Xantia - what to know for the novice?
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Thread: Xantia - what to know for the novice?

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Xantia - what to know for the novice?

    I've stumbled across this on the Gumtree:

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/moun...ms-/1177855594

    Now maybe I've just alerted everyone to a bargain and it'll go before I get it...maybe.

    Long story short, I'm about to get another pug 306 but the xantia has always interested me. Well, ideally a break but where are they all?

    Anything obvious I should know about the linked car?

    Advertisement


    And the age old - if maintained will it be reliable?

    Thanks, any input welcome!

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    In 2006 I asked a very similar question, and got a a heap of useful answers. I so wish I could point you to that thread (or threads) but GoDaddy destroyed all that in the great crash of 2010. Such is life! My thanks to all who enlightened me back then.

    The breaks/wagons are much less common than the hatchbacks (to make things worse, someone on this forum sent a wagon to the wreckers last year) - so I would settle for a hatch.

    You will rarely find a S1 Xantia with such good paint as the one you have linked to - especially in that red colour. The clear coat peels, and the paint fades something chronic! So it obviously has been garaged and generally cherished - but that unfortunately tells us little about it's mechanical state

    If only the old dears selling it had included an underbonnet photo, so we could tell what motor it is. I think the badge on the front doors says 2.0i, so it might well be a n/a 8-valve, as stated in the Gumtree specs, but I am puzzled by the rear spoiler, as I thought these were only fitted to Turbo CTs & V6s. They claim it is a VSX, which may mean it has the more energetic 16v engine, and which also means it has more complicated hydraulics (compared to the SX), but if working properly should have the combination of comfort when driving gently, and stiffer suspension when pressing on.

    Things to look for?

    All rubber hoses perish with age, and Xantias have a lot of them! For it to be reliable it would need to have a great deal of replacement rubber hoses fitted, despite the modest km.

    As a 306 owner, you already know to look for heater core problems - I think 306s also have the plastic pipes connecting heater hoses through the firewall to the heater matrix - these also fail with age.

    Cabin fan - wiring to these was inadequate. Apart from failure where cabin fan draws current through the ignition switch, the connectors at the cabin fan itself can melt.

    Brake valve boot - when this piece of rubber fails, LHM (a light oil) seeps, slowly at first, underneath the driver's carpet. The first you will know of this will be the STOP light coming on (and the annoying beeper), followed by the discovery that your LHM tank is mysteriously low on fluid, despite no new leaks being found underneath the car. Eventually you will realise that the sole of your shoe is getting oily from the carpet...

    Suggest reading Cam's thread My new Xantia CT It seems unlikey that your find is a Turbo CT, but this thread covers many of the topics that any Xantia VSX owner is likely to face.

    Cheers

    Alec

    PS Weren't you looking for a 505 or a Volvo?

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    1000+ Posts garyk's Avatar
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    All good advice.
    The Xantias are inherently reliable, with just "usual" things that need attention, but with age, rubbers and the items above become out of normal usage and into the realm of restoration. However, once done, the Xantia is a great car, so look at price and budget, some models have more comfortable seats, and I personally like the Activa (Or turbo CT) and the series 2 automatics are a nice thing if you don't fancy a manual.

    Oh, and the Gumtree seller is a long time Citroen personality! ;-)
    Once upon a time:


    Many R4s (incl. fourgonnette), R5LS, R16TS.


    GS 1015, 1220, sedans and wagons.
    CX 2200, 2400.
    ID 1966, 1969, DS21H, DSpecial, DS23 Pallas.
    C5 2002, 2004 petrol and diesel.
    sold ..... D Special 1974 ... to fellow Tassie AFer.
    sold ..... Xantia Activa 1998 (look out Gulargambone)
    sold .....GS 5 speed sedan (what a tale)
    sold .... 1986 2CV6

    And now:

    C5 2.2 HDI 2005 wagon
    CX25GTi 1985 auto
    CX2500 IE Pallas 1985 auto
    DS23 1973 Pallas
    DS23EFI 1975 Pallas

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    ask him if the belts have been done or need doing, it 'looks' like a decent car and worth the money. Like anything that age you need to be prepared to spend on it especially if it is going to be a regular driver. Hey it's a CitroŽn!

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    Our long-term experience was super-reliable, full stop. But buying one now, I'd be replacing all the rubber return lines as a precaution unless they've been done, and also sundry coloured connectors in the return system. And the doseur valve cover. And the cambelt/water pump depending upon history of the vehicle.

    Great cars. A good one would repay a bit of investment I reckon. They are way under-priced for what you get. Having sold one, I know this.....
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
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    Brilliant, thanks for all the replies.

    Yep, having owned a few old 306's I'm well aware of the plastics and hoses.

    The thing that worries me about the xantia is the additional complications in the rear suspension - I think the linked one has hydractive II. Does that mean it has the fancy computer controlled rear steer suspension?
    I have in my head system failures like mine 90's Japanese cars that experimented with rear steer...

