Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

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Claire456
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Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by Claire456 »

So I took my Citroen C5 to a garage to have it's steering wheel alignment done and the guy couldn't do it.

Since then I have had the wheels aligned properly as they were so far out the steering wheel was nearly a quarter of a turn out. I'm thinking this might have been why it wouldn't do it. That or the fact that maybe he didn't do it properly. I was stood next to him and I'm sure he didn't follow the instructions properly.

The trouble I'm having now is finding someone with the right diagnostic tool to do the job.

Can anyone tell me what I need. Will I have to ask the garage what they have?

Also my other problem is that it's not got an MOT now so I can't drive it anywhere to get it done unless I book it in for an mot and ask them to do the steering first.

It does have some other problems too but if I can get it MOT'd then I'll come back with those. Fingers crossed. Thanks.

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by GiveMeABreak »

You are allowed to drive the car to and from a garage for work to be done - BUT you will have to prove this if stopped - so you'll need to have an appointment / officially booked it in at a garage first.

C5 Tracking can be difficult to do if they do not know what they are doing. My own Citroen Tech had to go to ATS to tell them how to track a C5 X7 properly. The other issue I am aware of is that some equipment - specifically the tracking data for the C5 was just plain incorrect. They tend to get the wrong models and years mixed up and this can cause problems. It is also essential that laser tracking equipment is regularly calibrated - I got my local ATS machine closed down for 6 weeks - when I went through a set of new tyres in a month! Turned out the machine was well off.

Just make sure whoever does it knows the correct year:

As a Guide:

C5 MK I up to 2004
C5 MK II (or facelift) from 2004 to 2007
C5 MK III (or X7) from 2008 on

Each of these have different axle geometries.

You may want to give your local Citroen dealer a ring and see how much they will charge to do it or who they recommend that can do it properly. If you have a steering alignment issue too - it may be better to get Citroen to do it anyway - as the tracking will likely have to be done again afterwards.

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by 411514 »

GiveMeABreak wrote:
24 Nov 2020, 12:21
You are allowed to drive the car to and from a garage for work to be done - BUT you will have to prove this if stopped - so you'll need to have an appointment / officially booked it in at a garage first.
No you aren't.

You are presumably misstating the specific exemption to MOT requirement provided by Paragraph 6(2)(a)(iii) The Motor Vehicles (Tests) Regulations 1981, which is limited to taking the vehicle for work to remedy MOT fail defects.
Capture.PNG
In this case, the work isn't to remedy an MOT fail defect, so that exemption doesn't apply. Note 'examination' refers specifically to an MOT.

OP could perhaps take car for an MOT on assumption it will fail on the steering alignment, at which time it seems that it would be permissible to drive the car elsewhere for alignment work. But, even then it is arguable that driving the car with the steering alignment so far out would constitute dangerous driving within the meaning of Section 2A Road Traffic Act 1988:
Capture2.PNG

Claire456
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by Claire456 »

Thanks. I'm really hoping the wheel alignment was done properly. I really cannot afford to spend any more money on it.

It's definitely not dangerous. I don't think it's even out it's just the light came on after my partner took the steering wheel off to fix the air bag.

Do you know what diagnostics will talk to it properly? My dad's reads the codes but won't talk to the steering wheel alignment. Even though it gives you the option to calibrate it.

I think I will have to ring Citroen. My only worry is that they can't do it and I end up with another bill and no closer to having solved the problem.

Thanks.

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by 411514 »

Like you say, it doesn't sound like your alignment is out, at least not in a way that a tyre shop can fix with an alignment machine.

Correct me if I've missed something, but it sounds like you've taking the steering wheel off, replaced it in the wrong orientation, and then adjusted the track rods to try and compensate?

Claire456
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by Claire456 »

When we bought the car it scrubbed the tyres really bad and then broke down so it sat for 10 months. It was bought as a we needed a car desperately.

I then got it running again recently and got the tyres replaced and the wheel alignment done. The steering wheel only goes on in one placement, it's all ligned up properly it was the tyres that we're out. I've taken it off to check.

I also took it off to check everything was plugged in properly as our diagnostics was saying it couldn't connect to it. This was before I realised Citroen's are so fussy!

