Citroen Xantia Steering problem.

I started my car, everything seems to be ok., except for a warning 'STOP' light on the dashboard. The steering becomes too hard to handle. No problems in running her, except that the steering is very very hard. The
stop warning does not go off even after keeping the vehicle on for a long time. any suggestions ??
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kumi ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Any other lights? Just STOP? It's almost certainly the hydraulic pressure warning. DO **NOT** DRIVE THE CAR.
First thing to check - is there any fluid in the tank?
Start the car, put the suspension to full high, and see if the float is between the two rings. You're looking on the top of the fluid tank under the bonnet. Give it a light tap in case it's stuck.
If the float doesn't move, put the suspension to full flat - again with the engine running if you've got anything but a very early (pre-93ish Xant with the chevrons on the bonnet) - and see if it's still stuck down. If it is, peer in the tank - the level should be very near the neck of the tank on flat.
If it's too low, fill it with LHM - the bright green Citroen hydraulic fluid - ONLY.
If it's right, then check that the belt for the pump hasn't broken.
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There are a couple of other red warnings that are on too. One that shows a battery with a +/- sign in it and the one round one with a "!" mark with in. I am not good with cars, so, I cannot name them. Its a 97 make TDi SX. All was well when I drew her back home and in the morning, it all started off.
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kumi ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Battery not being charged.

Brakes/Hydraulics.
It sounds very much like the belt's snapped, as the same belt drives both.
If you continue to drive the car, two things will happen :- 1. You'll run out of electrics, with a flat battery. 2. You'll run out of suspension and brakes, as there's no hydraulic pressure being pumped.
As you can imagine, this second one is Not An Ideal Situation - especially the "run out of brakes" side.
Do Not Drive The Car.
Time to ring the breakdown service...
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I was reading < and I became inspired.

3. You'll loose the ability to steer the car.
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2Rowdy ( snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

He's already lost that - at least, as far as he's going to.
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I was reading < gurgled happily, sounding much like

There must be a straight line between work and home. Now let's hope there are no hills, no slopes and no traffic in between.
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My problems does not seem to end with that. I found out the bonnet "opener" under the steering wheel section and pulled it. The bonnet comes off the lock., but, when I go to the front of the car and try to open the bonnet fully, it does not come off.., it raises a little and gets stuck by another lock or something ?? Is it the only way to release the bonnet from the lock ??
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Hmm, So you've never opened the bonnet then, never checked the oil, water, suspension fluid I guess. When you said you are not good with cars you weren't kidding. That catch is the "safety catch" just to the right of centre under the lip of the bonnet you can feel it after lifting the bonnet slightly. Push it inward after letting the bonnet rest under its own weight then you should be able to lift the bonnet fully.
Neil

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neil (neilp_67@hot_mail.com (remove_s)) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

To be fair to Kumi - I've been having some off-list chat with him on this, and he's only had the car a couple of weeks, literally. So I don't think we can be too harsh on this one...
Yep, it's a safety catch, Kumi, to stop the bonnet re-decorating your windscreen if the main catch lets go - open it as high as you can, and slide your fingers under there - you'll feel the catch. Have a look in the owner's book if you have one, otherwise write to Citroen UK at 211 Bath Rd, Slough, and ask for one - they'll send one out.
You may find your local college does basic car maintenance evening classes - well worth while. It's a part of the driving test now to be able to check the oil level etc.
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What you URGENTLY need is an users manual. A citroen is different to other cars in many ways. If you cannot find the users manual of your car, have a look under the dashboard. If your car is a left hand drive model, you will find a compartment at the far left side. This compartment contains the electric fuses and a space to store a paperback book sized grey plastic wrapper. This wrapper usually contains the owners manual, a separate manual for the car stereo, the service history booklet and additional information (dealers network etc.) It is highly recommended to read and understand the manual, otherwise you will be doomed, for example when you have a flat tire and you neither know where to look for the spare wheel (it is below the trunk) nor know how to get it out there;-)
If you do not have an users manual you should buy one from your citroen dealer or try to find one in a junkyard.
If you are not skilled enough to perform mainenance and service schedules to your Xantia on your own (this is not uncommon, I do not service my car myself either), you should have the car checked thorougly by a certified Citroen dealer once a year. The Xantia is known to be a tough car - according to Citroen standards, but it needs frequent maintenance. There are things which will kill your car if you do not take care for them. For example: The timing belt of the engine needs replacement after a certain mileage. If you do not have it replaced, it may break and kill the engine.
Frank
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Or a Citroen/Peugeot specialist who may well be cheaper. Perhaps if Kumi says where he is someone could recommend one?

Actually I don't think the Xantia is much more difficult than the BX and certainly much better than the Daewoo Nexia I briefly owned. Compared with the XM it's supposed to be child's play althoug I didn't find my XM difficult either. Having read the uk.rec.cars.maintenance group for some years I think Citroens are actually a lot more reliable and just as easy to work on as most modern ish cars although they get a lot of stick on that group.
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Malc ( snipped-for-privacy@lightindigooverthere.co.uk) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Not to mention *FAR* better... Cit Dealers have a well-deserved reputation for being crap.

He's in Bristol. I don't know anybody down that way.
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gurgled happily,

I can recommend someone in Gloucester which is only 40 miles away. Actually someone at work had a BX serviced by his local garage and they seemed to be quite competent. I'll ask him next year.
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Tasten:

Somebody who has problems to open the bonnet, may also have problems to realize the danger of a worn out timing belt. And the initial post of the OP dealed with a HP problem. I never gave my Citroen to a Peugeot dealer, but I do not know if they are good at HP maintenance and repair.
Frank
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Thanx one and all for the help. Actually, I managed to open the bonnet and there it is, the auxialary belt has snapped and hanging around there. I did something yesterday which might be a smart move (after all the stupidity).... i signed up for RAC breakdown service... and I am gonna give a call after the festive season to get it fixed. I dont really need the car as its vacation time., Now that I know the problem, i think I can fix it soon. This car was with a fitter with mercedes before me., and he has kept it in a good condition.. there is one more thing I noticed., there was this other belt with grooves on it., that seem to be sliding out of its grooved pulley.., gonna put it back into its place too.., Am just getting a hold of the matter now...
Thanx again.... Just wanted to mention, my battery is flat now and it wont even start ;-)...
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Kumi
I asked my friend at work in Bristol who had a BX. this is his reply.
"I used an independent engineer in Cairns road Bishopston. He goes by the name of Paul Kite. Garage phone number is 9420241. However he's closed until the New Year."
Hope it is useful.
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