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My son turned up in the red XM today complaining that he couldn't open the tail gate. All the locks on this car seem to be clapped out, in fact you can open the drivers door with any Citroen key! None of the others work at all, but the central locking does, as does the remote from today, just fitted a matching reciever and plip. But now although the locking motor in the tailgate is working, it wont unlock it. The problem seems to be that the manual lock is stuck in the locked position. I have removed the assembly but cant get the barrell out, can anyone help? I would like to be able to shut the tailgate again.

I fashioned a tool to open the tailgate from inside from a toilet roll and some sticky back plastic, no I didn't actually but I did make one from a section of wire coat hanger which worked very well. If anyone has the same problem, I will let you have the details.

The lock on my XM tailgate was corroded to death too, so I decided to remove the barrel entirely and replace it with a roofing bolt, 2 nuts and 2 repair washes. The tailgate locks and unlocks with the central locking just like on Xantias.

Ken newbold
Sadly I think the locks are one of the "joys" of XM ownership.

My tailgate lock has a mind of it's own. It never fails to work, but sometimes it opens when the rest of the doors lock.
Hi Peter

The tailgate lock does not come to bits easily. I recall that I needed one in bits to see how to get the barrel out. Will see if I still have the bits in the box of lock spares. I know I have the odd spare tailgate lock assembly for both cars and estates. I can also make up replacement door lock barrels keyed to match a supplied key if this will help. I can manage to rekey all XM locks except the ignition. On all XM's the tailgate and glovebox locks do not accept the car's garage key but this cannot be your particular problem if you are using a plip key.


Hi Peter,

It must be the season for tailgate locks. Mine stuck yesterday too and I couldn't get the tailgate open ! I folded down the rear seats and crawled intot he boot from there. I undid the 8 or so screws on the inner liner including the two hidden beneath the bulb access hatches. After a bit of fiddling and loosening the 4 bolts which hold the catch mechanism onto the tailgate it did eventually spring free and I got the tailgate open.

Firstly I removed the catch mechanism completely. One pushrod is kept in place by a plastic spring clip. This si easily dismantled. The other pushrod must be disconnected from the keylock first and the catch mechanism withdrawn complete with pushrod intact. Once removed from the tailgate the pushrod can be disconnected from the catch mechanism. I sprayed the catch with WD40 and operated the catch manually a hundred times or so until it muved very freely both in the locked and unlocked position. I then greased the whole of the mechanism to prevent future occurences.

Now for the lock itself. I now wish I'd taken pictures. Remove the two screws which hold the microswitch in place. The microswitch diasbles the central locking on the boot lid only when the key is used to lock it. Now remove the two bolts holding the lock in place. It will be stuck to the inside surface of the door skin so wiggle the lock until it comes loose. With the lock in your hand identify the phillips screw on the top of the outer barrel and remove it. Tap the whole barrel on the vice whilst simultaneously pushing on the inner bezel where the key is inserted. The inner barrel should now work its way out of the outer barrel until the two are separated. The inner barrel should now look exactly like a door lock barrel. The pictures for further dismantling are contained in my 'spinning locks' how to... in the help files section. The lock needs to be dismantled until only the most inner barrel remains since this is the bit which corrodes and sticks.

Please don't condemn the lock just yet. It is usually recoverable. I don't have time today but if you can survive until Tuesday night I can dismantle mine and take some photos.


noz cool.gif
Hi all.

Re. Peter's comment on the door lock barrels, on a few of my previous XMs where the remote has given up, I've then always had grief with the driver's barrel. Unlike other makes I've had, where the key causes the wards to withdraw so you can rotate the barrel, on the XM it's this odd (to me !) business where the key allows you to push the barrel further in, to engage the relevant mechanism.
What then happens over time, is the couple of small lugs that limit the forward movement of the key gradually open out, allowing the key to travel too far in, thus preventing the barrel working correctly. In every case, squeezing them back together has restored correct function. (Plus a good dose of lubrication while it's in bits)
I don't really think the door lock barrels are designed for much use, more as a back up for remote failure, so it's a classic 'lose - lose' situation. Always use the remote and the barrels freeze up for lack of use; always use the key and the barrel wears out. There's design for you !

Hi All

Peter has an Estate, the descriptions are for a Car. While the general arrangement is very similar in layout the Estate tailgate lock has a number of differences. These are with the catch and the lock. A totally different lock surround is used and it is a b****r to disassemble compared to the car one to get at the lock. The catch is mounted with 2 bolts into a thin section of the fiberglass tailgate. The 2 studs moulded into the fiberglass are easily damaged and if so they are inaccessable to put nuts and washers on. Repairing the fixings with glue seldom lasts and the resulting loose tailgate catch causes no end of central locking problems and an impossible adjustment task.


Oh god, tailgate locks!
Mines working with the remote, and the lock barrell has been too stiff to fit the key into ever since I got the car. I dare not touch it! smile.gif

Thanks all very much for your input.

I managed to dismantle it OK after laying on the floor in the back with a piece of bent coat hanger to release the catch. Unfortunatly, with the estate you cant get the panel off without the tailgate open, as the screws are along the edge. As XMecx says the estate lock is somewhat different to the hatchback.

The probelem I had, was not removing the lock it was getting the barrel out. But I am afraid I took drastic action and cut the end off the tube containing the barrel and removed the bits, the lock now functions but I have to find something user friendly to fill the hole up with!

Even having destroyed the housing, I still cant see how the barrel comes out, it seems to be encapsulated in the button. I will put it back together for the time being, at least it can be openend now, but I think a new lock assembly will be in order.

Hi Peter

Have just looked out the box of spare locks. The XM estate tailgate lock is totally different to the car one. Getting the car lock barrel out is dead easy compared to the 2 hidden barbs on the estate one. The saving grace is that the estate lock barrel holder is also fitted to Xantias so I have a few spares.


The catch is mounted with 2 bolts into a thin section of the fiberglass tailgate. The 2 studs moulded into the fiberglass are easily damaged and if so they are inaccessable to put nuts and washers on. Repairing the fixings with glue seldom lasts and the resulting loose tailgate catch causes no end of central locking problems and an impossible adjustment task.<<<<<<

With a suitable large drill bit (about 10 mm?) I was able to bang in two caged nuts, designed for the job - Part No. 6941 60 - and used the original bolts to refix this catch very successfully. I did not overtighten in case (I ripped them out), but they are plenty firm enough for the job.
Thanks again for all your input. I have solved the problem for the time being at least, having socessfully removed the barrel, I have plugged the hole with an old television cabinet foot from my spares drawer. It was just the right size, a slight interference fit, and just the right shape, domed, so we now have a nice plastic button to press, and it works a treat. My son said he is not bothered about having a lock on there anyway, it locks and unlocks OK with the central locking.

Techmanagain - The catches are loose on both cars, I bodged the green one up OK and its been working for a couple of years or so, but its nice to know that there is a mod - thanks. It seems to be a pretty flimsy set up for such a heavy tailgate.

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