'16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

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'16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

Happy New Year!

That was the plan anyway... 20 miles into a potentially 600+ mile journey I was presented with a engine and emissions faults on the centre screen of my wife's 2016 Cactus (1.6 BlueHDi engine) along with a 700 mile countdown to "starting prevented". The holiday plans were changed slightly and I have some miles left to try and get this sorted, as an aside we were looking to sell the car very soon so the timing here is even more annoying :lol:

History:
Back in 2019, a month out of warranty at around 28,000 miles, the car threw up "General Engine Dysfunction" message just after filling up with diesel. The Citroen Connect software expanded to "Faulty Engine Control System: Avoid using your vehicle until it has been serviced by a Citroën dealership"

I pulled codes with FAP and got P1434 and P1435 - "Multiplexed Additive Pump"

Car ran fine before and after the fault appeared but the warning appeared on screen constantly.

Concerns about £2000 Adblue tank replacement being the default Citroen fix for anything like this took me to a local diagnostics specialist who found a pressure fault in the additive circuit, "excessive pressure".

Additive system blockage suspected (they'd had three cars in earlier in the year with the same issue), either additive pipe or mechanical injector on fuel tank. A pressure test found the EOLYS injector would only open at 600 millibars, they cleaned the pipe & injector and then found opening pressure to be 175 millibars which is supposed to be the right pressure.

All faults cleared and issue seemingly resolved.


2021
Once again, just after filling up with diesel the "General Engine Dysfunction" message came back, same codes as before. Diagnostics chaps did say it might happen again and as the car was due a service I sent it back to them for that and for the issue looking at again. They carried out "enhanced diagnostics" with a view to reporting this to Citroen on my behalf to see if the car was covered by some kind of replacement they have seen Peugeot offer on the same engine. Car came back with the fault remaining and awaiting a report from them / feedback from Citroen.

In the meantime the car emptied all of its new oil into the engine bay due to a kinked seal on the oil filter, thankfully I noticed after parking in a puddle and finding a rainbow on my return. They picked the car up, sorted the oil issue and when it was delivered back the fault was also gone. I chased for the report a few times and heard nothing, as we'd now decided to sell the car and the fault was gone I didn't fret about it as much as I should have.


December 2021
Posted on here about white "smoke" - seemed to be urea turning to gas in the exhaust, strong smell of AdBlue in the smoke, white residue in exhaust tip. Booked car in to Citroen for it looking at, they carried out some "recall" jobs to replace a bracket on the catalyst and the Adblue filler cap and returned the car with a clean bill of health.

As I drove home the "smoke" appeared again but after putting some diesel in it stopped and hasn't come back since.

The current issues
As mentioned above a short while into a planned trip down south from Yorkshire some messages appeared on the centre screen along with the engine warning light and a flashing UREA light on the display where the speedo is...

"Engine Fault: Have the vehicle repaired"
Engine_Fault.jpg
"Emissions Fault: Stating prevented in 700miles" (photo taken at a stop later, it counts down 50 miles at a time)
Emissions_Fault.jpg
Engine light and the UREA light which is flashing, the "SERVICE" light is also on.
UREA_Light.jpg
I knew there was plenty of UREA in because I'd checked it recently after the "smoke" issue, car was running OK so we carried on with the journey and tried to book in with a Citroen dealership at our destination, sadly they didn't respond to calls and messages but as it was New Year they were probably closed.

I topped up the UREA and got 9L in before setting off north again. The car got us back home OK with 300 miles left on the countdown, performed flawlessly, 58mpg average, just the constant message on the centre screen, even while using the reversing camera which seems a bit silly.

