1.4 HDI 16V White smoke after difficult starting :(

Questions specifically about a Diesel powered C3 (usually engine or fuel related problems)
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Diesel engine related problems
Think: Diesel engine, diesel fuel system, diesel injectors and glow plugs
My Name: Adam

Top Contributor
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 3:15 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 93000
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Hi all,

This is my first turbo diesel and so fare it's been brilliant, until yesterday...

It's an 52 plate SX manual, 1.4 HDI 16valve, (I think it might be the 90bhp model), coming up to 80,000 miles, we bought it just after the new year. It's got a full service history and the cambelt was changed together with a service before it was advertised.
We went over to Reading on the weekend which is about 100 mile trip there and back, it's always provided surprisingly brilliant amounts of torque and is very punchy for a small 1.4 engine. It's always started first go but yesterday it took quite a few turns to start, when it it did it was running quite rough and there was a fair bit of white smoke. It settled down after 5 minutes when driving it, but at 30 and in 3rd it was a bit jerky and there was a small amount of delay in throttle response. When it warmed up there was a huge lack of power, almost as if the waste gate was fully open so the turbo was not making any boost at all. There was nothing to tell me that anything was wrong, no engine management light nothing...

Before I go and buy a lexia and really get my head in, I wanted to pull the codes so I downloaded Torque Pro for Android purchased an ELM327 Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 EOBD Diagnostic Scanner for £9.99 from Amazon.

If it all works ok and I can erase the codes, I'll take the car out and drive it for half an hour and see if I can pull any new codes after, then I'll post them soon this evening.
By having a good look about I'm guessing I need to draw my attention to the delphi injectors.

Hope you guys and girls help and if there is anything I need to clarify just shout!


Cheers,

Adam
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My Name: C3CAR

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

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Hi Adam
purchased an ELM327 Wireless Bluetooth OBD2 EOBD Diagnostic Scanner for £9.99 from Amazon
Skip the ELM327 step, it won't work. Only Lexia will connect on that year and fuel type. I suggest you get get straight in with the lexia, clear the codes with it and take it for a run (or at least try to start it).

The lexia reading topic is here if you need some advice on installing it.
By having a good look about I'm guessing I need to draw my attention to the delphi injectors.
I would hesitate on that, it could be a cam sensor fault. Let lexia give you some clues before getting involved with the injectors, there is plenty of time to get involved with injectors later :)

1.4 HDI 16valve, (I think it might be the 90bhp model)
Yes its the 90 PS (89 hp/66 kW) with the variable vane turbocharger.
My Name: Adam

Top Contributor
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 3:15 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 93000
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Thanks C3CAR,

Damn, and I was getting a my hopes up as well. I'll order one. The car was running fine when I got back from work, though there was still a small lack of power when driving and it was a bit reluctant to start. Left it running for 5 minuets on idle and no misfiring or any variation in idle speed. When the weather gets a bit better I'll try unplugging and plunging back some connections to various components to see if there are any connection issues.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/PP2000-Lexia-Ci ... d_vtp_ce_1
This one is very cheap and as the reviewer said it's clone, should I stay away?
User avatar
My Name: C3CAR

Guru
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
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: DV4 16-valve diesel (90 PS)
Has thanked: 175 times
Been thanked: 93 times

Post

I'll try unplugging and plunging back some connections to various components to see if there are any connection issues.
well worth trying, a squirt of contact cleaner wouldn't do any harm when you pull the plugs off.
This one is very cheap and as the reviewer said it's clone, should I stay away?
They are all clones. Lexia is the name of the clone. Actia and Diagbox are the names of the official tools that are unavailable to the general public, not to mention very expensive. You can sometimes see second hand genuine Actia set-ups on ebay, have a look at second hand - genuine Actia on eBay

The clone software is suspect and difficult to install, but there is plenty of information available to help install it.

This post has some tips on getting Lexia to work.
My Name: Adam

Top Contributor
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 3:15 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 93000
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Brilliant! Just ordered one but had to buy a new HDD also for my old laptop, once that's up and running, I'll be back with some codes.


Thanks very much C3CAR,

Adam.
My Name: Argen

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:48 pm

Post

Hey all! First post! YAY!

I have the same problem with my C3, really struggles to start, but once its warm, starts great.

After the cold painful start, it will smoke until warm too. But again, once its been running for a while, purrs like a kitty. There is never a miss fire or a loss of power, just painful start with lots and lots of smoke.

