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Brakes, suspension & tyres Citroen C2 2003 - 2010 Petrol 1.1

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Citroen C2 2003 - 2010  | 1.1 Brakes, suspension & tyres

  • time 20 minutes
  • difficulty 3
Start with the front wheels
With the wheel off the ground, check for wear in the wheel hub bearings by grasping the wheel and trying to rock it. Very slight play is OK, but if the movement is appreciable, you should seek further advice
Now remove the wheel
Check condition of brake discs. Some light scoring is normal on the area in contact with the brake pads, but if heavy scoring and/or cracks found on the disc or around the wheel bolt holes, the disc must be renewed. ALWAYS replace both front discs and pads
Now locate the brake pads, there are two, one on each side of the disc. Locate the brake pad wearing surface
Using a ruler, measure the approximate thickness of the remaining wear material on the brake pad. If it is less than 2.0mm, all front pads need to be replaced If you need to replace the front pads, click below
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Front brake pads replacement

Warning: Renew both sets of front brake pads at the same time – never renew the pads on only one wheel, as uneven braking may result. Note that the dust created by wear of the pads may contain asbestos, which is a health hazard. Never blow it out with compressed air, and don’t inhale any of it. An approved filtering mask should be worn when working on the brakes. DO NOT use petrol or petroleum-based solvents to clean brake parts; use brake cleaner or methylated spirit only.
Note: New guide pin bolts must be used on refitting.
1 Apply the handbrake, slacken the front roadwheel bolts, then jack up the front of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove the front roadwheels.
2 Push the piston into its bore by carefully levering the caliper outwards (see illustration) .
Push the piston into its bore by carefully levering the caliper outwards
3 Hold the caliper lower guide pin with a spanner, then slacken and remove the guide pin bolt with a second spanner (see illustrations) . Discard the guide pin bolt – a new one must be used on refitting.
Using two spanners slacken . . .
. . . and remove the caliper lower guide pin bolt
4 With the lower guide pin bolt removed, pivot the caliper away from the brake pads and mounting bracket, and tie it to the suspension strut using a suitable piece of wire (see illustration) .
Pivot the caliper upwards off the brake pads and mounting bracket
5 Withdraw the two brake pads from the caliper mounting bracket; the shims (where fitted) should be bonded to the pad, but may have come unstuck in use (see illustrations) .
Withdraw the inner . . .
. . . and outer brake pads from the caliper mounting bracket
6 First measure the thickness of each brake pad’s friction material. If either pad is worn at any point to 2.0 mm thickness or less, all four pads must be renewed. Also, the pads should be renewed if any are fouled with oil or grease; there is no satisfactory way of degreasing friction material, once contaminated. If any of the brake pads are worn unevenly, or are fouled with oil or grease, trace and rectify the cause before reassembly.
7 If the brake pads are still serviceable, carefully clean them using a clean, fine wire brush or similar, paying particular attention to the sides and back of the metal backing. Clean out the grooves in the friction material, and pick out any large embedded particles of dirt or debris. Carefully clean the pad locations in the caliper mounting bracket.
8 Prior to fitting the pads, check that the guide pins are free to slide easily in the caliper mounting bracket, and check that the rubber guide pin gaiters are undamaged. Brush the dust and dirt from the caliper and piston, but do not inhale it, as it is a health hazard. Inspect the dust seal around the piston for damage, and the piston for evidence of fluid leaks, corrosion or damage.
9 If new brake pads are to be fitted, the caliper piston must be pushed back into the cylinder to make room for them. Either use a G-clamp or similar tool, or use suitable pieces of wood as levers. Clamp off the flexible brake hose leading to the caliper then connect a brake bleeding kit to the caliper bleed nipple. Open the bleed nipple as the piston is retracted, the surplus brake fluid will then be collected in the bleed kit vessel (see illustration) . Close the bleed nipple just before the caliper piston is pushed fully into the caliper. This should ensure no air enters the hydraulic system. Note: The ABS modulator contains hydraulic components that are very sensitive to impurities in the brake fluid. Even the smallest particles can cause the system to fail through blockage. The pad retraction method described here prevents any debris in the brake fluid expelled from the caliper from being passed back to the ABS modulator, as well as preventing any chance of damage to the master cylinder seals.
Use a suitable tool to retract the caliper piston and with the bleed nipple open, collect the expelled fluid in a container
10 Check to make sure the shims at the top and bottom of the caliper bracket are correctly fitted (see illustration) .
Ensure that the shims at the top and bottom of the caliper bracket are correctly fitted
11 Ensuring that the friction material of each pad is against the brake disc, fit the pads to the caliper mounting bracket. If the shims (where fitted) have become detached, ensure that they are correctly positioned on each pads backing plate.
12 Pivot the caliper down into position over the pads. If the threads of the new guide pin bolt are not already precoated with locking compound, apply a suitable thread-locking compound to them (Citroën recommend Loctite Frenetanch – available from your dealer). Press the caliper into position, then install the guide pin bolt, tightening it to 30 Nm (22 Ibf ft).
13 Depress the brake pedal repeatedly, until the pads are pressed into firm contact with the brake disc, and normal (non-assisted) pedal pressure is restored.
14 Repeat the above procedure on the remaining front brake caliper.
15 Refit the roadwheels, then lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the roadwheel bolts to 90 Nm (66 Ibf ft).
16 Check the hydraulic fluid level.
Caution: New pads will not give full braking efficiency until they have bedded-in. Be prepared for this, and avoid hard braking as far as possible for the first hundred miles or so after pad renewal.
TIP - Virtually all cars have this inspection window in the brake caliper body, you can usually see the brake pad thickness from here
Now quickly check all the brake pipes for condition, check for any leaks, also inspect the rubber gaitors for integrity. Replace the wheel and repeat on the other side. Should the front strut need to be replaced, click below
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Front suspension strut replacement

