Problems With French Cars: 10 Known Issues (Explained)

France has maintained its position in the league of the biggest auto manufacturing countries in the last few years. Based on a recent study, more than 1.68 million French cars were purchased by auto enthusiasts in 2019. 

Bugatti, Alpine, Citroen, Renault, and Peugeot are some of the most popular car brands you can see around. These French auto brands boast a loyal customer base of individuals who have stayed true to the brands over the years. 

Some of these auto brands have existed for more than a century, serving their audience. Customer prefer French cars because of their cheap maintenance costs and the belief that they last longer. 

The Peugeot 3008 was once ranked as the most reliable car, receiving a satisfactory rating of 93.8%. Some of the French cars are perceived to be stronger than some American and German cars. 

Check also: Problems with German cars.

There is no perfect car brand, so we want to share some faults of popular French car brands and models like:

  • Citroen C4 Picasso,
  • Xsara,
  • C3,
  • etc. 

Here are some of the common issues associated with the French cars:

1. Transmission Issues (Citroen C2 & C3)

Citroen C2 and C3 models are equipped with a Sensodrive gearbox, a manual gearbox controlled by two robots. One of these robots on the gearbox works with the gear changes, while the other robot works with the clutch mechanism.

The clutch is the first issue with these car brands, as it cannot perform the role of a fully functional automatic gearbox.

Whenever there is a clutch failure, a substantial part of the clutch actuator mechanism is affected, making reprogramming the gear change and clutch actuation very difficult. 

You may need to replace the clutch and the actuator whenever an issue arises. 

2. Noisy Cam Belt (Peugeot Models 308, 207, 208, 3008)

Peugeot is arguably the biggest car brand in France and makes cars for the country’s President.

One of the common issues with Peugeot models is the noisy cam belt. You need to work on the problem as soon as you detect the issue. It is considerably cheap to fix when there is early detection. 

The misalignment of camshafts causes the issue and is sufficient to make the engine perform poorly at low revs and refuse to work when you apply throttle.  

Another auto brand affected by this problem is Citroen. Models affected include the c3, C4, ds3, and ds4.

3. Rear Air Suspension Fault

The rear air suspension fault appears as a warning light on the display and requires immediate attention. The airbags meant for lifting and supporting the car are prone to leaks and deteriorate early. 

It is crucial to note that changing the airbags will be a temporary solution, and leaks in the airbags will cause the air compressor to work harder. 

The expense of replacing the air compressor and airbags is around $1,000. 

4. Water Damage (Peugeot 207 & Citroen C3 Picasso)

More C3 Picassos customers are complaining about the water damage in the fuse box, usually located under the car bonnet. Though most have a new fuse box, the major problem is fixing the rotten multi-plug wires. 

The cost of replacing the car loom is usually expensive.

5. Fiat 500 MTA/Dualogic

The Dualogic gearbox in Fiat 500s is another major issue with one of the famous French auto brands. Many drivers complain about the gear change and clutch issues with the Fiat 500.

However, the issue can be resolved using the innovative Alfa/Fiat software. 

6. Renault Engine ECU Fault Codes

One of the problems with Renault cars is the failing dephaser pulley, and there is a need to work on reprogramming the engine ECU to remove the fault codes. 

If the dephaser pulley is fixed, it ensures the car engine runs without much hassle. The problem usually starts with the engine making a knocking noise when you start the engine. 

Related: Problems with Hyundai Cars (11 Most Common Issues)

7. Hybrid Alternator Replacement (Peugeot 508 & 5008)

The hybrid versions of Peugeots 508 and 5008 are not perfect as well. A common issue with these cars is their alternator. The front drive bearing of the alternator is prone to breakdown. 

However, this issue must not be left to linger for a long time. If it is left to last for an extended period, it might determine if you must repair the damaged drive bearing or change it completely. 

It is critical to note that leaving a collapsed drive bearing for longer can cause irreparable damage to the stator and rotor. This repair might cost more than $2,000 to replace. 

You need to pay attention to this fault and repair it as soon as possible to avoid spending much money on replacement. These Peugeot models must be checked often, as the alternator is a powerful component that no one must ignore. 

8. Rear Suspension Squeak (Citroën C4 Picasso)

Many customers using the Citroen C4 Picasso complain about squeaking sound when driving. This issue emanated from the rear suspension system and replacing the faulty parts with new ones is better. 

Related: Problems With Suzuki Cars (10 Most Common Issues)

9. Fuel Consumption (Renault Alliance)

Renault Alliance is a front-wheel-driven and front-engine sedan. The automobile received a bad rating because of its worse gas mileage.

More people are looking for efficient fuel-efficient vehicles, but the Renault Alliance is not a great choice. 

10. Break Down Too Often (Peugeot 1007)

If you are looking for a reliable vehicle, this vehicle does not tick any boxes. It breaks down too often, and you do not want to spend more time at the mechanic’s shop than driving on the road. 

Despite earning a 5-star safety rating, the Peugeot 1007 is not a reliable vehicle. 

Related: 3 Peugeot Models With The Most Recalls (Check Before Buying)

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