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Hi all,

I've just bought a '96 petrol auto 2.0i, exclusive, leather seats, air con, silver colour so all in all nice bit of car. It's done 113,00 miles The intention was to replace my VSX TCT which is a great car with lower mileage but no air con.

So driving round town with the new one all is well, but I took it for a longer run with the family for a break this week and the following issues cropped up:

1) Every now and then (say every ten minutes) the car shudders with a sudden loss of power as if the fuel's not getting through. It's only momentary, but not very funny if you're pulling out into fast moving traffic! Anyone encountered this? Petrol pipe blockage? Spark plugs (according to the receipts last replaced 20,000 miles ago)?

2) ..and this is the one that's really got me worried: Nice silky gear change, except that every now and then, especially -- it seems -- at lower revs, it feels like the clutch is slipping when it changes up in the range of 3rd to 4th I think. Now I'm no mechanic, and I can only describe it in manual gear box terms as if the clutch is being applied while the accelerator's down ie like a sloppy `too heavy on the clutch' gear change. but of course this is an auto. Am I, as I fear, staring into the lights of an oncoming gearbox failure?

The car's got loads of history, and the previous owner spared no expense in maintaining the car -- I've got all the receipts and they're all from Citroen dealers. Nothing I can find which says the gearbox oil has ever been changed though.

If the gearbox is on the way out, I'd rather stick with the other one and sweat in the summer.

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere; I searched for threads but couldn't find anything specific.

I'd definitely get the gearbox oil changed asap if not before!

Have you dipped the gearbox? Is the level ok? What colour is the oil? What does it smell like?
I'll check it tomorrow when it's warmer and lighter.

But I fear that an oil change now may be a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted...
Hi regnorpten, Sorry to hear of gearbox woes, but as the bearer of bad news i'm afraid. These were the symptoms in my 2000 year 2.1 and is the classic first sign of failure (no history of g/box oil changes). I went through the denial stage ,changed the oil and flushed through with 25 litres of Millers dextron 2, still brown after a short drive ,still slipping from 3 to 4 . Phoned MACKIES of Glasgow (the only approved ZF overhauler in scotland) who confimed the requirement for overhaul.You'll find the saga on a thread on this site. £2200 later i have a perfect autobox which i religously drain and refill every 5000 miles when i do the engine service( incidently i do the LHM at the same time) Paranoia rules. My 95 2.1 auto runs as smoothly as ever with 147k under it's belt.
Thanks Robert,

I feared as much. Wonder why the failure point's from 3rd to 4th. You'd think 1-2 or 2-3 would be greater pressure points. But then if the car's used round town a lot (as this one was) it's constantly shifting up and down around 3rd and 4th because of the 30mph speed limit I guess.

Oh well, thought it was too good to be true, finding a top spec XM without problems :-(
Hi Matt,

The sudden loss of power is probably/possibly the ignition amplifier module, I had one go with similar symptoms on two different 2.0s. It's easy to get at and not too expensive.

The gearbox problem sounds like the multi-plate clutch that locks one of the two annuli gears to the turbine shaft is slipping. Does it eventually hold?

Seems to me you have four choices:

Change the oil (Dex II) and carry on regardless, after all if it's going to fail you might as well use it. Problem is that every time the clutch slips it contaminates the oil.

Select "3" instead od "Drive". That will limit the changes to the first three gears only. 3rd gear is direct drive through the gearbox.

Bite the bullet and change the gearbox. I think a couple of members have gearboxes going spare (BigtallBrad? CitroenXM?).

Go back to the TCT in the knowledge that it's a much nicer engine and just as economic.

With another runner you might even try a gearbox strip yourself. The electronics and valve block are modules and the innards are just planetary gears, clutches and brakes.


PS An afterthought. If the slippage is only temporary (every now and then?) you could try easing the throttle as the change takes place, give the clutch a couple of seconds to bite.
Thanks Derek,

Sound advice.

At the moment I'm minded to stick with the TCT. It feels surprisingly sifferent to the other one: like a tank, with much more solid gear changes (though not as spritely on the take-off).

In response to your question about whether the clutch does eventually hold on the other car: yes it does; the slipping is only momentary. I'm sure there's another several thousand miles at least in it as it is; I've just been spoilt with the TCT.
You've just opened up another possibility. I arranged with my insurance company to transfer the insurance from one of my cars to the other and back again every six months. So I use the TCT in the winter and the V6 with air conditioning and cruise during the summer where its extra power helps to tow the caravan. The only fly in the ointment is that the summer car has heated seats and the winter one doesn't.

So why not run the TCT in the winter and the air con car in the summer? Only extra expense is the two MOTs.

Hi Matt,
Is this the car which was in london's Se4 district a nice top spec car i was outbid on

Hi Norman,

No it must be another one; I am coincidentally in SE14 though.
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