Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Tell us your ongoing tales and experiences with your French car here. Post pictures of your car here as well.

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van ordinaire
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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 30 Nov 2018, 11:38

So it seems I might've got lucky - by chance! Thanks for your encouragement (please keep it up, I'll need it!) Thing is, while I've always had a leaning towards Citroen estates (don't know why, the DS Safari was hardly la thing of beauty) I now realise that what I always liked about Xantias was the rear end styling. Still, it is what it is & am happy enough to live with it for a while & see how I feel when we've been round the block a few times together.
It does have some cosmetic issues: scabby bumper inserts, corner scuffs, odd door mirrors (or has it just shed one cover?) - although I've yet to see it in daylight - but generally, the bodywork's OK, except the rear wheel arches! Original thinking was, at the price I'd hoped to get it for, if it only needed an exhaust centre section & a pair of tyres for forthcoming MoT, it'd be worth having those done. Now (I'm £100/120 down, the insurance being perhaps even more than I'd feared & maybe the MoT not being the given I'd thought) My thinking is, let's see how I feel next Autumn, if it's grown on me AND it's not needed loads spent on it (hopefully just routine servicing) - THEN I'll punt round for someone who'll do a decent job for sensible money.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Stickyfinger » 30 Nov 2018, 12:14

Post an image of the rusty rear arches, there are a number of reasons for them to go.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 01 Dec 2018, 02:25

Well, as it happens I do have photos but posting them is as much beyond me as making a decent fist of repairing the arches.

Well the previous owner's "hack" only been used for shopping & going to the tip for 4 years had a bit of shock on Wednesday evening when it was taken Sarf of the River (i.e. the Thames). As if that wasn't enough Friday evening found it in Marlborough, en route to meet a man about an o/e stereo + a few odds'n'sods for the C15 & by 11 o' clock it had safely arrived in Torbay. Thought the C15 deserved a rest AND I really wanted to see latest aquisition in daylight.
1st impressions? Bit like the curate's egg really but it aquitted itself well enough: confidence inspiring; driving a strange car on strange roads at night could've been quite waring. Falls somewhere between the Cadillac & C15, which means I've depressed the clutch pedal rather than the brake a couple of times - because I'm used to left foot braking in an auto, and the gear change isn't a patch on the C15, which impressed right from the off.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 03 Dec 2018, 00:38

SATURDAY

Dawned damp & miserable (but then it IS November, whoops not it isn't – but it just as well might be) but down here on t'English Riviera, at least it's not cold. Still it's not going to be a day for investigating an exhaust rattle or the front suspension set-up on a new car. :(

1st task of the day, a trip to the launderette (to which I'll return later*). Out to the Xantia, which actually didn't look too bad (remember, not seen it in daylight before!) but still, oddly unfamiliar. My gaze was immediately drawn to the headlight washers, so ugly, obtrusive & incongruous, but what really offends my sense of aesthetics is they are black, shouldn't they be colour coded? Anyway, with large laundry basket under one arm, go to open the tailgate; ye gods, the the effort required! Perhaps it doesn't have any struts? It's as though you have to support its (not inconsiderable) weight AND push it up. Oh yes, it has got struts (or seized hinges, perhaps) as requires almost as much effort to close as it, except the last foot or so, when it's in freefall & drops like a ton of bricks – with almost as much noise!

Putting that behind me, get in, turn key & try to identify the more important ancillary controls while waiting for the lightshow to end. Turn key & it sounds reluctant to start, but it had done that outside the vendor's when I went to drive away so, had an idea what to do, tune key back & on again -
& it started as though there had never been any doubt. Any ideas?

Off up the road, round the corner I, before joining main road, a fiddle with the height adjustment proves irresistible (well, it is a novelty for me). Drawing lever back to “intermediate” causes “brake” AND “STOP” dash lights to flicker, go off then come on, by which time the ride has become so hard/jiggly that car is well nigh undrivable, fortunately returning lever to “normal” extinguishes the warning lights & the ride returns to, well, normal. Dismay turns to disappointment, as a determining factor in this purchase was the (I thought) huge bill from Pleaides for replacement spheres, etc. Perhaps I ought to familiarise myself with the checking/topping-up LHM level procedure sooner than I might otherwise have. 8-[

Anyway, enough excitement for one morning, now the hill my son won't use (goes back to his 2CV struggling to climb it I think): not very long, but at it's narrowest point, between high banks, there's a 60° bend – so, time to test the horn: press the end of the light switch – silence! Damn, another MoT issue (shades of the red Cherokee last year) I'm thinking as I creep round with the same caution as I do in the Eldorado (as you can only use the horn in a straight line as the ridiculous horn push/airbag requires so much pressure, you have to hold the wheel still against it with the other hand).

