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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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

After deciding to taking a break from the forum for a while due to the amount of time I was spending on it it's time for a blog update.

Fleet wise I'm really enjoying the C5, very comfortable and suits me very well with it's ability to act as a spacious family car loaded with toys galore, however the air conditioning sprang a leak from the large/low pressure pipe running out of the compressor plus the condenser showed traces of refrigerant so I decided to replace them both, this job was made somewhat easier/cheaper as I now have a air conditioning re-charge machine so I could monitor gauges and whether the system was losing gas and at what rate. Interestingly prior to buying the machine I'd had the system re-gassed at Kwik-Fit but after a month or so the system had clearly lost gas due to reduced performance so I decided to invest in my own re-charge machine. As far as I'm aware all automatic air con re-charge machines having put the system under a vacuum (to remove moisture) they can then be set to maintain the vacuum for a set period of time (say 20 minutes) test for leaks but from my own discoveries unless the leak is significant holding a vacuum doesn't really show much as I held the vacuum on my C5 for some hours but nothing was revealed. For detecting leaks I've found UV dye works as good as anything else in combination with a 'sniffer' and basic looking for signs of oil on the condenser/pipework. Getting hold of the correct condenser proved to be a bit of a challenge as Citroen wanted (IIRC) over £400 and then working out how to fit the thing proved to be a challenge but with the very hot weather we've been having recently I'm pleased to say the system is working very well indeed.

The DS has had some love and quite a lot of money spent on it by way of fitting a refurbished steering rack as the old one was leaking, as with all things when working on a DS what appears to be the most task can develop into quite a saga, the workshop manual advises removing both front wings but I decided to take a different route and removed the radiator which turned out to be a good idea as i discovered a fair amount of silt within it so took the opportunity to back flush it etc. Withe the new steering rack fitted the steering is lighter and feels far more precise making the driving experience more pleasurable.

Dawn's BMW had a hic-up with the folding roof where it would stall just prior to closing, after several hours observing the roof operation and having a good read of the BMW manual I discovered that the catch for the rear cover had become stiff so after a light oiling normal operation has been resumed.

Danni's C3 is going well without issue, she's now been driving for over a year and doing well, generally becoming more confident with exploring further afield and more importantly whenever I've seen her driving on the road she's been driving very sensibly indeed.

My Xantia has spent the past couple of years being garaged then driven every few weeks simply to lubricate the air conditioning system and keep the wheels rolling so to speak so I've now taken the decision that my ownership of this car has now run it's course, I've been considering whether to sell it for some considerable time now as feel it's time to move on (hence the advert I've just placed on the forum). Last weekend I replaced the timing and accessory belts, changed the engine oil and filter, pollen filter and will be replacing all four tyres as the present ones are showing signs of cracking due to age. Sad day in many ways but I'm facing up to reality that when I sell this car it'll mean that for the first time in eighteen years I'll not own a Xantia :cry:

Part of the reason for selling the Xantia is that another car has landed on my drive :roll: I had no intention whatsoever of buying another car then one day when I was out walking my dog a certain car took my eye causing me to remark to the person I was with about what a nice car it was, well one thing lead to another then a few weeks later the beast arrived on my drive. Beast being the operative word as it has a whopping 5.5 litre V8 supercharged engine so accelerates rather well to say the least,,,,,
KP
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by KP »

Jeepers Rich you have been a busy boy!

I bet that AC setup cost a pretty penny as well :D

You didnt get an SMG SL merc per chance did you ;)
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

KP wrote:Jeepers Rich you have been a busy boy!

I bet that AC setup cost a pretty penny as well :D

You didnt get an SMG SL merc per chance did you ;)
Yes I've spent quite a bit of time sorting out my fleet, the AC machine wasn't too bad cost wise and has come in useful re-charging the cars and diagnosing the C5 problem plus a similar one on my latest addition.

My latest toy is a black SL55 AMG :-D it just so happens that it came with a leaking A/C condenser which I replaced yesterday evening so the A/C machine has been put to good use again, replacing the condenser was quite a task as the car has so many coolers/radiators I can't yet work out what all of them are for!

A very good company I've used a few times now and feel happy to recommend for A/C parts is http://www.autoairparts.co.uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; excellent knowledge and service selling parts generally made by Hella/Behr so of good quality with next day delivery.
KP
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by KP »

You might be able to recoup some of the cost they helping others out in the future as spending £50 at other places would have soon mounted up for you :) I have 2 c5's and a Laguna to do soon so think a recharge kit will have rondo :(
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

Not been around here for a while so time for an update, after a few months with the 02 SL55 my boss made me an offer that I couldn't refuse for it so there it was gone :cry: No sooner was it gone than I realised just how much I missed it so the search for a replacement started within a few weeks and ended quite a few months later with this 26k mile example that's fitted with the rather desirable F1 performance pack which means 517bhp, LSD, additional oil cooler, different front bumper, 19" wheels, 380mm front disc's, different steering wheel and the speed restrictor being raised to 186mph,, fair to say I'm rather pleased with my latest toy :-D

Image

In other fleet news, to overcome the odd drip of LHM from the Goddess I fitted a new steering rack and used sealant to stop slight leaks from a couple of hydraulic connections onto the top of the gearbox, not the easiest of jobs as it was a radiator, battery tray out the list goes on and on,,, anyway no sooner was I feeling rather pleased with myself and it having passed the MOT when I noticed that it now decided to drop coolant from the water pump hose. Hmm, not good, radiator, alternator, battery tray out, several jubilee clips seized having been there for 42 years I've almost got the hose and water pipe released from the car. Work temporarily halted for reasons of frustration :evil:

Pauses for thought, now why did Citroen get such an awful reputation for maintenance :roll:

Onto brighter things my C5 is brilliant, so far totally reliable, very comfortable, economical, good performance and economy (46 mpg), love it to bits, what more can I say?

