Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

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Sezza
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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Sezza » 11 Apr 2018, 18:38

Citroen UK have been back to me (via E-Mail) sent yesterday, but not spotted by me until this afternoon :-( A different person to the one I had been dealing with and they came up with a very different process required than that described to me on Monday.

This person confirms that a Thermal Incident report needs to be submitted, but they are saying that needs to be initiated by my insurers contacting the dealer to ask them to do it?!?!?

What a load of cr*p! I have confirmed twice with C UK that insurers have refuted claim, so why would they now want me to ask insurer to contact dealer to ask them to do a Thermal Incident report?

Called Citroen but E-Mail writer not available so supposed to call me back - but didn't. Meanwhile spoke to dealer who confirmed they hadn't started a bigger investigation as it costs - and they need someone to be responsible. They don't know how long it would take, but have told me if I instruct, then they will bill me £72.00 + VAT per hour .... Also they have no one to start that process until next week. Chased C-UK at 16.35 re: call-back to be told that contact had left for the day. C UK person I spoke to was sympathetic (aren't they all!), as I explained current situation (which he could see on luckily comprehensive case notes), and said they would chase other rep to call me urgently in the morning.

Methinks threats of being nasty about Citroen needed, as whilst they haven't failed to deliver as yet, they aren't doing that well with regard to actually doing anything, as I am no further forward now 7 days after the incident occurred!

(OK - not quite true as I have just 30 mins ago taken delivery of 2004 Passat Estate 2,0 S as a get-me-mobile runaround so I can leave the building tomorrow :-) )

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by ekjdm14 » 11 Apr 2018, 21:22

Oh dear, well at least you have transport for now.

Given how obstructive/slow the powers that be seem to want to be, I really do think it's worth getting the car back & purchasing a replacement fuse box/BSM or whatever it's called, rigging up the damaged wiring to be functional again with plugs/wire cut from a scrapper perhaps & see how many of the car's other systems are alive/responsive.

It really is a shame you're so far away from us since this is the kind of thing I'd enjoy getting into and at least seeing if there's a cheaper fix out there than replacing all the BSI/ECU etc that may be damaged but equally might be fine... At least then you'd be able to make a more informed decision whether you wanted to fix it or not. Damn & blast the 120-odd miles between us, I love fiddling with wiring!

Fingers crossed for you though that Citroen pull their act together and sort you out, 5 year old executive cars really shouldn't just melt down the way yours did!

Filberton
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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Filberton » 12 Apr 2018, 16:17

I’m sorry this info may be too late for Sezza but it might .......and I stress might help him or other forum members, as it is only one of many possibilities of the cause. (I’ll not get drawn into main dealers and Citroen UK discussions)

I had a similar but not so horrific similar issue on my C5 Mk 1 which then started to occur on my X7 but I think I caught it in time.

On the Mk1 the car kept cutting out and stopping only to restart fine within a minute. (Reported as low fuel rail pressure). I also got the odd “depolution fault” or ABS warning. Various garages looked and could not find a fault (but they focussed on the fuel system) until a good indie found the fuel pump was getting intermittent power which he eventually traced as due to a melted pin on a plug on the under bonnet fuse box - one of the three large multi-plugs. In my case the pin that feeds the electric fuse pump. The heat had in turn melted and adjacent pin which fed the BSI hence the random signals. In my case it was not a right-off as you can replace the harness and fuse box as the heat is not within the wire but from the plug and one pin. I say “you can” but may not be what you want. I sold the Mk1 shortly afterwards as I just was not comfortable with it after that ☹️
Despite what Citroen may say, it is a known fault and I think I may have even have put it on this forum years ago but will repeat for colleagues. (At the time, once I knew what to look for I also found several similar reports on various websites)

The large plugs at the back of this fuse box use aluminium pins which oxidise causing a bad connection which then over-heats and melts. In my case, the melting stopped the car but on a less critical component than a fuel pump the pin can melt for ages.
On the X7 all was fine until one day the engine cut out (mid-lane of the motorway) but immediately restarted as I tried the key whilst coasting towards the hard shoulder!! but on the way, I got all sorts of error messages.
The third time it happened within two weeks, I opened the fuse box, took out the three big multiplugs and found a heat marked pin and the others slightly whiteish (oxidised) so I sprayed them with contact cleaner and plugged/unplugged them several times until they were shiny and the problem went away.

As I say, this is only a hypothesis and may be totally wrong in Sezza’s case. All I know is it has happened to me twice now. So for forum members, if you are doing under bonnet maintenance it might just be worth, for the sake of 5 minutes, at least just unplugging and replugging these plugs just to scrape the oxidising off.

