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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 3 years ago
    OUR DRIVES / Owning is an adventure – fixing them a journey / #2006 / #Citroen-C6-2.7-HDI-Exclusive / #Citroen-C6 / #Citroen /

    A NEW LEASE OF LIFE

    Gearbox and throttle response has been improved drastically since the remap – it feels sprightly and fun to drive now.

    Owning is an adventure – fixing them a journey Editor Keith Adams puts his money where his mouth is, and finally gets round to remapping his C6. And, boy, is he happy.

    2006 CITROËN C6 2.7 HDI EXCLUSIVE
    DATE ACQUIRED May 2015
    MILEAGE 117,300
    AVERAGE FUEL CONSUMPTION 39.3mpg
    OTHER MODERN CLASSICS Delta Integrale, Audi 90
    COSTS SINCE LAST ISSUE £360 – engine remap

    So far, so good. That's the best way of describing the past 11 months of ownership with my Citroën C6. My naysaying friends continue to call me brave, mad or stupid for running this magnificent French saloon – expecting it to be a reliability car crash.

    The reality has been different, of course. I've done 12,000 miles since I picked it up, and in that time, I've been impressed by its fundamental reliability and build quality. When it started bleating at me that its (amusingly named) 'FAP additive' needed replacing, I did start to worry.

    After posting something about 'bloody DPFs' on social media, my old banger rallying sparring partner Les Hedaux got in touch, telling me about his son Dan's business, which as well as servicing, restoring and overhauling classics old and modern has expanded into DPF solutions, and – magic word – engine remapping. Given I've been looking to unlock the potential of the C6's excellent twin-turbo V6, I agreed to take my car over to Dan for a session with his tuning equipment.

    Interestingly, the day before I was due to go and see him, I had a moment in the C6. When pulling on to the A1, I Put my foot down... and nothing happened. My initial thoughts after breathing a sigh of relief for avoiding being wiped out by 38-tonne DAF bearing down on me were that the car had switched to limp-home mode. The engine management light had been on for a while since the FAP warning first appeared, and it was an obvious conclusion to come to.

    When I rolled up to Dan's place near Spalding in Lincolnshire the following morning after a relaxing – slow – drive, I reported my findings, and asked what I could expect to gain from his remap. Before getting down to the business of remapping, Dan plugged in his diagnostic computer to see exactly what errors needed clearing. As expected, it required FAP additive (the magic juice that keeps the diesel particulate filter happy), and the DPF was getting blocked and the turbo actuator was kicking out a fault. Now here was it reporting that it was in limp-home mode.

    Dan put the car on the ramps, and had a look underneath – and much to my relief, an actuator rod had come of the turbo, meaning one of the pair wasn't spooling up. A new circlip was fitted, and al lwas good again. Replacing FAP additive cleared that fault (pricey but worth it for 30,000 miles-worth of fluid), and it was then down to the remap, which would also clear the emissions light showing on the dashboard.

    Dan uses Top-Gear Tuning engine maps, and the Bridport based company claims that a performance remap results in improved engine response and cleaner power delivery. I've long been an advocate of gentle remapping, having seen some excellent results on a number of my cars over the years.

    As it was, the remap for the C6 wasn't that straightforward. Dan couldn't upload a new engine map via the car's OBD port (the easiest and most conventional way of doing things), and instead worked with Top-Gear's roving engineer, Tony Drake, to talk to it using the ECU's interface port.

    Except the C6 doesn't have one built in, and it required soldering on a new one. Once that was done, it was a case of uploading the new map, resetting all the ECU errors, and giving the car a road test. After kicking my heels in Dan's workshop for a couple of hours while all of this work was done, it was lovely to run it out of the workshop and see how it all stacked up.

    / #Top-Gear-Tuning claims the power output jumps from 201bhp to 240bhp, with a rise in torque from 325lb ft to 372lb ft. Without the benefit of a rolling road, I'm yet to verify these figures but even on that very first drive out of the workshop, I could tell that the car was massively more responsive, with the power more easily accessed. I no longer have to mash the throttle to get moving with any sense of urgency, and the engine feels cleaner-revving and happier in the mid ranges. And yes, my finely-tuned bum dynamo says it's quicker.

    But what's even more impressive has unfolded in the 1500 miles since the remap. On the first long drive, the computer reported 40.4mpg. Given I'd struggled to beat 36mpg before, that's what I call good news. Since then, the average reported mpg has improved to 38mpg, but that's still way better than the 33.7mpg it was returning before.

    OK, this isn't the be-all and end-all, but you know what – it's a lovely side-benefit of a modification that's just made the C6wonderful to drive again, and reignite my love for it...

    Thanks to: Hedaux Motor / Company Limited (facebook.com/hedauxmotorcompany); 01775 422005, andTop-Gear
    Tuning (topgear-tuning.co.uk).

    Gearbox and throttle response has been improved drastically since the remap – it feels sprightly and fun to drive now.

    Dan Hedaux sets about clearing the faults from the C6's ECU. As well as the emissions problem, there was a turbo boost issue, which required investigation. With the C6's ECU removed from the car, the only way to get Dan's #Top-Gear-Tuning-ECU map installed was to solder an interface port onto the printed circuit board.

    Twin-turbo #V6 is shared with the Jaguar XF. It's an absolute gem to drive behind, although in factory form it lacks punch – not helped by the C6's ample kerb weight.

    It was only when Dan looked underneath that he sussed out what the lack of boost was down to. A turbo actuator rod had dropped of – two seconds to reattach!
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  •   Ben Barry reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Keith Adams updated the cover photo of the group
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