Advice...

BX Tech talk
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Calfskin
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Advice...

Post by Calfskin » Wed Oct 12, 2005 7:40 pm

Hey guys. Sorry about this, but Rene is being awkward again...

I leant my car to my mate on the weekend and since then the steering has been heavy and kinda vague. First thought was tyres and investigated and found a tell tale chip in the wheel trim so I know that the wheel has dunted a kerb at some point so I suspected tracking. Took it to my trusty local garage who took it for a spin and he came back and reported that tracking was fine and so was everything else with the wheels.

What he did say though was that there was very little LHM fluid. This I know is kinda dodgy as I checked the fluid on sunday and it was just below the top mark and I checked it with the guy and it was still just under the mark and the guy just said that the float is not an accurate marker for the fluid and he suspected this as the clutch pedal was heavy. I have noticed this myself, indeed it is heavier than an MAN 7.5 tonner, but I never thought anything of it as I thought it was just Rene's way.

I'm guessing that if anything, Rene needs his suspension flushed but surely if there is no leak and if the float is reading near the top then it can't need fluid, can it? It last had the fluid flushed when it had the spheres replaced atleast 2 years ago by the previous owner.

I decided to head straight from the garage straight to my local Citroen dealer and bought 2 litres of LHM (I'm going to Brora on saturday so I'm going prepared!). Also, I got a qoute from Forthway Citroen on the suspension flush, they qouted 1-1 1/2 hr job @ £50 an hour and fluid. I estimated between £100-125 for the job which works out cheaper than a local French car specialist who qouted £150 to flush the suspension. Does that sound about right or are both taking me for a ride?

Calf.
RIP Rene, 1992 - 2006.
He was the best car I ever owned.

jeremy
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Post by jeremy » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:22 pm

i think this is all a load of rubbish! All BX have cable clutches so the presence of LHM will of course make no difference at all. If the level falls the warning light will come on and when it does you will find there is still about 3 litres in the reservoir - plenty for all functions. Usually if the level drops the warning light flashes on corners as the LHM sloshes around.

Tracking is not checked by driving but by measuring. Yes if its out the car may pull to one side but not always and the usual give away is wear on a tyre edge, inside for toe out, outside for toe in.

Flushing is supposed to produce miraculous results but my guess here is that its not going to make any difference at all.

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Post by AlanS » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:27 pm

What he did say though was that there was very little LHM fluid. This I know is kinda dodgy as I checked the fluid on sunday and it was just below the top mark and I checked it with the guy and it was still just under the mark and the guy just said that the float is not an accurate marker for the fluid and he suspected this as the clutch pedal was heavy. I have noticed this myself, indeed it is heavier than an MAN 7.5 tonner, but I never thought anything of it as I thought it was just Rene's way.
Based on that statement added to the price quoted I suggest he has a sign in front of his counter that says "Bend over" and a box of rough leaf pineapples sitting alongside it. (I won't bother explaining; it's an Aussie thing) :shock:
These things to my knowledge all have cable operated clutches, and if the one who has quoted a price to change LHM is of the opinion that low LHM will affect the clutch I can only say one word:

RUN!!!

Why not do the LHM yourself? It's not quite as easy as checking tyres, but it's only one more rung up the ladder for that job. Then take the missus out for tea and keep the rest of the dough for a booze up at the weekend. :wink:


Alan S :twisted:
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cauchoiskev
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Post by cauchoiskev » Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:39 pm

I reckon your mate is innocent on this one, Calfskin.

I take it this car has PAS, in which case you don't have enough pressure at the steering. I would immediately suspect the flow distibutor, dirty filters most likely, but it could also be dirt in the reservoir filters, or -less likely - the high-pressure pump on the way out...

Hydraflush could be a solution. If you change the LHM yourself, watch out you don't slit your wrist on the edge of the reservoir.

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Post by mat_fenwick » Wed Oct 12, 2005 11:40 pm

Before changing the LHM, whether you do it yourself or pay the garage, raise and lower the car several times to circulate the LHM. This will get any dirt moving round the system. When I bought my BX the steering would intermittantly go heavy. This was cured by a drain and re-fill after 'exercising' the suspension.
I can't see how low fluid would affect the steering unless it was so low it was picking up air.

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Post by AlanS » Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:15 am

mat_fenwick wrote:Before changing the LHM, whether you do it yourself or pay the garage, raise and lower the car several times to circulate the LHM. This will get any dirt moving round the system. When I bought my BX the steering would intermittantly go heavy. This was cured by a drain and re-fill after 'exercising' the suspension.
I can't see how low fluid would affect the steering unless it was so low it was picking up air.
With the BX pas using the flow diverter system, it works on priorities; steering gets weak, suspension begins to fail and if you're crazy enough to keep driving by this stage, when the accumulator dies completely your relations are checking out the will to see if you've left them anything as the brakes drop away.
Just drain and refill with hydraflush and run it through the 4 brake calipers until only red stuff comes through. Run for a while say 1000 miles or so, then drain again and refill with LHM and again flush/bleed via the brakes this time until the green stuff comes through. In each case, wash the filters in petrol before refilling with the other fluid be it Hydra flush or lastly LHM.


