1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Hi,

after successfully rectifying the blower not working issue, replacing fuel filter, cold start idle valve, thermostat and the epic task of replacing the heater matrix, the car has thrown yet another issue in the form of a lumpy misfiring cold start with smoke for the first 20-30 seconds. This coincidently started almost immediately after replacing the ignition switch.

The first fault I discovered was a fair amount of air passing through the clear fuel line I have since located fuel dripping leaking from a non descript white piece at the bottom of the fuel housing (see pic)

Second fault was an open circuit glowplug behind the pump so I replaced all 4 with champion ch68 plugs. This improved the starting issue with only a very brief misfire and smoke for about 3 seconds. However starting the car this morning the problem has returned?

I have measured the voltage to the plugs on preheat at 10.6v before starting, however once started voltage increases to 13.6v and remains. I turned engine off after 3 minutes. is there a post heat function on the bosch glowplug relay and should it be outputing over 13v for any length of time?

I tested my Peugeot 205 TD and 10.4 voltage to the plugs stopped once engine started.

Q1: Is the relay at fault and has it fried the plugs,
Q2: Could the air leak contribute to cold start issues, if so is there a repair kit for the housing or is it a replacement unit?

Can anyone assist?
Attachments
20210502_101001.jpg

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

You're right, there should be both pre-heating and post-heating if the engine and engine bay is cold.
After the glowplug light goes out (signalling ok to start), the GPs should continue to operate for a while, depending on temperature.

If the GPs are all working, but times are suspect, check that the correct GP relay for the car is fitted. There are many types of these, all looking very similar, but operating differently. Some sense coolant temp, some air temp, some are engine ECU operated (where there is an ECU, that is), others operate stand-alone.

If you can post your VIN, I can check the correct part number for you.
---------

A faulty GP relay is not capable of 'frying' the GPs, unless they stay operating continuously, or for an excessive amount of time. I have a graph of pre-and post-heat times somewhere, but as a rough guide, post-heat should cut off anything between immediately after starting (fully hot engine), 30s (warm engine/engine bay), or 3mins (very cold conditions).

The voltages you quote sound normal.
Each GP should pull around 9A at 11v.
BERU brand are O.E. and extremely good; less good reports about NGK. Bosch should be ok.

Air-in-fuel will produce difficult or lumpy starting.
The white widget at the bottom of the plastic fuel filter is the water drain plug, I think.
A fuel leak at the base of the filter can be the base gasket failing. The filter sits on the flat surface of the hot water-outlet casting, so heating the fuel. There is no risk of water entering the fuel, but fuel can leak out of the seal fails.

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Hi Chris,

Thankyou for your detailed response. I have just disassembled the GP wiring again and can confirm 2 of the 4 brand new Champion CH68 plugs put in yesterday are open circuit. The car had been running for a while after fitting yesterday, switched off and restarted about an hour or two later and seemed more reluctant starting. I measured the voltage across the plugs a few (4 maybe 5) minutes after starting the second time and over 13 volts were present then so I suspect the GP relay maybe faulty? the part fitted is a BOSCH "0 281 003 005" relay. I could really do with the schematics / wiring diagrams to fault find.

The plugs I originally removed are BERU.

If I pressurise the fuel system with the bulb I can physically see fuel seep from within the white widget. The base appears dry.

I will PM you my VIN

Many thanks

Matt

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

OK, await VIN.
You can put it directly into a post - it will be masked to everyone except forum staff.

Did you bench test the BERU plugs? Tips should glow orange-hot within around 5-10secs, 12v supplied.
Do not prolong the test with a removed plug, as there's nowhere for the heat to go.

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Hi Chris,

Ive taken the two ohm test failed plugs out and tested them, they are open circuit, no load at all. Tested two of the ohms ok BERU'S they both draw current.
Attachments
20210502_131740.jpg
20210502_131807.jpg

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

Hi Matt,

OK. From your VIN, the Citroen pt.no. for the pre-heat relay is 5981 19.
This is now NFP, but that part number appears on Mister Auto (UK) and produces these replacements:
.
Xsara XUD9TE GP relay.JPG
Principal one listed is the Febi item (38725).
Your Bosch 0 281 003 005 is also there.
Both/all are listed as equivalent to 5981 19.

