Looking to get back into a Citroen....2008 C5 questions
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Thread: Looking to get back into a Citroen....2008 C5 questions

  1. #1
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    Default Looking to get back into a Citroen....2008 C5 questions

    Hi all,

    First post here, what a great forum!

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    Many years ago, while living in the UK, I had a Xantia. Things didn't end to well with that car (major hydraulic issues) but it hasn't turned me off Citroens at all :-)

    Anyway, I'm looking to get a cheap second car. It will mainly be used daily to drive 3km or so to the train station and back and then 2-3 times a week it will go from Central Victoria to Melbourne and back for work, a 240km round trip.

    Am looking at a 2008 C5 X7, either the 2.7 V6 or the 2.0 4cyl. Both have around 160-170,000kms on the clock and good service histories. Is buying a C5 of this vintage and milage going to cost me a lot in the short term or are these cars/engines generally good for many more k'ms. Refreshingly, most of the reviews online are glowing of the C5.

    Most of the comments on these forums recommend going for the 4 pot diesels but why? Are they more reliable or just cheaper to service?

    I know we can't really predict any issues that may occur, but just wondered if it's worth picking up a C5 as a reliable & comfortable get about?

    What should I be looking out for?

    Cheers

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    A good one at that age is still a very good car. The 2L 4 cylinder will give you a much cheaper experience, and has plenty of oomph, so I would be looking hard at it. It would be the RHR coded engine. (The letters are in the VIN) Yes the 4s are more reliable with niggly things, and cheaper to service.

    At that mileage you a looking at a catalyst change soon, and at that age make sure the timing belt was done, or else budget for an immediate replacement. Check out the EGR system on the 2L too. These diesels must use very low ash C2 oil, so try to find out what is in it.

    The particle filters periodically regenerate themselves on a long steady run, so get it onto the open road from time to time. Nothing but very short trips clogs the filter and it will then need workshop regeneration.
    Last edited by seasink; 29th March 2019 at 09:30 AM.

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    Great, thanks for the info.

    I know the 4cyl versions will be better on fuel, but are you taking about servicing costs as well? Can anyone chime in on how much people are paying for services on the 6cyl?

    Also, how specialist are the X7 C5's? I don't have any Citroen specialist mechanics near me in central Vic, so would have to go into Melbourne for servicing if requiring a specialist.

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    Normal servicing changes oil, filter and sometimes other filters like fuel, combustion air, and cabin air. All service parts can be bought economically from places like EAI in Melbourne. So can brake pads and discs.

    Like all Euro cars pads eat discs away fairly quickly. It is an easy and conventional fix.

    The age of the engines raises the possibility of some annoying troubles with plastic and vacuum systems. Fewer on the 4.

    Refilling the catalyst requires a computer reset so may need a specialist or a dealer at greater cost.

    As to specialist - the electric-pumped hydraulic suspension is unique but gives only occasional trouble. The diesels are shared with Ford, and diesel places would know them from some models. Braking is totally conventional. Be very careful though with the automatic handbrake when servicing brakes - they are very expensive if damaged.

    The usually reliable Japanese Aisin gearboxes were lubricated "for life". Lives in road salted Europe are short. Consider a change at that age and distance. Ensure there is no slip/flare that can develop with long use. It is a simple solenoid fix if needed, but is a cost to avoid. The gears will go to neutral if you coast slowly through a corner (not recommended), so don't mistake that for slip when it changes as you pull away..

    Owners service these cars all the time, so it isn't rocket science. Melbourne is there if you should need a specialist for something.
    Last edited by seasink; 29th March 2019 at 12:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    Great, thanks for the info.

    I know the 4cyl versions will be better on fuel, but are you taking about servicing costs as well? Can anyone chime in on how much people are paying for services on the 6cyl?

    Also, how specialist are the X7 C5's? I don't have any Citroen specialist mechanics near me in central Vic, so would have to go into Melbourne for servicing if requiring a specialist.
    As mentioned before on this forum, I am on my fourth C5 in 17 years. Can honestly say I had no problems with any of them, other than niggles. On the 2007 model I did have to do both rear suspension bearings, because of the creaking. other than that nothing but ordinary servicing.
    But......always with the proper Total oil, genuine parts, timing belt at the right time.
    I found each new model that came out was much better than the preceding one, and the 4 cylinder Diesel being best of all. In the 4 Diesel, the RHH is better again that the RHR, with a lot more power an less fuel consumption. Personally I would pay a bit more for a 2011 on, with less ks, that can probably be had for $3000 more. Definitely pick of the bunch. But generally X7 is a sweet motorcar.

