1.2 PureTech Engine Problems Reliability Specs Review Oil

PSA 1.2 PureTech Engine Review Specs, Oil And Failure

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By Scott Matthew

The 1.2 PureTech engine used in Peugeot and Citroen cars was named “Engine of the Year 2016” for engines with a displacement of 1.0 to 1.4 liters. As I know this engine quite well, I decided to present my comments about it. I focused only on the version with a turbocharger, because such a version was awarded in this poll.

1.2 PureTech Engine Problems Reliability Specs Review Oil

The supercharged 1.2 PureTech engine is available in two power options – 110 and 130 hp. It is used in French Peugeot, Citroen and DS cars belonging to the B and C segment, such as Peugeot 208, 308, Citroen C4, C4 Cactus or DS3, DS4. Despite its small capacity, it offers high torque, thanks to which it can cope with even heavier cars.

1.2 PureTech Review

For many years, the range of gasoline engines of the PSA concern consisted of several well-developed naturally aspirated structures driving Peugeot and Citroen cars. In the era of downsizing, the French were not indifferent to market trends. In 2014, they showed the world a competitive engine.

Huge investments in research and development confirm the commitment and approach of engineers to the new unit. Importantly, after years of presence on the market, it still collects good opinions among users and mechanics. Can you rely on it?

In 2014, the family of small-engine EB engines made their debut, went to B and C segment cars, later to crossovers and SUVs. At a cost of nearly EUR 900 million, a three-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1.2 was developed, benefiting from 120 PSA patents.

Due to the refined design, the engine easily meets the stringent Euro 6 exhaust emission standard. Interestingly, from 2019, 1.2 PureTech is also being built at the Opel plant in Tychy – now PSA is the owner of the German brand .

The development of a new engine was necessary. VAG started using the 1.4 TSI in Skoda, Seat, Volkswagen and Audi a few years earlier. Fiat made 1.4 T-Jet, Ford 1.0 EcoBoost and Renault 1.2 TCe. The market reacted enthusiastically to small, downsizing engines. At that time, the French only had 1.6 THP on offer. The bike, designed with BMW, suffered from many childhood diseases. For this expensive. The answer was very good.

The manufacturer provided two versions of the mentioned engine. The base – naturally aspirated EB2 is the primary source of driving force for Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3, among others. Depending on the model and market, it has a power of 75-82 HP. In its case, engineers used multi-point fuel injection and a twelve-valve cylinder head.

The presence of a less complicated injection allows trouble-free installation of the gas installation – thus achieving considerable savings in everyday use. The naturally aspirated variant will work only in typical large-city operation. Outside the city, it clearly lacks power and torque, especially when overtaking. In return, it is content with small doses of fuel – less than 5 liters per 100 km.

1.2 PureTech Specs

I tested the 1.2 PureTech engine several times in various car models belonging to the PSA group. Although I am not convinced by the downsizing concept of replacing large, naturally aspirated combustion engines with smaller, turbo-charged counterparts, I liked the 1.2 PureTech engine.

But understand me correctly – this engine is a great alternative to naturally aspirated engines with a capacity of 1.4 l-1.8 l, which in 90% do not offer either meaningful performance or positive impressions behind the wheel, and at the same time will consume the same or more the amount of fuel.

However, replacing 6-cylinder engines with a capacity of 2.5 liters or 3.0 liters with three or four-cylinder shells is a mistake in my opinion. Especially in the long run. The manufacturers probably finally noticed it too and are starting to design engines in spirit rightsizing.

Returning to the 1.2 PureTech engine, it is worth emphasizing two of its characteristic features – great flexibility and pure sound. This engine is eagerly put to work from 2000 rpm, and the more revolutions it reaches, the vigor increases. Contrary to many turbocharged engines, this engine is very easily “tightened” under the red field of the tachometer.

Engine work is accompanied by a great sound, which has something of a V8 from the new Mustang (I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it really is). The engine is also quite economical. In the 110-horsepower Peugeot 308, he used 7.7 to 8.5 liters of fuel per 100 km in the city, depending on how much I pressed the gas pedal to the floor. On the route, it easily went down to 5.3 l / 100 km.

