cost of matrix replacement

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xantiadriver
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Joined: 17 Oct 2009, 21:25

cost of matrix replacement

Post by xantiadriver »

Helo all.... i have 1999 xantia with chronic smell inside car when interior fan is on wether set to hot or cold, i presume its the matrix even though its got full main dealer history and i was wondering how much i would i be expecting to pay a citroen specialist (not main dealer but very experianced) to replace matrix. I just do not have the time to do it myself because i have to look after my children most days. I put some bars leak sealant in a couple of days ago but the smell is still there even though im not loosing coolant now. I know of a good garage who may do it but no chance of seeing them for price till monday.
Many thanks for any replies
Chlorate
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Post by Chlorate »

It'll be horrifyingly expensive no matter where you go.
If you're not losing coolant through it anymore, I'd suggest leaving it and putting up with the smell. Coolant tends to be pretty volatile, it won't take too long to go away.
vince
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Post by vince »

Hi the last price i had from a Citroen independant was £300 :roll:
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

£300 would be a bargain :roll:

To replace a matrix is a good 8 hour job for a person who has done the job before. To d it first-off budget for 12 hours.

Briefly the job is this:

Remove entire dash complete..

Remove windscreen scuttle* and move wiper assembly to side..

Disconnect matrix elbow connector*..

Split heater box in two..

Struggle a wiring loom out of the way..

Tease old matrix out, clean up, tease new one in..

Reassembly is a reverse of the above procedure to dismantle.

* Indicates where severe pitfalls and potential difficulties await :twisted: All other aspects of the job are easy if not long and tedious.

I speak as a veteran of this particular job, having done three in one week not that long ago :lol: :lol: I still bear the mental and physical scars :roll:
xantiadriver
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Post by xantiadriver »

Thankyou for your replies....if i can get it done for £300 i may well consider it...i was thinking more than that which is death sentance for a car of this age.Iwont get much if i sell it as is even though it just passed mot with no advises. I foolishly didnt check fan operation when i bought it a few months ago because the air con worked fine and i was in a rush having the kids with me. Air con still fine but no use at this time of year. i would be happy to just leave it and use an electric heater to plug in the cigarete lighter but i doubt if that would heat the car other than a demist.I dont realy want to get rid because its a fantastic car to drive (2.0 hdi lx) its my first citroen and i love the suspension. I have let it sit with fan on and all doors and windows open hoping smell would wear off now leak seems to be fixed but i think maybe the matrix got soaked during leak and will take a long tme to clear up...but i thank you again for reples
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

If you are able, it is worth giving up a weekend and doing the job, especially if you can enlist the help of someone who has done the job in the past. Apart from the pitfalls mentioned, the rest is easy really, just long-winded.

I will, when I have time, do a write-up on how to do the job.

The leak is usually due to two O rings hardening and an application of Forte Stop Leak will often stop any leaks dead but the smells will linger for ever because of dried anti-freeze on the matrix itself and in the heater box.

Here's some pictures of a leaky matrix and the state of some heater boxes that had been home to leaky matrixes...


Image

Image

Image

The last one shows dried crystals of anti-feeeze in the bottom whilst the middle shows wet coolant.
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myglaren
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Post by myglaren »

I had mine done for £180 but it was a few years ago now - around six years I think.
andmcit
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Post by andmcit »

I'd be surprised if the leaks on most Xantiae are solely down to failed O rings.
I've seen Cx and Xm matrixes fail purely down to the aluminium construction of
the core failing in the same way the main radiator core does. The lowest point
of the cooling circuiit is bound to be a bottleneck for sediment which will build
pressure on already fine/vulnerable waterways and I've seen cut open failed
Cx ones where the inner spiral core in the main feed pipes has disintegrated
and blocked the passage of water causing inevitable catastrophe.

It's worth mentioning too that my Brother in Law with a brand new large
Halfords pro socket set I bought him for Christmas past tackled his first
ever DIY job on his Pug 306 which was every bit as involved as a Xantia
one, and purely by being thorough and following instructions in the BOL
(Yes really, try not to laugh - it steered him well) had full success and
has a far greater confidence in his DIYing ability.

