Leaking C5
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Thread: Leaking C5

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Leaking C5

    Hoping I can get some advice on what to do with my 09 C5. I've come back from a week away and the back end is sitting on the ground like the Citroens of yore, and a huge puddle of hydraulic fluid underneath.

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    From what I can gather, I must have run over something before I left, and damaged one of the rear hydraulic hoses.

    I'm not sure what to do as I imagine it's not driveable, if I can do more damage rolling it onto a truck and I think you have to be careful how it's secured on the truck?

    Any help would be much appreciated!

  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    If you tilt tray it, you'll have to strap the wheels down. That's easy. Probably a busted return line, and won't be a difficult fix.

    Buy some puréed Mormon (LDS fluid) and top up the reservoir by a guesstimate of the amount lost. See if it comes up once you key it on.

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    Thanks mate. Where is the reservoir?

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    Driver's side, in front of the coolant reservoir. On top of the hydraulic pump. Item 1 in the pic.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Leaking C5-screenshot-1.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    Driver's side, in front of the coolant reservoir. On top of the hydraulic pump. Item 1 in the pic.
    Not sure about the later series, but, the level should be about halfway up the reservoir where the seam is, checked when suspension is on low. Don't over fill, the reservoir is pressurised and can split!! As Addo has already mentioned only use LDS (Orange).

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenBlood View Post
    Don't over fill, the reservoir is pressurised and can split!!
    Yeah, I just read about an exploding reservoir on a C6 forum

  7. #7
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    These cars have an electronic level sensor that tells the pump at the front to add or remove fluid from the circuit. It doesn't have a height corrector arrangement like the old LHM cars, so not really a return line as you might expect with an older Citroen. If it turns out you are looking at a failed seal on the end of one of the fitted hoses, the parts diagrams will likely show only the hoses and other suspension parts on one diagram, but not list the seals separately. Unless it has been changed in the last couple of years, the special metal/rubber combo seals should be listed on a diagram headed 'pipe brackets'. You won't really know until it is properly inspected.

    The level for the LDS cars is not checked at maximum height like older LHS/LHM models. Do that and you will overfill it for sure. The gauge inside the filler is for when the car has been depressurised manually or using the diagnostic tool. Otherwise, use the lowest setting ad fill it only to the tank seam - harder with the black plastic tanks than the early seethrough variety! If the reservoir looks bloated but isn't overfilled, just let some of the air out. It can happen if the car goes up and down a bit as it would draw in some air as the car goes up and the fluid is displaced. You might see what happens here after the car has been put to maximum height and then lowered.
    Last edited by David S; 15th July 2014 at 06:15 PM.

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    If the system is pressurised, is is it still OK just to take the cap off the reservoir the check the levels?

    Also, are the steering and brakes controlled by the hydraulic system as per older Citroens, or is it just the suspension?

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    The hydraulics do suspension and steering. Brakes are separate Peugeot-like units. Pages 535 on of the handbook cover this (pardon my French):
    Leaking C5-screenshot-1.jpgLeaking C5-screenshot-3.jpg

  10. #10
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    It''s only 0.5 Bar pressure from memory. About 7psi.

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    Well, I guess 6 years of high school French wasn't a waste of time after all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    The hydraulics do suspension and steering. Brakes are separate Peugeot-like units. Pages 535 on of the handbook cover this (pardon my French):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hi Chodaboy,
    Sorry my schoolboy French is too long ago but the power steering is not done by the hydraulics either. It uses the same fluid from the resevoire but has a normal P/S pump to do the "lifting" .

    If the return line failed then it should not have sunk IMHO. It should pump up automatically till there is no fluid left. Perhaps some other line has failed. So try the standard door open and key turn on and see what it does.

    You can open the fluid tank OK. Hard to see inside mine because it has baffles but it is transparent. The pressure is small as David said. It takes a full liter bottle at a time by design to prevent having to open it regularly. The idea is to limit contact with the air to preserve the fluid properties.

    good luck jaahn

  13. #13
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    Once it's "gone to sleep" a tired LHS system will sink.

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    Being an X7 series car, the p/s pump is driven by an electric motor in the RHF corner rather than the belt drive unit on the earlier cars. The C4 uses a similar elctro-hydraulic unit, whereas C2 and C3 had all electric steering. The steering and brakes will not be involved in this problem.

    Don't overfill the reservoir or you may have it bloat and crack. The LDS is apparently not hygroscopic, but if you leave it exposed to air you will eventually see that it must have lost some lighter fraction to evaporation as it becomes quite sticky. A slight weep from a hose that it not enough to drip can sometimes leave sticky, waxy orange stalactites hanging from the hose.
    shanadoo likes this.

