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C4 1.6HDI VTR+ Long Term Road Test

Long Term Road Test C4 1.6HDi
on 27 September 2009
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in C4 Owners Model Reviews
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A CITROËN C4 Users Personal Long Term Road Test

How good and how reliable has it been?

Citroen C4I bought my Silver 5 door CITROËN 1.6HDI 110hp C4 VTR+ new from Wingrove Motors on the West Road in Newcastle On Tyne 13th January 2005 and felt it worthwhile compiling this personal, long term road test report, for others who may be considering buying a C4 and those who have recently acquired one who are wondering what the running costs and other issues owning a C4 may be.

The car was an early build on 22nd September 2004 and bought as a dealer 'stock' car and not a special order.

Why a Diesel and why the 1.6 HDI? Simply because I was going to be doing circa 25,000 miles per year. The petrol variants didn't have such good mileage figures and the additional performance of the 2.0 litre HDi was an additional cost I couldn't really justify. I also went for the 5 door as against the coupe as I always have difficulty reaching behind for the seat-belt when getting in and it was nothing to do with the more radical styling of the coupe.

As the dealer had a stock car with the Security Pack, CD Multi-changer and Rear Parking Sensors already fitted I managed to get a good discount on these 'extras' as against buying the top spec model even though the cars are competitively priced (OK I like my gadgets as well). The car also had CITROËN 'Supagard' paint protection (basically a long life polish)

Overall so far the car has had few issues and looks as god as new even though it was 'rear ended' in June 2006 by 'white van man' on a roundabout who thought I should have been going faster! The damage did involve replacing the rear bumper and nothing else, simply because the plastic did 'stretch' and deform slightly, but the actual impact absorption system did it's job beautifully and hat's off to Citroen for the design.

There have been a couple of 're-calls' but not for anything 'dangerous'. The first was to re-route a fuel pipe with the latest being a replacement of the air bag sensor as it was discovered that the pressure settings were not to European spec. Neither took long to do and were at no cost and were incorporated into the services the car has had.

Is the reverse parking sensor worth the extra cost, undoubtedly. Our first week end away was to York where the hotel car park was very very tight to get in and out, without the sensor I wouldn't have been able to do it and it's proved it's worth ever since.

Things went nicely until 22 June 2005 when I got a puncture on the busy A19. As there was no hard shoulder I carried on until the first lay-by and changed to the 'space saver' spare. I knew the tyre would be destroyed but for safety decided that it was better to do that than run the risk of being mown down by a lorry. I eventually sourced a replacement from my local 'Costco Wholesale' The tyre spec for the VTR+ is Michelin Exalto 2 205/50 ZR17 W whether it's the diesel or the higher performance petrol variant and these don't come cheap. The replacement cost £140.40 fitted as they were non stock and had to be especially ordered. Something I had never thought to enquire about when I bought the car. I did check with my insurance company if I could use an alternative tyre and the response was no. Anything but manufacturer spec could invalidate any potential claims!

The C4 has a computerised service schedule and the first required service came on the 8th August 2005 at 11645 miles and [shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/service1.png|Service 1 cost|C4owner Service Costs]£142.83[/shadowbox] at my local dealers, Cookswell Garage ltd, NE61 6RF. I actually sat and waited whilst it was carried out in around 1.5 hours.

The next 'incident' was a cracked windscreen in November 2005. A stone thrown up from a lorry (again on the A19) caused what looked like a minor mark however within 2 days the 'mark' had travelled right across the passenger side of the windscreen and it was eventually changed by RAC Auto Windscreens. I should have had a £60 excess to pay however when I took the car in to the depot for the scheduled appointment the screen hadn't arrived and I had to re-book. As it was their fault they waived the excess, nice people to deal with!

The C4 computerised service schedule kicked in again and 13th January 2006 @ 23947 miles the car had another service at a [shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/service2.png|Service 1 cost|C4owner Service Costs]£141.74[/shadowbox] of again at my local dealers, Cookswell Garage ltd, NE61 6RF. where I sat and waited whilst it was carried out in around 1.5 hours.

However the radio was 'self switching' between radio and CD player so under the warranty the dealers removed it and sent it back to the manufacturer for testing. What no one knew (including the dealers) was that as the radio partially mutes when reverse is selected and the rear proximity warning from the reverse sensor kicks in, removing the radio would totally disable the reverse parking sensors! I nearly caused some damage in a car park but luckily stopped in time. The radio was away for 5 days and has been fine since.