For the wiring diagram (for Starting, incl preheating), maybe someone else here can help with that.
I'm putting up your VIN here, so staff can see it and help with the correct info:
VF7**************[VIN obfuscated, can be read by forum staff]
Xsara 5dr saloon 1.9TD (XUD9TE) BVM5
RPO=7659 (28 Oct 1997)

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

BERU's (and presumably others too) should pull 9-10A each at 11v.

Sounds as if the GP relay has failed. Try running it up on the car, but with a test-lamp (eg headlamp bulb) connected instead of the GPs, to check 'on' times.

Found Citroen data (1998) confirming GP-type and GP relays fitted to Xsara:
Xsara GP relay types, timing.JPG

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Chris, thankyou for your assistance, it means a lot.

you are indeed right, 9-10A draw for working plugs.

Is it worth replacing all four plugs with BERU once the relay has been replaced or replace just the two open circuit Champion CH68's. My guess is the two remaining plug may have been unduly stressed and life span reduced?

Many thanks

Matt
Attachments
20210502_133753.jpg

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

Do BERU for all four. They are probably the best plugs on the market.

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Ok will do thanks, Ill attempt to test the relay further this afternoon.

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

After disconnecting the GP relay I cobbled together a makeshift jig and tested it indoors using a bench PSU.

Pins: 1 & 3 supply, pin 4: alternator (positive trigger for post timer), pin 2: PTC thermistor/temp sensor (I substituted this for a potentiometer), pin 1: glow bulb. It worked as intended?

I replaced the failed Champion plugs with two original BERU plugs, reinstalled the the GP relay back in the car with a multimeter connected to the switched output instead of the the GP's and started it.

It was a pig to start without any power to the GPs but multimeter showed the relay switched the output on for 3 minutes then off from cold. I reconnected the GP's, started again measuring the output and it switched off after 3 minutes. I ran the engine until the fans kicked in, stopped it and restarted the engine. This time 10 seconds elapsed and relay switched off. It now seems to be operating correctly?

Did I disturb an oxidised connector, or have two new plugs failed within a day?

I will attempt a cold start in the morning, albeit with air being sucked in through the leak in the fuel housing. and see how it fairs. If all is good I'll invest in 4 new BERU GP's
Attachments
20210502_175620.jpg

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

Looks as if it might be operating pretty much correctly.
As you say, could be a bad connection, preventing proper shut-down.
While it's off, open it up (cover usually pops off) and clean up the internal relay contacts (often a HD pair and a smaller pair), as well as the base contacts.

These relays usually enjoy a very long life, 10-20 years+.
Similarly, BERUs normally good for 10+ years minimum.
Most common faults are corrosion of the relay's main HD base terminals (up-front weathering).

If in doubt about its performance, rig up a test lamp/LED onnthe output, so you can see what it's doing during and after start-up, and keep an eye on it.

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Well this morning I rigged up a lamp and stated the engine. After a very brief splutter and miss, presumably due to there being air in the fuel line it started with very little smoke, and idled sweetly. The lamp remained lit for exactly 3 minutes and extinguished accompanied with a rise in engine note as GP current draw ceased.

I contacted the motor factor I purchased from explaining that two GP's had failed, they didnt appear surprised stating some do occasionally fail and immediately offered a replacement for the failures. I mentioned my reticence regarding the longevity of the Champion GP's and asked if they could exchange all four for a different brand, they agreed.

They didn't have a supply chain for BERU but can supply BOSCH which I have opted for. They originally quoted part no: 0250202034 from a NGK cross reference guide. I questioned this as it differed from the Part no suppled in this post ( 0250201039 ). They are now ordering these and should be here in a few days.

Now I need to concentrate on rectifying the fuel leak.

User avatar
white exec
Moderating Team
Posts: 6819
Joined: 21 Dec 2015, 13:46
x 1204

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by white exec »

The Bosch GP 0 250 201 039 is the one listed for the car.
Mister Auto quote it as well, and have it in stock.
This is their list of equivalents for the car:
https://www.mister-auto.co.uk/glow-plug ... 0-201-039/

....034 is shown for Fiat and Lancia.
I'd insist on the right one.
Just make sure all dimensions (particularly the length) are the same as the original BERU's.

Agent29
Posts: 27
Joined: 15 Apr 2021, 06:14
x 2

Re: 1997 Citroen Xsara TD, fuel leak and starting issues.

Post by Agent29 »

Thanks Chris,

I came to the same conclusion earlier and asked them to order the correct 039's and not the 034's which as you pointed out are Fiat / Lancia compatible.