All I need is to plug it in and get it to calibrate it.

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by 411514 »

What light is illuminated?

When you had the steering wheel off did you inadvertently rotate the clock spring ring? If so, a Lexia will tell you steering sensor angle, and you will need to remove the steering wheel and rotate the clock spring back to zero at straight ahead. This fault is dangerous because the operation of both the ABS and airbags is a function of steering angle.

Claire456
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by Claire456 »

We have made sure that's all set up properly. It's the esp light. The car with wiggle lines.

When I plug it in it tells me the steering wheel needs to be calibrated. I've read that this is quite common and can happen after the wheel alignment has been done.

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by 411514 »

That light can actually mean all sorts of things.

And the steering wheel angle sensor fault code is really common on early C5s - mine has been showing that same fault code as long as I've had it, they all do.

There is a good chance that the steering angle fault code won't be the cause of a the ESP light.

Probably worth taking it somewhere with a proper Lexia rather than just a fault code reader. Independent Citroen specialist or dealer are probably the only options. Worth mentioning to them that you've had the wheel off, and that fault started after that.

Claire456
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by Claire456 »

So I'll have to book it in for an MOT with Citroen 30 mins away and ask them to look at it. Can I drive it there legally?

It's not my closest mot station.

Is there anything I can do myself?

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by 411514 »

The exemption in the regulations noted above is not restricted to driving it to a closest MOT station, and I'm not aware of any other restriction. So yes, my view is that the exemption permits driving to any MOT station, irrespective of distance.

Few things you can try yourself. Try unplugging battery for 30 mins and re-connecting.

If that doesn't work, try removing the steering wheel and rotating the clock spring ring 360 degrees in case you previously inadvertently rotated it. First try 360 degrees clockwise from current position, then 360 degrees anti-clockwise from current position, but if neither of those fix it put it back to current position.

Claire456
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by Claire456 »

I'm really tempted to just sell it for parts. It seems like the esp light can be so many expensive things that it's not worth the bother.

I don't think my husband would like me spending any more money on it. It's a shame as I've recently fixed lots of issues with it but I'm not sure I can do this one. I might ring up for a quote but I doubt it will be anything I can afford.

I'll try those two things anyway. Thank you for your help, it's much appreciated.

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by 411514 »

Would be a shame to sell it for parts, they are generally pretty reliable cars.

Sounds like a bit of a ghost fault, so I'd try lots of fiddling and unplugging. The amount of times I've fixed cars without knowing how...

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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Claire456 wrote:
24 Nov 2020, 14:22
So I'll have to book it in for an MOT with Citroen 30 mins away and ask them to look at it. Can I drive it there legally?

It's not my closest mot station.

Is there anything I can do myself?
You can if you have pre-booked and also despite what has been said above, the UK GOV website makes it clear:
Retest after a repair
In some cases your vehicle can have a partial retest for free or a reduced MOT fee.

Leaving your vehicle for repair
You only need a partial retest if you leave the vehicle at the test centre for repair and it’s retested within 10 working days. There’s no fee for this.

Taking your vehicle away for repairs
You can take your vehicle away if your MOT certificate is still valid.

If your MOT has run out you can take your vehicle to:
  • have the failed defects fixed
  • a pre-arranged MOT test appointment
The last bit in red is relevant in this case, but as long as it does not have a major defect and is dangerous - or you could still be fined.

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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Citroen C5 steering wheel alignment

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Claire456 wrote:
24 Nov 2020, 14:14
We have made sure that's all set up properly. It's the esp light. The car with wiggle lines.

When I plug it in it tells me the steering wheel needs to be calibrated. I've read that this is quite common and can happen after the wheel alignment has been done.
That is correct although not always - it depends on how much it was out I suspect. The steering wheel angle sensor needs to be calibrated after the track rod ends have been replace or refitted as recommended by Citroen.

It still may be worth getting getting a quote to get the steering wheel aligned, tracking and MOT done by Citroen and the steering wheel angle sensor calibrated too at the same time(as that will need a specialist diagnostic tool like a Lexia to do anyway). That may also cure the ESP fault light once it has been done as if that stays on it will be an MOT failure anyhow.