So if you are considering a new car with a small, naturally aspirated motor, pay attention to this engine. It has vigor and performance that you will not get from any 1.4 or 1.6, and at the same time consumes little fuel. However, if you are looking for a strong engine for years, choose something bigger and proven. It is difficult at this point to determine the service life of this structure and its future operating costs. Still, I have a good feeling about this engine.

1.2 PureTech Problems & Reliability

The 1.2 PureTech turbocharged version – EB2DT and EB2DTS can boast much better flexibility in everyday use. It has the power of 110 and 130 HP respectively. It turns out to be sufficient for smooth movement also with a full set of passengers on board. To the surprise of many drivers, the small engine can also easily handle the heavy compact SUV – 3008, 5008 C4 Cactus, as well as the Opel Grandland.

The manufacturer applied a number of changes to the base variety. In order to increase the efficiency of combustion of the fuel mixture, indirect injection has been replaced by direct injection with a working pressure of 200 bar – the user must pay particular attention to the quality of the fuel being filled. More power and torque are achieved by a turbocharger with variable blade geometry.

Contrary to many competing designs, the creators of the 1.2 PureTech engine focused on cheap to manufacture and replace the timing drive with a belt – working in an oil bath. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, it is replaced every 180,000 kilometers. Specialists suggest reducing the interval to 100,000-120,000 kilometers. The cost of the entire operation is about $184.

The period between engine oil changes is set at 20,000 kilometers. For the sake of turbocharger working conditions, it is worth reducing the distance between oil changes by half, especially when the car is used mainly in the city. The regeneration of the turbocharger itself involves an expense of $397-$475, depending on the scale of damage to the factory element.

The low durability of the accessory belt turns out to be a 1.2 PureTech problems. Mechanics recommend its preventive replacement every 30,000-40,000 kilometers (cost about $80) and spark plugs – in practice, they give up even after 40,000-50,000 kilometers. Their malfunction is manifested by a pronounced decrease in power, greater fuel consumption and the appearance of numerous errors in the control unit.

The problem is solved by replacing the set of spark plugs – the operation will not exceed $53. It was only at the beginning of the production period that there were difficulties with the crankshaft. Backlash appeared due to the low quality of elements supplied by sub-suppliers. The manufacturer replaced the defective parts under the warranty for those free from defects.


1.2 PureTech was late on the market, but it turned out to be a good proposition. It drives most models of the PSA group, as well as Opel. Soon it will also appear in the new Astra and Corsa. The initial problems with the crankshaft were eliminated. Users of cars with mileage of 120,000-150,000 kilometers do not complain of more serious faults.

Importantly, the lack of defective technical solutions and the huge popularity on the market translates into relatively low running costs. The dynamics of the supercharged variants of the 3-cylinder engine are also satisfactory, as well as the acceptable fuel consumption.

14 thoughts on “PSA 1.2 PureTech Engine Review Specs, Oil And Failure”

  1. Small engine with hi-pressure turbo is not good solution. They have a problems about 30 000km already. Fuel consumption is not what is allowed on paper. In the city 10 liters per 100km. The durability of the engine is questionable. I recommend to buy a 2 liter non-turbo engine rather than a 1.2L turbo (3 syl )

    • I somewhat agree with you. Small turbo engines can be efficient and can last a long time, depending on how you drive them. If you floor it all the time, it will not be efficient, but if you drive it at max 20% gas pedal and accelerate slowly, it will be more efficient than similarly powered naturally aspirated engine. So it mostly depends on how you like to drive to be aware of this. As for durability, turbo petrol still have smaller cylinder pressure than diesel engine, so your argument that pressure makes these engines fail early is invalid. These engines do need to be taken care in factory specified periods and if there are not serviced on time they will fail earlier. That would be my 2 cents…

  2. Hi Jasmine
    What are the diiferences between 1.2 puretech 100hp EB2ADTD and 130hp EB2DTS. Regardlng with hardware, sparkplugs? Turbo? injection?

