Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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Ben82
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Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by Ben82 »

Close enough for the first 3 letters of my reg "BCS" to be an acronym for the blog title :)

Might as well start off with some history:

After being a mostly "Nissan family" for many years, I did want to stick to what I knew for many years - a P12 Primera... but rarity of them around and being really expensive made that a non-starter. And we really needed a car... so looked up reviews for pretty much anything in our price range. Mostly were PSA cars (can understand that now, since there's loads of them on the road over here).
One of the first viewed was a Mitsubishi spacestar based on SWMBO's stepdad saying it was a brilliant deal (even though it was way higher than our price range)... Felt nothing for the car, and they were pressing for a decision without even offering a test drive :roll:, so of course I said no. Also looked at a passat, which we liked, but it had too many minor things that needed fixing - it didn't look all that well looked after :o .

Onto the PSA ones: We first viewed a grey/silver 2L Petrol (since found out it wasnt a HPI!) 03 C5 Estate, and took it for a drive, and really enjoyed it, it was slightly above our price bracket at the time (especially with being from a 2nd hand car dealership). One thing that slightly concerned me was the "whistle", but the dealer said it was a "french" thing and all their cars do it.

Then we viewed a tidy green 04 V6, I hadn't noticed from the ad that it was an auto. But the car was an absolute dream to drive, along (as I have mentioned previously) with the daughter in the back, just playing with her toys, without feeling car sick at all (we had noticed this with the 2L one too, but with both it became apparent that these were the cars for us). Also noticed the same "French whistle" again. It was well within our budget, but there was one thing that was due, the timing belt - the price was reduced due to this. However we made a fairly hefty mistake with it, in that no garages were open on the weekend (as per usual), so could not find out how much the timing belt would cost for sure... and at the time looking online etc we could only gauge from the general costs of C5 timing belt changes. We didn't want to lose the car to someone else, so went for it anyway. It came to double our estimates, pushing the cost of the car over the other one unfortunately.

Having said that, it's also what forced me into looking at pricing for parts themselves, and seeing how much they cost in the UK etc... so it may save me in the long run now that I'm hoping to do the majority of the maintenance myself.

The car has been quite an expense since though, with having a faulty thermostat (to which they replaced the sensor first of all), the oil pressure switch going (which caused a huge towing fee!), needing new brake pads and a new battery, but I still love the car :oops: !

Since the battery was changed in early Feb, I've only had one new issue (touch wood), in that randomly with no reason, the car would fail to start, and the electronics would die, sometimes weeks or days or hours apart, generally at the time due to being in a bit of a rush, I would disconnect the battery negative and reconnect it, and it would magically work again.
When I got back from the UK on the 13th, the mother in law, had the issue with the car outside our apartment on the previous Monday, and left it until I got back, this gave me a big hint, as all the electronics were working again, so put me thinking it was nothing to do with the leads or the battery.... So the following day I did a BSI reset. Touch wood I haven't had any issues since, but it is still early days, if it's still fine by this time next month I'll say it's a fix :)

As for current plans, I still have my clicking issue, however I have a replacement electrovalve waiting on receipt of some hose ring pliers ( http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251258692080? ... 1439.l2649" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; ), to hopefully be able get the hoses off. If they don't come by Friday I'll be rather annoyed (ordered them last Tuesday night).
Also have 1l of LT71141 sitting here, just waiting for me to do a small top up and level/colour test of the 4HP20's oil (the hose ring pliers might also help with not losing the cap etc :) ) Plan there is to put in ~250ml, get the oil warmed up with lexia and catch what comes out in a jug to pour into a vial, along with putting some new stuff in a vial to compare. And then can decide whether I need another 4l or 20l :)

In a few months I will be doing a general service myself, replacing filters, oil etc. The "MOT" needs to be done between August and December, but would prefer to get it through it sooner rather than later, mainly due to not wanting to do any potential fixes when it's cold.