A week later I got another windscreen stone chip and immediately went to RAC Auto Windscreens to have it checked. It did require a repair and that was carried out under my Insurance again free of charge as they don't have an excess on this process. It was good news but the repair was just under the limit at which they can be carried out. Basically if a £1 coin covers the chip/damage then it's repairable, Anything larger and it would have meant another replacement windscreen

The first none routine repair came in February 2006. I had to much in the glove-box and it jammed closed. Now it isn't the biggest of compartments so it was my own fault. Getting it open broke the catch so I had to get it replaced. The [shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/lid.png|Service 1 cost|C4owner Service Costs]£79.41[/shadowbox] including fitting (0.5 hours labour @ £9.70 exclusive of VAT) That was an expensive mistake on my part and the lesson has been learnt.

Citroen C4 bonnet release
April 2006 I had a problem with the Bonnet release the catch was very stiff and the bonnet hard to open. Due to it's location and a very wet spring the catch was dry and covered with road salt. A quick spray with WD40 eased it and a dose of Engine Oil ensured it stayed free (and has since) so one to remember and check when your topping up the washer bottle.

By May 2006 the front tyres were down to the tread wear indicators so after 31,956 miles I had to buy a pair of tyres. The spec Michelin's were again fitted by Costco this time for £258.47 as they had reduced in price as they are now a stock tyre. They moved the tyres around at the same time so the new ones went onto the rear with the 1 remaining original tyre transferred to the front.

Monday 26th June 2006 saw the 'White Van Man' incident where the car was rear ended on a roundabout in the centre of Durham City and was of the road for 5 days for repair. During this time I had a hired Ford Focus 1.6 petrol car which I couldn't wait to hand back. My last Ford was an Escort back in the 80's and the product hasn't improved much with acres of cheap plastic, ugh. However the car came back from CF Recovery and Repair immaculate. The whole incident was made very painless by my Insurance Company, As I use the car for work I had taken out legal protection and enhanced ????. Although I have a fairly high excess they did reclaim it and the claim was all over and settled in 6 weeks at no cost to me (and hopefully my protected no claim bonus) as the incident was not my fault.

The next service was flagged up by the on-board computer and on 19 July 2007 @ 35,685 miles the first 'Major' Service was carried out, again by Cookswell. This time I didn't wait for the car as they carried out the airbag recall at the same time. Even though the recall work was free the service cost a cool[shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/service3.png|Service 1 cost|C4owner Service Costs]£272.43[/shadowbox]

14 August 2006 - to date the car has covered 37,376 miles and has cost £1035.28 or 0.027p per mile in servicing and parts, not including fuel, road tax and insurance so I have no complaints although £219.81 of that was down to me running on a flat tyre and breaking the glove-box lid so service and running alone should be nearer 0.22p per mile.

The next service cost (estimated at 40,000 by the dealers miles) will be a set of front brake pads for which I've been quoted circa £90 fitted by the dealers.

17th August 2006. I'm getting problems with the rear tailgate locking. When you open the central locking the tailgate 'pops' and sometimes it won't open without first locking and then unlocking. The lock unit has an intermittent fault and the dealers are ordering some parts to change (under warranty of course) - This is not the first one they have done so it looks like there may be an issue on other cars.

24th August 2006: The local dealers have changed the tailgate lock which took 30 minutes and appears to have solved the problems. The C4 were told is full of technology and this is part of it as there is no mechanical connection between the tailgate release and the actual lock - it's done electrically via a 'micro switch' in the tailgate release handle and wiring via the main electrical system to the lock itself. Something to bear in mid if your battery is flat - you won't be able to open the tailgate!

To change the lock yourself should it fail outside of warranty I have written an article 'How to change a C4 tailgate lock'

38,500 miles finally changed the drivers side windscreen wiper following some heavy rain. The visibility was impaired due to streaking so it was due. Cost £26.57 from a dealer as I couldn't find one anywhere else. I have a source for blades at 2/3rds the cost but the fittings are different. I will get one anyway for the passenger side to see what's involved and post a report on it.

21st September 2006 39,300 miles. I noticed that the drivers side indicator repeater light on the door mirror was discoloured. It had a crack in and was full of water! Now water and electric don't mix so I got a replacement from Citröen and changed it at a cost of £9.51. It was a simple job as it just needed 'popping' out. What I discovered though is that you can't access the coloured bulb inside as it's all glued together and if it fails you have to buy the whole unit. I know it's early days but that would fail an MOT test if the bulb was out.

