C5 hydraulic tank exploded

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Adam2906
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C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Adam2906 »

Hi, can anybody help me out with a problem, i took my Citroen c5 2.0 hdi vtr+ for a tyre at a local tyre garage, they jacked the front near side up to take the wheel off then suddenly there was a loud bang and green fluid coming out of the offside, lifted the bonnet and the hydraulic tank had exploded, after googling i found out that you either have to jack both sides at the same time or/and lift the suspension to its highest point first. My questions are, is the tyre fitter to blame and if we change the tank and refill with lds fluid will that fix the problem, thanks for any feedback
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Hi and welcome.

First of all LDS is an orange / Red colour and is never green! Green LHM or LHM plus was used in earlier Hydropneumatic Citroens, last used in the Xantia and XM. The 2 fluids are NOT interchangeable. So if you have the wrong fluid in that will be a complete drain, flush and fill. The Green LHM fluid is mineral based and not compatible with Hydractive 3 systems.

The C5 and C6 suspension should certainly should be lifted to the highest point whenever the car will be suspended with wheels hanging and then the LDS cap should be removed and replaced after the car is lowered. Not doing so means the weight of the wheels pulls uncontrolled fluid into the system, so when the car is lowered all of a sudden, there is a rush of uncontrolled fluid forced back through the system under the weight of the car. This can cause the LDS tank to explode. When the car is on a high setting it remains there, controlled by valves to prevent fluid returning back to the tank, until commanded to by the system when you lower the height using the electronic suspension control.

Places like ATS and most larger fitting places should be aware of this - but I always tell them and make sure I am there to make sure they do this.

As for you problem, you will have to be able to prove they did not follow the procedure - and if they were not aware of it - well that is something they could argue is not normal - but they should be aware that not all vehicles are fords.

The other issue is that if this has been happening regularly, the tank may have been weakened previously as a result and it exploded on this particular job.

The second issue is that the tank will have to be replaced and that means changing the fluid completely. It is likely the fluid may have contaminated belts and pulleys and whatever else, so you have your work cut out for you.

The LDS tank has a seam, which is likely to be the weak point where it will burst. Later vehicles also had a modified LDS cap with a valve and hole in to help guard against this - BUT it is not big enough to handle the amount of pressure and fluid that can be expelled back into the tank as a result of this sort of thing.
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Hi, and :welc: to the forum.

OUCH!!! Green fluid? LDS is orange. I wonder if somebody has added LHM in error (as that was what hydropneumatics Citroens before the C5 and C6 used)?

I have a C5 Mk1 VTR estate, and I did not know (at first) that there was a known potential problem when jacking the car up. What I found out (through this Forum) was that, prior to raising the car high enough for the wheels to hang, you should loosen the cap to the LDS reservoir to allow it to 'breathe' in AND out. This is because the cap has a simple valve to allow air in (but not out) to keep it slightly pressurised (the pump cannot self prime, so when the LDS fluid is changed the system need to be pressurised to 0.5BAR for the pump to work; once primed the pump will continue to work even with the cap removed). However, if the wheels are allowed to hang more air can be drawn in, with the potential to over pressurise the system. As the tank is made of plastic (and has some plastic welds) this can, over time, weaken and is the pressure is too high the tank could fail. Loosening the cap allows any excess air to escape as the weight comes back onto the wheels.

I remember when I had the tyres changed on my first C5 (after I found out about the cap trick). The tyre place was concerned (they were not Citroen savvy), as, in their experience, the Citroens always bottomed out and they had issues getting their jacks back! I loosened the cap, raised her to her fullest height, and they got on with the work. When they lowered her back down she remained at full height, and they had no problems getting their jacks back (and they said they would have to remember that trick!).

As to whose fault it is, the green fluid confuses the issue. This is because the system may have the wrong fluid in it, causing problems that the tyre fitter was not aware of.

EDIT; ninja'd by Marc.
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by myglaren »

I have just had tracking done on mine at the place that fitted the new tyres last year.
I mentioned the 'wheels hanging' syndrome and they were well aware of it - they service and MOT three other C5s regularly.

They also mentioned that they have to open the tailgate of Range Rovers or the air suspension collapses in a fairly terminal fashion.

I lost all my LDS last year, holed front-to-rear supply pipe. To get it to the garage I had to use a Comma alternative that was green.
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Adam2906
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Adam2906 »

Thanks for the replies everyone the car is a 59 plate so don't know why it had green fluid not orange, but everything worked before, should I get green or orange replacement fluid?
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by myglaren »

As you don't know what the green fluid might be I recommend changing it for orange LDS- which won't be cheap.

However, GSF currently have it on offer for <£9/L
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by crapday69 »

I've not had the hydraulic suspension since my MK2 C5. I used to put the suspension as high as it would go, put an axle stand at the wheel I wanted to change and drop the suspension, this would pull the wheel up and let me change it without using a jack. My friends used to look on in amazement. I don't know if this was a safe way to do it but it never harmed my Xantia or C5.

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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Adam2906 »

Is this going to be a replace tank and refill with lds job or more difficult? Cheers adam
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by GiveMeABreak »

crapday69 wrote: 03 Mar 2019, 17:18 I've not had the hydraulic suspension since my MK2 C5. I used to put the suspension as high as it would go, put an axle stand at the wheel I wanted to change and drop the suspension, this would pull the wheel up and let me change it without using a jack. My friends used to look on in amazement. I don't know if this was a safe way to do it but it never harmed my Xantia or C5.

Gary.
No not safe Gary on these - they are not like the early DS where this was done. You must raise to highest level, loosen wheel nuts, insert jack and lift off the ground with the jack.
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Adam2906 wrote: 03 Mar 2019, 17:20 Is this going to be a replace tank and refill with lds job or more difficult? Cheers adam
Pop you VIN up Adam and I'll get the part numbers for you and a link to the procedure.
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Adam2906
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Adam2906 »

Cheers but cars at tyre garage so can't get vin no. Unless I can get it elsewhere
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

It will be on the V5 logbook. Don't worry about the security of the VIN; the forum software will obscure it automatically so only the Moderators can read it.
James
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ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

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Adam2906
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Adam2906 »

Cheers James but the logbook is in the car, I know stupid but hey!!
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by white exec »

Every time this happens, I wonder about a tailor-made Michelin sticker for each wheel arch, not with tyre pressure, but with a wheel-change warning...! Ideas on a postcard, Neil... :idea:
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Re: C5 hydraulic tank exploded

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Adam2906 wrote: 03 Mar 2019, 18:51 Cheers James but the logbook is in the car, I know stupid but hey!!

Oops, bad idea.
James
ex BX 1.9
ex Xantia 2.0HDi SX
ex Xantia 2.0HDi LX
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR
Ex C5 2.0HDi VTR

C5 2.2HDi VTX+
Yes, I am paranoid, but am I paranoid ENOUGH?
Out amongst the stars, looking for a world of my own!