Citroen Xsara Intermittent starting problems

1999 Citroen Xsara Problem

Ref#15831
CarCitroen Xsara 1.4 lx petrol
Year1999
OwnerDolhaus
Posted21/10/2013
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Hello, I'm having a problem when starting the vehicle sometimes. When I try to start up the engine turns over but fails to fire up. Sometimes it does manage to start (just) but runs really rough and smoky and needs to be nursed until the engine temp picks up (also revving really hard sometimes cures this). Whilst running rough it smell like it is running far too rich, like too much petrol is being used. Sometimes giving up trying to start it and trying again in 10 mins works and the car just springs to life like nothing was ever wrong. Being that this is an intermittent problem I don't really want to take the car to a garage and waste money on them not being able to find the problem either
Thanks in advance, any theories welcome
Problem Category
Engine, Cooling System & Drivetrain

Leaks & Noises, Interior and Bodywork

Running Rough, Starting & Power Loss


Solution 1
bustedknuckles | Driver | Since: Nov 2011 | Posts: 2 | Fixes: 1461 | View Garage
Suggested Solution

Maybe dampness issue in leads or requiring new plug,s and throttle cleaned out.


Posted on Monday 21st of October 2013
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Solution 2
whittingehame | Legend | Since: Oct 2009 | Posts: 444 | Fixes: 11809 | View Garage
Suggested Solution

When was car last serviced / tuned ?


Posted on Monday 21st of October 2013
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From Original Poster
Dolhaus | Driver | Since: Oct 2013 | Posts: 0 | Fixes: 2 | View Garage
Suggested Solution

The car was serviced not too long ago, all the fluid and filters are in good condition. Its done less than 70k and runs fine most of the time. It has an ignition coil module rather than conventional HT leads and i'm not sure how i'd go about testing that. How would I clean the throttle? (its fuel injected if that helps clarify?)
Thanks


Posted on Monday 21st of October 2013
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Solution 3
bustedknuckles | Driver | Since: Nov 2011 | Posts: 2 | Fixes: 1461 | View Garage
Suggested Solution

Take it for a diagnostic,if it,s just cold running start up issue could be the engine coolant temp.sensor .maybe there,s a code to help ,regardless of fuel injection it must still have some means of letting air into the engine.


Posted on Monday 21st of October 2013
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Solution 4
whittingehame | Legend | Since: Oct 2009 | Posts: 444 | Fixes: 11809 | View Garage
Suggested Solution

When were the plugs last checked / replaced ?Has the timing belt been replaced ?


Posted on Monday 21st of October 2013
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From Original Poster
Dolhaus | Driver | Since: Oct 2013 | Posts: 0 | Fixes: 2 | View Garage
Suggested Solution

I will take a look at the plugs and throttle tomorrow if I can, I believe they were changed during the service but I have no idea when that was done though (recently judging by the condition of the fluids). Timing belts were replaced less than 10k ago and are still in good condition. I'll also try and have a diagnostic done as soon as I can, wasn't sure I had the ports until today when I found them.
Thanks for the advice and I will let you know what I find


Posted on Monday 21st of October 2013
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