X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

User avatar
EDC5
Donor 2020
Posts: 1194
Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 21:48
x 98

X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by EDC5 »

I had both wheels off the C5 today to inspect everything and replace the fluid in the power steering when I came across several concerning issues.

Both struts were wet at the top with LDS, now I have already replaced the driver's side strut in the last year so seeing oil at the top is crushing.

On the passenger's side in addition to the wet strut top, the gaiter appears to have detached from the bottom of the strut and ridden up the shiny ram surface. No amount of force I could muster was enough to move the gaiter back down to where it should go.

This video shows the issue:



I'm completely disheartened to be honest, especially seeing oil at the top of the recently replaced strut!

Has anyone ever seen this issue of a detached strut gaiter before? and if so, can anything be done about it?
Last edited by EDC5 on 17 Nov 2018, 21:26, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 20344
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2002

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Totally gutting to have this issue Elis. It will be interesting to see if anyone has any other ideas - as this would seem to be another Achilles heel of the X7 to go with the steering rack dilemma.

I think the MK I & II systems were much better in that it allowed for replacement seals and gaiters with the return pipes - but these X7 struts are the stupid bonded all in one types that would initially seem to have no repairability factor. The LDS is returned via the firmness regulator on these. I suspect a new strut may be the only answer - but with the newly replaced one I would really want to know whether this has failed or is just 'misting'.

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6059
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1012

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault

Post by white exec »

I am truly glad not to own one of these. :No: :miserable:

User avatar
EDC5
Donor 2020
Posts: 1194
Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 21:48
x 98

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault

Post by EDC5 »

white exec wrote:
17 Nov 2018, 20:00
I am truly glad not to own one of these. :No: :miserable:


Not going to lie, I’m properly pissed off. The suspension in this car is underwhelming in both smoothness and body roll and with terrible reliability too! I can maybe see why Citroen ditched hydractive in the end.

I’ve just been to the car and raised and lowered the suspension to see if the weight of the car would be enough to push the gaiter back down.

Unfortunately it hasn’t.

Here is the drivers side wheel at med-high settings, note the correct stretching of the gaiter corrugations:
0CC039BF-F32B-4885-A6C9-60E4BFA08338.jpeg
Now here is the passengers side. Note how the gaiter corrugarions are still bunched up meaning that the bottom of the strut ram is exposed:
270BC655-5509-4F51-98A2-C61925330DCD.jpeg
Also, notice how both are covered in oil at the top :evil:

User avatar
bobins
Donor 2020
Posts: 3246
Joined: 05 Jul 2012, 18:07
x 888

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by bobins »

Out of interest, has the part number for these struts changed over the life of the X7 ? Have they evolved the design, or is it still the 'unimproved' version as originally fitted ? I'm on steel sprung so don't really have much knowledge of the hydractive struts :(

User avatar
Michel
Posts: 1759
Joined: 29 May 2017, 13:50
x 330

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault

Post by Michel »

white exec wrote:
17 Nov 2018, 20:00
I am truly glad not to own one of these. :No: :miserable:


I feel the same. Reading X7 tales of woe pushed me to buy a Skoda. I've had every model of hydropneumatic Citroën since the GSA but that's me done with them. Far too many expensive failures, which don't appear to be resolved by replacing the faulty parts due to part design issues.

I sincerely hope that EDC's is cheaply and easily sorted.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 20344
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2002

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by GiveMeABreak »

bobins wrote:
18 Nov 2018, 11:25
Out of interest, has the part number for these struts changed over the life of the X7 ? Have they evolved the design, or is it still the 'unimproved' version as originally fitted ? I'm on steel sprung so don't really have much knowledge of the hydractive struts :(
Robin there have indeed been replacement parts:

Earlier models went through several changes for the X7 in struts as you can see below, using the left hand strut part number only for comparison purposes:
5271 J9 until 03/03/2008
5271 K5 04/03/2008 to 02/06/2008
5271 K7 03/06/2008 to 28/06/2009
5271 L3 29/06/2009 to 30/05/2010
5271 L5 now supplied since 31/05/2010 and onwards

So from 31/05/2010 5271 L5 has been supplied. We can only guess as to why - but I suspect early failures / faults would be one reason.

