Renault 1.0 12V Sce H4D petrol engine – a budget car in a modern design.  Feedback, failure rate, operation

Renault 1.0 12V Sce H4D petrol engine – a budget car in a modern design. Feedback, failure rate, operation


The 1.0 12V Sce engine is a unit that compensates with its low power and good durability.

The large number of engines introduced for sale in the last few years have made us accustomed to the modern solutions used, which can often generate high repair costs. The exception is the 1.0 12V Sce three-cylinder engine manufactured by the Renault concern.

The unit was surprisingly short-lived. Its work lasted from 2014 to 2019. During this time, it was used, among others, in the third generation of Renault Twingo, its technological twin with the Smart logo. The task of the engineers was to create a unit as simple and cheap to build as possible, which in addition had to meet the unique parameters of the Twingo III engine compartment. Note that in the latest generation Twingo, the engine is located above the rear axle – under the boot floor. The limited space available necessitated compact dimensions with only three cylinders. The unit was mandatorily connected to a five-speed manual gearbox and driving the rear wheels.

It uses four valves per cylinder and, surprisingly, in the modern automotive industry – multi-point fuel injection. The installation of gas installation is possible, but the location of the engine greatly complicates the operation itself. There is also a big problem with the position of the LPG tank – the floor of the trunk must remain free, after opening it, we get free access to the engine. The unit is made of aluminum, graphite and carbon – all in the name of extremely low weight. The timing belt uses a chain, which seems like a good idea considering the location of the engine. In fact, as reported by mechanics, the strength of the chain and equipment is not an objection. A possible replacement of the timing device costs about PLN 2,000.

The small engine produces 60-71 KM, which is just enough for efficient movement around the city, the route is not powerful and flexible. In addition, some drivers notice a bad running noise with a clearly visible three-cylinder engine. To improve combustion results, the manufacturer tried to use a Start and Stop system and, interestingly, a system that recovers energy during braking. With the use of an alternator, the battery is recharged during braking, in the case of such a small engine the advantages are false – the most important thing, however, is that the system is maintenance-free and fail-safe. The 5W40 oil change interval is safely set at a year or 10,000 km.

The poor performance and working culture of the 1.0 12V SCE more than compensates for the low fuel consumption and lack of serious driving problems. In Twingo III, people are satisfied with 6-7 liters per hundred kilometers in urban traffic, about 5 liters on the highway. Frequent oil changes undoubtedly contribute to its long service life. Occasionally, there may be problems behind the exhaust valve of the gas circuit or a small sweat.

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