Once home I pulled the codes in Torque, (for some reason FAP wouldn't connect with the adapter that had worked previously so I might be missing some bits - should I invest in DiagBox? I keep seeing it mentioned but have no knowledge of it) but I have these ones:

P20EE - Powertrain
P16EA - Powertrain
P208E - Powertrain
Fault_Codes.jpg

I'm not going anywhere for a bit but will try to get it looked at properly but the thought of having to spend a small fortune on a car I've fallen out with and want to sell is making me incredibly sad so I thought I'd post here so you could make me feel even worse with your knowledge of similar issues and projected costs or just to get some thoughts from those of you with more experience of these cars than me as to what might be the at fault here.

I'm a nuts and bolts kind of chap, electronics might as well be witchcraft as far as I'm concerned but these faults appear to relate to the NoX sensor plus a number of other things, presumably EOLYS / Adblue related? Essentially it feels like our car got the emissions system that was dropped off the racking in the factory before it was fitted but having Googled it looks like a lot of other people also had their car built with the same dropped bits from that pallet of parts :?

Any thoughts on any of these ramblings would be appreciated and if you got this far thanks for your time.
Last edited by thetapeworm on 04 Jan 2022, 13:56, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

I'm afraid we're not going to be much help here, but these are the general meanings:

P20EE: Depollution of the deNOx system: Emission control ineffective. Officially, they will Check to see if the engine management software is up to date and apply this if not.
P16EA: Depollution of the deNOx system: Excess emission of ammonia. There can be a multitude of sub-codes for this fault, so no further info as to the exact cause, but can be the Urea pump, the Urea injector, the NOx sensor or the pump itself.
P208E: DeNOx system circuit: Detection of a blockage. The fix is not known specifically, as this will be determined at the end of the extensive guided diagnostic test (that you won't have access to) undertaken by the dealer with this fault code.

So you're between a rock and a hard place:-

1) You can't sell the car like this and if you continue to use it, the vehicle won't start when it reaches the mileage limit.
2) Even though it is out of warranty, Citroen have been known to make goodwill gestures for their customers with these UREA tank faults. They have replaced these under good will - but if this is going to happen, this can and will only be done by a main dealer after they have diagnosed and followed the guided diagnostics - as they need to do this to make a credit claim back themselves against the manufacturer if it is found to be the tank.

So my advice is - save yourself wasted time and money using an independent garage that does not have the equipment to properly diagnose the fault, and even if they did, there's nothing they can do except charge you for a new tank and fitting it - but even then there is no guarantee they know how to undertake any initialisation of the NOx system or other components.

You may find that by talking nicely to your dealer, Citroen may make a contribution towards any replacement or work involved - even if out of warranty, but you may be charged for the diagnostic first of all - which let's face it is required as they have the proper equipment to do this. Once they confirm the fault codes above, they may be able to make a claim for any work.

So you have nothing to lose at this point, but don't waste time driving about to other garages.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate you taking the time to give such a detailed response.

I agree with your summary, it's time to stop wasting money by trying to save money and just give the car to Citroen to do a diagnostics, at the very least they can tell me what's up with it and quote us for the work needed so we can take it from there.

It's a shame they didn't plug it in when it was in a couple of weeks ago as I'd expected but on the plus side it did come back very clean :)

Thanks again.


Edit: Booked in at Citroen this week, £144 for the initial check.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

No worries - yes, the diagnostic may be a little more than usual if it's going to take some fault finding along with the guided diagnostics. This part is essential really, as you need to know what it is and weigh up your options once better informed. It may be just a blockage or a problem with the injector, but assume the worst, then anything less is a bonus!

Let us know how it goes.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

The car went in today, it's still there.

At around 5pm I received a text with a link to a summary of things they want to do on top of the £144 diagnostic it went I for...

1. Initial diagnostic led the tech to a technical bulletin, they want another £144 to look at this because car needs to be up to temp.

2. They want £199 because they couldn't find the service book in the car (it's not in for a service, the book is in the car though).

3. £48 for a tyre inflation kit as ours is out of date.

4. £59 to change brake fluid despite levels being fine and it being done recently because "Citroën recommended its changed every 2 years".

