Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel. The main problems of the 1.2 PureTech engine

Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel. The main problems of the 1.2 PureTech engine

The three-cylinder 1.2 PureTech engine, found in countless Peugeot, Citron, DS, and Opel vehicles, suffers from serious reliability issues. Failure of the timing belt, the high-pressure pump, or the engine, auto-ignition, and excessive oil consumption… Tracednews compiled the list.

Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Opel. The main problems of the 1.2 PureTech engine

Despite its undeniable commercial success, the 1.2 PureTech engine, EB2, is in extremely poor health.

The 1.2 PureTech is a commercial success, aided by the decline in diesel popularity. Especially in its turbocharged versions (110 and 130 hp), which combine excellent performance with a comparatively moderate appetite. This three-cylinder (code EB2) has been widely used within the PSA group (Citron, DS, Opel, and Peugeot) since its introduction in 2013.

However, its dependability is not flawless. The argus analyzed internal technical notes sent to dealerships to compile a list of significant design flaws. We also provide relevant technical solutions and product lines. Not to mention the potential coverage, which varies from customer to customer based on several aspects (age and mileage of the vehicle, compliance with maintenance intervals, etc.).

The timing belt, which is lubricated by the engine oil, has been one of the primary weak points of the 1.2 PureTech since its introduction.

timing belt 1.2 puretech problems
Lubricated by the engine oil, the timing belt has been one of the main weak links of the 1.2 PureTech since its launch.

What is the issue?

The problem causes client dissatisfaction owing to the expense of repairs. Because the timing belt is submerged in the crankcase, it tends to deteriorate early. A condition that is especially prevalent in low-mileage automobiles. In question, is the phenomenon of oil dilution: fuel droplets that run along the cylinder walls in the lower crankcase contaminate this lubricant. It subsequently becomes more abrasive, which accelerates belt wear and increases the chance of engine failure.

Additional collateral damage is conceivable. Belt residues might jam the vacuum pump of the brake booster system if they fall into it. Consequences? A more difficult brake pedal and greater stopping distance. Alternatively, the oil pump strainer and the filters of the variable timing solenoid valves can become blocked, resulting in the engine oil pressure warning light being illuminated.

What technological options exist?

PSA 1.2 Puretech oil pump problem
The oil pump strainer can also become clogged with belt debris, requiring cleaning or replacement.

PSA 1.2 Puretech oil pump problem

Belt debris can potentially clog the oil pump strainer, necessitating cleaning or replacement.

In January 2021, a massive reminder was issued for 220,000 automobiles manufactured between 2013 and 2017. Contrary to what some owners assume, it was solely designed to address issues with the braking assist and not the distribution. A technical comment dated July 2022 shows that vacuum pump blockage is still a possibility for units manufactured after 2017.

In the event of a loss of braking power or the activation of the engine oil pressure warning light, workshops are required to conduct some inspections. They inspected the vacuum pump oil filter, the oil pump strainer, the filters of the two variable timing solenoid valves, and the camshaft bearings of the number four camshaft.

Depending on the outcome of this inspection, cleaning the strainer of the oil pump and the filters of the variable timing solenoid valves may be adequate. Occasionally, however, it will be essential to replace the vacuum pump, oil pump and solenoid valve, lower oil sump, and even the timing belt. Even the entire engine in rare instances.

Workshops now examine the width of the belt at every service and advise a yearly inspection for tiny riders (reinforced maintenance).

timing belt control 1.2 Puretech
The workshops now check the width of the belt during each maintenance and recommend an annual review for small riders (reinforced maintenance).

Additionally, the belt replacement interval has been altered. It went from 10 years or 175,000 kilometers to 6 years or 100,000 kilometers as a result of a belt width inspection that must now be performed at each scheduled service by the workshops. Those who travel less than 15,000 kilometers per year and less than 10 kilometers per day are also advised to perform yearly oil changes and perform additional maintenance.

Which automobiles are impacted?

Since 2013, the design of the belt has been altered multiple times. The most recent development occurred in June 2022. Theoretically, vehicles issued since this summer should be safe, but it has to be seen if the adjustments made yield fruit. Due to its timing chain, the third version of this EB engine will avoid this issue. However, it is not yet available and will be reserved for light hybridization models fitted with the new double-clutch transmission designed by Punch Powertrain.

Timing belt for the Engine 1.2 PureTech PSA

Since the introduction of the 1.2 PureTech, the timing belt design has undergone several modifications. The last alteration made at the plant occurred in June of 2022.

1.2 Puretech 3rd generation engine

The belt is replaced by a chain on the 1.2 PureTech’s third version. However, beginning in 2023, it will be designated for light hybridization vehicles.

What assistance?

In the event of premature belt deterioration, after the warranty period has elapsed, parts and labor are fully covered if the vehicle is less than six years old OR has less than one hundred thousand kilometers on the odometer. Attention, to avoid rejection, the maintenance plan must have been strictly adhered to. The after-sales service will not accept even the smallest delay.

