Sensodrive fan club

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charentejohn
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Sensodrive fan club

Post by charentejohn »

We meet in a telephone box on the M25 :)
As some people didn't think much of these I thought I would speak up for them. I checked here before buying one and did consider not bothering but so far so good, this is probably the last time it will work ok.

My wife's car is a 1.4 16V pertrol 2004 with about 50k miles. Works fine, changes are smooth and clean a bit like a 'soft' pause then into gear. Changes are better when accelerating briskly.
Tricky bits are sharp turns where you then go up hill or similar. Gets caught between 1st and 2nd so coughs a bit then takes off, solution is to use the paddles to put it into 1st then gently accelerate, no harsh changes.
No problem manouvering, crawls forward/backward slowly. My only concern doing this is clutch wear so I try to avoid that.
I like it so much I am looking for one for myself, I have to say the one we have is better than any auto I have had, and I have had loads. Fuel economy is the same as a manual car, we get about 55mpg on mainly open road driving with a few short journeys here in France.

Some problems may be due to garages not seeing many and having no expertise ? My local garage assures me it is not a problem (but then again they still haven't fixed my Xantia) and seemed confused that I thought it was. My neighbours have the same boxes in their cars, one is a grand picasso and the other a VW passat. I am pretty sure these are all the same principle.
I tried to buy a Haynes manual for the car but they don't cover sensodrive (sounds like modern Haynes to me) which may also be a problem.
Cost of repair seems expensive but so are autos, especially here. We had an A class merc with failed box, UK repair costs £2k+. At least these are standard gearboxes, clutch etc just with a couple of servos on them.

So I have to say, looking for a new car sensodrive it is. However when I am back on here in 6 months asking how to fix one please forget I wrote this..................

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momag46
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by momag46 »

See you at the phone box :lol:

I've been shouting about this system for some years now.

I originally bought a new C4 (1st model) with the 1.6 HDI and since then have had a C4 Picasso (2.0 HDI), the new C4 1.6 HDI and now have the new C4 Picasso, again a 1.6 HDI.

On each car the gearbox has been improved. The latest version does not miss a change and is always in the right gear. Originally it could be cought out if slowing down (for a roundabout) and then trying to pull away quickly. This has now been eliminted and the 'creep' has now been added that makes it more like a standard auto, the original system did not have this and caused a few problems coming to it from a standard auto. With the early boxes you could drive for miles in 5th because you'd accelerated slowly to say 55 so soon leaarned to change up with the paddles, the newer system is much better and is always in the right gear.

IF IN DOUBT - DON'T KNOCK IT [-X - TRY IT :wink:

Maurice

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daviemck2006
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by daviemck2006 »

I will not be joining your club, sorry. As far as i am aware the box in the c4 has different operating systems. This is what the vastly more knowledgeable people on the c2 owners club say. The c2 and c3 are exactly the same. I would think the vw is different. They are all the same principle in that they are manual boxes controlled by servos which are controlled by electric with some black magic thrown in. There is apparently 3 ecu's on the c2 and c3 and any or all can fail at a cost of £600 plus for each of the parts. I have driven a c4 hdi egs it felt totally different to my c2 vtr sensodrive. Even citroen calls them different boxes. Anyway it's is up th the op what he goes for all I will advise is go look at the c2 owners club.

wheeler
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by wheeler »

Yes the sensodrive boxes fitted to the C2 & C3 are a bit different to the EGS/MCP boxes fitted to the C4's.
The sensodrive is just an old MA gearbox with 2 actuators bolted onto it. The EGS however is a specific box desinged for electronic control. The EGS box also has some hydraulic control the senso doesn't.
Once you know how the sensodrive system works it is actually very simple & easy to work with. Just not very nice to drive if you have been used to a real auto box.

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daviemck2006
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by daviemck2006 »

Wheeler, are you the same wheeler that is on the C1oc?

vborovic
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by vborovic »

Very recently I've experienced the C-Cactus, with a ETG gearbox (similar to SensoDrive?, not sure, I've never driven it before) ... the full auto gearbox is still a full auto gearbox, and don't start talking about how the gear shifts are fluent etc ... not happening ... it was a new demo car, with 2k miles on the clock ... the drive was pleasant, but the gear changes weren't ... to anyone who went manual -> ETG it would seem a big leap, but to anyone driving a full automatic gearbox (mine is not DCS even) it is horrible ... when you hold the car on the break, deciding whether you want to start moving or not from a standing point, it feels like the car will shut itself ... like on the manuals when you don't add enough gas after releasing the clutch ... the steering wheel shift paddles are like toys, and changes initiated with them are even more laggy than on my automatic gearbox when I decide to manually switch gears up/down (those who own a X7 know the phenomenon I'm talking about on the BVA6 gearbox) ... I know I'd never go in the ETG/SensoDrive direction ... either manual, or full auto .. anything in between is just that ... something in between ...

EDIT: One thing I've noticed the Cactus has that my car doesn't is the visual indication of the automatic wiping activated (the C5 gives you a message and no indication afterwards), the Cactus has a AT wiper icon on the wheel instrument panel when the mode is running ... :D ... I figure the only use would be if you're driving for long hours and there is rain / no-rain periods, so you still see that the automatic wiping is activated ... of course, you would notice once the wipers get to work on those car's than don't have the icon ... :D ...
Last edited by vborovic on 07 Dec 2014, 20:55, edited 1 time in total.

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CitroJim
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by CitroJim »

Sounds like they still have some work to do...

Shame as I quite fancy a Cactus.

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myglaren
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by myglaren »

CitroJim wrote:Sounds like they still have some work to do...

