Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

BX Tech talk
User avatar
David
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 pm
Location: Manchester
x 2

Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by David » Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:21 pm

Hi again all,

I promised myself I wouldn't mention this on here & make many of you sick, However I have a 1.4 petrol Xsara that has some rather annoying problems & after having a few mechanics & myself clueless. I thought the hive of knowledge might have an answer.
I assume its possibly one thing causing the problems.

It runs rough, it doesn't matter if its cold or hot, you can watch the rev counter jumping up & down slightly, & you can feel a vibration through the car. When you press the throttle when its not moving, it revs up fine but when your driving, it hesitates for a second & then goes. Also because of this it sometimes stalls when trying to set off (although this is mostly when I first get in it). & it can sometimes kangaroo forwards, which is quite embarrassing when people are watching & think I can't drive!
Its running on all 4 cylinders & I have just put new spark plugs in. Its had a upper lambda sensor & I have cleaned the MAF sensor, but to no avail. The engine management light ISN'T on. I have even put another throttle body on it, although that has made matters worse, as now the throttle can stick at 1500 - 2000 RPM when cold, which is quite annoying when you expect the engine to slow the car down & it tries ramming things! Also the most annoying part - it is downing petrol. I did about 60 miles (about 8 or 9 journeys) one week & it drank nearly half a tank! It also feels down on power

The only other thing I can think of it being is the lower lambda sensor, However does anyone have any experience on dealing with problems like this or any other suggestions on what it could be? I don't really want to buy another sensor that it might not be.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
1992 Citroën BX 1.9 Diesel Meteor 4x4 - The Project.

1992 Citroën BX 1.9 TXD (with GTI engine; Mulleys old car) - Parts car.

2004 Citroën Xsara Desire. (Now gone).

2011 Ford Focus Zetec - Daily Driver. (Absolute bone shaker).

User avatar
Leobx16v
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:41 pm
Location: Blackpool

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by Leobx16v » Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:31 am

It could be the stepper motor if it revs high on idle, injectors 3 or 4 can go down, coil pack go down aswell although I've never known a throttle body go down, make sure the engine light comes on when you turn the ignition on it should light up for a while, if anything else it could be ecu.
If your struggling to find the fault then you could make a trip up to Blackpool for the day and I could have a look

Regards Leo.
1991 Citroen BX 16v - Red
1991 Citroen BX 16v - Silver
1992 Citroen BX 16v - White
1989 Peugeot 205 MI16 - Miami Blue
2002 Peugeot 406 est. HDI110 exec - Dark Blue
2006 Citroen C6 2.7HDi Exclusive - Storm Grey

Scrapped:
G650PGX 1989 ph.2 red BX 16v
G-VOT 1989 ph.1 White BX 16v

rutter123
Over 2k
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:54 pm
Location: South Lincs
x 52

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by rutter123 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:19 am

have experienced similar probs, check all the breather hoses/pipes for splits.
90 BX Tzd turbo 294k SORN undergoing major surgery
90 BX Tzd turbo estate 46k awaiting surgery
65 Peugeot Boxer Van the new workhorse
52 Toyota Rav4 180k Bulletproof Jap reliability

User avatar
David
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 pm
Location: Manchester
x 2

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by David » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:36 am

Hi Thanks for the replies.
Leobx16v wrote:It could be the stepper motor if it revs high on idle, although I've never known a throttle body go down,
I have seen problems mentioned regarding the stepper motor before, I just changed the full throttle body as there were less to undo that way, I will clean the original throttle body & put it back on. I just thought it was worth mentioning.
Leobx16v wrote: injectors 3 or 4 can go down,

What would the symptoms of failed injectors be? It runs on 4 cylinders, & it seems like the engine is getting too much fuel.
Leobx16v wrote: coil pack go down aswell
Its not the coil pack, that went down on a Peugeot 206 I had & it lost 2 cylinders. I then had to drive it up a steep hill. That wasn't fun. Although I have another in the shed, so I might change it anyway.
Leobx16v wrote: make sure the engine light comes on when you turn the ignition on it should light up for a while, if anything else it could be ecu.
The engine light comes on with the ignition, but when running it goes out, So I assume the ECU isn't causing the problems (Or I hope not).

