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C3 Intermittent Steering Failure


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#1 dacabeem

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 07:46 AM

I have recently bought a second hand 52 plate C3 (1.4 SX) for my wife and we have, since March, had absolutely no problems with it at all. That is until last week, when the power steering seems to have taken on a mind of its own. It is a real lottery as to whether it works or not. Out of the last 10 journeys it hasn't worked at all for 3 of them. It doesn't fail mid journey but rather, right from turning the engine on and for the whole trip. The next trip it might be fine again. It doesn't make sense, or does it to some clever person out there?
Any advice or have you experienced similar problems? If so, what fixed it - sensor, software?
Any help would be greatfully received.
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#2 kfk

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 12:33 PM

does the speedo work when it fail?

have you got abs?
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#3 dacabeem

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 02:27 PM

does the speedo work when it fail?

have you got abs?


Yes everything works as advertised, apart from the steering.

Regarding ABS, I honestly don't know.

Thanks
Dave
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#4 kfk

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Posted 08 June 2007 - 06:17 PM

First off, the steering does have its own little computer......so i would always recomend that its worth getting the fault codes read.....more often than not they will give a clue as to where the fault exists.

We had a similar example to yours recently and it turned out that the computer itself had gone belly up and wouldnt supply power for the steering motor.....now obviously before you start condemning expensive components its worth getting that computer code looked at.

On the cheaper end of the scale there have been situations where wiring that goes into the underbonnet fuse box has caused a problem and required the under bonnet fuse box to be bypassed......if this is something that is relevant to your car i would expect your local dealer to check this ......we dont do loads, but enough to make you remember to check it.
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#5 dacabeem

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:21 AM

KFK,
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I've got the car booked in next week with a Citroen garage to see if they can fault find anything but I will mention the information you have given me (if nothing else, it will make me sound as if I know what I'm talking about!).
I'll let you know what, if anything, they find.
Thanks,
Dave
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#6 toblerone

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 04:20 PM

I have an 04 C3 HDi Desire which I have owned since new and occasionally mine has done this. My dealer has said it is a problem he has come across due to the steering being electronic on the C3. He has told me that when the power steering does fail to operate on starting, to switch of engine wait 30 secs and start again always does the trick. Apparently its to do with the amount of voltage getting to the power steering, hope this helps......
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#7 stimulator

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:46 AM

Yep it has electric power steering, when you apply an input to the wheel this is transmitted to a input device on the column. This feeds its output to the power steering brain. The brain turns on the electric side of the power steering system

GO BACK to a dealer ASAP and get it looked at. I ahd a Vauxhall CORSA which also has power steering and that had a total mind of it own. You'd be driving along a straight road and suddenly the car would steering across the road a syopu corrected the error it would think ha ha I go back again too so it would oversteer. it went back three thimes, first time NO PROBLEM, took service manager out in it and it made him a gibbering wreak by the time we got back to the garage. They eventually changed the column and black box and the steering rack end result still bad, solution SOLD CAR.

the C3 steering on mine is far superior to that on the Corsa and to date has never had a problem 54 reg.
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#8 dacabeem

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 06:38 AM

Stimulator and Toblerone,

Thanks to you both for your contributions to this topic. I'll let you know how I get on with the garage later this week.

Rgds
Dave
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#9 hertsnminds

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 07:50 AM

I ahd a Vauxhall CORSA which also has power steering and that had a total mind of it own.


I hope your Corsa wasn't called Christine, the 1984 John Carpenter film of the same name might explain some of the issues you were having.


Ian
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#10 Guest_CE05LDB_*

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Posted 16 June 2007 - 01:28 AM

My Brothers old 52 reg 2003 C3 1.4i SX Auto used to do this some times.

#11 dacabeem

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Posted 19 June 2007 - 08:23 AM

Well the car has now been in to the Citroen dealership and they have apparently confirmed the fault, via their fault code analysis, albeit intermittent and reprogrammed the computer. Its been fine since (but having said that, it was fine for a week before it went in!). Only time will tell. I'll keep you updated if it goes awry again.
Thanks to all those who contributed to this topic - your thoughts were well appreciated.
Rgds
Dave
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#12 fella31

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Posted 26 July 2007 - 02:16 PM

Well the car has now been in to the Citroen dealership and they have apparently confirmed the fault, via their fault code analysis, albeit intermittent and reprogrammed the computer. Its been fine since (but having said that, it was fine for a week before it went in!). Only time will tell. I'll keep you updated if it goes awry again.
Thanks to all those who contributed to this topic - your thoughts were well appreciated.
Rgds
Dave



Hi there, my 52 reg C3 has a similar problem and I'm debating whether I should take it to Citroen or whether I can get away with a local garage. Was it expensive to fix as Citroen charge £50 for a diagnostics and then whatever it costs to fix the problem.

