As 2020 hasn't been awful enough yet = my ยฃ750 Citroen C6!

As 2020 hasn't been awful enough yet = my ยฃ750 Citroen C6!

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Kitchski

Original Poster:

6,383 posts

194 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Right, that's the 'OMG, what JEOPARDY' title out of the way. Yes, I have bought myself (another) cheap old Citroen. These are the best kinds of Citroens, except the SM of course. Oh, and the DS. And I suppose 2CVs...none of these are 'cheap' anymore. Anyway, yes. I have realised the life-long (well, since 2005, anyway) ambition of owning a Citroen C6. Alexis Sayle had one (he might even still have one), and so did Jacques Charac (probably), so it stands to reason I should, too.

As with any specialist, or certainly any old (relatively speaking for most) specialist car, the motto is normally "Buy the best you can afford!" It's what I wrote in some TVR buyers guides that I wrote recently, and it's what I tell prospective TVR buyers if they're the sort who don't know which end of the spanner to pick daisies with.
You buy the best you, because invariably, some poor bd has already shelled out on all the things that cost a lot to keep going, and now you can reap the rewards of their investment by buying said car for less than the last bill they paid. It's sensible stuff, and with specialist cars, specialist knowledge is key. A full service history means nothing if it's not been carried out on the dot, and with specialists who know those cars...whatever they may be. Alfa Romeos, probably.
Then when the time comes to sell, you'll have simply taken a tidy car, and paid to maintain it to that same condition you bought it. Your car could well have appreciated in this timeframe (if you bought wisely), which negates any expenditure you put into it, and effectively what you've got is a savings account you can drive (or polis....sorry, detail - that's the term now, right?)
What you do NOT do is buy a cheap banger, because this will almost certainly be financial suicide. You'll have all the headaches of a car that has not been looked after all its life, and the bills that go with it (not to mention the inconvience of breaking down somewhere and being late for whatever it was you were driving to). Yes, the car is cheap to begin with, but give it an inderminate period of time, and you'll have spent more than you would have done, had you just bought a good one in the first place. You'll also have shortened your life by a number of years, depending on the number of times you've failed to proceed at the side of the road (or before you even leave your driveway) as a result of the stresses caused by trying to justify to everybody that, even though you're late, you still bought wisely.

Anyway, I did buy wisely, and I present my 2007 (yes, I know it's a 59-plate...wait for it) Citroen C6 2.7HDI Exclusive, finished in Storm Grey with optional lounge and concert packs. Over 150k miles on it, and £750 paid (actually £760 - I insisted on paying for the fella's train ticket home, seeing as he DELIVERED it to my door!)

This is how it arrived (as in the condition, not the method of transportation):






It even still has MoT! I mean, it won't get another one easily, but until Sunday, it's got a ticket! Am I jammy? Yes, I think it's fair to say I am.

How did it all come about? Well, I wasn't looking for another car. As some of you will know, I've got a fair few on the go already, amongst which is my daily driver C4 VTS. It's given me no grief over the 2.5years I've run it, so I do feel guilty at the prospect of retiring it and selling it on to what will no doubt prove to be its demise in the next year or two. Cars like that just don't often end up in the right hands, sadly. But, on the other hand; C6. I mean, come on...C6!

The C6 is a car I've long wanted, but like most people, I go in and out of wanting particular cars. One minute I'll really want a C6, then a DS5. Then I'll want a Civic Type-R, then an RX-8, and then a Honda Prelude 2.2 5th gen. Then I was looking at Audi A2s, and BMW 7-series; You know, the ones with MASSIVE bork potential. They're a bit of me!
But, all that tends to happen is the idea is gone as quickly as it appeared, and I carry on plodding around in whatever I was plodding around in. My daily transport only ever tends to be something to get me around - I'm not meant to like it. The C4 has been unusual in this regard, as despite the fact that it's actually rather crap to drive, I do rather like it. I don't need it to be engaging to drive, I need it to have a good stereo, effective air-con, and great seats. And it does, it has all three.
However, this time, I received a text message from a mate of mine. He was asking about C6s, and what I knew about them (read; very little) as he'd seen them getting cheaper and cheaper, and wanted some comfort and refinement to go some way to erasing the years he's spent bombing around in a little VW Polo diesel. The engineer in him wanted something interesting, rather than the usual 3-box German options, and the C6 appealed.
He'd spotted an Iron Grey Exclusive on eBay, sat at £1100. After an exchange of messages, we agreed to go halves on it, to lessen the potential financial fallout when all the electricity shorts out through the nearside from hydraulic tyre, and the ECUs duckfit. The car was at an auction clearance place, which had plenty of bad feedback. It appeared to have a big dent in one of the doors, and was riding on a space-saver. All the warning signs were there, so to be sensible, we limited our max bid to £1600 (as opposed to thinking "fk that!" and legging it)
In the end, the car shot up to £2600 rather quickly. "Not to worry", thinks I. It's probably a bullet dodged. My mate still wants one, so I say we'll keep our ear to the ground.

