What happened to Renault Symbol over 20 years in Russia?

Alexander Kukalev works as an SMM specialist in a large Russian IT company. He bought his car at the age of 18 – he saved part of the amount, the rest was added by his parents. In 2008, the family did not choose a car on the classified site, but went to a car market on the outskirts of Chelyabinsk.

“Suddenly one eye caught her.

First of all, the beauty of the car was important to me.

Renault Symbol looks strange in 2022, but even now this strangeness is fascinating,” says Kukalev.

At the time of purchase, the Renault Symbol car was only six months old, had a mileage of 4 thousand kilometers and was not involved in any accidents. As it turned out later, the seller turned out to be Alexander’s father’s classmate, so

Although the car was sold for 350 thousand rubles, it was possible to reduce the price by 50 thousand rubles.

They decided to register the car for a retired dad so they could save on shipping tax.

“According to 2008 standards, we can say that we got our chance from the tail. The car has just been started, everything you need is there. It didn’t really interest me. It drives, beautiful – everything, I could not demand more than the first car, ”says a resident of Chelyabinsk.

Renault Symbol is equipped with a 1.4-liter engine producing 74 hp.

Alexander says this is enough to overtake the 1.6-liter Ford Focus in a straight line.

The equipment list included air conditioning and a pair of audio speakers, the radio tape recorder came from the seller. Electric windows and mirror adjustment are manual. It was cool in the cabin in winter, so I had to buy a heated pillow on the seat.


At first there were no problems with the car. Initial maintenance was easy and inexpensive, but subsequent maintenance was not easy – the student had to save money. When the car’s warranty expired, the owner stopped going to MOT.

Changed oil and filters only twice in 10 years.

In street racing, Alexander burned the clutch, so in the summer it began to stick, unpleasant, but tolerable and did not fix the car. Factory discs and pads lasted exactly five years, and the owner writes that his Symbol is Turkish, not Russian assembly.

“I realized that there was a problem with the metallic sound not disappearing while driving for a month. I changed discs and pads, traveled a year – change again. In general, I now wholeheartedly love factory components,” he said.

Once the wire of the central trunk lock was bent in the car. Replacement in the service cost 1 thousand rubles. Two months later the problem recurred, but this time Alexander again refused to spend money and went to a garden service, where the problem was solved for only 130 rubles. Kukalev said that the lock then worked for another six years, and there was not even a trace of a broken wire.

“The biggest problem was the alarm,” the owner recalls.

The machine could not be started from both manual and automatic start. The instruments showed that the alarm blocked the car. I had to study a lot of instructions on how to reset the electronics and restart everything. At one point the problem caused me to have to call a tow truck and take the car to the workshop.

“The master poked the wires with his hand and everything worked. Actually, after that, I fixed it myself – I pressed the wires, shook them in every possible way, and the car started. No one wanted to line up someone else’s work, so the price tags took up space. So I left for five years ” says.

Since I have owned Renault Symbol for 10 years, there has not been a single serious malfunction,

Notes Alexander. If the car was seriously looked after, it could be like new: at least the engine was definitely “healthy”, experts told the owner during the last diagnosis.

By 2018, the mileage of the car exceeded 100 thousand kilometers. He rarely went to the track, but was actively used in the city. The symbol was used as a “horse horse”: to get the harvest, to take the family for mushrooms, to go to school, to help friends carry things.

“I drove the car as originally designed and it never let me down,” the owner proudly says. “A few times, of course, in the wild frost (minus 30-35), it did not start, but after replacing the battery everything was fine.”

They filled the Renault Symbol with AI-92 gasoline, but sometimes Alexander filled it with the 95th. Fuel consumption was around 7-8 liters per 100 km in urban areas.

The owner nicknamed his car the “suffering” as it was involved in minor accidents several times.

“My first accident was usually funny. I stepped back, deciding to show off in front of my friends: I accelerated but didn’t notice the car. It flew into it – a soft-boiled bumper, the other – a dent. At first it even went away, but then it came back and retreated. I waited three hours for the traffic cops,” he recalls.

In 2018, Kukalev gave Renault Symbol to his sister to drive and bought a Kia Optima. Compared to his first car, the Korean sedan impressed Alexander with a wide variety of options, such as heated seats, blind spot sensors and adaptive cruise control.

It was difficult for the owner to leave the 10-year-old Symbol. According to Alexander, he would consider buying it for his son as the first car, as it is “indestructible”.

The French sedan Renault Symbol is one of the most popular economy cars in Russia in the early 2000s. The owner of such a car spent 10 years with him and told socialbites.ca about its features and problems during operation.

Source: Gazeta


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