View Full Version : Car problem

2nd Nov 2013, 08:52
Seeking advice - my Citroen C4 (under warranty) has the dreaded 'Motorway Function' (3 indicator flashes). In my opinion the indicator stalk 'mechanism' for this is badly adjusted so that any slightly off-centre headlight dip/main movement triggers the 3 flashes one way or the other - it is extremely sensitive. This is causing havoc with night driving and can be dangerous. I have driven several other cars in recent years with the function and had no problem.

Citroen (head office) are washing their hands of it and the dealer is now saying it is ok, having initially agreed with me a while back, presumably looking at his warranty budget. The function is programmed into the CPU but I have no access to the setting. All I want is the function 'edited' out of the CPU which appears to be 'impossible'.

Any advice please on how to get some sort of useable confirmation of defect to get Citroen to repair/replace the 'gubbins'? The AA are useless, Trading Standards likewise. VOSA say 'nothing to do with us'. 'Type Approvals' say 'Approved in France, end of story'.

Lon More
2nd Nov 2013, 09:01
Try asking on an owner's forum. It's an ESU (or whatever Citroen call it)function so should be editable. However, once a lemon, always a lemon.

2nd Nov 2013, 09:06
You said car problem... Citroen a car? You are stretching it ;)
You have my condolences with your "car".

2nd Nov 2013, 09:21
I was going to suggest the C4 owners forum, but it looks like you may have already tried them for a solution. ;)

2nd Nov 2013, 09:59
I had the misfortune to hire an Astra a couple of years ago (the kind with milky back lights that look as if they were pirated off a 1950s dodgem). Its indicators must have had the same function: now an electronic switch, I went down the road desperately trying to turn them off, indicating left - right - left - right and so on seemingly ad nauseam. I wasn't alone, others had the same problem: even Clarkson on the telly.
I have seldom seen a better piece of pointless and probably expensive design to "cure" a non-existent problem, and in all respects worse than its predecessor.

2nd Nov 2013, 10:06
Have you tried Citroen Picasso Owners Club - Citroen Picasso Forum (http://www.citroenpicasso.org.uk/picasso/)

Solid Rust Twotter
2nd Nov 2013, 10:12
I was going to suggest the C4 owners forum...

C4 is the US version. I think the UK calls it PE4. Sounds like the best idea though.:ok:

2nd Nov 2013, 10:16
What about a non dealer type of person?

2nd Nov 2013, 10:53
Try French Car Forum as seem to have all kinds in there.

B Fraser
2nd Nov 2013, 11:04
I have the same car for the school run and have the same issue. The car gets changed in April so I'll live with the problem until then. Also, the auto gearbox is utter shyte.

Effluent Man
2nd Nov 2013, 11:10
Goes with the territory.Prefer to stir my own pudden.

2nd Nov 2013, 11:21
any slightly off-centre headlight dip/main movement triggers the 3 flashes one way or the other

My three year old Ford Mondeo is EXACTLY the same. Headlamps up or down, lever slightly off centre, and you get three blinks of the indicators thrown in for good measure.....

Loose rivets
2nd Nov 2013, 11:44
I'm assuming the headlights physically move. As a fix - but only in desperation - I'd try to fudge around it.

BUT, you shouldn't have to. I'd be making noises about the entire car not being fit for purpose if a distracting and dangerous issue arose. A big battle, but one that might get their attention. Letters to the press and all that.

As a fix (one which would void any warranty no doubt) All based on headlamps auto-adjusting.

Try to find where the telemetry is coming from. i.e., a sender in the headlamps. If it is a mechanical device, could it be locked in centre-travel? Electronic - it's always doable, but requires a modicum of electronics savvy.

I sounds as though it might be taking a comparison between car pitch/tilt and headlight position. This is easy to do these days, but darn hard to fault find when it goes wrong.

2nd Nov 2013, 11:47
If you got it as a runaround, that sounds like what you've been given.

Maybe contact Citroen top bosses and say you threaten to expose them on influential places like pprune with no advance warning. :suspect:

2nd Nov 2013, 12:16
I'd never heard of the term 'Motorway Function', but my wife's 61 reg Honda Jazz has the same problem except that it doesn't just go for three flashes, it keeps going until you try to cancel it at which point the other indicator starts up.

I think that three flashes is no way sufficient when changing lane on a motorway; I usually don't even think of moving until I've been indicating at least six, assuming that everyone is watching their own backs and sides as well as in front and could easily miss three.


2nd Nov 2013, 12:22
Thanks to all for (mostly!) useful advice. I have tried 2 Citroen fora.

ESU in Citroen speak = BPI (Software 'Lexia')

LR - no, it is the switch, not the lights.

As said by some, a complete waste of space anyway, but that is really a seperate issue. I don't think the threat of PPRuNe exposure is going to work, somehow................. I was hoping someone would know of an independent network that could 'assess' the car for me 'officially', although OFSO, gruntie and B Fraser's news is not encouraging.

Regarding the 'French' drivers - it would appear from some internet hits they are clamouring to have the mod installed. Typical!

It is potentially dangerous too as it is - my wife dipped the other evening for a car waiting to join our main road from the left, 'indicated' left *3 and guess what?

Groundgripper - it should be in the handbook and you may be 'lucky' like BMW owners (yes, I know.................:)) and be able to switch it off.

