car stuck in auto mode and will not start

If you have Automatic gearbox problems or issues that would only affect an Auto, please ask here.

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My Name: wardenlaw

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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi - First time post. I'm not very mechanically minded but here goes. My wife has inherited a 2004 c3 exclusive 1.4 automatic with 95000 miles on the clock. Unfortunately we don't know the history of the car other than it has been well looked after, servicing etc.
The car will not start. It is stuck in Auto, the ignition comes on but it won't start. The battery has been disconnected at some point so I've tried the resets suggested without success.
Apart from calling out an Auto Electrician has anybody any ideas.
Regards
Bill
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3303
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:47 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Hi wardenlaw,

is it the 'flappy paddle' (senodrive) - with just a + and - type of automatic or the full PRND auto?

Oh, and you got your foot on the brake pedal while turning the key? (for sensodrive) or in P or N for the proper automatic gearboxes.
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My Name: wardenlaw

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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi Arfur Dent,
Gearbox s flappy paddle type with just a + and -. I've got the feeling that the gearbox is telling the ecu its in gear, as its showing auto hence it won't start.
Thanks for your help, much appreciated.
Regards
Bill
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3303
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:47 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 258 times
Been thanked: 111 times

I've got the feeling that the gearbox is telling the ecu its in gear,
A couple of things to try then;

To reset the flappy-paddle (sensodrive) gearbox, try this procedure first,
  • Switch the ignition ON - a dash and "Auto" appear on the instrument panel
  • Depress the brake pedal and keep pressing
  • Wait until you see 'N' or a gear displayed (approx 30 seconds)
  • Release the brake pedal
  • Starting is now possible again :)

Try if the first one doesn't cut the mustard;
To reinitialise the flappy-paddle (sensodrive) gearbox ECU, try this procedure
  • Switch the ignition ON then OFF
  • Wait 5 minutes
  • Switch the ignition ON while applying the brake pedal and then release
  • Wait for 1 minute
  • Switch ignition OFF and wait for another 1 minute
  • Attempt to start the car
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My Name: wardenlaw

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Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi Arfur,
Just tried both procedures without any luck. I noticed a ECO MO signal came up on the central display.
Regards
Bill
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My Name: Arfur Dent

Guru
Posts: 3303
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:47 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 258 times
Been thanked: 111 times

If the automatic box won't reset, and you don't get any noises from it the gearbox while attempting to reset it, there may be a fault.

There is a similar problem in this topic
https://citroenc3owners.com/c3-automatic ... -t515.html

Look at the last few posts about the switch that's attached to the brake bar, hidden up behind the glove box (ok its a left hand drive car converted to RHD for the UK) so expect a few odd locations for things.

The switch tells the computer that the brake pedal is pressed, and this signal is necessary to carry out the reset procedure.

Its a cheap thing to try and had been know to cause problems in the past. :)

brake switch citroen C3 automatic and sensodrive
brake switch citroen C3 automatic and sensodrive
Directly behind the brake master cylinder, on the other side of the bulkhead. Numbers 12 and 14 - two switches.
12 is the brake light switch and 14 is the brake pedal active switch.
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My Name: C3CAR

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Posts: 2610
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 11:01 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Hi Bill
Bill wrote:I noticed a ECO MO signal came up on the central display.
Don't worry about 'ECO MODE' on the display. The C3 is supposed to do this and the message will disappear as soon as you managed to get the engine started.

ECO MODE will come on after about 30 minutes of ignition on and the engine not running, during eco mode some electrical services will be unavailable, but nothing to stop the gearbox or engine working.
My Name: wardenlaw

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:49 pm

Hi Arfur and c3,
Thanks for the info. Sent off for the brake switch. Will keep you informed.
Much appreciated.
Regards
Bill
My Name: Eva

Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:53 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: I dont know
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Flappy paddles
DPF: No

Hi,

It seems we have the very same problem.
Could you finish your story and let me know what is the solution?
Thank you
My Name: Nazlan

Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:35 pm
Model: C3 2006-2009, Facelift model
Year: 2006 (56)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 51000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No

In beginning it's shows auto mode active now it's shows Eco mode active and car in gear not changing to neutral can't move.I tried almost with RAC and local garages couldn't start the car. Pls anyone help
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