HELP, I have a Xantia!

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pull
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 22:51

HELP, I have a Xantia!

Post by pull »

Hi Guys, Im new to the forums but after spending the last 2 days trawling through them you seem the knowledgeable folk to ask!!!

I have just bought a xantia 1.9TD LX and it was an absolute bargain and is the best car I have ever owned! However there are a few things that I am unsure of..

1. Yet another suspension question (I couldn't find my exact prob in any other post), I had driven the car for a week and all was fine, I parked it on a slight hill the other day, turned off the engine and got out and a few seconds later the back end made a clunk noise and fell so the arches were the same height as the top of the wheels. I got back in and started it up and it raised fine and can go to all the citrobic extremes but ever since then when ever I'm at lights or get out after parking up the back end sinks to the top of the wheels where as the front stays up in the normal driving suspension position. It hasnt clunked and sunk in such a dramatic style since then, any thoughts?? I don't know if it's related but the LHM reserve was empty so filled it up - I couldn't see any leaks on the drive way!? Does this stuff naturally go down, maybe previous owners neglected to top it up?

2. Is there a way of tested a key fob? I have 2 - are they different? When I press the buttons on the fob the red light comes on on the side (showing battery is still going) but I get no joy unlocking the doors with it?! Has the receiver died in the car? I assume I cant use the alarm until the fobs work?

3. How many miles are you guys getting out of a full tank? I get 500 but I can't help feeling I should be getting more?

4. I am going to be doing a service on my beast this weekend, fuel filter, oil filter, oil change, glow plugs, air filter etc etc - I cant seem to find anywhere that will tell me what part numbers I need? Do you guys know of a good cheap place to them from? What else should I take car of when Im under the bonnet, it doesnt look like its been touched for years! Only shop close to me is a halfords and I don't really trust them!

5. It smokes white grey on start up but is fine when warm, this was worse until I put additive in the tank which improved it no-end! A mate mentioned that this could be the fuel filter as sometimes water can collect in it?

7. Finally, what temperature should it be running at, the temp dial stays low on the motorway as it should but in traffic it rises to half way and sometimes a bit higher - is this normal?

And by the way, fitting an after market stereo with facia plate is a real pig! Be sure to have plenty of plasters at hand!!

Thanks for reading this far, your guidance is much needed!

Homer
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Re: HELP, I have a Xantia!

Post by Homer »

pull wrote:
7. Finally, what temperature should it be running at, the temp dial stays low on the motorway as it should but in traffic it rises to half way and sometimes a bit higher - is this normal?
That sounds like the thermostat may be stuck open (or removed completely), the temp should be pretty much constant once it has warmed up, around 80 to 90 deg C depending on the engine.

pull
Posts: 6
Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 22:51

Post by pull »

Thanks for the reply!

How much does a thermo cost and is it an easy job? I take my hand to pretty much anything and with money being as it is (moan moan moan) any work is to be done by me fair hands!

jonathan_dyane
Posts: 229
Joined: 10 May 2004, 23:32

Post by jonathan_dyane »

pull wrote:Thanks for the reply!

How much does a thermo cost and is it an easy job? I take my hand to pretty much anything and with money being as it is (moan moan moan) any work is to be done by me fair hands!
You should get a 'stat for under a tenner, and it's a straightforward job, although I would choose to take the opportunity to flush the cooling system and replace the antifreeze. The thermostat lives beneath the plastic water outlet that joins the top hose, and is secured by three bolts which *usually* don't shear off... Be careful to bleed the cooling system properly when you refill, search the forum for a 'how to' guide.

Welcome to the team!

PS, re the suspension issues; the LHM never goes down in level unless there is an external leak or a sphere or two ruptures. In order to aid us could you tell is what year your car is; early cars are supposed to sink when the engine is shut off, from some point in '94 an anti-sink system was fitted,

jonathan_dyane
Posts: 229
Joined: 10 May 2004, 23:32

Post by jonathan_dyane »

PPS, for parts I would recommend Malcolm Lockwood (preferred) or GSF or Euro Car Parts, both of whom may have branches close to you, otherwise I would recommend a good motor factor, definately avoid Halfrauds...

