1.4 HDI 8V Lacks Power, won't go up hills, misfiring, loosing oil

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: RC3D

Experienced Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:42 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
Has thanked: 1 time

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I've a 2003 C3 I bought it when it had done 115000 and have carried on using it until now. 137000 miles later suddenly one morning I saw oil dripping from under the car. The dripping increased to the point I had to top up the engine with more oil. Then my wife who was driving the car regularly noticed the car was misfiring and lacking power but it was intermittent to start off with. Then I took the car to my usual garage, he spent a couple of days and then told me that he could not find the fault, he thought it could be the EGR valve, he did change the solenoid valve but it didn't make any difference. He did however tell me that the oil was being blown out of the breather pipe which indicates that there is some unnecessary pressure building inside the sump. Just to note here, there wasn't any blue smoke or any sign of oil burning and exiting through the exhaust.
He thought it was an electrical fault, I took it to an auto elect he spent another couple of days and told me that he could not read any codes other than P1197, injection control fault, his advice was to put injector cleaner to resolve the problem. When I was driving to from the auto elect I noticed that the car was misfiring, jerking and getting short surge of power and then withdrawing. I couldn't get above 2000rpm. This problem gradually increased to the point that the car was struggling to go uphill’s.
I took the EGR valve and thoroughly cleaned and put the car back together, drove a few miles before the problems started again. Put a blanking plate to the EGR again a few miles later the problems started (misfiring and under powering). Then I took the Injectors out, thoroughly cleaned everything and put it back together. I noticed there was oil in the breather pipe which comes out of the cylinder head cover and into the turbo, again same problem after a few miles.
All through these problems my car has never failed to start.
I then took it to a snobbish Citroen dealer, after charging me £80 they said that they could not find the fault but they found a number of fault codes to indicate that it is not worth my while repairing it.
P0402 intermittent fault EGR flow incorrect
P0404 intermittent fault EGR electrovavle control open circuit
P1164 intermittent fault, Fuel pressure signal; Pressure coherence
P0103 Permanent fault, Flowmeter signal Short circuit to +
P1197 Permanent fault, Injector(s) control
After spending hours and days analysing the problem I have come to a conclusion that the main problem is with the engine. I think that one of the piston ring has gone and the gas is escaping into the sump which is creating the pressure, then the oil is somehow is making its way up the engine into the cylinder head. The way the problem started is the clue to this problem, engine oil leak and then misfiring and losing power.

I have two options, to sell the car for parts or to put a replacement engine. I'm loathed to sell the car as it has a number of new parts costing me hundreds of pounds. It has almost new clutch, front head lamp set, radiator fan costing £270 and 2X new Michelin tyres to name a few, you can see my dilemma.

I'm not a mechanic, I’m just a practical minded DIY person with oodles of perseverance.

My question is this,
am i thinking in right lines or have i missed something?
should I buy a replacement 2nd hand engine which has done 100000 for £350/400?
If i decide to replace the engine which come complete with diesel pump, injectors & turbo, is it a fairly straight forward job to do, do i need to hire a portable engine stand to lift the old engine and to replace the new one? I have got a Haynes manual but is there any other useful guides/tuts available out there?
Any advice will be appreciated, thanks in advance.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

Guru
Posts: 3407
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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Been thanked: 119 times

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Hi RC3D, welcome to the forum!

The person who has recently engine swapped a diesel C3 is bill sutton, this is his swap story
diesel-citroen-c3/look-at-this-t367.html
P0402 intermittent fault EGR flow incorrect
P0404 intermittent fault EGR electrovavle control open circuit
P1164 intermittent fault, Fuel pressure signal; Pressure coherence
P0103 Permanent fault, Flowmeter signal Short circuit to +
P1197 Permanent fault, Injector(s) control
P0404 intermittent fault EGR electrovavle control open circuit and P0402 intermittent fault EGR flow incorrect has probably been fixed now with the new solenoid, egr valve clean and the blanking plate.

