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1 Year ownership report

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Sun Jul 11 2010, 04:44pm
It’s now just over 1 year of owning my 2005 C4 VTS HDi and I thought I would share my experience to new buyers and current!

I bought the car off a Citroen forecourt for £7000 with 25,000 miles on the clock. I have now done 42,000 miles to date so it’s driven quite a lot of miles over the year. I bought the car because I wanted something that looked sporty and had plenty of gadgets which the C4 vts provided. I have been averaging around 45mpg around town and motorways and can reach 50+mpg on a run.

Things I like about the car.

The Speed limiter is one thing I will miss when I get rid of my C4. I use it all the time, it helps get great mpg figures on a run and is great when you get things like average speed checks. The glass panoramic roof is a nice touch, always impresses passengers. The seats are nice and comfortable and the lane departure system, although a bit hit and miss is also something I like. The car is great to look at and always gets looks by passers by especially when it’s been polished up. But the all time favourite thing is the Xenon directional headlamps. Although the light can be a bit low sometimes and my girlfriend’s normal headlights on her car are actually brighter, they are brilliant! Look fantastic and give the car a sporty look.

Things I don’t like

The way it crashes around over slightly rough road. If you hit a cat eye the steering wheel shakes, to much road feedback in general. Handling isn’t great I don’t think, like a big sofa, doesn’t give you confidence in the corners at all. Trim noise, I hate rattles and there are plenty! From the door cards, from the rear, from the front, rattles everywhere! The clutch is stupidly heavy when your in traffic, your leg will ache after creeping in traffic for a bit. There’s pretty much no cup holders which isn’t the end of the world but an inconvenience, one small one by the handbrake which will only take a can. The glove box just about takes a CD case and that’s it.


I don’t keep track of running costs to much but I have a few figures I can give. Diesel at 1.19p, it takes about £70 from empty and I can drive about 430-470 miles average on that tank. It had its second service (Level 2 service) at Citroen costing £276. 3 tyres which I kept the original Michelin Exalto PE2 at £130 each! I won’t be using them again though as I seem to be replacing them all the time, it’s due another 2! I don’t thrash it around by the way 


There have unfortunately been quite a few problems during my ownership and this C4 will definitely be the last French car I buy. I understand every car has faults but I hate having to pay out lots of money repairing things due to pure lack of quality and robustness. If I had bought this car privately I would have been totally ruined financially!

Rubber seals on panoramic roof perished (25K miles - £1500!!! Covered by warranty)
Screen washer motor failure (25K miles - £120 Covered by warranty)
Plastic shrouding around steering column broken (25k miles – Warranty)
Offside headlamp stopped working (26K miles – Covered by warranty)
Automatic wipers not working (Not repaired, Citroen kept telling me they are working, but when it rains they don’t work!! As Citroën showed me, he rubs he’s finger over the sensor and they work! Yes but it doesn’t rain fingers I said)
Nearside steering tracking rod (30k miles – Covered by warranty)
Depollution system faulty (From purchase – Citroen tried many things to stop this error but never fixed it. They told me that they will not be looking into the problem anymore and its just one of those things)
Dual climate control stuck on hot one side (32k miles – Covered by warranty)
Tyre valve snapped off while removing dust cap (40k miles – Cost me £120)
ANOTHER tyre valves about to break (Current – Going to cost another £120 No doubt ALL will have to be replaced soon at a further cost of £240!! Valve metal VERY soft)
Very loud groaning/vibrating when turning steering wheel slowly at low speeds (Current – to be looked at)
Driver’s door fills with water (Current – to be looked at)
Car judders at low speeds for first few miles (Current – to be looked at)
Speakers cause door cards to vibrate annoyingly at pretty much all volumes (Current – to be looked at)
Offside headlight washer does not go back into the bumper after spraying (Current)
Plastic boot tidy broke when pulling it out for use (Broken still – heard these are £££!)
Centre arm rest shoots forward every time you brake (Using selotape to hold it back)

There’s plenty more little niggles but im getting depressed reeling off all the problems. Overall I like the look of the car and all the toys. Its comfortable to sit in and generally a nice place to be. The problems are off putting and im just dreading the next big problem to rob me of my money. I just took out breakdown cover because I just don’t trust it anymore. It shouldn’t be that way for a car with 42kmiles on the clock. It was a good try from Citroen but not quite there.
Sun Jul 11 2010, 05:41pm

Member No: #2
Joined: Aug 12 2006
Location: Manchester
Shame it has had some problems.

