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 FAQ #184
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C4 Starter Motor fails to turn over engine
I have a 1.6HDi Non FAP 5 door with a starter motor that doesn't turn, just very faint clicks. Brand new battery. Does anyone know how to replace the starter motor. I've checked on the citroen website (had to pay 4 euros) for the service instructions but they were missing for this engine variant (or similar engine).

By the way, i've checked out the 15 amp (as per manual) or 20 amp F8 starter fuse and that was not blown.

I have got as far as finding where the starter is located. Had to removed wiper arms, plastic scuttle panel at base of windscreen, air filter assembly, battery, air trunking into turbo charger. So will renew air filter while I'm there!

I can see the electrical connections on to the starter with a mirror. Working from the top of the car should not be a problem to remove these

Root cause of problems turned out to be the main engine/gearbox/chassis earth on top of the gearbox. It was hanging by a thread (just enough to get a slight clunk out of the starter solenoid). This earth is very poorly designed, short stiff lug with soldered connection caused the wire braid to fail by fatigue just where the lug terminates. A braided strap rather than a cable would be a better earthfor this application as failed strands in cable (at the end of the lug) that was caused by fatigue rather than abrasion.

A very stiff wire (the soldered bit into the lug) followed by the flexible cable concentrates any movement into a very short section of the cable.

Just for the record, I actually removed the starter as part of this repair. A lot of work to repair a broken cable!.

Citroen have manged to make the starter motor fasteners very inaccessible. There's 3 x M8 capscrews securing the starter.

No 1 is accessed from below the car (requires removal of the vacuum box thing).

No 2 is accessed from above the gearbox and the head of the capscrew is hidden below the diesel filter. This fastener screws into a tapped thread in the starter motor body. Requires removal of the battery tray to access.

No 3 is accessed from the back of the engine (unclip the diesel pipes and ease wiring to give access to cap screw head. Use a mirror as there is not direct clear sight of the fastener head.

Before the starter can be removed from the car there's another couple of tasks:

1/ Remove flexible exhaust section (bend that goes over chasssis)

2/ The starter motor has a little metal bracket fastened to it to support wiring tray. There's a 13mm spanner size (normal external hex head) bolt securing this to the starter. Needs removal before starter can be removed. It sits closer to the engine block than No 3 capscrew
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FAQ Posted by gmerry
Info Created: 07 December 2009
Last Updated: 07 December 2009