Note: Always renew any self-locking nuts when working on the suspension/steering components.

Removal

1 Chock the rear wheels, then firmly apply the handbrake. Jack up the front of the vehicle, and support it on axle stands. Remove the appropriate front roadwheel.
2 Using a hammer and a chisel-nosed tool, tap up the staking securing the driveshaft retaining nut in position. Note that a new nut must be used on refitting.
3 Refit at least two roadwheel bolts to the front hub, and tighten them securely. Have an assistant firmly depress the brake pedal, to prevent the front hub from rotating, then using a socket and extension bar, slacken and remove the driveshaft retaining nut.
4 Release the hydraulic brake hose from the support bracket on the suspension strut (see illustration) .
Release the hydraulic brake hose from the support bracket on the suspension strut
5 On models with ABS, undo the wheel speed sensor retaining bolt, lift off the sensor guard, the carefully pull the sensor from the hub carrier. If necessary, attempt to prise it free using two small screwdrivers under the mounting flange - take care as the sensor is very fragile (see illustrations) .
Undo the retaining bolt and lift off the sensor guard
Carefully attempt to pull the sensor out the hub carrier
6 Unscrew the nut securing the anti-roll bar connecting link to the strut, and position the link clear of the strut; if necessary, retain the balljoint shank with a Torx bit to prevent rotation whilst the nut is slackened. Discard the nut, a new one should be used on refitting.
7 Undo the guide pin bolts and slide the brake caliper from its mounting bracket, noting that it is not necessary to disconnect the hydraulic brake hose. Using a piece of wire or string, tie the caliper to a convenient place under the wheel arch, to avoid placing any strain on the brake hose. Note that new guide pin bolts will be required.
8 Slacken and remove the nut securing the steering gear track rod balljoint to the hub carrier, and release the balljoint tapered shank using a balljoint separator (see illustration) .
Slacken and remove the nut securing the steering gear track rod balljoint to the hub carrier
9 Slacken and remove the nut, then withdraw the lower suspension arm balljoint clamp bolt from the hub carrier (see illustration) . Discard the nut – a new one must be used on refitting.
Slacken and remove the nut, then withdraw the lower suspension arm balljoint clamp bolt from the hub carrier
10 Tap a small chisel into the split on the hub carrier to spread the hub slightly, and allow the balljoint shank to be withdrawn. Pull the lower suspension arm downwards to release the balljoint shank from the hub carrier. To do this it will be necessary to use a long bar and block of wood which will engage under the front subframe. Attach the bar to the suspension arm, preferably with a chain, or alternatively with a stout strap or rope. Lever down on the bar to release the balljoint from the hub carrier (see illustration) .
Pull the lower suspension arm downwards using a bar and chain or similar arrangement, pivoting on the subframe
11 Once the balljoint is free, remove the protector plate which is fitted to the balljoint shank.
12 Pull the strut assembly outwards to release it from the driveshaft outer constant velocity joint splines (see illustration) .
Pull the strut assembly outwards to release it from the driveshaft outer constant velocity joint splines
13 Working in the scuttle aperture, remove the protective cap, then slacken and remove the strut upper mounting nut, counterholding the strut rod with an Allen key located in the end of the rod (see illustration ) . Lift off the upper mounting plate and withdraw the strut from under the wheel arch.
Slacken the upper mounting . . .
. . . remove the strut upper mounting nut and washer . . .
. . . and withdraw the strut assembly
Caution: As soon as the upper mounting nut is removed, the strut will be unsupported.
14 To separate the suspension strut from the hub carrier, undo the nut and withdraw the hub carrier-to-suspension strut clamp bolt, noting that the bolt fits from the rear of the vehicle (see illustration) .
Undo the nut (A) and withdraw the hub carrier-to-suspension strut clamp bolt (B)
15 Tap a small chisel into the split on the hub carrier to spread the hub slightly, then withdraw the hub carrier from the base of the strut. It may be necessary to gently tap the hub carrier off the strut using a soft-faced mallet if it is tight.