I will do some more investigating, but any more ideas would be appreciated. but does anyone think it could be the lower lambda sensor?

Thanks again.
1992 Citroën BX 1.9 Diesel Meteor 4x4 - The Project.

1992 Citroën BX 1.9 TXD (with GTI engine; Mulleys old car) - Parts car.

2004 Citroën Xsara Desire. (Now gone).

2011 Ford Focus Zetec - Daily Driver. (Absolute bone shaker).

User avatar
Leobx16v
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:41 pm
Location: Blackpool

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by Leobx16v » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:51 am

It could be, the best way to check a lamba sensor is to plug in with diagnostic machine and see how fast the readings are switching, but even if it was a dodgy lamba there should be an engine light.
And to be honest with things like this it's best to have a look at the car myself because I could speculate all day haha #-o
1991 Citroen BX 16v - Red
1991 Citroen BX 16v - Silver
1992 Citroen BX 16v - White
1989 Peugeot 205 MI16 - Miami Blue
2002 Peugeot 406 est. HDI110 exec - Dark Blue
2006 Citroen C6 2.7HDi Exclusive - Storm Grey

Scrapped:
G650PGX 1989 ph.2 red BX 16v
G-VOT 1989 ph.1 White BX 16v

citronut
Over 2k
Posts: 2781
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:55 am
Location: EAST SUSSEX UK

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by citronut » Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:57 am

why is it more work the just remove the stepper motor that remove the throttle body,

as the stepper motor is usually only held on by two torx screws,

i have found cleaning the stepper motor with carb cleaner gets rid of built up carbon,

they usually work after this for a short while ( ehough to prove the fault )

but the carb cleaner leaves it dry so apply a small dose of duck oil or aerosol 3 in 1,

DO NOT USE WD40!!!!! as tghis is not a lubricant, but a moisture displacent

regards malcolm
curent ride
K reg BX 17TD TZD est
also own
K reg D special

no longer have
H reg CX saffari 2.5 TRI (now gone to Malaysia)
R reg xantia 1.9TD est (gone to meet its maker)

Tinkley
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:27 am
Location: N Hants England
x 6

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by Tinkley » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:14 am

One other thing that could cause those symptoms is a clogged CAT. Run through the other stuff first though but do not ignore this, it happened to a friends Vauxhall.

User avatar
David
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 pm
Location: Manchester
x 2

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by David » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:41 pm

Hi, Thanks for the replies.
I have cleaned the original throttle body & put that back on, I have yet to take it for a test drive, however the revs don't seem as bad (not sticking at 2000RPM). I cleaned the MAF sensor again while it was in bits.

I have checked all the breather pipes & cannot see any splits or air getting in/out where it shouldn't. There is a (thing) attached to the end of the breather pipes with a wire on it & if its disconnected it brings the engine light on, so that seems to be working fine.

The lambda sensors don't bring on the engine light, I unplugged them both to test this & the light stayed off.

Its more difficult to remove the stepper motor simply because of access, Its easier to remove 3 screws, 2 wires, the throttle cable & the lot comes off.

Someone else said it could be a blocked cat, so I took it for a 80 mile drive @ 70MPH to see if it cleared it, but afterwards it was just the same.

Is there something else obvious I am overlooking?

Thanks again.
1992 Citroën BX 1.9 Diesel Meteor 4x4 - The Project.

