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Ok so this happened tonight and I thought it's no brainer - dead battery. Then I've googled and stumbled upon "Economy Mode" which should be triggered prior to the battery issues. I was driving a car for about 20-25 minutes and parked to get groceries (pause was maybe 5 minutes max). So I turned the ignition, waited a few secs for bulbs to go off and it started cranking slowly going slower, dimming all the displays and after 2-3 seconds it went dead. Trying again - same issue. I made a pause for a minute or so, tried again and it started normally. Got home (10-minute ride top), turned the engine off - tried to start it right away twice, dead again (slow cranking than dead).

Maybe relevant: In the past two months it happened twice that car is cranking normally but not starting. No errors are shown on the dash or diagnostics. It would take me 3-4 times in a row to start it. After a successful start, it was all good. So only twice in two months and the car is driven daily.

P.S. Also I had issues with turbo when accelerating hard around 3000 RPM in third gear - DPF error with error code are thrown and car aggressively brake (like engine break). Went into Citroen dealership - we are waiting for turbo copy sensor - I don't see how this is related to previous issues since starting is not turbo related?

Car specification:

Citroen C4 Coupe 2.0HDi VTS (136HP) 6 gear manual 2007

UPDATE: I've visited shop today and it's definitely not a battery. Initially, they thought it's an issue with the contact as my + connector was a bit loose. When cranking slowly that + connector gets really hot and there's a bit of smoke too. Looks like something is drawing more current than it should so I'm waiting for an update tomorrow regarding starter...

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  • A battery load test is simple and should be next to free. This may not be the problem, but will eliminate a huge amount of additional troubleshooting.
    – SteveRacer
    Sep 10, 2016 at 4:57
  • Yep, I'll do that on Monday morning as the first test. Unfortunately, I don't have a multimeter to do it on my own. Looking at the issues (dimming displays etc...) I expect to see pretty low voltage when cranking but again - reason for that can be failed starter motor or dead battery. Wondering if there's something else that would make similar issues?
    – NemanjaSRB
    Sep 11, 2016 at 16:57
  • I would start with what is called a BATTERY LOAD TEST, which does not involve a multimeter or the starter. Most repair shops and some auto parts stores have this tool and will perform the test for little to no charge.
    – SteveRacer
    Sep 11, 2016 at 21:51
  • Sorry, I got it wrong then. I thought you were suggesting checking battery voltage before, while and after cranking to see if the battery is providing enough current. I'll add update to my question since I visited a Citroen shop today.
    – NemanjaSRB
    Sep 12, 2016 at 21:04
  • With that information I would proceed to a VOLTAGE DROP TEST, which is simply a voltmeter across the heavy positive starter cable, from the battery post B+ to the lug on the starter. Observe the meter while cranking. Anything more than 0.3-0.4 volts "voltage drop" is indicative a a bad cable, with high resistance due to corrosion or bad connector contact.
    – SteveRacer
    Sep 13, 2016 at 0:54

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I had the same problem. Couldn't start engine Citroen C5 X7, 2011. Thought it was the battery but the garage said battery health was 98%. Then I unscrewed the cable which goes from battery to starter and realized it was all rusty underneath. I cleaned it with sandpaper and white spirit, assembled, and now starter spins perfectly. Like new. Problem solved.

Rusty Cables

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair!
    – Cullub
    Jan 26, 2019 at 17:15

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