How to open the bonnet

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My Name: Citroen-Driver

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Model: C3 Pluriel - with or without roof
Year: 2003 (53)
Engine Size: 1.6 (16v)
Fuel Type: Petrol
Mileage: 90000
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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Opening the Citroen C3 bonnet is done in two stages, the same for most cars. The first step from inside the car is to release the bonnet catch. Then with the bonnet catch released the bonnet release lever can be operated from outside the car and the bonnet lifted and latched into a safe position.


To open the Citroen C3 bonnet, from withing the car find the red bonnet release handle below the glove box.

bonnet release handle located below the glove box
bonnet release handle located below the glove box

Pull the red handle towards you until you feel a resistance. You should also hear the bonnet catch pop as you pull the red lever.

Pull the bonnet release lever
Pull the bonnet release lever

Exit the vehicle and go to the front of the car. The bonnet should now be raised slightly but lifting it higher is blocked by the latch. There is just enough room to slide your hand in between the bonnet and the grille.

unlatch the bonnet catch
unlatch the bonnet catch

The arrow is shown with the bonnet open, just for clarity. You need to slide your hand from right to left to operate the black lever indicated by the arrow.

Operating the lever by feel will release the bonnet latch and allow the bonnet to be lifted with the other hand. If you release the bonnet latch before lifting the bonnet you will need to operate the latch again, before the bonnet can be raised with the other hand.

This part of the process is often the most difficult to perform because the lever is operated blind.
You can't see the black lever as you operate it. The picture shows the lever is just to the right of the citroen >> logo. Put your hand in the gap to the right of the >> logo, move it to the left until you feel the lever, keep moving your hand against the lever and then raise the bonnet with your free hand. Only release the lever when the bonnet had lifted at least a couple of inches. You can now use two hands to lift the bonnet higher.

release the bonnet stay from its clip
release the bonnet stay from its clip

There is a bonnet stay in the far left corner of the engine bay. Use one hand to un-clip the bonnet stay while holding the bonnet up with your other hand. If you let go of the bonnet at this point it will fall down quickly and slam shut.

engage the bonnet stay
engage the bonnet stay

Engage the free end of the bonnet stay into the hole indicated with an arrow embossed into the metal receptacle bolted to the wing.

bonnet stay safely locked in position
bonnet stay safely locked in position

The arrow indicates the safe place to attach the bonnet stay. You can now remove your hand from the bonnet as it is securely supported by the locked bonnet stay.



To close the bonnet: Lift the bonnet slightly to release the bonnet stay lock. Remove the bonnet stay from the hole and swing it back into the bonnet stay clip.

Manually lower the bonnet to about a foot above the front grille and let it go. The bonnet will fall quickly and slam shut.

If the bonnet fails to slam shut, you need to release it again with the lever under the bonnet (described above), lift the bonnet a little more and let go from a slightly higher position. It should fall further and slam shut.

Don't push down on the bonnet to close it because the metal is very thin and easily deformed. They are designed to be slammed shut by dropping onto the front grille.


Tip:
You can only release the bonnet stay from its locking hole by lifting the bonnet slightly. Support the bonnet with your free hand as you do this. Clip the bonnet stay back in position before closing the bonnet. The bonnet stay clips are know for being broken on older cars, luckily they are easy to replace and available cheaply here on eBay.
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