I have also been looking at getting a car for SWMBO so she can learn to drive with me, sticking point at the moment is she really needs to learn in a manual car, so driving the C5 isn't going to be all that beneficial at the moment.
Been keeping an eye out for Xantias, since I want to keep within the same suspension line. And one seems to crop up almost every other day, mostly either 1.8SXs or 3L V6's (not manual though).
Another idea I was toying with is potentially exchanging mine for this... an 02 C5 V6 but Manual, there are many pros and cons though, biggest con of which are its done over twice the mileage that mine has (multiply the mil figure by 6 to get miles because 1 swedish mil = 10km), and of course the factor of the unknown again, I've only really just got to the stage with mine where I feel comfortable with its reliability!
BUT, it looks lovely, and it's a manual so has the triple-whammy of helping SWMBO'd out with driving and no 4HP20 to worry about, along with being able to drive it a bit more economically, so it is very tempting. It's also being sold by the Citroen garage here, so if I go view it I might a few confused/surprised looks when I plug my lexia in :) Although having a second working car would give me more confidence to be able work on either knowing I have another car as a backup if something goes tits up.

That's enough for a first post I think, will try to keep this updated with my goings on :)

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CitroJim
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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent Ben, really pleased to see you've started a blog :-D

What did you do in the end about the timing belt? I have the full guide to the job if you wanted to have a crack at it yourself... It's always expensive because strictly you should replace all tensioners and jockeys but for yourself you can give them a check and if they seem OK you can re-use them... No special tools are needed bar a set of five timing pins which can be easily made..

Wish we had such a wide MOT window in the UK!

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by Ben82 »

Timing Belt: reluctantly had the local indy do it (didn't want to take the risk of it failing shortly after getting the car), unfortunately if I had found this forum prior to it, and asked what parts were needed, that would have saved me hundred of pounds - I did actually shop around garages for the work to be carried out and the local indy was the cheapest, a lot of places just said "No can't do it, don't have the tools", and some didn't want to touch it.

It is certainly something that next time it comes about (about 7-10 years), I will embark on it myself, or maybe tie it in with driving the car to the UK and get it done by Citroen's Fixed Price Repairs there since that seems like a good deal considering the cost of the V6 belt kit!

The MOTs here are brilliant too, they have fewer testing centres than the UK, but they are much better... you book a time online (or just turn up - and pay a bit extra), you check your car into the computer in the reception. You then go and wait in the car (like at a ferry port really), and wait for your reg to come up on a screen, with the lane to drive through, (in this case A and B are for cars, D is for larger vehicles and C handles both)
Inside you hand your key over, show that you have a warning triangle, and the detachable towbar (if you have one), they tell you to go and sit round the corner and there's a hot drinks machine there (free). Each of the lanes has 3 stages, the first I think they just do some general check on the car (OBDII reads if possible), then drive it forward to the next stage, and they do a second set of tests (lights etc), then the 3rd stage they test the brakes, and also raise the car up to check under the car, they then drive it outside and round the building to the collection bay. You then go into the office and they give you the result (with any explanation of issues) and pay.
The whole process is over in about 15 minutes and costs no more than the UK one ~£30 - £35, and they can do up to 9 cars at a time (if they have the staff for it). And in true Swedish style they had about as many women doing it as men :)

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CitroJim
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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by CitroJim »

I like the sound of the MOT tests Ben. We could learn a few lessons there. I presume they're done by the government rather than private garages?

I recall a similar sort of system operated in the Northern Territory of Australia when I was there...

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

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CitroJim wrote:I like the sound of the MOT tests Ben. We could learn a few lessons there. I presume they're done by the government rather than private garages?
Yup, although they have no opened it up to private companies recently to be able to do the tests. But seems a bit strange, we received a flyer from a private company doing it, but it didn't seem any cheaper or quicker, so really don't understand why anyone would use the non-government run one.

Have dropped an email to the Citroen garage selling that black C5, see if they would even entertain the idea of a swap. :)

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by Ben82 »

Well the tools didn't come, so that's very disappointing, sent them a message and they said that due to staff illness it was sent a day late, and if it's not here by Monday to contact them again. So the electrovalve is still on the back burner until next weekend.

