DS: Red light of doom...
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! badabec's Avatar
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    Default DS: Red light of doom...

    Hello, cruising back home from Brighton on the motorway, the steering started to make a noise like fluid being squirted through a hole. Then the steering started to get heavier and the suspension stiffened up then voila, on came the red light of doom.
    As the average time on the hard shoulder before a collision is around 20 minutes I kept going to the next exit and a petrol station, where it slowly bled to death.
    A sliding bed recovery took me home.

    With the the wing off, battery and its tray removed I still can't trace the source of the leak. I filled the LHM, started it up and once it has reached the correct height, fluid drips from the cross member in front of the accumulator sphere. I was hoping to see an obvious leak, but no, just an obvious puddle.

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    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts michaelr's Avatar
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    The number one suspect has to be the return hose from the regulator to the reservoir. It is a low pressure hose and so the loss of fluid could give the progressive failure you described. Fluid loss is fairly rapid from this source.

    The next place to look is the high pressure line from the HP pump to the regulator. A crack is possible through fatigue, especially if it has been incorrectly fitted and allowed to move around too much. You might also check the pipe seals at each end of this pipe... has any work been done on the car lately?

    Next loosen the reservoir clamps and lean it forward. The multiple return lines underneath have rubber joining pieces which could be rotted and cracked.

    I think the noise from the steering could be a red herring. I believe it would make those noises if the reservoir was running low and air was entering the system.
    Michael
    Member, Citroen Car Club NSW

    DS23 Pallas 5 sp. "Francoise" , BX19TRi Auto "Jacques Dutronc" , Teardrop Trailer "The Toad", BMW R65 "Rosamund"
    In the past: Renault 750, Dauphine, R4, R8, R10, Peugeot 504 Familiale, ID 19 (x2), Safari (x2)

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! badabec's Avatar
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    Is the large diameter rubber pipe from the accumulator sphere meant to be 'squidgy' with a metal pipe up one end?This seems to be where the fluid is leaking from.
    How do I change it? Is it easy or is access a pig?

  4. #4
    UFO
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    Access in DS engine bays is relative to your skills. Shouldn't be too hard. Sounds like you have found the source though.

    In case no one has ever told you, if you ever see a high pressure (metal) pipe squirting LHM, do not do the impulsive thing and clamp your hand across it. It will inject LHM into your skin and make you rather ill for a while. Dripping low pressure lines are fine for clamping hands over - but it has no effect on the status of the retention of LHM inside the pipe.
    Craig K
    2009 C5 HDi Exclusive

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by badabec View Post
    Is the large diameter rubber pipe from the accumulator sphere meant to be 'squidgy' with a metal pipe up one end?This seems to be where the fluid is leaking from.
    How do I change it? Is it easy or is access a pig?
    Squidgy (A rather tabloid UK term!) or not, if the regulator return hose leaks, it's no good. You might have difficulty changing it from above with the heater box and guard in place, but worth a try to avoid removing the undertray. It may be time to replace a few other bits of return rubber on the chassis crossmember and under the reservoir that you can only get at with the undertray and/or front guard removed.

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! badabec's Avatar
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    Also, while I was poking about, I noticed that the accumulator sphere is only 1/4" (6mm?) away from the crossmember. Is this correct or has the engine mount had it?
    I don't want to turn this into another Greenblood restoration! Not yet anyway, maybe when I retire in a couple of years...

  7. #7
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    The manual has measurements for the engine mount check and there is a template diagram somewhere in there too. If the accumulator is the later welded sphere, then there isn't much clearance and it sounds about right, but if it's the original 2-piece type, then I'd say it's too low. With the welded accumulator, if it's ever to be regassed, the factory regas plug with the thread in the back will foul on the crossmember, so there is no point regassing with that system. I don't know about the Tecnosir plugs. Overall, it's probably a false economy to regas the accumulator if the normal 62 Bar welded type suits.

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger! badabec's Avatar
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    A half inch long split in the pipe at the spider end, marvellous. The squidginess was because a BX or CX pipe had been used with a sponge cover. New pipe on order, now I just need the services of a four year old kid with a vice like grip to fit it....

    Thanks for all the help and suggestions

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