Engine limp mode then power steering loss

Questions specifically about a Petrol powered Citroen C3 (usually engine or fuel related problems).
Forum rules
One question per topic.
Petrol engine related faults, like injectors, error codes, overheating.
You can post more topics if necessary, but only one question per topic.
My Name: c3po

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:46 am


Hi all I hope you can help.

The other half has a 2003 1400Ci Petrol.

The car has an intermittent issue and it goes like this:

Engine Warning Light comes on.
ECU goes into limp mode.
Power steering dies.

If you stop the car and turn off the ignition for around 30 seconds then start it back up all is well... for a while.

Other possibly related/unrelated problems is the airbag warning light might come on once in a while for a brief period then go off again. Doesn't tie in with the main issue though.

I've done basic checks - theres no water or oil leaks, plugs seem fine, exhaust smoke is ok. All sensors seem to be plugged in ok.

Sadly I don't have access to a fault code reader and don't want to have my pants pulled down at the garage.

Has anyone experience an issue like this before? If so what was the out come.
User avatar
My Name: C3CAR

Posts: 2807
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)
Has thanked: 217 times
Been thanked: 109 times


Welcome to the forum c3po,

with this:
Engine Warning Light comes on.
ECU goes into limp mode.
and I know you are not going to like it, but, its definitely time to read the fault codes.

The reason I say this is because the engine ECU has detected a fault with a part of the system and identified what it doesn't like about the system. Plug in a citroen fault reader and it will reveal the codes and give you an idea which parts to test, check or substitute. Without the codes and such a broad failure, its not possible to diagnose it, even from past 'similar' faults, as they can all have different causes.

You can pick up the tool that citroen used to use in their garages back in 2005 (on eBay - click here) and use it to reveal the codes, clear the codes, follow the instructions the tool gives, change some parts and check the codes again.

A cheaper option, which has a lot less functionality (only engine codes, usually), but may be worth a punt is this KW808 OBD reader - here

The 2003 Petrol C3 is OBD2 compliant and you can use one of these cheap OBD2 readers. These will give you some 'P codes' which you can look up on the internet (or come back to this forum) for some guidance on what is causing the engine codes.

Do note that the fault codes don't tell you what to change, but more where to start looking which can save a lot of time and unnecessary expense with changing bits on a whim.
My Name: P1darbs

Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:40 pm


I had a similar experience... I have an OBD11 reader but it would not erase the EML no matter how many times tried. I also put it on a mates lap top still no joy.

Removed battery & battery tray just below you'll find 4 earth points 2 below tray & 2 further back towards the bulkhead... Remove the bolts 10mm and clean the wired earth rings, also clean the paint off the fixed nuts on the body of the car, use a small flat file. Reattach the wired earth rings & spray on some WD40 or grease to preserve the area.
Replace battery tray and reconnect battery, start the car this took the EML Light out instantly... For me as the issue that brought the EML on initially had already been resolved!
  • Similar Topics
    Last post

Return to “Questions about a Petrol powered Citroen C3”