It's a shame you have just topped up the LHM, as I would wager the car would appreciate having the LHM replaced and the filters cleaned.

Pleiades
Posts: 234
Joined: 28 Apr 2008, 21:04

Post by Pleiades »

Hi Pull.

I might be able to shed some light on?

1) When parking up and getting out of the car, dont forget that the car is releived of some weight (not tying to say that you are a fatty) even a little weight taken out will make the car rise up as you get out. Now when you turn around and look at the car, you could be just seeing it go back down to the normall level, this happens because the height corrector is letting the car know that it's too high and brings it to normal height, you are simply seeing it work correctly.

As for the clonk or clunk, this is most likely to be rear suspension arm bearings, slightly worn. Put the car into it's normall height and go back a good way behind, then look at the rear wheels, they should be both upright, if one or both are leaning in at the top then it's the arm problem, this can also be seen as tyre wear to the inside of the offending rear wheel.

2) To test the key fob, use a digital camera, the one on a mobile will do the job. Point the bulb at the end of the plip towards the lens and look into the veiwing screen whilst pressing the button, if working you will see it light up in the camera screen, (this also tests TV remotes too).
If it works then it could just need resetting, you realy need to put a key without the remote in the ignition first, then turn on the ignition and point both keys with remotes at the reciever in the roof, then press both plip buttons at the same time, this should re-set them. Doing one at a time will not work, as every time you do the second, the first will be cancelled.
(This is assuming that you have the early IR plip rather that the later RF plip)

3) 500 dont realy seem to bad, but then I havent used my Xantia for a while and I cant remember, I wish that I got 500 to the tank in my Mitsubishi!!!!!!

4) Filters and the like are ready and available off the shelf from most motor factors, go onto your local industrial estate and pop into where the garages get their stocks from, most people think that these places are trade only, but they will sell to anyone with money these days and the beauty of this is that they are only set up to serve the motor trade so they will not have a retail price set up = you get trade price.

5) Smoking a little on start up is not too bad, but it could mean that a glo plug or two is getting a little tired. Water getting through? I dont think so, as this would have stopped it from working at all.

6) Temp at normall? my Xantia allways tends to run a little on the cool side, especialy in the winter as the heater on will take quite a lot of heat away from the cooling system. In traffic it will rise to about 88 before the fan comes on. Removing and checking the thermostat is quite an easy job, so if in doubt, check it out.

Hope you get it all sorted soon.

Regards
Martin.

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Old-Guy
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Post by Old-Guy »

My pennyworth

2. Key Fobs - If Martin's demon test using a digital camera reveals that the LEDs aren't working, it will be because the LED has become leg-less inside the plip. The legs are bent through 90 degrees to go into the pcb - the bend is often too sharp so one (and eventually both) leg fracture on the bend. I've soldered up mine twice - needs a steady delicate hand with a miniature soldering iron (e.g. 18W temperature stabilised). WEnt again last week!

3. Fuel Consumption. Tank-full is a bit of a variable quantity; how low do you dare go? The tank is a nominal 65L - about 20L to go from truly empty to the R mark. If your fill is 55L, 500 miles is 41 mpg - about what I average. BTW 5L = 1.1gallons.

5. Grey 'smoke' on cold start is a cloud of unburnt diesel vapour. Let the glow light go out, wait 5 seconds, THEN turn the key. Should then start without any churning and no grey cloud.

7. Yup, thermostat stuck opne (or removed altogether). Should run at about 80, on a cold day will drop in slow traffic as the heater 'over-cools' the engine.

Many happy Xantia miles should lie ahead.

Guy

pull
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Joined: 18 Feb 2009, 22:51

Post by pull »

Thanks for your bagful of suggestions!!

