2006 Citroen C5 SX 2.0 Petrol 5spd Manual - timing issue
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  1. #1
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    Default 2006 Citroen C5 SX 2.0 Petrol 5spd Manual - timing issue

    Hi all,

    Thought I would reach out to the froggy community, seeing I am not having much luck with my 2006 C5.

    It all started 5 weeks ago about a week before I booked her in for a service. I had a temp spike with a stop message on the screen. Being around these cars for many years, I knew the quickest way to bring the engine temp down was to hit the aircon button and bring in the 2nd fan. This did the trick and I finished my journey to the station. I drove her home that afternoon with the aircon on and temp was normal all the way home. I parked it up and left it until the Saturday when I sourced the coolant and used my other car.

    The rego was due as was the annual service. So new plugs, filters, oil and a replacement radiator. Strangely, I had a second temp spike on my way home not long after leaving the mechanics and the same warning to stop on the screen. I hit the aircon switch bringing in the 2nd fan and the car cooled immediately and maintained a constant temp all the way home through peak hour traffic.

    Coolant level was fine the next day and I used the car off and on over Easter weekend.

    Easter Monday, pulled into the carport and had a squeak at idle on the right side of the motor.

    Returned to mechanic, he replaced electronic thermostat with standard thermostat as the radiator temp was cold at the bottom and hot at the top. Squeak returned by the time I pulled into the carport at home (12km 20 minute trip).

    Returned to mechanic following Wednesday week to look at the squeak. Diagnosis was that it was not the alternator, probably most likely water pump. Replaced water pump, tensioner and pulley ato eliminate noise everything was new. Car drove fine for about 90kms of various trips in and around town over the weekend.

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    Sunday afternoon, heading home after a visit to family and then a friend. About 10 minutes from home I noticed a degradation of acceleration from the traffic lights. About 3 kms later, I had a depollution error message on the screen and I lost power with the car dropping two cylinders.

    Parked it up until Tuesday and then returned to mechanic, as soon as I pulled into garage, he said 'It's not sounding like it is running at all well". Two weeks later, new coil packs, crank angle sensor, timing belt and the thing misfires badly spitting fuel through the inlet manifold. A connector appeared to have almost perished and this was replaced, still spitting and missing terribly.. There is a possibility the camshaft angle sensor (Timing control solenoid valve) may have failed, but Citroen are asking $300 for it. Mechanic is loathe to change this given all the other parts replaced.

    Anyone out there with any experience of this? Anyone know of a working 2.0 16V Series 2 that could be borrowed for a couple of hours to test the Camshaft Angle sensor?

    Car only has 97k on the clock and is really disappointing to have all this happen in a short space of time without any major issues prior.

    Sorry for the lengthy rant, but figured I should give the full story.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger! young 4 old pug's Avatar
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    Has a compression check been carried out?
    Current stash
    too many.

    Passed over stash
    lots.

  3. #3
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    sounds like the original problem is the radiator fan isn't coming on. Not sure about the missing though. the squeaking is probalby the radiator fan when it decides it's is going to work.
    'Cit' homepage:
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  4. #4
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    I'd be trying a new coolant temperature sensor next. Plus making sure the coolant hasn't been leaking into the harness and migrating around the engine bay.

  5. #5
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    It does sound like two problems - first the cooling, then the depollution/performance issue.

    Problem 1: I would still check that the fans cut in at the proper temp (90C?) with aircon off. As David implies, coolant temp sensor may not be triggering them. BTW, if C5 fans work the same as in predecessors (Cit & Pug), then one fan running on it's own is a sign of a fault. There should only be three fan states - both off, both on low (which happens when you switch air con on, or when coolant temp reaches cut-in threshold), or both flat out.

    Problem 2: I'd agree that compression test sounds vital, if only for your peace of mind. What about EGR valve - we had one play up on a diesel 307? Also, since timing belt has been changed, what about cam timing being out. I don't know anything about the timing control solenoid, but I do know it is possible to put a timing belt on wrongly without it preventing the car from running altogether. It is also possible for the timing belt to skip a tooth (or two) - perhaps if mechanic didn't tighten the belt quite enough?

    Anyway, we feel your pain - look forward to hearing of a resolution.

