Engine warning light on Citroen Xsarra Picasso has come on

19
Found 22nd May 2016
I went out in my Citroen Xsarra Picasso (Diesel, 1.6, 10 years old) this morning and the car started fine. However, after driving for around 3 minutes, and when going around a corner, the car steering wheel seized up on me and some of the lights lit up on the dashboard - ones for the battery, oil and another one (not engine one). I parked up the car and even though it turned over, it would not start - then all of the lights went out and a message came up on the dashboard, saying 'engine problem'. My son checked the oil and it is fine, so is the battery as it's quite new. I managed to get the car started and then drove it home, with just the engine warning light lit up on the dashboard and a message appearing saying 'engine problem' - beeped a bit as well.

My son says it will cost me around £80 to get a fault diagnostic on a machine done, but that if my garage want to take out the engine, to forget it, as the labour alone for that would be hundreds of pounds. One thing I will say though, is that a couple of weeks ago, my son noticed that there is not an air intake box fitted at all, just part of a pipe that is hanging loose. Do you think that dirt could have been sucked in and perhaps caused the problem? I've had a read on some message boards about the engine light coming on, and some people have just left it and even said that the Citroen dealer they contacted, also told them not to worry about it! I think that my son thinks that I should just go ahead and get rid of the car without even paying out for a fault diagnostic check. Any ideas on this please, as I have work booked in at a town around 16 miles away from me next week and don't want the car to pack up on me. Thank you.
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19 Comments
Well I certainly wouldn't drive it. If you do have an engine fault, and it cuts out, you have to all intents lost steering and braking as they are both power assisted.
It could be your engine over heating, especially as you haven't got air intake. My old car had a faulty temperature sensor which made the car think it was getting too hot and would automatically switch it off/go into limp mode, sounds like your's has too.
You should buy one of these: ebay.co.uk/itm…570?hash=item33a56adeba:g:sd4AAOSwys5WVX-K

Cheap and reliable engine code reader, I've had one for years. Simply plug it into the diagnostic port of your car, it'll come up with a code and a short description of the fault code, then type that into Google and 9 times out of 10 you'll find the culprit and the fix. Will save you paying for expensive diagnostic tests which are quite frankly, a rip off.

I wouldn't just get rid of the car, you'll still get decent money for it, if you find what the problem is and fix it. It could just be a small problem, like a faulty sensor. Car electrics are a pain to deal with. Good luck!
gsj87

It could be your engine over heating, especially as you haven't got air … It could be your engine over heating, especially as you haven't got air intake. My old car had a faulty temperature sensor which made the car think it was getting too hot and would automatically switch it off/go into limp mode, sounds like your's has too. You should buy one of these: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MaxiScan-MS309-Scanner-CAN-OBD2-Car-Fault-Code-Reader-Equipment-UK-STOCK-/221818576570?hash=item33a56adeba:g:sd4AAOSwys5WVX-KCheap and reliable engine code reader, I've had one for years. Simply plug it into the diagnostic port of your car, it'll come up with a code and a short description of the fault code, then type that into Google and 9 times out of 10 you'll find the culprit and the fix. Will save you paying for expensive diagnostic tests which are quite frankly, a rip off. I wouldn't just get rid of the car, you'll still get decent money for it, if you find what the problem is and fix it. It could just be a small problem, like a faulty sensor. Car electrics are a pain to deal with. Good luck!



​i agree with gsj87
Original Poster

​i agree with gsj87



The only thing is, is that the car was parked up all night and when I got into it this morning, it cut out on me after I had been driving for only around 3 minutes, so surely the engine wouldn't get overheated in just around 3 minutes would it, especially if the car had been parked up all night? Thank you.
I have a Picasso and it does have an air intake but it is behind the engine, if you follow the air intake tubes it will go to the back of the engine. They do come loose but just clip back together and on to their retaining clips. If it was over heating it would tell you that on the dash and the temperature sensor.

With the steering getting heavy I would think the alternator would be at fault as it is run from the same belt and would cause any number of other electrical problems too.

If you could get it to a motor factors (Halfords, motosave etc.) they will test your battery and alternator for you for free. So you can rule it out for free before getting your codes read.
Edited by: "badgerrules" 22nd May 2016
Go onto youtube and perform the error code check for your make and model. My wife has just done this on our Zafira. A case of depressing the brake and accelerator with the key turned to second switch but don't turn the engine on. Go online and check the meaning of any codes.
you need to read the error codes as mentioned previously. theres no other way for us to offer assistance as it's just guessing, it could be a wide range of issues.
Does it feel like the power steering is failing, does the ABS lights come on, any fading of the lights or clock resetting? You battery could be fine but your alternator could be goosed. As above so many things it could be.
same thing happened to my old Picasso diesel. .. official Citroën garage wanted £££ to diagnostic test...my brother in law used his workplace and tested it for me, said it was the fuel pump. .official Citroën garage wanted £3000 to fix ..I found a little independent garage ran by 2 old blokes.. not a qualification between them but years of experience. .they redid the diagnostic test for £40 and said it was because I didn't drive long haul which was best for a diesel and j drove it in a higher gear than necessary. I'd change from 1st to 2nd around 15mph then again around 23mph...he advised to floor the car in first to get rid of all the crap in the tank...he also put some type of cleaner it in the tank. ..it worked fine after that. ..each time hubby drove it, it would happen again so I'd spend an hour driving round in as low gear as possible whilst flooring the car.. each time this method would get rid of the engine management light. obviously it will depend on what your test says, but mine was basically down to driving in too high a gear and not doing long distance driving.
Original Poster

you need to read the error codes as mentioned previously. theres no other … you need to read the error codes as mentioned previously. theres no other way for us to offer assistance as it's just guessing, it could be a wide range of issues.



