Lumpy misfiring 2004 petrol C3 - Help!
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Lumpy misfiring 2004 petrol C3 - Help!

    Hi AussieFroggers, I'm new here and have a sick little 2004 C3 1.4 Litre Petrol Citroen down in Tassie that I need some helpful advice/tips on. This is my mum's vehicle and it's been sick for over 3 months now and we're not getting anywhere with it.

    The Problem:
    ------------
    -Lumpy idle.
    -Low on power.
    -Slow Acceleration.
    -At 1300rpm the dash and steering shake the most.
    -Engine seems to wobble slightly.
    -There is a "Put Put" sound from exhaust.
    -Reaches high revs ok with no load.
    -Engine light on dash on and beeps occasionally.

    Where it has been for diagnosis:
    --------------------------------
    -Taken to local Citroen dealer.
    -Taken to local Peugeot dealer.

    Both dealers said the drive by wire accelerator pedal assembly thing needs replacing as it's coming up on the computer diagnostic scanner as having a problem. This part was replaced and error codes cleared from computer.

    I have no idea how this part relates to the issues above so I took the car from here on to stop my parents wasting money. I've fixed a few querky German car issues in my time so thought I'd give this French one a go.

    What has been done so far:
    --------------------------
    -New accelerator pedal assembly replaced (as mentioned).
    -Checked and cleaned/soaked both O2 sensors.
    -Checked and cleaned the MAP sensor.
    -Checked and cleaned the air filter.
    -Checked and cleaned every connection I could find with proper electrical contact cleaner.
    -Installed a new Ignition/Coil Pack.
    -Installed new spark plugs.
    -Bought a Chinese Lexia, it won't talk to car but computer talks to the Lexia device fine.
    -Unplugged each injector 1 at a time and engine stalls each time.

    Extra Notes:
    ------------
    -The car has only done 80,000km.

    -The common issue of the windscreen washer nozzle part leaking on injector/s is not evident. Car has not had water on it in the last couple of months either so can't see there's a water issue anywhere.

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    -The car once had injector 4 replaced. Car has done 30,000+ km with this replacement injector. This injector body looks slightly different to the others though.

    -Injector 4 (newest one) sounds quieter than the others when I listen to them through a flat head screw driver (diy stethoscope).

    My thoughts at this point:
    --------------------------
    I could buy 1 injector and swap it over with the current ones, one at a time.. But am I just wasting more money? Is there something obvious I haven't tried yet? I'm trying to avoid this car ending up at the tip.

    Also, are there any French car enthusiasts in Tassie that are good with these modern Citroens?

    Thanks guys, really looking forward to some advice/tips/ideas. I'm determined to save this car. I'll keep searching the forums and google for answers.

    Cheers, Al.
    Last edited by bigalfrog; 23rd February 2013 at 10:02 PM.

  2. #2
    Tadpole
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    For all those interested, here's an update on the C3:

    I bought a new set of Injectors and installed them, did a pretty slow and careful job and unfortunately there's no difference.. The car is still lumpy and misfiring.

    The car is off to my mechanic tomorrow (not a dealership).. Time to rule out any nasty issues (ie.. internal issues). I'm crossing my fingers it's something like an air leak. I'll keep you posted.

    I'm keen to hear any ideas anyone might have.

    Cheers, Al.

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Have you checked the coils?

  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    Cheers for the reply.. yep, completely replaced the coils with a new coil pack.

    Another update.. I think I've found the problem! Before taking it to the mechanic this morning I thought I'd physically remove the ECU and do a check over to look for obvious issues. When I removed the ECU I found a big puddle of water in the plastic housing where the ECU sits. I turned the ECU upside down and a big gush of water came out. I pulled apart the ECU as much as I could and it's now drying in the sun.. I'm looking forward to seeing how she goes tonight when I put it all back together. There's a good chance the water has fried the ECU but worth drying and trying. :-)

    I've also figured out how the water got in there. There's supposed to be a cover over the battery and ECU.. that's missing. To make matters worse, my mum is addicted to the automatic car washes which spray out water in all directions at high pressure.. lol.

