Xantia Hydraulic Pump probs.

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C Atkins
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Joined: 10 Sep 2001, 15:57

Xantia Hydraulic Pump probs.

Post by C Atkins » 10 Sep 2001, 16:06

I have just sent my Xantia to a local specialist for some work on the hydraulics (The Acc sphere needed doing and I wasn't too confident about doing it myself).
The problem was that when I brought the car (a 1994 Xantia 2.0 sx) it was clicking once every 2 seconds, and not being a Citroen owner, I didn't think anything was wrong! (Oops). Eventually I started getting the pressure light coming on and off, and the steering seemed to cut in and out of powered mode. I had checked the LHM level and it has been at max for the last three months.
Then today, before the garage man changed the sphere, he checked the LHM level and it was at minimum! (lost almost a tank of fluid over a few days). He changed the sphere which has fixed the clicking, but discovered a small leak at the hydraulic pump. He is quoting approx. £160.00 +vat for a recon part with 12 month warrenty.
I need to know a few things:
1) Is the pump a sealed unit, or is there a chance I can get under there and fix/patch it?
2) He says that hydraflushing the system should fix the P/S problem, as there is probable dirt in the valve. Is this correct, and can someone point me to a post/page that shows how to do this?
3) Is £160.00 + vat a good price for the pump? He wants £40.00 +vat labour to fit it, is it an easy job?
Sorry for all the questions,

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Joined: 13 Aug 2001, 03:01

Post by DLM » 10 Sep 2001, 21:33

Hi Craig.
In answer to your questions (bearing in mind I've not replaced a pump myself)
(1) If the pump is leaking then replacement is the most sensible option - just think of the pressures involved in the system and you should realise that patching up isn't really an option.
(2) The hydraflush treatment is often advised as standard procedure for power steering faults. If the filters in the rack are at fault then you may well find it's easier to go this route - you'll also be cleaning the hydraulic system in general. The hydraflush procedure is similar to a standard 36,000 mile lhm fluid change (different liquid)- but you must change it back again (after 3,000 miles or so of driving with hydraflush in the system,if I remember rightly). After refill (either liquid) you will need to bleed the brakes to purge air from the closed parts of the hydraulic system. There's details on the BX DIY site if I remember (should be equally applicable to the Xantia + they have some Xantia pages) - see http://www.tramontana.co.hu/citroen/
(3) The price you've been quoted sounds reasonable - check out the online catalogue here for the pump replacement (exchange unit price). If you've chosen not to change an accumulator sphere yourself, then you may be better off paying someone else to do this job for you - but, as I say, I haven't done it myself.

alan s
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Post by alan s » 11 Sep 2001, 10:19

You say a "small leak" on the pump. If it is in fact small then it is very doubtful that the loss of a tankful of LHM in a few days has been from there. The coming & going of the power steering in itself can be caused through lack of fluid and assuming that the system as used on the BX is applicable to your car, then the flow diverter will in fact starve the power steering so as to keep pressure at the brakes when the level gets low.
If you have in fact blown the accumulator sphere (completely) as well as possibly another sphere/s then the sudden increase in volume within the spheres (due to the loss of space normaly taken up with the nitrogen under pressure) would account for where the LHM has gone to. To have physically emptied the tank you would have got a puddle about 6 foot across on the garage floor.
With the hydraflush, you will want to definitely find & fix the leak in the system if one does exist before the Hydraflush is put in the system and I think you garage is covering his tracks suggesting another pump as he would be well aware that the leak could "grow" one the hydraflush gets in the system as it is much thinner than LHM.
Personally I have strong reservations on this guys diagnosis but that is a bit harsh not actually seeing the vehicle for myself.
I would suggest a second opinion before going ahead with the job. If he is in fact correct, I would say that at least his labour charge sounds reasonable.
There is information on hydraulics in the "common problems & fixes" in this forum which should help.
Alan S

C Atkins
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Joined: 10 Sep 2001, 15:57

Post by C Atkins » 11 Sep 2001, 13:55

Thanks for the replys guys.
Alan, just to clarify my vague description that I made earlier, when the engine is running you can see green coloured drips dropping off of the pump, which are pooling on the inside of the front wing, making a small puddle. I am pretty sure that it isn't loosing 'masses' of hydraulic fluid, but there definately is a leak.
I was hoping that the leak was from a pipe that could be fixed, but it looks a bit like a cracked seal on the pump somewhere...
Ahhh well, a fairly pricey repair, but should be worth it. You just can't beat the ride quality of those Citroens!

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Joined: 22 Apr 2001, 03:02

Post by pwatson » 12 Sep 2001, 14:52

Sounds similar to problem with my wife's (1993 SX TD) Xantia which also developed intermittent power steering. On early models part of the pump was plastic and it can fracture. Newer models are metal but apparently the "plastic" ones can't be swapped for a "metal" one! We had the pump replaced - £160! So your quote sounds reasonable. If crack on yours is same as ours patching is out of the question