Refitting

16 Refit the suspension strut to the hub carrier and engage the lug on the strut with the hub carrier split (see illustration) . Ensure that the strut is pushed fully into the hub carrier, up to the shoulder.
Engage the lug on the strut with the hub carrier split
17 Refit the clamp bolt, screw on a new nut and tighten the nut to 54 Nm (40 Ibf ft).
18 Manoeuvre the strut assembly into position, ensuring that the peg on the strut upper mounting is correctly located in the corresponding outer hole in the inner wing (see illustration) . Fit the upper mounting plate and a new retaining nut and tighten it to 65 Nm (48 Ibf ft). Refit the protective cap.
Make sure the locating peg (arrowed) engages correctly
19 Ensure that the driveshaft outer constant velocity joint and hub splines are clean, then slide the hub fully onto the driveshaft splines.
20 Refit the protector plate to the lower arm balljoint then, using the method employed on removal, locate the balljoint shank in the hub carrier, ensuring that the lug on the protector plate is correctly located in the clamp split. Insert the balljoint clamp bolt (from the front of the hub carrier), then fit the new retaining nut and tighten it to 40 Nm (30 Ibf ft).
21 Engage the track rod balljoint in the hub carrier, then fit a new retaining nut and tighten it to 35 Nm (26 Ibf ft).
22 Refit the brake disc to the hub (if removed), then refit the brake caliper, and tighten the new guide pin bolts to 38 Nm (28 Ibf ft).
23 Where applicable, refit the ABS wheel sensor and tighten the retaining bolt to 10 Nm (7 Ibf ft).
24 Refit the hydraulic brake hose to the support bracket on the suspension strut.
25 Reconnect the anti-roll bar connecting link to the strut using a new retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 45 Nm (33 Ibf ft).
26 Lubricate the inner face and threads of the new driveshaft retaining nut with clean engine oil, and refit it to the end of the driveshaft. Use the method employed on removal to prevent the hub from rotating, and tighten the driveshaft retaining nut to 245 Nm (181 Ibf ft). Check that the hub rotates freely.
27 Stake the nut firmly into the driveshaft grooves using a hammer and punch.
28 Refit the roadwheel, then lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the roadwheel bolts to 90 Nm (66 Ibf ft).
As with the fronts, check for wear in the rear wheel hub bearings by grasping the wheel and trying to rock it. Very slight play is OK, but if the movement is appreciable, you should seek further advice
This model has drum brakes. Should the front brake pads need replacement, the rear drums should be checked for condition. If you need to replace the rear shoes, click below
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Rear brake shoes replacement

