Another introduction, and Activa suspension query
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Icon5 Another introduction, and Activa suspension query

    G'day all,
    I've only just found you guys after owning my fantastic Activa for over 11 years!
    I bought her about March 2000 with 20k on the clock (a demonstrator from Darryl in Church St Richmond) after a chance encounter (I'd walked into the Alfa showroom, and Daryl pounced ;-) Anyway, we went for a test drive & I was hooked!

    So, I've recently struck a problem I want to canvass opinions on (beside my service guy's).

    I'd reached a point where the low pressure warning was staying on a bit longer than normal, and after a recent service, we had to put up with it almost constantly over a weekend away (I've realised since that this was because of extra load - normally it's just me in the car).
    So I popped in to see Joe again (at Paris Motors). But after a second visit after the LHM top-up made no improvement, he discovered a slow leak at the front LH strut (hard to tell, but somewhere in the supply hose/joints). We were just about to drive to Canberra & Sydney for a week, and he explained they're no longer available from Citroen, and they were about $2,000 to have made up!! (not to mention being off the road for weeks)
    To cope with the trip, he suggested popping out to EAI buying a can and topping up as required. So after almost 200,000km, she's losing LHM fluid at an unacceptable rate (a litre or more per month - though it's not expensive at $12+/litre, compared with $2k+).

    Any suggestions?
    I'd really like to keep her, but SWMBO is pushing to get rid of her (she calls her the money pit after several previous expensive repairs).

    Cheers, DD

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    Last edited by Droopy; 18th May 2011 at 04:29 PM. Reason: Title mod

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Ken W's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Sounds like you might have internal and external leaks starting in the front activa ram or what Citroen call the Anti-roll Jack. This joins the strut to the anti-roll bar on the passengers side of the car.

    The internal leaks occur when the bore of the ram gets scored and there is leakage from the high pressure section to the control pressure section of the ram. This starts to bleed down the hydraulic pressure of the car quicker when you park the car leading to longer pump up times when you come back to drive it again.

    There is a leak return system in the ram for LHM that gets out past the main seal, but I have heard that these can start to leak as well just like on the end of CX power steering racks. ( In fact the ram works quite like a CX power steering rack.) It is also possible that the little rubber tail that the leak return pipe plugs into has gone hard and cracked and is leaking. I had to replace this with a copper pipe silver soldered to a hose clamp on my Activa. It could also be leaking from the strut return rubber pipe but these are easy to replace and still available.

    But all is not lost, because I managed to import an anti-roll jack as a special order through GSF in the UK for about $A750 last year seeing the Aussie $ is so high to the pound at the moment but I do know the Ateco want about $1500 for them through the dealer network. The front ones are quite easy to change over.

    Having said all that, your Activa is getting to an age where repairs will start to get more expensive and more frequent. If you are not a DIY mechanic, perhaps it is time to pass it over to someone who is that can give it the TLC it needs and chase down the cheaper fixes and sources of spare parts.

    If you want more details about the overseas part purchase, send me a PM.

    Cheers,

    Ken W

  3. #3
    JBN
    JBN is offline
    1000+ Posts JBN's Avatar
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    Also, do a deal with your wife. Tell her that she doesn't have to divulge how much she spends on clothes and you won't divulge how much you spend on your car.

    John

  4. #4
    Tadpole
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Thanks guys.
    Sounds like this could get more expensive, but thankfully its my work vehicle, so it's tax deductible.
    I reckon I could convince the missus with that tactic John (just on shoes alone in fact ;-)

  5. #5
    1000+ Posts
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    Please, please, please - check under the carpet on the driver's side - your brake valve boot may have failed!

    I had a bad leak - fluid level dropping far too quickly - but couldn't find any significant leak - no telltale trail of drips. Eventually Doublechevron alerted me to check the brake valve boot The brake pedal pushes on it, it's rubber, it fails, and lets all that lost fluid run into the driver's side footwell.

    THIS IS COMMON WITH THE TURBO CT MODEL! Might be to do with extra heat . Moulton2speed has had one go, as has Adam (not even a turbo). There are others. Even if it has not gone, the mess it makes of your carpet and underlay is so annoying and hard to clean up that it would be worth changing it anyway.

    Unfortunately a lot of info on this problem went in the Great Crash of 2010!

    The brake valve boot is cheap enough, but as Adam found, if you want/need to replace underlay, carpet etc., it's not cheap at all

    Cheers

    Alec

    PS - hope this isn't the car that just got sold by David Cavanagh!

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