3rd October 2006 40,000 miles. Things have been quieter this month due to holidays and working closer to home but today I finally passed the 40,000 mile mark (near Sheffield) still running 1 original tyre and brake pads which really can't be bad although I will have to check them again shortly. I don't drive the car trying to extend the life of anything so this is a great reflection on how it's been designed and the overall running cost's so far have been far lower than my expectations

By 17th October 2006 41,075 miles. The front tyres were nearly down to the tread wear indicators and the weather is deteriorating (I was up in the Pennines last week and the roads on the high ground had been gritted and we have had a lot of rain in between with a fair amount of surface water) So I decided it was time to change them. The spec Michelin Exaltos were again fitted by Costco for £258.47 There policy is to fit new tyres to the rear (to stop aquaplaning) so the new ones went onto the rear which is just as well as during wheel balancing they found one of the alloy wheels was slightly buckled. However it balanced up OK and doesn't seem to be causing any undue wear or vibration problems.

Total running costs are now £1329.83 or 0.032p per mile in servicing and parts, not including fuel, road tax and insurance (as stated before £219.81 of that was down to me running on a flat tyre and breaking the glove-box lid) so actual service and running costs alone should be nearer 0.27p per mile which is slightly up but will reduce down until the next service is due.

16th November 2006 and at 43,063 miles I finally got around to changing the front brake pads which cost £54.65 (ouch) from my Citroën Dealer. There was a few miles left in them on the outer sides but the inner pads were very near the end of their life. Strange thing was the pads on the car from new were actually stamped Peugeot Bosch! anyway I replaced them with Citroën originals as the car is under warranty and they are a high safety related part. For a look at how to change them see this particle on changing a C4 front brake pads

14th January 2007

Well hear we are, 2 years old and 46,800 miles on the clock and still going strong. A service is due in another 750 miles or so (according to the service indicator)

When you look back there have been few problems with the car which is proving to be inexpensive to run.

23rd January 2007

Service indicator came on yesterday and would you believe I got the car booked in today for a service. 47,114 miles on the clock. The service [shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/service4.png|Service 1 cost|C4owner Service Costs]£158.62[/shadowbox]

No issues but the service manager did indicate that I would probably need new front disks at the next service which is likely to be just short of 60,000 miles if past experience is anything to go on. However that will entail new pads again!

The C4 has 2 slots milled into the outside edge of the disk which show how much wear there has been. Although the minimum thickness is 20mm the grooves are a better indication of actual wear apparently.

6th February 2007 During high winds last week I had a problem with the alarm one night at 4.00 a.m. This is the alarm that's part of the optional 'security pack' that I purchased when I got the car

Basically it went off and I had a problem re-setting it so it was back to the dealers again (they are a patient lot). The problem was tracked down to a bonnet sensor failure so it was changed today at no cost under warranty.

You can read more info on the issues surrounding the bonnet sensor I have also had the engine 'Re-Mapped' today as well and the difference is amazing. Again I have put up a separate article here about the process and benefits of C4 engine ECU re mapping rather than extend this one as it's a specialised subject.

7th February 2007 Nearside (passenger) wiper blade finally gave out and split in the middle so replaced it with a Genuine Citroen 6426XF Aero blade at a cost of £21.54 (inc postage) This time of year you really do need to be able to clear the windscreen so money well spent and it did last 2 years.

22nd February 2007 The car has been back to the dealers again today to have a problem with the heating system fixed.

Last week I noticed that it felt hot in the car (drivers side) and couldn't turn the heating off or down (read this forum post here on C4 heating problems

There is an issue with early cars which eventually reared it's head with mine. Basically the 'Gearing' in the 'Diverter Valve' failed behind the dashboard and required replacing. This took 2.5 hours of the dealers time to replace (and a 4 day wait for the parts) and was again covered by the warranty.

It's just as well that it was 'winter' when it happened. If it had been last summer during the heatwave the car would have been un driveable!

13th March 2007 Well hit 50,000 miles today! expected it sooner but work has been quiet the last 10 weeks.

Well the heating has just gone again (well Saturday but the first chance to get it checked out was today) with the drivers (nearside) blowing constant cold air (opposite fault to last time) much to my wife's amusement (not)

It's not the known gearing issue which has already been fixed (both sides) but the actual sensors for the Dual Zone Climate control system on my car

Basically with Dual Zone Climate control there are internal and external temperature sensors so if the temperature outside is Hot - say you were in a dessert, the system won't let you call hot air (makes sense)

The tech showed me the issue today with the car hooked up to the diagnostic system. The outside air temp on the nearside registered and output 59.6c and the offside 12c

Clearly in Northumberland in March 59.6c would be extreme in the least.

So 2 sensors are now on order as his words not mine, 'if ones gone the other may not be far behind'

22 March 2007
Finally had the heater/air con sorted. Both Temperature sensors have been changed but whilst the car was in it appeared that the previous 'gear wheel' fix had failed. The answer? superglue them in place so the can't move out of line again!