I know, but I haven't got a gadget to read the codes. I did look at the app suggested, but you need a bluetooth adaptor and I don't have one of those either I'm afraid.
Original Poster

Does it feel like the power steering is failing, does the ABS lights come … Does it feel like the power steering is failing, does the ABS lights come on, any fading of the lights or clock resetting? You battery could be fine but your alternator could be goosed. As above so many things it could be.



No, the power steering feels fine. I think that when I went to drive around the corner the car cut out due to the engine problem. I drove it home and the steering felt ok. Have driven the car over 130 miles since Thursday and I had no problems with it.
Original Poster

same thing happened to my old Picasso diesel. .. official Citroën garage … same thing happened to my old Picasso diesel. .. official Citroën garage wanted £££ to diagnostic test...my brother in law used his workplace and tested it for me, said it was the fuel pump. .official Citroën garage wanted £3000 to fix ..I found a little independent garage ran by 2 old blokes.. not a qualification between them but years of experience. .they redid the diagnostic test for £40 and said it was because I didn't drive long haul which was best for a diesel and j drove it in a higher gear than necessary. I'd change from 1st to 2nd around 15mph then again around 23mph...he advised to floor the car in first to get rid of all the crap in the tank...he also put some type of cleaner it in the tank. ..it worked fine after that. ..each time hubby drove it, it would happen again so I'd spend an hour driving round in as low gear as possible whilst flooring the car.. each time this method would get rid of the engine management light. obviously it will depend on what your test says, but mine was basically down to driving in too high a gear and not doing long distance driving.



Sorry, can you explain to me what 'flooring the car' means and how you do that?
Sophiasky

Sorry, can you explain to me what 'flooring the car' means and how you do … Sorry, can you explain to me what 'flooring the car' means and how you do that?



Put the pedal to the metal. Over Rev the engine. Don't change gear until 3-4000 revs depending on how confident you are in the issues etc take it down the motorway/dual carriageway at 70 but only go up to 4th gear. (I accept no responsibility for the advice given use at your own risk) obviously this is only if a garage confirms the diesel particulate filter is blocked. However once the car is fixed if you continue driving how you do (short journeys round town etc) it will help the engine if you do the above once a month.
Power steering going heavy is often caused by fanbelt snapping/stretching or power steering pump fault or it's simply gone heavy because engines cut out?.

Doesn't sound like it's overheating and having an airbox off wouldn't cause it to overheat, Obviously it wouldn't be good letting contaminated air into the engine and engine could suffer damage, In fact having no airbox the car would run better until it sucked some dirt in.!.

You really need a diagnostics tool on it.

Every one who owns a car should get a code reader
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-U281-OBD-Engine-Scanner-Read-Automotic-Fault-Codes-Car-SRS-Diagnostic-Tool/131821827292?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D36925%26meid%3Da9f5ceecc5eb4384a349fd6b619b098f%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D172213061999
cheap against taking the car to a dealer
not all diagnostic equipment will work on a citroen u need a good machine not this cheap ones

not all diagnostic equipment will work on a citroen u need a good … not all diagnostic equipment will work on a citroen u need a good machine not this cheap ones



Lol, what? I've had my Maxiscan MS309 scanner for 7 years. Used it on a Seat, Audi, Vauxhall, Citroen and now currently even using it with my Alfa Romeo. Been 100% correct on all codes since I've had it.
Original Poster

not all diagnostic equipment will work on a citroen u need a good … not all diagnostic equipment will work on a citroen u need a good machine not this cheap ones



Thank you for all of the advice - I think the reason that the car went heavy was because the engine cut out as stated in a post above. I've now dropped the car down at my local garage and hopefully they will be able to run a diagnostic check tomorrow at some point.

Lol, what? I've had my Maxiscan MS309 scanner for 7 years. Used it on a … Lol, what? I've had my Maxiscan MS309 scanner for 7 years. Used it on a Seat, Audi, Vauxhall, Citroen and now currently even using it with my Alfa Romeo. Been 100% correct on all codes since I've had it.



No they only usually read the ECU codes, Occasionally the ABS modules which are sometimes built into the ECU.

Most cars have several modules which require specialist software and hardware, Abs module, BCM module, HVAC module, PCM module and various others.

In general for most engine fault codes a cheap scanner capable of reading OBD codes will do and will help solve the problem.

Some faults don't even light the warning light up, They're simply stored until either the problem has been cured or it's been reset.

I guaranty about 80% of cars made after 2002 will have some kind of fault code/s stored in their memory, Either from past issues or current issues that the manufacturer doesn't trigger the eml for.


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