Self-ignition before sparks (rumble)

What is the issue?

You may experience jerks or jerks while driving, and the engine diagnostic warning light may illuminate. Rumble is the outcome of self-ignition phenomena that occurs before the spark of the spark plug. This issue is a result of a clogged cylinder head.

What technological options exist?

Numerous checks, such as cylinder compression, the presence of oil in the air intake, and intake valve fouling, must be performed in the workshops. Depending on the findings, they may then replace the engine oil, oil separator, air/air heat exchanger, fuel tank, injectors, or canister absorber. Cleaning of the cylinder head intake ducts is also scheduled, and in the most severe cases, a replacement engine is necessary.

PSA 1.2 Puretech intake duct cleaning
To resolve the jolts caused by a self-ignition phenomenon, manufacturers notably clean the cylinder head intake ducts by injecting micro-beads.

PSA 1.2 Puretech intake vent sanitization

To eliminate the jolts induced by a self-ignition phenomenon, manufacturers insert micro-beads into the cylinder head intake ducts.

Which automobiles are impacted?

Due to the absence of a definitive solution to the problem at the facility, potentially all of those that have been produced.

What assistance?

Partial coverage is available for up to 5 years or 150,000 kilometers. Attention, it will be denied if the maintenance interval has been surpassed by more than 3,000 kilometers or three months. Identical topo if the recommended oil quality is not met. The workshops are also required to examine the injectors’ compliance and the ethanol level in the tank. Therefore, the use of E85 could be used at your expense.

Oil overconsumption

What is the issue?

Due to improper segmentation, the owner complains about needing to often add oil. This issue coexists with oil vapor separator issues, which might cause the engine oil level warning light to illuminate fewer than 6,000 kilometers after a maximum level adjustment.

What technological options exist?

In every situation, a check for leaks is performed, followed by an oil fill. The customer must then drive to determine usage. If the issue stems from segmentation, changing the profiled engine is a straightforward solution. Alternatively, if the oil vapor separator is at fault, its replacement should be sufficient.

PSA 1.2 Puretech oil separator problem
It is necessary to check the pressure relief valve or the non-return valve (3) of the oil vapor separator (1) before any complete replacement of this part.

PSA 1.2 Oil separator problem with Puretech

Before replacing the oil vapor separator (1) in its entirety, it is required to inspect the pressure relief valve or the non-return valve (3).

Which automobiles are impacted?

Until a solution is found for the segmentation problem in the factory, all products may be affected. In November 2021, the oil vapor separator was altered.

What assistance?

If this excessive oil consumption is verified and proper maintenance has been performed, coverage for parts and labor costs is available for up to 100,000 kilometers and five years. Up to 8 years and 150,000 kilometers, partial coverage, limited to portions, is then available.

Check the Engine ECU for gasoline and diesel engines with high fuel consumption

What is the issue?

The diagnostics indication is illuminated.

What technological options exist?

If error codes P1337, P1338, or P1339 are present, it is necessary to reprogram the engine control computer.

Which automobiles are impacted?

All Euro 6.3 (Euro 6.D) models until 1/3/2021. After this date, the software undergoes an evolution.

What assistance?

Manufacturers provide unlimited mileage coverage for up to five years or 100,000 miles.

Issues without planned support

Power deficit

This issue, which is occasionally accompanied by the illumination of the diagnostic warning light, is typically caused by a defective high-pressure fuel pump. In the workshop, technicians are required to read the error codes. Then, they will occasionally need to inspect the low-pressure fuel supply circuit or the high-pressure pump’s source before replacing the latter, if necessary.

The total labor time for the intervention is between 40 and 50 minutes. The component was updated at the factory in May 2015 and again in July 2021 in an attempt to solve the condition based on the engine version.

Diagnostic lamp on

PSA 1.2 Puretech cylinder head porosity problem
The presence in the spark plug well of engine coolant (a) or growth (b) indicates a porous cylinder head.

PSA 1.2 Puretech problem with cylinder head porosity

The presence of engine coolant (a) or growth (b) in the spark plug well suggests a porous cylinder head.

Not only the high-pressure pump is responsible for this warning light. Depending on the manufacturing range and error codes found by the diagnostic case, the following four issues must be reported:

Until June 2015: oil pump solenoid valve. It requires around 1 hour and 20 minutes of labor to replace.
Until August 2017: engine speed sensor. It takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to replace.
Across the whole manufacturing spectrum, cylinder head porosity.

After examining the fault codes, the workshops must examine the engine number, as well as the presence of engine coolant or growth coming from the porosity of the cylinder head in the spark plug well. If these exams lead to a replacement of the cylinder head, you must regretfully expect a very high bill. According to the official scale, this labor-intensive and sensitive task demands roughly seven hours of effort.