Loss of power and engine management light flashing.

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: Jadoremavoiture

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Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:11 am

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Hi there everyone,

Please excuse the essay but I want to be as detailed as possible. I have an 02 C3 1.4 HDI with 128000 on the clock.

I took my C3 to a local garage because she was losing power and struggling to get up to speed also the EMS light came on.

They replaced my exhaust (fallen off) and the brake pedal switch which seemed to help but the car was still struggling with power and eventually the EMS light came on again.

I did a home fix job abd replaced the air filter which seemed to sort all of my problems out and I was glad to have my old girl up and running again.

The problems started again and now if you put your foot to the floor in 1st or 2nd gear she seems to sit at 2000 revs and battles to get any speed up. Now she loses power in all gears and almost seems to be stopping herself or olding herself back in some way.

I've booked her in to the garage again but would appreciate any advice on the problem in case I can sort it myself.

Thanks in advance.

Steven
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My Name: C3driver52

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Posts: 1877
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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Hi Steven,

I don't see why changing the air filter would have fixed all your problems if the servicing had been kept up to date, so that is something that may give a clue, like the the MAF - mass airflow meter.

The EMS or MIL or engine management light is warning you that DTC or Error Codes have been stored in the onboard computer and these ones need looking at. There will be codes stored that can give an indication as to why the MIL is on (or flashing) and probably why the car is running so poorly.

Citroen have a special tool for connecting to Citroen cars called Lexia (info here), it can read the fault codes stored

The built in 'self protection' can keep the engine from revving higher than, say 2000 RPM if there is a fault (or fault detected, or fault perceived), to limit the damage to the engine, or the amount of pollution, if its a pollution fault. Finding and fixing the reason for the engine light may just free the car from holding itself back.
My Name: omarsmith

Contributor
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:42 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 134000
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

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It's quite possible that there's a limp mode (as it's technically known) on the C3 that's limiting your revs because of the fault codes - though one would assume that the fault is a fairly important one for it to engage this, if that's what's happening!

Take it back to the garage and tell them that they haven't fixed the problem as you had asked them to - if you're paying them your hard-earned cash you need to get your money's worth - i.e. they ought to have identified and fixed the fault!

If you don't urgently need her back in full working order, you could purchase an ODBII reader - available here for only a bit over a tenner, allow you to read the fault code(s) logged by the C3's computer for yourself so you can diagnose the problem, and, if necessary, clear the code. They plug into the black OBDII port clearly visible in the glove-compartment fusebox. :)
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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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Hi omarsmith

I can say from experience that the 02 HDi Diesel Citroen C3 is not OBDII compliant. The petrol versions are (as they should be). But Diesel compliance came in later (2003/2004).

The early connector is the same shape as a OBD2, takes the OBD2 plug but just doesn't talk to the computer.
I have tried a lexia, and that works as expected. :)
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My Name: omarsmith

Contributor
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 12:42 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (02)
Engine Size: 1.4 i
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 134000
Trim Level: Touch
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Arfur Dent wrote:Hi omarsmith
I can say from experience that the 02 HDi Diesel Citroen C3 is not OBDII compliant. The petrol versions are (as they should be). But Diesel compliance came in later (2003/2004).
You learn something new every day. Ignore that then - but still a good idea to re-approach the garage asking them to fix it properly!
My Name: Jadoremavoiture

Member
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:11 am

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Hi again everyone,

thanks for your help and advice.

The garage just called to say that nothing came up on the diagnostics test however he has replaced the fuel filter and she is running just fine with no light flashing.

If the garage say that nothing came up on the diagnostics machine then I don't really have an argument to say that they haven't fixed the problem do I?

I will order the hand held reader and see if that brings up anything else.

thanks again

Steven
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My Name: C3driver52

Guru
Posts: 1877
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: 89 times
Been thanked: 66 times

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I will order the hand held reader and see if that brings up anything else.
Anything other than a lexia is not going to work on an early diesel Citroen C3 (which is a bit of hardware and some software that runs on a windows laptop or PC).

If it was only a case of changing the fuel filter (and removing the water from the filter), I would have words with whoever changed the oil previously, as the schedule says drain the water from the fuel filter when oil changing.

As a note, its easier to do the oil, oil filter, air filter and drain out the water (or change the fuel filter) all at the same time as removing the air filter ducting gives access to the oil filter and the fuel filter drain tap.
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