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 »

KP wrote:Pity we cant have a windscreen like ford's QuickClear system on ours.
Have you had experience of those screens? The idea is great on paper but it takes just as long to heat up as it does to scrape a screen (OK stays clear there-after) but more importantly on wet dark nights each light source becomes a star shape as the light is reflected off of the heating wires, I'm not keen personally.

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Post by KP »

That's true about the starring affect to a certain extent.

I think a better system would use either less wires to just heat the edges of the screen and maybe a middle portion or much thinner wires.
I didnt think it was that bad when i drove an Smax a while ago.

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

The past week has been quite a productive one for me, Gareth popped over to sort out a couple of 'Smart' repairs on SWMBO's BMW, he also collected a couple of spare bumpers for my estate for painting as the ones on the car are a little scruffy as a previous owner was clearly into the 'touch method' of parking (I still have a couple of more spare bumpers if anyone wants them :roll: ).

I wish I'd had my camera at the ready when I handed Gareth the Activa boot badge he'd spent so long looking for, the way his face lit up would have made an excellent picture :lol:

On Saturday I had a pleasant drive up to Newport Pagnell to give Jim a hand with fitting a new auxiliary belt tensioner to his 2.1. The arm bearing on the old one was in a right old state and had been left on the car would have more than likely ended up allowing the auxiliary belt to slip under the timing belt and trash the engine. The drive home on the M1 was a little disappointing in that my newly fitted genuine Citroën windscreen received its first battle scar of a chip and small crack close to the mirror, so I'll get that sorted asap to avoid the crack spreading.

Just recently the alarm on my HDi had been going off so when I returned home on Saturday afternoon I took the opportunity to plug in my Lexia to find out the cause as one of the excellent features on S2 Xantia's is that the body computer (CPH) records the last 15 causes of alarm triggering. However it didn't turn out quite that simple as for some strange reason it took several goes to get the Lexia to boot up correctly (its been fine since :?) once it got going it revealed that one triggering was due to the O/S/R door being open and the rest an open boot. As mentioned last week I'd recently had to repair one of the heated rear window wires where it enters the hatch so my suspicions led me to presume that the boot lock loom had suffered a similar fate so using the Lexia to display the alarms 'reading' of the door's status, I manipulated the wires in every direction possible but no matter what I tried Lexia said "Closed" :? so I left it at that if only to allow the fault to get worse and therefore be easier to trace :wink: later that evening,,,,,,,,,wakey, wakey :evil: hmm, best I use the key to lock the car then.

Being the forgetful fool I am, I'd left my LED torch at Jim's on Saturday so yesterday evening he kindly popped it back to me and had to suffer my cooking skill's as a thank you :lol: (sorry about the homemade garlic bread I think I over did the garlic :oops:). As Jim had an hour to spare I took him out for a 'waft' in my DS around the dark lanes local to me to see the turning headlights in action and experience the ride of a DS over some very undulating roads behind Pinewood Studio's which put a smile on Jim's face :lol: .

Needless to say the conversation turned to Xantia's as Jim showed me the 'rally conversion' he's just made to his Activa although I think the navigator may complain about having to sit on the floor! However joking aside Jim pointed me in the right direction when I mentioned the boot lock problem's I'd been having on my HDi in that it may be a problem with the switch on the lock. After Jim left curiosity got the better of me so I connected up my Lexia to give live information of the door status which this time for a very brief second or so showed the boot to be open :D so I started pushing and shoving on the rear hatch and discovered that at various points the door status would briefly change despite the door itself being well and truly secure on the locking hook :? . Long story short, (finished working on it at 11.30pm :oops: ) I eventually traced the fault down to of all things a worn boot lock pivot hinge which was allowing the clasp to move from side to side sufficiently far enough for the micro switch to change the door status from closed to open \:D/ better still I had a good spare lock in my stash of spares :D . With the new lock fitted no amount of pushing and shoving on the hatch causes a change of door status, long may that continue [-o<

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Richard, the garlic bread was supurb, not too heavy on the garlic at all. I love garlic :D

The DS ride was a bit of magic. Something I've waited so long for and finally it's happened. The way it handles back-roads is incredible. To explain, the route Richard took me was along some really quite poor roads that may well have been like French roads in the 60s. The DS just serenely ran over them like ithey were billiard tables. "Wafted" is the perfect description! It was as smooth on those rough roads in the DS as it was in my Activa on the brand-new sections of the M1.

