1.4 16V HDI Wont start (as in not cranking, but it did..)

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My Name: rs_pete

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:35 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (03)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 100000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed


I'm new here and I am hoping for some help and advice...
Long story short the family C3 (1.4 16V HDI of 2003 vintage approx 100000 miles) gearbox died on my daughter in the early part of the year, kept jumping out of first. An oil drain told the story, it had already drained and it didn't like the egg cup full it had.
So it died.
Anyway house moves new job etc etc conspired to stop me doing anything until recently.
So one second hand gearbox purchased and installed. Swear curse etc etc... except it really wasn't that difficult.
Anyway battery charged, appeared to be holding charge and good.
Everything connected up and crank. Fires up and runs. No problem.
Leave running, get some heat in the system.
Turn off, clean up, get a cuppa...
Restart, now feeling cocky reset the time and date AND the radio.
Stop. Try to lock with central locking...not having any. Not so unusual, pop battery from key fob and reseat. Doors now satisfyingly going clunk, clunk every time I press the button. Good stuff. No random rear window wipe, nothing.
Everything working.
Too soon....
Try to restart. Nada, rien, not a click not a whirr nothing. (Apart from a click in the glove-box area when the key was turned to "power on" position)
Everything else was working lights, radio etc Doors even locked and unlocked
But no starter. It was like it had been disconnected.

Now I am about 90 miles from the Car, its in Bath and I am near Gaydon..so cant do anything more until the weekend but am sort of hoping, maybe, that someone can go "its ************!" and show me the true way and the light.

But I'm guessing, this being a French car, it wont be that simple...

Oh and the Battery is showing 12.5V...(I know that's no indication of cranking power, but it wasn't even trying..)

One thought I have had, today, was that the earth to the body is pretty solid and the lights etc would be grateful for that and that is why they work, however I disturbed the engine earth via the gear box and possibly if there was a poor earth here then the starter could fail to turn when everything else appeared ok? (straw clutching 101?)

Any ideas or constructive advice?
(Glad I kept to the short version..)
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My Name: C3CAR

Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 10:01 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
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 175 times
Been thanked: 93 times


Hi rs_pete
But I'm guessing, this being a French car, it wont be that simple
I would be looking at the starter motor solenoid, it's known to give trouble at higher mileages and fits in well with an engine not turning over.

tips-for-any-citroen-c3-f8/replace-the- ... -t984.html

https://citroenc3owners.com/tips-for-any ... -t762.html
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