Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

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August
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Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

Citroen xantia 1.8 16v 1999 manual.

I'm experiencing intermittent heavy steering. It randomly becomes heavy mid turn and all of a sudden easy or even when doing minor corrections on a road. Like a said it is really intermittent.

car stops, rises and falls fast, lhm was changed and filters cleaned not a long time ago.

there is a slight leak in the main hydraulic hose in front of the engine near hydraulic pump, I've heard that it could be sucking in air and causing these problems, but the leak is quite old and im experiencing these symptoms very recently

What could be the cause of intermittent heavy steering? the leak, failing HP or something else?
RichardW
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by RichardW »

It's the universal joint at the base of the column seizing up. You can get some lube on it with an aerosol from behind the driver's side wheel with it on full lock. It's quite difficult to get permanent lubrication on it, but you can get some grease on it from underneath, do it frequently and you should get on top of it.
August
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

I would need a little more detailed explanation where the U joint is located and how does it look, and which part to lube specifically (keep in mind, that my car is left hand drive). And what lube is best to use?
RichardW
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by RichardW »

Put the suspension high and the steering on full right lock, follow the track arm behind the driver's side wheel along to the steering rack, and then you should be able to see the universal joint where the steering column is attached to the rack. WD40 or similar will do for a start to get it freed up, after that some spray grease or something.
August
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

thank you!
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white exec
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by white exec »

Intermittent heavy steering (or steering feeling lumpy or notchy) is often the result of air getting drawn into the hydraulic system. This is almost always via the hose between the reservoir and the pump, which is under suction. The leak you say is there is a sign that something is wrong. Probably a good idea to replace the hose (with one that will not collapse on light suction), but make sure that the joints at each end are perfectly snug and tight, and that you use genuinely circular hose clips that will not distort the roundness of the hose.

When it's all back together again, you can check for air in fluid by dipping a sample of fluid from the reservoir (engine running). You shouln't find foaming or lots of bubbles, but maybe just a few 'micro-bubbles' of tiny size. The filters in the reservoir have the job of breaking up bubbles, to prevent them from being recirculated into the system.

Hopefully, the suction hose is the culprit. Physical cracks/leaks in the suction snout on the top of the reservoir have been known, but are very rare.
August
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

My suction hose seems to be leaking in two places - where it connects to the pump and where it connects to reservoir

So it is a significant chance that this hose is the culprit
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by RichardW »

The column joint is (well was, not so many Xantias around now!) a common fail, and gives exactly the symptoms you describe. For the sake of 30seconds give it a spray and see if it improves.
August
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

Sorry for my under education 8-[ , but by the column joint you mean the part that you can see and reach from inside the car?
RPekka
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by RPekka »

August wrote:
09 Jan 2022, 16:23
Sorry for my under education 8-[ , but by the column joint you mean the part that you can see and reach from inside the car?
Yes exactly that. If spraying it with WD40 or other magic spray helps it can be quite easily changed and wasn't that expensive 15 years ago.
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xantia_v6
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by xantia_v6 »

Therre are 2 joints in the steering column, one inside the car, and one outside. It is the outside one (2 in the diagram) that needs lubrication.

Image
August
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

After spraying grease at the "number 2" joint generous amount, sadly it didn't help.
aerodynamica
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by aerodynamica »

If you think they're is air getting pumped in the circuit you can open the LHM tank and with a torch shining in have someone start the engine and watch for bubbles appearing in the return flow.
Another indication is to release the accumulator pressure and look to see if bubbles appeared in the LHM tank.
Thirdly, if you have had to bleed the brake circuits every few months that would suggest air being pumped in.
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xantia_v6
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by xantia_v6 »

Another possibility is that the auxilliary belt is slipping, perhaps because of oil contamination, or perhaps due to worn belt or pulleys that are not gripping correctly.
August
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Re: Citroen xantia intermittent heavy steering

Post by August »

Auxilliary belt and pulleys were done like a month ago.

So im gonna start with replacing the hose that is leaking and move on from there.