    Alec

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    Fellow Frogger! Balki's Avatar
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    i have a complete good engine if that helps with 129,000 kms on it

  7. #7
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    Hey there,

    Finally got to the bottom of this one. Turns out the 16V Petrol is susceptible to clogging of the inlet ways of the cylinder head. A clean out and a failing injector cured the issue.

    Unsure if it's related to the failure of the electronic thermostat, but the car is finally running sweetly again.

    Time for some love from someone else and have now put her up for sale, will be missed!

  8. #8
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    Hey there,

    Finally got to the bottom of this one. Turns out the 16V Petrol is susceptible to clogging of the inlet ways of the cylinder head. A clean out and a failing injector cured the issue.

    Unsure if it's related to the failure of the electronic thermostat, but the car is finally running sweetly again.

    Time for some love from someone else and have now put her up for sale, will be missed!

  9. #9
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    What's the difference between an electronic thermostat and a standard thermostat?
    Regards,

    Simon

    2018 308 GTi 2011 DS3 DSport
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLC206 View Post
    What's the difference between an electronic thermostat and a standard thermostat?
    This explains it well:
    News | United Aftermarket Network

    Don’t get overheated about thermostats.
    Monday 28th January 2013

    It’s one of the smallest parts on the vehicle –but the failure of the “low tech” thermostat can bring even the most modern vehicle to a halt due to over‐heating of the engine.

    The thermostat, which is in the coolant circuit between the engine and the radiator, acts as a temperature controlled valve. If the closed valve fails, so does the cooling system,
    resulting in an overheated engine. However, most thermostats are inexpensive and easy to replace.

    The automotive thermostat was first developed in 1928, and it improved engine reliability, durability and performance output. The principle of temperature‐controlled engine
    coolant has been a resilient design feature as today’s engines have developed into the smaller, more powerful units that we are used to ‐ and as demand for improved fuel
    consumption and lower emissions has grown, so the development of thermostats has kept pace. Vernet currently offer two main thermostat types:

    Conventional Wax Thermostats
    Mapped/Piloted Thermostats

    Advantages of conventional wax thermostats:
    Proven product
    Minimal storage space required
    High volume production
    Pre‐defined opening temperature
    Low cost

    This time‐honoured and proven design has a special wax element at the heart of a pressureresistant housing. Once the engine approaches operating temperature, the wax melts,
    expanding rapidly and causing a pin in the thermostat to function as a piston. The pin acts on a plate to open the thermostat and redirect coolant flow to the radiator to keep the engine at optimum operating temperature: should the coolant drop sufficiently in temperature, the plate drops back into position closing the cooling circuit.

    The average temperature variance in a working thermostat is between 12C – 15C. Thermostats can be designed to operate at different temperatures, ranging anywhere
    between 0C – 120C.

    Advantages of Mapped/Piloted Thermostats:
    Improved operating range through variable opening temperature
    Quick response time through optional current feed
    Advanced engine management for reduced emissions and improved fuel consumption
    Compatibility to conventional Thermostats

    Modern engines have cooling requirements that conventional wax thermostats won’t manage and this has resulted in the development of the Mapped/Piloted thermostat, where
    a combination of the traditional wax element is augmented by electrical heating. This also facilitates a wider variance in the operational range of the thermostat. The addition of
    electrical heating is usually trigged by engine load; these ‘load‐triggered’ calibrations are stored in the engine ECU. For example, if the engine is operating between 100C ‐110C
    under partial load, this would return improved consumption figures of between 1% and 2%. Conversely, running the engine at 80C under full load would return improved torque figures of approximately 2% ‐ 3%.

    Calorstat by Vernet, the world’s premier thermostat manufacturer, has 1200 references in their latest range and are able to offer unparalleled coverage from a single source. As the preferred OE supplier for most vehicle manufacturers, you can rest assured that what you offer your customers is the genuine part. Every Calorstat thermostat comes with a gasket if one is required. The UK thermostat aftermarket offers real potential for businesses. With a car parc of approximately 32 million vehicles and a replacement rate of 10% per year, more than three million vehicles require a thermostat change annually. With 60% of these being repaired in the aftermarket, that’s 1.8 million thermostats sold in the UK, every year. For any motor factor or garage not currently in this market, this represents a massive opportunity, by anyone’s standards.

