Marc's X7, C3 Aircross, Rants, Raves & Everything Else

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

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Zelandeth
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by Zelandeth »

Does this use the starter when in stop/start mode? Know a few cars now are using starter-alternators which are far quieter and obviously are less likely to shread the starter ring gear over time.

Funny to see starter-generators making a comeback after so many years!
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06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Apparently not on this model Zel, it has a standard alternator and starter albeit reinforced.

This system also has no power accumulator or reversible alternator - which is why it is probably only going to work when the battery charge is in the top 90% or about without the assistance of an ultracapacitor.

Components of the system:
  • Reinforced starter
  • Reinforced engine flywheel
  • Special battery
  • Battery charge status unit
  • Engine fuse and relay box
  • Braking circuit vacuum sensor
  • Vacuum reserve
  • Button (touchscreen or physical) to activate/deactivate the Stop and Start function
  • Clutch master cylinder position sensor (*)
  • Neutral sensor (*)
  • Management of the load and of the discharging of the battery
  • Management of the restarting of the engine by the reinforced starter
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Zelandeth
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by Zelandeth »

Still really bothers me that the extra components don't include an electric water pump to keep coolant circulating to avoid a temperature spike every time the engine stops.
Current fleet:
06 Peugeot Partner Escapade 1.6HDi, 88 Renault 25 Monaco, 85 Sinclair C5, 84 Trabant 601S, 75 Rover 3500, 73 AC Model 70.
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Dormouse
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by Dormouse »

That would be common sense. Besides, you would be forcing the Bank Holiday Breakdown Trucks out of business. There are always good reasons for poor design and longevity.
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white exec
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by white exec »

Just think of all the recently added-on clutter that can be ditched when we all go electric!
OK, EVs are not without their widgets and toys, but thankfully stop-start won't be one of them.
Chris
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by mickthemaverick »

white exec wrote: 30 Sep 2021, 11:14 Just think of all the recently added-on clutter that can be ditched when we all go electric!
OK, EVs are not without their widgets and toys, but thankfully stop-start won't be one of them.
When you think about it Chris, EVs have stop/start inherently!! :-D
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I used to ride on two wheels, but now I need all four!
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Zelandeth wrote: 30 Sep 2021, 10:39 Still really bothers me that the extra components don't include an electric water pump to keep coolant circulating to avoid a temperature spike every time the engine stops.
It's actually quite well managed Zel - there are a load of dependent conditions for it to operate under (either the stopping or starting part) depending on lots of factors, including the outside and engine temperatures, AC requirements of passengers, and time the engine has stopped.

There are lots of factors on the later system that all contribute to the safe operation. The starters are rated for at least 500k+ cycles today, compared to those thirty years ago that were only rated for about 50k cycles.

Newer engine designs with improved bearings and of course essentially the oil that stays on the parts for longer after the engine is switched off - another reason that it's crucial to use the manufacturer-approved oils and service periods - which I'm a stickler for.

I had a chat to my Service Manager when I picked it up and was tempted to take a quote from Robocop "....gives really shi**y gas mileage" or compare it it with the 6000 SUX's 8.2 MPG from the same movie! :-D . But I told him at 46.5 MPG, is was 4 MPG better than my 2.0 HDi X7!

We had a chuckle, but he said it was down to all the extra emissions equipment and requirements now - so has been getting worse not better.

That figures in with all the ridiculously hyped official MPG figures that can be as much as 40 % variance from the published manufacturer figures and reality.

These are the official figures for mine (I've copied them here from another of my posts, so I'll remember where I've put them in future)!

Engines Euro 6.2 (Euro 6.d-TEMP)Low L/100 km (MPG)Medium L/100 km (MPG)High L/100 km (MPG)Extra High L/100 km (MPG)Combined L/100 km (MPG)CO2 Emissions (g/km)Reality Check
Owner Average
BlueHDi 100 6-speed manual5.4 - 4.9 (52.3 - 57.1)4.8 - 4.2 (59.4 - 67.6)4.6 - 3.9 (62.0 - 72.7)6.0 - 5.1 (47.0 - 55.8)5.2 - 4.5 (54.1 - 62.7)104 - 10945.6 MPG

I'm running mostly on country 'Z' roads - little asphalt, twisty, single file, 1:10 hills, cows, sheep, horses...

Explanation Below:

LOW: Low speed city driving, representative of city centre driving, maximum 35mph.
MEDIUM: Medium speed town driving, representative of town or suburban driving, maximum 50mph.
HIGH: High speed rural driving, representative of A-road or dual carriageway driving, maximum 60mph.
EXTRA HIGH: Extra High speed motorway driving, representative of a typical European motorway, maximum 81mph.
COMBINED: A mixed journey average of all elements
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

white exec wrote: 30 Sep 2021, 11:14 Just think of all the recently added-on clutter that can be ditched when we all go electric!
OK, EVs are not without their widgets and toys, but thankfully stop-start won't be one of them.
Well we'll certainly need to get a a load more of those mini nuke-powered plants by then Chris - the country will grind to a halt if everyone starts trying to charge their cars.

