The Citroën C4 emerged back in the mid-2000s as a fresh face in the compact car segment, proudly boasting a mix of French flair and innovative design elements. As the model evolved over the years, Citroën introduced multiple generations, each bringing its own set of improvements and features.
A notable component of the C4’s evolution has been its transmission palette. The vehicle often employs the EAT6 or EAT8 automatic transmissions, known for their smooth operation and efficiency. However, the C4’s gearbox isn’t without its challenges and can fail.
Owners have occasionally reported issues like jerky shifts, unresponsive gear changes, noisy operation, and in some cases, electronic glitches related to the transmission system. Manual gearboxes haven’t been entirely exempt either, with some highlighting problems like a stiff clutch pedal or challenges in slotting gears.
As we delve into this article, we’ll explore these problems in-depth, offering insights into their causes, symptoms, and potential solutions. For any Citroën C4 owner or prospective buyer, being informed about these issues can be invaluable for a smooth driving experience.
EAT6 & EAT8 Jerky Shifts and Unresponsive Gear Changes
Some users have reported jerky shifts and occasional unresponsiveness during gear changes with both the older EAT6 and the newer EAT8. The symptoms can manifest as abrupt gear transitions or a noticeable delay when shifting, potentially compromising the driving experience. These issues might stem from software glitches, worn-out transmission fluid, or mechanical wear within the transmission system.
For fixes, one of the first steps can be updating or resetting the transmission’s software. Regularly changing the transmission fluid can also help maintain smooth operations. In more severe cases, professional diagnostics might identify components in need of repair or replacement. To know what is wrong, it’s best to just go and have it diagnosed by a qualified Citroen specialist/dealership.
EAT6 & EAT8 Grinding Noises and Electronic Glitches
The EAT6 & EAT8 have mostly earned commendations for their functionality but earlier EAT6 versions have had their fair share of issues while newer units and the EAT8 are indeed better. Yet, there are instances where users have pointed out grinding noises and electronic glitches, even with the newest variants.
Grinding sounds usually indicate mechanical issues, perhaps due to worn-out gears, bearings, or insufficient transmission fluid. Such noises, especially during shifting, signal the need for immediate attention. On the electronic front, glitches can manifest as erratic gear behavior or unexplained shifts. These might be linked to software anomalies or malfunctioning sensors, all of which will need a professional diagnosis.
Manual Gearbox Stiff Clutch Pedal
In both older and newer Citroën C4 models fitted with manual gearboxes a stiff clutch pedal can be a real annoyance. The sensation of a hard-to-press clutch can be concerning and often diminishes driving comfort. Typically, in older C4s, the stiffness can be attributed to wear and tear, possibly involving the clutch plate, cable, or hydraulic system.
The symptoms are a harder push required to engage the clutch and sometimes an accompanying squeak or creak. In the very latest C4, while wear and tear remain a potential cause, manufacturing inconsistencies or issues with the hydraulic system can also play a part. For fixes, older models might need a clutch cable adjustment or replacement, while hydraulic system checks are advisable for newer ones.
Manual Gearbox Difficulties Shifting Gears
This rather frustrating and sometimes even dangerous challenge can manifest itself as resistance when trying to slot the car into a particular gear or a feeling that the gears aren’t engaging smoothly. In older C4s, worn-out synchromesh, a stretched or misaligned clutch cable, or deteriorating transmission fluid can often be the culprits.
With later models, besides wear and tear, issues could arise from clutch maladjustment, hydraulic system hitches, or even software-related anomalies in models with electronic aids. Remedying these problems might involve replacing the faulty synchromesh, adjusting or changing the clutch cable, refreshing the transmission fluid, or inspecting the hydraulic system. Either way, visiting a qualified mechanic is bound to provide you with the answer.
Want to know about problems with specific Citroën C4 models:
Automatic vs Manual Citroen C4 Gearbox?
The choice between a manual or an automatic transmission is not an easy one as both of these offer some benefits and some drawbacks. Reliability-wise, manual gearboxes tend to be more robust if you really know how to take them easy and drive them properly, but automatic gearboxes are smoother, more relaxing, and easier to live with.
The new EAT8 is the champion here as it is very efficient thanks to 8 gears while also having enough torque in pretty much every gear. The EAT6 has had its ups and downs while manual transmissions are, well, manual transmissions. Overall, for a city car, one that is often driving in stop-and-go traffic, an automatic is better.
When to Change Transmission Fluid on Citroen C4?
While the exact interval can vary based on driving conditions, model years, regions, equipment, and habits, a general recommendation is to change the transmission fluid every 60,000 to 80,000 kilometers. For C4 models that primarily operate in severe conditions — such as frequent stop-and-start city driving, hauling heavy loads, or being subjected to extreme temperatures — it might be prudent to change the fluid at the lower end of this range.
It’s always wise to consult the vehicle’s owner manual, as it provides specific guidelines tailored to your model. Regularly checking the fluid’s color and consistency can also give insights: if it appears dark or smells burnt, it might be time for a change.
Is the Citroen C4 a Good Car?
It depends on what you want and ask from a car. If you are someone who likes sports cars, luxury cars, big family cars, SUVs, exotic cars, or anything with more than 200hp, then the Citroen C4 isn’t likely to rock your boat. On the other hand, if you want a futureproof, affordable, decently capable car for point-A to point-B transportation, the C4 is more than good enough.
Newer e-C4 and C4 X models seem to be more exciting and better-looking compared to previous models which is why these are even bought by enthusiasts. Overall, the C4 is a good car, but it isn’t going to satisfy gearheads, luxury car lovers, or big car lovers.