Warning: Renew BOTH sets of rear brake shoes at the same time – NEVER renew the shoes on only one wheel, as uneven braking may result. Note that the dust created by wear of the shoes may contain asbestos, which is a health hazard. Never blow it out with compressed air, and don’t inhale any of it. An approved filtering mask should be worn when working on the brakes. DO NOT use petrol or petroleum-based solvents to clean brake parts; use brake cleaner or methylated spirit only.
Note: The components encountered may vary in detail, but the principles described in the following paragraphs are equally applicable to all models. Make a careful note of the fitted positions of all components before dismantling.
HINT: Complete all work on one rear drum at a time – in other words, renew the shoes on one side, before starting work on the other side. In this way, you will always have an assembled set of shoes to use as a reference.
1 Chock the front wheels, then jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove the appropriate rear wheel and release the handbrake.
2 Using a suitable screwdriver or chisel, carefully prise the dust cap out of the centre of the brake drum (see illustration) . Discard the cap – a new one must be used on refitting.
Using a suitable screwdriver, carefully prise the dust cap out of the centre of the brake drum
3 Using a hammer and a suitable cold chisel or punch, relieve the staking on the rear hub nut.
Warning: Wear suitable eye protection.
4 Using a socket and long bar, slacken and remove the rear hub nut, and withdraw the thrustwasher (see illustrations) . Discard the hub nut – a new nut must used on refitting.
Slacken and remove the rear hub nut . . .
. . . and withdraw the thrustwasher
5 It should now be possible to withdraw the brake drum assembly from the stub axle by hand. It may be difficult to remove the drum, due to the tightness of the hub bearing on the stub axle, or due to the brake shoes binding on the inner circumference of the drum. If the bearing is tight, tap the periphery of the drum using a hide or plastic mallet, or use a universal puller, secured to the drum with the wheel bolts, to pull it off. If the brake shoes are binding, first check that the handbrake is fully released. Prise the cover from the centre console, then fully slacken the handbrake adjuster nut to obtain maximum free play in the cable. It should now be possible to remove the drum (see illustration) .
Withdraw the brake drum assembly from the stub axle
6 Working on one side of the vehicle, brush the dirt and dust from the brake backplate and drum. Do not inhale the dust, as it may be a health hazard.
7 Note the position of each shoe, and the location of the return and steady springs.
8 Using pliers, release the handbrake lever helper spring from the handbrake lever, then disengage the helper spring from the brake shoe and lower return spring (see illustrations) .
Release the helper spring from the handbrake lever . . .
. . . then disengage the helper spring from the brake shoe and lower return spring
9 Remove the brake shoe hold-down spring clips. Use pliers to depress the spring clips while pushing on the pin from behind the backplate with your finger (see illustration) . Slide the spring clips off the pins, then remove the pins from the rear of the backplate.
Depress the hold-down spring clips while pushing on the pin from behind the backplate
10 Disengage the lower ends of the shoes from the bottom anchor, and pull the upper ends of the shoes from the wheel cylinder pistons. Withdraw the shoe assembly, and unhook the handbrake cable from the lever on the trailing brake shoe (see illustrations) .
Disengage the lower ends of the shoes from the bottom anchor . . .
. . . and pull the upper ends of the shoes from the wheel cylinder pistons
Withdraw the shoe assembly, and unhook the handbrake cable from the lever on the trailing shoe
11 Position a rubber band or a cable-tie over the wheel cylinder, to prevent the pistons from being ejected.
12 With the brake shoe assembly on the bench, Unhook the lower return spring from the leading shoe, then remove it from the trailing shoe.
13 Spread the shoes apart at the bottom and disengage the adjuster strut from the handbrake lever and leading brake shoe.
14 Remove the upper return spring, then remove the adjuster lever return spring and adjuster lever from the leading shoe.
15 Withdraw the forked end from the strut, and carefully examine the assembly for signs of wear or damage. Pay particular attention to the threads and the knurled adjuster wheel, and renew if necessary. All return springs should be renewed, regardless of their apparent condition; spring kits are available from Citroën dealers.
16 Peel back the rubber protective caps, and check the wheel cylinder for fluid leaks or other damage; check that both cylinder pistons are free to move easily.
17 Prior to installation, clean the backplate, and apply a thin smear of high-temperature brake grease or anti-seize compound to all those surfaces of the backplate which bear on the shoes, particularly the wheel cylinder pistons and lower pivot point. Do not allow the lubricant to foul the friction material.
18 Place the shoes on the bench in their correct positions, and place the adjuster lever over its locating peg on the leading brake shoe. Engage the long end of the adjuster lever return spring into its hole, through the back of the brake shoe, then hook the other end over the adjuster lever (see illustrations) .