Arrive at launderette, unload Xantia, load machine, set it in motion & go & sit in Xantia (1) it's gone 8 o' clock so not supposed to park in loading bay – although the street's virtually deserted! (2) put time to good use by reading handbook while sitting in car. Which is when I realised, it's for a different car! One thing I noticed was the horn symbol on the steering wheel boss; so there's hope yet BUT isn't that one of the differences between Series 1's & 2's? Take advantage of mizzle easing off to (a) have quick squint at that iffy front tyre &, yes, it probably is borderline MoT-able (& THAT would do, for the moment) but wander down to the s/h tyre shop I mentioned: nearest he's got (in the window) is 205/65:15's @ £25 a piece; there's a pair, plenty of tread, so if push comes to shove they'll do on the back (where I can't see the minimal size difference will make any difference) (b) squat down by open driver's door to investigate the fuse box (not easy from inside when you only assume it drops down, but have no idea how the catch works) 'cos vendor said the security codes were in there. Yup, there's a folder containing a handbook in much better condition AND complete – but the same edition & the service booklet; now this is where it starts to get interesting: it was originally registered, with a different number (could this be why only the DVLA's data base recognises the current number?) to someone whose address was given as the British Embassy in Oslo &, indeed, the 1,000 mile service was done by “Citroën Norge AS” - but 7 months later it was at (Citroën) TMG Wimbledon Park for a service @ 5,525 miles (f-w-i-w, they looked after it for 54,000 miles, 'til June 2002 – that's 50,000 miles in 2 ½ years!). That 6,000 mile service was about 6 weeks BEFORE, according to the V5C, the date of 1st registration so that must be when it was allocated this number, there's no reference to previous registration abroad, so was it on diplomatic plates in between? The only thing that is certain is that it's getting on for a year older than I thought but it IS a 2.1 TD, sooooh, is this one of those cars that Zel mentioned on another forum, that the Americans would call a Series 1 ½ ? :?

But enough speculation - & back to the real world: had a cursory look at the rear wiper (which the vendor had described as “sad”): the pivot on the arm is very stiff,so blade barely touches the glass; when I pulled it back, to see if that was enough to make it snap back, it started to twitch, after wiggling it a bit & two false starts it got half-way & stopped, all a bit odd as the ignition was off.
By this time the washing was done, so with it in the basket & struggled with the tailgate again, off we set, via Lidl's in Paignton for some victuals (ironically had to pass on a space that I could've got the C15 in, but not the Xantia – but I digress). At some point I noticed the rear wiper was conspicuously absent from the vertical position – only to discover later that it had actually parked itself properly – which it never had been before. At some stage, not sure when, it did end up t t'other end of the arc, so the motor's OK – unless the erratic behaviour is due to an internal short & some freeing up of the arm should keep the blade in contact with the glass – so there's hope there, yet. [-o<

That's about it really, except I did manage to get the bonnet open (more strong arm tactics) once I'd sussed the secondary catch, but what's this? – a bonnet prop! Now I'm used to that on the Cherokees – I'd put that down to Detroit primitif – but thought the rest of the world had moved on. More importantly, the retaining clip's missing so the inevitable cable tie has been pressed into service – but even that could be improved upon. Anyone got an odd one in the back of a drawer they could pop in the post?

SUNDAY

No real improvement in the weather, so didn't venture out much ('til it was time to come back to London obviously).

I forced myself to fit the new coil on the red Cherokee (having missed short sunny spells yesterday & last week. It was the last bit of a high performance ignition kit (8mm silicon leads, cap & rotor with brass contacts + the coil) I'd got in the States, all for less than the replacement O/E coil supplied & fitted on the green one a few years back. Difficulty is, the facelift models have a different LT connections & aftermarket coils are like the pre-facelift ones - & I'd baulked at the $14 for the adaptor lead. Of course I've got a pre-f/l loom, so I can lop the plug off & splice it onto the red one's loom – except under-bonnet heat had molded the 2 leads AND the self amalgamating into one mass, so having surgically removed the plug, fitting terminals to the severed end, especially at arm's length in the depths of the engine compartment was a bit of a performance AND I'd clearly forgotten that you can't remove the rear bolt from the coil (no, it's not a conventional ally cylinder job) as it's behind the engine mount, because I'd wound it ½-out of its inaccessible nut - & removed the front one before realising you have to unbolt the mounting bracket first. Anyway, with one break 'cos the drizzle just got too unpleasant, it was all done. There was just a chance that a failed coil was the reason it wouldn't start, so here goes. Here goes nothing! Battery's so flat it would even bring the ignition lights on!