5. £155 to investigate oil on the gearbox (at the last service they kinked the seal on the oil filter and it leaked, presumably its from this).


£738.80 of work and that's still just to diagnose, not to fix... he might need another £144 for 2 more hours... then 2 more... then a few grand in parts :(

Now the bulk of this is optional and I can, and will, say no thanks but I'm a bit underwhelmed that the £144 I'd initially expected appears to be pretty much what I did at home only instead of me having to go to Google they get to see the Technical Service Bulletin.

By the time I received the message asking me to authorise the above work they were closed so I'll have to speak to them in the morning.

With 300 miles on the countdown, they have me over a barrel, it's no wonder people just pay a few hundred quid and have these systems disabled.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Not sure about (2), that can't be the case - they can't charge you £200 to look for your service book
(3), (4) & (5) are optional - so I'd get them to stick to the original fault.

If you're not happy, speak to Citroen Head Office and tell them what you have paid, what they are wanting and tell them you are not happy that they are not dealing with the specific issue regarding the Adblue.

I appreciate that they may have undertaken a vehicle health check - but that should be on their time not yours, as that's not what you've paid for or took it in for and still have the 300 mile countdown remaining.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.

This is the "urgent" entry they are asking me to authorise:
Screenshot_20220107_070346.jpg
They also provided a video walk around the car showing me things, oddly the incoherent chap doing it raised things the other chap didn't when they did the same "complimentary" check a couple of weeks ago. The same chap who didn't notice the white "smoke" that stunk of urea I thought I'd booked it in for that wasn't even looked at.

They aren't filling me with confidence here.

I'm fairly mechanically minded and know the car, I just don't have fancy Citroën diagnostics kit which is why I was willing to give them £144. This kind of thing concerns me, if this was my Grandad he'd just authorise them to do the work, it feels like some kind of scam.

Obviouslyi won't be paying for the "extras" but I'm not so happy that my initial diagnostics time essentially got me to the point where they need to start again as the car needs to be up to temp (according to the video).

I'll try and speak to Citroën this morning I think.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

This is what £144 buys you...
CCCapture.JPG
Having spoken to them this morning to decline the "extras" and raise my concerns I've been told that this apparently covers 1 hour of diagnostics, they want another £144 to continue the diagnostics based on the info the TSB provided, after that they probably want another £144 to click "next" and then god knows how much for the actual repair of the thing that's broken, if that's enough diagnostic time.

When I booked it in I was told "diagnostics will be £144", not that this was for the first hour of the process, the service desk guy says he told me otherwise, I don't agree.

Not having the car up to temp when carrying out the initial diagnostics seems wrong to me but maybe it's normal, maybe all of this is and my reluctance to use main dealers has meant I've been shielded from this kind of thing, I just expected the £144 to get me to the "it's this that needs sorting, it'll cost you £X" stage.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by myglaren »

Seems very devious of them. As Marc has said, I would take it up with Citroen.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by wheeler »

Wow, I might start printing new service books, clearly the people selling them on eBay don't realise they are sitting on a goldmine :lol:
Most dealers will initially quote for 1 hours labour diagnostic time, They would be mad to quote a fixed price diagnostic time as its like how long is a piece of string.
I do think however they are taking the mick. The De NOx system does indeed need to be warmed up to check it properly (coolant temp needs to be at least 80°C & the Exhaust temp needs to be 176°C to be exact) however the car was booked in for a De NOx system fault so this would have been known at the time. I know most dealers will do a free 'health check' on every car that comes in. During this health check time the engine could have been warming up while they were pissing about checking the expiry date on your tyre sealant & looking for your service book. The car could have sat in the corner of the workshop warming up without anyone actually working on it whilst the tech was on another job.
I can tell you that once the car is warmed up and actually on a ramp the absolute bare minimum time to (properly) do the checks on the De NOx system after that is at least an hour.
If they want another hours labour off you my concern would be are they going to waste 20 minutes of that diagnostic time 'warming the car up'. If they say that i'd offer to come over & rev the nuts off it in the car park for 20 minutes to get it warmed up for them before they work on it. :-D
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

I'm probably taking their "advisory" notes from the complimentary check too much to heart but each time I look at the "urgent" issues I can't help thinking of the elderly customers that aren't clued up about stuff just clicking on the "approve" button or accepting the work on the basis it must be needed. The £199 is apparently for a service (urgent) on the basis they don't know if it's been serviced... now given then specifically asked me to leave the locking wheel nut key out for them why not also ask for the service book?