And those turning lights :D And that they're yellow just completes the atmosphere and turns rural South Bucks into 60s rural France when travelling in the DS at night! You almost expect a bloke wearing a beret, a striped teeshirt and a string of onions around his neck to put in appearance at some juncture just to complete the illusion!

Brilliant news on the HDi alarm :D

It really was perfect driving conditions late last evening. I really do enjoy the long sweeper of a bend on the slip-road between the M40 Northbound and the M25 Clockwise in the Activa :lol: There was no traffic and nice and dry so I went for it! Real fun!

I looked forward to the M25-M1 slip-road for the same sort of fun and it all started so well. I flew it up the outside lane of the slip, laughed in the face of the 50mph recommended speed warning and then :evil: A taxi-cab was dawdling along in the outside lane just before it joined the main M1 carriageways and I hads to brake :( My fun was spoilt...

The M1, now the roadworks are all complete is just simply teriffic. Even on the journey down early last evening when the M1 was chokkers, it was still moving sweetly at 70+ :D Well done Highways Agency. It works!

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

Oh I'm so glad I took a fortnight off over the festive break as I'm now starting to feel as if I'm swimming upstream with my HDi. I fixed the additional heater, the heated rear window stops working, I fix both of those and the alarm plays up due to a faulty lock, I fix that and the additional heater plays up again due to a duff glow plug, so I trot off to GSF to buy another one and on the way home stop off to fill up with diesel, I get back in the car and the radio now has a constant serious buzzing making impossible to listen to. Get home and fix the additional heater (it had filled up with diesel you should see the smoke when I finally got it working again :oops: ) hurrah :D put my tools away then start the engine to lower the suspension, "What's that new squeaking noise, it sounds as if I have a mouse under the bonnet" Rollocks :evil: its the blasted auxiliary belt tensioner GRRRR ](*,) ](*,) so its back to GSF first thing in the morning to get some new tensioners and fit them ready for the 200 mile trip to Mum and Dad's on Christmas morning. Oh what joy :evil: its just as well I have nothing else to do with my time :roll: .

Hey Jim there's a common theme here, duff glow plugs and auxiliary belt tensioners, is my car coming out in sympathy or just getting bad ideas from yours?

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

DickieG wrote: Hey Jim there's a common theme here, duff glow plugs and auxiliary belt tensioners, is my car coming out in sympathy or just getting bad ideas from yours?
Oh dear :( It has got to be my driveway :twisted: It has done strange things to ABS sensors in the past...

Richard, give me a call in the morning and I'll spin down and give you a hand with the tensioners...

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Post by DickieG »

It wasn't quite the thing I planned to do on Christmas Eve, but fingers crossed [-o< my HDi is now 100% in every department. I picked up a new tensioner at GSF this morning, fitting it was simple and self explanatory although as the engine is such a tight fit the top engine mount has to be removed in order to raise and lower the engine to get access to the tensioner. The difficult part was getting the engine back onto the mount as it appears to have a different balance point to other diesel Xantia's and required a substantial pull forward to get it over the inner wing engine mounting stud. The amount of wear/wobble on the bearing of the old tensioner was quite a surprise :oops: I prefer not to think of what could have occurred had I not spotted it.