    FAI Automotive is proud to offer this premier brand and is able to offer cross‐references to most competitors, so you can switch over with a minimum of fuss.
    2006 Citroen C5 SX 2.0 Petrol 5spd Manual - timing issue-pilted_thermostat.jpg

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew D View Post
    ... Time for some love from someone else and have now put her up for sale, will be missed!
    These cars are uncommon out here and it would be surprising if there is another around in Ganache paint. The manual 4 cylinders are quite different to drive compared to the automatic version and not at all hard to get on with in city traffic. Certainly worth considering as a more modern and slightly larger replacement for something like a tired Xantia.

  12. #12
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Fascinating.

    They seem to be fitted to PSA cars with an EW10A engine.

    Thanks David.
    Regards,

    Simon

    2018 308 GTi 2011 DS3 DSport
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  13. #13
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    It's been a love/hate relationship it would seem. They were also fitted to 1.6 TU petrol C4's for a while and then deleted for a while and then fitted again. The pragmatic choice for an older car may be to change to a normal wax unit, but it's not just the thermostat element that needs to be changed to do so. It's a case of seeing what is fitted and what the relative replacement costs are at the time of failure.
    Last edited by David S; 27th June 2013 at 06:17 PM.

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! FedGrapes's Avatar
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    The thermostat allows coolant to circulate through the cooling system. When cold, the thermostat is closed so the engine gets up to temperature quickly. Once a certain temperature is reached, the thermostat opens to allow the coolant to flow.

    The standard thermostat is mechanically operated, and will do it's job without any control circuitry. It works by having a wax inside a sealed chamber that melts and expands, pushing the thermostat open.

    A digital thermostat would presumably work by having a temperature sensor, and then a computer controlled valve that opens at a set temperature. Benefits could include more points of temperature monitoring, and easily varied coolant flows. Problems are more points of failure.

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I find normal thermostats fickle enough. Why on earth would anyone want to fit one with electronics (citroen wiring anyone ?) and shitty plastic housings is beyond me. Talk about a HUGE failure point waiting to fail.

    seeya,
    shane L.
    'Cit' homepage:
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    '63 ID19 http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/showthread.php?t=90325
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    '78 GS1220 pallas
    '92 Range Rover Classic ... 5spd manual.

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  16. #16
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    Exactly Shane. They don't tell you these things when you buy the car and to be quite honest, it is something I wouldn't have cared about at the time.

    But 7 years down the track and 100k later, it's an issue. Guess how it operates? the sensor receives a message that it's hot and opens the thermostat. Citroen released a bulletin to replace it because of the premature failure. Ateco did their usual stunt and didn't bother to relay this to owners. I am also annoyed at Continentals who knew it was a problem, but only changed cars they serviced and didn't bother to tell their customers that serviced elsewhere.

    Give me a CX anyday (except on a stinking hot Sydney day)....

    After putting family and friends in 4 x C4s, 4 x Meganes and a 307, I doubt I will be recommending anyone to purchase a French car anytime soon (the Meganes have had their dramas too).

    As I pointed out to Greg at Continentals, I did own a CX for 8 years and never once did that car give me this much grief! Thankfully I had a 2nd vehicle to fall back on.

    Sad to say this is probably my last frog, not longer feel the faith anymore

    Cheers
    Andrew.

  17. #17
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Folks,

    What other Citroen models have these thermostats? Would my C5 X7 with RHR engine have one?

    Is it a case of looking at the thermostat housing and seeing if there is a connection wire?

    Cheers,

    Ken W

    Ken W

  18. #18
    Fellow Frogger! FedGrapes's Avatar
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    You'd think they'd design it to be open, and only close when cold. That way overheating issues are avoided, and just takes longer to get up to temperature. Any ideas why it is opposite? For the normal thermostat, too?

  19. #19
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FedGrapes View Post
    The thermostat allows coolant to circulate through the cooling system. When cold, the thermostat is closed so the engine gets up to temperature quickly. Once a certain temperature is reached, the thermostat opens to allow the coolant to flow.

    The standard thermostat is mechanically operated, and will do it's job without any control circuitry. It works by having a wax inside a sealed chamber that melts and expands, pushing the thermostat open.

