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Immobilizer won't start the car

first of all the title might be misleading because we have no idea what the real problem is. But we tried a lot in the last months and it all comes down to the BSI, Immobilizer and so on.

So for the last 9 months we had a couple of problems with our car.
A Citroen Berlingo (Obviously Smile) octobre 2002 Diesel HDI with the 2l engine.

It all started late fall last year, when sometimes we weren't able to start the car. We helped ourselves with a little bit of brake cleaner and since it didn't happen on a daily basis we didn't really care about it that much. I even drove up to sweden with the car. Without any major problems.

But in the winter it all started.
First we had to use the brake cleaner everytime that we had lower temperatures (round about everything under 0-5°C). After the motor was running for 1-2min we could restart it without bigger problems.
We drove to Opel Dello who is supposed to repair Citroen here aswell. The suspected it to be oxygen in the fuel lines. So they installed a transparent fuel line to see the bubbles. But nothing to see.
They tried to recode(I'm sorry I couldn't find a more suitable word) the transponders but it didn't work also the spare key has the same problems as the major one.
I think they inspected the pressure and admission on the injectors aswell. But again nothing special.
So they gave us the car back with the same problem. Sad

Then we drove to a friend of ours who is a mechanic with his own garage. But he couldn't find anything too. At that place we changed the housing of the fuel filter and two smaller fuel lines because my father and the mechanic thought that that might be broken. Again didn't fix it.

And now it all started to get even worse because usually it was enough when he didn't want to start to use the brake cleaner once. But now my mother drove 20min, turned the engine off for like 2min and had to use brake cleaner again to start it. I think that was in march.
My father tried to disconnect one sensor at a time to see if it was a malfunction of a sensor to see if the engine would go into emergeny mode. But nothing changed.
Up to this day it only happend when on temperatures lower 0-5°C but now it already started at ~15°C.
For the whole june and july we have to use the brake cleaner everytime we want to start the engine and even now with temperatures at around 30°C we have to use it.

About 2 weeks ago we went to our local Bosch garage, which has quite a good recomendation here. My father explained to the mechanic the problem and he said that it might be a seal somewhere that once its warm expands and seals any leaks that might have been there. Which actually sounds like a good explanation.
So the car went to him and we were a little bit scared to hear whats going on and to see the bill.
After just 2 days he called us and said that the diagnostic device only showed him a mistake with the immobilizer which he can't fix and we have to contact Citroen. Good thing it only cost us like 40€.

The error code was 1517 Wegfahrsperre Funktionsstörung (Immobilizer failure).
And thats why we think it has to do something with the immobilizer.

My father was searching the web for any information about any similiar problems. He found some but the solutions were ranging from easy things like fuses up to a change of the BSI. Right now he dismounted quite a lot in the car to see if he can find any circuit board with a cold soldering point or oxidation or what so ever.
The coil of the immobilizer is still working when we don't pull of the key after we stopped the engine it will start the "keyforgottennoise" and also it won't let us start the engine when we remove the transponder from the key.

So the questions for us right now are:
Where is the immobilizer ? Is it on the BSI or is it separate ?
If its a single part, can you easily replace it ?
Is there somebody who expected similiar problems before ?
Any other tipps ? Smile

I'm quite happy that I found a forum here where people actually do more with their cars than just changing tires and leave the rest to the mechanics.
Any help is appreciated and I'll try my best to give the best detailed information about the car and the malfunctions it causes.
Kind regards
If it was the immobiliser, it wouldn't start using brake cleaner.

I'd stop using bake cleaner, it's the same as easystart, it'll ruin your engine, if it already hasn't.

Have you checked for fuel on the top of the engine block? It could be as simple as an injector seal.
Somedays you're the pigeon, Somedays you're the statue.
Anyone else think the initial problem was down to the glow plug circuit?
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Glow plugs?
Oh yeah I forgot to mention we changend the glow plugs. After the problem started. My father measured that one of the glow plugs had a much higher resistance than the others, but again it didn't solve the problem.

