Citroen C4 mk2

For all the external differences between the first and second generations, they are based on the same platform. It is especially obvious when you look at the underhood space and the interior, when you look at the specific shape of the floors near the center console. Thus outside design reminds little about the first generation, except that the large chevron and the form of a radiator grille are stylized in a general key, yes the line of a roof can suggest analogies. 

But under the body there are the same suspensions, the same power structure and electronics, and also Prince motors, AL4 boxes, Mitsubishi generators and many other common details. In general, the car inherited from the predecessor both good and bad.

Exterior panels

If you remember, the last generation was not badly protected from corrosion with one essential "but": dirt got into the sills because of not very successful sealing of the rear inner arch, and they rotted through. One-sided galvanizing protected the exterior surface and body panels with "dry" inner side quite well, but the edges of the rear arches just from inside rotted badly, because there was no inner arch.

In the second generation, the inner arch is still missing, but the body assembly technology has been significantly corrected, and as a result, the sills are no longer affected. In any case, when these cars are disassembled for repair after an accident, there are no more kilograms of dirt and traces of corrosion inside. True, the metal parts are thin, so there are many cars with dented sills due to unsuccessful installation of the jack or elevator supports.

The windshield frame in the upper part of the windshield from corrosion occasionally, but suffers. The reason is the lack of galvanization on the roof panel and chips from stones, nothing new, but it is worth checking carefully, from afar the problem is not noticeable. And check the front edge of the hood, a defect in the design of the bolting even caused one of the recall companies.

But the device of doors has changed little: the problem of corrosion of the lower edge, associated with the unsuccessful design of water drainage, remained. Timely apply anticorrosion and check if there is something splashing inside. However, they removed the plastic cover, which covered the rust marks well - this can be attributed to pluses (for the buyer) and minuses (for the owner).

The front fenders on this generation are steel instead of plastic. Fortunately, they are double-sided galvanized, but in the area of contact with the locker and in the attachment points they are gradually sharpened by rust. It's better not to forget about anticorrosion. 

The view from below is upsetting. Small red marks on the metal of the body floor in the rear part, rusty brackets and points of their fastening to a body tell that quality of processing of the bottom part of the car in comparison with the first generation has worsened. 

In the cabin, too, there is still a problematic place - the rest area for the driver's left leg has a steel bracket in the base, which is intensively corroded. The part itself is removable, it is not difficult to remove and clean, but from the studs of its fasteners corrosion spreads on the floor, even if it is dry inside. Well, wet floors and traces of corrosion on the seat rails, as well as on the first generation of C4, is definitely a reason to remove carpets and check whether all floors are rusted from inside or only the driver's side.

In terms of bodywork, the plastic shields on the underbody in the rear still break, and it is worth replacing them: they cover the fuel filter, adsorber and brake pipes from rock impacts. All the same the front part of the body is kept on headlights and thin brackets, which are ready to bend at enough weak impact and let headlights lose all fasteners. The front bumper duster is still a consumable: it breaks in winter, loses in summer, non-original ones are made slightly better than a completely paper stock. Well, and the rear bumper breaks plastic guides at chance. Noise insulation of the engine shield is still gaining moisture and falls apart because of not very successful fastening of the drainage shield and water from the windshield, and the side "bumpers" are lost and fall apart over time.

Headlights are relatively easy to rub, but there are no serious troubles with them, check only the work of the correctors.

Door locks are quite reliable, but the actuator cables still regularly freeze up in the jacket in winter. Door seals suffer only in cab cars or when freezing to the door in winter. But the hood lock cable is worth checking carefully, it corrodes and tears, there was even a recall on cars from '11 to '16.

Salon

The interior trim materials have become even "better". The quality of leather steering wheel trim is as bad as on the latest restyled C4 of the first generation. Already at mileage up to a hundred thousand the trim loses its texture and simply wipes to the basis - the new "ecologically clean" technology of leather processing turned out to be predictably worse than the old and non-ecological one. The steering wheels were changed under warranty, but the total resource is still low, most likely, the original steering wheel will have to be re-stitched at a relatively low mileage.

The same applies to the handbrake cover, however, there is originally used leatherette, but also of poor quality, by a hundred thousand kilometers it already looks shabby. Thanks, there are covers on sale, including Chinese ones.

The seats are quite reliable, but the side roll of the driver's seat crumples quickly, and it can look bad already at mileage up to 50 thousand kilometers.