    NB: Also remembered I had a engine speed sensor fail on the 2008 X7: That brings on all types of warn!ngs: "Gearbox fault, Pollution, etc..." and can cut out the engine. Easy fix at the dealers , remove sensor, screw in new one $190 all up.
    Last edited by harrisson_citroen; 29th March 2019 at 03:22 PM. Reason: Omission
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrisson_citroen View Post
    I found each new model that came out was much better than the preceding one, and the 4 cylinder Diesel being best of all. In the 4 Diesel, the RHH is better again that the RHR, with a lot more power an less fuel consumption. Personally I would pay a bit more for a 2011 on, with less ks, that can probably be had for $3000 more. Definitely pick of the bunch. But generally X7 is a sweet motorcar.

    NB: Also remembered I had a engine speed sensor fail on the 2008 X7: That brings on all types of warn!ngs: "Gearbox fault, Pollution, etc..." and can cut out the engine. Easy fix at the dealers , remove sensor, screw in new one $190 all up.
    Thanks for your info.

    While in an ideal world, i'd spend a little more for a later model C5 with less k's on the clock, house renovations mean that an extra $3000 isn't really doable straight up.
    The way I kind of see it, is that more expensive servicing over a few years is a cost that is less noticeable over time than up fronting another $3000 now.
    I have no idea the servicing cost differences between the 6cyl and the 4cyl but I assume it would take years to make up the extra $3000....?
    The C5 goes against my theory of keeping things simple (especially at my rather low price point) as it's such a feature packed car, and rather complex with the Hydro suspension etc, but considering the glowing reviews from owners on pages like this one (https://www.productreview.com.au/lis...mk-2-2008-2017 )
    seems like it might not be too crazy idea to get a smooth refined car for doing long miles in.
    Just an FYI, the other cars I'm looking at in the price range are Golfs (no DSG's!), Focus', 308's etc..... they hardly get the same level of praise from owners on forums as the C5 seems to.

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    A C5 makes Golfs and Focuses feel like unsprung carts! I would say that the C5 is a cheaper ownership proposition than a Golf also, particularly if you or your serviceman gets his supplies from the specialist suppliers.

    You seem attached to the 6, which I see as additional hassle if something needs to be done for an 11 years old car. (eg think timing belt) It is much more complex and more difficult to access components. It is more powerful, but the 4 is quite capable of quickly taking away your licence.

    C5 X7s, apart from the suspension system, are quite conventional, well-built, and share much with Peugeot 407 and 508. They have proved to be reliable cars if serviced as per the makers' instructions (eg, correct oil). The C5 owners that contribute here are unlikely to sell you one, particularly as they are no longer being made.

    For a low volume import there is a huge range of options, fitouts, upholstery and electrical fruit. "Exclusive" has the most of these. 2012 on cars have other variants, including sprung suspension and small petrol motors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by seasink View Post

    You seem attached to the 6, which I see as additional hassle if something needs to be done for an 11 years old car. (eg think timing belt) It is much more complex and more difficult to access components. It is more powerful, but the 4 is quite capable of quickly taking away your licence.
    To be honest, I would prefer the 4cyl but there aren't any around in Victoria for sale within my budget ($6-7000ish) whereas there are a few 2.7 V6's.
    Last edited by Tone; 29th March 2019 at 06:50 PM.

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    Because a V6 at that price is needing big dollars spent V6 look for oil leaks coolant leaks injector leaks ( compression and diesel ) front control arm movement if itís got nav check the screen and startup time of the unit and make sure it doesnít reset when hot also air conditioning check both sides are cold and hot when adjusted


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    Recent purchase of a c4 turbo diesel 2litre 6speed auto;Brisbane to Sybdney $70 in fuel.Very impressed so got one for SWMBO. The only improvement would be hydraulic suspension.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccurtayne View Post
    Because a V6 at that price is needing big dollars spent V6 look for oil leaks coolant leaks injector leaks ( compression and diesel ) front control arm movement if it’s got nav check the screen and startup time of the unit and make sure it doesn’t reset when hot also air conditioning check both sides are cold and hot when adjusted


    Garage C5 X7 3008 XTE
    Gone but not forgotten 206 GTI 180 306 XR SED 405 MI16 x2 xzara VTS 406 SV 206 XT Berlingo 2011 (best car ever) 306 HDI 307 XSE HDI touring
    Fix it right the first time
    That's what I was originally thinking. Maybe getting into a X7 C5 at the low price end is just asking for trouble..... although I am finding that most have a full service history and have been looked after quite well which to me, is more important than slightly high miles. Also, I assumed the V6 diesel in the C5 would be quite under stressed in normal driving so should gobble up higher miles quite easily and without too much trouble over a small capacity diesel....?

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    The 4 cyl is a stronger engine than the 2.7 less crap hanging off it that can fail


    Garage C5 X7 3008 XTE
    Gone but not forgotten 206 GTI 180 306 XR SED 405 MI16 x2 xzara VTS 406 SV 206 XT Berlingo 2011 (best car ever) 306 HDI 307 XSE HDI touring
    Fix it right the first time
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    Just look for a well maintained 4 cylinder HDi. We loved our 2009 one so much that we recently found our second - Jan 2015 build. They're out there- you just have to look.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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    small capacity diesel
    Don't be worried by 2L. The torque is large, and these cars eat highway travel effortlessly.

