ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

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fieldsofelysium
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Joined: 17 May 2019, 18:31

ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

Post by fieldsofelysium »

Hi all,

This is my first post and I'm a total beginner when it comes to the inner workings of cars, but I have been struggling with this issue for a long time now. My Citroën C3 (2010 model) has been having these intermittent issues related to ESP/ASR. The fault occurs usually when first starting the car (typically in the morning) but also sometimes even during driving. It recently occurred at the end of a 45-minute drive, with no recognisable trigger.

When I had this problem before, it also came with an anti-pollution faulty warning and the mechanic replaced all the sparkplugs, saying they were in bad condition. Some months later the ESP/ASR problem returned (no anti pollution issues) and was resolved by replacing the sparkplugs again. For a time I was using an OBD reader to clear the ESP issue and it often worked successfully and did not return. It has seemed like it is maybe a faulty sensor or something?

Now even the clearing of codes doesn't help much, the error is more persistent when it occurs (it might work again the next morning but not in the next hour). When I checked on the sparkplugs again I discovered that the threads/grooves were extremely oily (black sticky liquid) but the head of the sparkplug still seems to be in fine condition. What could cause this? With the sparkplugs out, when looking down into where I removed them from, there are even black specks and signs of this oily substance.

Any ideas what may be causing all of this? Due to the intermittent nature of the issues, I'm nervous about embarking on costly diagnostic expeditions and leery of mechanics who just want to replace random things and assume the problem is fixed, only to have this come back again.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Go to another garage.

The ABS / ESP warnings have nothing to do with spark plugs! They are indicating an issue with the ESP / ABS system, so will put the car into a backup mode until resolved. This will prevent cruise control from working and deactivate the ESP function and some other features as a safety precaution. No good clearing codes - the issue needs to be fixed. A generic reader also won't cut the mustard - you need a proper diagnostic to understand what the issue is.

It could be one of the ABS wheel sensors that has a short in the wiring or is faulty. A diagnostic with Diagbox should identify the sensor that is faulty if this is the case - or will provide the appropriate fault code. If you have the codes, put them up here with your VIN and we can help determine what they are.

Getting it diagnosed at a proper garage will save money in the long run - don't bother faffing about with mickey mouse outfits. :-D

I appreciate you are in Finland, so our list of owners with Lexia / Diagbox diagnostics won't be much help to you. But you need a garage with 'Diagbox' or go to the dealer and they will diagnose it for you - and may reduce the diagnostic charge if they do the work. Whatever you do, you need to get it diagnosed properly or you will waste money changing parts and having work done that is not needed. :-D
fieldsofelysium
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Joined: 17 May 2019, 18:31

Re: ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

Post by fieldsofelysium »

Thank you very much for your reply Marc.

The code I am getting on the OBD II reader is: U1308, which is probably why the mechanic looked to the sparkplugs as this seems to be associated with that code. (http://u1308.enginetroublecode.com/citroen-c3)

As you say, this OBD reader is probably inadequate and maybe there are further problems causing the ESP/ASR limp home mode to kick in, perhaps unrelated to the code my reader is detecting?
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Do you have your VIN? Please post it up here (it will be automatically hidden from public view) so that I can check the code as it relates to your specific engine management system - as the codes will differ between systems.
fieldsofelysium
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Joined: 17 May 2019, 18:31

Re: ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

Post by fieldsofelysium »

I don't have the VIN right now but the car is a Citroen C3 VTi 120, automatic. 2010. Does that help?
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: ESP/ASR issues + oily sparkplug threads

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Just post it when you get the chance as I need specific info that I can get from the VIN. It’s on one of the lower corners of the outside of the windscreen.