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Full Version An Extraordinary Xm Anglesey Odyssey - Got My Car!

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So, I picked up my XM last night from CitroenXM, who is, may I say, both a gentleman and a scholar.

I live in Southampton, and he's in Anglesey, as North as North Wales gets, so it was quite a run! 3 hours on the train to Cardiff, a client meeting, another 5 hours on the train to Holyhead, and then a run in Paul's V6 out to his place. It was very dark, which doesn't make checking a car out very easy, but I decided to take it (God knows how I'd have got home if I hadn't!). This meant driving it to Cambridge - there's nothing like finding out whether you like a car with a 260 mile test drive! Of course, we had some comedy faults. The heater controls played up, so I couldn't get the air on the screen with any great effect (Paul, a gent as I mentioned, gave me a replacement control box, but of course we weren't about to fit it there, in the dark, with all that driving. And he unwittingly kept the knob!), and as we drove back in convoy towards Holyhead, a headlight bulb went (Paul kindly donated one of his main beam bulbs). He also very kindly gave me a copy of Motor from 27 May 1972, the week before I was born!

The drive back to Cambridge was a highly enjoyable adventure. The first 80 miles or so is Welsh A roads, so pretty twisty. I put it in sport mode, and had a blast. I can tell you who naysay the 2.1td that it's plenty fast enough compared to my Previa, as long as you keep it in the power band. Then it was another 180 miles on the motorway, and boy, is it the best motorway cruiser I've ever driven! Effortless, comfortable, plenty of go if you need to squirt past someone. I had a wonderful drive.

The car is a 1994 2.1td hatch, with leather added by some kind individual, and 114k on the clock.

Of course, it's not entirely without issues. I mentioned the heater controls, which will be my first job, but it's also very smoky on startup, and this despite Paul changing out the injector pump. Any thoughts? It's clean as a whistle once started, but this morning, it blew clouds, despite having been driven 260 miles the night before (it's not short trip syndrome!). The lacquer on the bonnet is peeled to buggery, so if anyone comes across a good maroon bonnet, I'm interested. It also has a tiny stone chip in the screen on the passenger side. Am I right in thinking that's not an MOT item, as long as it's not in the driver's line of sight? I'm going to need to find a plip and receiver, since apparently that's critical if the battery is disconnected/flattened. Finally, the ABS warning is often on. I understand this is a common problem, but has anyone come up with a solution?

That aside, the car is great, no rust that I could find, solid strut tops, engine pulls well, it's had a new cambelt very recently, rear spheres are good. Front spheres I'm going to do soon, but they're not urgent. I'll probably do those, and a hydraflush together. So, now I'm really in the gang!
Congratulations Sam, and welcome to the club!

Sounds like you got yourself a nice sound XM there, and CitroenXM won't steer you wrong, as you've found out.

Nothing I love more than that feeling of excitement you get on the drive home with your latest acquisition, finding out what it can do etc. I only had a 40 mile trip to get my S1, I expect a 260 mile job must have been fun. smile.gif

Seems you have a busy weekend ahead of you tidying up it's little foibles, but then thats why we own them isn't it! smile.gif

Oh! Another sort-of-issues is that it sinks very quickly after switching off. I parked up, got my jacket from the back seat, then opened the boot, and it started sinking as I was getting my bag out. What might be causing that?
David Hallworth
Glad you like your car.

I first met Citroen XM through an online parts request as i had a water pump for his V6, him in Holyhead and me in Glasgow didn't help matters.

I've been down to his a couple of time since, and he's been to mine aswell. He's a great chap, and would do anything to help anyone!

Great guy to know if your into Citroens.

My V6 24v sinks pretty quickly when its stopped the same.

Not something i've bothered about fixing, someone told me it could be a valve in the back brakes that doesn't shut allowing the fluid to return to the front of the car when its not running.

Sure some of the other guys will keep you on the right track though.


So - I checked online, and the chip on the screen is no problem as long as it stays under 40mm (it's in the wiped area, but not in the drivers view). It's well under that now.