    I'll post an update later. - Al.

  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    Well the ECU appears dry after being outside in the sun all day. I sprayed some electrical cleaner on the contacts and installed it back in the car and connected it back up. Unfortunately it's still idling lumpy. I did stumble across a neat trick today on the internet and that is to perform a 'BSI Reboot' by following a procedure where you open this that and the other, stand on one foot, turn on the lights etc. The car is now acting very strange, it now wont start and fans and wipers are coming on randomly when I try and start it.. lol. It's now late and dark outside so I will attempt another BSI reboot in the morning. If I find a reboot procedure that works i'll post it up. - Al.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Hi Al.
    Another thing to check would be the wiring to the O2 sensor. My ex wife( expletives deleted ) had a similar problem with a 1998 Xsara which lasted years, on and off. Finally it was sorted by a workshop in Brisbane after we had split and I refused to help as her anymore.
    The connection for the O2 wiring into the loom had worn a little from movement over the years. No problems since according to my daughter.
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    Ah, one other thing.............have you removed the coils and checked for water in the plug wells?
    My Renault Scenic suffers water ingress in this area on occasions of heavy rain if the car is on a slope as the under bonnet seal in Scenics was always dodgy.
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  8. #8
    Tadpole
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    Thanks. Good point about the 02 sensor wiring.. I'm starting to think about the O2 sensor area again as a possible cause. I need to work on my multimeter skills though as I'm not real good in this area. The car is definitely going to the mechanic on Monday so I will ask for him to check this out.

    On the Plug Wells.. I changed the spark plugs and looked in there as much as I could with my iphone light before I installed them. Everything looked fine and dry in there.

    Here's some more troubleshooting I did this morning:

    - Found a BSI Reboot procedure that worked but did nothing to help the lumpy misfire.
    - Exchanged the Mass Air Pressure sensor from my girlfriend's Peugeot 307 which was the same part number and no difference.
    - Slammed the door and hood down in anger, no difference.. lol
    - Took the car for a drive around the suburb to see if the car would come right, no luck.
    - Had a beer, that helped my mood but not the car.

    Interesting find.. the car wont start now after it got to normal operating tempurature. What does this mean? I guarantee it will start when it has cooled down as I've had this occur once before. Any ideas?

    Cheers.

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Hi All.. Me again with another C3 update..

    The car has been at the mechanic today. There were a massive pile of error codes on the computer, I'm told there was no pattern to the error logs and it sounded like it was complaining about everything and not making any sense. The errors were cleared and the car taken for a drive around the block and computer plugged back in.. A single error appeared after the drive and I'm told it said 'Random Misfire'. The mechanic (who's very good and experienced) couldn't find any obvious causes mechanically which is the main info I was after. He was about to hook up some gear to check the fuel pressure but the car wouldn't start up again... I then told him about the ECU having a bath and he pretty much said that'll be the problem which is now inline with my thinking.

    I have had a good tip from someone about checking the fuel filter so I shall do this tomorrow night.

    Question for you folks - Where's the best place to go for a refurbished ECU? I want to start getting prepared for this. I started at the dealer this arvo and they quoted $2868.00 (new ECU fitted), I haven't laughed so hard in a while.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by bigalfrog; 4th March 2013 at 10:09 PM.

  10. #10
    Tadpole
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    Here's the ECU guys. This is just after I cracked her open. The liquid looked to be fresh water.

    Lumpy misfiring 2004 petrol C3 - Help!-img_0683.jpg Lumpy misfiring 2004 petrol C3 - Help!-img_0684.jpg
    Last edited by bigalfrog; 4th March 2013 at 10:52 PM.