With regards to some of them. The tyre valves most of us just replaced them all with normal rubber ones and had the Tyre pressure warnings disabled or just live with the occasional message about them being faulty.

Centre armrest is an easy fix if you know what you are doing. Fixed my own and a few of the lads on here. Way I do them you do have to take them apart though. Some can be adjusted inside some just need a little padding out.

Not sure if you are aware or not. The automatic wipers have to be turned on with each journey. Knock them down to turn them on. They won't just start on their own with the rain.

Headlight sprayer is probably got a leak or similar. Had it on mine was repaired under warranty.

Door filling with water is probably blocked drainage. Leaves etc get in there and decompose and eventually block up the drainage. Easy enough to fix it.

Speakers causing rattles, take door pod off make sure the screws are secure and that non of the clips are broken. You never know if the previous owner removed the door card or not to change speakers etc. Might not have refitted it all correctly. I usually change all the clips etc when removing mine.

Rear rattles, if you have a spoiler chances are they broke the clips in the rear trim and never replaced it so they rattle. Again just needs the trim replacing.

The handling on the HDI is never going to be amazing. It has a big heavy iron lump up front. While it is still quite softly sprung etc. You can't have handling and ride quality with the negatives of that big heavy lump up front.

However can be improved. Set of eibach springs and a 180 rear anti roll bar would go someway to fixing it. Would give it a more neutral feel. Few modifications and these cars can handle really well.
Mon Jul 12 2010, 03:50am

Member No: #82
Joined: Jan 22 2007
Location: Hoylake
Wozza wrote ...

Not sure if you are aware or not. The automatic wipers have to be turned on with each journey. Knock them down to turn them on. They won't just start on their own with the rain.

Also, clean the screen VERY thoroughly. Wash the window, then clean it with Autoglym Active Insect Remover. Then polish it with Autoglym Car Glass Polish.

You need to examine the passenger side wiper blade too. Make sure the top end of it is not damaged and sweeps the window without any smearing. If necessary, buy a new wiper blade.
Mon Jul 12 2010, 03:55am
Member No: #3384
Joined: Apr 21 2008
Location: Bulwell, Nottingham
I'm a bit surprised at the 430 - 470 miles on a full tank, I thought a diesel would give more than that. I have a 1.6 petrol & regularly get 450 from a full tank.
Mon Jul 12 2010, 05:43am
Thanks Wozza and BigJohn for the info. I think I may ask for the messages just to be replaced as I can see the valves being a constant problem!

I will have to have a go at fixing the armrest! Is there a "how too" or is it wuite obvious once its all taken apart?

Yeah the auto wipers have been a problem. I have put new blades on, check the area is perfectly clean and ensured they are turned on everytime. They have came on once in my years ownership and that was when a light mist was on the sensor. They went crazy and I had to turn them off as they wouldnt stop wiping at full speed.

Do the headlight washers not use a motor to go back in then? I knew the pressure pushed them out. I wonder if a hose has got in the way as it does take some pushing back!

The speaker vibrating, I did take it back to citroen a couple of times and they refitted the door card both times. The first time it was ok for a few weeks the second time it was no different, think I will take it off myself and get some sticky backed foam to cushion it.

It does feel like a heavy lump! Although to be honest I dont really throw it about that much just the odd time I have I have noticed its a bit soft.

Nielp - I was hoping for a bit more really it doesnt give what its meant to on paper but then they never do Im fairly happy with the results as I have owned a 2.0 petrol before (206 GTi) and was only getting 320 to 390 per full tank (From what I can remember many years ago)


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