engine cut out on motorway, turns over, won't fire.

Questions specifically about a Petrol powered Citroen C3 (usually engine or fuel related problems).
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Petrol engine related faults, like injectors, error codes, overheating.
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My Name: Emmadavies70

Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:06 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Desire
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)

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Hello everyone I've just joined

:D I have a c3 desire 53 plate my probelm is I was driving on the motorway and the car lost a bit of power became sluggish so I tried to free wheel it until I got to the end however it cut completey and would turn over and not fire so the first thing I thought out of fuel so I put fuel in it it still wouldn't start then I got my friend to help me push it and it still wouldn't start off the bump it's been in. The garage for two weeks and the mechanic can't start it either he's just told me they towed it down the street and it still won't fire he's done all the normal checks plugs etc he said the fuel is getting to the engine it's not the timing belt it's turning over but just won't fire when it lost power it made a ticking noise any body know what this could possibly be please ironically it passed the mot in September and failed on nothing so I just don't know where to turn
My Name: Citroen-Driver

C3 Master
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:10 am
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 30000
Trim Level: VTR+
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
Engine name: ET3 16-valve (90 PS)
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Emmadavies70 wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 11:13 am Hello everyone I've just joined

:D I have a c3 desire 53 plate my probelm is I was driving on the motorway and the car lost a bit of power became sluggish so I tried to free wheel it until I got to the end however it cut completey and would turn over and not fire so the first thing I thought out of fuel so I put fuel in it it still wouldn't start then I got my friend to help me push it and it still wouldn't start off the bump it's been in. The garage for two weeks and the mechanic can't start it either he's just told me they towed it down the street and it still won't fire he's done all the normal checks plugs etc he said the fuel is getting to the engine it's not the timing belt it's turning over but just won't fire when it lost power it made a ticking noise any body know what this could possibly be please ironically it passed the mot in September and failed on nothing so I just don't know where to turn

Hi, welcome to the forum,

With all the usual checks done, fuel, spark, air, timing.

The other things left are, immobiliser and engine ECU.

You can chekck for 'immo' (immobiliser) faults with lexia - you can find out more about the lexia system here

lexia will also talk to the engine ECU to see what that says about why it won't start.


Lexia will also read all the codes stored, for instance, cam sensor and crank sensor which are signals to the ECU. If the cam or crank (if you have both) are faulty then the car won't run but you will get diagnostic codes stored. But you don't need lexia for these as they can be read by a cheap OBD reader which the mechanic should have access to, if no, get one.
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My Name: Ozvtr

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Posts: 958
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:31 am
Model: C3 2002-2005, Original shape model
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.4 (8v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 80000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Automatic PRND
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD
Engine name: TU3 (75 PS)
Location: Brisbane, Australia.
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There are dozens of things it could be. Not being there I cant say what it is or isn't.
If the mechanic is half decent they should have checked/eliminated a lot of stuff. I don't know what they did or didn't do.
For the engine to work it needs oxygen (air), compression, ignition (spark) and fuel.
Unless there is a blockage in the induction (air filter, throttle body, inlet manifold etc) air should be flowing into the engine. That easy to check.
Compression is usually lost on one cylinder, not all. So typically compression problems cause the engine to run rough, not stop. Loosing compression on all cylinders at once is astronomically unlikely but again, easy to check.
That leaves ignition and fuel. Your mechanic should be able to ascertain if the plugs are sparking and if the injectors are squirting fuel into the cylinders (I can and I'm not a mechanic). Not that easy, but do-able.
If it can be established that you have spark OR the fuel system is working but not both, the power supply for the non working system needs to be investigated. Could be a problem with the engine electronic control unit (ECU) but unlikely. The engine ECU is very reliable.
If BOTH systems (fuel and spark) are not working the problem is most likely with the engine ECU. Again the ECU is usually reliable so the fault could be power to, or a sensor to the ECU. Power to the ECU can be checked easily.
If they have gotten this far my bet would be the crank angle sensor. It's about the only thing that stops the engine dead but the entire system looks OK. It's difficult to check that most of the sensors are working correctly. But the engine will typically run (all be it badly) with most sensors faulty. However the engine will not run at all with a faulty crank angle sensor.
Sorry this is a little over simplified but it's all I can suggest to try.
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