The next day, the car I ended up buying appeared on Facebook, in a C6 group. It was a semi-social post from a guy acknowledging that he loved his C6, but had decided it needed too much work for him, and was going to punt it on eBay, spares or repair. Of course, I messaged him, asking him about the car and whether he wanted it to go through on eBay (to realise its financial potential), or whether he'd listen to offers. He was going to list it at only £800 reserve!
Meanwhile, the Iron Grey car resurfaces on eBay, having been relisted. To be honest, £2600 seemed far too much for what it was, and the original auction ended fairly suspiciously. Now it was back on, this time with a shorter listing. It ended up being very short indeed - a few hours - before it was pulled as 'no longer available'. No sooner had I messaged my mate to tell him it was there, it was no longer.
Facebook car stalls, because I forget to reply to the very friendly and helpful owner. He's owned the car a few years, and has covered around 70k miles in it. He loves it to bits, but I suspect he couldn't continue to pump money into it, and was resigned to selling it. He offered it up in the owners group first as he knew that if it went to eBay, it would likely be bought by a breaker and broken for spares. He acknowledged he'd probably get £1500 or more, but would rather sell for less knowing that it went to a good home. I had a lot of respect for that, to be honest. He was honest and upfront, and explained that the car was broken, but still driveable.
Back in eBay land, guess what?! The Iron Grey C6 returns, again with a short listing. This time it's spotted by my mate, who decides to have a punt himself, as I'm leaning towards Facebook car (potentially ending in a situation where both of us buy banger C6s). He only had around £1300 to play with at this time, and I suspected the car would go for £1600. In the end it finishes at £1589, and he's outbid. Dammit.

Facebook car, however, is going well. I ask whether £800 reserve is the minimum he'd accept for the car, or just a starting point. He replies that he'd sell it for £750 to me, as it'd save him on eBay fees! It's a situation of astonishing honesty and integrity the likes of which I've never experienced in the car-buying world! It all seems a bit too good to be true, but I'm not getting my hopes up, just in case. I'm also in the fortunate position of need needing this car, as I already have a decent working car.
But, Friday last week rolls around, and at around 3:30pm, he pulls up outside my workshop! I send him the funds, take him to the station, and bang! I'm a Citroen C6 owner!)
I stay on an hour to give it a wipe with some spray-on detailer (it's filthy dirty, but I don't have time to clean it properly). It does come up pretty well, though.




Obviously, I've got a to-do list. The number of people who say only buy the best you can afford can nag a bit, especially when other C6 owners say the same thing, but in fairness, I did buy the best I could afford; I didn't have any more money! However, I know there will be those who are absolutely aghast that somebody would be this stupid, so I'm prepared for the comments. I got the same when I bought a Chimaera with my girlfriend, then aged 24 and 22!

So, what does my C6 need?

