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Thread: Citroen Xantia - Why so cheap and what to look for

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    MD
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    Citroen Xantia - Why so cheap and what to look for

    Ok mate of mine has a lada right now (no sniggering at the back please) and the MOT has just come back as failed, it still has 10 days validity so hes on the lookout for something new. (repair cost higher than value of the car when he got it two years ago lol)

    Hes seriously tempted by an R reg Xantia and wants to know what, if anything to look out for, its a 77,000 miler, petrol, manual.

    So any one got any suggestions on what to look for? I can't get over how cheap these are for a second hand car, they look cracking value...

    m@
    Last edited by MD; 21-04-2005 at 08:53 PM.
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    I was talking about a ZX with someone today, and they suggested a xantia. Supposed to be pretty good cars. However, my mum used to have one - the 'brain' (or something similarly pronounced) needed replacing, which would have cost £1200. Slightly puts me off, although they do seem to be pretty cheap.

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    As far as I can tell the main prob is that you're supposed to replace the suspension spheres every so often, which costs a mint at a Citroen dealer. Probably a lot cheaper at a specialist though. Jiff will probably be along in a bit, he has one. Edit: my brain's too small to cope with confusing Citroen model names
    Last edited by Rave; 21-04-2005 at 11:08 PM.

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    Fox had one didn't he?

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    MD
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    cheers for the input so far fella, its all good

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    Fox
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    I ran a 1994 Citroen Xantia SX TD from 2002 until 2004. When I parted company with it had 166k on the clock. It was brilliantly reliable, wonderfully economical, supremely comfortable with the best ride quality this side of a Mercedes S Class, and parts were cheap and easy to source.

    Why are they cheap? Well, two reasons. The main reason they are cheap is becuase people are scared of them. It's a hydraulic Citroen - the brakes, suspension and power steering all run off the same hydraulic system. It's a remarkably simple way of doing things when you think about it, but people fear the worst and don't buy them. This really isn't helped by Citroen dealers awful labour rates meaning even minor problems can cost a fortune, adding to the reputation that they are an expensive liability.

    It doesn't have convential shock absorbers - it has spheres instead. A typical SX model will have 6 of these - 1 at each wheel, a rear sphere to stop the car sinking, and a sphere at the front which controls the pressure to the system. Spheres need replacing every 60,000 miles roughly. It takes about 10 minutes to change a sphere, is a reasonably simple job, and they cost about 20 quid each brand new from GSF Car Parts. When you consider that these spheres offer self levelling, height adjustable suspension, thats a bargain.

    Can you replace all 4 of your convential springs and dampers for 20 quid a corner? Didn't think so There are a couple of expensive areas of the system - cheifly the height correctors and the hydraulic pump which weigh in at about 100 quid each, but there are so many Xant's in scrappies these days parts are never hard to find.

    Petrol Xantia's are virtually worthless - as far as petrol engines go, they are average. Not bad, but not the best engines in the world. The diesels, however, are absolutely fantastic engines - each one is pretty much class leading. This means that everyone wants a diesel Xant not a petrol one and means petrol ones are very cheap to buy.

    Handling? It's, different. You can't throw it around a B road like you can with a Mondeo or a 406 - but then a Mondeo or a 406 won't soak up bumps and offer the same level of ride quality as a Xantia. It's a car for cruising, not thrashing.

    One thing I cannot stress enough is get one that has been looked after properly. A good Xantia is a brilliant car - a car owned by a chump who doesn't have a clue is a liability. Check the colour of the LHM fliud. It should be green. If its a mucky nasty colour, its not been changed for ages which is evidence of a cheapskate owner. Walk away. It should rise up and down on its suspension without issue. It should respond to adjustments of the height corrector lever reasonably promptly (Except from lowest position, takes 1 minute or so to do anything from there), and it should rise evenly. Listen under the bonnet - if there is a constant clicking noise, this is the accumulator sphere. Basically, its clicking to try and re-pressurise itself. If its constantly doing this its having trouble, 90% of the time this is becuase the sphere is worn - £20 and a bit of graft and its fixed, but 10% of the time the hydrualic pump is on its way out.

    Ride should be lovely and smooth. If its at all bouncy, there is a problem, Again, its usually just that the spheres need changing.

    I loved mine. Would I have another? Probably - I like the look of the Xantia II facelift models, although the originals like I had are showing their age these days. If its a 96 or later it'll have aircon unless the original buyer asked for a sunroof. Don't be tempted by a VSX - its got computer controlled suspension and more spheres. French + old + Computer = no.

    You might want to do some more research, get some more opinions, but as far as I am concerned, I like them and was very happy with mine.

    Shame we only got 200 quid for it

    BMW 530i Sport | Ford Mondeo Ghia X RSAP

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    Missing in Action CocoPops's Avatar
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    Top quality post as ever Fox

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    agreed...top quality post

    Jiff has a ZX...not a Xantia.

    Xantia's with 1.9 TD's don't have "brains" ..just brawn.

    My £0.02
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    Re: Citroen Xantia - Why so cheap and what to look for

    I have a 1.8 16v Xantia, yeah i know! Problem is it was standing for a while although i did start it every week, now there is an issue with the rear suspension, a day ago it would go up to the top on max height, now its on the bottom and solid, i can hear the front clicking but if that is gone why does tyhe front lift? Or does that go to both?
    N reg 96, i think. Bought from a woman 2 owners from new, engine rebuild at 26,000 has 66,000 on it now.
    I had a look at the rear spheres and the look newish the accumulator is rusty(not all the way round) Another question, if i change the rear accumulator will this cure the back end or is there more to it? Thanks For Reading.
    And sorry about being in the wrong area too, just having very bad day with my car!
    Last edited by Hellman; 28-06-2009 at 11:36 AM. Reason: Wrong area.

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    Re: Citroen Xantia - Why so cheap and what to look for

    Holy thread resurrection!
    [
    Quote Originally Posted by Blitzen
    When I say go, both walk in the opposite direction for 10 paces, draw handbags, then bitch-slap each other!

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