1992 Citroën BX 1.9 TXD (with GTI engine; Mulleys old car) - Parts car.

2004 Citroën Xsara Desire. (Now gone).

2011 Ford Focus Zetec - Daily Driver. (Absolute bone shaker).

Tinkley
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:27 am
Location: N Hants England
x 6

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by Tinkley » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:04 pm

I take it you removed the CAT from the system prior to the 80 mile drive? Otherwise you are not checking it at all, and just running fast with the CAT in place will not clear it, once it is blocked it is blocked and not letting enough air through. Those things run on microscopic pores, not forgetting if you use leaded or otherwise contaminated fuel that can choke it very quickly (and permanently) too. It may affect the lamda sensors as well depending on where exactly they are located.

User avatar
David
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 pm
Location: Manchester
x 2

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by David » Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:49 pm

Hi, Thanks for the reply.
No it wasn't removed, I was told if you "floor it" it would clear itself on a long drive.
So is this not the case? (my inexperience showing again).

It hasn't been run with leaded fuel, just a mixture of mainly Shell & Morrisons petrol.
One lambda sensor is in the top of the exhaust manifold. That is the one that has been replaced. & the other is in the exhaust pipe below the cat.

I haven't been out in it today; I have been resealing the sump on my BXs engine, So hopefully I will know if there is any change tomorrow.
Does anyone know how to test a lambda sensor?

Thanks again for any help.
1992 Citroën BX 1.9 Diesel Meteor 4x4 - The Project.

1992 Citroën BX 1.9 TXD (with GTI engine; Mulleys old car) - Parts car.

2004 Citroën Xsara Desire. (Now gone).

2011 Ford Focus Zetec - Daily Driver. (Absolute bone shaker).

User avatar
mat_fenwick
Moderator
Posts: 7279
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: North Wales
x 13

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by mat_fenwick » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:58 am

I don't know Xsara specifics, but a few things to think about. The lower/downstream lambda sensor is just to tell the ECU how the cat is working, and won't affect the running of the engine. It's the upstream one which gives the ECU feedback about the mixture.

You can check the lambda output with a multimeter...likely to be 3 or 4 wires... positive for the heater, a signal wire, and either a common or two separate earths. Signal wire should switch between 0 and 1 volt, probably about once per second (assuming they're the standard and not wideband type). Bear in mind that if the output from the sensor is not what you expect, it may be a symptom rather than a cause. The ECU will ignore lambda feedback at wide open throttle, so if the problem is still there at WOT then chances are it's not the sensor that is at fault.

A failed fuel pressure regulator would mean that even at minimum injector opening times, too much fuel would be being injected but I'd expect extreme fuel trims to light the MIL. Wonder if an injector isn't closing properly and passing fuel all the time? It may be that the fault condition is still within limits deemed acceptable hence no light.

Ignition system may be another possibility - failing coil pack(s)? I.e. misfire on one or more cylinders, therefore unburnt fuel and air going into the exhaust, lambda sensor detects the extra oxygen and the ECU responds by richening the mixture therefore increased fuel consumption. I'd expect a decent mechanic to do an emissions check though which would show this. The kangarooing makes me think ignition, if I had to make a blind guess. If you whip the spark plugs out at the time of the problem occurring, do you see any differences?
Image

1993 1.9 TZD Turbo Estate
1996 3.9 V8 Discovery
1993 VW LT35 campervan
1985 Hyundai Stellar V8
2016 Hyundai iLoad

Tinkley
1K Away
1K Away
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 11:27 am
Location: N Hants England
x 6

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by Tinkley » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:50 pm

Sadly just running hard and hot wil not unclog a CAT, sorry only an exchange or removal will do that.
You may have run it in that specific fuel but what about the previous owner? The foaming Tesco petrol did for loads of Lamda sensors - Peugeot ran out of them. It is possible that at some time slightly substandard fuel may have entered the system, without your knowledge.
Coils and coil packs tend to fail at low rpm on take off from standstill. Occassionally one will fail at high speed but more rarely despite a load of c*** on certain bibles saying the reverse. If the coil packs have earth wires check thay are grounded properly. All my m/cycles with coil packs had two main leads (timing and power) and an earth as well as the obvious HT outlet. You may also have interlinking wiring between coil packs.