  • The parking brake doesn't work. It's electric (naturally), but rather than having servo motors on the rear calipers, it has a motor above the rear axle when pulls on the handbrake cables. One of these cables had to be cut as it locked on....so, yeah. Some problems there. Oh, and the unit is coded to the car; You can't fit a used one.
  • The gearbox. It's an Aisin (a subsiduary of Toyota, no less) 6-spd auto box, reknowned for their smoothness and longevity....and for the fact that the 'sealed for life' element of the service instructions turned out to be horsecack. They need oil changes, but because the manufacturers said they didn't, many boxes are a-borked. Mine might not be...yet, but it's certainly not happy. It displaces a loud THUD! going into reverse (unless stone-cold), and once hot it can slip between 2nd and 3rd ratios (solved by backing off the throttle to allow to box to catch up, which results in an equal and opposite-direction THUD! Oh, and if you pull up at the lights, it'll stall, unless you knock it back into neutral. Good times. The fix could be as simple as a few oil changes, but it could also be a mechanical issue (a hydraulic valve block is a cool £600).
  • The suspension is great, and works perfectly...except when it isn't, and doesn't. I don't know yet know whether I've experienced the ride as it's meant to be, but when you set off it's certainly soft and cossetting. I wouldn't say it's obscenely-smooth; think halfway between a Xantia and a BX, and you're about there. However, after you've hit a few bumps, you get a BEEP and the display proudly states "Suspension Faulty." At this point, the ride becomes firmer. Not ridiculous, just Audi A6 firm. After the gentle cossetting nature of the C6 ride, it's quite a noticeable change, and does spoil things. I'm hoping it's a sensor...somewhere. Probably.
  • Air-con - doesn't work. Gets mighty stuffy in there, mighty quickly. Roll on cold weather!
  • Wheels - need a refurb. They're beat to death, the tyres are all tired, and I don't think the geo is right.
  • Offside headlamp needs rubbing down, as it's a bit yellowed. The driving/indicator lamp in the bumper is too, but that's internal, so it'll need replacing.
  • Nearside mirror is knackered. Anti-glare stuff has burst, and you can barely see out of it.
  • Needs new gas struts on the bootlid.
  • Keys are a bit tired, and the blades don't stay folded in.
  • It'll need a service, and a few tired bits of trim and equipment refreshing.
  • It's a four-seater; There's not space in the middle seat for a cat, like alone a human...:



That's quite a list, right? Well, it's not as big as what's good!

  • Everything electrical works, so far! The auto-wipers go skitz, just like the C4 ones (annoying, as my 200k mile Peugeot 407's worked perfectly).
  • The comfort. Oh man, the comfort!
  • It goes well - better than I imagined.
  • It's complete.
  • The paintwork is actually not bad. Needs every product under the sun throwing at it, but it should respond positively.
  • It does have service history, stamped up to around 100k.
  • It has a phone.
  • It has a heads-up display.
  • It has the lounge-pack, meaning it has the TGV-style rear seats.
  • It has the concert-park, meaning it has the JBL sound system...which so far doesn't actually sound that great. Worse than the standard C4 one, in fact.
  • Directional-headlamps work
  • loads of other stuff I thought of before, but forgot when I got this far down. I'll have to start doing Doug DeMuro-style videos on it (I put the C6 on Twitter the day I bought it, and he actually 'liked' it!)




So, nothing left to say except:

"What's the worst that could happen?"


Uggers

1,881 posts

174 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Brilliant!

The fact it arrived at your door under its own power for that amount of money means it's a bargain!

Whats the worse case scenario fixing it up wise?

Kitchski

Original Poster:

6,383 posts

194 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Oh, yes...the eBay C6.

Having written a post about my new car, a chap replied who had just won an Iron Grey C6 on eBay. Small world!

He didn't have such a good journey home...



Bullet dodged!

gman88667733

829 posts

30 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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That is a fantastic car. Definitely in need of some attention, but if you manage to get most of that sorted, you've got a cracking car to waft around in!

I'd love to know how much the previous owner spend on maintenance before he got rid!

Richard-390a0

993 posts

54 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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I love these the last 'proper mad / individual looking' big Citroen lol well done Sir!

P5BNij

8,077 posts

69 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Absolutely love these - thread duly bookmarked!

Just looking on Autotrader, there are only seven for sale on there in the UK, blimey.... they're all diesels and autos, did they ever make a manual / petrol model of the C6...?

Edited by P5BNij on Wednesday 23 September 15:22

dandam

148 posts

115 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Fabulous looking car, have been looking forward to seeing a post / more detail since you posted in Instagram.


anonymous-user

17 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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What's the whole "2007" 59 reg thing?

