I have a 03 registered C3 SX HDI. It's 21 months old and has done around 33,500 miles. It's been fine, until Friday when it refused to start having only been driven 90 minutes earlier. Recovery failed to get the car restarted, so it is now at a Citroen UK dealer awaiting diagnostics.
It is the first thing I've had go wrong with the car and I like the car. I hope that it will be back on the road shortly.
I have a Citroen C3 1.4 HDI (92Hp) which diesel engine became very noisy when going from idle to normal rolling speed and difficult to start in the morning. Apparently the problem are the injectors that start leaking pressure and some type of valve in the engine head. It happened frequently to other engines like mine as I discovered.
Citroen in Portugal kept silent about this and the car went through several routine inspections without mechanics saying anything about it. I finally decided to search for the reason, but by then the car was out of the warranty.
I would like to know if anyone had a C3 with the same problem.
We Purchased our C3 1.4Hdi 16V in Sept 2002 as our main Vehicle. The car had some light use for the first 10 months – approx 9000 miles, but there were no problems (except stuttering from cold – see below), and despite apparently ‘flimsy’ trim – as demonstrated by Top Gear, nothing rattled or fell off. Good so far! In March 2003 whilst driving at about 75mph in the outside lane of the M6 suddenly I lost power - drastically, it’s as if the Turbo had been removed. I stopped in a service station having limped across the carriageways. The engine felt flaccid. After a short break, I started the car again, and all was well. – It has never happened since. My Brother who is a Renault trained Mechanic (and now college lecturer...) suggested that some valve on the turbo/ exhaust was not operating or had stuck.
I now have 48,000 miles on the clock and here are a few of the problems….
If I stall it - the power steering stops working
TIP operating the ingnition 3 times resets the ECU and it starts working again.
On cold (1-2C) days, when there is one bar of water temperature visible, the car stutters and hesitates whilst accelerating gently, this disappears completely when the car is warm – another couple of minutes running, the Citroen techs have never found the problem. It feels just like Carburettor Icing, but it doesn’t have carbs…… (I have a Japanese Motorbike so I know all about carb icing)
I struck some debris on the motorway and stalled as I braked and pulled onto the hard shoulder. When I started up, the engine was running rough- panic, my Citroen assist had run out... Guess what?, In desperation I operated the ignition switch three times...
At 37000 miles – the wiper motor failed (replaced under warranty)
At 38000 mile service, BOTH rear discs and pads required replacing – what’s all that about? I had to pay. Parts weren’t overly expensive, but I’ve never worn a set of rear discs out in my life, and the daily 105 mile round trip is on the motorway.
At 48,000 – I now get a rhythmic knocking sound from the front wheels at low speed, seems to disappear when the brakes are applied – could be pad knock, but I’ll get it checked at the forthcoming service.
Good bits. 62.5 MPG – reasonably comfortable – looks different, nice boot. Very few rattles. Lots of torque.
Would I recommend it??? Hmmm, not bad enough to hack me off is cheap to run (under warranty…) but a few pointers that make me nervous about hanging on to it. On the other hand, it’s all mine and with 50k on the clock in three years it’s probably worth bugger all.
My overall ownership experience rating = 60%
Just a quick comment about all these C3's. As a Citroen Technician, I can tell Citroen technical support and customer services are among the industries worst. The reason why you can't get any engine parts is that Ford and Citroen are on a massive engine building program and all the parts go on new engine... on there new engines... everything is built to a budget and Citroen's budget is small... hey you bought a cheap car and that's what you got...
September 2005 I purchased a 53 plate C3 1.4 (i.e. 18 months old). For the first six weeks it was wonderful and I was delighted... but then the problems started. It first broke down in mid-October when the engine fault light came on, and I lost all power. I was stranded in a school carpark for 2 hours awaiting recovery, and was finally towed to the Citroen dealership. They informed me that "the problem has been erased from the computer memory and it will probably be all right now". I was very unhappy with this, and sure enough within two weeks the same problem occurred - the warning light came on, I lost all power, and had to be rescued again.
We are now in May, some 9 months since I bought the car, and it has now BROKEN DOWN SEVEN TIMES with the same problem. The dealership are so sick of me that their manager suggested I try taking it to a different Citroen garage for repair, as his workforce appear to be missing something! We have tried to negotiate a replacement car or refund, but Citroen have offered £1600 less than the price we paid for it, and have the cheek to offer us a trade in that will cost us more money for a car of similar age and mileage.
They have replaced no end of parts, and I have had to use a courtesy car on several occasions. But they haven't been able to find out what is wrong with it, and I am sick fed up of an unreliable car that I cannot allow my teenage daughters to use in case they get stranded miles from home. I regret ever buying a C3, and would never consider buying a Citroen again. As I write this my car has broken down again today, but being a Saturday there is nobody in the Citroen garage, so I am left without a car all weekend, awaiting yet another call from my new best mate, the service manager at the Citroen garage.
I am now at the stage where I think I will have to cut my losses and accept the paltry amount that Citroen have offered, as my warranty runs out in three months' time and Citroen have confirmed that I will be responsible for any repair costs after this - even if it is the same problem that they have failed to resolve. No doubt the car will be put onto their forecourt with a huge mark-up, and some other poor, unsuspecting punter will buy themselves a turkey of a car. My advice - don't touch a C3 with a barge pole!
I have a great little Citroen C3 Desire, well it would be potentially, but I have had endless problems with the fuel injection. I am on first name terms with the guys at the Dealership in Northamptonshire who are most probably sick of the sight of me.
Lots of parts have been replaced and I have been in and out more often than not. I usually get a month or two consistent driving before it breaks down en route again though...
Never again... No more Citroen's.
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