Tales of a C3, a Goddess and some BMW's.

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

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

I had another go at registering the DS with the DVLA at Borehamwood again today armed with a new insurance certificate and managed to get the papers past the front counter stage, I now have to wait up to seven working days for a reply.

Good news today with the arrival of the Bosch diagnostic tester :D Playing with that will keep me occupied over the weekend and beyond :roll:

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Yesterday I took advantage of the good weather to sort out a few outstanding job's on my Xantia HDi, firstly I changed a number of sphere's as some of them were down on pressure. Using my sphere pressure tester I discovered that sphere's three years old had lost about a 1/4 of their original pressure and four year old ones had lost 1/3 (all GSF Amtex sphere's).

I also drained the LHM to replace it with Hydraflush, I know many people simply siphon out the old LHM but I always remove the tank and give it a good swill out with petrol which on this occasion was certainly necessary in order to remove a fair degree of very fine debris lurking at the bottom of the tank.

The previous owner "Bernie" had carried out a modification (its still fitted) to the LHM return pipe (as reported in this monstrous thread) http://www.frenchcarforum.co.uk/forum/v ... ht=bubbles the modification consists of an additional 'U' bend so that bubbles within returning LHM were pointed towards the surface of the reservoir to avoid them being picked up by the suction hose and leaving them trapped somewhere within the hydraulic system. Has it worked? Well its difficult to say really as there will always be a degree of air put into the hydraulic system if only by means of osmosis through the sphere diaphragm. I thoroughly bled the hydraulic system both via the brake calipers and Hydractive blocks so it will be interesting to see what comes out in a couple of months time when I replace the Hydraflush with LHM. As an aside to the ride issue relating the to above thread (the basis of the thread) the rear ride height of the car had been a little low, carrying out an adjustment to that made quite a difference to the comfort level.

Later in the day I had a visit from a CCC member with another Xantia Exclusive estate who had not been able to remove the rear spheres, the ride on the car had also been very firm, suggesting flat rear sphere's (he'd changed the front ones) but having removed and tested them for pressure they were only down by about 1/2 at most. I fitted new rear sphere's then the full answer was revealed once I diagnosed the car with my Lexia, the Hydractive ECU had five different faults listed including a faulty Hydractive block which would have put the suspension into default (firm) mode, hence the stiff ride. A quick clear of the logged faults breathed new life into the suspension and a smooth ride has been resumed.

With time and daylight running out I just managed to plug in my new Bosch diagnostic tester into the DS to see what if anything is wrong with the injection system (she runs very smoothly now I've tuned her) and no surprise when the tester found a few irregularities, the first being that the supply voltage to the ECU is a little low. With that in mind I'm now off to investigate the source of the fault :lol: .

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Good news today with a reply from the DVLA office, the Goddess is no longer registered as 5068 TZ 87 its now VOY 24L, complete with a free tax disc \:D/

Trust the English weather just as I get her all legal we have a cold snap and the roads get salted so she'll have to stay indoors :(

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Excellent news Richard :D Don't take her out in this nasty weather! I guess she's never seen salt...

I was very unhappy to take my Activa out this morning but needs must - couldn't risk the 2.1 with it's leak. All fixed now :D

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Its about time I updated things here, well with the cold weather the thermal efficiency of the HDi engine has become a real pain as it takes about 5 miles for the heater to warm up enough to clear frost from the windscreen. That has safety implications for me as my daily commute from home puts me onto a dual carriageway/clearway after just 200 yards making it dangerous to stop/dangerous to continue without constantly stopping to clear the windscreen every half mile.

My HDi was factory fitted with the additional "Eberspacher" diesel burning heater unit to overcome this problem but unfortunately its never worked since I bought the car, hence the problem above :cry: . I spent some time last winter investigating a solution to the problem but Citroën only sell the complete unit at an eye watering £1022.35 :shock: . Information on the operation of these heaters is thin on the ground, they are used on boats and in trucks as cab heaters but most of those are of a larger 5 KW capacity compared with the 3 KW fitted to Xantia's and a large proportion of those are air rather than water heaters.

However after a good degree of investigation I decided to remove the unit from the N/S/F wheel-arch and take a closer look, after removing the top covers I tested the glowplug with an OHM meter and found it to be open circuit. The original Beru plug part number (0 100 226 228) has been replaced with the following part number (0 100 226 340). Sourcing a new glowplug was then the next issue but following a good poke around the net I discovered that "Hans Motors" (0121 749 8820) sell them and provided excellent service by having it delivered to me by courier the next day for £27.14 including postage.

The weather this evening (- 2.5 degrees) certainly tested my desire to get under a car to refit the heater unit but needs must etc and I'm pleased to say that the heater is now working and heating up the car very quickly indeed :D.

If you've never had experience of these heaters then you are in for a surprise as they start up with the sound of the small fuel pump clicking followed by a cloud of smoke as the glowplug ignites the diesel followed by a roar akin to a jet engine :twisted: what a great "Boys toy" highly recommended, every car should have one :lol: .

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

We had them on the company SAABs and Volvos in Sweden, albeit petrol fueled.

Just the job in -30°C mornings, if as described somewhat dramatic.
We had ours on timers to fire up about forty minutes before we wanted the car in the morning, to heat the engine, then redirect to the cabin fifteen minutes before driving off.