The main problem with the climate system is the unsuccessful radiator. In this generation the design of supply pipes was changed, they no longer leak through seals, but the radiator became clogged, if you do not change antifreeze very often and do not pour only the recommended one. Flushing usually saves, at the same time on cars with EP6 Prince it is possible to find debris in it in the form of remnants of plastic pump impeller of old sample and rubber dust. Failures of dampers and fan are few, but there are failures of the latter's speed regulator. Its first version 6441AA was unreliable, it was replaced by 6441AF, which almost does not break. Often the problems are related to overheating of the regulator, the fan starts blowing constantly at high speed, if the cabin air filter is heavily polluted or the air intake is clogged with snow.

Electrics

BSM and BSI blocks, which were paid much attention to in the story about the first generation C4, have become more reliable here - in any case, firmware failures are few. However, BSM block still does not like water, frosts and contains capricious soldered relays. And on cars with turbo engine 1,6 THP the resource of gasoline pump relay sometimes turns out to be within 5-6 years, which forces to change the block as a whole, but the replacement of relay separately became even more difficult than on the last generation of blocks. In any case, don't forget to check the fuse box for extra wires.  

The new radiator fan itself is reliable, but frequent failures are associated with the triggering of the thermal fuse, it was originally disposable. In winter, the fan gets clogged with snow if you don't put a "winter" damper, and the fuse blows. The fuse was later made recoverable, but only starting in 2013. 

The alternator is still the same headache. Mostly let down by the same Mitsubishi with its failed bearings and regulator. The Bosch version is not ideal either: its bearing in a plastic sleeve turns if it is hot under the hood. On TU5/EC5 and non-supercharged EP6 engines the alternator can be removed relatively easily for diagnostics and repair, but on supercharged EP6 its removal is more troublesome and complicated, requiring endurance. Besides, on this generation of C4 generators are equipped with overrunning clutch, that adds one more node to the number of expendables. When the mileage exceeds a hundred thousand, unnecessary noises are often connected with it.

On Prince motors, the thermostat unit of old revision with non-replaceable motor temperature sensor and heating element, wiring and oil pressure control valve and timing control valve fail. Moreover, when replacing the thermostat with a new model part, you will have to buy an "upgrade" - a new wire with connectors, the old ones will not fit.  

In general, the reliability of Citroen C4 II electronics can be estimated as high, especially at runs up to 120-150 thousand kilometers, if not to touch such elements as lambda-sensors, thermostat and various valves of Prince and AKP motors. 

The quality of not only the electronics blocks has improved, but also the wiring. Breakage of wires in corrugations is still very rare, sealing of connectors is also markedly improved. However, a lot of auxiliary systems have been introduced, from electric handbrake actuator to blind spot monitoring systems, and these are additional potential threats. 

Brakes, suspension and steering

The braking system is almost untouched, a slight increase in weight has not led to any significant changes in its characteristics compared to its predecessor. Except that the new ABS unit with standard ESP causes more intensive wear of rear brakes.

The optional electric handbrake actuator here is a simple design, with no separate motor actuators on each caliper. Failures do happen, but mostly the problems are related to connectors and wiring, not gearmotors and motors. The system can be unlocked easily enough - there is a hole in the trunk floor for a special service key.

Suspension is still the strong point of the model. Strong levers, inexpensive silent blocks and massive ball bearings allow to feel confidently on bad roads. But springs have become weaker, especially it affects resource of rear ones. However, you can put reinforced ones from Peugeot 307 SW or pick up non-original. In front, the main consumable is stabilizer struts and rear silentblock of a lever, and also support of a strut, if to drive carelessly, and behind - bushings of a shock absorber.

Steering control on all cars is quite successful design and with EGUR. The pump fails either in frosty regions with temperatures of -20, or when the mileage is 200+. Leaks of internal gland or problems with electronics board are typical for old and run cars. Wiring to the pump has become more reliable, and the rack itself is traditionally strong - knocks and the more so leaks are characteristic for the same mileage over 200 thousand.

Due to the fact that C4 of the second generation is still quite young, the problem of rapidly developing surface corrosion of the bottom can not be considered significant. The second or third owner has all chances to properly anticorrode everything and not to allow fatal changes. One could say that C4 is a successful and underrated car, if it were not for Prince and AT8 (AL4). What these are and why things are bad with them - read below.

