Car losing power, not starting

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 03 Oct 2018, 19:15

Hi,

My C4 1.4 (manual, petrol, 2005) hasn't been running for a few weeks and I was looking for some advice as to what could be causing the problem.

While driving a few months ago, the car completely lost power and I had to park it on the side of the road. I was eventually able to get it going again with a bump start and managed to get it home. This happened a few times, sometimes it would start with a bump start, sometimes it wouldn't. After a while it wouldn't start at all.
When I try and start the car now I just get a clicking noise and nothing else.

From what I've read, a clicking noise could be the battery, starter, alternator or a short in the earth lead going from the battery to the...gearbox(?).
The starter motor was replaced fairly recently and the alternator and battery have been checked and are fine. I'm not certain of what I'm looking for exactly with the earth lead (if someone could give me a rough idea of its position that would be great). The engine fuse box has been replaced recently too so I don't think it's that.

The engine management light also comes on if that means anything.

Thanks for any help that can be given.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 11584
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 989

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by GiveMeABreak » 03 Oct 2018, 19:41

Hi and Welcome.

The engine management light is a give-away that something is not right, so that has to be the logical place to start. You will need to have the fault codes read and then if you can post them here we should be able to give you some pointers.

Hell Razor5543
NOT Alistair or Simon
Posts: 8467
Joined: 01 Apr 2012, 09:47
x 501

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by Hell Razor5543 » 03 Oct 2018, 19:45

Hi, and :welc: to the Forum.

Before you try and use a generic code reader on your C4 you need to be aware that the PSA uses proprietary codes/protocols, which means that generic readers struggle to interpret the information. However, there are forum members who have equipment that CAN manage the PSA codes, and who are willing to help out. The following link can help you to find the nearest such member to you;

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=56452

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 03 Oct 2018, 19:50

GiveMeABreak wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 19:41
Hi and Welcome.

The engine management light is a give-away that something is not right, so that has to be the logical place to start. You will need to have the fault codes read and then if you can post them here we should be able to give you some pointers.


Thanks.

I'll try and get the fault codes read as soon as I can and report back the results.
Hell Razor5543 wrote:
03 Oct 2018, 19:45
Hi, and :welc: to the Forum.

Before you try and use a generic code reader on your C4 you need to be aware that the PSA uses proprietary codes/protocols, which means that generic readers struggle to interpret the information. However, there are forum members who have equipment that CAN manage the PSA codes, and who are willing to help out. The following link can help you to find the nearest such member to you;

viewtopic.php?f=19&t=56452


Thanks, I'll take a look at the link. I think I might know someone who's got a code reader anyway.

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 11 Oct 2018, 12:13

The AA were out a few days ago. The guy was really helpful but couldn't really find the specific faulty part. The battery was fairly low (12.1V) as it hadn't been driven for a few weeks, and needed charged but he said that he didn't think the battery was the main issue. He read the codes and said the list was so long it would take a mechanic days and several hundred quid worth of trial and error to find out what was wrong. Here's what he got:

Patrol found the following fault code/s:
System : Engine control 1 - 3A1 / IAW 6LPP0136 - O2 sensor (bank 1, sensor 2).
Error Message : Malfunction.P0261 - Injection valve (cylinder 1).
Error Message : Short to ground.P0264 - Injection valve (cylinder 2).
Error Message : Short to ground.P0267 - Injection valve (cylinder 3).
Error Message : Short to ground.P0270 - Injection valve (cylinder 4).
Error Message : Short to ground.P0076 - .
Error Message : Unknown fault.P0135 - O2 sensor heater circuit (bank 1, sensor 1).
Error Message : Short to +/ground, or open circuit.P0141 - O2 sensor heater circuit (bank 1, sensor 2).
Error Message : Short to +/ground, or open circuit.P0353 - Ignition coil 3.
Error Message : Short to +/ground, or open circuit.P1152 - Engine throttle valve Current-setting potentiometer 1/2.
Error Message : Comparison not O.K..P0351 - Ignition coil 1/4.
Error Message : Short to +/ground, or open circuit.P0352 - Ignition coil 2/3.
Error Message : Short to +/ground, or open circuit.P0354 - Ignition coil 4.
Error Message : Short to +/ground, or open circuit.P0012 - Camshaft position sensor.
Error Message : Error detected

Thanks if anyone can provide any help.

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 11584
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 989

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by GiveMeABreak » 11 Oct 2018, 12:15

I'll need your VIN - post it here (it will be automatically masked from public view).

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 11 Oct 2018, 12:27

VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]

Thanks

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 11584
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 989

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by GiveMeABreak » 11 Oct 2018, 13:38

Given the number of faults here - I suspect this is more likely to be more an electrical issue - possibly a connection to the Engine ECU or an earthing issue / Engine Fuse Box module.

To get all these injector issues at the same time, along with oxygen sensors and the coil problems all at the same time is suspicious.

The faults I have are similar to your patrolman, but these are officially the Citroen ones - unfortunately for the year, some faults don't go into as much detail as others, as you can see:

The other issue is how many of these are current - ideally, getting it on a Lexia would allow clearing of any historical codes and re-running a test to pick up current faults.

