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Club XM Forum > XM General Issues
1996 TD 2.5. The dash and interior lights dim in time with the indicators. This suggests to me that there is a poor connection (earth?) somewhere.

I'm aware that the XM has a history of earthing problems. Any suggestions as to where I should start looking would be gratefully received!

The battery is fully charged, although it is the wrong spec (low cold start current - 565A Halfords HCB065), which might explain occasional starting problems . I'm fitting a new one shortly - any recommendations? I'm probably fitting a Halfords HCB096 (700A cold start).

Also, does anyone know of any ways of improving the headlight performance? Bighter bulbs help, but the beam shape is very poor. I'm getting tired of driving in the shadow of my car formed by the b***dy BMW/Merc lights from behind!

Thanks, Keith
Hi Kieth

Cant help you much with the electrics as I don't know where the earthing points are but I wouldn't immagine that the indicators would be connected to the same earth as the panel lights, but you never know. The Mk2 versions have much improved electrics as there are many seperate earth connections in several places on the inner wings, I would suggest you check these for tightness. The headlamps I may be able to help with, first check the tightness of the auxiluary supply lead on the + battery connection, if this is not making good contact it could cause low out put from the headlamps, and on further thought could also be causing your panel lamp problem. If this is OK you can improve the output of your headlamps by doing the following : remove the front grill and then the headlamp lenses by removing the clips around the edge. In front of the dipped headlamp bulbs you will find a plastic diffuser wich has probably become opaque, remove it and throw it away. Then get some soft tissue paper, apply some methylated spirit and very carefully clean the reflectors, I say very carefully because it is very easy to remove the silver, so don't apply any pressure, just gently mop the surface. I carried out this procedure on one of mine and it made a tremendous difference.

You do need a decent sized battery for good starting as the current consumption of a diesel starter is considerably higher than that of a petrol one, especially in this weather!


When you say the dash lights do you mean the illumination lights or the warning/indication lights or both?

The illumination lights are fed via fuse 10 and then through the dimmer rheostat. This might vary by model, what model is yours? Why not add your model to your signature which is found under your profile. That way the answers to your questions can be more specific once the model is known.


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The illumination lights (including the LCD clock/temp etc) pulse in time to the indicators.

It's a 96 M reg 2.5 TDi estate (I put most of that at the start of the post - I'll play with the profile).
Derek Wilkinson
With reference to the headlamps on your car, Auto Express did a comparison check on headlamp bulbs last year and came out with a clear recommendation for Osram Silverstar. I've just fitted them to my 1999 V6 and can recommend them wholeheartedly. Also, some years ago I cleaned the reflectors on a Series 1 XM and succeeded in lifting the silver from the bottom of the reflector. I suggest you only use a soft, dry, lint-free duster. In my case the tarnish was only a layer of surface dust.
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