    Most modern diesels used in large cars are about this capacity, eg VW group.
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    I remember Greg Bunting telling me one day when I picked the first C5 up from a service: "The guys love working on the 4 cylinder cars - everything is just accessible".

    We've towed loaded box trailers with ours with barely any noticeable effect. As much as we may have "loved" a V6, I don't think there is any great benefit. Remember too that (I think) all V6s came with 19" wheels not 18s (4cyl exclusive) or 17s (comfort) so you have less rubber between wheel and road and higher tyre costs.
    Craig K
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    I'm all for the 2.0lt diesel..... Just can't find any for sale in Victoria for around my budget and I need a car asap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    I'm all for the 2.0lt diesel..... Just can't find any for sale in Victoria for around my budget and I need a car asap.
    A quick gumtree search without going to geographical:

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-cars-va...9__2019/c18320
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    A quick gumtree search without going to geographical:

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-cars-va...9__2019/c18320
    Thanks, have done that...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccurtayne View Post
    The 4 cyl is a stronger engine than the 2.7 less crap hanging off it that can fail
    Excuse my ignorance but apart from the one extra turbo compared to the 4cyl C5, is there anything else hanging off the V6 that can fail that the 4cyl doesn't have?

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    Hi Tone, I'll reluctantly chime in with a few comments,

    Firstly, most of the contributors here are long term euro or french car die-hards with years of experience. Their comments best reflect the both joys and pitfalls of french car ownership her in AU. Particular weight should be given to the comments of 'dmccurtayne', he's always on the dot. Owing a euro or french car here is in AU a very different experience to being in europe/uk where parts and the acess to expertise is more readily available.

    Here in AU Aussie Frogs is a great place to start, as you've done.

    Being low volume cars compared to Jap or Korean brands, parts and repairs come at a minor premium. The C5 is well fitted, so expect some minor irritating things to go wrong; - slightly more so than an asian car. But with common sense, some care and help its not much of a burden.
    We've had a great run from all the french cars we have had over the years. All have been fantastically reliable and economical to own, taken over a long view.
    Be prepared to get thing fix as they break and accept that there is a cost and, sometimes, an inconvenience associated with that.

    Here in AU, a badly looked after french or euro car is nothing more than a frustrating money pit.

    As for the car itself;- great, reasonably comfortable, good reliability and wonderful to drive (gotta love the ride).

    We have a 3.0 HDi V6, its just great! I can only imagine the 2.7 is very similar. Vast reserves of power, smooth and devours kms. That said, where it really shines is overtaking at highway speeds;- unbelievably fast! Everywhere else I'd image that the 4 cyl is more than adequate. On the highway we get a little under 6 l/100, for an overall trip. It cruises in the high 4's.
    They share the same gearbox, final drive, the tyres are within a few % size wise ; both engines will be ticking over at roughly the same speed at cruise.

    As others have mentioned timing belt and EYLOS tank refill are both are highish cost items to be aware of in cars of the range you mentioned.
    Buy the best within the available budget. In my experience, there is no such thing as a cheap car.

    If you want a cheap car that's reliable, low cost, hassle free ownership, probably best to look at something japanese or korean (Hyundai Grandeur diesel for example).
    If you can live with ' it will need a bit of attention from time to time' and parts and expertise come at a small premium price, then the only thing better than a 4 cyl C5 is a V6 Hdi one :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    Remember too that (I think) all V6s came with 19" wheels not 18s (4cyl exclusive) or 17s (comfort)....... and higher tyre costs.
    Both our V6's have the 18's.

    I feel that the car is over tyred with 245/45-18.
    Did consider dropping to 17's at the last tyre change to soften the ride but couldn't find something sticky 17's in the right width.

    I'd agree there isn't much real world benefit in a V6, but its soooo good :-)
    The petrol V6 pulls the car along ok (tx needs to be in 'sport' in the mountains), but the 3.0 hdi is effortless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tone View Post
    Excuse my ignorance but apart from the one extra turbo compared to the 4cyl C5, is there anything else hanging off the V6 that can fail that the 4cyl doesn't have?
    The extra egr valve water outlets and piping hotter engine bay plays havoc with plastics


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    In your case, stick with the cars with RHR in the VIN, being the common, earlier 2.0HDi. Access on the 2.7 is more difficult and there are fewer wrecks around to scavenge from. The thermostat housing on the 2.7 is a weak point as it splits around the seam. All models will suffer from worn out suspension bushes in old age. Citroen doesn't service all of them, but there are aftermarket alternatives.

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    Hi Tone,
    My C5X7 is on car sales at the moment and I'm close to Victoria. I regularly get 4.9 l/100 on the freeway. The timing belt is done. Gearbox is smooth and no rattles.

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