Buy a used Peugeot / Citroën / DS with 1.2 Puretech engine?

Faut-il acheter une Peugeot/Citroën/DS d

The latest generation of scale engines, sharp, powerful in relation to their displacement, equipped with sophisticated pollution control systems, have always terrified people in terms of their reliability.

And if, in the end, most do not present any problems, there are some that have in fact proved to be unreliable or have significant birth defects.

We have already mentioned “Motorgate” on Caradisiac, which affects 1.2 TCe from Renault. The scale engine just has the most problems, so we started with it. And commentators shouted that we were “pro-PSA” because we didn’t talk about 1.2 Puretech. Like we’re partisans! But rest assured, Caradisiac is not, nor is your servant. And even then there was talk of a 3-cylinder engine of the late PSA concern, which became Stellantis. It just took a little patience!

The question also remains the same as with the Renault TCe: should you avoid opportunities equipped with this engine? Or is it possible to get it now? Have the problems been solved? We will see that together.

1.2 Puretch PSA / Stellantis: what are the concerns?

It should be noted at the outset that problems with this engine are only observed for the 110 k turbocharger variants (engine code EB2 DT “HNZ”) and 130 k (EB2 code DTS “HNY”). Atmospheric versions with 82 horsepower are officially saved. However, this does not completely eliminate the risk, there is evidence, but it already falls within the “normal” frequency.

The main problem is the premature wear of the timing belt, which is falling apart and whose flying particles can clog the lubrication circuit and the brake assist.

This is most often the case with copies that run several kilometers a year, especially in the city.

More specifically, these short rides, these frequent stops and starts cause the engine oil to be diluted with droplets of unburned fuel that fall along the cylinder walls. As a result, the degraded oil becomes aggressive and abrasive for the timing belt that is bathed in it (this is a timing belt lubricated in an oil bath). Its back, formed by a strip of reinforcing fabric, falls apart and the pieces come to contaminate the engine oil and possibly clog the pump, the variable timing solenoid valves or the pump oil strainer.

The consequences are numerous: if the vacuum pump becomes clogged, the brake assistant can be lost, which is a big problem, as you can imagine. Braking then requires Herculean power. We may also observe lubrication problems (loss of oil pressure) or clogging of the camshafts and valves.

A convening event is organized: 220,000 cars in France

However, it was the risk of losing the brake assistant that prompted PSA / Stellantis to initiate a convening action.

Launched in November 2020, it covers 220,000 cars in France and almost 500,000 worldwide. Peugeot (JZR code reminder), Citroën and DS (HFC code reminder), equipped with a 1.2 Puretech 110 hp or 130 hp engine, manufactured from March 2013 to April 2017, are being withdrawn.

By this last date, PSA had actually adjusted the timing belt reference to solve the production line problem.

The width of the belt is checked during the inspection.
The width of the belt is checked during the inspection.

During this summons, checks are performed (belt width check, oil pump strainer check). Only if the belt does not comply, it is replaced in the same way as the vacuum pump. In addition, if the oil pump strainer is slightly clogged, the oil pump solenoid valve is cleaned, the timing solenoid valves are cleaned or replaced, the hollow screw of the turbo hose is replaced, and of course the vacuum pump and all wiring are replaced.

If the strainer is completely clogged, the oil pump will also be replaced.

And in any case, the engine computer will be reprogrammed because according to the download conditions “update the engine ECU to improve the brake assist system diagnostics and avoid any risk of braking reduction or lossUnderstand that the car will first illuminate the oil pressure warning light on the instrument panel to indicate a problem.

What are the consequences of an appeal?

Following this withdrawal from the market, PSA / Stellantis stated that, in the end, only 6% of the convened belts were affected by the broken belt problem. And the incidence rate was even lower for other concerns (1% to less than 0.1%).

Unfortunately, for models that were not affected as of the date of download, this issue may have occurred later. To overcome this, Peugeot, Citroën and DS have also shortened maintenance intervals. As of December 2020, revisions have thus become annual for models that travel less than 10 km per day and less than 15,000 km per year, and the timing belt must be replaced every 6 years or 100,000 km instead of 10 years and 180,000 km.

Full coverage or not?

Models that were withdrawn from circulation had full support for the operation, this is always the case with security downloads. But some copies had a problem after the download or were not among the 220,000 copies to return to the workshop. Therefore, since January 2021, Stellantis has set up a support network, with 100% of the costs being borne by the brands concerned if a disintegrated belt problem occurs 6 years or 100,000 km ago.

Is the problem completely solved?

As we said, the timing belt reference changed in April 2017, and since December 2020, belt replacement recommendations have been adjusted, as well as service intervals for small rollers. But are copies after April 2017 worry-free?

Not really, because the testimonies of later models are still numerous. The new 208 and the new 2008 may obviously have a problem. But in smaller proportions and with a supporting grid, as we saw.

Should we then buy a second-hand 1.2 Puretech?

Objectively, the problem is less common than that of Renault’s 1.2 TCe. And PSA / Stellantis responded faster and more clearly.

Today on the summoned vehicle and if the maintenance is performed regularly and according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, there is no longer a big risk when buying a used vehicle.

For newer models, such as the latest 208 or 2008 II, the risk exists but is low. If this happens 6 years or 100,000 km ago, the brand will take over if necessary. It’s just important to stay online for an interview and follow the recommendations to the letter.

The first generation from 2008 is among the affected models.
The first generation from 2008 is among the affected models.

Where it is more “touch”, there are models made between March 2013 and April 2017 that have been withdrawn but considered untouched. They are at increased risk of ending the problem. These are models that need to be monitored especially during interviews (systematic belt inspection, this is also ensured by Peugeot), especially if you leave the manufacturer’s network. But even here, if the maintenance was followed in accordance with the recommendations, the brand will take care of any problem within the limits set by the care grid.

This is for theory, because sometimes you have to fight hard with the customer service when the interview took place outside the network.

In any case, as a buyer, you can discuss the risk involved in purchasing such a model and negotiate the price accordingly. But the battle promises to be arduous. Because the observation is that the opportunities Peugeot and DS maintain high ratings, despite these potential concerns. It’s the same with Citroën, albeit to a lesser extent.

In any case, it is necessary to purchase a perfectly maintained model, if possible in the manufacturer’s network. This maximizes the chances that you will be taken care of if you are unlucky.

1.2 Puretech 110 hp / 130 hp distribution: all potentially affected models:

In Citroën: C3 II, C3 III, C4 II, C4 Picasso II, C4 Cactus, Berlingo II, Berlingo III, C3 Picasso, C3 Aircross, C4 Space Tourer

In DS: DS 3, DS 3 Crossback, DS 4

In Peugeot: 208, 208 II, 2008, 2008 II, 308 II, Partner II, Rifter, 3008, 3008 II, 5008, 5008 II

In Opel: Crossland X, Grandland X, Corsa VI, Mocha II

In Toyota: ProAce City

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