I have a Citroen C3 which is giving me a headache. The problem is a recent one, and is basically that I can't start the car. The strange thing is that the problem only surfaces when I've been driving the car, shut it down and then tried to start it again (for instance going to the supermarket). And the likeliness of this happening depends on for how long I've been driving the car. I'm usually able to start the car, but the other day I had been driving for an hour before making a stop and after that the car didn't want to start for a few hours.
I'm relatively sure the problem isn't the battery since the headlights, windows, radio and dashboard all work. It's not the alternator since the car always starts after some period. The engine doesn't stutter, the car accelerates normally and fuel mileage is excellent so I doubt its the spark plugs.
Could it be the starter? Anyone ever had a similar problem and found a solution?
I've gone to a mechanic and he took the starter out, tried it with a car battery and it worked but was a little weak. So he dismantled it, cleaned up a few parts, lubricated others, tested connectivity with a ohm meter and then tested it again with the battery. It ran much better.
He re-installed it in the car, and we tried turning the car on/off a few times and it worked like a charm. So I drove home, and immediately tried to turn the car back on when I had parked but it wouldn't start. I've since tried again to start and it worked so it seems the same problem (not starting after running for some time) exists but it isn't the starter.
I found this video (i.e not mine) where a person is explaining his starter problem with a Citroen C2, and the experience with when starting is exactly the same (loud clicking sound from engine compartment and all). Can be seen here.
This problem has now started to happen even when the car hasn't been driven for a long time (i.e in the mornings). This kind of rules out it being exclusively due to something heating up.