    For context, I'm over boy racer hatches and need something that is still good to drive, manual and safe to transport my 2 year old on occasion. The car wouldn't be used daily, maybe 3 times a week. The only other contender is the 306 or weirdly a Subaru Forester! But the last one is a bit dull...

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    Front strut mounts !!!! These rely on a rubber bond and have been known to fail rather suddenly...where a small diameter item can pass easily through a larger diameter mount This is a first series Xantia and they are a known fault .. but may have been replaced at some time in the car's history Forget your rear suspension concerns. Read about spheres and you'll see that they are not a real dramaand rear trailing arms pivot on roller bearings and they can fail, but that happens slowly with lots of warning. fFont struts do not give long term messages, and the struts try to make their way through the bonnet. That looks a nice car in the photos. Lovely colour combo.

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    I think rear wheel steering will be the least of your problems - there are no hydraulics used in this system! It is reportedly also used on Xsaras! CITROňN - Technical Information - Rear Self-Steering .

    Yes, a VSX has Hydractive II. Yes the suspension is computer controlled, but the additional complication is equally divided between front and rear. Don't worry though - if the computer control stops working, the default suspension setting is firm, so there's no safety/handling issues.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Excellent. I'm finding the Citroen side forum is full of great info, maybe I should take the leap?

    From what I'm reading there's no deal breakers. In fact the 306 I'm looking at requires a dash out to fix the AC so... well, I should try something new. I don't mind fixing things along the way to keep the car in top running order. I just don't want a car that will be off the road more than on.

    The only other thing, and this is a guilt factor, I don't have a garage for the second car. Not now or in the foreseeable. I'd hate to let the paint go. Luckily I enjoy the process of regular washing and waxing, maybe that will be enough.

    Oh, and how do the rear seats fold? Flat, split fold? Will be regularly putting a bike and or surfboard in the car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowpugV2 View Post
    Will be regularly putting a bike and or surfboard in the car.
    This might serve you better then:

    1997 Xantia Break For Sale

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    This might serve you better then: 1997 Xantia Break For Sale
    I can't understand why that car wasn't snapped up by someone immediately.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
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    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    This might serve you better then:

    1997 Xantia Break For Sale
    Ah, that is cool too. And in a preferred white! Only 2 things though - I can't drive there on the weekend to check it out and it's an auto. Being in Sydney that's not a huge issue but I do miss a manual. Oh, and it's a bit over budget. But then if everything works...

    Does anyone know the spec of that car? Not much info in the ad.

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    1000+ Posts graham66's Avatar
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    Given its service history and the fact that rego and RWC is supplied, I’d call up euroserve, talk to Rod or Ian and if it checks out kosher it’s the sort of car I’d confidently buy sight unseen.

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    The suspension, generally, in the Xantia isn't too problematic, but of course, you have the extra complexity to offer the ride and other Citroen advantages. They are one of the nicest Citroens to drive, and if those "trouble spots" are properly monitored, you will find the Xantia a rewarding car. As I mentioned, some models are better than others, including seat comfort (which is pretty high on the priority list).

    Manual Xantias are pretty smooth driving, but I agree that Sydney traffic favours automatics, and I'd suggest the later series in auto model mode. The earlier model autos are somewhat sluggish by comparison.
    Once upon a time:


    Many R4s (incl. fourgonnette), R5LS, R16TS.


    GS 1015, 1220, sedans and wagons.
    CX 2200, 2400.
    ID 1966, 1969, DS21H, DSpecial, DS23 Pallas.
    C5 2002, 2004 petrol and diesel.
    sold ..... D Special 1974 ... to fellow Tassie AFer.
    sold ..... Xantia Activa 1998 (look out Gulargambone)
    sold .....GS 5 speed sedan (what a tale)
    sold .... 1986 2CV6

    And now:

    C5 2.2 HDI 2005 wagon
    CX25GTi 1985 auto
    CX2500 IE Pallas 1985 auto
    DS23 1973 Pallas
    DS23EFI 1975 Pallas

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armidillo View Post

    PS Weren't you looking for a 505 or a Volvo?
    Forgot to say thanks for you detailed post Alec, so, thanks!

    And yes I was looking at a 505 or Volvo. I missed out on a good 505 here and the volvo never really appealed when I thought about it. That and now my wise partner has mandated that any car I buy must have working AC - gotta keep the kids cool! I never had AC when I was a kid....

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    Given its service history and the fact that rego and RWC is supplied, I’d call up euroserve, talk to Rod or Ian and if it checks out kosher it’s the sort of car I’d confidently buy sight unseen.
    Me too, without hesitation. Lucky it isn't near Perth!!

