2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

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johnnyj
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2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

H folks. My name is John and I am a Brit living in Crete, Greece. I have just bought the above and spent a very happy afternoon scrolling through various forum posts on FCF, learning about the cars. The forum seems a very friendly place, I must say.

The car I bought is a 2004 1.8 petrol saloon, and the VIN begins with VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]. The car drives very nicely and is in good condition for the year, and is a 1-owner (a doctor) car. I say it is in good condition, but that is a relative term here in Greece as most cars of this age have various dings & dents.

The car does have some anomolies, however, and I have been reading up on them individually in the forum.

1. The central locking works, but only using the interior "padlock" button on the console. I then have to get out of the car and lock the driver's door manually;
2. The remote central locking (i.e. key fob buttons) doesn't work at all;
3. The central LCD message display is in Italian on power-up. I can change it to English but once you turn off the ignition then turn it on again it reverts Italian;
4. Ditton the radio stations pre-sets. A station found in a manual station search can be stored, but it forgets it again as in 3 above;
5. On ignition-on, it gives an air bag problem error;
6. The courtesy lights don't work when you open the doors and get it. But they come on when the ignition is switched on.

In my reading I have come across a number of possible causes:
a. Dud battery creating instantaneous Eco mode (problem 6?)
b. BSI causing all sorts of weird problems (problems 1 and 5?)
c. Ditto wiring loom connectors under the carpet becoming intermittent (problems 1 and 5?)

For problems 3 & 4, I can't find any similar postings or solutions on the forum.

Anyway, that's a nice mixed bag of problems for me to have a go at. Just wondering if, taken as a whole, the problems point to any particular known issue? Or perhaps I should view them as individual faults and approach solving them in the same way.

All the best

John
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Hi and welcome.

Can you please put your VIN in full (it is automatically masked from public view) - but will help us in future having to keep asking for it.

Most of these things are from a poor battery. The date and time are the first things to go with a battery disconnection / radio stations too in some cases.

The following may help once you have a new battery installed. This will likely be causing your fob issue - the synchronising is easily done - again, once you have decent battery:

Sit in car, place fob 1 in ignition, turn to accessories on and withing 10 seconds hold the lock button for a couple of seconds, remove fob from ignition and move away from ignition. Repeat for second fob. No good doing this with a poor battery as the settings will not hold.

That's also the reason for instant economy mode.

BSI Reset / Battery Disconnect / Reconnect Procedure
johnnyj
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

Hi Marc and many thanks. The full VIN is VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff].
So, it looks like I need two batteries - the main one for the car, and one for the keyfob. Obviously the BSI reset can't be done without the latter.

I'll go battery shopping tomorrow and let you know how I get on.

All the best

John
johnnyj
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

Hi Marc

I didn't manage to get a car battery today, but did get a battery for the keyfob. Having fitted it and followed the process mentioned above, the central locking still doesn't work remotely. By the way, when you say "turn <the ignition> to Accessories On", is that the final position, i.e. the one before engine start?

I ask because the key positions confused me a little. Assuming putting the key in the ignition is position 0, the first turn - position 1 - doesn't really do anything. Nothing comes on as far as I can see. Turning it to position 2 brings on the dash lights etc, and things start to work. So I assumed "Accessories On" is position 2, with position 3 being engine start. Still not sure what position 1 is for, however.

Anyway, back to the fob. I did the "TV test" where I tuned an analogue TV to 330MHz and pressed the fob buttons near it. The key is most certainly emitting a signal, 100%.

So, assuming the fob is ok then I guess it must be the sensor in the car, or similar, which is at fault.

I am also assuming that the inability to use the key blade to operate the central locking from the driver's door is probably a different problem. The central locking does work using the deadlock button inside the car.

Do you concur?

Thanks for all your help, much appreciated.

Cheers

John
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Leave it with me John - just been a little busy - there will be an issue here for sure if the central locking is not working with the key blade - so noting wrong with the fobs, it will be another matter. I'll look at it shortly for you.
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

Thanks Marc, much appreciated. In the meantime I will have a look at the wioring between the a-pillar and the door.

All the best

John
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

"Wioring"? That's my Northamptonshire accent. I meant "wiring", of course. At least I didn't write it in a Greek accent!
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by GiveMeABreak »

So you have a C5 5 DOOR SALOON 1.8 i 16v 117 Manual gearbox 5 with Simple Locking (no deadlocking) and this is a left hand drive, so will only have a lock on the left hand driver door, as opposed to one on the front passenger door too, that Right Hand Drive models had.

Ok, so just to clarify some things...
1. The central locking works, but only using the interior "padlock" button on the console. I then have to get out of the car and lock the driver's door manually;
Can you confirm when outside the vehicle and inserting the key in the Driver's door lock and turning it clockwise to lock - does it lock only the Driver door or all the doors and hatchback? And without pressing the internal Padlock Central locking button? I would like to confirm this action alone first of all.

If it does lock all doors, does turning the key anti-clockwise also unlock ALL doors and hatch too?