You say you had the engine fuse box replaced - and the starter motor - to me that is the first suspect place to look. Was this done at a third part garage or the dealer? It won't be the first time that we've heard of issues happening shortly after repairs of this nature. The suspect items are electrical connections not being put back properly - or nicked / kinked cables, pins from connectors pulled out / not making contact, connectors loose, missing (not put back), or earth cables.

Click These to Zoom
C4 A.PNG
C4 B.PNG
C4 C.PNG
Here are the earths:

Image

wheeler
Posts: 3640
Joined: 21 Sep 2002, 19:07
x 60

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by wheeler » 11 Oct 2018, 13:56

All of those fault codes together scream out under bonnet fusebox. Was it replaced with a brand new or used one? Were all the fault codes cleared when the fusebox was replaced the last time? Did the AA guy try to clear the faults ?
Doesn’t really explain why it goes off a bump start though. A failed starter could be coincidental, was it a euro car parts RTX brand starter by any chance?

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 11 Oct 2018, 23:34

GiveMeABreak wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 13:38
Given the number of faults here - I suspect this is more likely to be more an electrical issue - possibly a connection to the Engine ECU or an earthing issue / Engine Fuse Box module.

The other issue is how many of these are current - ideally, getting it on a Lexia would allow clearing of any historical codes and re-running a test to pick up current faults.

You say you had the engine fuse box replaced - and the starter motor - to me that is the first suspect place to look. Was this done at a third part garage or the dealer? It won't be the first time that we've heard of issues happening shortly after repairs of this nature. The suspect items are electrical connections not being put back properly - or nicked / kinked cables, pins from connectors pulled out / not making contact, connectors loose, missing (not put back), or earth cables.

Firstly, thanks for the detailed response. It's extremely helpful.

I should've explained the order everything happened to make it easier to understand.
I had some issues with the engine fuse box around 18 months ago. I got an auto electrician I know to take a look at it and he had to "bypass some faults" to get the car going again. There were some wires added going into the fuse box, one soldered into fuse 5 and the other sort of jammed into fuse 10. It was meant as a short term fix, the auto electrician tried to get me another fuse box but brought the wrong one at the time from what I remember. The car was still going, we both forgot about the fuse box and that was that.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago, the car lost power while driving and had to be parked on the side of the road. I was able to get it going with a bump start but it kept happening over the next few weeks and eventually just wouldn't start at all. Just the clicking sound.
I figured it was the engine fuse box, bought and fitted a matching used one (sold as working) myself and then tried it again. Same clicking sound.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
I checked the wiring under the bonnet. I don't see any missing/loose connections, nicked cables, etc. There is a nicked wire in the under dashboard fuse box that I've attached a picture of. I'm not sure of how to test the cables further. From watching a few videos on youtube, you can test the voltage or resistance to get some idea of issues with a wire but the videos are quite inconsistent.
wheeler wrote:
11 Oct 2018, 13:56
All of those fault codes together scream out under bonnet fusebox. Was it replaced with a brand new or used one? Were all the fault codes cleared when the fusebox was replaced the last time? Did the AA guy try to clear the faults ?
Doesn’t really explain why it goes off a bump start though. A failed starter could be coincidental, was it a euro car parts RTX brand starter by any chance?

As I said to GMAB, it was a used fuse box. I cleared the fault codes myself with one of the very cheap OBD-II devices when it was sitting in my drive failing to start, before I changed the fuse box.....
I'm not sure if the AA guy cleared the faults before he tried tried scanning for more though.
The starter was replaced with a used one by another mechanic friend. I'm not really sure of its brand.

Unfortunately I can't afford to get someone to look at the car just now guys. I'm considering scrapping it at this moment.
Attachments
20181005_145639.jpg

wheeler
Posts: 3640
Joined: 21 Sep 2002, 19:07
x 60

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by wheeler » 12 Oct 2018, 09:40

That wire looks like it has been done by someone prodding through the insulation of the wiring with some type of meter/tester that pierces the insulation to test wiring, looks like they were a bit over zealous doing it.
Has all the 'rewiring' that the auto electrician done been reverted back to the way it was when you replaced the fusebox?

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 12 Oct 2018, 15:59

wheeler wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 09:40
That wire looks like it has been done by someone prodding through the insulation of the wiring with some type of meter/tester that pierces the insulation to test wiring, looks like they were a bit over zealous doing it.
Has all the 'rewiring' that the auto electrician done been reverted back to the way it was when you replaced the fusebox?


I couldn't really say for sure and can't get in touch with the auto electrician unfortunately. I'm not nearby my car just now to check, but looking at a photo of the old fuse box, the bottom right connector (PB JAUNE?) only has two wires going into it.
Are there any websites like Citroen service box which give information on exactly how many wires should be entering each connection in the fuse box?

User avatar
GiveMeABreak
Forum Admin Team
Posts: 11584
Joined: 15 Sep 2015, 19:38
x 989

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by GiveMeABreak » 12 Oct 2018, 16:10

As I mentioned earlier, we'll need your VIN.

sourcekg
Posts: 7
Joined: 03 Oct 2018, 18:58

Re: Car losing power, not starting

Post by sourcekg » 12 Oct 2018, 16:58

GiveMeABreak wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 16:10
As I mentioned earlier, we'll need your VIN.


VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]