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'FolkUs' Family-Bike Xsara Picasso...


RoverFolkUs

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I figured this recent acquisition deserves its own thread, partly because (I think) Xsara Picasso's are of more interest than MK2 Focus's and partly because this one must be one of the lowest mileage ones out there. 

2006 1.6 Petrol 16v - Oriental Blue - Xsara Picasso Desire - 30,000 miles

It just about squeezes in to be the newer generation of them as it has Aero wipers fitted to the front as standard

No real pictures just yet, but there will be once I've got it back to its former glory. 

Yes, it's a 16 year old Xsara Picasso, but I feel it deserves a bit of paint to get the bodywork back to how it should be as it's such a good car underneath the abuse its taken

Story is that it was owned by an older chap for a long time, then was purchased by someone to be used as a van/mobile shed for a couple of years. Now I've swooped in to rescue it from a certain fate and hopefully it should be cared for and live on for a while yet. 

Here's a generic picture of the same colour/spec

image.png.c71b2fd52438fccc1dfc013036a9f9a8.png

So, I have two Focus's and no need for it myself, but it'll be used as a family bike and I'll be doing the maintenance and repairs etc, so that should mean it's in good hands and won't be abused. I'm currently storing it until it's cleaned/painted and mechanically sorted

It's sitting on its original tyres on the rear, they still have about 6mm of tread! It has a full sized spare with brand new tyre, which is a bonus. 

Current snagging list:

- Awful bodywork

- Temperamental head unit (switches on and off as it pleases, and today is refusing to eject the CD that is in it)

- Rear exhaust mount broken and rattling very noisily

- Check and  replace if necessary track rod ends as advised on MOT

- Battery drain (current suspects are the aforementioned radio or alternator diode, or both) - the battery flattens in about 5-7 days. When locking the car, the battery light stays lit up on the dash for about 10 seconds, likewise when you open any door. I don't think this is related to economy mode, because the message disappears long before the light comes on.

- When aforementioned battery light is lit up with the ignition off, it flickers in time with the hazard lights if you turn them on, so that also makes me think it's the alternator diode at fault

- Poor alternator output - sitting at idle with everything on, it puts out a measly 12.5 volts unless the revs are raised, then it gives out 13.8 volts. I get about 3v AC when running, so that tells me the rectifier is knackered. Without a load, it happily puts out 14.4v at idle

- Rear wiper blade completely shot

- Full service required. It's had a recent oil + filter change, but not sure when the air filter, cabin filter, spark plugs etc were last done other than 2019 according to the service book so they're on the to do list

- Replace missing door mirror cap

- General safety check - it's spent a lot of time unused

I've discovered that a lot of the parts are so cheap for these from ECP, inner tie rods £2.14 each, front lower arms £8 + £10 etc etc so that's a nice bonus!

I think that's it for now, I'll keep progress updates coming!

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37 minutes ago, Sham said:

I liked them. Then I owned one.

Hugely practical, soul destroying to drive with any level of gusto.

Nothing wrong with them as an mode of transportation, but if you like driving you will grow to hate it.

I've had a Daewoo Tacuma before.... For 4 years, I think I'll cope with the Picasso ;)

It feels comfy inside, haven't actually used it yet though!

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i must be one of the few who absolutely love them, so much so they're one of my favourite cars ever.....seriously!

13 hours ago, RoverFolkUs said:

- Battery drain (current suspects are the aforementioned radio or alternator diode, or both) - the battery flattens in about 5-7 days. When locking the car, the battery light stays lit up on the dash for about 10 seconds, likewise when you open any door. I don't think this is related to economy mode, because the message disappears long before the light comes on.

battery light is economy mode, it's to show it's active when you do an activity which wakes the BSI.....such as opening a door etc

could well be the radio, is it aftermarket? economy mode does disable the supply for the radio, however it could be doing some weirdness

 

1.6 16v is a solid enough engine, they can tick if not been maintained correct, but they're powerful enough and "reasonably" economical

watch for headgasket issues however, and make sure the belts have been done as it will bend valves if it fails

 

electrically they can have character, but are usually solid enough

regarding jump starting, both the terminals under the bonnet are positive.....attach the negative to the bonnet clamp

you will have the bolts holding the seat down at that age, there is an awful hex tool supplied in one of the rear underfloor storage boxes, however this is crap and often missing

 

otherwise a solid enough car, watch the sills as they like to rot badly......but not a big deal

very easy to fit higher spec parts (illuminated sun visors etc) to them

we've had 4 in the family now since 2003, grandparents have had 4 and i owned their old one back in 2019-2021.....have an entire thread on here about the work i've done

 

oh they often like to snap front springs.......and usually take out a tyre in doing so, some have protection cups fitted but most don't

 

i bet the underslung spare wheel is siezed solid!