I have more detail in this forum thread - Click Here - for anyone who wants the detail

23rd March 2007
My original Key which included the remote for unlocking the car etc. had been playing up and was reported at the last service. Citroen have replaced this free under warranty so called back into the dealers roday and had the new key 'Coded' into the car

Whilst I was there I thought I had better take advantage of a special offer. £25 to re-charge the Air Conditioning which normally costs around £80! It's recommended it's done every 18 months and mine was past that so felt it worthwhile given the heating problems over the past few weeks (and lasts years very hot summer)

Citroen can't say I haven't complied with any recommendations (just in case the heating/air con goes again) plus I want it working at maximum efficiency in case we get another HOT summer

26th June 2007
Sems a while since I had anything to add! However today at 56,200 miles I had the drivers seat belt renewed Free under warranty. I had read reports about this happening and realised that my seat belt didn't re-wind properly and sometimes hung out of the door when trying to close it.

After a quick visit to my local dealer 2 weeks ago they ordered one without even inspecting it as appararently Citroën have accepted there was an issue.

It took 20 minutes to replace and does feel more secure when driving as it holds you now across the lap.

7th July 2007 Well done 57,095 miles and finally got around to changing the front brake disks as they were down to the [shadowbox=../../images/c4/service/wear.jpg|C4 Brake Disk Wear Indicators||] wear indicator[/shadowbox] There's full details on that here in the knowledge base.

To change the Disks and pads there is another article in the knowlede base but it only takes around an hour. The cost, well I got the parts at a special discount as a C4owners Premier Member and they came to £85.00 which is quite a saving over the retail price

The end of the warranty at 60,000 miles is fast approaching now but to date the car runs as sweet as ever and is made to work hard by me

26 July 2007 @ 59,085 miles The next service was flagged up by the on-board computer a couple of days ago and the last 'Major' Service was carried out before the warranty ran out, again by Cookswell. This time I requested an 'Engine Flush' which is not part of the normal service routine. Why? well the oil was particularly dirty and simply changing it everytime leaves old residue. 'Flushing the engine' every so often has long term benefits and is worth the additional cost. That brought the [shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/service5.png|Service 1 cost|C4owner Service Costs]cost[/shadowbox] up to £262.02

Total Running Cost to date excluding Fuel, road tax or Insurance i.e. Servicing + tyres, Wipers etc. - damage caused by me to Glove Box and a Tyre, comes to £1,717.79 or 0.29p per mile

7th August 2007 OK guys my car is now within 200 miles of being out of warranty and I needed a new tyre - you have to fit them in pairs in reality so had a choice to make - go for Michelin's at circa £140 each or look at something else

Well I decided to change alloys so went for 4 new tyres - They are Admiral 215 X 45 X 17 W rated - cost £260 fully fitted for 4

Now I can hear you all say what are 'Admiral' well there imported by the people who import Kumho & Marshal and are made in the same factory in Korea

Basically the importer wanted sizes he couldn't get in other brands so has them made by the same manufacturer. I have been assured that they are good quality and they come highly recommended by the supplier who could have sold me far more expensive Dunlops, Firestone etc. but he feels the quality is the same as those.

205 X 50 X 17 are more expensive because few cars run them - apart from a few Vectras only the C4 has that size

215 X 45 X 17 is far more popular and so far cheaper to buy

The C4 Alloy rims are 6.5J and 215 is the maximum width you can fit to them

Yes they are half the price of Michelin's and therefore probably won't last as long but I intend doing a Long Term Test report on them. So far they seem no worse than the Michelin's in the dry and are not noisier (my main worry)

9th August 2007 - 60,000 miles The odometer tripped over the 60,000 mark today on the A1M in Durham circa 5 months inside the 3 year period and that's the warranty period ended so now were on our own!

15th September 2007 - Yesterday someone tried to break into my car and steal whatever they could find. However I have the 'C4 Security Pack' fitted which adds Laminated Glass to the side windows so the failed to get in. Made an awful mess though with fine glass shards everywhere.

The Police in Darlington couldn't have cared less and gave zero hope of aresting anyone as the description was 'to vague'. Had the glass replaced today by Autoglass but I had to pay my £60.00 Insurance Excess and I'm not a happy bunny.

The car is all cleaned up now and as good as new but I am £60.00 out of pocket through no fault of my own grrrr.

23rd October 2007 65,300 miles on it goes with no issues. Quite boring really this as I have nothing to post!!

14th November 2007 67,150 miles At last some more info. I inadvertantly snapped the rear wiper arm when changing the blade, it is just plastic and was britle after nearly 3 years. Cost me £9.40 to replace the arm, oh and the blade was £4.99

23rd November 2007 67,800 milesOK finally after 67,800 miles I get a fault showing on my car!

