Washer jet/Fuel injector known fault - taking car to Citroen

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My Name: Kellie

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 116000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Citroen C3 Sx 1.4 92HP
HDi 16v
5 door Hatchback
Manual (5 gear)
Diesel
116k Milage


Hi

I think that's all the info about the car above?
I am new to owning a Citroen, In fact it is my first ever car. I bought it of a private dealer 3 months ago. They were an old couple who have had the car from new, have had it serviced every year (I have full service history records).

One month after purchase I started to have trouble starting it, would take me 2-3 attempts but only when the weather was cold so I thought that was the reason.
It gradually started to take me even more attempts to start it, it became rather embarrassing when I was in a car park and people kept coming up to me asking if I needed help (but in a good way, it was nice to know there are so many people out there willing to help a lady in distress!)
Mid December at it got to the point where it would not start at all and the battery drained. I jump started it with my partners car and it started instantly, the best it had ever started so I thought I needed a new batter. I got that tested and it was fine.
Took it to a mechanic on Saturday, I waited till after the Christmas hype was over, I could do without a car for 2-3 weeks as I went my whole life without one before, I could manage. They inspected it and within an hour came back telling me the fault was with the fuel injectors, one was leaking and filling to fast. He showed me pictures of the bottles he had filled, one was empty, 2 were not even a quarter filled and one of the middle ones filled 2 times over. He showed me them and they were covered in water and filthy.
He told me it would cost over £500 to replace just one!! (£350 part, £100 labour, plus VAT)
Well I may know know anything about cars but I know how to check for component prices, I build computers so I figured looking for components yourself cant be that much different, so I goggled the problem. Imagine my surprise when I found out this was a known fault that Citroen recognised in 2006. I asked the mechanic to check my washers and he told me they were not sealed, and I informed him of this fault and he said that would be how the water was getting onto the injectors. I called Citroen and they told me I had to take it into their own dealer for them to do a diagnostic (which will cost me £65) and if they recognise the fault as a known one they will fix it all as a good will gesture.

What is the likelihood of them admitting this is the reason? and if they do should I demand that I do not pay the diagnostic fee, as I already knew what the problem was from my local garage and had paid them a fee also? If they try and fob me off with a different reason to why the injectors are at fault what can I do?
This is a hell of a lot of money to pay out on a car I just bought, and knowing what most companies are like they will pull every trick out of the hat to put the fault on me and get out of repairing it for free.

If I'm so unlucky and I do have to pay for it, how much should I be looking to pay? I know mechanics also try and get away with charging an arm and a leg if they think you don't know what they are talking about and unfortunately I don't with cars, so I have no idea what is a reasonable charge.

Any help with the above would be greatly appreciated.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3410
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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Welcome to the forum Kellie

Well I may know know anything about cars but I know how to check for component prices, I build computers so I figured looking for components yourself cant be that much different, so I goggled the problem. Imagine my surprise when I found out this was a known fault that Citroen recognised in 2006.
You got that bit confused.

The diesels don't have this common problem, its the petrol one that do, Leaking washer jets causes damage to fuel injector on the C3
Washer jet/Fuel injector known fault
This doesn't apply to yours.
They inspected it and within an hour came back telling me the fault was with the fuel injectors, one was leaking and filling to fast. He showed me pictures of the bottles he had filled, one was empty, 2 were not even a quarter filled and one of the middle ones filled 2 times over.
Classic faulty injector, costs around £350 to £650 and about £100 to fit.

He showed me them and they were covered in water and filthy.
That's garages for you.

What is the likelihood of them admitting this is the reason?
Zero, not because I don't trust the Dealer, but because its not true.

I think the dealer will find a faulty injector and quote you £600-£1000

and if they do should I demand that I do not pay the diagnostic fee,
If you don't pay them, don't expect them to do the work.

If they try and fob me off with a different reason to why the injectors are at fault what can I do?
Fob you off? If your injector is faulty, it needs to be changed. Change it or have it changed for you.

The old couple sold it on because at 116k and 11 years old means big bills are due soon - cambelt, water pump, injectors, possibly clutch. You buy an old car at a reduced price with these costs factored in.

They were an old couple who have had the car from new, have had it serviced every year (I have full service history records).
If its faulty because the fuel filter maintenance has been missed (drain water every oil change and renew filter every few years), then have words with whoever is in control of the maintenance (servicing schedule). But at 116K miles, you can expect some wear!


