Colski - My Xantia Story

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

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colski
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Colski - My Xantia Story

Post by colski »

Cast your mind back (if your old enough) to 1990, I was 9, and thats when my love for citroens started.

My next door neighbour came home in her new company car, it was a red Citroen BX 19 GTi.
I remember thinking thats a nice looking car, and was amazed that the central locking unlocked just by her walking near the car (I now know it was her using the remote but I was young..... :lol: )

What amazed me even more was, of course.....the suspension! I remember looking out my window and seeing it parked on her driveway but the suspension was right down.....cool!!!
Then she got in the car, starts it up, and yes you guessed it, the suspension lifts up and that was it for me....I WANTED THIS CAR

Time passed by, and as I entered my teens, cars just didn't interest me anymore.
By 1997 I had turned 16 and still wasn't that bothered about cars, just a grumpy teenager with attitude :lol:

Fast forward to 1998 and I turned 17! I could learn to drive!!
I passed my driving test first time and got myself a 1982 mk1 ford fiesta 950cc (sloooow).
Considering the amount of abuse I gave that car for the next 3 years it just refused to die :lol:
Now 2001 and I was outgrowing the mk1 and I really wanted a peugeot 306 but couldn't afford one (even early examples were pricey back then)
so I ended up with a 1990 Mk3 ford fiesta 1.8 Diesel, not what I really wanted, but it was cheap :)
A friend at work had a peugeot 306 and the more I saw it the more I wanted one......
I turned 21, managed to save up enough money and got a 1994 Peugeot 306 XTDT.....YES!!!! Did I end up liking it? Er....no not really.
The clutch was VERY heavy, getting into third gear was a challenage, the sunroof leaked, the central locking had a mind of its own, the rev counter would jump around all over the place etc etc, just lots of niggles which got on my nerves for far too long. It ended up having a major oil leak and the head gasket went......

While all this is going on I started to notice my brother-in-law's fathers 1993 Citroen Xantia (sinker). The memories of my neighbour's Citroen BX started to come back............

To be continued......
vince
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Post by vince »

so you buying one then Colski :wink: :)
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

Excellent stuff colski :D I always wanted a Citroen GS when I started driving. Never did sadly. As a kid though, it was all BMC stuff I hankered after because when I was a youngster it was bad form to like foreign cars in our family. I remember seeing a DS as a kid, our family doctor had one, and I thought it was magic. Like a spaceship on wheels.

More recently, and odd as it may seem, I had never even heard of a Xantia until the day I bought my first one. That was back in 2005...

My first one was a sinker 1.9TD, just like yours. Brilliant car and that one was fully and totally responsible for my present-day addiction :D :lol:
andmcit
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Post by andmcit »

vince wrote:so you buying one then Colski :wink: :)
Clue's in the title and his signature?

BTW, have you driven a GS Jim. You really ought to - it may fritz out
your rust aversion. LHD is the answer here too...

I snapped to my senses just at the right moment when I went to view
a Capri 1.6 as my first car - rotten as a pear too! :oops: Week later
went and bought a french blue GSpecial and have been smitten by
Citroen since.

Andrew
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

andmcit wrote: BTW, have you driven a GS Jim. You really ought to - it may fritz out
your rust aversion.
Very sadly no Andrew although I'd love to. Therein hangs the problem. If i do, I'll want one, badly.

It happened with the V6. I had a taste of one and look where that got me :roll:

NOTHING will cure my aversion to rust Andrew :D Not even a GS....
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DickieG
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Post by DickieG »

CitroJim wrote:Therein hangs the problem. If i do, I'll want one, badly.

It happened with the V6. I had a taste of one and look where that got me :roll:
Apologies for that Jim :oops: :lol:
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

CitroJim wrote:
andmcit wrote: BTW, have you driven a GS Jim. You really ought to - it may fritz out
your rust aversion.
Very sadly no Andrew although I'd love to. Therein hangs the problem. If i do, I'll want one, badly.
No question about it Jim! As with certain other things, one taste and you are hooked.

It happened with the V6. I had a taste of one and look where that got me :roll:

NOTHING will cure my aversion to rust Andrew :D Not even a GS....
As summer turns to autumn and the leaves fall from the trees, a GS will reduce in the blink of an eye to a pile of rusty bits - really unfortunate for an otherwise almost perfect car.

Driving one is so effortless and such a pleasure that a permanent grin plastered on one's face is a mandatory condition.
Then there is the reaction of passengers who have never previously experienced one - OK, this applies rather across the board with hydraulic Citroens but it was my first chance to experience that look of shock and amazement, almost bordering on horror as they had no idea at first what was happening.

I still get this in the C5 sometimes but it ain't the same in it's Peugeotiness compared to a proper Citroen.
colski
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Post by colski »

CitroJim wrote:Excellent stuff colski :D I always wanted a Citroën GS when I started driving. Never did sadly. As a kid though, it was all BMC stuff I hankered after because when I was a youngster it was bad form to like foreign cars in our family. I remember seeing a DS as a kid, our family doctor had one, and I thought it was magic. Like a spaceship on wheels.