  11. #11
    Fellow Frogger
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    Both the BSI and engine ECU are VIN-coded (permanently - unless you can find someone capable of unscrambling a used one.), meaning you can't just swap one from another car. You'd need to swap them as a pair and recode the keys, but then the car acquires the VIN of the donor, which has it's own set of potential problems. Also, make sure the guy working on it is aware that borrowing and hooking up components from different cars can lead to all of the parts showing the same and highest odometer reading. It would be worth trying to swap the instrument cluster, engine ECU and BSI from another car to confirm that the problem lies in either the BSI or ECU rather than a mechanical problem. Maybe, opening the ECU case and drying it out properly and removing any corrosion you can get to on the board is a worthwhile step before looking for a new ECU. The encapsulant is meant to protect the circuits, but might be retaining some moisture.

  12. #12
    Tadpole
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    Thanks. Sounds complicated but I understand what you're saying. Getting donor bits in Tassie for one of these cars is going to be near impossible.

    I gave that ECU a good clean and dry out in the hot sun all day.. looks a lot better now but maybe too late.

    What are peoples thoughts on something like this deal?

    http://www.cartechelectronics.com/pl...en-c2-c3-1-4l/

  13. #13
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    The only other mob I'm aware of is BBA-Reman
    Regards,

    Simon

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  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    Thanks. I did check out BA-Reman online the other day but wasn't sure if they dealt with requests from Australia. Anyway, I got onto a good deal close to home today (I call Victoria close to Tassie)..

    I got a recommendation to contact a place called 'BM Spares' in Victoria and I'm glad I followed it up. This place was very helpful and they just so happened to have a kit ready to sort me out which consists of a ECU + BSI + Key Reader. The price was $330.. I was more than happy with this so jumped on it. I thought I'd be in for a lot more than this to be honest. Anyway, it should be here in the next day or two. Good news also is that the km's are lower on this kit than on my mum's car so it should continue to show the higher reading which is the true reading.

    So.. BM Spares in Victoria (http://www.bmspares.com.au) - Keep this place in mind for parts!

    I still have to check out the fuel filter.. no time today.
    Al
    1981 Porsche 911 SC - The Toy (www.tripleblack911.com)
    1999.5 Audi A4 Turbo Quattro - The Old Toy
    2005 Toyota Hilux Turbo Diesel - The Workhorse
    2003 Peugeot 307 - The Boss's (misus)

  15. #15
    Fellow Frogger! young 4 old pug's Avatar
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    Default Lumpy misfiring 2004 petrol C3 - Help!

    Good to see you figured it out

    Now, do you have someone to code all the additional BSi parameters and options?
    Current stash
    too many.

    Passed over stash
    lots.

  16. #16
    1000+ Posts HONG KONG PUGGY's Avatar
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    AH, the penny dropped for me again in respect to a possible cause........Have you had the fuel pressure checked?
    My ex's Xsara had an earlier problem with fuel pressure where the regulator would let all the pressure out of the rail back to the tank at random intervals and therefore lead to poor running. Have the pressures checked.
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  17. #17
    Tadpole
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    The ECU, BSI & Matching Key arrived today in the post. I eventually worked out how to undo all the plastic plugs on the old BSI box and installed the new gear. I triple checked my work and everything looked good. I swapped the new key head with one of the old key bodies and it locks and unlocks the car fine with the remote. I tried to start it up and it tries but doesn't get there. I've only tried a few times as it's getting late and there are kids trying to sleep next door. I shall try kicking it over in the morning.

    Is there a catch to getting this car working with a new matching ECU, BSI and Key? I was told it should be pretty right to just plug in and go.

    If this car still wont start or still misfires then looks like I need to check out the fuel delivery system as a couple of you have suggested.

    Dear o dear.. this car! Time for a beer!

    Answer for 'young 4 old pug' about the additional BSI paramaters - I haven't thought that far ahead yet. I might have to fly you down to help out with that bit.
    Last edited by bigalfrog; 6th March 2013 at 09:31 PM.
    Al
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    1999.5 Audi A4 Turbo Quattro - The Old Toy
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    2003 Peugeot 307 - The Boss's (misus)

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONG KONG PUGGY View Post
    AH, the penny dropped for me again in respect to a possible cause........Have you had the fuel pressure checked?
    My ex's Xsara had an earlier problem with fuel pressure where the regulator would let all the pressure out of the rail back to the tank at random intervals and therefore lead to poor running. Have the pressures checked.
    Good idea for a check. The C3 has the regulator on the return line at the tank unit. They tend to crack at the elbow there and you then have leaking fuel.