  3. After 3 years, I have to say that is a very reliable engine with 77.000 km. Very adjusted fuel consumption that is around 5.6 in highway. It has been cheap to maintain, also I take care of it as much as I can. Do not change the oil further than 15k because of the turbo and engine compression. It is quite important to warm up the engine and cool down the turbo every time you drive it (30secs or so at least). Affordable commuter if you are on a budget, no complaints about it.

  4. Hi Jack.
    You comment disregards local needs and regulations. There are a number of European countries were car taxes are calculated in relation to the engine capacity (cc). Which means a 2 litre engine can make the car MUCH more expensive than the same car with a smaller engine. Also, in most cases, there are no “2 litre non-turbo engines” to choose from!

  5. My 130bhp Puretech 1.2l has done 33,000 miles. Very recently it had a recall to check the timing belt which was found to be OK. I avoid using the stop start function much as my own feeling is this may stress the timing belt which seems to the achilles heel of this engine according to reports. Otherwise this engine has a great sound, on an incline drag race in sport mode seems to keep up with much more exotic cars and is pure fun to drive. I have had Peugeots since the 1960s in Africa and the Puretech SW is the best yet..though perhaps not on some African roads where the old 403 etc excelled. The longer wheelbase of the SW version makes for a better ride than the hatchback I would suggest. The one draw back of the 2014 model I use is the lack of cabin space and headroom for larger passengers. Will using Xado additives damage the wet timing belt?

  6. Hello Jasmin, it should also be noted that by now there is a well known and defined defect with the (in)famous timing belt of first-gen engines. Apparently, the material in the 1st iteration of the belt (till 2018, if I’m not mistaken) tend to disintegrate while working, leaving lots of small rubber particles to flow in the motor oil, and thus causing a host of issues:
    1: Blocking the oil-pump filter to the extent of oil starvation to the whole engine.
    2. Clogging the vacuum-boost line of the vacuum pump, rendering the car brakes much harder to operate with sudden loss of boost.
    3. Clogging the VVT operation valve, resulting in a “check engine” light and a VVT-related fault code.

    In Israel, where I live, there is already quite a massive “silent recall” going on, and lately the PSA importer here sent letters to all clients with turbo and non-turbo 1.2 engines (C4, 308, Cactus, 208 etc’) to come and check their timing belts, and replace them free of charge in case the disintegration is starting to show. Quite a few-hours worth of project, as a lot of flushing/cleaning is involved.

    Apparently, there is already a new material belt that replaces the original one, and the problem is solved by installing it. All newer engines have the new belt installed originally.
    What PSA also did was reduce the belt change interval from 10 to 6 years, or from 165,000 km to 100,000 km.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Hi Jasmine and others. I am considering a young C5 aircross or, somewhat hesitantly, 3008/5008 to move my family of 5 around. It’s very flat and 100km/h here in Holland and frankly there are 1-3 people onboard most of the time. But I am unsure about those few weeks in the south of France annually, where this engine will have to cope with literally 2 tons.
    Any experience? Thanks in advance

  8. Reeds een paar jaar ervaring met deze motor in de opels en ook in mijn omgeving mensen die een peugeot rijden en deze motor is een voorbeeld van hoe het niet moet,dit is een zieke motor waar men bij psa de moeite niet doet om dingen te herzien wat in het verleden nog al is gebleken.Al veel riemen moeten vervangen vanaf 2jaar oud en 40000 a 50000 km ,moet je aan de klant eens wijsmaken ! Lamdasondes defect, accessoir riemen die veel te snel versleten zijn ,olieverbruik en dan bedoel ik overmatig na ong 100000km elke 1000km 2liter van de juiste olie moeten bijkappen! Pure tech,pure rommel .

  9. had my timing belt replaced by Peugeot on my 2017 3008 gt line 1.2 petrol 130 bhp after it failed at 28000 miles in February 2022 driving great now.


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