When I replaced my right hand strut this year, I'm glad to report that it was at least 5271 L6 - the latest one.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 20344
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2002

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Looking at the absence of replacement strut part numbers for the earlier C5 MKI and MK II models is testament to the better design of the system I would suggest. I can’t see any RP for the struts....

User avatar
EDC5
Donor 2020
Posts: 1194
Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 21:48
x 98

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault

Post by EDC5 »

Michel wrote:
18 Nov 2018, 12:08
white exec wrote:
17 Nov 2018, 20:00
I am truly glad not to own one of these. :No: :miserable:


I feel the same. Reading X7 tales of woe pushed me to buy a Skoda. I've had every model of hydropneumatic Citroën since the GSA but that's me done with them. Far too many expensive failures, which don't appear to be resolved by replacing the faulty parts due to part design issues.

I sincerely hope that EDC's is cheaply and easily sorted.


Me too, I suppose it's a case of replacing the strut. I doubt if there is anything can be done to fix it.

GiveMeABreak wrote:
18 Nov 2018, 12:22
bobins wrote:
18 Nov 2018, 11:25
Out of interest, has the part number for these struts changed over the life of the X7 ? Have they evolved the design, or is it still the 'unimproved' version as originally fitted ? I'm on steel sprung so don't really have much knowledge of the hydractive struts :(
Robin there have indeed been replacement parts:

Earlier models went through several changes for the X7 in struts as you can see below, using the left hand strut part number only for comparison purposes:
5271 J9 until 03/03/2008
5271 K5 04/03/2008 to 02/06/2008
5271 K7 03/06/2008 to 28/06/2009
5271 L3 29/06/2009 to 30/05/2010
5271 L5 now supplied since 31/05/2010 and onwards

So from 31/05/2010 5271 L5 has been supplied. We can only guess as to why - but I suspect early failures / faults would be one reason.
Servicebox lists my struts as 5271 K7 and K8 (left and right), as my car is an October 2008 model. When I changed the drivers side strut earlier this year, it was replaced with 5271 L6 (the newer part number)

Out of interest, does anyone know if having any exposed shock absorber rod visible would be an MOT fail these days? As I am unable to drag the gaiter down to the bottom of the strut.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 20344
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2002

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Yes, regardless of year, only 5271L5 (left) will be supplied now, as during those earlier years those were the updated parts as time went on. 5271L5 was the last and final change made from 31/05/2010. Your old 5271K7 would only have been available up to June 2009.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 20344
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2002

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by GiveMeABreak »

The MOT relevant part for suspension is here Elis:

https://www.mot-testing.service.gov.uk/ ... ection_5.3

Covers parts that are missing and dust guards missing from certain areas, so may be a bit of a cloudy area and down to interpretation.

User avatar
EDC5
Donor 2020
Posts: 1194
Joined: 01 Jul 2017, 21:48
x 98

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by EDC5 »

Thanks Marc, just had a look at that document. In section 5.3.4 it says that a missing dust cover or one that no longer prevents the ingress of dirt is a major fail. However that is under the section pertaining to suspension joints, pins and bushes. I'm not sure if the strut itself would be covered by that definition.

The section specifically relating to fluid suspensions is more likely to cause issues:
Capture55.PNG
So any deterioration where the function is adversely affected would me a major fail? That seems very broad and would cover every issue with the system?

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 20344
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 2002

Re: X7 Hydractive woe and strange fault - Gaiter separated from strut

Post by GiveMeABreak »

That's the bit that concerned me - although not in the 5.3.5 bit it is still there so that's the cloudy area I was referring to.....