Thanks
Al
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#13 Guest_Dutchman_*

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 11:52 AM

Hi there, my 52 reg C3 has a similar problem and I'm debating whether I should take it to Citroen or whether I can get away with a local garage. Was it expensive to fix as Citroen charge £50 for a diagnostics and then whatever it costs to fix the problem.

Thanks
Al


My wife 2006 C3 1.4HDI had similiar problems and took it in under warranty. There is indeed a software update available and seems to have cured the problem. If there is no warranty left on the car maybe you could try and argue for a free update as it could be classed as a safety issue.

#14 dacabeem

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Posted 27 July 2007 - 01:40 PM

Al,
Fortunately our car although bought secoond hand, was from a dealership and came with a 12 month warranty. Consequently, it was the dealership that picked up the tab for the diagnostics and rectification work.
Good luck.
Regards
Dave W
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#15 fella31

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 09:46 AM

Al,
Fortunately our car although bought secoond hand, was from a dealership and came with a 12 month warranty. Consequently, it was the dealership that picked up the tab for the diagnostics and rectification work.
Good luck.
Regards
Dave W



Hi Dave, well our our C3 has just come back from the local Citroen garage and for £220 they tell me that there's a fault with the power steering but they can't pinpoint it. I knew that without £220. They also recommend that I change the whole steering unit for £1503. NOT HAPPY!

The problem started one day after an extremely bad Thunder storm, and lightning hit the car park. I'd previously removed the engine splashguard (the plastic bit screwed on under the engine) and I'm now wondering if that is causing to much water/ damp into the engine area causing the problem. Anyone any clues? Also is there a place in Hertfordshire which might be able to tackle the problem with my power steering?

Cheers
Al
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#16 Guest_Chippenham_Bluebird_*

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 02:45 PM

My Power steering failed after stalling the engine, the local garage told me to reset the ECU by turing the ignition on & off three times. BINGO!!!

I stalled the engine a while back after an emergancey stop. The engine was running badly on restarting as if the cambelt had slipped. Whilts waiting for the recovery trcuk, I had an idea - you guessed it. Reset the ecu, - CANCEL THAT RECOVERY!!

Obviously the ECU is prone to getting its knickers in a twist.

#17 Guest_roy collingwood_*

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 07:42 AM

do you mean turn key till dash lights come on, then to off position (without removing keys) 3 times?

roy

#18 voo

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 11:27 AM

I have recently bought a second hand 52 plate C3 (1.4 SX) for my wife and we have, since March, had absolutely no problems with it at all. That is until last week, when the power steering seems to have taken on a mind of its own. It is a real lottery as to whether it works or not. Out of the last 10 journeys it hasn't worked at all for 3 of them. It doesn't fail mid journey but rather, right from turning the engine on and for the whole trip. The next trip it might be fine again. It doesn't make sense, or does it to some clever person out there?
Any advice or have you experienced similar problems? If so, what fixed it - sensor, software?
Any help would be greatfully received.


My wife's car (52 plate C3 1.4SX) had a similar problem. This turned out to be a loose wire in the ABS ECU. This may sound a bit strange, but Citroen electrics are wired such that the ABS ECU can affect a multitude of systems (apparently at random in my experience) such as speedo, steering, main ECU etc. Early C3 Citroen electrics are not as well protected from water as they could be and the ABS ECU is particualrly vulnerable due to rather poor positioning near the ground (most other cars i've seen position electronics at the top of the engine bay away from the road).

Incidently, Citroen's recall for the ABS ECU water ingress issue on my wife's car involved a patch up job involving a plastic bag and a cable tie which didn't fix the problem. I'm no expert but my advise to any owners of an older C3 with ABS is to consider getting the ABS ECU checked for water ingress and also get it better protected than a plastic bag (silicon sealant maybe???). Note that if left to the elements, the ABS ECU can burn out (or worse?) and will likely result in a big fat bill of around £700+

The alternative (as advised by my local dealer) is to avoid standing water :huh: If in the future you see a C3 weaving all over the road you'll know why :P

I assume C3s electrics are a bit more water proof these days (having seen the C3 plunging into water in a recent advert I can only hope :P )
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#19 biggestalever

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 01:57 PM

power steering on my 03 1.4hdi stopped working a couple of weeks ago , intermittently , resetting ignition worked sometimes.
took plugs off the ecu by battery and sprayed with Liquid Wrench ( something like wd40 )
had no problems since

anyone know where the abs ecu is , in case it happens again ?
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#20 PaulCartwright

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Posted 04 January 2008 - 08:11 PM

I have got a 2005 C3 SX 1.4 loverly mota but my steering is a pain in the arse i have put the diagnostic computer on it and ther are no fault codes did the software update work? if so i will have a bash at it or would it be simpler to let W.R. Davies's do it?
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