Finding those elusive spares

This club. Several members, like myself, have some parts, left over from old vans, or kept for a rainy day. Contact the Technical Officer to see if the club has the part you need. Spares are reserved for club members, but it's quite inexpensive to join (you might get some free advice too).

Your local Motor Factor. These are the people who supply parts to garages, and are really good at helping you. You need to know what to ask for - remember to quote the year, size and engine capacity of your van. Ideally take the old part down with you to show them. Don't be put off by the lack of fancy premises (like Halfords) these guys know their stuff and can order you things you need usually by next day delivery.

Your local Renault dealer. You can get a pleasant surprise from Renault that your parts are still available, and sometimes at not too extortionate a cost. You can help them a lot if you can quote the Renault Part number (usually beginning with a '7') that you need. That way, even if your vehicle itself is too old for their computerised system, the part may still be found.

Seekpart24 RTMR member Mark Gannon found this company on the internet and says: "I have used a company called Seekpart24, (based in Germany), a few times to get parts said to be unobtainable in the UK. They appear to be a sourcing company rather than a stock holder, but they always seem to come up with the goods, sent in Seekpart 24 boxes. They deal in all makes and models of vehicles, not just Trafics, and the website is in English and very easy to use. Once you have selected your vehicle, year, model etc you are shown all catergories of parts they can obtain. Pricing is in Euros, but that is favourable at the moment! I have obtained a stabiliser link bush kit made by Quinten Hazell (said to be obsolete by my local QH specialst), genuine Valeo MK1 headlamps, and other bits and pieces". Mark does go on to say though, that certain parts are more expensive than they are in the UK - it pays to check! Link to Seekpart24 website

A vehicle breakers, such as Vic Barlow (01302 846444) or a similar place close to you who can supply you who breaks light commercial vehicles. Yellow pages should help you find one (look under Vehicle Dismantlers'). Again, same rules about identifying the parts apply as in (1). Be aware too that second hand parts can suffer from the same kind of wear and tear as the one you are trying to replace!

There are also some internet based vehicle breakers with useful search engines.
www.ebay.co.uk. Ebay has the possibility of being a very useful website for finding that elusive spare part. You do however need to be doubly sure that it is the right spare for your van, as with an internet auction, you can't take it back if it doesn't fit! I search for ren* traf* and check the results. This is because you'd be surprised how many people who list their spares can't spell 'Renault' or put 2 'f's in Trafic! By putting a * in the search it picks up all possibilities. The usual cautions about buying over the internet apply, but I've personally found that 9 out of 10 parts bought through ebay work out fine.

Parts Gateway and similar sites will send your request to all the breakers in their network. If any of these breakers have the part you require, they will contact you directly with details of the part, price and shipping costs.

When the going gets tough…..
If your van's engine or gearbox goes, but the rest of the vehicle is OK, if you can't find a replacement Trafic engine it can be possible to find engines from other vehicles which are the same as the Trafic . For example, there are some other Renault models (notable the 18, 21 and fuego and perhaps some others) that shared the same engine as the early Mk1 Trafic. Notable the 2068cc diesel engine continued for a long time in the Renault Espace. Also, some Volvos around the 340 and 440 model used the same 1397, 1647 and 1721cc engines as the Trafic. If you could find one of these vehicles being broken or for sale, you MIGHT find that they have the right engine or gearbox for you - again, check VERY CAREFULLY before buying.

Best Wishes
Chris Stebbing
RTMR Technical Officer

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