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    How much LDS am I likely to need?

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    I wasn't trying to confuse chodaboy, jaahn. Two computer controlled electric pumps, adjacent, with a common reservoir is one system to me when you have a problem with lost LDS. The French excerpt did refer to LDS's keeping properties, "LDS fluid is to be capped and stored in an appropriate (clean) place. Two weeks after opening the unused fluid should be chucked out"

    According to the handbook, the total volume of the "circuit hydraulique" is 5.3 litres.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post
    ... "LDS fluid is to be capped and stored in an appropriate (clean) place. Two weeks after opening the unused fluid should be chucked out" ...
    I guess the concern must be the possibility that something is being lost from the liquid as vapour to the headspace in the bottle. Every time you open the bottle what has moved to the vapour phase will be lost and the quality of the fluid may degrade over time. However, I doubt that many people follow that in reality. The LDS system is meant to last for years with potentially the same fill, so it doesn't really make a lot of sense to toss out a tightly capped half full bottle of LDS after 2 weeks.
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    According to a data sheet I dug up, the main ingredient is hydrogenated decene, a synthetic lubricant, then petroleum lubricating oils, light distillates and an anti-oxidant additive. I don't throw mine out in two weeks either.

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    So, here's the latest.

    The car has been moved to a local mechanic - a friend was able to drive it there. The car didn't give too many problems - it didn't rise on start-up, I think it must have been resting on the spheres. There was a warning on the display about the hydraulics and not to exceed 50 km/h. No problems were noted with the steering or brakes.

    Same friend spoke to Citroen in South Melbourne re the hoses. They were able to work out what they were from a description (apparently, Citroen don't have part numbers stamped on their hoses). They are saying that they don't keep these parts in stock, so they would have to be ordered from France with an arrival time of 3-4 weeks. They have also quoted around $300 each - there are two, and while the other hose is OK, it is wearing out in a similar fashion to the other that has caused the problem.

    Obviously I'd rather not wait that long, so I'm wondering if anyone knows which hoses I'm talking about, if they can be found anywhere a little more local. The person who looked at the car says they are longish, fairly convoluted and have a metal insert in part of the length.

    Sorry if this is all a bit sketchy. Because I work 6 days a week 60km from home, someone else has been sorting it out thus far so it's all a bit second-hand I'm afraid.

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    Here's a pic of the rear axle. The arrows point to the spheres. The thin convoluted tubing on top comes from the hydraulic pump in the engine bay. The pipes that come in pairs are the two shown each side of centre, metal at first, turning inwards, then running up to the wheel spheres.




    Leaking C5-fc1a2ad0123abcd21a998a5675d435feo.jpg

    Are these the ones?

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    I'd be inclined to talk to my hose doctor, but would this be easier as a Pleiades job?

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    Have the hoses been damaged somehow? Be certain it's the hose leaking and not a seal as mentioned earlier.
    A dealer should be able to obtain most parts from France in a little over a week if they really want it. However, it will cost them more to bring it into stock than it will if they tell you 6 weeks and place it on a stock order. A dealer can make a much larger margin on the part that way.
    There was a person dismantling a low mileage late C5 on gumtree, so that could be an option. BM Spares in Melbourne, Volstork in Adelaide, maybe Martin Bray or Fench Connection are possible wrecking options.

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    seasink, I think so, but I'm not sure. There are two bilaterally symmetrical hoses and that's about all I know.

    I've since found out that there were numbers on the hoses (it was Citroen who said that they don't routinely have them, whatever that means.) He has sent me a picture of what he wrote down - some of the numbers may be other things (he has written the VIN etc as well). I'm assuming the top one is the hose number but again, I'm not 100% on it.

    9684425880
    A
    19-5-2009
    AX10502451
    55305N__01
    VIN etc...

    Does this help?

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    I think they are 5270VG & VF, but don't bet on it; perhaps Jaahn can check for you. Assuming these are correct codes, the French price is about A$215 each, and I'm sure the ebay brigade can do a lot better. See PARTS CITROEN (1305) - www.accessoires-citroen-lorient.com MIDI AUTO LORIENT

    For this sort of dosh I'm surprised your mechanic doesn't have a hose man available - those blokes make up hydraulic tractor parts on the spot every day.

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    Here's a drawing from the other side. You can see how the metal tube converts on top to rubber.
    Leaking C5-cit-c5-052.jpg
    How on earth do these fray?

    [edit] here we go - https://www.markesdemo.se/lagernummer/V148545 (used) for a fraction of the cost in Sweden. Confirm the part number.
    Last edited by seasink; 23rd July 2014 at 06:58 PM. Reason: PS

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