Copy of email received as follows:

We have recently purchased a xm with all four brakes locked on we have been told it's a master cylinder
Problem but can't get one any ideas
Would be great
Thx richy

Richard does not have an account with so I will direct him to this answer by sending a link back to his email address.


When Citroen designed the XM they designed the left hand drive first for the home market. When they then designed the Right Hand Drive version they came across several hurdles. One such hurdle was the location of the master cylinder as you are calling it. In the Right Hand Drive version there is no room for it in the normal location. Therefore, Citroen relocated the cylinder to the small space at the bottom of the windscreen on the right hand side of the car. This is called the scuttle. If you remove the scuttle cover you will find the master cylinder fitted in this tight space. The master cylinder sits at right angles to the car and there is a metal linking rod between the foot pedal and the plunger on the master cylinder. A pivoted quadrant at the top of the rod from the brake pedal must translate the vertical movement to horizontal movement. This is the source of the problem in this system.

The master cylinder and it's mechanism are subject to all of the water and salt from the road surface and eventually the quadrant seizes to the degree where the spring pressure available from the master cylinder is insufficient to return the mechanism to the rest position. In which case, the brakes stick in the "on" position. Thankfully the solution is very easy. Just remove the scuttle cover and slacken the bolt through the quadrant. Lubricate the joint and move it back and forth several dozen times to loosen it off. Re-tighten the bolt through the pivot. The problem should be solved.

I hope that helps. However, please let us know how you get on.


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