G0ldfysh

3,264 posts

220 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Argleton said:
What's the whole "2007" 59 reg thing?
Left on dealership for 2 years waiting for someone to buy it?

drdino

882 posts

105 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Kitchski said:
  • The parking brake doesn't work. It's electric (naturally), but rather than having servo motors on the rear calipers, it has a motor above the rear axle when pulls on the handbrake cables. One of these cables had to be cut as it locked on....so, yeah. Some problems there. Oh, and the unit is coded to the car; You can't fit a used one.
Can you not code it using Lexia?

mattyprice4004

355 posts

137 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Brilliant, what a bargain!

I'm not so taken on the looks, but a whole chunk of car for the money.
I'd service the gearbox ASAP, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at how those Aisin boxes seem to 'come back to life' when some money is spent on them.

Cambs_Stuart

1,030 posts

47 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Great purchase. I've also got a couple of these on my watch list as I look for a family barge that won't make the children sick.
Looking forward to seeing how you get on.

croissant

1,201 posts

101 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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I've always had a huge soft spot for these. They're wonderful looking things full of classic Citroen quirk. Look forward to seeing updates on this and hope it treats you well.

I have an even softer spot for Citroens as if this weekend having purchased a 2011 C4 for my wife. She wanted a golf or A3, but discovered the C4 and it's a fantastic car. Zippy 1.6vti, massage seats, decent stereo, super comfy and pretty good looking.

I'd certainly consider a C6 as a daily for myself. Pretty sure I've seen petrol versions, but I may be wrong?!

MagicalTrevor

6,427 posts

192 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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I also have a soft spot for one of these... and I've just cleared a space on my driveway.

It's a shame they didn't make an estate version, how fantastic would that be!?

cammmy

51 posts

92 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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I have one of these that I got from my dad and it also had the same thud. Follow the procedure to drain and fill with the correct fluid (important!), Drive it around for half an hour and then do it again. Mine was fine after. You will need Lexia to monitor the trans temp but you can get the software and cable for about £40 on eBay.

The door connectors seem to be a common problem, so if you notice the window not dropping when you open the door, or a speaker not working, give the connector a clean. If this happens, be careful opening and closing the door as you can shatter the glass.

Biggest issue was the electronic turbo actuator. This is not specific to the C6, but pretty much every modern diesel. When is goes, it will drive okay when cold but then go into limp mode when hot (though without actually telling you). On mine, it was the front one. The service manual says it's not replaceable and the whole turbo unit needs to be swapped. I got a recon actuator from eBay and swapped it in the car. Very tight and tricky to do but possible. Only use one from a C6! Even though many cars use the 2.7hdi. the actuators are different between them.

Something is likely wrong with the stereo. For me the sound quality is better than my '04 Phaeton but not as good as the '09 RS6.

You can chip tune these easily to around 230-240bhp

Give it some love and take it for a road trip, you will fall in love with it. I'd just decided to keep mine when I saw a V10 Phaeton and couldn't resist the idea of having two, twin turbo 10's



Edited by cammmy on Wednesday 23 September 16:37

Kawasicki

8,676 posts

198 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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I’d like one as a cheap family car, but that “seat” in the middle of the rear bench is tiny, it’s a very large 4 seater, and I need seating for 5.

Shadow R1

3,622 posts

139 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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Looking forward to the updates on this. smile

OldGermanHeaps

2,854 posts

141 months

Wednesday 23rd September 2020
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regarding the handbrake, if you cant recode a used one via lexia, you can use a tool called carprog to copy the eeprom content off your defective one to one from the scrappy, or if yours is mechanically broken but electrically ok you can swap the pcb from your one to a scrapyard part, or if the pcb is faulty you might get away with desoldering your microcontroller or eeprom off your old unit and swapping them with a scrapyard spare.
Much of the time when people tell you something cant be done what they really mean is they are too lazy, or greedy or have their hands tied by company policy. Everything is fixable if you are determined enough.

darkyoung1000

1,467 posts

159 months

Thursday 24th September 2020
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Excellent! I've been looking forward to this thread since I saw your post on Twitter.
Keep the updates coming please!

robsco

6,990 posts

139 months

Thursday 24th September 2020
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Amazing cars, I have seen a one owner car, only 35k miles which I’ve been trying not to buy for a week or so now. Reading this thread hasn’t helped.