    You might ask whether the front door lower hinges have been repaired. On the wagons, built in a different place, the hinge welds are a known issue. There are few other issues apart from the top strut mounts on the earlier cars.
    jo proffi likes this.
    JohnW

    Renault 4CV 1951
    Renault R8 1965
    Renault Scenic 2005 (wife's)
    Renault Scenic 2007 (mine)
    Peugeot 306 XT 1995 (daughter's)
    CitroŽn CX Pallas 1980

    National Co-ordinator, Renault 4CV Register of Australia

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    Haven't got the full story yet but had a quick conversation with the seller. I'm sure a few of you know him

    Long story short, he's selling the car on behalf of the owners. He sold it to them originally when new and has serviced the car since. I dare say that everything that has needed doing has been done. I'll have a longer chat with him and setup a time to go see the car. Wish I wasn't working all week!

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    Quote Originally Posted by graham66 View Post
    Given its service history and the fact that rego and RWC is supplied, I’d call up euroserve, talk to Rod or Ian and if it checks out kosher it’s the sort of car I’d confidently buy sight unseen.
    Not sure QLD rego transfers. I think I'd still need to get the car inspected and put a minimum of 12 months rego on. I have heard they are cracking down on people slow to transfer interstate rego. That and the CTP. Definitely like the idea of an estate but I'm fairly time limited and a flight to QLD and drive back to Syd would be hard to swing right now.

    Unless someone needs to get to Syd. and wants to drive

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    Just planning ahead here - I actually have a set of the lightweight Citroen 15" Alloy "Steelies" I believe they are the reinforced ones so no cracking or anything. Have the bolts too. Would they work on a xantia? Think the one I linked to has 14" wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowpugV2 View Post
    Just planning ahead here - I actually have a set of the lightweight Citroen 15" Alloy "Steelies" I believe they are the reinforced ones so no cracking or anything. Have the bolts too. Would they work on a xantia? Think the one I linked to has 14" wheels.
    Very unlikely - I don't think the vendor supplied the specifications - Gumtree is just extracting them from a database that is a bit limited. Granted that 14" is listed here https://www.wheel-size.com/size/citroen/xantia/1995/ , but in the photo they look like 15" wheels (low profile tyres), and I've never seen an Australian Xantia with 14" rims.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Early cars did come with 14 inch steel rims. I had a VXS auto with them. The red car is a VSX - foglamps and keypad (can be bypassed) inside. I fitted rims and tyres from a C5 plus Xsara hubcaps to mine and it was better for it. The rolling diameter was close, but a fraction greater, so the optimistic speedo became a little pessimistic. That is, you were going maybe 3% or so faster than the speedo was suggesting. The so-called 'steelies' are not reinforced, but have a conical bolt seat rather than the original flat seat. You'd be unlikely to find the early type as they were all recalled and should have been scrapped.

    There are also various alloy rims you could pick from that do not need hubcaps and do the same job as the black painted 'steelies'. One particular style has two types using different bolt lengths and it's easy to fit the short bolts where long ones are needed, which is a bad idea!
    Last edited by David S; 12th April 2018 at 11:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David S View Post
    Early cars did come with 14 inch steel rims. I had a VXS auto with them. The red car is a VSX - foglamps and keypad (can be bypassed) inside. I fitted rims and tyres from a C5 plus Xsara hubcaps to mine and it was better for it. The rolling diameter was close, but a fraction greater, so the optimistic speedo became a little pessimistic. That is, you were going maybe 3% or so faster than the speedo was suggesting. The so-called 'steelies' are not reinforced, but have a conical bolt seat rather than the original flat seat. You'd be unlikely to find the later type as they were all recalled and should have been scrapped.

    There are also various alloy rims you could pick from that do not need hubcaps and do the same job as the black painted 'steelies'. One particular style has two types using different bolt lengths and it's easy to fit the short bolts where long ones are needed, which is a bad idea!
    Perfect, thanks for the info. My "steelies" do have the conical bolt seat so are all OK. The plan was to eventually fit them with new tyres and some fitting wheel covers. Ideally I like the throwing star style wheel but it looks to be centreless and they are getting hard to fit tyres to.

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    By the way, there's also this available if anyone wants to restore it:

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/marr...ive/1180759884

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    Just got home from a long day... Drove the car. It's about the comfiest cruisiest car I've driven. The engine is the 8v and really torquey and smooth, gearbox great. Upsy downsy seems to work well.
    But... Speedo jumps to 80 and stays there. Ac blower didn't work today. Also engine light permanently on. Vendor said it's nothing, engine seemed fine.

    Also, bonnet is quite mangled and there's a large dent in the roof from the bonnet flipping back on it.

    Not deal breakers but I'd like hear what could be wrong with the speedo

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    The red car is strange. It has the wrong wheels and interior trim for a VSX!
    Looks to be in unusually good condition though.
    By the way I bought 306 after my VSX got written off!

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    95 Silver Xantia VSX - now deceased

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