1.4 HDI 16v Fuel Injector. Tale of Woe !

Questions specifically about a Diesel powered C3 (usually engine or fuel related problems)
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My Name: woody489

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:51 pm

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Dear All,

Any thoughts on the following would be most appreciated.

My wife’s C3 1.4 HDI 16V has been sounding very agricultural (clattery).

It’s been to a Citroen independent, who said their computer indicated an injector fault, but that they could not identify the faulty injector. There was no charge and they advised that the car needed to go to Citroen main dealer. :?

The main dealer advised a leak on injector #3.

I’ve purchased a recon injector from Diesel Jones. I’ve fitted the new injector and it still sounds like tractor. :cry:
My first though is that I’ve swapped out the wrong injector. My understanding is that cylinders are numbered from the gearbox end. Alternatively the Citroen mechanic has his #3 & #2 cylinders the wrong way round (unlikely).

My second thought is just say “sod it” and drive the f~’*ing thing until it explodes!

Do any of you, have any other ideas on where I’m going wrong?

Also, the notes on this site about removing the injectors without removing the manifold are really helpful. I found that the injector clamp needed to be tilted so that the windscreen end was up & the radiator end was down (this didn’t seem very intuitive to start with)

Many Thanks,

Eddie
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My Name: C3CAR

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Posts: 2661
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
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
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Hi Eddie

Were you aware the injectors need coding to the ECU to ensure they are exactly matched to the engine? Each injector has a code marked on it which needs to be entered into a lexia system connected to the OBD port of the car to update the Injection ECU with the correct characteristics of the new injector. (Dealer type of job, they can get all the error codes at the same time)

This is one avenue that may be worth looking at for the replaced injector but probably not the actual cause of the noise.

woody489 wrote: My understanding is that cylinders are numbered from the gearbox end.
Yes, number 1 at the gearbox.

Are you sure the noise is coming from the injectors/cylinder head. Its all to easy to get a fault code and assume your problem is due to that code, when there are two faults, one with a code and one without a code.

I assume you have checked there is oil in the engine?

woody489 wrote:The main dealer advised a leak on injector #3.
You can try a 'leak-off test' to identify a leaking injector. Its cheap to do it yourself and quite non-technical.

Does the car have any other symptoms? Blue smoke? hard to start? lacks power?

woody489 wrote:Also, the notes on this site about removing the injectors without removing the manifold are really helpful
Thank you for your feedback :)
My Name: woody489

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:51 pm

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Forgot to mention.

The engine is difficult to start when cold, but starts normally once its warmed up. When it does start from cold there are clouds of smoke.

Also the car seems fine at higher rpm i.e. 50 - 80 mph. The agricultural / clattery noise is most noticeable at lower rpm i.e when driving through our housing estate at 15 - 20 mph in second or third

Thanks for your advice so far. I will carry out a leak of test on the weekend (I've seen a good demo on You Tube).

Cheers

Eddie
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My Name: C3CAR

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Posts: 2661
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
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 176 times
Been thanked: 93 times

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woody489 wrote:The engine is difficult to start when cold, but starts normally once its warmed up. When it does start from cold there are clouds of smoke.
Smoke, without knowing the colour of it, can easily point to a faulty injector.

Difficult to start, if the engine turns over at the the minimum acceptable speed or higher (not slowly) then a faulty (high leaking) injector can cause a low pressure in the common rail and tripping the 'low fuel pressure' switch which disables fuel to the injectors. (no start)

Noisy HDi could well be an injector not firing when it should or the way it should.

Its looking like the injector, but if not, keep us in the loop please.
My Name: woody489

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:51 pm

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It looks like injector #4

I carried out a leak-off test this evening.

I used 7m (in total) of 3mm poly pipe (B & Q warehouse) to connect each injector to its coke bottle.
As the clips which connect each leak-off pipe have two outlets you will need to make some blanking plugs. I used short length of polypipe and melted one end with heat gun, this hot end was then squashed with a pair of pliers.

As you can see from the photo #4 seems to be the offending injector.

In an effort to be a bit scientific I weighed each coke bottle:-

#1 = 191g
#2 = 219g
#3 = 227g
#4 = 297g

Taking the average of #2 & #3 = 223g, therefore #4 is 33% greater, which is well outside the suggested norm of 10%.

Now, I’ve been thinking……. This car has had the injector to cylinder head seal problem on # 4 cylinder (chuffing like a steam engine). Unfortunately I let this go for several months, then spent 3 minutes tightening up the clamp bolts, which were finger tight! I’m wondering if the hot combustion gasses which were being forced past the copper fire washer may have hastened the failure of the seals inside the injector?


Citroen C3 diesel injector leakoff results
Citroen C3 diesel injector leakoff results
So it looks like I will be spending this weekend swapping injectors around. :cry:

Cheers
My Name: woody489

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:51 pm

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I've now resolved the problems with this car.

After carrying out the leak-off test I replaced #4 injector with injector #3 (previously removed, to no effect). Unfortunately this still made no difference.

I then spent many hours trawling the internet for a solution. The main thing I discovered was that this is a common problem, for which no one had seemed to have found the definitive solution. The best advice i could find was to replace the fuel lines which run under the air box to the fuel filter.

I took a look at my fuel lines, which all seemed fine.

So it seemed to me, that I had now got to the stage of throwing money a car of little value, with no sure fire outcome.

The soloution.... trade it in (£1300, dealer didn't even start the engine!) for a MX5 :P

Can't wait to pick it up :D :D
User avatar
My Name: C3CAR

Guru
Posts: 2661
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
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 176 times
Been thanked: 93 times

Post

Hi woody489, sorry I have only seen the photos of the leak-off. You think No4 injector was poor, but No4 looks shocking and the others are terrible.

You didn't say for how long you ran the test for, but that's a lot of diesel in those bottles, way too much in each of them. I would say, its all 4 injectors that need changing.

You can't swap injectors between cylinders and expect them to work well as each injector is coded to its cylinder position to fine tune the injection characteristics.
I’m wondering if the hot combustion gasses which were being forced past the copper fire washer may have hastened the failure of the seals inside the injector?
I don't think this is the case. the leak makes a mess for the surrounding parts of the cylinder head, but there is no where for the mess to damage the injector itself.
The soloution.... trade it in (£1300, dealer didn't even start the engine!) for a MX5
Lol, enjoy the MX5!
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