The AL4 Problematic Gearbox.
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Default The AL4 Problematic Gearbox.

    I was just reading the latest on the huge thread about the AL4 woes experienced by Haakon.
    Would it be considered bad form to run a list of which cars and which models used this gearbox?
    I would certainly prefer to avoid this disappointing fiasco of a gearbox if at all possible. Perhaps a list of which models use it, and maybe photos of the "problematic" so as to help with identification might be useful.

    I am fully aware that there are many thousands of people who have owned cars with this unit and had no problems, but the bad experiences like the one Haakon has had makes me think that my Xantia might be my last ever Citroen. I fortunately have a series one VSX.
    If I was thinking of updating, what type of car should I consider if I wanted to stay with a Hydraulic suspension system vehicle?

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    George 1/8th

  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Please slander something deserving - Haakon's efforts suggested something external to the gearbox was likely the issue. Multiplexed Xsaras love throwing up faults.

    Want a C5? There are many C5s (Series 1 and Facelift) driving around with a permanent fault to the steering angle sensor - this affects suspension parameters and ride quality. The hydraulic pumps can burn out, master cylinders expire prematurely, handbrake cables seize in guide tubes, spheres eventually die (and are self-destructing), diesel injectors can get stuck or develop bypass leakage issues, bits of the front seat height adjustment jiggle loose and jam, the radio often misconfigures itself with a remote CD changer and you also get a permanent antenna base fault that comes up in the log. Brake pedal switches that carried inadequate current, rear door locks that stick, the infamous failure to PSF1, interior release handles that snap, wagon tailgates where the release button fails or the struts are a bugger to regas...

    I haven't seen enough of X7 models to comment on them. The age related problems haven't reached them yet, and most won't be intergalactic mileage.

    My Xantia was officially written off, yet it will receive a whole new side in April (when I can finally afford it) - there was simply no competing product on the market.
    Last edited by addo; 18th November 2013 at 09:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    Hydraulics = C5. Most recently, only the Exclusive (= flash) model has hydraulic suspension, but both Comfort and Exclusives had it earlier. Later models use a very nice 6 speed auto made by Aisin in Japan, the AM6- see AWTF-80 SC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for the cars that use it. See also CitroŽn C5 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    Addo, could you separate the faults listed between the two types of C5?
    Last edited by seasink; 18th November 2013 at 08:54 PM.

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts George 1/8th's Avatar
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    Hi Addo,
    I'm really not too sure about a C5, and that's for sure. I guess you are right about Haakon's problems, because 5 different units changed over, and still not solved. Does seem to point to something else.
    I'm not trying to slander anything, just looking at the cases already published here.
    Maybe I should consider another CX. Then again, I was thinking of updating.
    Maybe the Xantia will just be the one for me for another 5 years.

  5. #5
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Seasink - I have clarified my comments; the X7 will have its time to shine.

    This week I will see (at least) one S2 Xantia with minor niggles, one C5 facelift wagon with "issues" (suspect fuelling and AL4 autobox based on description) and one Xsara VTS that has mysteriously expired.

  6. #6
    Thank God for my Hydroen harrisson_citroen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by George 1/8th View Post
    If I was thinking of updating, what type of car should I consider if I wanted to stay with a Hydraulic suspension system vehicle?

    George 1/8th


    You'd go with a 2007-2008 2.0 HDI , 6 speed Aisin warner C5, an absolute delight.
    DS Un jour, DS toujours !

  7. #7
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    There's an early HDi C5 in the family and it's now exceeded 340K, which I believe is on the original AL4. While it seems unusual, it's not unknown for an AL4 to cover large mileages without problems. Fixing an AL4 is usually not a long saga if you give the thing to someone capable and they do the job correctly the first time. The 4HP20 and AM6 are better transmissions, but not entirely bulletproof either.

    There are some problems with the earlier C5 that do not seem to be dependent on the nature of the driver. However, a lot of the problems you will see on older cars now with their umpteenth (tight) owner are due to abuse, neglect and inadequate maintenance. Brake switches are not expensive, but rear arm bearings and hydraulic hoses are. There are C5's running around with the original spheres from 2001, that haven't had snapped door handles and stopping with the original master cylinder. The BHI/pump tends to fail when the owner and mechanic allows a leaking reservoir to bathe it in LDS.

    Harrison is on the money with the choice of C5 model as the 6 speed cars are noticeably more refined than any of the 4 speed cars. The petrol V6 is usually less expensive compared to the diesel and might be preferable for some buyers.

  8. #8
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Out of three workshops I haunt, only one has a moisture meter for dipping in the brake fluid. I'd say that's a fairly good gauge of how often people properly flush and bleed brakes - which sort of bothers me.

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