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Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 5471
Experience:  17 years experience as an auto mechanic, foreign and domestic. 5 years running my own repair business.
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My car is a 2004 Citroen Xsara Picasso HDi 1997cc Diesel.

Customer Question

My car is a 2004 Citroen Xsara Picasso HDi 1997cc Diesel. I've had the car since Jan 2014.
At different time the dash board has signalled possible problems, which will then disappear as quickly as they showed up. Radio will cut out momentarily and return. Starting has often been a problem.
I had a new battery in January 2015. In the last 3 weeks, the car has broken down 5 times.
1st time - RAC picked me up, ran diagnostic test, said it was the fuel pump. I had a mobile diagnostic engineer to check for any other fault, but he confirmed it was a fuel problem. Had the pump replaced, running OK.
10 days later, after driving 100s miles to Norfolk from Essex a couple of times. On the last occasion, I had stopped a couple of times but on the 3rd time on this journey, it just wouldn't start. RAC picked me up again, diagnosed fuel pump problem and took me to a garage to fix it. The garage said fuel pump was faulty on testing it and put in a new Bosch one. The car was running well when I picked it up.
Since then, on occasion and not all the time, it felt like it wasn't running properly - lumpy. I've done a lot of running around in it the last week. It has started first time, but then later in the day, if I stopped and then immediately jumped back in, it wouldn't start. I'd leave it for 30 mins and then it will start.
The dashboard has really been playing up giving ridiculous information, e.g. temperature gauge showing -5 degrees C when it was 10 degrees C but later corrected itself.
Also, the petrol gauge initially one morning showed 2 bars above the red, suddenly went to one. I put £20 fuel in immediately, it was above half way on the scale and then it suddenly went blank. A warning message came on to say I was low on fuel, although I'd just put fuel in. When I stopped at the shops and then tried to start it, it wouldn't. I had called RAC again, by the time they came (about 40 mins) the car restarted. I drove home - 5 mins away. Parked for a few mins and went to go out again and it wouldn't start. I kept trying several times that afternoon - no joy.
I'd booked it in for a check at an RAC approved garage. The next morning it started and I drove 15 miles to the garage. At the garage it wouldn't restart. On Saturday, they used a diagnostic system and have identified a fuel problem, saying the pump.
I think it can not be the pump again. If it was the pump why does it run great and then not.
It seems like it may be an electrical fault. The RAC man thought it may be a sensor. It seems to me something is cutting of the fuel supply or something electrical is wrong with the electrics and running of the computer.
My son in law , who is an engineer and had a Xsara Picasso that he maintained himself checked the fuse/electric box when I had starting problems with the battery and said it seems that someone has put other wiring in ( not Citroen) or working on the wiring, possibly when a tow bar was fitted, as there was other wiring there.
Please advise. The garage where my car is going to check the injectors but that doesn't seem logical either. What do you think. Joan
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Mike Kelly replied 2 years ago.
Hello, welcome. My name is***** will do my very best to assist you with your question. I apologize if you have been waiting long for a response.
From what you are describing, all of the random warning lights and the fuel problem, this issue is coming from a fault in the ECU/computer. The fuel pump and all of the warning lights get their signals from the ECU. I am also a warranty inspector and i have seen this issue before, the ecu is not communicating properly with the vehicle and will need to be repaired or replaced to solve this issue.