I also did some experiments with the smoky starting. Starting from cold, it really smokes a lot for about 2-3 minutes, but seems to settle to completely clear at about the time the temperature gauge first moves of the bottom stop. Stopping, and restarting brings smoke again, but for a shorter time. Later, I'll test what it does on a hot start. The car doesn't start on the button from cold, but churns over a bit, so it could be partly unburned fuel; it seems like too much smoke for that, however.

Later on, it's ferrying me and a Spanish colleague back to Southampton, so I'll get another 130 miles under my belt, and she gets the comfiest ride possible. One thing that astonished me yesterday was the size of the tank; it was between 1/3rd and 1/2 full, so I expected to get about £30 into it. It swallowed over £70! That said, I then drove 260 miles, and at the end, the gauge was just under full. Between the much better fuel consumption, and the much bigger tank, the local petrol station will think I've abandoned them!
The sudden sinking is not what you think.

When you pull up the car is at the correct ride height, you then get out which removes a significant weight from the car so it rises but you don't notice it because you aren't looking.

Meanwhile the height corrector senses the rise and lowers the car but this process is deliberately slow to stop the car 'dancing'. The car lowers itself just as you get your bag out and alarms you because you are now looking. This is not a problem but I was alarmed too when I first encountered it.

The car will settle very slowly when you leave it but that is also just a normal function of the system and one of the quirky features of our lovely cars.

Hope this helps you not to worry

John smile.gif
Hi Sam

Pleased to hear you have a car and it seems to be doing the business albeit with the quirks associated with XMs! I have been to citroenxm's and its a fair trip, we stayed overnight at a Travelodge as we went and visited some friends up that way.

114k is not a bad mileage for a diesel XM so there shouldn't be to much wrong with it, the one I have now I bought at 114k, I had to replace the water pump and head gasket in the first 10k but that was largely due to to neglect by the previous owner, it had no antifreeze and a filthy cooling system. It has now done about 175k and has been very reliable since the first fracas. The last one I sold had done nearly 300k and was still going, so they will last if you look after them.

Your poor and smokey start sounds like low compression, assuming the glow plugs are OK, I wonder if it has had a head gasket at sometime and to thicker one has been fitted? Anyway, I wouldn't worry about it if it goes OK. The same applies to the suspension, providing it goes up and drives allright, they are all different.

You will find the fuel consumption amazing, we fill up at Axminster and top up at Inverness and it has only used about 2/3 tank, 50 mpg +. I reckon you could drive from Lands End to John'0'Groats with fuel to spare.

You will be on a steep learning curce for a while, enjoy!

If the smoking isn't going to cause me an MOT problem, then I too am inclined not to worry. The engine pulls well and sounds healthy, so it's not eating away at me! I hadn't thought about the ride height corrector - I'm currently circa 18 stone, so it's a fair amount to take out. I had a play with the height controls today, and it doesn't rise and fall quite as fast as my BX used to, but it gets where it's going in each setting, and didn't creak at all except from one front corner when I put it on max height. From normal to hi driving mode - no noises at all.
Hi Sam,

Is the car fitted with anti sink?

If so it will be slow to rise compared to a BX due to the 6+2 hydraulic pump.

I wonder if the cause of the smokey starts could be the injectors dribbling. The mileage would suggest not though.

Could be, but the slowness to catch makes me wonder if the glowplugs are all that they should be. I haven't taken note yet, but is there a "glowplugs warming" light that I should be waiting for it to go out before starting? I know I've had that on other diesels (including my bus). My old Bedford has probably done 250k miles on that big 6, and it's never smoked like this on startup!
The glowplug light is in the strip between the 2 displays - right a bit from the big red stop light. Amber as I think is usual for such a light.

At least it is on the Mk II - didn't notice if yours is Mk 1 or 2 - 94 cold be either I think. It may have moved in the facelift.