If the average 240 volt domestic charger draw is 7.2KW - that's the same as everyone switching on 2 x 3KW kettles on at home at the same time! We shall be on a par with the power supply in North Korea before you know it....

I think the PM is finally getting Rolls Royce to start production.
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white exec
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by white exec »

But none of that should have come as a surprise to anyone. It was obvious that the demand for electricity was going to mushroom with the roll-out of EVs, and that the shape of the grid would have to change to accommodate off-shore wind generation. Both of of these developments have been clearly on the near-horizon for 15+ years now, so last-minute scrambling to rethink generating capacity and distribution just smacks of a lack of forward planning, or a refusal to take informed advice. Are we surprised? No.

As with many services, the extraction of profits and dividends was prioritised over infrastructure improvements — a far call from what urgently needed doing - and was done - immediately post-war.
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

The number of wind turbines near us is getting ridiculous - a real blot on the landscape - but worse is that half of them seem to be broken or there's a lack of wind - so a fall back is still needed as it's not slightly reliable.
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white exec
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by white exec »

Recent trips to, and reports from, France have revealed wind turbines turning wholesale every day there is even the slightest trace of wind, no shortage of goods on shelves or fuel, and HGVs (from many EU countries) busily shifting road freight. The same is true here in Spain.

Absolutely not a case of "Storm in Channel, Continent Isolated".
Chris
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

And now for something completely different....

Well, I've been having a dip into the dubious world of Chinese tat. I wanted to see just how bad things can get - in full knowledge that whatever I order is likely to be:

1) A completely different Product than what you ordered
2) Nothing like the pictures shown
3) The wrong size / Designed for a Midget
4) Doesn't work
5) Totally useless

Item 1: A Silicon Funnel
Funnel.PNG
Looks ideal, I thought; perfect for filling the screen wash up from those 5 litre containers without spilling it all over the engine bay - what can go wrong - nice and big and also collapsible for storing out the way and they show it being used for pouring in engine oil - perfect! - Wrong :roll:

In reality, this thing is no bigger than a AAA battery and will very likely drop into the tank within seconds... Suggested alternative use: a trampoline for your pet hamster.

Verdict: FAIL
IMG_3963.jpg
IMG_3964.jpg


Ok, so next on the list we have:

Item 2: A branded Non-Slip Mat for the Dash

What could possibly go wrong with this I ask. Well, first of all, if you're going to copy a brand, at least get it right - they have missed the iconic tréma from the 'e' in Citroën (deliberately not used on FCF for obvious reasons of searching the term 'Citroen' on an English language Forum).

Why did I buy it? Only for the purposes of having somewhere to put things on the dash temporarily like a cup of coffee from the takeaway as there are no decent cupholders anywhere.

Does it work? Of course not! No point in having things grip to the mat surface, if the bloody mat itself slips all over the dash:



Suggested Uses: I may cut a circle out of the chevrons and use that to line the floor of the rear cup-holder and the 'Citroen' strip for lining the inside of the door binnacle that may stop things rattling about.

Verdict: FAIL


More to come later...... :roll:
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by mickthemaverick »

Before you cut that up Marc it might be worth spraying with photo tack as used by photigraphers to hold glossy pics in place during editing! :)
I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure!
I used to ride on two wheels, but now I need all four!
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Thanks Mick - I wouldn't want anything permanent or tacky though - I think it's the material the dash is made of - it's very slippery and has a microscopic pitted pattern, so I only want to be able to put this on for a coffee and remove it again.

I'm leaving the big item to last in my list.....
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Re: Marc's C3 Aircross SUV, Rants Raves & Everything Else

Post by GiveMeABreak »

So carrying on with my Ali Express experiment from a few posts ago we are now at...

Item 3: Sunvisor Glasses Holder
Ali Glass Holder.PNG
Ali Glass Holder B.PNG
Their PictureMy Picture - In Use
One of the better items in that it actually works. These can take 2 pairs of glasses - clipping in at either end, with a correctly spelled Citroen logo to boot! So I can have my sunglasses stored and also a pair of reading glasses in case I need them when I'm out. Cost: about £2 inc. shipping.

Verdict: Pass

Next we have:

Item 4: Leather Citroen Key Fob Protector

I ordered this primarily to protect the fob from drops. If you are anything like me, I have a major stress if I drop my Key fob (usually on the hard concrete) and knowing how expensive these are, thought I should get some protection against drops.
Ali Key Case.PNG
Ali Fob B.png
The fob is a perfect fit and the red stitching matches the car colour. There is a bar that secures the chain and clasp through the fob and the outer case covering. so this allows me to clamp the fob onto my trouser belt loop and leave the fob in my pocket without having to take the fob out. This is also proper leather and not the PU stuff often seen.