Place the adjuster lever over its locating peg on the leading brake shoe . . .
. . . then fit the return spring to the shoe and adjuster lever
19 Screw in the adjuster wheel until the minimum adjuster strut length is obtained, then engage the strut end with the leading shoe and adjuster lever (see illustration) .
Engage the adjuster strut end with the leading shoe and adjuster lever
20 Engage the longer straight end of the upper return spring with the hole in the leading shoe, then engage the coiled end with the trailing shoe (see illustrations) .
Engage the longer straight end of the upper return spring with the hole in the leading shoe . . .
. . . then engage the coiled end with the trailing shoe
21 Spread the shoes apart at the bottom and locate the adjuster strut into the handbrake lever (see illustration) .
Locate the other end of the adjuster strut into the handbrake lever
22 Hook the larger looped end of the lower return spring into its hole, through the back of the trailing shoe (see illustration) .
Hook the larger looped end of the lower return spring into its hole, through the back of the trailing shoe
23 Check that the adjuster strut is still correctly located, pull the shoes together at the bottom and connect the lower return spring to the leading shoe (see illustration) .
Pull the shoes together at the bottom and connect the lower return spring to the leading shoe
24 Check that all the springs are seated correctly and the adjuster strut is engaged with the leading shoe and handbrake lever (see illustration) .
Check that all components are correctly engaged and seated
25 Transfer the assembly to the car and connect the handbrake cable to the handbrake lever. Locate the shoes on the backplate with their upper ends engaged with the wheel cylinder pistons.
26 Locate the leading shoe in the bottom anchor, then pull the lower end of the trailing shoe into position on the bottom anchor.
27 Refit the hold-down spring pins to the backplate. Use pliers to depress the spring clips while pushing on the pin from behind the backplate with your finger. Slide the spring clips into position on the pins.
28 Engage the handbrake lever helper spring with the hole on the training shoe and with the lower return spring end. Pull the other end of the helper spring into engagement with the handbrake lever.
29 Move the upper ends of the brake shoes outward slightly and cut off the rubber band retaining the wheel cylinder pistons (see illustration) .
With the shoes in place, cut off the rubber band retaining the wheel cylinder pistons
30 Using a screwdriver, turn the strut adjuster wheel to expand the shoes to obtain a diameter of 202.5 mm, then check that the brake drum just slides over the shoes (see illustration) .
Turn the strut adjuster wheel to expand the shoes to the specified diameter
31 If a new brake drum is to be installed, use a suitable solvent to remove any preservative coating that may have been applied to its internal friction surfaces. Note that it may also be necessary to shorten the adjuster strut length, by rotating the strut wheel, to allow the drum to pass over the brake shoes.
32 Ensure that the handbrake lever stop-peg is correctly repositioned against the edge of the brake shoe web, then apply a smear of clean engine oil to the stub axle, and slide on the drum assembly.
33 Fit the thrustwasher and new hub nut, and tighten the hub nut to 200 Nm (148 Ibf ft). Stake the nut firmly into the groove on the stub axle, to secure it in position (see illustration) .
Stake the hub nut into the stub axle groove to secure it in position
34 Tap the new dust cover into place in the centre of the brake drum.
35 Repeat the above procedure on the remaining rear brake.
36 Once both sets of rear shoes have been renewed, adjust the lining-to-drum clearance by repeatedly depressing the brake pedal. Whilst depressing the pedal, have an assistant listen to the rear drums, to check that the adjuster strut is functioning correctly; if so, a clicking sound will be emitted by the strut as the pedal is depressed.
37 Check and, if necessary, adjust the handbrake as follows:
38 To check the handbrake adjustment, applying normal moderate pressure, pull the handbrake lever to the fully-applied position, counting the number of clicks emitted from the handbrake ratchet mechanism. If adjustment is correct, there should be 2 clicks before the brakes begins to apply, and no more than 8 before the handbrake is fully applied. If this is not the case, adjust as follows.
39 Carefully prise the handbrake lever cover panel from the centre console (see illustration) .
Prise the handbrake lever cover panel from the centre console
40 Fully apply the handbrake firmly 4 or 5 times then release it.
41 Turn the cable adjuster nut until the handbrake lever action is correct (see illustration) .
Handbrake cable adjuster nut
42 On completion, check the hydraulic fluid level.
Caution: New brake shoes will not give full braking efficiency until they have bedded-in. Be prepared for this, and avoid hard braking as far as possible for the first hundred miles or so after shoe renewal.
Take a good look around brake system and the suspension arm, check for any leaks Should the rear shock absorber need to be replaced, click below
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Rear shock absorber replacement

