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Suspension - when to update/replace?

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MikkelCPH   
Sat Feb 09 2019, 05:49pm
Joined: Feb 24 2016
Member No: #2532
Location: Copenhagen
Hi all C6 fellows,

My C6 is from May 2011 and drives beautifully. However, suspension is said to last either max. 5 years or 200,000 km. So, when mine is close to 8 years “old” showing only 118,000 on the clock what should I do? Have it all replaced in order to hope for an even better suspension or should I rather wait?
Anyone got experience on that?

Thanks and kind regards
Mikkel
1 User said Thank You to MikkelCPH for this Post :
 verycleverman (11 February 2019)
ul9601   
Sat Feb 09 2019, 07:42pm
Joined: Dec 14 2014
Member No: #1975
Location: Auckland
Surely that is in reference to LDS fluid - I understand it is hygroscopic.
Other than that, it's repair/replace as required basis. There are plenty to go wrong but as long as you have the parts supply sorted (especially so if it's your only car), you'll be fine.
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 MikkelCPH (10 February 2019)
arconell3   
Sat Feb 09 2019, 08:38pm
Joined: Jun 28 2012
Member No: #922
Location: Kalkar
Hi Mikkel,
Not sure where you got that info, but it is definitely wrong. The suspension system needs some TLC every now and then, making sure nothing leaks, and if so that part needs to be repaired/replaced, but other than that it just lasts. By the way, LDS is not hygroscopic, it is just a good quality hydraulic oil, on mineral oil basis. (Brake fluid is hygroscopic, it is based on glycol)

Regards, Robert
Website
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 MikkelCPH (10 February 2019)
ul9601   
Sat Feb 09 2019, 10:37pm
Joined: Dec 14 2014
Member No: #1975
Location: Auckland
arconell3 wrote ...

Hi Mikkel,
Not sure where you got that info, but it is definitely wrong. The suspension system needs some TLC every now and then, making sure nothing leaks, and if so that part needs to be repaired/replaced, but other than that it just lasts. By the way, LDS is not hygroscopic, it is just a good quality hydraulic oil, on mineral oil basis. (Brake fluid is hygroscopic, it is based on glycol)

Regards, Robert

Mate, you are wrong. LDS is not mineral basis - it is 100% synthetic. I have the bottle of LHM and LDS right in front of me.
1 User said Thank You to ul9601 for this Post :
 MikkelCPH (10 February 2019)
verycleverman   
Sat Feb 09 2019, 11:03pm
Joined: Mar 08 2010
Member No: #65
Location: Northumberland
ul9601 wrote ...

Surely that is in reference to LDS fluid


The five years was in reference to the hydraulic system which requires no maintenance for the first five years. I believe that also included not opening the reservoir cap.

Pete.
1 User said Thank You to verycleverman for this Post :
 MikkelCPH (10 February 2019)
Tjensen   
Sun Feb 10 2019, 02:30am
Joined: Jul 17 2012
Member No: #954
Location: Bergen
The (slightly hygroscopic) mineral based LDS should be changed after 5 years. Suspension speheres are better that the old green spheres from LHS times, but do not live for ever and C6 is quite sensible in that area. Well before 10 years, I changed the LDS and all spheres when the car was 6-7 years old. You can find advise at this webpage on both questions, mostly advising even shorter lifespan.
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 MikkelCPH (10 February 2019)
arconell3   
Mon Feb 11 2019, 02:17pm
Joined: Jun 28 2012
Member No: #922
Location: Kalkar
ul9601 wrote ...

arconell3 wrote ...

Hi Mikkel,
Not sure where you got that info, but it is definitely wrong. The suspension system needs some TLC every now and then, making sure nothing leaks, and if so that part needs to be repaired/replaced, but other than that it just lasts. By the way, LDS is not hygroscopic, it is just a good quality hydraulic oil, on mineral oil basis. (Brake fluid is hygroscopic, it is based on glycol)

Regards, Robert

Mate, you are wrong. LDS is not mineral basis - it is 100% synthetic. I have the bottle of LHM and LDS right in front of me.


Not quite, as far as I know LDS is a Group 3 base oil, which means a modified (HC or hydrocracked) mineral oil. These oils are also called synthetic, whereas the real (group 4) synthetic oils are made from ethylene and similar small unsaturated hydrocarbon molecules

Regards, Robert
Website
arconell3   
Mon Feb 11 2019, 02:49pm
Joined: Jun 28 2012
Member No: #922
Location: Kalkar
Tjensen wrote ...

The (slightly hygroscopic) mineral based LDS should be changed after 5 years. Suspension speheres are better that the old green spheres from LHS times, but does not live for ever and C6 is quite sensible in that area. Well before 10 years, I changed the LDS and all spheres when the car was 6-7 years old. You can find advise at this side on both questions, mostly advising even shorter lifespan.