I now only hope this may help Sezza and alert others before their beloved car goes the same way.
Ps my Mk1 repair was still around £500 so I did not get away Scott free 😢😢

Mike

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Post by Eddie Nuff » 13 Apr 2018, 06:49

Sezza, the problem you have is that neither Citroen or the insurance company want anything to do with you. You are highlighting a problem they don't want aired. In order to satisfy your needs one of them is going to have to pay. They will give you the runaround until you get cheesed off; they have the time and money to wait it out - you don't!

At the moment the car is nothing more than salvage and that's all that I, and anyone else, would offer for it. But you have had offers from members willing to help which would involve a ride on a transporter, a complete second hand fuse box, wiring and associated parts, and their labour which shouldn't add up to much more than a grand and a weeks work.

As I said in my earlier post when you get to the end of your tether . . .

Sezza
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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Sezza » 13 Apr 2018, 11:12

Thanks for all the comments folks. ... and thank you Mike for your observations. (P.S. My Mk 1 developed routine Anti-pollution fault warnings which could nevr be pinpointed, and then that too started cutting out, but would always restart if turned off and on again. But after two near misses with oit cutting it at dangerous times i.e. when pulling out of a side road to cross a dual carriageway when it cut out with half my car accross the inside lane and a lorry bearing down on us (which luckily managed to pull round me as no one in the fast lane) I traded it in!

The 2004 model I then got also had random Anti pollution faults, and would sometimes (but infrequently), after a fast run when I first came to a stop at a junction and went to pull away would go into 'Limp' mode, but that easily cured by an engine restart. I ran that car for 10 years and the Anti pollution message would often appear and then go away days or weeks later, but the car always ran fine! Sold it last year to get my current C5 X7 - right now would rather have it back as it was always mechanically reliable - just suffering some electrical item failures as it aged i.e. n/s/f electric window lift wouldn't operate from driver's controls, but switch fine on the passenger door, and rear screen wash wipe failed. All else fine!

Anyway, C UK have been mucking me around, so had to have harsh words with them yesterday. Latest plan is the C UK have agreed to pay for dealer to do a Technical Incident report (as dealer wanted someone to pay £72.00 per hour + Vat and no idea of how long it would take, and as insurers not getting involved, dealer wanted me to agree to pay - I strongly refused!). So Citroen have now agreed to pay dealer, but time slips on as dealer's person-for-the-job away this week, so that can't be done until next week and they don't know how long it will take. Also confirmed that Citroen have now involved their specialist Thermal failure bloke (Kevin?) who will review the report upon receipt and then I will get contacted again by next Friday.

C UK have also now taken on board that the BSI unit is no longer listed as available from Citroen, so have advised the dealer that they are going to find a way round that issue too.

So small steps forward and taking a long time .....

I agree too that it would silly to just surrender this car for scrap as is without making some effort to at least see how damaged it is, so once I know what the final situation is, and if it is not going to be that my car is repaired or replaced without costing me, I will see about asking some of you for your help.

Thanks again.

Sarah

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by GiveMeABreak » 13 Apr 2018, 11:26

Some encouraging news Sarah, and now you have got to this stage I think it better to let them deal with it now the ball is definitely rolling. You at least have some wheels now, so I would leave them to work on the matter at this point. Nothing else can be done until the chap from the dealership is back and submits the report. Fingers crossed for you.

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Stickyfinger » 13 Apr 2018, 12:09

Good news so far I think, hopefully for you but also that the "electrical fire" aspect of this is being taken seriously by Citroen.
I wonder if there is a longer "cut off date" on recalls than there is on parts production/stock ?............. that would make life confusing.

Maybe you will be able to use the "I have helped you investigate your problem, now help me fix my problem with the car you made this way " ?

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 13 Apr 2018, 12:11

Good luck with it, Sarah, and I hope that you end up with a reliable car out of it.

Sezza
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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Sezza » 19 Apr 2018, 17:47

Oh well, I have had a response from Citroen UK, but it is so brief and full of errors it is laughable!

I can't copy-and-paste, but the basics are that dealer submitted a very summary report (no extra expense spent on that front!).

It just had car details; confirmed car was inoperable and had been towed in.

Faiut listed as a 'Starting Problem' (I guess they have certain listed categories to choose from, and certainly the car won't start!

Extra details listed as 'Starting impossible and starter motor does not operate'

Bearing in mind this is a template form, little else could be said apart from they said they could reproduce the fault and that the vehicle immobilised! (Good investigation that LOL)

Additional Information:-

Whilst driving various warning lights came on and when car stopped smoke appeared from under bonnet.