Driving along yesterday the SERVICE warning flashed on but went straight off. Then it started coming on and going off at irregular intervals.

As I was in heavy traffic on a motorway I didn't have time to look down at the dashboard screen but everything seemed OK, did a quick test of the brakes, scanned the instrument panel etc. so carried on

When I stopped and had a chance to look at the display it was saying Coolant System Level. (stop the engine, restart and watch what happens)

Sure enough I was low on water, probably 0.5 of a litre so topped the system up.

Where it's gone to though is a different matter, nothing obviously leaking but had a strange smell from the heating the other day so maybe got a pinhole in the heater matrix as it's been reported by others.

Will keep an eye on it and post more info if happens again, but will get it checked at the next service due in 4,000 miles or so if no more issues

8th January 2008 69,624 miles (112,045 KMs)

The car is 3 years old on January 13th so booked it in a week early for it's first MOT (taking advantage of my local dealers great discount offer of £10.00 for the test) just in case there were any issues to address but it sailed through!!

Only thing to note was that the rear brake pads are wearing thin and there is some corrosion to the disc inner face so will look to changing them probably at the next service due in a couple of thousand miles. The radiator issue hasn't re-occured so far so will let that run until it does.

As the next service due is a big one (B) and the car is out of warranty I'm probably going to use a local firm to do the work, 'Tint's and Tweaks' - the owner is a Citroen trained Technician and is quite up to speed with the C4 but the labour rates are far more competitive. I will add a review here - Click Here - when the work is done.

12th February 2008 at 71,144 miles and [shadowbox=http://www.c4owners.org/images/c4/service/service6.jpg|Service 6 cost|C4owner Service Costs]£131.60[/shadowbox] at Tints N Tweaks.

Whilst it should have really been a 'B' Service it was agreed that as the car was now out of warranty, some of the work wasn't really necessary, like the Pollen Filter, which in the UK can be left to every other service, the Brake fluid was only changed last year as well so that didn't need doing although we agreed the fuel filter should be changed and is an expensive Item.

The rear brakes are about at the end of their life so I have the car booked in again on 11th March to have the Disks and pads replaced along with the alternator drive belt which is showing early stages of cracking (would hate to get stranded if it broke so it's getting replaced)

21st February 2008 Car went in for the YGC ABS recall today. After it was inspected I was told that there was signs of water ingress and the ABS unit needed replacing.

Although the car is out of warranty the replacement of the ABS ECU has been authorised by Citroen and the parts should be here 22nd February although the car is off the road as it's considered 'dangerous'.

Well it turns out that the water had gone further than expected. The dealer have done 30+ so far with only the ECU being sealed or replaced, as luck would have it mine had gone through (capillary action) to the actual ABS valve assembly which is why it needed Citroen authorisation for replacement

Now the bad news.

The part is on 'back order' with an estimated arrival time of 6th March and the car has been declared unsafe to drive so is off the road

However they have supplied me with a loan car, free of charge and on their insurance. They pulled it off the forecourt of their 2nd hand car operation 3 miles away.

But, there has to be one doesn't there, it's a Renault Megane Scenic Diesel on a 51 plate and isn't exactly fast, but was all they had that was still taxed

However I'm not complaining, Cookswells of Pegswood have kept me informed and arranged a loan car at zero cost to me even though my car is out of warranty as they said they will claim it back from Citroen

4th March 2008 - got the car back today earlier than expected as the parts required for the recall arrived early. I actually cancelled the work due on the 11th in case the parts didn't arrive and got the dealers to fit the rear disks and pads whilst the car was off the road so I wasn't going to lose another day. As I had the parts they charged £55 + vat for the labour

The alternator belt isn't urgent and can wait a while now as I'm just pleased to have the car back on the road.

16th March 2008 @ 72,100 miles - Well I went to the paper shop this a.m. and pulled out of the junction at my estate at around 5mph - turning right

There was a loud bang which reverberated inside the body shell and made me stop immediately to take a look as I had no idea what is was

I had a good look around but could see nothing, nada, zip and so I carefully tried everything and the car seem OK

Went to the paper shop and could hear a metallic rattle at times but everything felt OK however this afternoon I jacked the car up and had a better look and found a broken piece of spring lying on the rear axle

The rear nearside (passenger) spring had broken where it seats on the rear axle itself - the very end bit of the coil and it looks like it had a fault what appears to be a fault in the actual spring

Look like I need a new pair of rear springs then

19th March 2008 - as the car is out of waranty A dealer didn't do the repairs to the car, James at Tints 'N' Tweaks did it - Click Here -

We agreed that a set of Eibach Pro springs would not only lower the car and improve the 'look' but improve the handling. You can read more in this forum thread - Click Here -

He actually worked until 10.00 pm last night and I got the car back this morning transformed. The difference in handling is simply amazing.

