pluriel starts and idles, but cuts out from throttle

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: ShirleyM

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Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:55 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2009 (09)
Engine Size: 1.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 43000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
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My C3 pluriel broke down the other day. It just died on the motorway. The rac bloke said there were no codes stored. It starts, splutters for a bit, then sits in idle. The moment you rev it, the engine seems to be misfiring and it stalls.
Anyone have an idea of what that might be?
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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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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ShirleyM wrote: Mon Aug 17, 2020 6:41 pm My C3 pluriel broke down the other day. It just died on the motorway. The rac bloke said there were no codes stored. It starts, splutters for a bit, then sits in idle. The moment you rev it, the engine seems to be misfiring and it stalls.
Anyone have an idea of what that might be?

Hi

Did you add fuel just before, or some time before the motorway run?
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My Name: ShirleyM

Contributor
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:55 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2009 (09)
Engine Size: 1.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 43000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
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It was fuelled before motorway run and drove from full to 1/3 tank
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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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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ShirleyM wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:04 am It was fuelled before motorway run and drove from full to 1/3 tank
So unlikely to be contaminated fuel.

It is surprising there are no codes stored. Even a good runner may have some codes in there.

If you release the fuel filler cap, as if you were going to refuel, do you get any unusual sounds?

I am thinking of air rushing in as the fuel filter cap is removed.
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My Name: ShirleyM

Contributor
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:55 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2009 (09)
Engine Size: 1.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 43000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
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Air rushes out when fuel filler cap opened.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

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Posts: 3308
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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ShirleyM wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:11 am Air rushes out when fuel filler cap opened.
Thanks. I think you have found a symptom that would cause the engine to behave as you describe.

I think it is air rushing in
If it was coming out, then it would contain a lot of fuel and would smell like a lot of petrol.


Now you have released the pressure, the engine will run ok. But the fault will return when the pressure is too great for the pump to overcome.

The fuel injectors take fuel from the fuel tank. The fuel removed should be replaced with air from the atmosphere.

What is probably happening is that fuel is being removed but not replaced by air. The fuel tank can only compress so much and at that point no more (not much more) fuel can be removed from the tank for the injectors. So it idles with minimal fuel and won't run when more fuel is needed.

It's going to be a blocked fuel tank breather. It's more that just a breather hole because the petrol evapourants need be recovered back to the tank for the environment. There are valves and charcoal canisters. I would suspect the return purge valve as a suspect to test or change.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

Guru
Posts: 3308
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)
Has thanked: 259 times
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ShirleyM wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:11 am Air rushes out when fuel filler cap opened.
Thanks. I think you have found a symptom that would cause the engine to behave as you describe.

I think it is air rushing in
If it was coming out, then it would contain a lot of fuel and would smell like a lot of petrol.


Now you have released the pressure, the engine will run ok. But the fault will return when the pressure is too great for the pump to overcome.

The fuel injectors take fuel from the fuel tank. The fuel removed should be replaced with air from the atmosphere.

What is probably happening is that fuel is being removed but not replaced by air. The fuel tank can only compress so much and at that point no more (not much more) fuel can be removed from the tank for the injectors. So it idles with minimal fuel and won't run when more fuel is needed.

It's going to be a blocked fuel tank breather. It's more that just a breather hole because the petrol evapourants need be recovered back to the tank for the environment. There are valves and charcoal canisters. I would suspect the return purge valve as a suspect to test or change. But it could be any part of the fuel system and dealing with the fuel side can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing.
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My Name: Arfur Dent

Guru
Posts: 3308
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)
Has thanked: 259 times
Been thanked: 112 times

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Fuel evap system may be your problem causing a negative pressure in the fuel tank, starving the engine of fuel.

ticks over but won't run. Negative pressure in the fuel tank
ticks over but won't run. Negative pressure in the fuel tank

Number 2 is an electrovalve and this may be the problem, but really, it needs investigating properly and safely.
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My Name: ShirleyM

Contributor
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:55 pm
Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2009 (09)
Engine Size: 1.4
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 43000
Trim Level: Other
Gearbox: Manual 5 speed
DPF: No
LHD or RHD: RHD (UK)
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Thank you. After releasing pressure the problem remained.
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My Name: Ozvtr

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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)
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There are a number of components dotted about the engine that the engine ECU can use to detect faults with the engine and not much escapes it's view.
However I agree with Arfur on this one, the fuel system has no monitoring systems on it and so if it fails the engine ECU will not detect a fault.
The first place I would start would be a fuel line pressure test but that requires specialized test equipment.
You could remove the rear lower seat cushion and then the fuel pump cover and listen to see if the pump is running.
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