If I'm so unlucky and I do have to pay for it, how much should I be looking to pay?
It depends, do you want NEW, USED or Reconditioned/Repaired parts?

These guys on ebay can tell you if your injector can be repaired; 'Injector Testing and Repair service by post (here)]'

You can sometimes find second hand injectors, have a look here (on ebay)

If you wanted to fit it yourself, there is some information on removing and refitting an injector in this Identifying a 'chuffing' sound from the engine bay. Diesel post.
I have no idea what is a reasonable charge.
You could just get 3 or more quotes for the cost of labour, but you mentioned £100 plus vat, which seems fair to me for changing an injector on the 16v.


Citroen C3 Sx 1.4 92HP
HDi 16v
5 door Hatchback
Manual (5 gear)
Diesel
With a nice pokey engine but with a low tax band makes the HDi 16v C3 a good choice (for me) :)
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My Name: Arfur Dent

Guru
Posts: 3410
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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Oh, and don't do this:
I jump started it with my partners car
As its easy to fry the electronics.
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My Name: Missing Lincs

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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
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: United Kingdom
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Even if the washer jets aren't an issue with this particular engine, they will still leak and water gets into the engine bay. They can be changed for a few £. The modified parts have a seal around the base and take about 5 minutes each to fit.
If at first you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence and pretend you never tried :lol:
My Name: Kellie

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 116000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Thanks for the reply so far.
The diesels don't have this common problem, its the petrol one that do,
Thanks for clarifying this for me. If that's the case I will not bother taking it to a Citroen deal and stick with the usual garage my partner goes to.
I was going to stay with them all along, only reason I had an appointment booked with Citroen is because they insisted on it. But if the fault is not a design fault I see no reason to go to Citroen.
If you don't pay them, don't expect them to do the work.
What I meant by this was if they do admit to the fault (which I know now is not the case) could I have reasonably expected them to not charge me for the diagnostic fee. I was not in any way saying I would not pay them for any/all work done.
Fob you off? If your injector is faulty, it needs to be changed. Change it or have it changed for you.
By 'fob me off' I meant if they tried to palm of the reason as being other than the leaking washers. Whatever the underlying cause I was always planning to get them replaced, that's just a no brainer. My original question was relating to if I could get it done by Citroen as a good will gesture if the cause was because of a design fault. Again to clarify, I understand this is not the case now, as earlier stated it is not a diesel problem.
That's garages for you.
You misunderstand, it was the injectors which were covered in water and filthy in my car, not anything to do with the garage which was immaculate. They run a clean ship there!
If its faulty because the fuel filter maintenance has been missed (drain water every oil change and renew filter every few years), then have words with whoever is in control of the maintenance (servicing schedule). But at 116K miles, you can expect some wear!
The last fuel filter was completed 31/05/11, would that be considered an ok amount of time to pass for fuel filters or should it be done every yearly service? The last time before that was 2006.
It depends, do you want NEW, USED or Reconditioned/Repaired parts?
To be honest im not bothered if its a reconditioned injector or new, as long as it works. My only concern with a reconditioned one is if it would become faulty again within a short amount of time.
Any recomendation/advice would help in that area.

Thanks for all the help so far. At least I know my next step is to purchase an injector, next decision is whether to do all four at the same time or just the faulty one, and as above whether to get a new or reconditioned one.
My Name: Kellie

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 116000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Also, why does the leaking washer jets not effect a diesel? Do they have extra coverage that protects them from the damage of the dripping water? Because my injectors were covered in water and it was pooling in any nook and cranny it found around them.

Either way as suggested by Missing Links I will get them replaced at the same time the injectors are.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3410
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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You misunderstand, it was the injectors which were covered in water and filthy in my car, not anything to do with the garage which was immaculate. They run a clean ship there!
Do you have any pictures, close-up of what you are describing?

Are you sure it was water and not diesel. It could easily be diesel when doing a leak-off test, but unlikely to be water.
Also, why does the leaking washer jets not effect a diesel?
They are completely different engines, with parts in different places. The petrols were just unlucky.
The last fuel filter was completed 31/05/11, would that be considered an ok amount of time to pass for fuel filters or should it be done every yearly service? The last time before that was 2006.
Haynes says drain the water from the filter every 2 years or 12 500 miles, but I would aim for every year or every oil change (which ever comes first).

