Xantia running costs

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Xantia running costs

Post by mark_sp » 21 Mar 2004, 21:45

I've owned my 1998 1.9TD for exactly one year. When I bought the car I expected cheapish motoring. How wrong I was. I think this car has been the most expensive to run I have ever owned. My previous main car was a petrol Ford Granada Scorpio and I thought that would take some beating, but the Xantia has managed it. Since December it has averaged £200 per month in running repairs and I still have 4 known faults on the car. I'm disappointed to say the least.

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Post by JohnD » 22 Mar 2004, 04:36

My Xantia is also a '98 model which I've had from new, and I must say that it's the best car I've ever owned. (And I bought my first car in 1958.) My records show that running expenses during the lifetime of the Xantia are less than £1800. That sum does not include the MOT inspections or any fuel. Only LHM, oils and filters, brake consumables, spheres and tyres.

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Post by David W » 23 Mar 2004, 20:45

I wonder what the mileage is on yours Mark?
Of course there will be bad luck but my experience of the many Xantias I look after is that the greatest expense is routine servicing/wearing parts or repairs not unexpected at the age/mileage of the particular vehicle.
Example 1: 1999 TD with 87K. As new and free of faults. Past history routine servicing, pads, tyres etc up to 84K. Extra repairs at 84K - all spheres plus radiator due to eary signs of leakage.
Example 2: 1996 TD with 82K. Excellent for age and free of faults apart from occasional flicker from water in fuel warning lamp when there isn't any. Past history routine servicing, pads, tyres. Extra repairs - glowplugs and all spheres at about 70K plus a reverse light switch.
Example 3: 1993 TD with 115K (my own car). Excellent for age, free of faults after repairs covered in following comments. Past history routine servicing, pads, tyres. I bought it at 8yrs/83K just after its first extra work - glowplugs, front discs, front spheres, hydraulic pump due to leak. I have taken it from 83K to 115K over three years. Routine work has been servicing, tyres and pads. Extra repairs after 100K - rubber fuel hoses, both front ABS sensors, ABS ECU (damaged, own fault), drop links, radiator, aux belt tensioner, gearchange rod, clutch, two driveshaft gaiters, coolant elbow, one hyd' pipe, handbrake cables, rear window lift assy'.
I have loads more records in front of me and they all show a similar pattern. Most Xantias go to about 8yrs/80K with good reliability and then need a little spending between 8-10yrs/80-100K. After that there are quite a lot of items that are likely to fail but these mostly seem to be wear items not unexpected at the age/mileage.
Remember not too many years ago cars were being scrapped for rust by ten years, or run as heaps with an ever growing addition of weld patches, filled wheelarches, oily smoky engines, worn out interiors etc etc.
If you are in the position to keep up this mid-life repair requirement on a Xantia there seems no reason why one shouldn't easily run to 20yrs old and still be a pleasurable car to drive.

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Post by uhn113x » 24 Mar 2004, 13:59

I don't think I spend £200 a <b>year</b> on the entire fleet!

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Post by RichardW » 24 Mar 2004, 14:40

>If you are in the position to keep up this mid-life repair requirement on a Xantia there >seems no reason why one shouldn't easily run to 20yrs old and still be a pleasurable car >to drive.
Challenge is on then, David? Of course by that time, mine would be showing the best part of 300,000 - so I would have been past the 100k 'maintenance hump twice, and no doubt it would be worse the second time around! In a way I wish I'd kept my 88 BX DTR Turbo after I did the head - all it really needed was a new clutch and FDV. Hindsight - great innit?? Course, if I do get my Xantia to 300,000 it will prove how long Forte rad sealer works on the matrix - underside of dash is nice and dry now. Phew!

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Post by Homer » 24 Mar 2004, 15:02

<blockquote id="quote"><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" id="quote">quote:<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"><i>Originally posted by mark_sp</i>

I've owned my 1998 1.9TD for exactly one year ..... Since December it has averaged £200 per month in running repairs
<hr height="1" noshade id="quote"></blockquote id="quote"></font id="quote">
On first reading of your post I thought you had spent £200 per month for the whole year when in fact you've spent only £600 albeit in a short space of time.
To get a better wiew of how excessive those costs are (if at all) we really need to know if the work was done by yourself or by a Citroen dealer or somewhere in between. And what the problems were, certain things quickly add up.
And you do find that cars will go through periods where a lot of faults crop up together, I'm sure often connected such as hard spheres causing excessive wear on other suspension components, or a simple overheating problem leading to a warped cylinder head.

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Post by David W » 24 Mar 2004, 19:46

Well as things stand at the moment I have no need to get anything "better" than this Xantia so the challenge may well be on. As we glide up the M74 this summer (waving at you with the bonnet up and clutch out!) we'll have owned it for exactly 4yrs, the longest so far of the 50+ cars we've experienced.
My car's life could well be easier than yours though due to my fairly low annual mileage. I was lucky it was below average when I bought it and I'm only covering about 9K/yr at present...helped by the fact that my mileage is shared betwen the Xantia, ZX and an old Land Rover. So my 20yr figure should be nearer 200K total.
It is this long term view that makes me more enthusiastic to replace some parts in a preventative way rather than waiting for complete failure...hence not grumbling about the longish list of items above.
Sounds like that load of parts would give Mike a fit though!