More recently, and odd as it may seem, I had never even heard of a Xantia until the day I bought my first one. That was back in 2005...

My first one was a sinker 1.9TD, just like yours. Brilliant car and that one was fully and totally responsible for my present-day addiction :D :lol:

My Dad was anti Citroen and anything french when I was young too, I really tried hard to get him to buy a Citroen BX, but he ended up with a MK2 Vauxhall Cavalier....not my cup of tea, but to be fair it was a very reliable car.

My Xantia experience started in 2005 as well, and I will continue with my story very soon! :D
red_dwarfers
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Post by red_dwarfers »

myglaren wrote: A permanent grin plastered on one's face is a mandatory condition.
I've only had a short drive of a GS around a field but I can safely say that the above statement is true!
colski
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Post by colski »

Part 2 of my xantia story

Firstly I'd like to point out I DO think peugeot 306's are good cars and reliable, and maybe if i'd given it some more time and money I would of kept it, but the fact of the matter is I now wanted a Citroen Xantia! :D

Early 2005 now, I was driving past a garage close to where I live and I spotted this gorgeous X plate Citroen Xantia Hdi 90 finished in wicked red for sale.
To be honest the moment I saw it I knew I was going to have it. It was an ex company car so mileage was high for the age at 128k (it was only 4 and a half year old then) but with a full service history and hardly a mark on the car I went for a test drive and put a deposit down straight away.

A week later I owned a Citroen Xantia! \:D/

I didn't really know much about xantia's back then, all I knew is that it had the hydraulic suspension (like the Citroen BX) and that was enough for me (must be a man thing and his toys :lol: )

The thing is because I didn't know much about how the car works etc I didn't do all the usual checks when buying a Xantia i.e. checking the suspension actually works!
So you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered the back end would not move to high or low when selected :shock:
Oh well that was fun while it lasted! :lol:
I convinced myself I didn't need to use the suspension so I just left it.

A few months later whilst driving my friends around, they were moaning in the back that they could feel every bump and were bouncing all over the place. I told them not to be so silly and this is a Citroen Xantia with hydraulic suspension :!:
The only thing is they were right because as time went on I started to notice the same, so I phoned up my mechanic to get the spheres changed thinking I would be bankrupt by the end of it. As it happened it turned out to be a cheap(ish) job.

I kept the car for 2 years and apart from the exhaust falling off and the drivers side window getting stuck and refusing to lift back up again it was quite a good car.
The thing is, I do get a bit bored quite quickly, and I wanted something more powerful, so what did I do?! I part exchanged the Xantia for a........2001 Vauxhall Vectra SRi!!! ](*,)

I really should of done some researh on this car, as it was the 2.2 16v petrol engine with the nasty timing chain. Due to oil blockages they are prone to snapping and without much warning! Mine started to rattle quite bad so I decided to get it replaced and it was not cheap!!!
Great no more rattling, well, for about 2 months anyway and the noisy chain was back :evil:

The thought of me driving down the motorway and the engine seizing up was just too much for me, and besides I was really missing the Xantia.............

To be continued.......
colski
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Post by colski »

Part 3 of my xantia story

The Xantia bug was back! Having owned the Vectra for 2 years, I now couldn't wait to get rid of it :lol:

It's now May 2009 and one thing I noticed straight away was that while looking on Auto trader was that there was a lot less Xantia's than there were in early 2005.

Early sinkers by now were getting very thin on the ground, and to find one locally was just about impossable.

I spotted a 1999 T reg Hdi Lx for sale just 10 miles from where I live. I phoned up the garage and spoke to a nice man. I asked him if it was a 90 or 110bhp, he wasn't sure, so said 'I think its a 90bhp'

I went to have a look the next day and first impressions weren't great. I think the previous owner must of lived on a farm as it was filthy underneath. I opened the bonnet and guess what.....it was a 110!

I took the car out for a test drive and i'd forgotton and low down the brake pedal was :shock: so nearly going crashing into a hedge and giving the nice salesman a fright I felt rather.... :oops:

Apart from that I loved it, and it felt so good to be back in a Xantia again after 2 long years.
The only thing was the condition of the car was just average, but hey its a 10 year old car and I knew I could give it some TLC.

It didn't have a full service history to back up the 95k but I did get him to change the cambelt or I would of walked away.

I part exchanged the Vectra and picked the Xantia up a week later :D

Driving back from the garage in the Xantia I soon noticed the increased power from the 110 over the 90, and also (in my opinion) a nicer gearbox and feather light clutch (due to it being hydraulic)

Being a Xantia things aren't always that straight forward and soon found she needed some attention........

To be continued......
tim leech
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Post by tim leech »

and then....
colski
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Post by colski »

Part 4 of my Xantia story

The first thing I did was gave her a good clean. There was a serious amount of mud under the arches, which gave me great satisfaction to remove :D

Also, I touched up a few stone chips and got my friend to give her an oil and filter change, as according to the service history that hadn't been done for over 13000 miles so it was overdue.

Everthing worked as it should, electric windows, remote locking, air conditioning etc......and the suspension went up and down without fuss.

