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6 Common Reasons for Your Renault Clio Not Starting

Renault Clio

6 Common Reasons for Your Renault Clio Not Starting

The Renault Clio has been a beloved hatchback for about 3 decades now. It is inexpensive, oozes practicality, looks stylish, and is built tough. However, it does have some downsides with its engine, oil leakage, and transmission problems. Another common issue is the Renault Clio not starting.

Like any other vehicle, a host of battery problems are the usual culprits for the Clio not starting. The starter motor can also fail and so can the alternator. The Clio’s immobilizer can also trouble you at times and this can often be due to the key fob. Other nuisances such as a bad crankshaft sensor and fuse box issues are rarer.

Diagnosing these problems can be difficult. However, you should have an idea of them before you head to a technician. Shown below are the 6 common reasons for your Renault Clio not starting.

Battery Issues

Bad batteries are a common reason for your Renault Clio not starting.
Photo by Jeshua Deher on Unsplash

There are several battery problems that lead to your Renault Clio not starting. Corroded battery terminals are a common issue. The battery could have bad connections as well. Or, it could just be past its time and be needing a replacement. There are discharge issues as well.

Symptoms: The corroded terminals have deposits on them. There is usually a clicking sound heard on starting when the battery doesn’t have juice in it. If the battery is dead or disconnected, you probably won’t hear the self-starting noise. The engine may also have trouble cranking up like normal.

Solution: You can clean the terminals if they’re corroded. If the battery doesn’t have juice in it, it can be recharged. If it is dead or keeps discharging, you’ll have to change it.

Cost: Getting the battery cleaned will cost you around $30. Buying a 12V 20A charger will cost you at least $10, but it’s a one-time cost. Replacing the battery will cost at least $120.  

Starter Motor Problems

starter motor
Image by Jason Priest from Pixabay 

The starter is connected to the battery and it too can face problems. These also include bad connections, brushes, and the end of its useful life.

Symptoms: There are clicking noises experienced while starting when it has gone bad (provided the battery is ok). Or, the engine may not crank up.

Solution: You should always check the feeding connection to the starter. If it is bad then change the wire. You could also remove the connection and then put it back again to see a different result. If there’s a problem with the motor however, then you’ll have to replace it.

Cost: Fixing bad connections won’t really cost much. But replacing the entire motor will cost around $400.

Crankshaft Sensor Issues

Image by Wilfried Pohnke from Pixabay 

The crankshaft sensor (aka the sensor for measuring the crankshaft’s position) can also go bad. This will also cause starting troubles. It can also become dirty.

Symptoms: Apart from the starting problems and other symptoms, you’ll get a Check Engine light for your troubles.

Solution: You should first clean the sensor to see if it makes a difference. Otherwise, you could be looking at a replacement.

Cost: Cleaning the sensor shouldn’t be very pricey but having it replaced can cost at least $250.

Bad Fuse(s)

Ensure your fuse box works.
Image by howardmizuki from Pixabay

The fuse box can face some issues as well. The starter relay can become damaged, and so can the fan relay. Corrosion can happen and/or water can get into the box. Fuse melting is another problem.

Symptoms: You could get a startup error message pop up on trying to start the car. If there’s corrosion, you’ll be able to see it by pulling the fuses out.

Solution: Change any fuses or relays that are causing the problem.

Cost: Fuses are quite cheap if you go DIY (approx. $12) but if you haven’t done any electrical work before, it’s better to have it done by a pro. If your fuse box needs replacing, then it will cost at least $500.

Immobilizer Problem

Immobilizer problems are related to your key fob.
Photo by Obi – @pixel6propix on Unsplash

The immobilizer can be an easy culprit for your Renault Clio not starting. A major cause can be the dead battery of the key fob controller. Other than that, the immobilizer may not recognize the key fob or show some other error.

Symptoms: The immobilizer light won’t work if it’s not functioning. If the fob battery is dead then you won’t receive a response on any of your commands. If the immobilizer refuses to recognize the fob or there’s some internal problem in it, there will be a special red light turning on. The immobilizer light may also be seen flashing.

Solution: Your best bet is to change the fob battery in this case. To fix the fob problems, you should get an electrician immediately.

Cost: Changing the fob battery is cheap at around $10. For the other problems, the cost depends on the nature of the issue.

Damaged Alternator

A bad alternator can lead to the Renault Clio not starting.
Photo by Joshua Aragon on Unsplash

An alternator gone bad is another probable cause of your Renault Clio not starting. While this motor can last for hundreds of thousands of miles, it can fail due to several reasons. This is usually a problem with the older Renault Clio models.

Symptoms: If your battery is a new one and the car won’t start, then it means that it isn’t recharging. So, the alternator will likely be the culprit.

Solution: You’ll have to replace your alternator.

Cost: The replacement will set you back at least $400.

In Conclusion

The aforementioned causes were some of the common reasons for your Renault Clio not starting. You should keep them in mind before visiting a mechanic. Ensure that you have fuel in case the car doesn’t start, before diagnosing it.


How do you push start a Renault Clio?

You’ll need someone with you to push. Turn on your ignition switch and place the car in second gear with your foot down on the clutch. Get the car pushed and then slowly release the clutch pedal. The car should start then and you can press the clutch again or just continue driving.

How do I reset my Renault Clio immobilizer?

A way to do this is to put the key in the ignition, and then turn on the ignition switch. Then you should press and hold the central locking button, and turn off the switch. While still pressing on the central locking button, turn on the switch again. The immobilizer light won’t be flashing anymore.

How do I charge my Renault Clio battery?

Remove both the terminals and the bolts that fasten the battery to the engine bay. Take out the battery and then connect the cables of your charger to its positive and negative terminals. Turn on the charger and leave it for a couple of hours.