As Jim says, whilst it's a longwinded job it is ultimately a rewarding and
straightforward one (saving loads of ££££'s too) once you made aware of
the key pitfalls and their solutions or evasive actions/dodges.


Andrew


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xantiadriver
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Post by xantiadriver »

This isnt looking good :(
The last matrix i changed was on my mk1 capri which was totaly stripped for respray anyway... my mate suggested i get an inverter to run a domestic fan heater :roll: which would not be safe if i had an accident so im thinking i may trade it in at a used car dealer because its not likely that i would have the time to fix it. Im glad i posted the question here because you know what your talking about and have saved me a lot of grief.
many thanks
Alan
andmcit
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Post by andmcit »

Alan you realise you very well may have cured the leak by using the Barrs
and the latent smell may take ages to go; proof or otherwise would be the
consistency of the coolant which would be worth keeping an eye on. If you
like the car but don't feel prepared to carry out the fix just yet and need to
do some research (that "how-to" may be very handy Jim!!) you can bypass the
heater matrix input/output pipes into the car though obviously this will make
the car cold although the blower will still chuck air onto the screen to demist.

I always maintain buying another car is simply swapping issues you know
about for one's that you don't on someone else's - people tend to sell cars on
for a reason like you have suggested here otherwise they'd still be driving
them - don't volunteer for someone else's nasty job they couldn't face/fix/
afford...

Andrew


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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

andmcit wrote: I always maintain buying another car is simply swapping issues you know
about for one's that you don't on someone else's
Good point well made Andrew :wink:
xantiadriver
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Joined: 17 Oct 2009, 21:25

Post by xantiadriver »

Very true.....it would be a shame to get rid of it because it drives so smooth and must of had a fortune spent at the main dealer over the years with the scheduled servicing (always done long before it was due) I phoned the main dealer just in case the stamps in book were fake. I have heard that the 12v dash mount heaters available will demist the screen and not do much else but air-con will do that anyway so i may try a 12v travel hairdryter in a home made mount facing forward between front seats :oops: . I have a lot of engineering /metal fabrication experience and dont take chances with safety so that may do the trick. I could fit a cut out switch in case of accident. Unless of course one of you has a horror story of someone doing the same resulting in tragedy :cry:
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VertVega
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Post by VertVega »

xantiadriver, I've heard and read several posts about a matrix replacement. It really looks like a nightmare job in Xantia :roll: .
But you can be sure that you get help in this forum.
CitroJim wrote:£300 would be a bargain :roll:
8 hours job (300 - 480) + Matrix + 4 lt coolant + anything else?

Jim, you must be a very patient person 8) to do 3 replacement in a row, in one week :)
Just curious about: "Remove windscreen scuttle* and move wiper assembly to side.. " does it prevent reaching some pipes?
Do you think a first timer can co this job over the weekend? Lots of connectors to remember to fix back in correct order :?
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CitroJim
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Post by CitroJim »

VertVega wrote: Just curious about: "Remove windscreen scuttle* and move wiper assembly to side.. " does it prevent reaching some pipes?
Do you think a first timer can co this job over the weekend? Lots of connectors to remember to fix back in correct order :?
The scuttle panel and wiper assembly removal job is to gain access to the three dash mounting nuts that you'll find just under the windscreen hiding under rubber caps. These secure the top of the dash to the bulkhead.

The scuttle, if still bound to the windscreen using the original sealant will present a challenge as it sticks very well. Patience with a hair drier (to warm the plastic and sealant a little to soften it) and careful use of a very sharp craft knife with a long, flexible blade will see success.

Yes, I reckon, with assistance to lift out the dash (it's surprisingly heavy), a weekend is plenty of time for a first attempt. The main thing is to work methodically, take notes and photos where necessary and lay out all the bits you remove in order along with their screws and fixings. Apart from the problem the matrix connector may give in separating it, the rest of the job is not particularly difficult, just long and tedious. You do need to be physically fit though as you need to get yourself into some strange positions at times and you may well end up aching at the end of the job.
admiral51
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Post by admiral51 »

Jim do you have a list off any special/specific tools required for this job and does the new matrix come with new o rings as this job is on my list for this coming weekend :cry: :cry: :lol:
Mind i do have monday off as well so giving myself plenty of time [-o<

Colin