By way of light relief, as it were, I was minded to replace the odd side light bulbs on the Xantia with a pair of LED's I'd found by chance when looking for shrinkwrap &/or insulating tape. However the instructions in the handbook were no help at all as the back of the lamps doesn't remotely resemble the illustration - &, of course the headlights changed with the Series 2.

Drive back was pretty unremarkable, except the time it took but, at one stage, while fiddling with the wiper stalk with a view to changing the intermittent rate, the rear wiper performed a single full sweep – very slowly, before I turned it off. Not quite got the hang of all these “barrels” yet. So, it does work – after a fashion, but why is it sooooh slow?

Briefly going back to Friday, very early on, I discovered there's a problem with the front passenger window, when I tried to close it for the first time, it went up about ¼-way, then went down again, seemed it would cycle like that as long as either switch was depressed. Resigned myself to a rather drafty drive but a few minutes later, in stationary traffic, nothing to lose, so tried again - & the window just glided shut. Not going to risk opening it again!

* has anyone got a Haynes washing machine manual (can't find mine) from which they can copy the test cycle for a Bosch machine, please? These trips to the launderette are messing up my weekends! :cry:

Can't finish without mentioning fuel consumption: low fuel light had come on maybe a couple of miles before the garage I was heading for before joining the M25 Friday evening. On basis that the Xantia's reckoned to be more economical than the C15, I thought I'd be doing an extra 50 miles (to collect my eBay winnings) & fuel's cheaper in Devon I put 7 gallons in it, so was rather disappointed at the rate the gauge was dropping while still on the M4. However, when I parked up at my destination I realised I'd actually done 286 miles! By the time I refueled to come back, it was 295 - & the light hadn't come on; so that's all but 300 miles on rather less than 7 gallons: not complaining at that! :-D

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 03 Dec 2018, 20:03

Stickyfinger wrote:
30 Nov 2018, 12:14
Post an image of the rusty rear arches, there are a number of reasons for them to go.


This has been bugging me ever since my initial response, because I knew I'd done it before. Anyway, here goes:-

[attachment=0]rust - R, door open.jpg
[attachment=1]rust - R, door closed.jpg
[attachment=2]rust - L, door open.jpg
[attachment=3]rust - L, door closed.jpg
Attachments
rust - R, door open.jpg
rust - R, door closed.jpg
rust - L, door open.jpg
rust - L, door closed.jpg

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Stickyfinger » 03 Dec 2018, 22:58

That is due to the open rear wheel arch and inner/outer wing sealant/adhesive, normally very extensive rot takes place before it shows. I hope you are lucky but budget for a bad result when you start looking.

Go in via the boot, remove the carpets and the side wall carpets, look into the inner wing area.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 05 Dec 2018, 00:44

Not very encouraging - but better to be prepared. There had been structural issues in recent years but that's supposed to have been sorted at Chevronics [vendor was a fan - & a good customer (looking at some of the other bills)].

If that's all that has been wrong AND I'd got it for the silly money I'd hoped to I'd intended to get it done early on. Now it has to prove itself - & endear itself to me over the coming 11 months, say; then I'll think about whether I really want to spend that sort of money on it.

(very) brief update: moved it from where I'd parked Sunday night to local multi-storey on Monday morning & brought it back in the evening to park in a better place (so much easier to parallel park than the C15). Probably take it back to the multi-storey tomorrow. This evening emptied all the C15 bits I'd got on Friday, from the rear footwell & put them in a box in the back - except the capping for the front wing, which I thought I'd fit; even without my glasses and any decent light, thought it'd be a doddle 'cos (for those who don't know their C15's/4 pot Visas) it's snap fit but while it hung in place, it wasn't securely attached & seemed like it'd fall off. Will try again, in more favourable conditions - but might have to wait 'til I'm among Visa people.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 05 Dec 2018, 22:33

Moved the Xantia again this morning, no hesiation when starting this time - but it's nothing like as instant as the C15. It's back up the road now, but no need for this silly game of hide'n'seek/cat'n'mouse any longer; it was prompted by being trapped in that strange is it taxed or isn't it limbo immediately on buying a "new" car. Quite surprised vendor didn't notify DVLA on-line, to ensure his refund was from this month - especially as he made a point of retrieving his resident's parking permit with a view to trying to get a refund. Anyway, finally managed to tax it today which takes off the pressure of the MoT only having a couple of weeks to run a bit.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 07 Dec 2018, 00:23

Just as well I'd tucked the Xantia away yesterday, as this morning a few doors down saw a Disco Sport that had been clamped, so Greenwich's heavies had been out looking for dangerous cars left at the side of the road - & who knows what the Xantia's status might've been at the very moment they logged on to the DVLA site.