For the fuel filter change, haynes suggests every 40 000 miles or every 4 years, which ever comes first. But doing it more often won't hurt, are easy to change at the same time as the air filter and are not very expensive considering the cost of the injectors.

The C3 Haynes manual has lots of useful information for your C3.


My only concern with a reconditioned one is if it would become faulty again within a short amount of time.
Any recommendation/advice would help in that area.
Without knowing why the original injector failed, you won't know that the original problem has been fixed before fitting a replacement. Well worth fitting a new fuel filter first. Are you using proper diesel fuel, not chip fat or something exotic?

Thanks for all the help so far. At least I know my next step is to purchase an injector, next decision is whether to do all four at the same time or just the faulty one, and as above whether to get a new or reconditioned one.
I am glad you are on the right path now. 4 injectors is going to be a bigger cost, but refer to the original leak off test that you described. The injectors with more fuel in the jars are the ones that have more wear and will need changing sooner.


Leak off test performed on a C3 non starter.
Citroen C3 leakoff injector test results
Citroen C3 leakoff injector test results
https://citroenc3owners.com/diesel-citro ... -t416.html
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My Name: Kellie

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 116000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

Are you sure it was water and not diesel. It could easily be diesel when doing a leak-off test, but unlikely to be water.
It was the mechanic who told me it was water on top of the injectors. I can take a picture for you and upload it later but at the moment the heaves have literally opened up outside so no picture taking at the moment!

Haynes says drain the water from the filter every 2 years or 12 500 miles, but I would aim for every year or every oil change (which ever comes first).

For the fuel filter change, haynes suggests every 40 000 miles or every 4 years, which ever comes first. But doing it more often won't hurt, are easy to change at the same time as the air filter and are not very expensive considering the cost of the injectors.
I think a safe bet would be to get it all changed every 2 yearly service, that should help keep the baby girl working smoothly i hope.
Thanks for that advice.
Without knowing why the original injector failed, you won't know that the original problem has been fixed before fitting a replacement. Well worth fitting a new fuel filter first. Are you using proper diesel fuel, not chip fat or something exotic?
Chip fat? You can seriously run a car of off that? That's nuts, wow never new that. I fill up at the local Tesco petrol station (as I get points from them) and always make sure if diesel. The mechanic did not mention what the cause could have been, should I ask him to investigate into it?

He did show me the picture he took of the leak off test but I didnt think to ask him to send it to me. It was similar to the one above expect the bottles were 2 ltr ones.
1st bottle: Quarter filled
2nd bottle: Filled twice over
3rd bottle: Less than a quarter
4th: Bottle: Barely a trickle

He said he couldn't check the last two injectors properly because the second one was leaking so much. So to be honest I have no idea if they need replacing until the second one is done.

Thanks for the help so far.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

Guru
Posts: 3410
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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Chip fat? You can seriously run a car of off that? That's nuts, wow never new that.
Bio Diesel, never tried it. You can get a quick read up here; https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ... hip-959452
The mechanic did not mention what the cause could have been, should I ask him to investigate into it?
I wouldn't bother looking too deep other than change the filter, the cost of investigating is going to out weigh the cost of the car.
He said he couldn't check the last two injectors properly because the second one was leaking so much. So to be honest I have no idea if they need replacing until the second one is done.
A bit of a dilemma, assuming all 4 injectors have done the same mileage, you would expect similar wear between them. If the garage has the engine in bits, labour cost would be cheaper to do all 4 in one hit, but you may be changing one that is actually ok (4th bottle).
Its your choice :)

I forgot to mention, if you fit new or different injectors (or even switch injectors between cylinders) then the injector coding will need to be reprogrammed. There is some information in this post https://citroenc3owners.com/diesel-citro ... -t842.html
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My Name: Kellie

Member
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2002 (52)
Engine Size: 1.4 (16v)
Fuel Type: Diesel
Mileage: 116000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No

Post

I have found a diesel specialist who cleans and reconditions Delphi injectors (I managed to get my P/N number and the brand, you are right its not that hard to see it) They charge £100 to do it, and give an unlimited mileage 12 month guarantee on the work they do. They charge £25 to clean the others so for £175 I can get all cleaned and the faulty one reconditioned. Does this sound like a good option?

How much should a new fuel filter cost?
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