So I took it to a mechanic and he told me that the injectors are burnt and that he would not replace the injectors because they could break :(
So then I took it to a Citroen dealership and they did their fancy test on it and also found the injectors needing to be replaced, so they asked me for a thousand Pounds, plus labor, plus VAT... :'(

So my question is, if there are no power issues or miss-fires, could it really be the injectors? I'm no mechanic, but I would think its the glow plugs as the issues only arise when the car is cold.

Hope this helps too, as the Citroen people say its the injectors. But people are telling me not to trust the dealership too much...

Thanks!
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My Name: C3driver52

Guru
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:40 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (03)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 79984
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
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Welcome to the forum Argen
Argen wrote:I'm no mechanic, but I would think its the glow plugs as the issues only arise when the car is cold.
The glow plugs are used differently on the HDI Common Rail Diesel engine found in the C3. The glow plugs are used mostly in 'post heating' mode after the engine has started. In very cold climates the glow plugs are used in pre-heating mode.
Argen wrote:if there are no power issues or miss-fires, could it really be the injectors?
Its the high pressure in the injector that allow starting without the need for glow plugs. Worn injectors can produce a high 'leak off' effectively reducing the pressure in the injector and making starting difficult.

The injectors are easily damaged if the fuel system is not serviced correctly - fuel filter, water in the filter, contaminated fuel etc...

If you wanted to double check that the injectors do, in fact have a high leak off before going down of changing injectors, you can try the 'leak off test' - something you can do yourself one afternoon.

leak off test results:

Typical leakoff results on a Citroen C3 HDi poor starter
Typical leakoff results on a Citroen C3 HDi poor starter
For a leak off test take 4 plastic bottles and some plastic pipe that fits over the leak off connectors on the injectors. Run 4 pipes, 1 for each injector to a bottle. Run the engine and allow the bottles to collect leakoff. You shouldn't get very much and all 4 injectors should be the same.

If you wanted the injectors tested before getting them replace or repaired try C3 Diesel injector testing (eBay) send away service to make sure they actually do need a repair.

I don't think there is currently a guide to the leak off test procedure on the forum, but there is always room for one :)

EDIT: How do I perform a leak off on a 1.4HDi 16v Citroen C3?
My Name: Argen

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:48 pm

Post

Hi All!

Well, well, well. Citroen dealer tells me I have to pay they a grand to change the injectors because they told me they need replacing. Other mechanics tell me its the lamps.

So I did what any man would do, I took my car to some Russians. They took their computer and reset the car's computer. Guess what, car works perfectly, no more smoke, starts like a dream and it even drives better then it did before. How much? 48 quid.

Tip: just like your computer, sometimes your car's computer needs a reboot :)
User avatar
My Name: C3driver52

Guru
Posts: 1937
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:40 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (03)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 79984
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Has thanked: 110 times
Been thanked: 67 times

Post

Argen wrote:They took their computer and reset the car's computer. Guess what, car works perfectly
Hi Argen, thanks for the update, it good to hear you didn't get fleeced by the main dealer :) .

I would have liked to see what your russians actually reset :) , but there is a BSI reset procedure here which may be worth a try if anyone else has similar issues?
My Name: Adam

Top Contributor
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 3:15 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 93000
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Hey all,

Sorry for the delay...

Ok so, I got my Lexia all good. Had a few problems as my old laptop didn't have an HDD, obtained a new one then XP was not interested...

(TIP. If your laptop has an SATA interface for the HDD and your installing windows XP, be sure to turn off "SATA Native Mode" in the BIOS as the XP install will not see your new shiny HDD, it took a few hours of irritation till the penny dropped.)

With Lexia all setup, I did a full diagnostics check. "Injection" displayed YES. I went in and read the codes and there where several and didn't know where to start so I erased the lot (Mistake?) and the car was back to it's former glory for just over three weeks. We stayed up in Yorkshire this weekend and all was fine till on the way back we hit every one leaving Silverstone, after the stop starts in traffic I started to notice the car was playing up a bit and been a bit jerky. Then when we finally got out of it would hold on and not accelerate keeping the speed set and then it would start slowly accelerating, with no power at all. Got home and was sitting back in the car to see what the deal was...

P0203 Cly 3
Engine Temp 83C
Engine Speed:2528 RPM
Vehicle Speed: 118 KPH
Engine Torque: 126Nm

P1163
Atmospheric Pressure: 1011 mbars
Engine Temp: 83C
Engine Speed: 2528 RPM
Fuel Temp: 44C
Vehicle Speed: 118 KPH
Engine Torque: 140Nm

Any ideas?

Adam
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