Alan S
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Post by jeremy » Thu Oct 13, 2005 9:05 am

I seem to recall thet the general experience of a faulty flow divider is that the steering works and the rest doesn't. This certainly was my experience. The steering places a heavy load on the pump as it requires a lot of LHM and the pump may not be able to keep up. The accumulator is not in the steering circuit. (Can be verified as the steering assistance ceases as soon as the engine stops.)

To see how much steering assistance is present you could try starting the engine while loading the steering wheel and see when the assistance kicks in.

Jeremy

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Calfskin
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Post by Calfskin » Thu Oct 13, 2005 3:55 pm

Thanks guys.

Its not really heavier when cold, its pretty much the same all the time, in both directions.

But something else has come up, I lowered it to it's lowest setting and when I told it to raise back, the pump hissed and did nothing and the stop lights came on. However, after a few seconds, the lights went out and it raised by itself. It raises and lowers to the higher settings no bother. Is it supposed to do this or does this point to the pump?

Is this generally expensive to replace by a garage?

Calf.
RIP Rene, 1992 - 2006.
He was the best car I ever owned.

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Kitch
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Post by Kitch » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:01 pm

If the little FDV filters aren't clogged then I'd maybe think towards a weak pump? How long does it take to rise in the morning and for the stop light to go out?

I had a similar problem on the 16v shortly before the crankshafts demise. I'd put Hydraflush in which had picked up all the shit in the system and moved it along. Course it moved it to the FDV filters and blocked them!

But the pump was lazy aswell. I've replaced the pump and fitted a Xantia accumulator sphere in the thinking that the pump won't have to work as hard as its a bigger capacity. Its probably bollocks, but I pay about £8 for new spheres at work so it wasn't an issue!

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Calfskin
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Post by Calfskin » Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:08 pm

In the morning when I first start up, the back end goes up in a few seconds then front follows suit. The stop light is not on for any more than a couple of seconds if that.

My missus and I had to go to St. Andrews tonight so I thought it would be a good run to really check things out.

1. Steering was heavy on the way there, indeed in one occassion it felt like there was no assistance at all. On the way back, it was like a totally different car, slightly heavy at times but generally light, no problems at all, could steer one handed in street manouvres.

2. Suspension has gone firm over the last few months but I never really noticed as I stick to motorways and what not, but my missus says it no longer feels like the magic carpet he was when I bought him, instead it feels firm in a sports car way.

3. Dashboard lights were dim and both the rear screen wipe and rear fog light switch was flickering dimly under load. This however was gone on the way home as the dashboard was really bright and clear.

4. Pump does hiss atleast every 15 seconds.

5. For a n/a 1.9 diesel, it can fairly shift, leaving a new Mini Cooper in a cloud of diesel smoke - need to clean the injectors.

Does this point to something as simple as the suspension needing flushed? Is the pump weak? Has my mind so far gone that I'm making up problems???

I really love this car but over this past week I've beginning to get cold feet. I need a car that will be reliable and although Rene has been till now, I feel it is very stressful as I'm heading north on saturday and the car is needed more than ever.
RIP Rene, 1992 - 2006.
He was the best car I ever owned.

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Post by ken newbold » Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:22 pm

I'd be thinking, try the easiest first, try a different pump. As for getting worried about the car. I wouln't.
Your n/a BX has been and will continue to be reliable provided you look after it. It's a lot more simple than just about anything you might replace it with.
Your steering probs could be, pump, fluid, flow valve or ram. but no big deal.
One job at a time. Try the pump first. If you haven't got one let me know.
They think it's all over, it is now!

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ken newbold
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Post by ken newbold » Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:44 pm

Without wishing to state the obvious, is the pump belt tight?
They think it's all over, it is now!

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cavmad
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Post by cavmad » Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:09 am

Kitch wrote:If the little FDV filters aren't clogged then I'd maybe think towards a weak pump? How long does it take to rise in the morning and for the stop light to go out?

I had a similar problem on the 16v shortly before the crankshafts demise. I'd put Hydraflush in which had picked up all the shit in the system and moved it along. Course it moved it to the FDV filters and blocked them!

But the pump was lazy aswell. I've replaced the pump and fitted a Xantia accumulator sphere in the thinking that the pump won't have to work as hard as its a bigger capacity. Its probably bollocks, but I pay about £8 for new spheres at work so it wasn't an issue!
As I`m experiencing similar problems with my steering can someone tell me if there is a `job aid` available on this site to replace/clean the FDV filters and even where I can find said filters please?
Cheers,
Vauxhall apologist.

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sleepy0905
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Post by sleepy0905 » Fri Oct 14, 2005 8:55 am

the filters are in port 1 and 5 you need an allen key to remove them be carefull the filter mesh goes brittle. new filters 95 534 068 £4.81 each.
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