My only concern is the bar / rod screws into the metal to secure it. I did make sure it was tight and will likely put some glue over the end to 'discourage' it from working loose. Cost: £8 inc. shipping.

Verdict: Pass


Item 5: Door Catch Protectors
Ali Door Latch Shields.PNG
Ali Door Latch Shields B.PNG
So these were just something I just thought didn't look too tacky and would look ok. They just stick over the door catches and protect the catch fixings from muck and grime. And bonus! they are even spelled correctly. £5 including shipping for 4.

Verdict: Pass


Item 6: Air Freshener Bulldogs
Ali Bulldog Scent A.PNG
Ali Bulldog Scent B.PNG
Ali Bulldog Scent C.PNG
I thought a pair of these black bull dog air fresheners would match the ink black of the car and just clip onto the air vents. They contain felt pads and some horrific scent :shock: , but at least they supply a few pads to put your own scent on.

Well these things are somewhat lethal! They are extremely sharp and all the points for the collar and the ears are honed to such a degree that you could easily cut yourself handling these things. Next, the clips - which although they say are coated in rubber - they are barely just that, So putting these on and pulling them off is going to damage your air vent finish. There are metal bits exposed at the ends of the clips.

So the finish is as shocking as the scent. These have come off the car now and will be recycled as not only does it make the vents hard to move once these are stuck on, but the heads only take a few millimetres to turn before they come apart - and this could be a hazard under braking, easily taking an eye out - so it's recycling for these babies. Cost about £10

Verdict: Fail


Well I told you I'd leave the big part of my Ali Express experiment until last - so here it is:

Item 7: Bonnet Gas Struts (Apparently)

Gas Bonnet Struts. I do miss the gas strut bonnet supports of my earlier C5 MK II - sadly lacking on both the later X7 and the Aircross. So along with the other tat I ordered above, I thought I'd give a set of gas struts a whirl.

All pictured as I expected on the website, showing a left and right corner strut
Struts C.PNG
So what could possibly go wrong....?

This! ....
Strut A.jpg
Strut B.jpg
2 huge ginormous struts nearly a metre long - and bear in mind these are still compressed and my bonnet is fully extended open!

They supplied some Carlos Fandango metal straps - probably to pull the mounting brackets through the bonnet holes...
IMG_3959.jpg
So they expect you to mount these from the centre top bonnet to the front edge of the engine bay! I mean how ridiculous is that. Apart from the fire and gas leak risk of the material overheating when they are compressed and lying over the engine when the bonnet is closed - how are you supposed to get anything done with this monstrous 'V' in the way?
Ali Bonnet Strut Extrapolated.png
I've copied and transposed (badly) the strut to show what it would look like with the 2 fixed as they expected me to do - not that this is anything like what is shown on their website, with the 2 small corner struts I thought I'd ordered.

So that was the epic fail and as expected, despite providing all the evidence, 10 pictures, a full video (they wanted me to prove it was a C3 Aircross I was trying to fit these too :roll: ) and a dispute, they at first rejected my claim. I believe this is typical, so I persevered with the video and other proof along with the pictures the seller had on his website. Finally they judged in my favour but left it to the seller to contact me - who was less than agreeable.

So undeterred and with principles involved here - lodged a dispute for part of the order with PayPal. Went through all the malarkey again, and of course Ali Express want the items shipped back to Singapore. This, despite it coming to me from a storage depot in England.....

Anyway I had an argument with PP and they provided a link for me to claim up to £15 shipping costs back - which I have done. So it cost me £21 to ship it back to Singapore, the struts cost about £28.73, so £49.73. When I eventually get the refund, I'll only be about £6 out of pocket - which I don't mind - I just didn't want them to get away with it and was quite prepared to write it all off anyway.

Verdict: Fail Epic Fail

So, overall, despite a few things turning out ok (so far), the lesson here is and what is to be expected to be honest is:
  1. Don't buy anything of any high monetary value.
  2. Expect nothing you receive will be the same as what you thought you ordered
  3. Expect obfuscation and hassle trying to return anything
  4. Be prepared to pay for returns to the orient
  5. Be prepared to write off any expenditure
Just going back to that PayPal return shipping costs issue. It wasn't something I was previously aware of.

If you pay for something via PayPal, you can claim up to £15 back for returning eligible items. Obviously this doesn't cover items that are already covered in the UK for example where return post costs are covered for defective or 'not as described' items. But for places like China, it can be really useful where their returns practices are not as robust.

So in case anyone is interested, here is the link to PayPal Shipping Costs Refund Info and in my case, it made a return to Singapore viable to do:

https://www.paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/refunded-returns
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Marc