Battery Low? - Xantiargh!
Surprisingly few problems with my motor at the moment ('95 1.9TD LX Xantia).

However, did notice that after about 2 or 3 minutes after setting off from a cold start, the heater fan speed picks up noticably.

My questions are:
Is this normal, or is it a sign that the battery is struggling to produce enough juice (I'm assuming its when the glow plugs switch off)?

How long should a battery be relied on for?

The car always splutters for a few seconds, despite catching immediately when cold starting. Could this be that the battery is low and not giving the glow plugs enough juice to heat up to optimum temperature?

Battery Low? - madf
COuld be:

Alternator drive belt slipping - needs tightening or replacement

Battery life: seen some fail at 2 years others good at 10..

On diesels winter and glow plugs = hard life.. I buy from Halfords with 3 year guarantee.. had 2 new batteries foc on wife's 106 diesel in 9 years:-)

in your case I would check belt tightness and if OK replace battery (but do you do lots of short journeys with heater/rear screen demist on : battery may never get charged properly..?)

Battery Low? - solara
I would go for a Motaquip battery.
Comes with 4 year warranty, nice carry case handle and optical battery status indicator. All for under 40 quid (306 diesel).
Battery Low? - Chas{P}
BTW Motaquip batteries are made by Exide
Battery Low? - Xantiargh!
Car used to do distance, now does 4 miles to station and back every day, long runs every other weekend.

Battery has a date sticker on it which if memory serves me is stamped 1999.

I was just wondering if there was a link between the step up in fan speed and the coughing on cold starts.
Battery Low? - Hawesy1982
A 4 year old battery in a diesel is likely to be approaching the time where it will begin to fail, so i'd advise to replace it now to be on the safe side, and prevent any nasty non-starting surprises this winter.

I noticed the other day that gsf car parts have 60Amp Bosch batteries for £43.50 - a lot cheaper than Halfords IIRC
Battery Low? - solara
I would treat gsf stock/prices with a pinch of salt.
I was going to go for the bosch at GSF, but they didnt have any bosch batts, but had some other cheap brand instead, and was a lower rating. Check availabilty/prices before hand.
Battery Low? - RichardW
Mine (also 95 TD LX) does this as well. It also coughs a bit on cold starts and is difficult to start when hot. I measured the battery and it drops to about 11V with the plugs switched on, so I concluded it's probably about shot. However, in a year and 22k miles it hasn't changed significantly so I've just left it. One day, no doubt, I will get stranded, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Battery Low? - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
Not sure if you mean suddenly speeds up or gradually.
The heater fans on my Golf and Passat diesels have speeded up suddenly after a couple of minutes from a cold start.
I assumed that it was the glow plug timer cutting out.
Battery Low? - Xantiargh!
Thats what I reckon it is, I'm just not sure if the change in fan speed indicates the battery is low on oomph and cannot supply glow plugs and fan, or whether its just supposed to do that.

Haven't noticed it before, and thought it might explain the car coughing when cold starting (not enough battery oomph so not enough heat through plugs, hence cough).
Battery Low? - Civic8
Once the engine has started the alternator should take over, ie the battery starts recharging and any extras are powered by the alternator. Any problems that occur from that start time would normaly be put down to alternator. The battery is only used as a start feed, so if the alternator drive belt is slipping that will cause it. The battery is only there to start not to run the car, it won\'t have the power to do so. Batteries have depending on the firm that makes it any thing from a couple of years to ten years they do vary. Not that any I know give a ten year warranty. I think at most 5 year.
Battery Low? - wemyss
My wifes car (diesel) also has the same pecularity. Half a mile down the road and the fan speeds up. I also believe it is the glow plugs suddenly dropping off. Ten years old and has done this since new.
Battery Low? - Peter D
Glow plugs initially take some 10 to 15 amps depending on the type and when hot pull about 10 to 12 amps. This gives you a 48 to 50 amp load which is making the alternator work hard keeping up and the battery voltage is normally only about 12.75 in this mode. When the plug heater relay times out the battery voltage quickly rises to 13.75 to 14 volts which can easily be seen in the headlight brilliance and heard in the fan speed. Having said that if you think yours is excessive then check your engine/manifold to body/battery earth straps are all clean and secure. Regards Peter
Battery Low? - M.M
PeterD has it spot on.

Richard it is quite normal to see 11 volts or lower as the glowplugs heat up and before the engine starts.

If there is anything wrong with the battery you will soon get very sluggish turning over from the starter on these engines.

Battery Low? - RichardW

That's why I just left it... It cranks pretty slowly compared to my previous XUDs and won't start at all when hot unless you use the heater plugs, and even then needs 5 or 6 compressions to fire up - whereas both the BX TDs would start first time over with no heaters even if they'd been stood half an hour. I might splash the £50 or so on a new battery in the New Year and see if this changes things - but it hasn't got any worse in last 20k miles so maybe not.

Do have loud clonking from front suspension developed over last week though - new drop links required I think (hope?!). I suspect they will have to wait till the New Year as well.


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Battery Low? - M.M

I must admit, whatever the voltage readings, I usually find a new battery is the answer to a sluggish start in 75% of cases.

However it is the case many XUD starter motors are tired by anything over 80K. Ok I know some that are still original at 200K plus but on average they have to be a factor in a slow cranking speed at higher mileages.

If a new battery doesn't do it, and the connections are fine, then a replacement starter will often produce a huge increase in cranking speed....but none of us like spending the £120!

Battery Low? - NARU
Costco have been doing a roaring trade in Bosch batteries this week according to the lady at the till when I bought one yesterday.
Battery Low? - madf
The retail motor trade reckons it sells over 70% of its annual sales of new batteries from October to March. The first hard frosts usually bring out the first surge:-)
Battery Low? - Sooty Tailpipes
If your batteries a few years onld and with the slightest doubt over it, I think it's worth changing before it lets you down completely at the least convenient moment - you wouldn't puposefully leave any other part on you car until it leaves you stranded before replacing it.

A diesel will be much happier with a new battery, as cranking speed is a major factor in starting performance.
For info,, the BOSCH batteries are made by Varta - excellent batteries - original fit on many expensive German cars. The Silver ones claim to give an extra 30% cold cranking amps - this will give much less voltage drop when cranking with the glowplugs on etc....

Value my car