Diagnostics/Cause:

Electrical fire at the under-bonnet fuse box causing damage to under bonnet fuse box. Possible electrical ECU and main electrical harness cause unknown.

So that is all the dealer submitted, along with the photos you have already seen.

The response from Citroen is so crass (due to inaccuracies) as to be laughable!

"We have a nearly 6.5 year old car with very little warranty history and none that would require any intervention around that fuse box? Looking at the pictures supplied we can see what looks like an earth wire that has been trapped by the fuse box cover. If this has come into contact with the positive battery cable post for example, then this could have caused the damage. We have no evidence of a manufacturing defect and the car is out of warranty, the customer should be referred back to their insurance"

Well for starters, the car is 5 years and 3 months old - not 6.5 years!

Then more tellingly, the dealer added a note to his E-Mail to me when he sent this form that added the very interesting comments:-

Please find attached report as requested. It does state on the report that from the images we have submitted to them along with the report, which are the same images I sent yourself, they suspect an earth wire has been trapped by the fuse box cover. Our consultant technician, however, would believe this not to be the case as the insulation on this wire is still intact. He would suspect an internal fault with the fuse box. Many thanks.


... so a complete waste of an extra week for me, as now Citroen have been asked to escalate and I don't expect another update until Monday :-(

On a slightly (black) humerous note, I have been investigating employing an independant motor assessor to fight my corner, and whilst outlining the situation to one chap this morning, he suddenly piped up ' They said no previous incidents, well I have just found a post on the internet stating exactly the same sort of scenario - so it has happened before!' I had to tell him that it was this post he had found ... LOL

So no further forward as such.

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by Gibbo2286 » 19 Apr 2018, 19:05

Do you not have a local independent Citroen mechanic/garage?

I think your main dealers are not being as helpful as they could, too much time faffing about instead of doing a proper investigation of the damage and estimating the cost of repairing it.

An enthusiastic indy would have at least stripped off the fuse box and looked to see what damage was hidden, if any.

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by GiveMeABreak » 19 Apr 2018, 19:07

I suspect that the reason is because of any potential settlement with Citroen UK will require their authorised dealers to undertake the 'investigation' & submit the required reports / paperwork Gibbo.

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by wheeler » 19 Apr 2018, 19:28

Filberton wrote:
12 Apr 2018, 16:17
I had a similar but not so horrific similar issue on my C5 Mk 1 which then started to occur on my X7 but I think I caught it in time.

On the Mk1 the car kept cutting out and stopping only to restart fine within a minute. (Reported as low fuel rail pressure). I also got the odd “depolution fault” or ABS warning. Various garages looked and could not find a fault (but they focussed on the fuel system) until a good indie found the fuel pump was getting intermittent power which he eventually traced as due to a melted pin on a plug on the under bonnet fuse box - one of the three large multi-plugs. In my case the pin that feeds the electric fuse pump. The heat had in turn melted and adjacent pin which fed the BSI hence the random signals. In my case it was not a right-off as you can replace the harness and fuse box as the heat is not within the wire but from the plug and one pin. I say “you can” but may not be what you want. I sold the Mk1 shortly afterwards as I just was not comfortable with it after that ☹️
Despite what Citroen may say, it is a known fault and I think I may have even have put it on this forum years ago but will repeat for colleagues. (At the time, once I knew what to look for I also found several similar reports on various websites)

Yes this is a fairly common problem on the mk1, you can actually buy the terminals in the plugs separate to repair this without having to replace the loom & there is a wiring modification to stop it happening again.
see here > viewtopic.php?f=3&t=25456&p=169326&hili ... mp#p169326

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Post by Eddie Nuff » 19 Apr 2018, 21:43

As I stated earlier, if CitroenUK/Insurance Company find something they have to pay, whereas if they don't find anything they don't have to.

Simples! :wink:

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Re: Citroen C5 VTR 160 HDi fuse box spontanously melted

Post by GiveMeABreak » 19 Apr 2018, 22:06

I'm not sure what you mean by finding 'something'. It will be down to proving that it a manufacturing defect - a trapped earth that has shorted to the positive (if this is the case) won't be covered as it is not a defect - Insurance won't pay if there was no 'fire', and if there was a fire, then only for the fire-damaged peripheral equipment and not for whatever caused it. So if there is no defective component and no other history of this happening, then it is unlikely to come to any fruition - UNLESS Citroen UK decide to do anything as part of a goodwill gesture. General car insurance companies don't pay out for defective parts only fire, theft and accident damage.

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Post by Eddie Nuff » 20 Apr 2018, 19:14

You've answered your own question Marc. There's nothing to find - and Citroen UK and the insurance company are going to make damn sure it stays that way.