P1164 intermittent fault, Fuel pressure signal; Pressure coherence, ooh, this one has come up before. Could be the pressure sensor £75 plus £200 fitting, but I would do a leak off test on the injectors before spending any money.
diesel-citroen-c3/1-4-hdi-16v-fuel-inje ... -t314.html
note woody489 comments about the MX5 ;)

P0103 Permanent fault, Flowmeter signal Short circuit to + that's the MAF. Disconnect it to see if anything changes. They still drive fine with MAF problems.

P1197 Permanent fault, Injector(s) control - Injectors misbehaving, leakoff test them, but its likely they are not good.

fault codes to indicate that it is not worth my while repairing it.
If you go by their prices for parts and labour it doesn't take much to make a car uneconomical to repair - for them. DIY is the way forward for older cars.

After spending hours and days analysing the problem I have come to a conclusion that the main problem is with the engine.
As opposed to a sensor or the engine ECU. :D

should I buy a replacement 2nd hand engine which has done 100 000 for £350/400?
or get a set of injectors and change the piston rings. You don't even need to decide now, wait till the leakoff results are back, strip the old engine down to its rings and cylinders and inspect, take it from there :) The engine is going to have to come out either way.
I'm not a mechanic, I’m just a practical minded DIY person with oodles of perseverance.
I think you will need the perseverance!

While the engine is out of the car, the one that's going back in should have a cam belt/tensioner/idler/water pump change to save doing it on the car later down the road.
do i need to hire a portable engine stand to lift the old engine and to replace the new one?
Its worth comparing the cost of hire with the cost of purchase of an engine hoist if you own it, there is no rush to return it because the clock is not ticking. You can always sell it off when the job is done. You can find a new engine hoist from £140 (eBay)
Then I took the Injectors out, thoroughly cleaned everything and put it back together.
You put the injectors back into the same cylinders they came from and didn't clean the injectors with a wire brush?

I almost forgot,
You should read this too :o
diesel-citroen-c3/citroen-c3-hdi-1-4-8v ... -t279.html
All 5 pages!
You can add an avatar to your account - Avatar or change your vehicle details - Car Bio or even add a signature to your posts - Signature. But this is not all you can do in the User Control Panel :)
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

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RC3D wrote:am i thinking in right lines or have i missed something?
Valves burnt, head gasket failure or piston rings are 3 possibilities to pressurise the crank case.

It will be good to hear how you get on, photos are always welcome. Good Luck!
My Name: RC3D

Experienced Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:42 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
Has thanked: 1 time

Post

Thanks Arfur Dent for your prompt reply and help.
After spending hours and days analysing the problem I have come to a conclusion that the main problem is with the engine.
As opposed to a sensor or the engine ECU. :D

P1164 intermittent fault, Fuel pressure signal; Pressure coherence, ooh, this one has come up before. Could be the pressure sensor £75 plus £200 fitting, but I would do a leak off test on the injectors before spending any money.
https://citroenc3owners.com/diesel-citro ... -t314.html
note woody489 comments about the MX5 ;)

P1197 Permanent fault, Injector(s) control - Injectors misbehaving, leakoff test them, but its likely they are not good.
should I buy a replacement 2nd hand engine which has done 100 000 for £350/400?
or get a set of injectors and change the piston rings. You don't even need to decide now, wait till the leakoff results are back, strip the old engine down to its rings and cylinders and inspect, take it from there :) The engine is going to have to come out either way.


I read the article you suggested and how to do the leak off test.
You mentioned above about replacing the set of injectors, i've priced the injectors and the cheapest I can see is £140 each, thats £560. Don't you think it would be cheaper to buy and fit an engine instaed?


P0103 Permanent fault, Flowmeter signal Short circuit to + that's the MAF. Disconnect it to see if anything changes. They still drive fine with MAF problems.

I disconnected the connection, still no change, same problem, so i can rule this out.

fault codes to indicate that it is not worth my while repairing it.
If you go by their prices for parts and labour it doesn't take much to make a car uneconomical to repair - for them. DIY is the way forward for older cars.