    A digital thermostat would presumably work by having a temperature sensor, and then a computer controlled valve that opens at a set temperature. Benefits could include more points of temperature monitoring, and easily varied coolant flows. Problems are more points of failure.
    My understanding of the electrically assisted thermostat is it is simply a mechanical thermostat with a high opening threshold (105C?) which has a heating element inside the wax chamber to heat the wax independently to the coolant temp.

    Sounds very simple to me, and of all the ways to control temp via the ECU, is the simplest.
    Electrical failure will simply see the engine running hot. Mechanical failure will have the same usualy catastrophic result regardless of thermostat type.

    EFI relies on a coolant temp sensor anyway, so adding electrical control of a mechanical thermostat requires no further sensors and just one aux output from the ecu.
    The BMW (and I'd assume citroen) system predicts the ideal temp for minimum emissions/max power based on revs and load, again sensors that are already in place on a modern EFI system.
    In a few years we will see full electric/mechaical controll via a butterfly valve but that concept is still in its early days as far as I can see.
    We will probably start to see more complex ways of bringing the oil up to temp sooner too.



    Here is a good web link for some further reading.
    http://www.wahler.de/fileadmin/wahle...schuere_en.pdf
    Jo
    Last edited by jo proffi; 27th June 2013 at 06:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FedGrapes View Post
    You'd think they'd design it to be open, and only close when cold. That way overheating issues are avoided, and just takes longer to get up to temperature. Any ideas why it is opposite? For the normal thermostat, too?
    Hi
    I think you underestimate the function of the thermostat. It is not just a simple on/of valve switching at a set temperature. It begins to open at its marked temperature but only opens gradually over a range. So it controls the engine temperature over a small range of 12-15 deg in the normal operating function. It is continually opening and closing to achieve this in normal driving. It only opens fully when the engine is producing large power outputs.

    Thanks Jo for that article which spells out how the various types work. I guess we have to decide if the 2-5% improvements are worth the effort and potential problems. I believe in the future they will be considered normal and operate without much trouble. When the Japanese start to produce them

    Jaahn

  21. #21
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    I'm guessing standard thermostats with variable electric water pumps have proved much more reliable.
    Regards,

    Simon

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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    My understanding of the electrically assisted thermostat is it is simply a mechanical thermostat with a high opening threshold (105C?) which has a heating element inside the wax chamber to heat the wax independently to the coolant temp.

    Sounds very simple to me, and of all the ways to control temp via the ECU, is the simplest.
    Electrical failure will simply see the engine running hot. Mechanical failure will have the same usualy catastrophic result regardless of thermostat type.

    EFI relies on a coolant temp sensor anyway, so adding electrical control of a mechanical thermostat requires no further sensors and just one aux output from the ecu.
    The BMW (and I'd assume citroen) system predicts the ideal temp for minimum emissions/max power based on revs and load, again sensors that are already in place on a modern EFI system.
    In a few years we will see full electric/mechaical controll via a butterfly valve but that concept is still in its early days as far as I can see.
    We will probably start to see more complex ways of bringing the oil up to temp sooner too.



    Here is a good web link for some further reading.
    http://www.wahler.de/fileadmin/wahle...schuere_en.pdf
    Jo
    Cheers for the info. I would have assumed that they were already using a butterfly valve!

    I guess that explains why they don't default to an open position, if they still rely on a wax thermostat!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    Hi
    I think you underestimate the function of the thermostat. It is not just a simple on/of valve switching at a set temperature. It begins to open at its marked temperature but only opens gradually over a range. So it controls the engine temperature over a small range of 12-15 deg in the normal operating function. It is continually opening and closing to achieve this in normal driving. It only opens fully when the engine is producing large power outputs.

    Thanks Jo for that article which spells out how the various types work. I guess we have to decide if the 2-5% improvements are worth the effort and potential problems. I believe in the future they will be considered normal and operate without much trouble. When the Japanese start to produce them

    Jaahn
    I did indeed underestimate the simple thermostat! I suspected that it could/should do something like that, but hadn't found information either way! Good to know!

    It's sometimes surprising the gaps in knowledge when learning cars from scratch!

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