Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

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Zedster
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Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Zedster »

I am considering buying a SH C5 Estate 2010. I can see these cars are technically quite advanced. I am keen to know how reliable is the electrical system? Also if an electrical module fails is it possible to replace with a part from a breakers yard or are all the modules key coded together so that only dealers can reprogram a replacement? (ala BMW)
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by GiveMeABreak »

No, apart from the obvious modules like the BSI the Transponder Fobs and the Engine ECU which are a coded set, the other ECUs are dependent upon the correct part numbers. Of course some ECU modules are programmed specifically for the exact engine , gearbox and other systems that may or may not be fitted and replacement second hand parts will likely need to be checked and configured for the intended vehicle as they can be used across different PSA models / or engines and this is done with Diagbox.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

The biggest 'electrical' issue is with the batteries. As the C series have a lot more electronics than previous Citroens a failing battery can throw up all sorts of weird faults. If you start to see unrelated electrical issues checking the battery is a good place to start.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Zedster »

Thanks for the reply Mark
GiveMeABreak wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 09:56
.. second hand parts will likely need to be checked and configured for the intended vehicle as they can be used across different PSA models / or engines and this is done with Diagbox.
So I take it that makes any ECU failure rules out DIY replacement? and requires going to garage.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

You can get clone diagnostics equipment that can (provided the ECU is the correct part number AND you have the right configuration data) allow you to interrogate, replace and configure ECUs (although care MUST be taken, as it is very easy to 'brick' and ECU and there is no 'Undo' button!). It is recommended you get a decent 'clone' and not a generic code reader (as these struggle to 'read' the PSA vehicles). If you are prepared to pay for decent equipment take a look at that provided by Easy Diagnostics, as it has the complete 'octo-coupler' set and will definitely handle a C5 (some of the cheaper equipment provided by some sellers have a reduced component set, and cannot work with some of the PSA range). If you do not have a suitable laptop Easy Diagnostics do a complete package for £400.

https://www.easydiagnostics.co.uk/

Be aware that most Lexia equipment (regardless of supplier) does NOT come with instructions on usage. This is because the PSA group did not release it for public usage; it is for use in dealerships and their technicians will receive training on using it. However, the staff on this Forum can usually explain how to perform certain tasks (please note that I am NOT a member of the Forum staff), and can look up information on the PSA systems (although to take advantage of this you will need to make a donation to the Forum, as the PSA group charges for this access).
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 19 Aug 2021, 10:25, edited 2 times in total.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Zedster wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 10:01
Thanks for the reply Mark
GiveMeABreak wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 09:56
.. second hand parts will likely need to be checked and configured for the intended vehicle as they can be used across different PSA models / or engines and this is done with Diagbox.
So I take it that makes any ECU failure rules out DIY replacement? and requires going to garage.
It depends on what ECU you are replacing - there are at least 26 specific ECUs on these. Examples:

ESP / ABS ECU
BHI / Suspension ECU (for Hydractive models)
Parking ECU
Automatic Gearbox ECU
Control module under the steering wheel

These are just a few - but there can be others that need some configuration depending on exact options fitted to the vehicle. You'll find this is common to most modern cars these days - there are less and less parts to be worked on as far as electronics go - it is very common to have to replace a module these days.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Dormouse »

Hell Razor5543 wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 09:58
The biggest 'electrical' issue is with the batteries. As the C series have a lot more electronics than previous Citroens a failing battery can throw up all sorts of weird faults. If you start to see unrelated electrical issues checking the battery is a good place to start.
The bit is "failing" not failed. Even batteries tested as ok on some testers will throw up weird faults as a lot of the sensors and ecu's need absolute voltage minimum readings to work as they should and a failing battery might just drop below those minimums on odd occasions.
Peter.N.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Peter.N. »

I have two 2008 estates and have had very little electrical trouble. The only real problem was intermittent wipers, sometimes they would work and other times not that was down to a low capacity battery causing the voltage to drop below a critical level when starting, a new battery cured it. On the same car I have recently replaced both front springs - both broken and have a fuel leak where the fuel feed goes into the HP pump, if I park it facing up hill for any length of time it either wont start or does start them stops a couple of hundred of yards up the road and I can't get to it to repair it.

The other one has been no trouble at all except for the thermostat needing to be replaced when I bought it, that was a pig of a job, and I can't find out how to turn the satnav sound on!

They are a lovely car though, primarily for ride comfort and quietness so I shan't be changing them anytime soon. The steering racks on both of them leak of course!

Peter
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Zedster »

Hi Peter, thanks for your useful experience.
Peter.N. wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 10:57
On the same car I have recently replaced both front springs - both broken
So they have springs? my old BX just had gas spheres from memory, I thought the C5 would be the same.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Zedster »

Thanks Hell Razor
Hell Razor5543 wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 10:07
Be aware that most Lexia equipment (regardless of supplier) does NOT come with instructions on usage. This is because the PSA group did not release it for public usage; it is for use in dealerships and their technicians will receive training on using it. However, the staff on this Forum can usually explain how to perform certain tasks (please note that I am NOT a member of the Forum staff), and can look up information on the PSA systems (although to take advantage of this you will need to make a donation to the Forum, as the PSA group charges for this access).
What you describe sounds not dissimilar to BMW INPA (EOL/Development) and ISTA-D (Dealer) software, which I am familiar with. INPA generally requires virtual machine software / Win XP to install and getting it to run on a laptop can be challenging.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Zedster wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 11:13
Hi Peter, thanks for your useful experience.
Peter.N. wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 10:57
On the same car I have recently replaced both front springs - both broken
So they have springs? my old BX just had gas spheres from memory, I thought the C5 would be the same.
There are three 'stages' to the C5; Mk1, Facelift and X7. The first two are hydropneumatic (but there are those with normal and others with sports suspension), while the X7 had the option of steel springs (for the lesser models), while the top two models had the choice of hydropneumatic suspension (as I understand it; I could be wrong though).
Last edited by Hell Razor5543 on 19 Aug 2021, 14:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Michel
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Michel »

In my considerable experience with Citroën and Peugeot electrical and electronic systems, they're actually a lot more reliable than their reputation suggests.

They can be a sod to fix when they do go wrong though. You'll definitely need a Lexia and a good cable tester.!
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by wheeler »

Michel wrote:
19 Aug 2021, 12:06
In my considerable experience with Citroën and Peugeot electrical and electronic systems, they're actually a lot more reliable than their reputation suggests.
Couldn’t agree more.
Also a lot of electrical faults are caused by external factors such as incorrectly fitting accessories or water ingress which isn’t really the electrical systems fault.
I reckon about a 3rd of the BSM failures i have seen usually have an incorrectly fitted or damaged cover.
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I agree and would also add that a lot of issues that present themselves here, we later often find are due to cheap or incorrect parts fitted that fail or third party equipment / accessories that are incompatible or wrongly fitted.

I've never had any electrical issues on any of my 3 C5s
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Re: Reliability and ease of fixing of electrical systems

Post by Peter.N. »

Hell raiser is correct regarding the springs or lack of. The basic models have springs the top end ones are hydrophumatic. I would suggest that you try one before dismissing them, I did and that's how I ended up with one.

Peter