Tomorrow if we're back from our outing out in the morning (a nice 150km round trip!), I might try to go and see the black C5, I have heard nothing from the Citroen Garage about it, I would rather get a definitive "no" from them. I've also looked at potential alternatives, and most are no-gos, there's one that's been SORN'd at a second hand car garage for almost 3 years ( I love the amount of info you can find out just based on a reg of a car over here :) ), there's another which looks quite nice, but is about 100km away, and the 2nd hand car dealer must be smoking crack or something, since it's an 04, with about 100K miles on it, and they're after almost £6K!

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by DHallworth »

Most interesting Ben :)

The MOT idea over there sounds great! Wish ours were over in 15 minutes!

David.

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myglaren
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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by myglaren »

Sounds like they have become less stringent over the years.

A colleague was in with his car and they failed the one in front as it was overweight - the underside was covered with mud acquired on the way there.

They made him take it away and clean it before they would complete the inspection.

My boss had a Bentley. The same lad took it for inspection and they wanted to fail it for ineffective braking.

The Bentley had an early antilock braking system, much like that on hydraulic Citroens, which reduced the brake pressure on an unloaded car.
Took him ages to show them how it worked and the brakes were right up to spec.

The test used to take much longer and put fear into the heart of anyone going there. IIRC it was quite expensive too. I think the cost was as it is now and hasn't increased over the past thirty years.

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Ben82
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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by Ben82 »

myglaren wrote:Sounds like they have become less stringent over the years.
Indeed, I have read some horror stories about them failing (in the not too distant past) British imported cars due to having an incorrect speedo (even though they had both mph and kph on them), heard that people would tape over the mph ones to get around it etc.

Gave the car a good run yesterday. Long open road driving reinforces that getting the car was a great decision, I guess it's greatly helped by the auto and cruise. :D
We stopped off at Max (fast food burgers done right!) on the way home for some lunch, went out afterwards and found this parked next to us. Best example of how not to paint a car? #-o

Didn't get back in time to go see that Black C5. Oh well, maybe next week.

Decided to give the car a good vacuum on the inside now since the roadsweepers have been and got rid of most of the gravel around here from winter.

Today, I went out with the lexia to try to achieve two things:
1) Clear any "crap, lost power" faults from disconnecting the battery from when I was having the starting issues.
2) Find out how long it takes the gearbox oil temperature to get up to ~55C for testing the oil level.

For number 1 I was surprised there was none :shock:

For number 2, I took her for a drive to the shops to get some bits as it was taking a while to warm up sitting still. Got there and it was at about 36C. When I got back my laptop BSOD'd! lovely, waited a for a little bit, and it was taking too long to restart, so gave up...I guess a good drive round the block should do it for getting the gearbox up to 55C.

Went down to a manual car wash today, where you pay for time, and you basically get a brush and spray, where you go through stages of washing, shampooing, waxing etc. Worked out at about just over half the cost of the basic automatic car wash, and she's the cleanest she's been, probably ever!

Unfortunately washing the car shows up the scratches and blemishes more :( there's some peeling on the rear bumper... along with some bubbling in one of insets in the bumper, so probably need to do something about that.

Whilst she was originally quite happy SWMBO'd seems to have done a 180 on swapping the car, and would prefer for us to get a manual 2nd car, but because the way I am, I've been looking for an alternative (just in case the idea of a swap didn't tickle the fancy of the dealer). And I found one which is going semi-cheap that I think would nicely double up as a nice project.. It's an 01 C5 V6, but has done >360K km, so is overdue its 3rd timing belt (have emailed asking them to confirm this is the case).. my gut feeling is it hasn't been done, and was the reason it was Part-Ex'd in (why spend ~£1700 on a major service, and then trade it in/sell it? Yes you read that figure correctly :shock: ) It's not as nice as the black one, but at the listed costs of 1/3rd of that, it's more affordable. At least I can factor in the UK prices of a timing belt change, and do it myself to cut the "major service" cost right down. I doubt they get a great deal of interest in a 12 year old car with over 225K miles on the clock, let alone one requiring a major service, so hopefully can haggle the car cost right down too.