In fact that reminds me, have you changed the HT leads? The faults you mention with the running sound far more like a lead or more than one breaking up or corroded on the end. If plugs have been changed (as you say you have done), often just the pulling and replacing of the lead can start the break up of the conductor inside the lead. As changing them is little more than a double/triple service interval type affair (say 35-45k) even if it is not on the schedule I would definitely try it. My old Sunbeam played up after about 50k and it was the main HT coil lead, now we have one per coil pack. Even if only one has gone, it will increase fuel consumption and give rough low running in particular. Once the engine is really spinning it is 'hidden' by the other cylinders carrying it.

User avatar
David
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 pm
Location: Manchester
x 2

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by David » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:31 pm

Hi again, Thanks for the replies.

The car is running a lot better now I have cleaned the MAF sensor & throttle body (again), however it still isn't quite right. I will have to drive it for a while to get to know what the exact symptoms are again so don't go on a wild goose chase!

The car doesn't have HT leads, the coil pack goes directly on to the spark plugs & I'm 90% sure the coil pack isn't failing. I had one fail on a Peugeot 206 (same engine) & it was horrible to drive; it went down on 2 cylinders. (although the Peugeot was horrible [to drive] anyway!)
I once drove a car where the HT leads were arcing out & that caused some weird engine behaviour. But on that you could see the sparks jumping out.

I assume the coil pack is earthed through the ECU as there is only 4 small wires on it (all in 1 plug). So if an earth had failed wouldn't it drop on 2 cylinders? (It works on the wasted spark principle).

The car was fine up until just before Christmas & I bought it in September, So I assume I can rule that out.

I have 4 spare injectors lying around. I might change them to see if there is any further improvement. Where would the fuel pressure regulator be?
Also it had a new fuel pump/sender unit fitted in January as the old one went noisy & the car was randomly losing power.

I have noticed the rev counter doesn't seem to be jumping up & down now, but as I said I will have to see exactly what symptoms it has now.

Thanks again for all the help on an inferior car.
1992 Citroën BX 1.9 Diesel Meteor 4x4 - The Project.

1992 Citroën BX 1.9 TXD (with GTI engine; Mulleys old car) - Parts car.

2004 Citroën Xsara Desire. (Now gone).

2011 Ford Focus Zetec - Daily Driver. (Absolute bone shaker).

User avatar
David
BXpert
BXpert
Posts: 335
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:54 pm
Location: Manchester
x 2

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by David » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:54 am

Just another quick update on this annoying problem.

I got in it tonight, tried to set off & it stalled. tried again, it stalled... It took 4 attempts to get it to go. It seemed like I was putting it in 3rd gear or something (although I wasn't). It was just dropping revs when I was letting the clutch go. The last attempt I floored the throttle to make it move, Although its very annoying making me look like a loonatic setting off with a wheel spin.

It seems to only do this when I first get in it & try to go. It started & went fine for the rest of the journey. (3 stops in total).

The revs seem to be jumping again (slightly), But only when cold now.

Would it help if I get a picture of the spark plugs & put it on here?

Thanks again for any more help.
1992 Citroën BX 1.9 Diesel Meteor 4x4 - The Project.

1992 Citroën BX 1.9 TXD (with GTI engine; Mulleys old car) - Parts car.

2004 Citroën Xsara Desire. (Now gone).

2011 Ford Focus Zetec - Daily Driver. (Absolute bone shaker).

citronut
Over 2k
Posts: 2781
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:55 am
Location: EAST SUSSEX UK

Re: Not a BX, but Xsara problems.

Post by citronut » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:18 pm

sounds like you hand brake might be sticking on over night,
next time it does this try reaching under just forward of the rear wheels, and pull and flex the hand brake cables

regards malcolm
curent ride
K reg BX 17TD TZD est
also own
K reg D special

no longer have
H reg CX saffari 2.5 TRI (now gone to Malaysia)
R reg xantia 1.9TD est (gone to meet its maker)