Affecting: C2 C3 Nemo 207 208 1007 Bipper
Dispelling a few myths about piloted manual gearboxes, or senso-drive transmission of Citroen C2 & C3.
Thinking back a few years, I had heard a few nightmare stories about auto gearboxes fitted to the new small Citroens, firstly it was tales of having to replace the gearbox, along with the clutch actuator and gearbox ecu, and its still got the same problem (the nature of which was never very clear). There were also many cases of the engine being impossible to start, in fact at Euro Car Care we dealt with quite a few cars which had been recovered to us with suspect battery problems, batteries had gone flat and then the car wouldn’t start- we would then do a diag check on the gearbox ecu to find a ‘power latch fault’ indicating some kind of voltage related fault causing the transmission to prohibit engine starting, may be because the transmission has somehow lost its programming. The battery would then be replaced and we would re-initialise the gearbox / clutch actuators and the car would start. We then started seeing a few actual clutch actuator failures, although they were not always attached to the car – they were brought to us by other garages who had replaced clutches or had recovered broken down cars and removed the clutch actuator as a possible reason for the car getting stuck in gear or impossible to engage a gear. We stripped down these actuators and found the mechanical adjuster inside the actuator had broken, these adjusters were repaired where possible and fitted back to the car. I have seen only one clutch actuator which had an electrical fault and this had a burnt out electric motor (which can be separated from the actuator), which we replaced from another failed actuator, and one case of input shaft bearing failure of the gearbox.
Around 2005 the software in the gearbox ecu was updated and this dealt with some driveability problems but mostly allowed the gearbox to remain in ‘auto’ mode after manually changing gear (the earlier system reverted to manual mode if the ‘flappy-paddles’ were used) This software can be installed in the earlier cars and this update sometimes seemed to cure clutch faults for a while.