sensodrive had new clutch but won't start sometimes

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Think: Auto not changing up or down, snowflake/sport flashing, flappy paddles, actuator fault and sensodrive not changing gear.
My Name: Netty1967

Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:18 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 95000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

We have a Citroen C3 2006 Executive Model semi-auto with paddles on steering wheel. Last few weeks a gearbox fault light was coming up on the dash and when in drive it was acting as if in neutral, usually turn engine off and on would sort itself. We took it into garage and they could not find fault other than they felt the clutch was slipping so advised we had a new one fitted which we agreed to have done. After fitting the clutch they now cannot get it to start saying as the car re-sets itself it gets most of the way and then stops just short of completion, they have tried all sorts including following the citroen set up procedure and also trying when the engine has been running and warm which almost worked but still fell short of completion so now we are stuck with a car that will not run and the garage who are decent are running out of ideas. Does anyone out there have any answer to this problem as the car is my wife's and she loves it so much, desperate to get the problem resolved.
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My Name: Citroen-Driver

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Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:10 am
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 90000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: ET3 16-valve (90 PS)
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Hi

You say it won't start after a new clutch, but then you say the engine has been running and it is warm.

To be fair, if you have it at a decent garage, they have access to the car, the fault reader (you gave no fault codes) and they can do the testing. I doubt that anyone could do any more other than confirm whether it actually starts or it doesn't and if the basics have been checked for starting, like fuel etc.

Does it even turn over?

Is it an immo fault?
My Name: Netty1967

Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:18 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 95000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

Sorry for the lack of information I know they could not start the engine the conventional way and had to get the engine running by another means this they did on advice from another garage who had experienced a similar problem and it worked for them. They also have another car alongside as they have to maintain the right voltage into the C3 when doing this - this is all the stuff they are telling us.

They say the reset process which is something they have to do once a new clutch is fitted was recognising the clutch but not the gearbox and even they said it was acting very odd and nothing they had experienced before. Been with them for 3 weeks now as they try all ways to get it to reset itself and be running right.

Not sure what the fault codes were sorry but I can ask as I am sure I will be contcating them again soon as they are running out of ideas now.
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My Name: Citroen-Driver

C3 Master
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:10 am
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 90000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: ET3 16-valve (90 PS)
Has thanked: 46 times
Been thanked: 38 times

Post

Netty1967 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 9:00 pm Sorry for the lack of information I know they could not start the engine the conventional way and had to get the engine running by another means this they did on advice from another garage who had experienced a similar problem and it worked for them. They also have another car alongside as they have to maintain the right voltage into the C3 when doing this - this is all the stuff they are telling us.
But if you don't say how they started it, I don't think this will help, it either won't start or it will?
They say the reset process which is something they have to do once a new clutch is fitted was recognising the clutch but not the gearbox and even they said it was acting very odd and nothing they had experienced before. Been with them for 3 weeks now as they try all ways to get it to reset itself and be running right.
Again, you say reset have been done, but not how they have been done. No information about what has actually been done, really.
Not sure what the fault codes were sorry but I can ask as I am sure I will be contcating them again soon as they are running out of ideas now.

Fault codes can help, usually in identifying faults. But even with them it can be difficult to diagnose faults on the forum other than the common faults, which this is not one of them.


You may be better off getting it to a specialist that deals with the Citroen sensodrive gearbox faults, you can tow it or put it on a low loader.
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My Name: Ozvtr

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Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
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You should have the snow flake and auto symbols flashing on the dash indicating a gearbox fault.
If there is a gearbox fault, the gearbox ECU will stop the starter from engaging and the engine will not start.
The engine can be started if there is a fault, by manually engaging the starter solenoid (I wont go into how, it's irrelevant).

If the car was running fine (relatively speaking) before, then I would say there is nothing wrong, just that the clutch actuator has not been installed correctly and the gearbox ECU will not let the engine start.
The gearbox ECU "knows" how thick (sort of) the clutch currently is so it knows approximately where the "bite point" of the clutch engagement is. By putting in a new clutch that point has changed because the clutch is now "thicker". So the gearbox ECU is now "lost" and just complains! :D
Also there is a wear compensator inside the actuator that extends as the clutch material gets thinner.
The clutch actuator can not simply be put back.
Without a LEXIA scan tool, the clutch actuator must be reset, manually, before re-installation. This involves opening up the bottom of the actuator and resetting the quadrant gear.

I found a Youtube clip about the actuator and how the adjuster works but the juicy bit is from the 6:03 mark to the 6:23 mark. here.


From about the 6 minute mark the guy actually resets the actuator. Which is what your mechanic needs to do before reinstalling the actuator!
When re-installing the actuator, the nose of the plunger must just touch the clutch fork. THEN push the actuator against the clutch fork, until the plunger and bellows shrink to the minimum size (yes, it's a bit difficult to understand until you are doing it). This may take a small amount of effort as you are now resetting the wear compensator and are pushing against it's spring. When the plunger hits its internal stop, push the actuator another 3mm further against the clutch fork and do up the actuator retaining screws. The intent is to reset the auto wear compensator, which can not be done until the quadrant gear is reset and the actuator is installed.
If all has been done correctly the actuator mounting screws will probably line up with the original marks from the factory.
Then do a gearbox reset. The procedure is in the owners manual. Read it. Hold your foot on the brake until the gearbox stops "clicking" and "clacking". This should take about 30 seconds. If it takes just a few seconds it didn't work, do it again.
Print this out or copy it and take it to your mechanic.
Of course there could always be a problem with the actuator or some other part of the system. If the mechanic is confident there is nothing actually wrong, try the above.
Good luck.
My Name: Netty1967

Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2020 4:18 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2006 (06)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 95000
Trim Level: Exclusive
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

Post

Thank you so much I am going to pass on all this information to the garage and see if it helps them solve the problem.
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