Transmission

There are almost no problems with the BE4 series automatic transmission. It is a pity, the new clutch has a modified release bearing of not very successful design, its resource has significantly decreased and rarely exceeds a hundred thousand kilometers. The cable drive is still quite reliable up to the mileage of about 200 thousand kilometers, but does not like moisture and long downtime. Otherwise, everything is quite reliable, except that synchronizers 1-3 gears at a mileage of about 200 thousand begin to "bump", but it is not a big problem. Bearings are quite reliable, if oil is changed occasionally and its level is monitored.

There is no sense to tell about AL4, which here is called AT8, even briefly - there is a separate material about this box and its typical problems. There are no noticeable peculiarities of operation on C4 of the second generation: the box works as usual, even a little earlier gets into repair, because EP6 series motors are very hot, and the cooling system here is with a heat exchanger. A large external radiator and filter are highly recommended, and there is enough space under the bumper.

Six-speed automatic transmission, which Citroen persistently calls EAT6, is Aisin TF80SC, well known from Volvo cars. These boxes are assembled in France, and are now actively used by the PSA group.  

The torque converter has a very weak locking pad, and the algorithms of automatic transmission operation allow to wear it very intensively. Those who like to drive, it can "run out" very early, with mileage slightly over a hundred thousand kilometers, with getting a glue layer in the oil and heavy contamination of the hydroblock. If you drive without fanaticism, the GDT resource is enough for 200 thousand kilometers.

The second problem is the wear of the hydraulic block, in particular, the channels of its housing, when operating with dirty oil. If you change oil irregularly up to 200 thousand, and operate the car at full speed, there is a high probability that the hydraulic block at 250+ will require repair. Even with oil changes with an interval of 60 thousand, but with an excessively active driving style, the resource of 250 thousand is not guaranteed at all.  

Problems with the hydraulic block entail troubles with oil starvation of the Direct drum and clutch pack C2, brake tape, and pressure leaks - with the oil pump and wear of its bushing. Also the condition of the oil pump is affected by wear of the GDT and its vibrations.

In general, the gearbox is quite reliable, but only if it is well maintained. If you limit yourself to routine oil changes and drive in "Russian style", then twitching in 4-5-6 gears due to wear of C2 package will start after 120-150 thousand mileage, and the repair will cost a lot.

Engines

Unlike co-platform Peugeot 308/408 Citroen C4 was equipped not only with motors of Prince series (EP6C/ EP6CM/ EP6CDTMD/ EP6FDTMD) and diesel DV6, but also with good old "cast-iron" TU5JP4 and their modernized version EC5/ EC5F.  True, they are not listed in mass catalogs for the model, but the 110-horsepower and 115-horsepower gasoline motors are just that. 

Hatchbacks with TU5 motors are definitely the best choice, if you have nothing against MKP. Well, the C4 Sedan was equipped with the EC5 motor, essentially the same TU5, but with a phasoregulator on the intake shaft and meeting Euro 6 standards. After 2016, it became possible to buy the C4 Sedan even in a variant with a modernized EC5F and Aisin automatic transmission.  In the total volume of offers, these two motors make up a good quarter of all cars and are the most preferred. 

In fact, they have no serious problems. Leaks, lambda failures, floating idle speed - these are trifles, not worth attention against the background of the whole extensive set of problems of engines of Prince series. With these motors, even rather capricious cooling system behaves well, and the radiators of the heater are not clogged with sludge. More about TU5 is told in the review of first generation C4 motors.

Unfortunately, the majority of offers on the secondary market are cars with EP6 Prince. By the moment of appearance of the second generation of C4, this extremely unsuccessful line of motors had time to be seriously updated, having received a new timing and a lot of improvements. In general, the motors really became more reliable, but the list of "weak points" of modernized EP6C remains extensive.

Those wishing to familiarize with the full "history of the disease" can read a large material about Prince, and here I will briefly run through the situation with its newest versions on C4 II. 

Resource of the chain timing is still so amazing, but 100 thousand and more it almost always goes, and camshafts almost do not rotate at problems with the vacuum pump. The chain tensioner has become more reliable, and there is even a repair one with increased outreach. It is a pity, the resource is not very predictable.

Seats falling out have become a rare phenomenon, but still such a problem occurs. And if you do not stop the engine in time, there will be nothing to repair, the valve will be torn off and a hole will be punched in the piston. Even if you are lucky and nothing else is damaged, the material of the cylinder-head is not welded, it is made of pressed secondary aluminum in granules. And if the seating surface of the saddle is badly damaged, the only available technology left is aluminum brazing, which does not provide the necessary strength. Fortunately, before the seat falls out, the control unit will show a Valvetronics error for an extended period of time due to insufficient valve travel. Being aware of this problem may allow time to drive to service.

