purchase of a 2003 C5
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Bicheno Tasmania
    Posts
    24

    Default purchase of a 2003 C5

    Hi folks
    This is my first time here. I am considering buying a C5 wagon in Tassie where I live. It has done 100,000km and has had the timing chain replaced recently. Looks in vg condtion from the pictures in the advert. Just wondering what to look out for - have read some scary things on the net regarding the electrical system shutting down on occasions! I have heard that servicing can require some specialist tools ( not that I would be doing the services) but does this mean that a run-of-the-mill mechanic would have difficulties in basic services?

    Anyway I would be grateful for any advice. Thanks

    Dave

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  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Sydney
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    9,670

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    Welcome. Petrol or diesel? They are quite different cars.

    You have to make a list of the likely problems and then ensure you don't get stuck with them due to the po's neglect. Owning a C5 could either be good or bad, depending on how the car has been maintained. Photo appearances are not enough as they won't reveal the leaking hydraulic pipes or dodgy auto gearbox just to raise two possible expensive problems.

    These questions comes up every few months, so start here:
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/sho...005-CItroen-C5
    Similarly, re service for starters ...
    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/sho...itroen-service

  3. #3
    Tadpole
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Penguin, Tasmania
    Posts
    13

    Default

    Hey there,
    I bought a 2005 diesel sedan C5 in January in Tasmania and I did alot of research before buying it. Try and test it in the morning if you can as any fault with the gearbox if it is an auto will most likely appear when cold and when pressured. Ensure the suspension works fine and enters all the positions and test all the electric windows operate correctly in automatic mode. If the suspension is really jiggly or bouncy at normal height then this is usually a sign of wear. Also test the aircon works fine in both hot and cold and check everything is working as you would expect in any car. My father services my car (he is an automotive teacher) and he does basic services however I think I will get a dealer to do major services on suspension and other big things. You do need a special tool to read fault codes (Lexia). I have only had mine for coming up on a year but it has been a great economical car. Others on here will know more than me in specifics but just ensure you are satisfied that the car is running as it should and factor in that things on what will be a 10 year old car do wear like any car and a dodgy mechanic can damage any car if they don't know about certain things. Good luck!! Hopefully others can provide a bit more depth.
    Regards
    Callum

  4. #4
    Tadpole
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Bicheno Tasmania
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    24

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    Hi David S. Sorry should have mentioned it is a petrol motor and auto gearbox.

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Sydney
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    Quote Originally Posted by tasdave View Post
    Hi David S. Sorry should have mentioned it is a petrol motor and auto gearbox.
    The petrol autos can seem a little underpowered, but offer safe and comfortable driving. The basic safety and comfort package carried through all models in the 2001 to 2008 range. Consider spending more for a diesel or particularly a later 6 speed diesel wagon, which are more refined. Try a few cars before you decide to buy the first car you see.

    With a 2.0 4 cylinder petrol wagon look for hard cold starts, broken exhaust manifold heat shield (rattles), misfires, leaks from the power steering hoses, leaks from the hydraulic pipes between the hydraulic pump and the from suspension regulator unit (i.e leaks under the driver's feet), flat suspension spheres, creaking rear arm bearings, inoperative door locks, CD player works and ejects, tailgate glass opens, tailgate and glass stay up, but most importantly the gearbox change quality. Search on 'AL4 gearbox' to learn more, but it can be an acquired taste for some. The gearbox is good when it works, but make sure it's OK without a bad 1-2 shift and slip in particular. Otherwise, general condition checks will be enough.
    Last edited by David S; 24th November 2012 at 11:30 AM. Reason: A bit too harsh.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts bigkev414's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    gold coast queensland
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    My only experience was with the most beautiful, '06, gold / beige interior 2.2 HDI, sunroof, sat nav, 80,000ks and absolutely pristine in every respect. It went wrong continuously for a year and then I traded it.
    Buy a Ford; or a Holden; or a Toyota; or a Mitsubishi; or a Travent or a Lada or a Great wall or anything but a bloody Citroen !
    I might act like an idiot, and I might look like an idiot, but don't let that fool you: I really AM an idiot!

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger
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    Sydney
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    While it would have been very frustrating over a protracted period, to be fair to the car, Kev, your experiences are not really representative of what most other owners of that model have had. Failures wouldn't happen at all in an ideal world, but they are a fact of life. Aside from some of the usual C5 issues, a few of your model had Eolys additive problems and a small batch of bad vacuum solenoids, but were otherwise quite OK. I know of two cars that developed a curious and random engine management fault eventually traced to an air mixer and maybe yours was that but undiagnosed? Regardless, not buying a Citroen (you now have a Pug???) isn't necessarily going to avoid the technology used in their cars. Plenty is shared by other manufacturers either bought in from a common supplier or via some joint venture. If you do a bit of digging, most other makers have some weaknesses that are fairly well known within the trade - e.g. mid-90's Benz wiring, Volvo XC90 T6 automatics, VW golf window regs etc. etc..
    Last edited by David S; 24th November 2012 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Clarity

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts
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    Newcastle
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    Default C5 2L petrol

    Hi Tasdave
    I have a 2001 C5 2l petrol. It's a nice car. Some people say they are underpowered but I find it OK and they cruise excellently.

    Sure I have had a lot of the faults mentioned, but by now I think they would have mostly appeared. Check the various areas and the history for the repairs done. The diesel may be better but they seem to bring more money, have their own faults, and suffer the same body related problems. Where is the saving for the diesel ? Mine is not so economic around town but is good on the highway. It's a very comfortable car with a lot of modern nick nacks that do seem to grow on you

    I do my own servicing and repairs. The basic oil change etc is the same as any car. The rest is a bit problematic as some mechanics freeze when confronted by a "strange "car. I do not have a close dealer and the one that was here for a while, knew less than me. So I buy my parts by mail order from a Sydney dealer or OS. The forum is helpfull and not helpfull. The tales of woe can be overwhelming at times. The good cars do not get much written about them . Ask me for more info if you wish.
    jaahn

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