I forgot to mention that its a '96 LX model I believe, is this is a sinker?

I went to have a look at the beast (its a bit dark though) and It doesn't look like the rear wheels are anything but upright - it does feel a little strange at the rear end though sometimes when driving, is there a sure-fire way to check wether my clunking is definitely the rear suspension arm bearings? Its only done it once and i've driven 1000 miles since then - will the back of my car fall off, because that doesn't sound too pleasant! It sounds too big a job for me to fix and rather expense for a garage to do??

Checked the fob (ingenious method btw Pleiades - you cant beat a bit of physics!) no magical red light appeared, so I opened it up (how do they make screws that small!?) and sure enough as Old-Guy suggested the LED had completely sheared off. But does that matter? Surely the remote should still work regardless of whether a little LED on the end comes on!? The IR doesn't come out of the LED?? - anyone got a tiny soldering iron I could make use of? I would be really quite swell to get the alarm working, not that my xantia is particularly appealing to the local yobbery but it would make me sleep easier at night!

Sounds like a good service should sort most of the niggles out and get the ol' girl running smooth again - I hear the 4th glow plug is a bugger to tease out? I don't particularly want to splash out on a specialist tool, surely a socket set will do the job with a bit of elbow grease?

thanks folks, your time is much appreciated

Peter.N.
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Post by Peter.N. »

Oh yes the infra red does come out of the diode on the end! :D Small pointed soldering irons are available on ebay for not to much money, I use one and I'm a retired TV engineer! You need the wires to be clean and then apply the iron to the wire and run some solder onto the joint and remove the iron immediatly, don't let it get any hotter than you can help.

Your rear trailing arm bearings would probably be noisey each time the suspension went up and down if they were worn, but not to difficult a job to do if you are a reasonable DIYer.

jonathan_dyane
Posts: 229
Joined: 10 May 2004, 23:32

Post by jonathan_dyane »

pull wrote:I forgot to mention that its a '96 LX model I believe, is this is a sinker?
Ok, well given that it is '96, it is almost definately an anti-sink model (you can confirm by glancing under the back end to see if there is a centre sphere fitted in the middle of the car, if so it is anti-sink.)

With anti sink, the system should not drop after the engine has been turned off until some days have passed, as the third rear sphere serves to actuate a valve which isolates the suspension from the (naturally internally leaky) brake valve (through which pressure is supplied to the rear suspension) when the engine is shut off which prevents the pressure leaking away and the car sinking when parked.

If the car is sinking, but rises when the engine starts, the anti-sink sphere is prime suspect, whereas if the car stays up but drops on starting the engine before rising again, the fault is usually a knackered accumulator sphere or an external hydraulic leak which is loosing pressure.

The click followed by the back end dropping does sound rather like at least one rear arm bearing is goosed, and the suspension is 'hanging' on a tight spot of the collapsed bearing, causing the height corrector to be confused by this and moving to the 'lower height' position, causing the car to drop when it's weight overcomes the tight spot. As has been said, the rear wheels do usually lean in when the bearings fail, so if this is not the case, you might not have to sort it immediately, although the job is usually easier if it hasn't been allowed to be left for too long. It isn't a terrible job, often the hardest part is removing the wire-like clip which clips the suspension cylinder to the suspension arm and likes to seize in place and then snap when you try to remove it requiring a little time and perseverance to remove the snapped off bit.

With regard to the back end dropping at traffic lights, I always find that the Xantia hatch has a nicely 'floaty' back end, (at least if the rear suspension spheres are good...) and therefore when braking to a halt the back end does tend to bob up a tad before dipping when you stop, and also squats as you then accelerate away. Could this be what you are describing?

Pleiades
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Joined: 28 Apr 2008, 21:04

Post by Pleiades »

The little white bulb type bit at the end does need to be soldered in place, I have done a few of these, if you haven't got a small soldering iron, a darning needle will do the trick! All you need to do is take over the kitchen, push the darning needle into a wine bottle cork, light a gas ring on the cooker and warm up the needle, hey presto you have a sort of soldering iron, a bit crude but it will do the job.