Shame as I quite fancy a Cactus.
Saw one near Aldi this afternoon and thought it was awful - the new Juke! (there was a Juke following it too).

charentejohn
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by charentejohn »

I am surprised to see some support for these boxes as most comments are negative. In France they are quite common but more so the newer ones I guess.
I did think the C4 had something different, I assume sequential shifter like a motorbike, makes more sense, push forward pull back. Then all you need is a clutch actuator. Seems a Cactus is Citro/Renault, not a Renault fan as I have had a lot of problems with them.
Always the way as I am sure many people think Renaults are great, just down to your experiences of them.
I am fine with the C3 box so far though and don't mind the quirks of the older boxes. As her indoors pointed out, it is a bit like a manual and just takes practice.
Basically treat it like a manual box, rolls back on hills and needs you to override it sometimes.

Generally bahaves just like an auto when you are moving though. I find the paddles work well, it does seem to remember driving habits so when I drive I sometimes have to 'tap' it into 5th at 45mph as it is well able to accelerate at that. I think my wife tends to accelerate harder than I do.

wheeler
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by wheeler »

daviemck2006 wrote:Wheeler, are you the same wheeler that is on the C1oc?
Someone in the Citroen world using my username ?? :grr: It's not me, it's an impostor.
I do also post on the Xsara o.c. site cxoc.net though.

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momag46
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by momag46 »

Me again - still waiting at the phone box :lol:

I know the Pluriel system came in for a lot of stick when it first came out and, yes, it is different from the C4 onwards system.
When I bought my first C4, June 07, it was not fitted to the Exclusive spec and also only to the 1.6hdi; that changed later. I assume this could have been 'cos Citroen were unsure about the box coping with the 2.0 engine.
With the C4 Picasso it was fitted across the range (the lower spec may have been missed), but it was on the 2.0hdi and worked very well but again had bad reports (on the 2.0), I found it work better than the C6 (it had been developed a bit more).

Other than a lot of second-hand reports of problems, I've heard nothing - I've been using this system since 2007 without ANY issues.

As for poor changes, I've NEVER experienced this. If you drive aggressively, the box adapts and does the same.

Most of the bad press is from people who have never tried it.

My second car was a 2.0 XM auto, now changed to a V6 Xantia (both completely different boxes), I've ran these autos while I've had the EGS (now called ETG6) systems and moving from car to car has not shown any problems - basically you put um into drive, and drive.

Maurice

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daviemck2006
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by daviemck2006 »

momag46 wrote:Me again - still waiting at the phone box :lol:

I know the Pluriel system came in for a lot of stick when it first came out and, yes, it is different from the C4 onwards system.
When I bought my first C4, June 07, it was not fitted to the Exclusive spec and also only to the 1.6hdi; that changed later. I assume this could have been 'cos Citroen were unsure about the box coping with the 2.0 engine.
With the C4 Picasso it was fitted across the range (the lower spec may have been missed), but it was on the 2.0hdi and worked very well but again had bad reports (on the 2.0), I found it work better than the C6 (it had been developed a bit more).

Other than a lot of second-hand reports of problems, I've heard nothing - I've been using this system since 2007 without ANY issues.

As for poor changes, I've NEVER experienced this. If you drive aggressively, the box adapts and does the same.

Most of the bad press is from people who have never tried it.

My second car was a 2.0 XM auto, now changed to a V6 Xantia (both completely different boxes), I've ran these autos while I've had the EGS (now called ETG6) systems and moving from car to car has not shown any problems - basically you put um into drive, and drive.

Maurice
Are you still in the phone box because you borrowed a sensodrive and it broke[emoji48] [emoji3] [emoji23]
I did research on the c4 as having previously owned a c4 and really wanting a car with no clutch I came to the conclusion that the only ones I would have is a 1.6 petrol auto or a 2.0 hdi auto. This would be more to avoid the 1.6 hdi with its turbo problems if not maintained properly. Bearing in mind it would be older cars I would be looking at and quite likely to be over 100,000 miles. Had I the money to buy new or nearly new I would have no problem buying a 1.6 hdi with a egs or whatever they call it nowadays. I do realise that would be much newer technology and hopefully quality than the 2003 c2 sensodrive that cost me so much.

charentejohn
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by charentejohn »

Found this on the C2 site http://www.c2club.co.uk/showthread.php? ... ners-Guide" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Good writeup and worth knowing for emergencies and in general. Seems Citroen have a wall of secrecy about these which probably isn't helping.
I read some posts on this forum where a Citroen actuator setting tool was mentioned, anyone got dimwnsions for one of these ? Alternative is maybe to take a low miles car and make one fit that so it can be used in future, but what does it look like ?
Nice picture on Citronet http://www.citroenet.org.uk/passenger-c ... ive-2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; showing all the bits.

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daviemck2006
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Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by daviemck2006 »

The secrecy from citroen and specialist tools are 1/2 the problem when trying to fix them. My local garage has an ex citroen mechanic amongst it's ranks and they refused to look at mine saying they had a problem one before and had to send it to citroen. I tried the BSI reset and two brand new batteries and it still did not start. At least you have found the correct place to look at far advice about them. There are a few guys on there that have changed them to manual boxes when they have broken, cheaper to do with a donor scrappy car than fixing a sensodrive

Northern_Mike

Re: Sensodrive fan club

Post by Northern_Mike »

The missus has decreed, that her next car will be an auto. This has something to do with her suddenly going from being a full-time mum , to earning more than I do again. Having driven a few VW Passats with the 6-speed DSG box, I suspect it will be one of those she ends up with. I do like them myself, despite them being a bit Germanic and dull, they are a very nice thing to be in.

I couldn't bring myself to part with the money for a French DSG/Selespeed/Sensodrive type thing, I'd be forever thinking it was going to ruin me..