2. The remote central locking (i.e. key fob buttons) doesn't work at all;
Ok, so you have confirmed that they are emitting a signal. For some reason to be determined, the central locking receiver is not receiving the correct unlocking code from the fob or the receiver is not working. On your vehicle, the key fob transmits its code which is then picked up by the control module under the steering wheel. From there, it handshakes with the BSI via the multiplexed VAN network. If the codes match, then the BSI authorises the unlocking of the vehicle's doors. So my first thoughts are that the COMMS unit under the steering wheel may be faulty and this is failing to pass on the remote high frequency signal to the BSI.

As you can start the car though with the key, the transponder coil receiver in the ignition barrel is evidently communicating with the transponder chip in the fob and is then passing this on to the BSI and Engine ECU to authorise starting.

3. The central LCD message display is in Italian on power-up. I can change it to English but once you turn off the ignition then turn it on again it reverts Italian;
This would likely confirm a poor battery as the Head Unit is not retaining the settings.
4. Ditton the radio stations pre-sets. A station found in a manual station search can be stored, but it forgets it again as in 3 above;
See above
5. On ignition-on, it gives an air bag problem error;
Can you please describe or put up a picture of the error lamp / message?
6. The courtesy lights don't work when you open the doors and get it. But they come on when the ignition is switched on.
When you have started the engine, do they then gradually fade off?
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

Hi Marc and thanks so much for taking the time to investigate this issue for me, I very much appreciate it. I'll try to be succinct in my answers:
Can you confirm when outside the vehicle and inserting the key in the Driver's door lock and turning it clockwise to lock - does it lock only the Driver door or all the doors and hatchback? And without pressing the internal Padlock Central locking button? I would like to confirm this action alone first of all.

If it does lock all doors, does turning the key anti-clockwise also unlock ALL doors and hatch too?
- Using the key "manually" in the driver's door lock, you can lock the driver's door. Doing this locks/unlocks only the drivers's door;
- Using the padlock button from inside the car, you can lock/unlock all doors automatically. This includes the driver's door lock. So to secure the car, I have to use the padlock button, then exit the car, and lock the driver's door manually with the key.
As you can start the car though with the key, the transponder coil receiver in the ignition barrel is evidently communicating with the transponder chip in the fob and is then passing this on to the BSI and Engine ECU to authorise starting.
Not sure how relevant this is, but I have two keys on the bunch (thinking about transponders). One is the three button RCL key, the other is a standard key with no buttons.
Can you please describe or put up a picture of the error lamp / message?
See pics, in English and Italian.
20200117_192439op.jpg
20200117_185114opcr.jpg
20200117_185114opcr.jpg (7.31 KiB) Viewed 199 times
When you have started the engine, do they then gradually fade off?
Yes, they do.

Cheers

John
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Ok, that's odd as there are generally 2 fobs with these and parts only show the fob, not the blade only version.

If this is blade only without a transponder chip, then I suspect that the previous owner just had a spare key made. As the proper fob with transponder is in proximity of the coil on the ignition barrel - it may be allowing the blade only key to start the car. To test this, separate them and then try starting the car with the blade only, keeping the fob well away from the ignition.

So to get to the bottom of these faults it really need to go on a Lexia to see what the vehicle is reading when or not throughout the various actions. There are various actuator tests that can be performed with Lexia to help with troubleshooting.

But from what I can see so far - you may have a problem with the control module under the steering wheel - this can impact on the lighting system too / indicators / wipers and dash lighting when they go wrong.

But try and get the main battery tested and replaced if necessary following the BSI Reset / Battery Disconnect / Reconnect Procedure. Then you can start looking at the other faults once the power issue has been eliminated.

Also at the same time check the battery terminal leads and earthing points as these can corrode giving a poor connection.
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

Hi Marc and thanks for the info.

I still haven't managed to get a new battery, but I did try the BSI reset procedure today. Unfortunately it didn't work, so all the more need to test/replace the battery. Incidentally, the terminals & clamps were indeed very furred-up, so I took the opportunity to clean them up.

By the way, the only bit of the BSI reset procedure which isn't quite clear to me is regarding starting the car. Do you have to do this through the open window, too, or can you open the door and get in to do it?

Regarding the keys, I did as you suggested and both started the car (with the other about 10 ft away).

Here's a pic of the two different keys.

[attachment=0]20200118_184337cr.jpg

Cheers

John
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Through the open window. That way the ECUs 'boot up' cleanly after the reset.
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Having the window open is only for safety reasons and has no impact on the procedure whatsoever, so no need to worry about that.

Your second key will have the transponder chip built into the plastic part in that case.

So see how things are with the new battery.
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by johnnyj »

Thanks Marc and HR.

The more I look, the more I am finding evidence of someone who has "been there before". The driver's side door card is a bit loose, ditto the door handle. The battery looks relatively new, too.

I emailed the Citroen dealership today from whom I purchased the car to ask them if I can have a Lexia session, although I suspect the PO had one and that's why he part-exchanged the car for a brand new model. Not had a response yet.

To be honest, for 1250 euros I am happy with the car and trouble-shooting its niggles is a nice project during the Cretan winter (the winter can be very boring, wet and rainy here!).

I'll find a battery from somewhere on the island and report back. In the meantime, here's a pic.
20200117_111323op.jpg
Cheers

John
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Re: 2004 Citroen C5 various niggles

Post by GiveMeABreak »

She does look in good nick John.