Yes, i agree.
I'm not a mechanic, I’m just a practical minded DIY person with oodles of perseverance.
I think you will need the perseverance!

While the engine is out of the car, the one that's going back in should have a cam belt/tensioner/idler/water pump change to save doing it on the car later down the road.
do i need to hire a portable engine stand to lift the old engine and to replace the new one?
Its worth comparing the cost of hire with the cost of purchase of an engine hoist if you own it, there is no rush to return it because the clock is not ticking. You can always sell it off when the job is done. You can find a new engine hoist from £140 (eBay).

Then I took the Injectors out, thoroughly cleaned everything and put it back together.
You put the injectors back into the same cylinders they came from and didn't clean the injectors with a wire brush?

I almost forgot,
You should read this too :o
https://citroenc3owners.com/diesel-citro ... -t279.html
All 5 pages!
My Name: RC3D

Experienced Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:42 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
Has thanked: 1 time

Post

C3CAR wrote:
RC3D wrote:am i thinking in right lines or have i missed something?
Valves burnt, head gasket failure or piston rings are 3 possibilities to pressurise the crank case.

It will be good to hear how you get on, photos are always welcome. Good Luck!
with the above problems, don't you think that i'll get blue smoke at least. the thing i can't understand is how the oil can come up to the cilinder head without getting burnt at the top of the piston
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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)
Has thanked: 110 times
Been thanked: 67 times

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Hi RC3D
RC3D wrote:the thing i can't understand is how the oil can come up to the cilinder head without getting burnt at the top of the piston
If its rings, then the combustion gasses get past the rings and into the crank case, this pressurises excessively and pushes the oil through the path of least resistance, an oil seal or gasket.

Similar to valves or head gasket, combustion pressures not being sealed in the combustion chamber, getting into the crankcase (via the crankcase ventilation for valves) and forcing the oil out over your driveway.
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've priced the injectors and the cheapest I can see is £140 each, thats £560. Don't you think it would be cheaper to buy and fit an engine instaed?
£560 for four injectors each having done zero miles (after reconditioning) as opposed to £350 for an engine with four injectors that have done 100 000 miles each and could well be due for replacement rather soon. You can't compare recon parts with used parts on price.

I do see what you are saying. Injectors are an easy fix, so you can always change them later. Better still to find a low mileage donor engine without paying over the top. :)

The is a Diesel Injector Testing Service by post available (via eBay).
My Name: RC3D

Experienced Member
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:42 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 140000
Trim Level: Rhythm
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
Has thanked: 1 time

Post

After taking you advice, I’ve decided to do the leak off test to check the injectors but I also know that i've got a problem with the breathing of the car, more likely a piston ring has gone. You never know a breather pipe might be blocked inside the engine. I intend to get the compression testing kit below next. Will this do the job? – any suggestions?

After the tests I’ll be certain (or not be the case) about the problem, my hunch is that a piston ring has broken, as suggested above. This is where your expertise will be appreciated. I want to know in advance what equipment I should get in preparation for the job. Obviously I need to get under the car to grind the exhaust into two pieces (mine is one piece), should I get 2 X axil stands (I’ve got 2 already) or should I get something like a farm jack to jack it up high. On bill sutton’s post “the engine comes out downwards after dropping the subframe” (I know this might sound as though a stupid question), does it mean that the engine will come out from the bottom of the car, how do you then take the engine away from there to work on?
I have got most common tools but should I invest on specific tools and equipment for this job?
I have asked the above questions on bill sutton’s post too. Sorry for repeating.
Any help will be appreciated
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

Hi RC3D,

I have, thankfully, never had to remove the engine, but instructions are to remove the front subframe and lower the engine and gearbox from the car.....

I can recommend the haynes manual for the C3 for other jobs I have done on the car and can say there are quite a few words devoted to engine removal on the C3 in there.

Its available from amazon here


Good Luck!
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