    I would check with BM Spares about the parts they've sold you if they don't work as planned. Did it come from exactly the same model?

  19. #19
    Tadpole
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    I tried starting the C3 this morning. The starter motor ticks over fine but engine wont kick in. Charging the battery today so I can keep trying after work. It's not looking good though.

    I called BM Spares and they said it will now need to be connected up to the proper computer tools to get re-aligned. The gear they sent is from the exact same model C3.

    I don't understand why the old original ECU and associated gear will start the car most of the time yet the new gear wont. Surely the replacement ECU and BSI are aligned to each other as they're from the same wrecked car. Thoughts?
    Al
    1981 Porsche 911 SC - The Toy (www.tripleblack911.com)
    1999.5 Audi A4 Turbo Quattro - The Old Toy
    2005 Toyota Hilux Turbo Diesel - The Workhorse
    2003 Peugeot 307 - The Boss's (misus)

  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger! flipperman's Avatar
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    Just a thought when you get the car going. Making sure your sucking in enough oxygen, check your air filter etc.

  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger
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    It may come down to the key you are using.

  22. #22
    Tadpole
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    If i remember right don't you need the speedo control panel aswell or is that for just the km reading?

  23. #23
    Tadpole
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    GOOD NEWS! THE CITROEN C3 MYSTERY IS SOLVED!

    After pulling my hair out and a few swear words I asked for my brothers assistance. He came over with a fresh set of eyes and he queried the key and I showed him what I did. He said, 'you haven't moved the little hidden chip from the other side of the key body over'. Anyways, I got that out and moved it over. The car now starts and it firing on all 4!

    David S - Good one mate, sure was down to the key!

    Thanks everyone for contributing to this thread! It's been a great way to document progress and also vent some frustration. Hopefully this helps someone else out one day.

    Now, who wants to buy a Citroen?? Lol. Na, I think we'll keep this one in the family for a while - Better the devil you know as they say.

    Cheers, Al.
    Al
    1981 Porsche 911 SC - The Toy (www.tripleblack911.com)
    1999.5 Audi A4 Turbo Quattro - The Old Toy
    2005 Toyota Hilux Turbo Diesel - The Workhorse
    2003 Peugeot 307 - The Boss's (misus)

  24. #24
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigalfrog View Post
    GOOD NEWS! THE CITROEN C3 MYSTERY IS SOLVED!

    After pulling my hair out and a few swear words I asked for my brothers assistance. He came over with a fresh set of eyes and he queried the key and I showed him what I did. He said, 'you haven't moved the little hidden chip from the other side of the key body over'. Anyways, I got that out and moved it over. The car now starts and it firing on all 4!
    I could have sworn you told everyone you moved the key head over into one of the BM Spares key bodies
    Regards,

    Simon

    2018 308 GTi 2011 DS3 DSport
    ----
    2014 208 GTi 2007 207 GTi 2004 206 GTi180 2000 206 GTi 1995 306 XT

    www.peugeotclub.asn.au

  25. #25
    Tadpole
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    I moved the main obvious bit of the key over which contains the board, buttons and battery thinking that's all that's required.. the blade side is stuck solid to what looks to be an empty plastic shell.. I didn't see the little immobilizer chip in this side of the shell. There is no writing or marking on the facing up side so it just blended in.. Pretty easily missed working in dim light. Anyway, glad it was just something simple like this.
    Al
    1981 Porsche 911 SC - The Toy (www.tripleblack911.com)
    1999.5 Audi A4 Turbo Quattro - The Old Toy
    2005 Toyota Hilux Turbo Diesel - The Workhorse
    2003 Peugeot 307 - The Boss's (misus)

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