Note: Always renew any self-locking nuts when working on the suspension/steering components.

Removal

1 Chock the front wheels, slacken the relevant rear roadwheel bolts, then jack up the rear of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Remove the relevant rear roadwheel.
2 Working inside the wheel arch, prise out the fasteners and remove the rear wheel arch liner.
3 Using a trolley jack positioned under the spring cup, raise the trailing arm until the rear suspension coil spring is slightly compressed.
4 Working in the wheel arch, undo the shock absorber upper mounting bolt (see illustration) . Note there is a plastic securing clip that goes over the retaining nut and holds it in place whilst slackening the bolt.
Plastic clip (arrowed) holding the retaining nut in place
5 Unscrew the shock absorber lower mounting nut (see illustration) . Discard the nut; a new should be used on refitting.
Undo the shock absorber lower mounting nut
6 Prise away the plastic clip securing the handbrake cable to the trailing arm.
7 Pull the shock absorber from the lower mounting stud.

Refitting

8 Prior to refitting the shock absorber, mount it upright in the vice, and operate it fully through several strokes in order to prime it. Apply a smear of multi-purpose grease to the lower mounting bolt and contact face of the new nut (Citroën recommend Molykote G Rapide Plus – available from your dealer).
9 Fully extend the piston and manoeuvre the assembly into position. Refit the upper mounting bolt, and tighten it to 42 Nm (31 Ibf ft).
10 Align the shock absorber lower mounting with the trailing arm hole and refit the mounting bolt. Screw on the new nut, tightening it lightly only at this stage.
11 Refit the wheel arch liner and rear roadwheel then lower the vehicle to the ground and tighten the wheel bolts to 90 Nm (66 Ibf ft). Rock the vehicle to settle the shock absorber in position then tighten the shock absorber lower mounting to 106 Nm (78 Ibf ft).
Check rubber exhaust mountings for general condition
Before refitting the tyres, take a look at the tyre tread, there is a UK legal requirement to have a minimum of 1.6mm remaining tread depth. Also check sidewalls for any kerb damage
Finally, check the condition of the spare wheel / emergency tyre repair system
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