Dont panic about the rear bearings, the wheel wont drop off, when the bearings start to get a bit dry, they can cause a little but of sticking, this is only noticed when the suspension settles, as the weight of the car overcomes the stickiness (is there such a word) of the bearing, the suspension arm bearing will suddenly free off with a cracking noise and the car will suddenly drop. If the rear wheels are upright, there is not too much of a problem, I have seen Xantia's with the rear wheels leaning over so far that the tyres are rubbing on the insides of the arches and the owners have used wheel spacers to keep them away.

The last glow plug, what a bitch, this will be the one nearest to the cam belt, take a look at it, everything is in the way and there is no way that a socket is gonna get on there, but a spanner will and if you are lucky, you can loosen it a little, then cut a short length of 3mm rubber hose, this will fit over the threads where the wire was and like I said, if you are lucky it will undo using the rubber hose, if unlucky, it will need spannering all the way. (3mm hose is the same hose as the injector leak off pipes)
Unless you have a Lucas pump on the car, then the glow plugs will be much easier to change, but you cant run on cooking oil!!

Have Fun

Regards
Martin.

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reblack68
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Post by reblack68 »

The alarm won't work properly, they never do.

Don't worry about it though, no theft of or from a car has ever been prevented by the presence of an alarm. I've driven a car with the alarm sounding and nobody even looks. I've even set off an alarm when there was a policeman across the road and he didn't look.

It's a white light you're looking for btw, try it on your TV remote and you'll see.

steelcityuk
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Post by steelcityuk »

Hi,

I may be telling you what you already know - sorry if you do.

Don't sit at the lights after stopping with the foot brake on (or at the least release and re-apply it) because this can cause the rear to be locked in a higher than normal position. The height corrector senses this and reduces pressure in the rear cylinders, the rear doesn't drop because the brakes are locking the wheels and suspension in their present position. Then when the lights change you release the footbrake and the rear drops like a stone (sometimes all the way to the bump stops).

It is for this reason the 'handbrake' is on the front wheels. As Xantia's, XM's, etc. sink their wheel base lengthens slightly, something to be aware of if using ramps and you put the rear wheels on them (or front wheels with parking brake on and rears chocked). If you leave the rear wheels touching the stops at the back of the ramps and lower the suspension it will try to push the ramps backwards which could due to the pivot point start to raise the front of the ramps.

At the risk of really boring you, NEVER go under an unsupported hydraulic Citroen, even if the engine's running or the car's locked in the highest position, they can and do crush 'objects' if something fails.

Hope that helps.

Steve.

citroenxm
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Post by citroenxm »

jonathan_dyane wrote:
pull wrote:I forgot to mention that its a '96 LX model I believe, is this is a sinker?

The click followed by the back end dropping does sound rather like at least one rear arm bearing is goosed, and the suspension is 'hanging' on a tight spot of the collapsed bearing, causing the height corrector to be confused by this and moving to the 'lower height' position, causing the car to drop when it's weight overcomes the tight spot. ?

The click can ALSO be caused by the REAR height corrector STUPID mechanisem sticking in place then suddeny shifting to either position.. Ive had this on one or two with a siezed Height corrector unit..

Lot of people BLAME the height corrector itself for problems were as it can simply be the control unit it sits in that has two levers on it that sieze up.. Check by putting the car up ON RAMPS and lie under the car, grasp the cross bar and pull the car up and down and see how free the levers are, they should move freely with the suspension!! IF YUR REAR SPHERES ARE NICE AND SOFT!!!


Rgds
Paul

newmezuk04
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Post by newmezuk04 »

When I owned my lovely 96' Xantia 1.9TD SX (aircon didnt work :cry: ), I got around 600 miles before the red light come on, sometimes a little more, so for a full tank about 650miles but that was steady enough driving (although not snail slow) and about 90% driving on the A1.