The final bill, well £130 for the spring set + 3.5 hours labour to fit + Vat = £268.84 and worth every penny

3rd June 2008 @ 76,100 miles 9122,467 km)

My own fault through lack of maintenance, but I had the bonnet secondary catch stick today when trying to refill the washer bottle. After a bit of fiddling and a couple of taps with a metal bar I managed to open it and cleaned and oiled it again. Hey Ho

Apart from that I having nothing else to report as everything is running fine.

12th August 2008 @ 80,406 miles A rear brake light bulb has gone so I replaced it with one from Click Parts Parts[/link] at £2.54 for 2 after the 15% member discount - a bargain!

I also bought a pair of 'Osram Nightbreaker' bulbs for the headlamps, again at a bargain price and will fit them before the winter set's in. The original bulbs are still fine, but I fancy a bit more power on the dark nights ahead.

19th September 2008 @ 82,073 miles A bit early but had the car in for service today due to work commitments. Cost £102.46 at Tints N Tweaks once again.

James advised that the front pads were getting low but should last another 5,000 miles or so. The Alternator belt hadn't turned up so the car will have to go back to have it fitted next month plus there is a broken CV joint boot clip to replace and I have ordered a pair of front tyres.

The Admirals on the front still have some mileage left (have done 22,000+ miles so not bad for a 'budget' brand') but were a menace in the wet conditions we suffered recently so are going before winter set's in.

Apart from that the car is fine, no signs of any corrosion at all on the exhaust which is great news.

25th September 2008 - spoke to soon. The 'Low Coolant Level' warning came on again (it first happened November 2007) so added another can of 'Rad Weld' and a packet of 'Sealit' radiator cement, topped up the system and all was well again.

However I decided to get a new radiator as it's leaking where the cooling fins join the header tank and it's a know problem with modern aluminium core radiators. My concern is that if it fails somewhere like the Tyne Tunnel the towing charges would be more than the cost of a radiator, so bit the bullet and bought one fo £68.00 brand new on eBay.

It arrived next day via courier and I will get it fitted sometime soon

9th October 2008 @ 83,031 miles. Well it turns out that the 'cheap' radiator wasn't actually 'cheap' but rather 'useless'. After taking to James today @ Tints N Tweaks for fitting, it's the wrong one. - checked with the supplier who checked again and agreed they had sent the wrong one. Worse though, they couldn't supply the correct one. I had to get a genuine Citroen one (I did try all the other Radiator suppliers in the book BTW)

So ended up getting the 2 new tyres fitted along with the offside CV joint gaiter. So 2 X Toyo Proxo 214 X 45 X 17 tyres @ £150.00 fitted + a new 'Rino' gaiter (100,000 mile warranty on that!) and labour came to £214.63 (including the fitting of a new Alternator drive belt (didn't pay for the part yet as James didn't have the invoice to hand)

I have had to order a 'Genuine Citroen' Radiator which should be here on Monday (at a big discount via the Club discount scheme - Click Here - ) which will be fitted a.s.a.p.

17th October 2008 OK the radiator has arrived and was fitted today. The radiator cost £121.67 including delivery and it cost £52.87 to have it fitted so £174.54 in total including Vat but without Antifreeze as the system needs a flush before refilling properly due to all the Radweld I had put in. The Alternator belt was £21.15 inc Vat. For more info on the radiator saga read the forum thread - Click Here -

30th October 2008 - had the cooling system drained and the Antifreeze added so everything is now resolved. Had to change the other rear stop lamp bulb though. Should have really done it when the other failed but... I already had the bulb as they come in pairs and it only takes a few minutes to do.

23rd December 2008 @ 86,790 miles The car had it's annual MOT today, cost £30.00. Whilst not legally due until 13th January I always use the months leeway in case there is anything to fix.

However once again the car passed first time albeit with an advisory for the front brake pads which are getting low (and not a surprise) plus I have a nail in the sidewall of one of the new Toyo Tyres so need to get that changed. Apart from that everything is fine. Next service is due in 7,000 miles so will get the brakes sorted then.

18th February 2009 @ 88,020 miles With holidays and work being quiet my mileage has slowed a bit of late but I have a bit of news on the progress of the car.

[shadowbox=http://c4owners.org/images/c4/heat_shield/1.jpg|C4 HDi Turbo Heatshield::The old and the new||right]http://c4owners.org/images/c4/heat_shield/1s.jpg[/shadowbox] It's a well known minor problem on early 1.6 HDi engines whereby the locating 'lugs' on the engine side of the heat shield fail through corrosion / fatigue

Members have had there's replaced under warranty and mine has been broken for a year!

