looks like a small time-bomb as I’ve read online. As far as I’ve read it’s especially a UK problem caused by the large fluctuations in electrical household current, and especially in first generation chargers. Replacing one here in Italy would cost about €800,- excluding labour. From the polls I noted on this blog, there is about a 23% chance of it going wrong.

  • Cracked seat
    As far as I can tell, there has been a recall, but you can slide your camera phone under the front seat and take some pictures up underneath, to see if it has cracked. Renault modified this spare part since June 2013 so newer Twizy will not have this problem. If you have this problem on your “old” Twizy, you can change it under warranty although I am not sure what they will do with older Twizies that have lost their warranty or in other countries rather than the UK.

  • Brakes
    As Osbrook mentioned: the biggest problem will be the brakes. To check during a test drive:
    Do they work
    Do they come off after applying
    Does the handbrake release the brakes on both sides
    Do the brakes stick on
    Good maintenance and cleaning should keep problems away and fixing problems should not be too hard and costly

  • Doors
    Do they open and stay open, could be the gas struts that are up for replacement. Replace them with at least 830N, should not be hard or costly.

  • Sticking accellerator
    Personally I have the impression this is a moist / dirt problem that especially happens if you often drive in wet / sandy environments, but is potentially extremely dangerous. I would often check if the accelerator pedal movement is natural and when the least imperfections arrise, try to clean and lubricate it. If that does not happen change the entire throttle control. Should be around €150,-

Looking forward to hearing what you guys think about it!

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Thought I’d add some information to this list based on my experience after having seen a couple of second hand twizies. To be frank, here in Italy I am not at all impressed with the status of second hand cars in general and the Twizy fits right into this line thought. Prices are too high for the offered “quality”, and therefore very probably it’s much more intelligent buying a new one. It’s just that the dealers are so incredibly lousy it makes me not wanting to buy a car from them…

  • Front charging cord flap
    Although the cover seems tough, the two plastic brackets holding it in place are easily damaged. Especially here in Italy, they only sell the Twizy with an enormous industrial 4 pin plug that takes up a lot of space, so it’s not that easy to fit it into the designated space. Therefore it is probable that the previous owners every now and then have “forced” the flap over the charging lead, thereby pushing it upwards and braking the brackets, or at least damaging either one of them.
    On this forum there are various methods posted about how to repair a damaged or broken flap, but a new replacement part is not expensive and easy to install.

  • Tires
    They are relatively cheap to buy, but I would make sure they are all from the same brand & type as it already tells a lot about how and on what budget the previous owner maintained the car. I’ve come across Twizies that had winter tires at the back and summer tires up front, not an ideal situation. I’ve also noted that almost all Twizies needed the wheel alignment / convergence to be adjusted, which was easily demonstrated by the uneven tire wear. Most of the front tires had a lot of tire wear on the inside of the front tires. For getting the most miles out of a second hand Twizy it is probably wise anyway to have the convergence done over.

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Looks like a good list. Certainly my brakes had to be replaced when I purchased mine, my charger flat is also slightly broken with one of the brackets snapped.

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What exactly did you have replaced? Just the pads or the disks as well? I believe just cleaning them already does a good job.

The Twizy I’ve seen yesterday had been sitting still for over 12 months and the disks looked terrible. I took it around for a spin and significantly used the brakes but the disks remained ugly and the brakes continued not to come off completely and make noise on the go. In this case I think I also would replace the disks for example…

I replaced the pads on mine, the discs were in OK condition. The garage advised that the discs were fine as is but may need replacing in the future.

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