C5 Suspension fault

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Kagsb70
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C5 Suspension fault

Post by Kagsb70 »

Hi, After recently inheriting my Father in laws C5 Exclusive Executive 09 plate with 56k on the clock we thought were home and dry with a reliable car! On the 20/12 we had both the front shocks replaced at the Citroen main dealer at the cost of £1300. Yesterday, having done no more than 100 miles since the repair the hydraulics failed. After 4 miles the suspension dropped to low. No fault light. Stopped the car. Reset the ride position and continued on. 2 miles later it did the same thing again. When operating the suspension button the rear end is going from high to low with no 'middle' position. The front end is stuck in high. As a result there is no clearance for the rear wheel under the wheel arch, even when the rear end is on the highest setting. Its almost like the car needs to move forward on the chassis?. You can clearly here the pump running when changing ride height but the front end remains up. We were advised by the main dealer it would be ok to drive back to them in the high position, 26 miles! I refused and have just paid for a tow truck to return the car to them. Has anyone else had a similar issue? I realise the car is low mileage but do not want to throw money into it if this is going to be an ongoing issue. When I spoke to the mechanic yesterday he suggested it could be an airlock in the hydraulics. I dread to think what they might find now. Could it be a sensor fault, especially as no warning light is showing a fault on the dash?
TIA
Last edited by GiveMeABreak on 05 Jan 2019, 17:32, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected Model
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Ridiculous!

No, the system is self-bleeding to a large degree, but if this was a main dealer:

A) They should of bled the system after completing the replacement of the struts, but that would NOT cause the height issues you are having.
B) They should of properly checked that the front and rear height correctors were working properly - these can seize or just need replacing. A faulty one will have an impact on height settings and can stop the vehicle being raised up or down if they are sending the wrong data to the suspension ECU incorporated into the ElectroHydraulic block (BHI).
C) No you never drive that distance on high setting! Max. speed is 6 MPH! You will damage the struts again guaranteed, so that advice is totally wrong. That setting is only for maintenance or clearing exceptionally rough terrain and then very slowly!

What were the original symptoms of the car, specifically why did both the struts need replacing? Did you have an oil leak from BOTH? Highly unlikely for both to go at the same time!

I really wonder how much experience this dealer (assuming it is a dealer) has with Hydraulic Citroens - not all do.
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white exec
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by white exec »

That report is quite alarming, Kagsb. Do post some more details, as Marc asks.
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Sloppysod
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by Sloppysod »

Well come to FCF, sorry to hear you have problems, I am sure someone will be able to pass on some ideas, however, this is not going to be much help, but it really does look like the Citroen Garage have messed something up big time when changing the front 'shocks'!
This model does not have 'shock absorbers' as normal cars do, did they replace the struts & spheres and why were they replaced as 56k seems a very a low mileage for that sort of work!

Also, driving 26 miles on high, max speed 6 Mph (as marc said) and is very bad advice, this setting is for workshop use only!!
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by Kagsb70 »

Thanks for your responses. The problem arose when the nearside shock failed. I took the car to my regular garage who admitted they did not feel confident replacing it as as they put it the "job can be a complete ballache". I spoke to another couple of garages they also suggested main Citroën dealer would be my best bet. On booking it in they kindly charged me £99 to tell me the fault. I didn't need a diagnostics to suss it out! They then called to advise me the outcome of my vehicle health check. Which included several things like my brakes pads are 50% worn and would need replacing in the next month. (Not dure how they knew my planned mileage!) Although not gone I was advised to replace the shocks in a pair as the offside one was showing signs of wear. The car has done a max of 15 miles a week since new, back and to to the nearest town but had been garaged for approx 3 months before he passed away. I gave up working with vehicles when you had to plug them in to do anything! I must admit I am starting to feel I have become one of those 'old women' who have got mug written on their forehead. It is now back with the main dealer and I await their response on Monday.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Struts are generally fine unless they start leaking - and on the X7 (MK III) that you have there is little you can do unlike the previous models that allowed seals to be replaced and such - these 'newer' type struts are bonded metal to rubber and when they start leaking it is unfortunately the whole strut that needs replacing. But I would really only do them when each individual one actually needs doing.

The front struts can be obtained from Poland for about £200 each and £12 delivery. There will be some LDS suspension fluid on top of that, which you can also buy at less than half the price a dealer will charge. I paid to have my strut fitted only and saved a bomb.

My guess is not that they will tell you that the height correctors need replacing. The front one is awkward to get at, but I find it suspect that this also gone at the same time....

Can I ask when you say the front strut went - can you explain what the symptom was?
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by GiveMeABreak »

It'll be an X7 on an '09 plate - but 'Exclusive' not 'Executive', which we'll forgive. :-D
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white exec
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by white exec »

UK number plates!? OK, X7 it is.
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by Kagsb70 »

Hi Marc. The front nearside strut went fluid was leaking out of the seal. I have no doubt this was the initial fault but I question what has been done in terms of what they could have affected/altered during set up after the replacement. White Exec.. you are correct.. its a C5 exclusive HDI. My brain is still on holiday!
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by Kagsb70 »

Update - heard from the garage today. Apparently the sensor is faulty. They can repair it for £100 all in. My question is should this have been picked up when they repaired the suspension? Obviously they want me to believe that it is just bad luck that the sensor is faulty now and it was nothing to do with the initial repair. TIA.
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white exec
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by white exec »

Not sure which sensor.....perhaps you can find out....but make sure they let you have the faulty one when the job's done. We might then be able to tell what the problem was, and whether it was connected or not. Not unknown for a 'cover story' to be created when a repair hasn't been successful.
Insist on a decent test drive (perhaps an hour or so) before parting with any payment — they should be happy with this, given the circumstances. If they're unwilling, insist of taking one of their staff with you while you do it.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by GiveMeABreak »

If it's the height sensor then no, that will be a separate issue - and the reason why I asked about the reason you suspected the strut earlier. Obviously a leaking strut has to be replaced. Be aware that height sensor repairs are a bit hit and miss! They can wear out internally as the tracks wear, but these are the prices new for these from Citroen, so I would pop for a new one not a repair!

A front height sensor part number 5273J4 (assuming you do not have a V6 variant of X7) is only £59.60 including VAT BRAND NEW!
A rear height sensor part number 5273J9 is only £62.83 inc. VAT. Of course it doesn't include fitting.

Again - all the above assumes a 4 Cylinder version, just so you know what the parts are - and these prices are as on now.
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moizeau
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by moizeau »

Also post where you are in Staffs. and someone will be along to recommend a good Indy for Cits. A lot of main dealers are 'plug in and change specialists' and not mechanics, or are told to be. Too late now, but may be worth asking them why they changed both struts?
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by Kagsb70 »

Hi. Both struts were changed due to the fact they did a 'health check' on my vehicle. (Not something I requested). The report indicated the struts should be replaced in pairs.
Any recommendations for a reliable independent Citroën specialist in the Stoke/Derby/Burton area for future reference would be welcomed.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: C5 Suspension fault

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I only had my Driver side one done - the passenger one is perfect, so that is rubbish and I can categorically tell you there is NO such recommendation in the technical documents that suggests changing in pairs - that has been invented.

Maybe you would consider that with conventional struts or springs as an age-related decision, but I would strongly disagree with that. There is no real labour saving having them both done as the work has to be duplicated on the other side which is where all the work is done.