However, even though it can't go anywhere it does rattle so I thought I might change it as it only cost £15.21 + Vat from [Dealer 1] as a Premier Member - Part number is 1723T3 which is a strengthened part.

It only took 25 minutes to change including digging out the 10 mm spanner, taking the pictures for a tutorial and washing my hands afterward

So go here to have a read of what to do - Click Here -

21st March 2009 Not a problem with the car but a bit of 'styling'

As the TokaToka Alloys I had on the car needed refurbishing as the paint had gone I decided to buy new wheels instead, 18" Team Dynamics 'Equinox' which also meant new tyres, so went for Marshalls this time as they had good reports.

I also added a rear spoiler! details here - Click Here -

The wheels and tyres were less than buying 4 'Exalto's' so were a cost effective option (I keep telling my wife that anyway ) The spoiler, well a bit of an indulgence, but it does make the car a little bit different now we have so many C4's on the road. There are a few pictures here: - Click Here -

22nd May 2009 @ 93,360 miles A bit early but had the car in for service today due to work commitments. Cost £201.81 at Tints N Tweaks once again.

However James did change the front discs and pads for me (fitted 'Grenstuff pads' this time to try and reduce the brake dust, bit more expensive than standard ones so will have to wait and see if they are worthwhile.) The cost of the pads is included in the £201.81 but I got OEM discs from [Dealer 1] for £75.00. They could have gone longer but not when fitting upgraded pads, so they had to be changed slightly early.

The engine was also 'Flushed' again and a fuel treatment added. Some would argue that it wasn't required but clean oil is far better for a HDi Turbo and worth the additional £19.90 in my opinion.

24th July 2009 @ 96,095 miles Well today the company I work for went into administration and I was made redundant. I will be doing a lot less miles for the forseeable future so it may take some time to reach the magic 100,000 mile mark which I was aiming for.

However, as ever, I will post more info when I have it and the Road Test will continue and lets see what future issues arise and costs are incurred


4 years and 7 months old, 96,095 miles, the car still runs sweetly and I still have yet to add any oil to the engine between services!

Apart from the radiator and springs (plus the consumables like brake discs and pads) the car is original and been very reliable.

There have been reports that the suspension of the C4 is hard. Most of the range have 16" or 17" diameter wheels fitted with low profile tyres which does improve grip, but can make the ride feel harsh at lower speeds. However driving the car on motorways is where it comes into it's own. At 70 mph the engine is turning over at 2400 rpm and (in standard form) if you plant your foot on the accelerator, will quickly take you well over the legal limit so be careful! (will have to extra vigilant now its been Re-Mapped )

Overall the low speed ride is far outweighed by the handling and it's still a great long distance car, the seats are comfortable and firm without being unduly hard unlike a lot of German cars and you arrive at your destination, relaxed.

Fuel Economy - well I averaged 50.3mpg over the last 6,500 miles and I'm not a driver looking to maximise fuel economy so I am more than pleased with that. Over the life of the car that figured hasn't varied by more than +/- 2mpg.

Would I buy another: YES

27th September 2009 - This Road Test will no longer be updated as I have taken a decision to trade the car for a C6 2.7 V6 HDi on 1st October 2009.

If anyone buys the car and wants to know the full history, then the registration number is NC 54 CVO

Whoever buys the car, I hope gets as much pleasure out of it as I have.

I have started a new Road Test for the new car here - Click Here -


Cornish 08 Feb 2007 : 09:46

Many thanks for the excellent Road test report.
I am about to take delivery of a C4 1.6HDI VTR+ EGS hatch at the end of March, and your experiences have been most useful.
Why EGS?
I am a Polio sufferer previously confined to driving automatics - at last I can enjoy manual gearbox economy and performance

Sergey 24 Feb 2007 : 10:54

I also have heating problems with my C4 2.0 HDI 2005. Two days ago I noticed that it felt cold in the car (passanger side) and couldn't turn the cooling off or down.

GDROBBO 13 Jun 2007 : 17:14

Hi, I have also bought a Citroen C4 VTR plus 1.6 HDI. and I thinks its a brilliant car, however, I have only had it for a month, and the air conditioning when set to cold on the passenger side, still blows warm. And on reading your article I now know what the problem is, but I also have another problem. The electrics seem to have gone haywire. I cant seem to de-activate the child locks or activate the self locking doors. Infact, all those things that you set on the instrument panel - any ideas, thanks, Gary

wozza 07 Jul 2007 : 12:03
Comments: 1

activate self locking doors by holding the door lock button on the dash down for 5 seconds should then tell you on the screen its been activated. Child locks probably just need the switch on the door itself moving.