Oil leaks are observed from the gaskets of the oil filter "cup", from the oil pan, valve cover, from the oil pump valve wire gland and in general from everywhere. Cracks of the cylinder-head in cars with disconnectable pump drive on late EP6C motors (from 2010-2011, look at VIN) and falling out of the inner cylinder-head plug between the timing chain cavity and the cooling channel are also regularly encountered, and the latter problem immediately "drains" the cooling system into the oil. In such cases, the engine suffers from both scoring and overheating if not stopped at the same minute.

The oil pump base pressure control valve added to the motor design after the restyling brought two problems at once. Basically, it has trivial leaking wiring, good thing a set of gland with a piece of wire is available for sale. But as we approach a hundred thousand kilometers the valve itself begins to jam. And it does not matter that in the absence of power on the valve it switches to the maximum pressure mode: if the valve jams, it can remain in the position of minimum pressure and after the engine warms up, it will hit the liners and camshafts.

The thermostat unit is still a consumable item, although after 2012 the thermostat heating element and temperature sensor became replaceable. These elements often failed, especially in supercharged cars, where the thermostat control range is higher. Oil level and temperature sensor is also not reliable, and in a critical situation will not start the engine. 

The valves of phasoregulators have received a grid, but still their resource can be guaranteed only up to 50-60 thousand kilometers of mileage. The pump has received a new housing and metal impeller, but still has a small resource, and elements of its drive need constant control. The system of drive disconnection remains capricious and wears out not only the belt, but also rollers. In addition, at high speeds, the pump roller is prone to slippage. Most rubber parts have a life of 3-5 years due to the high operating temperature of the motor.

Potentially, the life of the piston group is about 200-250 thousand kilometers, but usually everything ends much earlier due to coking, detonation and oil consumption. 

Let's add to this a surprisingly complicated design and expensive repair with not very convenient maintenance. As an example - the ill-fated platform of the accumulator, which is attached approximately like the cylinder-head, on eight bolts, and one of them is screwed in from the wheel arch and is stuck firmly. This pad will have to be removed to access the thermostat and pipes.

Seriously improve the situation as a whole can reduce the operating temperature - there are variants of purely program solutions, the reserve of thermocouple performance in the thermostat allows to reduce it to 72 degrees instead of 105-115. Popular and "mod" with drilling out the thermostat valve plate and installing an external thermostat directly in the radiator hose. However, in the latter case it will be necessary to control fans on cars without air conditioner separately. But if the air conditioner is on, the firmware or the thermostat heating element connected and adjusted to 80-90 degrees of opening significantly reduces the chances of almost all breakdowns. 

At reduction of interval of oil change to 7-10 thousand and use of only qualitative full-ash non-coking oils motors sometimes show good resource even without modification of cooling system or with natural drop of working temperature due to wear of thermostat valve up to 98-95 degrees.

But in any case, the motor design will remain overly complex for such power, and in practice all these complications in the best case give a difference in fuel consumption compared to TU5JP4 within half a liter per 100 km with incomparable reliability and cost of operation. And often the consumption with EP6C is even higher by a liter or two, because it is hardly in a fully serviceable condition. 

When buying a car with a Рrince, try to evaluate your strengths sensibly. Most likely, in the near future you will know everything about cracking, quality oils, you will have a list of things that need to be changed in the near future and a bunch of contacts of services that will gladly help you in this.  

If you need the car for a long time, it is better to look for a more expensive variant with another motor. If you want a relatively vigorous variant with a turbo motor, it is better to think about buying something else in principle, because the price of operation does not correlate with dynamics.

Diesel engines of the DV6 range are rare (apart from typical diesel problems, not much is known about them), and 1.2 supercharged PureTech series are even rarer. The last motors are not a 3-cylinder version of Prince, as many people think, but a completely new development. And it turned out to be quite successful with only one "but". This motor has a timing belt in an oil bath. According to the experience of Ford motors 1.0 Ecoboost, such a combination not only has unpredictable resource, but also is very expensive in repair. 

Conclusion

Not a bad car turned out, and not old yet. Everything spoils a sad situation with a choice of motors: 75% of the offer on the secondary market are potential generators of losses. If the presence of an automatic box is fundamental for you, you will have to look for a decent variant among extremely rare 115-horsepower cars with 6-speed Aisin. Found it? You can consider yourself lucky.