I also sorted out the radio fault, I swapped the radio, aerial base and aerial with known good ones from my spares stash but the fault remained :?. However by poking a length of wire into the radio aerial socket and getting a better signal I established the fault lay with the coaxial cable, long story short, the cause turned out to be a poor earth between the coaxial cable and the underside of the roof, a good clean up of the base plate returned normal radio reception which should keep the girls happy tomorrow :D

I had a phone call from a good friend of mine today who runs an Activa as his daily car just after he'd picked it up following work to repair a hydraulic leak from the rear Hydractive/balancing block, he's now somewhat lighter in the wallet to the tune of £500 :shock:. I know the chap who did the work and he wouldn't have been ripped off, ouch!

Merry Christmas

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

I've had a pleasant break over the Christmas period, my HDi has faultlessly completed 600 miles over the past week visiting relatives and when back home with some spare time on my hands I took the opportunity to have a quick tinker with my DS to sort out a few minor issues.

Yesterday I good friend popped over for a chat (all things Citroën :lol:) and to have a Lexia session on his Activa, needless to say the Hydractive ECU had recorded a fault with the steering wheel angle sensor :roll: .

At lunchtime today I carried out a Lexia session on a friends Xantia CT Turbo estate as he wanted to have some new keys programmed for the car as well as diagnose the cause for the ABS light remaining on which turned out to be a permanent fault with the nearside rear wheel sensor.

With some spare time on my hands I had intended to change the timing belt on my HDi but with the weather so cold (-5.5°C this morning :shock: ) I've had a change of mind and will leave it until it warms up as I don't really want to embark on such a lengthy job as I will also be changing the water pump/tensioners etc. There's no particular rush as it was last changed 40K miles ago and the recommended interval is 100K.

However I couldn't allow this opportunity to pass me by completely so today I changed the engine oil and filter on my HDi then changed the Hydraflush in the hydraulic system for fresh LHM, cleaning the filters and tank as well as flushing fresh LHM through the brake calipers etc. The Hydraflush had been in the car for 2,500 miles but to be honest the system can't have been too bad as there was hardly a thing on the filters and the Hydraflush was still relatively clean :D .

As I didn't start working on the car until mid afternoon, darkness fell before I could finish the job which turned out to be a good test for the new winter overall's SWMBO had treated me to for Christmas as the temperature had dropped to -3°C by the time I was putting my tools away (-5°C as I write this now) but I hadn't felt the cold at all :D.

"Dickies" winter overalls highly recommended for this cold snap.

Oh deep joy, back to work on Monday :(

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Excellent stoff Richard :D Did you save me the old hydraflush?

Give me a call when you want to do your HDi cambelt and I'll come and lend a hand.
DickieG wrote: "Dickies" winter overalls highly recommended for this cold snap.
I wear "Dickies" gear at work, it's seriously good stuff and lasts very well too. That and "CAT" steel toecapped trainers are hard to beat. I got three years wear out of a pair of "Dickies" jeans and I still wear them now for rough jobs... I wear a pair of CAT steelies when I'm working on cars and they're my old ones from work and getting on 6 years old. You just can't wear them out... I consider it's a bit of sensible H and S to wear steel toecaps when working on cars. I once dropped a can of catfood on my bare foot once, it was seriously painful :twisted:

I find my Peugeot overalls very good for keeping out the cold. Those, wolly hat and mechanics gloves do the trick a treat. Cold, what cold? I only feel cold and uncomfortable working out of doors when it is raining. I love this cold, dry bright weather we're having right now :D

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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

With the recent cold snap its been rather a quiet time for me car wise but that changed at lunchtime today when I snatched a 97 TD Xantia SX estate out of the claws of a scrappie who was about to take it away and crush it :evil: 1-0 to the enthusiasts :D

The car in question is suffering from a hydraulic leak somewhere around the O/S/R suspension area which has drained the LHM tank to the extent that the rear of the car is sitting on its bump stop's. Apparently a garage carried out a repair of re-locating a return hose but its now popped off again, so they have diagnosed a faulty/leaking rear suspension cylinder as causing excessive return pressure to push the hose off of its connector. The car has a recorded mileage of 132,000 which to me looks to suit the condition of the car but at that mileage I'd have thought such a fault as that to be premature.