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Post by alan s » 25 Mar 2004, 05:06

I think there's two sides to this that can cause the situation Mark is talking about.
First is the manufacturers talking the "Loves driving - hates garages" mentality whereupon a new car buyer gets into a "drive it until it stops' attitude and neglects normal maintenance issues. From this we get brown LHM, brown coolant and black treacle for oil. Not in the long term interests of the cars but a great advertising ploy & suits those who only own the car for 2/3 years.
Second is the "Citroen fear factor." These are the myths built up by some in the repair business over the years, who can benefit by having owners so scared of the 'unusual ideas' that a lot of owners feel it's a challenge just checking the oil. This fear has become so intrenched that even a lot of good mechanics will recoil in fear based on these stories rather than approach a job on a Cit with an open mind, hence an overheating motor will never be looked at as being anything but a blown head gasket, cracked head, faulty water pump, thermostat that needed replacing, radiator that needed cleaning (and faulty fan switch) as well as a corroded fan relay and bad wiring when often, a fan switch would have fixed it.
A typical example is a guy who sometimes posts here who was literally given a CX c-matic a while ago. 2 owners back, the car had over A$5500 spent on the transmission. The previous owner had taken it to his 'specialist mechanic' who proceeded to to swap transmissions amongst a host of other things & who eventually told him it needed a new torque converter and the cost was not worth fixing the car, so he gave it away.
The guy concerned (the one the car was given to) contacted me offlist to discuss the problems & in conversation mention was made about wire colours to the electro-valve. To cut a long story short, the car is, in fact was, perfect. The pevious "specialists" had between them somehow managed to wire the temperature sender up via the electo-valve & hence it wasn't getting a full 12 volts to it. Repositioned the wires & bingo, one perfect CX for nowt after previous owners had spent in the vicinity of A$10,000 approx all for the sake of a wire being in the wrong place.
For the record, the same guy had used the same mechanic on a BX in which case he had a carby replaced when all it had was dirt in the carby & was told to sell the car when the carb got dirt in it again. This CX and a DS that belonged to a Cit fanatic & had been serviced by a well respected DS enthusiast & declared the transmission was stuffed but he will still not hear a bad word against his "mechanic."
In a nutshell; if the car was neglected when new, that's a recipe for problems & a service guy who is not confident in his ability to do necessary jobs are both causes of big repair bills not only on Xantias but other models (and makes) as well.
A combination of both these factors is a total financial disaster but not necessarily one that can be blamed entirely on the car otherwise they'd all be in strife.
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Post by ghostrider » 25 Mar 2004, 15:44

I'd go along with the 100k hump theory, unfortunately I never manage to get enough money together to buy a 40K car, I've tried buying with 120ish and sometimes that works because the previous owner has gone through that hump period but finally got fed up with it just as they were due for another longish run of reliablity. My Xantia (?1800) which I've had for a year and has just gone through 100K has not needed the usual things yet, rad's beginning to look like it's replacement time, done the spheres, but the thought of the clutch, timing belt etc leaves me thinking is it time to change it?
As a comparison my business partner bought an M reg Merc 300diesel estate for 5.5K (130K miles) at the same time. It has now done 150K and according to the full dealer history with it has had nothing but routine servicing from new, there is NO rust it is reasonably comfortable, as boring as hell to drive does 33mpg if you are very careful, has no real performance weighs in at about 2 tonnes empty and under the bonnet is positively industrial.
I know it was a lot of money new (about 37K now) and has depreciated massively, but the question is does it represent value for money? should I try and buy one of these rare birds for about 4 times the price of a Xantia ie ?5K or stick with the more rewarding Cits????????
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Post by alan s » 26 Mar 2004, 03:43

I'd suggest waiting until he has the first repair done on it, look at the tears in his eyes when he gets the bill [:0][B)]& <b>then</b> ask yourself the same question.
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Post by ghostrider » 29 Mar 2004, 01:28

Yeah that's the conundrum isnt it? Do you pay for a car that rarely breaks but costs a fortune to fix or do you go for something cheap to fix and spend more time doing it? In the good old days Fords were ridiculously cheap to fix (I remember doing a full engine rebuild on a 2l Mk3 cortina including having the crank ground and rebored for about ?150, but then the engines were only good for about 80K without major surgery). I assume that there must be places that do for Mercs what A&D do for Citroens, after all I suspect that if we all bought our parts from a franchised dealer the gap between parts for a merc and a cit would be much closer?!
Last edited by ghostrider on 22 Feb 2011, 06:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by alan s » 29 Mar 2004, 04:19

I had a mate who was a panel beater for a VW franchise many years ago.
Out here, Ford & Holden (GM) tried to polarise the market back in the days of the beetle by constantly advertising parts prices to give the impression their cars were the cheapest to maintain.
The VW dealer stunned them all by putting a string of parts & prices for the beetle on display. The headlight was just a few shikkings & the mudguard about a quarter of the price of the other two.
My mate thought it was comical because the headlight was held onto the guard with this presssed steel mounting that apparently used to rust while you looked at it and had to be replaced in any even minor front end accident; the guard cost about 7 pounds ten whilst the mount was around 110 pounds, which when you consider the entire car was under 1000 pounds, made that a scarey priced part (seing as there was one to each front guard).
So sometimes parts prices aren't always what they seem and are often priced according to how often they need to be replaced. Something that is used often is usually double or more of a comparative rarely used part, something the Japs cottoned onto early in the piece.
Alan S