C5 Newbie

After some time with a ZX 1.9D, then a Xsara 1.4 Coupe, I have decided to try the "real" Citroen and I traded-in the Xsara (I kept the ZX) for the
New C5 1.6HDi. Since I have never had a proper Citroen before, what are the precautions to have in mind regarding the suspension? Or anything else regarding the car? I know that the old C5 had some problems generally, but any experience with the new one? It will be delivered next week so I'm looking forward to it!
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Mikros ( snipped-for-privacy@ieee.org) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Nothing much, really.
I'm not quite sure what the change interval is on the fluid - it's a few years on the old LHM, and the new stuff won't be less than that. Same with the spheres.
You don't have to worry about the suspension rising before driving off - with the C5, the electric pump is switched on and pressurised as soon as you unlock the car. Just drive it, and enjoy it!
You might want to consider joining the C5 email list at Yahoogroups - snipped-for-privacy@yahoogroups.com http://www.yahoogroups.com/groups/c5-l
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Do you mean that when the car is switched off, it will still lower down as it used to be in DS and CX? Lovely! Just because Im an amateur on this systems... Does it have a variable height adjustment, or is 3-4 levels?
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Mikros ( snipped-for-privacy@ieee.org) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Well... Just like a late XM or Xant does - with the anti-sink sphere. Sorry, but over the course of weeks, it'll maybe go down a cm or two.

Flat, drive, high-drive, full up. Don't drive on flat or full up - there's no suspension.
Hydractive 3 on the C5 drops the ride *slightly* at high speed, though.
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The ancient HP suspension featured four ground clearance levels: Down, normal ride, high ride, up. It is not recommended to drive in down and up position, because the suspension does not work at all in these positions. Up position can be useful for changing tires and for service purposes. Down position can be useful for storing away the car with limited headroom, but it is only necessary for service purposes. Normal ride is for everyday use, high ride gives you an additional ground clearance of five inches or so. But the suspension gets very stiff, so it is not recommended to drive faster than 10 mph at high ride.
In ancient times, a HP car would sink to the ground within a minute and would need some 30 seconds to "stand uo again". In the 90's Citroen introduced AntiSink which would prevent that (the C5 has AntiSink and does not sink so fast). In return Citroen decreased the size of the HP pressure pump. Because the system holds pressure better, you can go with a smaller pump. Before the introduction of the C5, this pump was driven by the engine, which required starting the engine in order to reach the correct system pressure. The C5 has an electric HP pump which is activated when you open the door. So the system pressure should be okay as soon as you start the engine - not spectacular, but very useful.
In the 90's Citroen also introduced Hydractive. This system stiffens the suspension automatically, when road safety requires it (sharp driving meneuvers etc). Your C5 is equipped with Hydractive, but you may not note the appearance of the system during everyday ride. I feel the suspension stiffen regularily when I travel at high speeds. When I go through a wide Autobahn curve with 100 mph or more, the car begins to become slightly "bumpy".
The most known failure sources to a HP suspension are:
Worn out suspension spheres. They hold pressure at least for five years or 50.000 miles. If they lose pressure, the suspension gets more and more bumpy. Exchange is fairly easy and reasonably priced.
Worn out or de-adjusted height levellers. Have a mechanic check them.
Dirty and polluted HP fluid. Always use the right fluid, change it according to the service schedule and do not forget to clean the HP oil filter every now and then.
HP fluid leakage. This is quite dangerous, because the HP system feeds not only the suspension but also the brakes and the steering. HP fluid is green.
If you have your car checked once a year by a competent Citroen service station, this should not happen to you. If you think about moving your car from normal ride to high ride every now and then, this maintains the moving ability of all parts. That basically ist all-
Frank
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Frank Kemper ( snipped-for-privacy@gmx.de) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Only if the hydraulics are *very* shagged out. My CXs would take a couple of days to sink, as should any decent D.
The dog slow climb times are also due to the cheap plastic pumps that Citroen introduced in the 90s - strangely, around the time that the anti- sink spheres came in...

Late 80s, but close enough.
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