I've got the car stored at work at the moment (that's now two at work and four at home :roll:) so I'll be casting a cursory eye across the car over the next few weeks to diagnose the fault and work out what the best option for the car is. i.e. getting it back onto the road or for rescuing its valuable spares such as a good velour interior, engine and (non ECU) diesel pump etc.

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Post by DickieG »

Time for an update here, the V6 had been waking up the neighbours with the alarm going off at random intervals due to a fault with the ultrasonic sensors (Ah the wonders of a Lexia :D ). Now with S1 Xantia's the sensors come as a matched pair but with an S2, Citroën sell the same pair even though you only use the N/S one in the pack as the O/S one is sold separately as it comes complete the door LED :evil: so a pair of sensors for an S1 £30, S2 £60 :roll: however to overcome that cheat I delved into my stock of spares and replaced the N/S sensor which appears to have done the trick as the alarm hasn't gone off since :D .

As I mentioned in my previous post I recently rescued a SX TD estate from a visit to the crusher which had been suffering from a hydraulic leak, well with the bad/fun weather this week giving me some time off work I managed to get the time to take a closer look at the cause of the fault and discovered that the rod that links the cylinder to the suspension arm had sheared towards the end where it connects onto the suspension arm allowing it to flail around and puncture the suspension cylinder rubber boot so I'm now on the look out for a replacement rod, if anyone can help me out here I'll be very grateful as its only available complete with the cylinder at £80. I can't say I've ever heard of the link rod snapping :?.

Earlier this week Gareth popped over to deliver the newly painted bumpers for my HDi that had suffered from a previous owners method of "touch parking" which to my eyes was making the car look untidy. Gareth made a good job of repainting them so get in touch with him if you're after a smart repair. I wish refitting the bumpers was straightforward, for some unbeknown reason the N/S chrome strip refused to clip home securely on the rear bumper then today the front bumper O/S bolt refused to align correctly, as to why was a complete mystery/frustration :evil: oh well that's the joy of owning a Citroën :roll:

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Post by DickieG »

As its half term week I've taken this week off work to use up some annual leave rather than lose it in April which has given me the chance to catch up with cleaning the three car's that live outside and in particular my HDi that was looking rather forlorn after the recent bad weather as it hadn't had a good clean for some time.

Having recently observed Gareth working wonders with his buffing machine on SWMBO's BMW I decided to invest in such a machine for myself and put it to good work on the black paintwork of my HDi that was starting to look more grey than black but after a couple of hours of effort it now looks rather smart (or as SWMBO stated "It now looks like a herse" :roll: ) oh what fun it is living with a "Chuckle Sister", I'll see what I can do about giving her her "final drive" in it :twisted:

Talking of SWMBO she's still driving the V6 Xantia in preference to her BMW as she finds it far more comfortable, I pleased to say that my alarm repair is still holding up on it I just hope I'm not tempting fate by mentioning it here.

Last week I took delivery of a new bicycle as I part commute by cycle and had pretty much worn out the old bike that I had bought second hand from eBay and had then added over 7K miles to it leaving it needing over £200 in parts to get it back up to scratch (wheel bearings even wear out on a bicycle and tyres cost £30 each :-({|= ) so I took advantage of the Governments "Ride to work scheme" (gave me 54% discount :D ) and splashed out on a carbon fibre framed bike. I have another "Carlos Fandango racer" carbon bike that goes like a rocket, the first time I used it I thought that the speedo was wrong until I checked the time for a set distance, what a wonderful piece of kit they are, light as a feather plus they absorb far more vibrations than aluminum frames.

It was whilst I was cleaning the HDi that a rather disturbing thought came to me, the cost of the Carlos Fandango racer amounts to more than the total value of my three Xantia's and yet I have to provide the propulsion :cry: its a strange world we live in.

