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I am an extremely unhappy bunny.

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Thu May 31 2018, 09:45am
Member No: #574
Joined: Jul 08 2007
Location: Dorset
I will try to make this understandable despite my extreme displeasure. I have taken out AA European cover just about every year since 1990 and only had 2 minor claims in this time, both more than 10 years ago. We are going on a trip to Germany next Monday. Last Sunday, I was out in the C4GP and I had the engine management light, depollution light, urea light come on. This was the second time this happened, the first time was 16th May, and Citroen did a software update and presumably cleared the faults. It was then OK until the problem on the 27th May. As Monday was a Bank Holiday, I couldn't take the car in until Tuesday 29th.

On Tuesday I was told that they thought that it was an issue with the Adblue system, but they would need to get some tools sent from another branch. This was due Wednesday morning. I phoned on Wednesday and eventually spoke to someone about 3 o'clock. I was told that the tools had just arrived; they were late because the van driver had phoned in sick, and they had had to send someone to fetch it. Today I have been trying to get in touch, and eventually heard about 3.15 that it needs a new Adblue tank, and they will probably not be able to get one to fit tomorrow. This means in all probability that the car will not be available for our departure on Monday morning.

No problem, I thought. I have paid for a policy which will give me a hire car. But no! First I was told that I had to have actually broken down on the roadside and had to be rescued by the AA. So I had to get transferred to another operator to change to our C3 (my wife doesn't want to go in it, but it is Hobson's Choice). He told me that I was eligible for a hire car but only if the car had become unusable within 7 days of departure. Guess what! It was 8 days!

So, because of a Bank Holiday and a driver off sick, I can't use my comfortable car for my trip.

Sorry about the rant, but writing this has calmed me down a little!

UPDATE: Just spoken to the service manager. The tank has been ordered, and he will ensure that it is fitted tomorrow morning, So it looks like it may be OK. Still not happy about the AA!

And a further thought. I told them that when the Urea light first came on, that it had only used 7L in 14000 miles, indicating a problem with the Adblue system. So why did I have the cooling parameters updated and apparently no investigation of the Adblue system?
Thu May 31 2018, 10:33am
Member No: #50650
Joined: Mar 09 2018
Location: Birmingham
Oh dear!!! It is funny how cars break down at the very last minute when leaving for a long drive. Like they know and don't want to go... just like teenagers. Last minute stomach ache etc.

But If I was at your place, then I would delay my trip for another few hours or 1 day but go in the comfortable c4GP. The whole point of having a spacious comfortable car is that you can have a loooooong journey and enjoy both drive and scenery.
Thu May 31 2018, 11:31am

Member No: #19238
Joined: Apr 12 2011
Location: Cambridgeshire
It’s frustrating but on the first occasion the dealers will only really do the CTRL+ALT+DEL option and then only investigate if there is an obvious issue - however it does at least sound like your dealer is now pulling out all the stops which was he experience we had with Duxford when it became clear a simple leak wasn’t the source of the coolant issues on the DS4.

Hopefully they will get you all straight and sorted in time for the trip, they can finish it by Saturday lunchtime at this rate and still leave you time to go.
Thu May 31 2018, 11:51am
Member No: #27768
Joined: Oct 13 2012
Location: Hove
Our C4 broke down once it was fully loaded - roof box etc with camping gear and on our way.

We had to hire a car but none were big enough so had to take 2 cars. Luckily it was Devon not in Europe.
Sun Jun 03 2018, 07:36am
Member No: #574
Joined: Jul 08 2007
Location: Dorset
Thanks for the replies. I didn't see them until just now as they didn't appear in the recent posts. Hopefully this will be the final update on this. I got a message on Friday morning saying that the tank had arrived and the manager would be getting the work started in the next 10 minutes. Got the call from the receptionist late lunchtime/early afternoon from what I think was a rather disgruntled service receptionist (I don't think she liked me going over her head), and I picked it up late on Friday afternoon. I had told her there was a time constraint when I took the car in, but it took best part of 3 days to diagnose and less than a day to fix.
Mon Jun 04 2018, 06:11am
Member No: #46470
Joined: Oct 11 2016
Location: Cambridge
Looks like you are sorted, but have no fear of the C3!. For various reasons including the fact both student children were insured to drive it, we did a holiday for 4 in our 2015 82bhp C3. Needed some careful packing but it was pretty good, flew along once would up, comfortable enough, easy to park, simple ICE, mostly bluetooth streaming from the younger ones phone: he's a classical percussionist so it wasn't heavy metal.

It was sort of fun, bowling along to Mahler with the 3 pot engine at 4000 rpm.

By way of contrast in service standards, many years ago I had a very nice company SAAB 9-3 auto. Friday before a 3 week holiday, on a business trip, stone went through headlight. Phoned my local dealer, said I might be able to get back to him before 5.30 but it was marginal. No worries, he said, which headlight is it. So I got there at about 6 pm after my usual wrestling match on the M25, straight in to an open service bay door with a headlight laid out a bench. Have a coffee sir, over here .... 20 minutes later drive off with a mended car and got my 5.00am channel crossing. One of the reasons I stuck with SAAB next time round. One of the reasons I went to SAAB in the first place was the dreadful service I got from a big Ford dealership when my 2.9 Granada broke down.

I don't think manufacturer's 'get it'- certainly not Citroen. The help you get from the dealer has a huge impact on brand loyalty, and no amount to 0-60 times or electrical gee-gaws will help if your whole brand experience is poor. One reason to stick with Citroen (for me) is a good local family owned dealer - Duxford Motors - but they are no longer full dealers and no longer independent. Where next?

Fri Jun 15 2018, 03:53am
Member No: #574
Joined: Jul 08 2007
Location: Dorset
I have no fear about using a C3 on the continent. We did several trips with our older C3 Exclusive; the 110bhp engine, 6 speed box and comfortable seats made the trips easy. Our newer C3 is a 1.6 HDi 100bhp Platinium. Unfortunately it is nowhere near as good to drive as the changes to the engine management system (presumably to improve fuel consumption) and the widely spaced 5 speed box make is a real slug uphill if the revs drop too low, so it has to be driven in a harder and less relaxed style. The seats are far less comfortable as well.

Anyway, I didn't have to, and we have returned from a 2000 mile trip in comfort, and no issues. The bonus is that the computer is telling me that we did it at ~57mpg, still to be confirmed by calculation.

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