Random Stalling and Problem Starts

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: tobybowes

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:05 am


Hello I'm new here and just looking for a little advice with my C3!

I have a 53 Plate, Citroen C3 1.4 HDi LX Diesel. 103,000 miles on the clock (approx).

I'll start from the beginning,
Roughly a year ago (at 94500miles) my car started to randomly stall whilst driving, it didn't seem to matter whether I was in high/low revs, high/low speed, or idle at traffic lights, it would just cut out. If it was to happen whilst driving along it sometimes would start again on its own after a few seconds of drifting.

After about a week of having this problem I stalled and couldn't get the car to start again using the key, so I called out the RAC. They informed me that it was quite a common problem with the C3 for the fuel line to wear thin and air to get in the system, he showed me the manual fuel primer and the many bubbles flowing through as he prime it. The car started again but on further investigation by the RAC he found the hole in the fuel line. He chopped a chunk out and sealed it with a replace chunk of hose. I then got the full fuel line replaced and the problem disappeared.

After around 6 months the problem was back, only this time I knew how to prime the car at the road side. I took the car back to the garage asking them to check the fuel line was fitted correctly and had no holes, this was confirmed. I was then advised to got to a peugeot/citroen specialist for further investigating, they checked the fuel pressure, the pump, and checked inside the tank for any blockages, all was fine. They also checked for fault codes and there we're non, apparently due to the lack of power to the computer during a stall its like it cant save anything if its not switched on, apparently. They couldn't get the car to stall or show the issue so I brought the car home (after paying a big bill) knowing the problem hadn't been fixed.

I've now been reading on the internet and self diagnosing for a while, with very little starting knowledge. But i'm getting nowhere it would seem, so I'm coming to you guys for advice and to see if anyone else has experienced this?

I've checked the wiring behind the battery and sprayed them with HOLTS DAMP START in case moisture was shorting any of them. And I've also sprayed WYNNS DIESEL EGR3 through the air in take system, this appeared to fix the problem for a few days but its back.

I've read a lot about the EGR effecting the car, although I've sprayed the air in take system could this really be coaked up and causing problems like this? I've looked at removing in but its behind the engine and also the pipe that connects to the left side has screws on an angle that are almost impossible to remove with any tools.

It passed its MOT last month with no problems as well, but I can't myself say the car is safe when it's had this happen previously whilst travelling on motorways (and no to mention the embarrassment of stalling and not being able to start it in the middle of a cross junction).

Can anyone please advise, I'm getting quite annoyed with it now but can't afford to trade up for a few more years yet.

Thanks in advance,
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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)
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Hi James, welcome to the forum

The first bit to catch my attention from your post was:
They also checked for fault codes and there we're non, apparently due to the lack of power to the computer during a stall its like it cant save anything if its not switched on, apparently.
Which is true in the fact that a main power fault will disable the saving of codes, but also points you in the direction of a major power distribution problem. Spraying things isn't going to be enough to fix it. You are going to need to check for corroded connections on the engine bay fuse box and the associated wiring (from battery onwards). All this assumes that the reason there are no codes is due to a power fault, which is quite likely.

Quite possibly you have had 2 problems at once, electrical and fuel. Which one actually stopped the engine may never be known.

I don't see the EGR causing the car to just cut out, but rather to cause power loss, fuel consumption, poor running. If the car runs and drives well (as it should) up to the point of cutting out, with NO codes stored after checking by a Lexia or by Citroen, then look for main power faults like corroded earths, fuse connectors, battery terminals.......
My Name: bill sutton

Experienced Member
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:42 am
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I now have the same problem, engine stalls battery light comes on then goes of again, engine restarts and three audible beeps occur. It is quite alarming especially when accelerating uphill and I need to stop it before it kills someone. Sometimes it causes the power steering to fail as well, but it comes back to life after restarting from off. As it shows no code and is impossible to provoke, there is no point in wasting the garages time and my money!!!!
My Name: Missing Lincs

Posts: 844
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:29 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2004 (04)
Engine Size: 1.1
Fuel Type: Petrol
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
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As C3CAR says above, check electrical connections. If the power steering goes off this is also an indication of something electrical. What happens to the cars other electrics when it stalls, do the lights stay on, do they dim slightly.
As well as electrical connections I'd also have a good look at the battery itself, I once had one that had loose connections inside, when you accelerated or went up hill the battery became disconnected internally. Also make sure the battery is well secured in place and not moving and pulling on connections. Other places to look, any wiring that might move when the engine moves, mechanical torque causes the engine to twist back and forwards slightly in its mountings, this can be just enough to pull on a connector or earth strap if the connection is not reliable to start with.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
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