Citroën does not call for an LDS change during the cars lifespan at all. (The LHS was hygroscopic, just like most brake fluids, but LDS is not, i.e. like motor oil) Nonetheless, changing it shouldn't harm, but isn't necessary either.

As for the spheres, on both my C6'es, one 2008 2.7 the other 2009 3.0 HDI, they are still the original ones and in perfect shape, after 146K and 115K miles

The new gray spheres in the C6 are indeed hermetically sealed and don't normally lose pressure, unless the membrane got damaged by the built-in knife, which occurs when they get overloaded, i.e. driving through big potholes with a vengeance or hitting obstacles like curb stones at higher speeds. In both cases your rims (and tires) will be damaged as well.

In all other cases of sub-standard suspension performance, check ride height (my advice: do it every time with regular maintenance or once a year), check alignment and tire pressure (the latter once a month!!) - and don't suggest that would be more important in Germany because of the higher speeds.

Regards, Robert.
Website
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 FraserG (11 February 2019)
MikkelCPH   
Mon Feb 11 2019, 09:29pm
Joined: Feb 24 2016
Member No: #2532
Location: Copenhagen
Thanks to all of you for the (various!) recommendations. Now, I wonder if I should do anything at all. I may be dreaming of the soft suspension in my DS23 but the C6 is different. However, I think that the rear suspension has hardened slightly and therefore I am likely at least to have it pressure tested.
I'll revert later this year with an update.
Tjensen   
Wed Feb 13 2019, 01:20am
Joined: Jul 17 2012
Member No: #954
Location: Bergen
Many C6 owners, including myself, "think and feel" improvements after changing spheres, but most garages agree with arconell3.
arconell3   
Wed Feb 13 2019, 12:13pm
Joined: Jun 28 2012
Member No: #922
Location: Kalkar
In most cases when the suspension doesn’t feel right anymore, and probably because of experiences with earlier hydropneumatic models, many C6 drivers immediately suspect the spheres. However, the suspension setup and construction on the C6 is completely different from the older models.
As mentioned before, the C6 as well as the latest C5 models use a new type of sphere with an N2-impermeable membrane. (Citroën has stated that the spheres will not loose any nitrogen after 10 years of storage).

However, it is not just the spheres that make the suspension function properly, the setup of the hydractive 3+ with AMVAR (variable damping) and adaptive ride height is fairly complicated with quite a few sensors, actuators and 2 advanced electronic controllers, ideally working in perfect harmony with the other 24 electronic controllers on board your C6. Check the technical document section for all the intricacies of the system.

Like any complex electronically controlled system, it only works well when the input data, provided by a whole range of sensors, are correct. Which in our C6 means that these sensors need to be properly calibrated. Most importantly, the 4 ride height sensors. Every now and then these sensors need to be recalibrated, in order to keep them providing accurate information to the controllers.

Because if the information becomes inaccurate the suspension characteristics change, the car becomes either stiffer or wobblier, can start rolling in corners and what have you.
The same thing happens as a result of the alignment being off, because that also influences the position of the wishbones while driving and thus the signal from the ride height sensor.

Therefore: always check ride height and alignment first when you suspect suspension problems.
Ride height must, according to the handbook, always be checked after tire pressure is checked first! Tire pressure also plays an important role in the suspension setup and drive comfort.

By the way, of course this checks are also done after new spheres were mounted, so ask yourself if doing these checks before putting in new spheres wouldn’t have given the same result?

Regards, Robert
Website
5 User said Thank You to arconell3 for this Post :
 Tjensen (13 February 2019) , eke (13 February 2019) , cruiserphil (13 February 2019) , 321dave (13 February 2019) , MikkelCPH (13 February 2019)
AndreSMCXXMC6   
Thu Feb 21 2019, 01:40pm
Joined: Sep 09 2011
Member No: #615
Location: Groesbeek
The life span of the rubber bushing in the suspension arms is much shorter then the LDS and spheres.
arconell3   
Thu Feb 21 2019, 04:43pm
Joined: Jun 28 2012
Member No: #922
Location: Kalkar
AndreSMCXXMC6 wrote ...

The life span of the rubber bushing in the suspension arms is much shorter then the LDS and spheres.

Now that is above all a matter of driving style ... or maybe lack thereof!

You see, in our 1st C6, which I always drive, the bushes or suspension arms are still the original ones after 245000 kms, in our 2nd C6, always driven by my girlfriend, these bushes were worn out after 100.000 kms.

But don't jump to conclusions, the 2nd one was bought with 99.000 on the clock, so it is really not her fault

Regards, Robert
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