Spent some (too much?) time surfing for parts & trying to work out a plan for an MoT, given how short the MoT is & how few w/e's there are before Christmas.

Took the C15 shopping this evening (didn't want it feeling it had been supplanted in my affections by its glamourous stablemate) - do wish the Xantia would would start as easily & readily. Actually a couple of miles more than had intended as it was too late to get to local Lidl's before they closed the last check-out. No, it's not a nice place to be in the way the Xantia is (although the Cadillacs do THAT so much better) but the "comfy old slipper syndrome" kicks in &, no - the Xantia'll never replace it (hmmmmmm, wonder if I could find a "Vantia"?).

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 08 Dec 2018, 00:50

Got the Xantia backdown in Devon again. Excellent run down, despite the rain starting as I came off the M3 onto the 303. Does X2 have some sort of rain sensing wipers - or are they just erratic on intermittent?

Got away from the fun factory at 4 this evening, so would/ve expected to hit worst of the rush hour traffic. It was remarkably light on A20, M25, M3 so was here 10 past 9! Possibly a record but made me feel good anyway.

Hoping for better weather tomorrow, so I can have a grovel under the Xantia - otherwise might just as well have brought the C15 (although the Xantia is more economic - OR quicker!)

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by Zelandeth » 08 Dec 2018, 01:43

If I remember rightly rain sensitive wipers were an option on the S2 Xantia.

Should be obvious evidence of a sensor on the windscreen in the vicinity of the rear view mirror if looking from the outside if it's fitted.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by CitroJim » 08 Dec 2018, 06:26

Yep. Rain Sensors on high-end S2 Xantias such as yours Van... They work fairly well too :)

Enjoy them!

The sensor emits an orange glow when looked at from some angles...

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 08 Dec 2018, 22:23

Don't forget I've got a Cadillac (or 2) so I'm used to this kind of nonsense (from which you can tell I'm not a big fan) which is why it did occur to me that the apparent random behaviour when on "intermittent" might not be a fault, but thanks for the confirmation (&, yes, there is a, previously unidentified, sensor up behind the mirror!). Personally, I prefer variable intermittent (a joy of P6B Rovers - vacuum operated &, so, infinitely variable) - to which I'll return but while further familarising myself with the switchgear, in a rare moment behind the wheelin daylight I finally realised that, despite the somewhat confusing symbology* (there IS, now, such a word, or there will be once this is submitted &, therefore, published!) onthe wiper stalk, there is only one "barrel" - for the rear wash/wipe, which, to my amazement, lurched into action AND contiued sweeping, albeit without actually clearing much rain/muck, for the 5,10 minute drive back from Paignton. Having parked up, had another fiddle with the rear wash/wipe switchery - and, lo & behold, some, curiously milky, fluid ran down the window but wasn't cleared by the wiper - 'cos the blade doesn't touch the glass at that point (or much at all, if truth be told - remember the vendor described it as "sad"!)

Another dreary day by the seaside, too damp (even when the precipitation ceases,the ground doesn't really dry out) to investigate the rattly exhaust, let alone assess changing the wishbones/TCA's &/or P-bushes - &, somewhat rashly, booked it in for an MoT next Saturday. Still, the drizzle eased off enough to dive outside to whip the battery out of the red Cherokee & put it on charge. having got garage door open, thought I'd maintain the momentum & introduce some maintenance spray to the arm pivot & exercise it a bit (& douse the spindle on the off-chance that might help with the extraordinarily lethargic sweep). Soon had a blade which when lifted off the glass & released, instead of wavering in mid-air hit the glass with a pleasing slap. All this exercise of a previously attrophied component drew my attention to strange movement of the spindle - yes it was loose! With some caution, as it is mounted through the glass (AND a 21mm spanner is a fair length) tightened the retaining nut, must've been 1/2a turn, albeit in easy stages. Hopefully, now have a fully operational rear wash/wipe AND without incurring the cost of a new blade, which is all I'd assumed it needed, from the vendor's description.

