Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Yes Chris - set to intermediate - max. speeds still apply due to reduced strut travel as with earlier models and again on high, only 6 MPH max.

David mentioned it lowers and raises fine, so had no reason to assume it was stuck at a particular height. But maybe he can confirm that the car seems to be at the normal height when the engine is running?

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by Peter.N. »

I would think that highly likely Chris, either hitting the bump stops or reaching the extent of its travel.

Peter

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

GiveMeABreak wrote:
06 Jan 2020, 23:45

I suppose this is down to what your interpretation of the spheres being 'Hard' is. I.E. if there is no springing on moving - it would be almost like driving on max. height setting - that sort of hard bouncing - is that what you are experiencing?
Yes, that's it exactly! The car rides at the normal height and goes up and down through the settings, stabilising at each one. On normal setting when driving, it feels as though the front end is at the top setting, with no movement at all. The car bounces and pitches over every undulation in the road. By comparison, the rear end bounces up and down smoothly like a Citroen should.
I measured the distance on normal setting from the ground to the wheel arch given figures quoted on here, and it's a couple of cm higher, but surely that couldn't have such an extreme effect on the ride?

David

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Yes, it could. If the suspension is riding at the wrong height it will not be performing at the expected levels, and if it is too high the suspension could (when you drive through a pothole) hit the upper limit of its travel, while being so high also makes it feel off balance. I had this with a Xantia, and when I got the height corrected the car felt much more settled.

Something to remember is that, on the C5 (and the C6) the suspension is electronically managed, and is far more dynamic than on previous Citroens. For example, if you are driving down a bumpy road the suspension will automatically raise itself (by 20mm, if my memory is correct) to reduce the risk of bottoming out. Conversely, if you are travelling at speed on a smooth road the suspension will lower itself (by, I believe, 15mm) to improve the handling and reduce the drag. This means that (for the car to behave properly) the underside has to be parallel to the road (allowing for protrusions such as the exhaust) and the suspension is at the expected heights. If it is not the behaviour of the car is compromised.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

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Regardless of all this - it was taken to the dealer according to David for a check - I would therefore of expected the heights to be checked following the official measuring procedure. Therefore if the heights are correct and within tolerances, and the struts are moving up and down to the correct heights, then it either has to be more air locked in the system or the front spheres have little to no gas and are therefore not providing any cushioning. If the fluid is getting to the strut it is likely getting to the sphere - but if there is little to no nitrogen it will be hard as rocks.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

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One of my myriad of sayings is "There is no such thing as a valid assumption". Expecting a dealership to have done something may well be covered by this. Unless they have explicitly said they have done a task it may be safer to assume they did NOT do that task.

I have a company van (that is leased from a major leasing company). It has always been serviced at dealerships. I have done what I can to make sure this happens as close to the recommended mileages as possible (every 21,000 miles). Imagine my horror when I was told yesterday that there is no record of the timing belt being changed! This should have happened at 70,000 miles. My van is currently on 127,000 miles. As these were dealerships it should be reasonable for them to know when certain tasks should be done (mileage/age) and to have done these tasks at the relevant point. Yes, the leasing company can 'veto' this, but on major components they should not do so.
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 09 Jan 2020, 11:34, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by white exec »

:shock: :shock: :gt:

An old boss of mine put it similarly: "Never assume...".

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

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Hell Razor5543 wrote:
09 Jan 2020, 11:28
One of my myriad of sayings is "There is no such thing as a valid assumption". Expecting a dealership to have done something may well be covered by this. Unless they have explicitly said they have done a task it may be safer to assume they did NOT do that task.

I have a company van (that is leased from a major leasing company). It has always been serviced at dealerships. I have done what I can to make sure this happens as close to the recommended mileages as possible (every 21,000 miles). Imagine my horror when I was told yesterday that there is no record of the timing belt being changed! This should have happened at 70,000 miles. My van is currently on 127,000 miles. As these were dealerships it should be reasonable for them to know when certain tasks should be done (mileage/age) and to have done these tasks at the relevant point. Yes, the leasing company can 'veto' this, but on major components they should not do so.
Depending on your VAN make and engine it can be perfectly normal for the timing belt service to be done at well over 100k miles - indeed some have a chain instead so would not even need doing....- so double check the specific engine variant.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

It was the dealership that told me the belt should have been changed at 70,000 miles. After the Reading dealership let me down badly it has been serviced by a dealership in Bracknell.

My reason for adding this to the thread was not to de-rail it, but to make the comment you should not expect anything from a dealership that they have not explicitly told you they either would do or had done. It would be nice to think that (having been made aware of an issue with a vehicle) they would check everything to do with that issue, but I would now ask them WHAT they had done rather then assume they had done everything relevant.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
09 Jan 2020, 13:27
It would be nice to think that (having been made aware of an issue with a vehicle) they would check everything to do with that issue, but I would now ask them WHAT they had done rather then assume they had done everything relevant.
Well, the Cit garage in Anglesey gave me a nice colourful readout of their diagnostic, which covered just about everything comprising a 'vehicle health check'. The diagnostic came up with no errors on the suspension and er... that's it. They then suggested that I needed FOUR new spheres - all three at the front and the centre rear, even though the front ones are virtually new and the rear centre seems to be working exactly as it should. I wonder why? Are they just guessing, or is it the 'when in doubt, replace everything with new bits'?
My local garage has now adjusted the suspension as it was 10cm too high all round. They manually adjusted the height correctors as the BSI wouldn't play when the proper values were entered, and the linkages have all been lubricated and they appear to be doing their job(s). It doesn't seem to make any difference when you press down on the front wings, while the rear is still nice and bouncy - or is that par for the course?

David.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

So that sounds like a standard health check - ticklist report they do with traffic lighted Red, Amber Green against each area?

Back to the suspension - so if the car is raising and lowering as you have confirmed previously, then as said, there is fluid entering the strut to raise and lower the vehicle. So this can't be a problem with the hydraulic blocks - fluid is clearly entering and leaving the corners.

So that still leaves air locks again, or spheres. Air locks can be resolved by the lowering and raising and bleeding routine repeated until you are sure the air is out and the LDS stops fizzing.

After that it would seem the only other thing can be the spheres - either they were duff when sold, non OEM quality, or have leaked or burst using the preform spike illustrated in my previous post. So it may well be what the dealers have diagnosed.....

Personally, I'd never get any reconditioned or non-OEM spheres - especially not saucer spheres designed for the C5 that specifically state are not to be recharged. I've never yet changed any spheres on all my C5s - but if I had to it would be OEM all the way - consider how many times you may need to change a damper / spring on a conventional car - once or twice maybe in 100k? We've already had the front shocks and springs done on our C3 at 45k.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by detheridge »

Hi again Marc, and thanks as ever for your insight.
The spheres I got last year were from aepdirect, which recommendation was given on this very forum. They claim that their spheres are OEM standard.
See here: http://www.aepdirect.com/suspension-sph ... ory_id=688 and these are the ones I purchased.
I'll try some more bleeding of air to see if anything improves, otherwise it'll be another £200 for more spheres!

David.

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Re: Why do new spheres go hard very quickly?

Post by GiveMeABreak »

But they are still 'equivalent' products according to their own blurb - not originals David. Reading that link it wouldn't give me any confidence either:

It's all repeated blurb and not very well written at all - would put me right off. I've seen Chinese sellers with more coherent blurb than that :yikes:
AEP.PNG
I know originals are expensive, but at least they are originals....

I appreciate you saying that these were recommended by the Forum - but the Forum doesn't actually recommend anything - only the individual members who contribute and that will be their own experiences of course. :wink: