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2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - billybobsmum
Can anyone help with the problem on my C as the local dealers are useless, rude and arrogant, but then I'm only a woman so what the hell should I know about cars anyway??!

We have had the car for nearly 2 years and bought it second hand from the dealer in {deleted, as you've made an accusasion about them}. Great car apart from the howling noise from the rear brakes which took 5 trips to our local dealer in {deleted - same reason} and 1 stand up argument to fix. Why don't Citroen fit anti squeal schims to C's when they did to the Xantias????

Anyway. We have a new and ongoing problem..... A strange knocking noise from the engine which can be heard when idling in neutral or at low speeds. The noise got steadily worse last year and I took it to the {deleted} branch only to be told that it was what diesel engines sounded like! It got worse still and took it back to the same garage and they said it was the cam belt tensioner. This was replaced but the noise didn't go. They said it needed a new cam belt as the old one was damaged due to the faulty belt. (I have the belt they took off the car and there isnt a mark on it at all) So I had to take it back the next week to have the belt changed - not under warranty as its a wear and tear item. This then made the noise change slightly but within a week it was back. Took the car to the garage again and this time they said they would keep it in for 4 days. After 2 Days they called to say it was fixed and had replaced the alternator. Noise had gone at last....that was the beginning of December. Noise is now back with a vengeance. Car is booked into the garage this afternoon and I have explicitly said that I dont want it back until it is properly fixed. Rude, arrogant mechanic tells me its the clutch on the alternator which is burning out due to the load the engine puts on it a low revs. This sounds like rubbish to me as surely that would mean that as the revs go up the noise whould get worse, shouldnt it? Car has been on a diagnostics test when they changed the alternator last and all results came back within normal tolerances.

The only thing that makes the noise change is if you move the steering wheel. Power steering feels fine and is working as normal though. I have told the garage this but they didnt think it was to do with the steering. Power steering pump fault maybe?

I have 1 year old son who, like me, hates waiting round in a Citroen dealership. They only ever offer me a C3 to use which is useless as I am 6ft tall and its a squash to drive and we cant get the pram in its boot unless half the back seat is folded down meaning that the pram is wedged up against the baby seat.

I have owned a couple of Citroens and have loved them all. I love this car but will never buy another again as the dealerships are terrible.

If anyone has had a similar experience or can shed any light on what may be wrong then please can you let me know.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 31/01/2008 at 12:45

2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - Ben with a Genesis
I've no idea about the noise from the engine. Mine made a horrible noise when the alternator went. The alternator clutch excuse sounds like nonsense.

Try getting a long screwdriver and putting your ear to it to locate the source of the noise.

Try another dealer, or a Citroen (or Peugeot) specialist. Whereabouts in the country are you? The main dealer should have had no problem with the rear brakes. They have a known corrosion problem that affects Xantia and BX's too.

I hope the problem is resolved quickly.
2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - TurboD
do you live in the south?, what about a day trip to Calais to get a proper dealer to look at it?, and get a cheaper service at the same time?

I am afraid Citron tend to be 'sold cheap' and then 'it;s up to you', sort of car from what I hear.
2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - billybobsmum
Thanks for your advice.
I live indeleted and so I've been using the local dealership. The two other Citroen Dealers are in deleted, which is where the car came from and is about an hours drive from here. Or deletedand I'd never go back there again. -
(We originally tried to buy a used C5 from deleted and it needed some paintwork done before we bought it. When we came to pay and collect it the paintwork had been done very badly and you could see the filler through the paint. They had another go but when we went the second time the car was covered in overspray and had been polished to the point where the lacquer was missing in places. We said we didnt want to take the car and were fed up with their shoddy work. They wouldnt give us our deposit back as they said they had sent away the log book. I said I hadnt signed the log book to show change of ownership as I hadnt yet bought the car. It turned out that the sales staff has forged my signature! We then contacted the police and Citroen Head Office. We soon got our deposit back but never an apology)

I will wait and see what the outcome of this trip to the garage is. I dont think its the alternator. The mechanic will not listen to me at all. When he does ask any questions he talks over me when I answer. I'm surprised someone hasnt walloped him. The last time he did it I told him to shut up and have the decency to listen to me. Since then he is even worse.
I must have really pink fluffy dice him off as he's given me a C2 as a courtesy car! I cant even get the base of the pram in it. When I picked it up today he watched me (with my 1 year old) struggle to swap the baby seat from my car to the C2 and then when I started it up it had no fuel! The mechanic said that it is a courtesy car and they provide and insure it for free, so dont supply fuel! I at least expect to be able to get home and not have to limp it to the nearest pumps. Arrogant git.

This is all such a shame as my husband and I love the car even though it has had a couple of faults. Both problems should have been easily rectifiable and there should be no need for 12 plus trips to get these problems fixed. I'll never own another Citroen as the dealerships and service centers are a joke.

Re the brake problem. I was told by the same mechanic that Citroen cars do not have a problem with brake squeal! When I mentioned that this was a notorious problem and Citroen are aware of it he said it was internet gossip!

{locations deleted. Although you haven't actually mentioned the garages by name, giving their location doesn't take much working out as to who you're referring to. As you're bad mouthing their workmanship, etc, that accounts to naming / shaming which is forbid by the policies in place here, hence the deletion. DD BR Moderator}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 01/02/2008 at 00:28

2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - happytorque
Not sure about your engine noise....could be the dreaded crankshaft pulley problem?

As for the rear brakes; its a well know problem and its down the the composition of the rear pad material. Basically the pad material is too hard and they glaze. The design of the rear caliper doesnt hold the pads too tightly either and they tend to chatter and vibrate at high frequency. That seems to cause the squeal.
I have a 2.0 HDI and my rear brakes started to squeal like an old bus at about 8,000 miles.
It got so bad i once saw a dog on the pavement turn round to see what the noise was!

The fix is simple; go to "GSF" if you have a local branch (internet if not) and buy a set of their Lucas pads (30 quid ish). Instant cure!. I did mine 40,000 miles ago and no further trouble.
2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - dieselnut
There is another common problem with the rear brakes in that there is electrolytic action between the caliper & suspension arm. This causes corrosion between the two that forces the caliper to twist out of line with the disc. Eventually, as happened with mine, the caliper body actually starts to rub against the disc causing a squeeling noise.
The calipers just need to be removed & the the corrosion chipped off its mounting face, then a smear of copper grease to prevent re-occurance.
2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - Bromptonaut
Seems to me that garage is not sure what's causing the problem and is therefore swapping out parts that might cause it. Having said that a cambelt fault can potentially wreck your engine in a nanosecond so precuationary replacement is probably a good idea.

How about a bit more self diagnosis? Does the pas on the C5 run off the suspension hydraulics - if so does running the ride height up down affect the noise?

Which side of the engine bay does the noise come from? Does it change if you disengage the clutch? Does it vary with engine or outside temperature or with electrical load?

My experience of Cit's franchised network is a little better than yours, but I'd never return to the now closed retail showroom/repair outfit across town. If the car is out of warranty can you find a suitable indpendent specialist.

Edited by Bromptonaut on 04/02/2008 at 12:46

2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - C5-55

"Does it change if you disengage the clutch?"


I can hear the noise even if the car is parked, engine on idle, in neutral. But if I press the clutch down the noise disapears.

The noise seems to be from the front of the car, but closer to us than the engine, as if from behind the panel, like behind the radio.

I've opened the bonet, but from there I can't hear any noise. It is more clear from inside the cabin. It is a bit louder than the engine. Sometimes it sounds like a little person "gurgling" behind the radio! But a bit rougher though. Like a drier gurgling (if that could be possible... Sorry).
2002 2.0 HDI (110bhp) SX - Engine noise - smartalex

I?m pretty sure I know what this is. I have the same car on a 52 plate and it took me months to track it down. The problem is a seized ?freewheel? pulley on the alternator. The drive pulley on this alternator should act like a one way ratchet. Ie it should be free to spin in one direction but drive in the other direction. This is now common on modern cars. This helps to prevent uneven loading from the alternator from vibrating the belt at low speeds. The load on the shaft varies a lot at low speeds as the magnetic poles pass each other. The transmitted vibration causes the belt to vibrate and this causes the tensioner to vibrate and jump. This is what causes the noise you can hear. Typically this will stop as soon as the revs clime and is also affected by any change of load in the belt eg moving the power steering or using the A/C. You can check this by trying to rotate the fan in the alternator with a small screw driver. With the ENGINE OFF you should be able to rotate the internal fan through the alternator case vents in one direction only. If the fan is not free in one direction then the pulley is seized. You can have the pulley replaced at a good auto electrician. My local auto electrician recognised the problem immediately and replaced the pulley for £40 (I removed the alternator and refitted it) Hard to believe I know, but its true.

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