Also discovered (& investigated) the armrest bin in the driver's door - & discovered the missing pages of the handbook (which I've since ironed, in preparation for sticking them back in). Rather more worrying, was the knob off the dipstick, which I don't recall seeing - of course, sans knob, it wouldn't be that obvious! Since had a squint under the bonnet (ugh, that cabletie loop that secures the stay - but there's 2 clips in the post!) & still can't find it - time to consult the handbook; however stupid that makes me feel.

When I'd 1st gone out to the Cherokee I'd found small package in the porch - must've arrived while I was unpacking the shopping; it was the TCA bushes, only ordered Thursday evening, with an original e-t-a of Monday or Tuesday. Came from a previously unkown outfit "D2P Autoparts" which, on checking their website (I'd ordered via eBay where they have a "shop") do have premises, open 7 days a week, established family business, lots of social meeja exposure & good reviews. Even have a French connection, either a French website or French eBay - can't remember - even had one French review (trés favourable). Their speciality is MoT failure parts but do some interesting/useful stuff like modules & sensors (clearly emissions related) but also, e.g. leccie window repair kits. Definitely worth a looksee.

* intermittent wiper on the C15 has become increasingly unreliable (& it's one of the few "modern" features I really like) despite several generous applications ofcontact cleaner, so it looks like a replacement's on the cards. Now C15 parts are becoming ever more difficult to source, despite being something of a partsbin special. Anyone know what else uses the same stalk - or, even better, a source of one with variable intermittent that would fit?

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by myglaren » 08 Dec 2018, 23:10

Van --a link to that website/eBay shop could be useful to others here if you wouldn't mind chucking it in to Useful Links
Good suppliers always welcome.

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Re: Travels & travails with a C15 (& other vehicles)

Post by van ordinaire » 10 Dec 2018, 01:20

p.s.

Discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that Xantia has a wooden gearlever knob - THAT's how dirty it was! Took to it with a heavyduty wipe, which worked remarkably well. Today I gave it a couple of applications of "Orange-Glo" (wood cleaner & polish) I found under the sink; mercifully it doesn't smell of oranges (as promised on the label) but does give it a pleasant satin sheen. As it's varnished/lacquered I might treat it to some teak oil or something similar. Grabbed the Haynes manual from the door pocket while I was there - so embarrassing, needed to find where the dipstick was/supposed to be. I had found what I now know is the oil filler cap & noted the hole that looked about the right size &, had I undone the cap I would have found the dipstick - bit I was very unsure of such an unfamiliar set-up. Trying to stick top back on with Araldite but not wildly optimistic - anyone happen to have a dipstick for a 2.1TD?

More importantly, weather much improved by late morning, so time to "get out & get under". Never been convinced suspension was as it should be &, sure enough, when I tried to raise it (a) to check LHM level (b) to jack it up, nothing happened - in fact the lever won't go right to the end of its travel. Well that can wait for another day as it drives just fine. Seems like problem with the exhaust requires a new tailbox, as the inlet stub is too short to securely attach to the centre pipe. While under the back of the car, discovered the spare wheel is steel & the carrier lock is broken/disabled (bonus, as have no idea how it worked - so that's something I don't have to concern myself with). Another thing is the locking wheel bolts it's apparently supposed to have but doesn't. Seems I now need another 15" ally wheel OR 4 19mm steel wheel bolts - anyone able to help?

Got n/s f wheel off, to investigate replacing the wishbone/TCA: cracked all the nuts, so shouldn't be TOO difficult (t'other side may not be soeasy without a deep 18mm socket - BUT, I have a plan!

Still a little time/daylight/warmth left, so investigated removing the cover fro back of headlights & replaced sidelight bulbs with LED's. Not before time, one was quite black,surprised it wasn't noticably dimmer than t'other one. Did the same with the light in the loadspace, while investigating why it flickered on and off.

Inbetween (a) I put the battery back in the red Cherokee - & broke the cut-off while I was at it (that must be about the 4th - time to give up methinks). Had a 1/2-hearted attempt to start it - but it just spun over.
(b) started the Eldorado for 1st time for at least a month & left it ticking over 'til it got up to temp.

By the time I was ready to leave to drive back up to London, it'd just started to rain (well, just damp in the air, really). When I joined the M5 it was time to see what the rear wiper would do. I suppose its pace could best be described as leisurely, rather than lethargic as before, BUT the blade did clear a complete arc now. Next time it was needed, on the A30 dual carriageway past Exeter airport, it was much as before, except I was slow turning it off when the rain stopped & the drag on a dry window was too much for it & it stopped in an almost vertical position - where it is still! Clearly there's more to be done there - though I'm not sure what.