Jim, is the guide you have the official Citroen "B1EG1XP0" guide? If so, I have it, also this seems pretty good too :)

I do like the idea of having almost 2 identical cars, means if one does give up the ghost, can swap the best bits into the other car. On the brighter side it's less procedures to learn, and have another car to use whilst the other may have some "downtime" for services etc

On another note 2 weeks since the BSI reset, and still no issues. Here's hoping I will be saying 3 weeks next weekend :)

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by CitroJim »

ES9 Engine ECUs rarely show faults Ben. usual one is of an oxygen sensor dies so what you've found doesn't surprise me :)

The HP20 should get to 55 degrees easily with a spin round the block but best to have the Lexia on all the time so you can see when it's approaching and get back home quick!

That's an excellent guide for doing the cambelt! I've stashed that one away! Mine's the pukka Citroen one and not nearly so pictorial!

I like having similar cars too. Makes the spares holding and knowledge easier :-D

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by Ben82 »

CitroJim wrote:ES9 Engine ECUs rarely show faults Ben. usual one is of an oxygen sensor dies so what you've found doesn't surprise me :)
It wasn't really the engine ecu that I was thinking would come up with the faults for disappearing voltage, but from memory, it was the Suspension, "AutoPC/Telematics" and something else, that I needed to clear when the battery was changed.
CitroJim wrote: The HP20 should get to 55 degrees easily with a spin round the block but best to have the Lexia on all the time so you can see when it's approaching and get back home quick!
Good idea :)
CitroJim wrote: That's an excellent guide for doing the cambelt! I've stashed that one away! Mine's the pukka Citroen one and not nearly so pictorial!
It's odd I was chatting to SWMBO'd yesterday about the whole timing belt change, the local indy said that it was all of the following:
a) an engine out job
b) takes 5hrs
c) 2 man job

From what I can tell from Citroen's servicing times, it's a 5hr job with the engine in situ, and from the lack of space with it in situ, I can't see that being for 2 people the whole time (especially from the document I linked to). And listed from an engine out perspective it takes less than 2 hours, which looks like it would take away needing a 2nd pair of hands. I realise that doesn't account for time to take the engine and put it back, but that's not going to account for 5hrs :)

We shall see if I get a response from the seller today, I hope they're not put off by someone already knowing that it's due a timing belt, as part of me wonders if they were after shafting some unsuspecting person with a fairly cheap price, unbeknown to them the timing belt change would almost triple the cost.

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by DHallworth »

Ben,

After a 12 hour night shift on Saturday night I decided to wander out to the workshop yesterday to start my timing belt change on the C5. I took the belt out with me, got to the car, lost all interest and decided that a few hours sleep on the couch seemed like a more fitting use of Saturday!

Do you need to take the LDS reservoir out on the C5 to do the timing belt? It looks like it's in the way of taking the cam covers off. Also, there's a funny little pipe at the front that wraps around the cam cover at the front.

It certainly doesn't look like an engine out job though.

David.

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by Ben82 »

David,

Looking at the official Citroen Document, you only need to move the coolant expansion bottle out of the way.

I have PM'd you a link to the official document.

Out of interest what belt did you get? I've been looking around at the pricing of belts, if I do decide to go for that C5.... strangely getting a SKF belt kit from mister-auto delivered to here is cheaper than the same one from the UK site (works out about £185 delivered)

Ben

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by myglaren »

Ben82 wrote: strangely getting a SKF belt kit from mister-auto delivered to here is cheaper than the same one from the UK site (works out about £185 delivered)
I would hope that it would be, presuming that it is made in Sweden. (SKF=Svenska Kullager Fabrik)

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Re: Ben's Citroen in Sweden

Post by CitroJim »

Ben, when you do the belt it's not a bad idea to do the water pump at the same time. Sod's law says that if you don't....