The engine block is clean. Well, lets say its dry. And after cleaning it up it justs becomes dirty but not oily.

I'll ask my father if they checked the glowplug circuits.
The hdi doesn't use glowplugs in warm weather so that rules that one out.

Only when temp is zero or below is the glowplug circuit energised.
Somedays you're the pigeon, Somedays you're the statue.
So a quick update what we have done in the last days.

We handed the BSI to the company BBA-Remain in Hamburg. I think they are having a branche in the UK, France and other countries aswell. And they replaced one chip on the BSI which the suspected to cause the problem. (I was a little bit afraid of the bill but it only cost us 50Euros)

But again it didn't start the car.

So right now they are waiting for a testing device for the motormanagement unit. (I'm afraid I forgot the correct name of it) If they can't get it there is another company in saxony who might check the motormanagment unit. But since we would have to send it there we would prefer BBA-Remain to do it since its a lot easier when the company is just 3km away.

We also hooked the car up with another battery again. We have done so previously but "Life is like a box of chocolate..."and so on.
Again that wasn't the problem.

Also we are currently looking for these devices.
We somehow hope that we can read out another error report or disable whatever might cause the problem.
Did any of you ever work with these devices before ? We are not 100% sure which one we should get and if its worth it.
So for a long time nothing happend and we just took the car to the garage. But summer is coming and the garage is needed badly.
So we will give it another try.

We bought a diagnosis kit last year but because there was other stuff to do nobody had the time to use it.
Long story short we hooked it up at it delivered us an error for the camshaft sensor and the airflow sensor.

First thing that we want to try is the camshaft sensor since it only costs about 30€ and the airflow sensor around 100-150€.

Has someone ever had a problem with the camshaft sensor before? My father read that in some cars it is only used during the start of the cars and afterwards its not needed anymore. Is that correct? If so that would fit our problem perfectly since we can still start the car via brake cleaner and it will keep running until you turn it off.

How can I tell if the sensor is broken? It's a simple hallsensor but why does it have three connections? Does it need a voltage to work?

What would be the correct position for this sensor? The hole for the screws is big enough to adjust it by about 6-7mm. I read something that you have to align it every now and then because of the heat degration of the plastic and the solution there was to place a washer under it. Which we tried but didn't succed.

I would love to get the car back running. Festival season is coming and it has so much space! Wink

Looking forward to answers.

Kind regards
First thing I would do is to clear the codes off the ecu and then try to start the car again and see if the codes reappear.

You don't mention if you eml is on or not

Most 3 wire sensors have a 5 volt in, a negative and a output wire which has a variable voltage coming from it.

If you do a google search on the brand of the sensor you should find how to test it.

How does (did) the car drive once you started it?

I would also start at the beginning again if I were you,

Go over the air intake with a fine tooth comb checking that air is easyily entering the chambers including the turbo.

Samw with the fuel, do a leak off test to check fuel is getting to the injectors and to see if they are all working.
Have you pulled the injectors and had them checked/

Don't forget to do a compression test.#

this does sound like a fuel issue tbh if you can start it with brake cleaner, if air gets into the fuel line then using brake cleaner to start the car can draw out the air in the line allowing the car to run normally.

have you checked the hand grenade primer for pinhole leaks? usual place to get air in.
A failing airflow sensor shouldn't stop the engine from starting.
At most it should fail to 'limp home mode'.
Sometimes a sensor can be damaged without the ECU registering it. Then it's possible to disconnect it and see if the engine runs better without the sensor...
(The ECU have 'substitution tables' it can use to estimate missing input of some sensors, based on values of other sensors. )

The camshaft sensor, though, tells the ECU where in the cycle the engine is, and is crucial for getting timing correct. If it fails, the ECU has no way of knowing when to activate the injectors.

Clear the error codes and see if they return.

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