Location: Manchester
Red Hot Vauxhall Monaro VXR

Owned a few C4's previously.
Scott Yellow VTS 180, Icare 2.0 HDI EGS Exclusive Grand Picasso, Wicked Red 1.6 VTR+ Coupe.

GDROBBO 16 Jul 2007 : 17:07


jeremytaylor 20 Jul 2007 : 16:21

Well I've had my 1.6 HDI EGS Coupe for nearly 6,000 miles now, and not one single thing has gone wrong! (touch wood).

I do like NOT filling it up - that's the beauty of it's economy!

tigger 15 Aug 2007 : 14:48

Good to see someone doing a long term road test. I've also got vtr+ 1.6hdi (110) and am looking into getting it remapped so thanks for your comments.

dragonsplace 15 Aug 2007 : 15:24

Did the remapping affect the warranty please?

hertsnminds 10 Oct 2007 : 03:20
Comments: 1

Registered: 09 Oct 2007 : 02:53
Great report, let's us all know what to expect over the coming miles. You say "The C4 has a computerised service schedule" but isn't this just a dumb mile counter with no intelligence? Mine gets reset to 12,500 at the service and just counts down, not noticed it getting out of sync with the odometer, am I wrong about this?

Black 55 5dr 1.6HDi (110) VTR+

Location: Scotland
Ian - Ex Black 55 C4 1.6HDi (110) VTR+ (5 Dr)

barrie 25 Dec 2007 : 08:03

A very good long term test, Can`t rate it more than 10/10

Sexyboots 29 May 2008 : 15:48

So helpful. Thanks for taking the time to complete.

Jacippit 17 Dec 2008 : 10:09

Nice to see what might be lurking in the future.... 10/10

biggazza2008 09 Mar 2009 : 08:17

super report, have 56 plate vtr hatch egs. best mpg 76.4 at 60.

wassel 10 Mar 2009 : 11:20

my o8 c4 vtr+ 1.6 diesel is up for its 12500 service in 500 miles so far the only prob i had was an oil leak from the sump which was resealed under warranty ,so will find out hopefully from the service that nowt else is wrong or going to go wrong as this is a great car with great fuel economy and very comfortable.

Dave_Retired. 02 May 2010 : 08:15
Comments: 74

"22nd May 2009 @ 93,360 miles A bit early but had the car in for service"

The air filter was changed and the car was averaging 49/50 mpg

The Scuttle panel needs to come off, but you don't remove the bonnet

Location: Northumberland
Original Site Creator, Designer and Builder, Now Retired with No Involvement with C4owners

scurwen 02 May 2010 : 15:52

I recently bought a 2005 C4 Hatch 1.6HDi VTR+, 17" Alloys

Besides a few minor cosmetic issues (that the dealer sorted) and a re-occuring "short circuit" fault on the cruise control buttons on the steering wheel (that the dealer is also repairing) I am really struggling to find fault (touch wood) with my C4.

I'm currently getting 61.3 mpg from the 2000 miles i've done!

ninenix 08 May 2010 : 06:43
Comments: 2

Registered: 28 Jan 2009 : 15:20
Hi...Just read your interesting long term report. Now I know you were a busy bloke at the time & it is obviously too late to do anything about it but the invoice for the first malor service on 19July 2007 is a great work of fiction. You should have been charged £171.29, not £272.43!

Another interesting point on this invoice is they were charging for replacing spark plugs! It just goes to show we should all be vigilant when it comes to dealers invoices.

Location: Derby

Dave_Retired. 08 May 2010 : 07:05
Comments: 74

You miss read the invoice, it was a standard paragraph from the dealers computer for all major services. If you look at the parts section, no spark plugs were invoiced

The first part of the invoice is purely labour charges I'm afraid.

Location: Northumberland
Original Site Creator, Designer and Builder, Now Retired with No Involvement with C4owners

ninenix 08 May 2010 : 09:05
Comments: 2

Registered: 28 Jan 2009 : 15:20
Thanks for pointing out the the part re-replacing plugs, I have now spotted the PET qualification after this item.

I beleive the invoice is incorrect. It should have been £115 labour, £6.03 parts, £24.75 oil, total £145.78 + vat = £171.29. The parts total of £6.03 has for some reason been put down as £92.11.

Please tell me I not going bonkes (yet)...Derek

Location: Derby

nc54 cvo 31 May 2010 : 13:51

air filter now replaced and its averaging 50+ again

Happy days, shame to sell it but I need a 7 seater now.

COLVERT 23 Sep 2010 : 15:34
Comments: 2

Registered: 06 Jan 2009 : 13:41
Reassuring on quality of build. My wife's car at 90,000 is very good too.

John D. ( Colvert. )

Location: France. Loire valley. (retired )

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