RichardW
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Post by RichardW »

3kW fan heater in the car for 15 minutes before the off. No frost scraping, no steamed up windows, no cold hands. Sorted! Makes it seem like very hard work when you have to do a cold start from anywhere other than home though :cry: You're right that the HDi takes an age to warm up - unfortunately mine is poverty Forte spec, so no extra heater.

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

DickieG wrote:Its about time I updated things here, well with the cold weather the thermal efficiency of the HDi engine has become a real pain as it takes about 5 miles for the heater to warm up enough to clear frost from the windscreen.
The 2.1TD suffers in exactly the same way :twisted: Six miles to work yeterday morning and it did not quite reach working temperature..

Of course I could use my Winter Packed Activa on cold, frosty days and avoid totally the 2.1TD warmup-time frustrations but there is no way the Activa is going out on dirty, salty roads unless absolutely necessary...


That heater sounds magical Richard. Just what's wanted. Top job on fixing it :D

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

I can't see how mine would be any different and I find that it warms up very quickly, at least as fast as the Xantia (1.9TD) and the Accord (2.0iLS).
Yesterday it was quite noticeably warm after a mile, although I did allow it to warm a bit while I chucked warm water over the screen to remove the ice and frozen snow (-6C) but not too long as I was late for work, having done the daughter's 106 before I did mine).

Most mornings it is already warmed up for me as my son takes my car to work and comes home at 07:20, just in time for me to leave :D

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

myglaren wrote:I can't see how mine would be any different and I find that it warms up very quickly, at least as fast as the Xantia (1.9TD) and the Accord (2.0iLS).
Yesterday it was quite noticeably warm after a mile, although I did allow it to warm a bit while I chucked warm water over the screen to remove the ice and frozen snow (-6C) but not too long as I was late for work, having done the daughter's 106 before I did mine).

Most mornings it is already warmed up for me as my son takes my car to work and comes home at 07:20, just in time for me to leave :D
It might be because it has the other type of warm up device which consists of four glowplugs located within a housing attached to a heater hose.

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

DickieG wrote:
myglaren wrote:I can't see how mine would be any different and I find that it warms up very quickly, at least as fast as the Xantia (1.9TD) and the Accord (2.0iLS).
Yesterday it was quite noticeably warm after a mile, although I did allow it to warm a bit while I chucked warm water over the screen to remove the ice and frozen snow (-6C) but not too long as I was late for work, having done the daughter's 106 before I did mine).

Most mornings it is already warmed up for me as my son takes my car to work and comes home at 07:20, just in time for me to leave :D
It might be because it has the other type of warm up device which consists of four glowplugs located within a housing attached to a heater hose.
You mean the engine? :twisted:

I had seen a reference somewhere about the EGR being used as a heater but haven't a clue if it applies in my case. One day I'll have a poke around in there, but not today or anytime soon I suspect.

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

myglaren wrote:You mean the engine? :twisted:
Hmm, not quite what I had in mind :lol:

The easy way to check is to enter your chassis number in Citroën Service then go to the cooling system and click on the battery looking device on the right, some C5's do have an additional heater.

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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

Thanks Richard, I'll give that a shot.

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

The recent frosty weather has taken its toll on my HDi, after repairing the additional heater the windscreen washer pipe developed a split so that rather than clean the screen, screenwash spilled into the scuttle area, a quick repair (read bodge) was found by slipping a larger diameter plastic pipe over the affected area as the alternative involved removing the front bumper :roll:

Not wanting to miss out on the action the heated rear window also recently stopped working, pulling back each of the (two) rubber boots enclosing the wires into the hatch revealed that the positive wire (large red wire in the O/S Boot [negative runs down the N/S]) had broken so I effected a repair by soldering in an additional length of wire to rejoin the broken ends.

This weeks cold spell has caused me quite a bit of amusement as a damp climate causes the additional heater to clog up so much that it emits clouds (and I really mean clouds :twisted: ) of smoke of partially burnt diesel to emit from the burner under the N/S/F wheel arch to the extent that the car can disappear from view (the Royal Navy would be proud of it).

Citroën published a "Info Rapid" with regard to this which involved fitting a long intake pipe so the the heater inlet pipe draws (drier) air from the engine bay, however the additional parts are no longer available. Not that its a problem to me as I like "Boys toys" :twisted:

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Post by KP »

My solution to the far too good engine design of the HDi is to use this.

http://www.russianarmysurplus.com/fotos/33_1b.jpg

Works a treat an im warm even when i get into the car :D

Im also of the family of warm, not hot or tepid but warm water over the windows to get some heat into them and de-ice them works a treat and has never failed me in my years of use. Scraping always wasted time as humid air passing over the screen would soon ice it, and de-icer only worked for a few minutes if that :(

Pity we cant have a windscreen like ford's QuickClear system on ours.
We gave citroen the brains and tech to develop half decent Diesels so they should give us something back hey :D

Good work on the heater Dickie. I've long toyed with the idea of a Kenlowe Hotstart for my veggie machines but always thought the amoungt of money it would cost to use everyday for say 2-3months would kill our electric bill which is only about £25 a month at the minute..