My wife has the glovebox full of masks, sweets, empty glasses cases and other detritus, the service book is in the back pocket of the seat... with the last, very recent, service marked in there. But as the car was going in for diagnostics I didn't think twice about putting it somewhere more obvious.

As wheeler says above, having the car warm to check issues just seems like basic stuff but I feel like I paid £144 for the complimentary check and 10 minutes of the car being plugged in to tell the chap he needed to read the TSB about the issue.

I'm ticked off about a number of things but there's an underlying deviousness to the service guy on the desk where he says he's said one thing when that isn't the case, also with the initial white "smoke" issue I took it in for in early December... no record of it despite me ringing for that very issue and booking it in for that, they could have done the diagnostics then and saved me the drama of being on the M1 with all the lights coming up on the way to my in-laws for New Year.

I've spoken to Citroen and asked them to open a case, not with any detailed info for now as I still haven't heard anything from day 2 of diagnostics (despite approving the work at 9am) so presumably they're annoyed with me now because I was unhappy this morning when we spoke.

The funny thing is a chap in front of me in the queue at drop off yesterday (it took 20 mins to leave my key) had clearly used his (newly fitted) wipers while they were frozen to the screen and they broke, 100% his fault yet they give him 2 new ones, fitted them for him there and then and offered him a £50 service as an apology... and here I am getting shafted and charged extra for the lube :D
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

News just in, £1995 for a new AdBlue tank and injector including fitting and the diagnostics, it's a 5 year old Cactus with under 50k, not a Bugatti Veyron.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

That's bad news, but not unexpected unfortunately. The retail of the Urea tank is £1391 and the injector another £170, so that's about £1600 without labour and coding etc. I wish they would of just gone straight to the TSB in the first place.

I think I mentioned that they have to do a guided diagnostic before replacing under warranty - so they can claim the cost back. But it may yet still be worth talking to Citroen and asking them for some contribution given that they are aware of these failures on early tanks and that you've only done 50K. Keep at it and they may come up with something.
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by thetapeworm »

Cheers, I've chatted with Citroën and am waiting for them to get back to me, I've left the car with the dealer for now.

As you say it being expensive isn't a shock but it's the highest quote I've seen in my online travels, inflation I guess :D

Bizarrely I've noticed the Saab specialist I use for my other car is selling brand new OEM tanks with injectors on eBay for £700 but we'll see what happens with Citroën as even with a bit saved there and it fitted at less than £125 an hour (2.5 hours apparently) I believe it will still need to go to Citroën to be coded etc and wouldn't have the same warranty. But if they can source them and sell them at a profit for £700 how much profit are Citroën making from those who end up paying full price?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/224322807713
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Re: '16 Cactus - 1.6 HDi - P20EE / Urea Light Flashing (and more...a bit long, sorry)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Yep I think that is the correct tank. Guaranteed Citroen will have a mark up on retail parts and those of course are the retail prices to Joe public. If you can't get anywhere with Citroen, it may well be worth a punt - as long as you can source somebody reliable with the correct kit who knows what they are doing to fit and reset everything and sort the injector issue too.

You may even find Citroen will do a fit-only - they normally will only do this with approved genuine parts - so as this looks to be a genuine tank, they may charge labour only. I've done this with my hydraulic suspension struts where I saved £140 getting a strut from Poland over the Citroen price. Of course they won't provide any warranty if going this path, but it's another option to consider.