2nd Nov 2013, 12:23
You can change it on a Ford so I don't see why a Citroen should be different.

2nd Nov 2013, 12:24
You will find that "the vehicle has been safety certified with the standard software program, and we are not allowed to change it/tell anyone how to change it."
I have a similar problem with screen wash/ automatic wipe - when the washers are frozen the automatic wipe smears the salty windscreen: absolutely lethal after dark with oncoming headlights. I used to cut the relevant wire, but now it is ALL computer controlled.

2nd Nov 2013, 12:48
You can change it on a Ford

Change what and how ?

It's not an option on my setup page....

Lightning Mate
2nd Nov 2013, 13:25
Serves you right for buying French.

Buy your wine in France and your cars in Germany.

2nd Nov 2013, 13:31
Any advice please on how to get some sort of useable confirmation of defect to get Citroen to repair/replace the 'gubbins'?

Go back to Uni, get a PHD in IT Systems, and fix it yourself :E.

2nd Nov 2013, 14:37
My mother's Vauxhall Chevette had a problems along these lines. When indicating right, the horn blew. Turned out to be a broken wire in the indicator stalk.

As for the Citroen, I agree with some of the previous posters. C4 is the solution.:E

Loose rivets
2nd Nov 2013, 14:43
A bit lost about the light being level. :confused: Oh, okay, just reread the line. Not swivel headlight movement, but the stalk movement in headlight action mode? Confirm.

Anyway, your answer to me rings a bell. If you're sure the fault is that localized, then does it, or should it, blink 3 times for one touch. My Mercedes did just that. Is that called Motorway mode/function or somesuch?

The point being, if it had just the most minute contact, it might action that three pulses. Poorly designed electronics will not have sufficient protection from pulses that are too short. Can you replicate it by tapping the stalk or prodding at the wiring with a soft plastic rod?


2nd Nov 2013, 14:50
Can this really be classed as a fault, has there been much discussion/complaint on Citroen forums, or is it just a foible that annoys you?

When looking to buy a new car I always insist on a long test period such as 24hrs or at least overnight when the dealer does not need it. There are plenty others if they will not accept that.
Looking at the brochure, and a quick spin round the block is no use in determining whether you can live with something you are going to spend years owning, and long hours driving.

2nd Nov 2013, 16:33
sitigeltfel - my point is only it is far too sensitive on this car. It doesn't particularly 'annoy' me but the persistent 'left/right/flash/flash' does - and presumably other drivers! Car replaced an earlier C4 (which did not have this function), bought in June, so not much 'night' driving around for a while.

It does not seem much to ask for an option to inhibit the function - I don't need it anyway - I can use indicators......

Personally I think the function should be banned and people should just use indicators as and when (including German car drivers..........,:)) but that is another matter.

Hopefully someone will know how to do it.

Lon More
2nd Nov 2013, 16:41
Personally I think the function should be banned

The consensus on the forum I looked at was that it was a useful feature. Time for a trade in?

2nd Nov 2013, 17:06
I drive a girle car Pug 207cc 2009 no problems yet.

2nd Nov 2013, 17:32
my point is only it is far too sensitive on this car

And my point was exactly the same - it is on mine, too !

(And it wasn't built in France, either...Ford factory in Belgium I think).

flying lid
2nd Nov 2013, 21:08

Loose rivets
2nd Nov 2013, 21:23
From a forum:

Can any recently built and delivered C4 GP or Pic owners confirm if the Motorway function is now being included on the UK C4 Picasso indicators now?

This 'Motorway' feature is already fitted to the C3 Picasso I believe and flashes the indicators 3 times without actually moving the stalk the whole way down or up. You only have to move them to the point of resistance and the car does the rest.

What is interesting is that apparently according to Planete-Citroen, this function may well appear if owners have a new BSI update carried out when trying to resolve other issues. It appears new build French C4 Picasso deliveries also have the feature fitted as standard.

I don't know however if this only applies in France as I can imagine that sort of functionality being a bit irritating and it doesn't appear to be switchable on/off?

So much on my MB E500 was programmable. Are you sure it's not killable?

Nervous SLF
2nd Nov 2013, 23:18

That's not the problem, that's the ANSWER get the insurance money and buy another vehicle :ok:

2nd Nov 2013, 23:29
The consensus on the forum I looked at was that it was a useful feature. Time for a trade in? - not found that forum yet!

Now, let's see:
Mirrors that tilt down with reverse gear
Rear parking sensors
Rear wiper activates in reverse

Useful features? Some say yes
Available on my car - yes
Can I inhibit them - yes.

3rd Nov 2013, 00:07

I remember your comments went I went off to fly a Frenchie bus - so what's all this about buying a Frenchie car?

Next thing you will be drinking Pernod.

All the best

3rd Nov 2013, 00:45
l used to have one of those thingies, l should have been warned off by three

wheel nuts for each wheel.

What we sometimes forget is that the French design for their own people.

French drivers.

Going one way around a roundabout, indicating another just doesn`t matter

in the long run.

3rd Nov 2013, 01:14
Some time ago,in my industry we had some French devices that defied all logic at every turn.Configured by GUI,with the front panel controls being useless.At the other end of the spectrum were American devices,very clear and logical design.We have some newer French devices from a different manufacturer that are much improved though.