All was going well for about 3000 miles until one day as I was driving home she cut out on me :shock:
Having to suddenly brake to the side of the road, I put my hazzards on and tried to restart her but no joy.
After about 10 mins I thought I would have to walk back home (I was only about a mile away) and get someone to pick it up. I thought I would give it one more try and it started up! I drove back home and the car was acting as if nothing had happened!

I don't know why but I convinced myself that it was a one off and carried on driving it for the next couple of weeks with no problems at all until......it happened again :x
This time I was about 60 miles from home, and again would not restart for about 10 minutes and then suddenly fired up and drove back home with no hint of a problem :?

The next day I phoned up the garage so they could do a diagnostic test on the car.
I'm not mechanically minded and can't really remember what they said it could be. all I remember them saying is that it could be several things and they would have to replace certain parts until I didn't get the problem anymore......I don't think so!!!

I was not going to spend loads of money replacing parts that didn't need replacing, especially on a 10 year old Xantia!!

I'd heard that Hdi's can suffer with electrical problems, but having owned one a few years back with no problems at all I thought this one would be fine.

I still loved the Xantia, but couldn't live with this problem, so I started to look for another.
I came across a S reg Xantia 1.9td (less complicated engine) which was local too, so thought I would have a look. It had 146k on the clock but with a full service history.
It looked ok, and the engine started nicely (great!) although acc sphere was ticking like mad (not a big problem, easy fix) the only problem was the clutch was as heavy as a brick, and after being use to the super light hdi clutch it just felt horrible in comparison. I walked away.

My Dad was looking through the yellow pages, and came across a Citroen specialist garage, and thought I should give the Hdi one last chance.
I phoned up and booked it in....well that was the best thing I ever did!!

To start with they weren't sure, although they said they just had a 406 with a similer problem and it turned out to be this big brown relay plug thingy (like I said i'm not mechanically minded!!) so they replaced that on mine (cost just £30) and told me to see if that made any difference.

I wasn't very hopeful and was expecting the thing to break down on me within a few days. However, weeks passed, months passed, and clocking up another 10000 miles, not one problem!!

Apart from servicing and getting all 6 spheres changed I had no further expense with the Hdi and it was returning a good 53mpg.

My friend was having problems with his 1998 ford mondeo 1.8TD , as the clutch was slipping badly, and had been quoted about £500 to get it replaced (more than the car was worth) so was looking for another cheap car,
and asked me if I could keep my eyes open for anything.......and what did I find? A 1993 'Sinker' Citroen Xantia 1.9td for £300...............

To be continued.........
colski
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Post by colski »

Part 5 of my Xantia story

Its now March 2010, and I came across this lovely looking 1993/L Citroen Xantia 1.9 Turbo D in silver with 167000 miles on the clock for £300 (private sale) I quickly sent a text to my friend saying i've found the perfect car for him!

The fact that it was an early sinker meant nothing to my friend, as he's not really a car (citroen) fan, as long as it gets him from A to B is all he really cares about.

He agreed to phone up and have a look at it.

The car was about 50 miles away from home but it was a lovely sunny sunday to drive up and see what it was like.

First impressions were good, for a car that is 16/17 years old it was in very good condition.
The man selling the car did say the glow plugs were getting a bit tired so it struggled a bit to start, but everything seem 'right' about it.

The suspension lifted up nice and quickly (as they should on the sinkers) although the acc sphere was hissing about every 5 secs but thats no big deal as they're easy to change.

All the electrics worked apart from the remote fob (which didn't surprise me)

We took it out for a test drive and everything seemed to be as it should be. The car came with no service history, but for £300 my friend took the risk and handed over the money, and off we went.........

I had no idea at that time that 6 months later the sinker would be mine, but not before it had a serious amount of work done on it.

In 6 months it has had;

Cambelt, aux belt and waterpump
Antifreeze
Accumulator Sphere
New LHM and filters cleaned
Gearbox oil changed
Glow Plugs changed
Fuel Filter changed
Rear arm bearings
Rear brake pads
N/S swivel balljoint replaced
Clutch cable clip
Battery replaced
Leaking brake control valve changed

There is loads more on top of this plus oil and filter changes and all the work has been done in a Citroen specialist garage.

When the brake control valve started to leak into the offside footwell the garage quoted £350 to get it fixed, and my friend said enough is enough and just wanted to get rid of it.

Knowing how much work had been done on the car and liking the idea of owning a sinker, I asked him if he wanted to swap my 1999 Xantia hdi 110 with his one. You're all probably thinking i'm crazy and yes i'd have to agree with you but you only live once so you might as well do some crazy things now and again :D

I don't regret it now, I was a little unsure at first and wondered what on earth I did that for, but i'm really enjoying it, and it's a bit different too.

There's still some jobs to be done on her i.e. a small oil leak coming from somewhere, n/s door lock is broken and just turns round and round, car will not get to full running temp, it runs at just below 70 (thermostat?), and the seal around the ariel has gone (water leaks into car).

So that is my story so far on my Xantia's, and its strange that I started with a 2000/X and ended up with a 1993/L but hey, i'm loving it!
:D
tim leech
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Post by tim leech »

Your mad! but well done :lol: