Citroen Xantia questions - MichaelR
Hi there :)

I have a 1994 Citroen Xantia SX 1.9TD, which I have a few problems with. I'd be grateful for any ideas you may have :)

a) A while back I discovered water under the front and rear carpets, on the passenger side of the car. Investigation produced a blocked a sunroof drain, which was duly unblocked. I then removed and dried the carpets out, but just before I re-fitted them this week, I discovered another trickle of water coming into the passenger footwell. Research turned up the 'Scuttle Panel' as a probable cause - I've checked what I think is this panel (A long plastic thing along the button of the windscreen) and it's certainly not sealed down, I can get my finger under it in places! The question here is is this likely to be the problem, and whats the best way to re-seal the darn thing? :)

b) The car had new glowplugs fitted a few days before I bought it. Ever since I've had it (8 months now), however, it's always been a bit of a dog to start. I usually give it 3-4 heats to get it going nicely, if I give it one or two it'll turn for about 10 seconds before starting over. Is this likely to be glow plugs even though they were replaced?

c) My rear brakes squeek. The fronts used to as well, but some copper grease cured that. Copper grease was added to the rears in the relevent place as well, but this didnt help. One thing I noticed was the anti rattle shims were missing from the rear brakes on both sides. I get a different answer depending on who I ask, so I'll ask you lot :) Could this be the cause of my embarassingly squeeky brakes, and if not, what is? If it is the cause where can I get them? Citroen don't have them and neither do Andyspares.

Cheers very much :)
Citroen Xantia questions - M.M

Water: Are you sure this isn't scuttle heater intake chamber drains blocked by leaves etc?

Glowplugs: Beru are the only make I trust to fire up a Xantia TD with 100% reliability. Even new ones of other makes can be poor. Do you know what yours are?

Brakes: They often do that! Assuming no specific fault it can just be the way the particular make of disc/pad materials interact, or perhaps because the discs have worn into ridges and set up harmonics.

Citroen Xantia questions - IanT
(a) Has your Xantia got an Ozone Filter? Ozone filters are usually fitted in or around the scuttle panel and there have been many reports of water leaks due to badly fitted filters.

The scuttle should have a drain, sometimes blocked by dead leaves etc. It's obvious from the scuttle's position that a lot of water goes this way, so the drain should be very free flowing or a build up of water could cause problems.

(b) "Dog to start" - Does this mean
(b1) Engine has to turn over lots of times before it fires, but once fired it runs OK, or
(b2) Engine fires easily, but then stalls, and only runs OK after the 2nd or 3rd attempt.

b1 is usually glow plugs. Lots of people have reported glow plugs failing within days of fitment. Definitely worth testing them. Might be worth getting your battery checked as well.

b2 is usually due to air leaks in the diesel fuel supply.

(c) Can you confirm that you've got rear disk brakes. Are you sure that there should be any anti-rattle shims on these brakes - surely Citroen could order them if they are standard fittings.

Citroen Xantia questions - MichaelR
Where can I find the drain?

As far as dog to start is concerend, it's b1. Yes, the car does have rear disc brakes. I'm not entirely sure if it should have the shims or not...
Citroen Xantia questions - Mondaywoe
Hi Michael

My Xantia (1993 SX petrol) was delivered NEW with soaking floor at the back. I had to take out all the carpets and dry everything. I never actually worked out what caused it. I kept the car for 9 years, though, and it never happened again - although once or twice it became wet under the back seat pads. I have a feeling it was connected with leaving the car parked in heavy rain on a steep slope (facing downhill!) The dealer couldn't explain it and as it dried up of it's own free will I didn't pester him. Maybe the car was parked with a window slightly open prior to delivery.

Sorry, my one was petrol - can't comment on starting difficulties.

The back brakes should certainly have shims. I bought new pads at one point (not Citroen's own) and got shims with them. I daresay a Cit dealer could order for you. The back brakes need to be cleaned out thoroughly at about every 20,000 miles and given a touch of copper grease.The backing plates are rather prone to corrosion too - I had to replace one on my Xantia - only about £6.00. Are your discs OK? The back ones don't get much use and can corrode, ridge etc if you're not braking too hard.

The front brakes eat pads quite quickly. I also found that my front pads always wore unevenly. I think there was always one pad at the front NS almost down to the backing when the rest were perfectly OK. Yet caliper seemed free enough and discs were perfect. Make sure the handbrake cables are not adjusted too tightly - on lock they can make the discs drag.

Different make of pads could help.

It would be worth joining the Xantia group on yahoo ( There are owners there that would be able to sort out all your problems.

Citroen Xantia questions - IanT
Assuming the Xantia is anything like my 306, there isn't a drain plug - just a hole letting water out down the back of the wheel arch liner. Before removing the scuttle panel to get access, you would do better to try pouring in lots of water using a hosepipe and making sure it is all coming out just as fast underneath the car. If it is, then the drain isn't blocked.

After all, there are lots of other places that water can be getting in (down the back of the door trim, on mine).

Here's another description of a glowplug fault: "started easily, but emitted a lot of black smoke for three or four seconds. The engine also ran 'lumpily' for a few seconds.". But don't forget the battery possibility.

You can test glowplugs in situ if you've got a multimeter. Disconnect the battery (good idea but not absolutely necessary), disconnect the wiring from each plug. Test resistance of each plug from plug terminal to earth. Typical resistance is 0.4 ohms, though anything less than 1 ohm and greater than zero should be OK.

No real ideas on the brakes. If MiddleMan is right, you're going to have to replace the disks and/or pads. If you replace the disks you should replace the pads at the same time anyway.


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