Danni's C3 has just one issue that's baffled me so far and it's with the A/C, for some reason after it's been running for say five minutes the engine ECU won't authorise the A/C compressor to engage, I've tried all manner of playing with Lexia and different amounts of 134a gas to fill the system but still the problem remains, rarely do I have to admit it but I've run out of ideas so will have to try the dealer route to solve this one.

Dawns BMW, nothing to report at all, it just works!
KP
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by KP »

Sounds to me like the ac issue could be the temp sensor thinking the evaporator is too cold and shuts the system down to protect itself from freezing up and cracking..
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CitroJim
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by CitroJim »

Excellent Richard :-D I like your new toy 8-) Almost as cool as mine!
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

KP wrote:Sounds to me like the ac issue could be the temp sensor thinking the evaporator is too cold and shuts the system down to protect itself from freezing up and cracking..
Good suggestion which I have looked at, I've tried re-gassing the system with a very low volume/charge of gas but the problem remained, the evaporator temperature shown on Lexia is often as high as 16º which I'd have thought would rule out that as the cause, I'm left wondering whether it's a software issue with the engine ECU.
citronut
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by citronut »

good to see you back on here Richard and hope your well,

i see Sir Jim is going smaller more frugal and your going bigger more lavished/thirsty :-D :wink:
Northern_Mike

Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by Northern_Mike »

Good to see you back again Richard. Your new toy looks brilliant. I must pick up that Berlingo BoL one of these days ... :oops:
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

citronut wrote:good to see you back on here Richard and hope your well,

i see Sir Jim is going smaller more frugal and your going bigger more lavished/thirsty :-D :wink:
This Mercedes can be surprisingly economical considering it's got a 5.5 supercharged V8 under the bonnet, average consumption from when I picked it up is over 22 mpg and on a run at 70mph it does 26 so not too bad for a supercar that cost around £120k new, depreciation has been rather steep at almost £13k per year making a mockery of the notion that Citroens have poorer residual values when compared with premium German brands :lol:
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

Old car's (especially DS's) can certainly test your patience, having sorted out the leaky steering rack which then resulted in a leak from the bottom hose/pipe I bought a new stainless steel pipe and hoses, put it all back together then discovered that the heater matrix now decided to spring a leak from the front hose connection presumably due to being disturbed.

Being the fool I am I thought simple job, remove the matrix (which on a DS is very accessible) and re-solder the joint but one of the bolts securing the water valve decided that after being in place for 42 years it wasn't going anywhere, so having had the bolt head snap off and when welding a nut on top of the stub still wouldn't budge it I had to drill it out and tap in a new thread.

I also realised why the heater wasn't very efficient as the inside of the matrix was rather scaled up and the through flow of air was rather blocked by debris. Following a good clean up inside and out and being refitted the heater now appears to work as I'd expect although I may need to wait until the winter months to confirm that. Life is rarely simple with a DS if you demand it runs as designed :lol:
KP
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by KP »

If it runs as designed surely that is worse than how it could run these days as the citroen engineers of the day didn't really think things through as they though of retirement and cheese, onions and wine and such like things?!? ;)

Glad it's keeping going though and there will always be one niggle with it at least every 6months if imagine for a car of it's age and stature :)
citronut
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by citronut »

DickieG wrote:Old car's (especially DS's) can certainly test your patience,
your not wrong there Richard

the DS i txt you about whilst you were in the BIG APPLE,
i have now finally got power connected into her systems,

the dilemma i had with the new main loom was,

three large bullet connectors ( blue, green and yellow ) and another slightly longer and heavier gauge black lead with an eyelet that cam out of the loom right at the starter solenoid,
as this DS is an injection car it has extra mail bullet terminals on the underside of the solenoid,

my brain told me the black lead with eyelet went with two other earth eyelets that fixed at one of the regulator mounting screws, :oops: :roll: #-o :wink:

turns out the black lead with eyelet should connect under the positive battery terminal pinch bolt nut,
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DickieG
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Re: Tales of Xantia's and a Goddess.

Post by DickieG »

citronut wrote:
DickieG wrote:Old car's (especially DS's) can certainly test your patience,
your not wrong there Richard

the DS i txt you about whilst you were in the BIG APPLE,
i have now finally got power connected into her systems,

the dilemma i had with the new main loom was,

three large bullet connectors ( blue, green and yellow ) and another slightly longer and heavier gauge black lead with an eyelet that cam out of the loom right at the starter solenoid,
as this DS is an injection car it has extra mail bullet terminals on the underside of the solenoid,

my brain told me the black lead with eyelet went with two other earth eyelets that fixed at one of the regulator mounting screws, :oops: :roll: #-o :wink:

turns out the black lead with eyelet should connect under the positive battery terminal pinch bolt nut,
If you get stuck and want to use my car as a point of reference/comparison just give me a call Malcolm.