I find if the wheel is not straight ahead then I can't see it through the spokes/radio controls/airbag. Somehow I always seem to park with the wheel turned as well rolleyes.gif
Hi Sam,

Well done on the aquisition. Aren't they great, you will learn to love it and you will also learn to forgive it a lot as well. smile.gif

There is a glowplug warning light on the dash and if the glowplugs are not functioning it might take a bit of turning over to fire up and they will smoke. In warm weather it is hardly noticeable but in freezing conditions it can be a real battery killer! Glowplugs are fairly cheap though and also you might have dribbling injectors huh.gif . The glowplug relay can also be troublesome and there are some posts on here with details.

Also I find that the suspension is slower to rise than a Bx but as you say it does get there.

I hope you have many happy (s)miles of XMing. smile.gif
QUOTE (SamWise1972 @ Jan 25 2008, 14:44 PM)
If the smoking isn't going to cause me an MOT problem, then I too am inclined not to worry. The engine pulls well and sounds healthy, so it's not eating away at me! I hadn't thought about the ride height corrector - I'm currently circa 18 stone, so it's a fair amount to take out. I had a play with the height controls today, and it doesn't rise and fall quite as fast as my BX used to, but it gets where it's going in each setting, and didn't creak at all except from one front corner when I put it on max height. From normal to hi driving mode - no noises at all.

That's good then, in my experience 18 stone will definitely activate the rear height corrector and also the front one in most of the cases. I'm about 11 stone and the rear is doing its work when I step out; when me+girfriend step out (22 stone) both front and rear work.

I'm writing this detail because during ownership of mine, it's not always been like that: I now realise that for lots of time I drove the car with the middle spheres not opening up, ie I was going with the very damped corner spheres only (they don't really get compressed when u seat in, so don't lift the car when u step out either) . In this situation the height correctors barely reacted when stepping out. Further, I also noticed that hydraflushing my car also made a difference: a/height correctors are faster to react (rear about 10secs now), b/they are totally silent (at first, when my car did the "sinking", u could listen a "fssss" sound). Now if u don't look for it you wouldn't realise it. This reminds me that when I had just bought the car, if I put it in low then upwards, it made a whistling/siren-kind of noise fro mthe rear that was loud enough to make everybody near look! God knows the amount of dirt that was in my system back then...

So from your description I deduce that your XM's height correctors are in good condition and that the rear spheres are rather full than rather empty. Hydraflushing will make it even better -but leave it work for at least a few 1000s miles-. Mine rises in 10-15secs now from an overnight sink -needed about a minute when I bought it-.

cheers and enjoy!

Hi Sam, Am pleased you feel good about your purchase, it really adds to the enjoyment of the drive having struck a courteous and pleasant deal with a gentleman.Continue to enjoy it and i'm sure all of us in this club wish you well, and will assist with it's wellbeing from the depth of knowledge for which this site excels. The smoke on start up (black) is most likely slightly over advanced pump timing -particulalry if start up is instantaneous and on road driving performance is good. This is not a problem provided no lumpiness is evident at the top end of the rev range -above 3500-4000 and will not affect the MOT smoke test. As pointed out by bigjohnh once yo've got out the the vehicle it should settle and remain level. As the system pressure decays-and this is dependent on many factors ie. hydraulic component wear and tear, fluid service and filter cleanliness etc-the car will sink. if this is level over several hours then the hyd system is fairly sound.If the rear end sinks first within 30 mins it is likely that one or both rear suspension cylinders,or the brake control valve is leaking excessively internally.A quick test, drive the car normally then stop holding the brake pedal, the rear of the car should rise ,then drive off, the car should level immediately and there should not be heavy braking pessure required . Being a 1994 model i don't believe anti sink was fitted till later.
Hi all

Sams car is a Series 1.5, no anti sink, and I think Sam has noticed the settlement of the rear as mentioned. The Rear spheres fitted are Comfort Spheres and VERY soft..

I was hoping the starting was fixed, but with the lousey weather we had last week I couldn't do any more with the car..

I sugestion I do have, is possibly at a later date get the car to a DERV centre and see if the pump is timed correctly... ??

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