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Due to a lack of garage space at home since I bought the DS, I've been keeping my Xantia VSX in the garage at work where its rather secure and away from the elements. In the past two years its total mileage amounts to about 200 miles as I'd left it on SORN the previous year then last year simply MOT'd it, driven it to the CCC National Rally then parked it in the garage at work. However despite not being used the O/S/F ABS sensor decided to give up the ghost whilst it was parked and just to join in for the fun of it the radiator also sprung a minor leak so I decided to bring her home yesterday in order to carry out repairs over the weekend.

A couple of weeks ago I won the bidding on eBay for a rear bumper to fit my DS as the one on there at the moment has two small holes on the top surface where apparently a fog light had been fitted by the original owner. When I placed the winning bid, I had hoped to be able to collect the bumper whilst doing my "rounds" at work at it was located 125 miles away from me (north of Ipswich) but due to changing demands at work I couldn't manage to fit it in so I decided to pop up and collect it after work in the VSX. Having not driven it for some time it came as quite a treat to get back behind the wheel as it still smells, looks and drives as if its just a couple of months old, however the limitations of the old XUD TD engine compared with the HDi I drive on a daily basis became all to apparent quite early into the journey, with noticeable turbo lag and a general lack of acceleration away from hazards, indeed just keeping up with the general flow of traffic requires a degree of anticipation and planning. Apart from the performance issue the car is very nice to drive as it is still very tight and must be about as close as you can now get to driving a new Xantia as it has only been used for long journeys and has never had to endure a daily commute, yesterday the speedo tripped over to 34k miles.

Today I was reminded of that old tale of "The best laid plans of mice and men" as I had intended to finished off my monthly column for the CCC then sort out the two job's on my VSX followed by setting up my four Citroën's for a few photo's together. Changing the sensor was straightforward (old one was open circuit) but as for changing the radiator :evil: what a nightmare! Trying to gain access to the spring clips required a fair old degree of patience as the car is fitted with A/C and Hydractive suspension which blocks access to the bottom hose clip. When I finally managed to remove all of the clips and hoses I discovered that the radiator cannot be pulled clear without first removing the A/C compressor :evil: . As it was now getting late I've given up for the night and will (hopefully) finish off the job in the morning.

Oh one more thing, when raising the suspension to jack the car up I noticed that the exhaust has now given up the ghost with the seam on the rear box splitting apart so I'll pick up a complete new system tomorrow from ECP at Wembley whilst I send SWMBO for a peek around IKEA next door.

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Post by XantiaMan »

Richard, i really think a couple of minor tweaks to the injection pump to improve response would work wonders, yesterday i drove my weasel after a few months, and it still performs smooth and strong, not at all slow for 'everyday driving', and this is compared with a now remapped Transit running 120bhp and the Activa at about 180bhp!

Just a bit flat below 1500 but i was really happy to be driving it again, and enjoying the refinement that it still has to offer. The HDI's pull so well low down that it can put an untweaked XUD to shame but you could always try a few tweaks and see if it makes a difference, and then put it back to its original settings.

What machine polisher did you get?

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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

I have to say that after the joys of an HDi or a 2.1TD for that matter, the old 1.9TD does feel a bit lacking, especially in the low-down torque department. It's all about perception. The 1.9TD goes like a scalded cat if you rev the nuts off of it but for me, that's not what it's all about. I like low-down TORQUE and I think my fleet (1.9TD excepted) sort of reflects that :lol: :lol:

Agree though Gareth, a few well-planend pump tweaks would not go amiss :D

Richard, I knew your rad would be a challange but I did not realise it would turn out to be that much of one though :twisted: I had much the same dilemma on your Activa Gareth. I found the rad was very reluctant to come out die to A/C compressor and the Hydractive block but I did manage to tip it in such a way that it cleared the block and left the A/C Compressor untouched. I fancy I had to remove the air inlet trunk from the grille just to give that extra 10 thou' of clearance I needed.

Richard, just be thankful it was not bayonets you were struggling with :wink: