Trouble in Beaterland – Citroën Xantia Break, uh, breaks down


My Citroën Xantia Break is my first Citroën and my first wagon. And as of today, it’s my first car to leave me stranded. That’s right, the Xantia just put the Break in “Break”, which obviously is a French term for “Not the Berline”.

After completing a 1300-km drive around Finland this past weekend and successfully bringing me home with the cargo area stuffed with Ikea mirrors and quality German wheat beer, the Xantia was unbearably dirty again. I had spent one evening buffing it to a presentable shine, so having it sit in my parking spot covered in cack was something I needed to sort out, at my earliest convenience. So, as I had thrown my girlfriend the keys and let her drive to the supermarket, I suggested we take a trip through the carwash nearby. This proved to be a mistake.

As the carwash programme ended and the Xantia was seemingly sparkly again, I turned the key. Idiot lights came on as expected, but crucially – no start. No starter whine. No click. Nothing. What?


In all honesty, I’m baffled. I know some water has probably ended somewhere it should not be, but that’s the extent of my troubleshooting ability. Is the starter dead? Is the ECU fried all of a sudden? Is the immobilizer somehow projecting its immobilizing thoughts even though the plugs have been pulled from the PIN keypad? The battery is up to par, the fuel pump whirrs and everything is as it should, but the starter doesn’t as much as click.


Until I’m any wiser, the Citroën will sit at the carwash parking lot that super-ironically also doubles as the Citroën dealer service parking lot. My insurance policy includes breakdown cover, which means they would tow it exactly to the spot where it currently sits. Even more hilariously, after hacking the infrared remote on Friday, my friends kept pushing it around various parking lots last weekend to mess with me – but as soon as the car refuses to move under its own power, no-one willing to give it a shove is anywhere to be seen.


After we had gotten a lift to pick up the 205 and made it home, freshly filleted salmon intact (and served with asparagus, absolutely delicious), I took the 205 and drove back to the Xantia to check on it. Still dead. I’ll drive back to look at it tomorrow, and see how I can get it back into health. But hey – at least I got an article of sorts out of it. And the friends I’ve been saturating with stories of week-long Citroën excellence are currently ever so amused.

And at least the thing is clean.

[Images: Copyright 2014 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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