Missing digit on the speedometer

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My Name: Joshua

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:59 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: LHD (Europe)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)

Post

Hello!

First thing first, I am new to the forum, so I hope I didn't make any rookie mistakes posting this here :oops:
Also, English is not my first language, so please excuse any spelling and grammar mistakes.

Now, to the problem: My better half has recently become a new owner of a 2004 C3 1.4 (8v). She likes it a lot, but we have an issue with the digital speedometer. The last digit of the speed display often disappears, so only the first or the first two digits (speedo is in km/h, so highway speeds go to 130) are visible. It is slightly annoying, specially around town, since there is quite a bit of difference between 50 (legal) and 59 (80€ fine).
Has anyone ever had or heard of anything similar? Is it a common problem? Any DIY fixes? Local car electronics shop has given me a rough quote of between 150 and 300€, which seems a lot.
If there is no known quick fix, does anyone know if changing the whole instrument cluster is a big PITA? Also, if we do change the whole cluster, will the odometer remember the milage?

Sorry if all this has been discussed and answered before, but searching the forum (and google) has not yielded any conclusive results.

Thanks in advance, drive safe ;)

Cheers, Joshua
My Name: Stanleysteamer

Experienced Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:59 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2004 (54)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 50000
Trim Level: NA
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU5 16-valve (110 PS)
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Hi Joshua
for a guy whose first language is not English, your English is excellent!

I sympathise completely about your problem. One suggestion I have is to try converting the display to mph, then back to kph. Might just kick it back to normal. To do thid you use the button on the end of the stalk to get the display to show complete distance the car has travelled, then push and hold the button to the right of the display, once it starts winking, press it again to convert it. After a while it will settle to the new indication. To change it again just go through this again.

If this doesn't work, and I know it is not a fix but a workaround, get hold of a SatNav, that shows your speed, and use that. It is what we had to do until we discovered how to do what I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Sounds like the LCD screen has had a knock or something.

Best of luck
My Name: Missing Lincs

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Posts: 844
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:29 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
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Hi Joshua.

This isn't a problem I've come across but it does sound like a bad joint or loose connection inside the display.

I think most C3s have the over-speed function, I'd suggest you try setting this to a known speed, for example 25 kph. If this works reliably then it's a good indication that the speed signal within the car's electrics is good.

You could also try a more hands on test, gently but sharply tapping the top of the instrument panel. Does the digit on the display disappear or reappear?

If it is something within the display unit it could be that the cheapest and easiest option is to get it repaired rather than swapping, depending on your ability and tools available you may even be able to DIY a repair.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
My Name: Joshua

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:59 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: LHD (Europe)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)

Post

Hi!
Thank you both for suggestions. I'll try setting the speedo to mph and back, and poke around a bit to see if I can make it reappear.
The speed signal seems to be correct. we used a phone gps speedometer app, and the number(s) on the speedo seemed to correspond with actual speed - as in, driving at about 50 kmh according to gps, the car speedo showed "5". But thanks for the suggestion, I'll double check it with the over-speed function.
I'll also try and get another quote... Not having an accurate speed reading is annoying, but 300€ seems a bit steep.
Cheers, Joshua
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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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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Some great ideas so far :)

If none of these get you where you want to be, it is possible to remove the display, dismantle it and try refitting it. There is a topic that shows the internal components of the display.

This is the topic HERE and it also has a picture of the board to display connector that my be at fault.

If cleaning the board to display doesn't help, you could try taking parts of a working display and fitting it to yours (this preserves the current odometer/mileage reading).

Have a looks for a replacement speedo that can be used for parts HERE.
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My Name: Stanleysteamer

Experienced Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:59 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2004 (54)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 50000
Trim Level: NA
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU5 16-valve (110 PS)
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I agree with Arfur, Cleaning the strip connector looks like a very good bet. The overspeed thingy only works above a certain speed I believe and, depending where you live, may not go down far enough, e.g. 30 kph in the cenre of many French towns/villages. Also, is it accurate? The warning sound on our Tom Tom only comes on at 5 kph over the speed limit. Not enough to save you from a ticket in France!

One point, we have discovered that the C3 speedo overreads by about 2 kph, so, even as it is, if you accelerate until the speedo just changes to say, 5 (50) then you know you are on the edge of the speed limit in a town, if it shows 4, then you are definitely OK! So, if the worst comes to the worst you can keep it going like that until you've fixed it, but with your speedo app, you have got a sort of speedo.

I would find this a really annoying fault so the very best of luck in fixing it.

Regards S
My Name: Joshua

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:59 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: LHD (Europe)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)

Post

Hey!

Thanks again everyone... I had a quick look last night. Tapping or hitting the dash did not work, nor did changing units, but that last one did reveal something to me: as I pressed the button in, part of the right side of the display became visible. First it was only one edge of the "0" displayed, but as I pressed a bit harder, the whole thing lit up. I took that as good news, as it shows that a) speed signal is correct and b) it may be solvable by cleaning the connecting strip or only replacing the lcd screen as suggested by Arfur (also, huge thanks for the links, they will no doubt come in handy).

I know the phone gps might not be 100% accurate, but yes, the speedo itself is a bit optimistic :) as I understand, all speedos in all cars are. So, if the speedo shows 50 (or in our case, 5 :D ) real speed is still below 50.

I'll keep you posted as I tackle this further, just need to find an appropriate time, since my girlfriend currently uses the car every day. Until then, she will use a combo of phone speedo and learning where the rev counter is for different speed limits :)
Cheers, Joshua
My Name: Stanleysteamer

Experienced Member
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:59 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2004 (54)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 50000
Trim Level: NA
Gearbox: SensoDrive
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU5 16-valve (110 PS)
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 3 times

Post

Hi Joshua, drove the missus's car today and checked the over-speed thing. It is absolutely accurate in relation to the speedo although a pain to have to keep changing.

All car speedos over-read, I think this is partly done to offset people putting slightly bigger tyres on, but mainly to stop car manufacturers getting sued by people who trust the speedo and then get a speeding ticket!

Best of luck
My Name: Joshua

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:59 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: SX
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: LHD (Europe)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)

Post

Hey!

Just to let you guys know... a local mechanic has a lot of used Citroens and spare parts. He replaced the whole instrument cluster for not much money, and now everything works as it should.
I've taken pictures of the procedure, as well as before and after. The milage shown is off the donor car, so we need to sort this out, but it's much less annoying then not having accurate speed reading.

Thanks to everyone who suggested possible solutions. I'll definitely stay around, you guys are a wonderful community ;) also, I anticipate this is not the end of our problems, used old cars and all that :D

Cheers, Josh
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3340
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:47 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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Joshua wrote:Just to let you guys know... a local mechanic has a lot of used Citroens and spare parts. He replaced the whole instrument cluster for not much money, and now everything works as it should.
Great news :D
Joshua wrote:I've taken pictures of the procedure, as well as before and after.
Pictures are always welcome

How to attach images to the forum
Joshua wrote:The milage shown is off the donor car, so we need to sort this out,
Maybe its going to be easier to leave it how it is ;)

Mileage adjusts to make the higher of the 2 the new default.

Mileage is stored in the BSI and the speedo.

If you swap parts the reading that is the highest between the 2 becomes the updated mileage.

I don't think you will find it very easy or cheap to reset it to any lower value :)
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