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29 minutes ago, maxxo said:

i must be one of the few who absolutely love them, so much so they're one of my favourite cars ever.....seriously!

battery light is economy mode, it's to show it's active when you do an activity which wakes the BSI.....such as opening a door etc

could well be the radio, is it aftermarket? economy mode does disable the supply for the radio, however it could be doing some weirdness

 

1.6 16v is a solid enough engine, they can tick if not been maintained correct, but they're powerful enough and "reasonably" economical

watch for headgasket issues however, and make sure the belts have been done as it will bend valves if it fails

 

electrically they can have character, but are usually solid enough

regarding jump starting, both the terminals under the bonnet are positive.....attach the negative to the bonnet clamp

you will have the bolts holding the seat down at that age, there is an awful hex tool supplied in one of the rear underfloor storage boxes, however this is crap and often missing

 

otherwise a solid enough car, watch the sills as they like to rot badly......but not a big deal

very easy to fit higher spec parts (illuminated sun visors etc) to them

we've had 4 in the family now since 2003, grandparents have had 4 and i owned their old one back in 2019-2021.....have an entire thread on here about the work i've done

 

oh they often like to snap front springs.......and usually take out a tyre in doing so, some have protection cups fitted but most don't

 

i bet the underslung spare wheel is siezed solid!

Thanks so much for your reply, lots of useful specialist XPicasso info there!

I did notice it was going into economy mode with the message on the dash but wasn't sure why the battery light comes up on its own after locking the car, are you saying that's an indication of economy mode too? 

I'm trying to figure out the radio. It's a Sony system but I'm 99% sure it's original given the documentation that came with it, and it all seems to be seemlessly installed, no botched wiring anywhere etc

The engine runs absolutely perfectly, it's so quiet when running so I think I've got a goodun. It seems that it's been serviced every year despite its low mileage and the oil is golden and at the correct level so that's a positive. 

Head gasket all seems ok, I've heard of the TU5 engines suffering from HGF but haven't seen a bad one in person yet so hopefully should all be ok as long as I look after it. It gets upto temperature and stays there (3 bars I think? - haven't counted) 

I have reason to believe the belts were done right on time in 2016 given the limited history that came with it. "Major service + belt" written in the book for 2016, doesn't directly say cambelt (and kit of course) but having had a look under the cover it doesn't look original. The writing is worn off and the grooves are starting to wear through so it's probably getting ready for another one but there's no cracking otherwise I'd do it straight away. Cambelt + water pump will be on the to-do list around MOT time at the end of the year probably once I've got everything else sorted. 

That's good to know the jumpstarting procedure. I wasn't sure exactly which post was positive so didn't want to try before reading the handbook. As you say and as I now read in the book both jump points are indeed positive so that's good to know. 

Funnily enough the seat bolts weren't even tightened down when I bought it. Its just recently had a new Halfrauds battery and I think one of the threads have been cross-threaded so that's something to sort out. I haven't sorted that yet until I've got to the bottom of the battery drain as I much prefer removing and charging the battery externally where possible than jump starting or trying to charge it in the car in fear of upsetting something.

The sills on this one are immaculate from what I can see apart from a slight scab forming on the OSR lower quarter sill return. I will probably waxoyl/underseal the entire car in due time. 

It was apparently garaged by the first owner and given the low mileage I can't imagine it's seen a lot of rain/salt in its life!

I've seen your thread and enjoyed it very much. I think I might refrain from the walnut vinyl on the dash though ;)

When I give it a going over I will thoroughly inspect the front springs and if they show signs of rust scabs I will probably replace them as a precaution. Due to their age it possibly will want tyres all round anyway but I don't want a blowout from a broken spring as that would be slightly inconvenient! The fronts are dated 2013 and have about 3-4mm and the rears are dated 2005 and have about 6mm, but they are quite heavily perished. 

Thanks for mentioning the spare wheel, that's something I will also check in particular. 

28 minutes ago, maxxo said:

is the modubox still in the boot? they're extremely cool!

desire is a decent spec, lumbar support, front fogs, aircon, colour coded bumpers etc

easy to fit cruise control to most models too

The modubox is quite a coincidence, a week before I even had any idea I was going to buy the car I saw one at the car boot sale and bought it as I thought it would be useful to have. The car was missing it's original trolley so it was perfect that I had one on hand to go with it that I had bought a week previously!

It seems pretty well equipped and feels somewhat in between my Focus LX and GHIA. Probably the Zetec of Citroens!

Thanks again! :)

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17 hours ago, Sham said:

I liked them. Then I owned one.

Hugely practical, soul destroying to drive with any level of gusto.

Nothing wrong with them as an mode of transportation, but if you like driving you will grow to hate it.

Really?

I find they drive like a big Peugeot 306, so rather well.

I was sort of looking for one recently but these days it seems to be impossible to find one that isn't rough as arses. Plus the insurance for me was weirdly high.

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Yep, really. The doors move around in the frames, the body flex is so great when cornering hard. And because of that, after a short time on country roads the thing was coming to bits. If you want a comfy cruiser, or a practical way to get from a to b, then they're great.

If you want to press on, they're woeful. But to be fair, not much in the MPV/SUV world is much better. Car shaped cars for the win.

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Every Picssso I see lately seems to have corroded and had ‘MOT patch spec’ welding on the front of the sill, the Schutz is fairly thick from new so it looks as if it’s one of those where they look sound until one day you give the rubbery coating a push and a foot long hole appears. 

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1 hour ago, Supernaut said:

Really?

I find they drive like a big Peugeot 306, so rather well.

I was sort of looking for one recently but these days it seems to be impossible to find one that isn't rough as arses. Plus the insurance for me was weirdly high.

Yeah nearly all of them are skips nowadays as they've probably been used as a mobile dustbin at some point in their lives by now. They are rarely purchased for family cars now

There's one local to me that's missing loads of trim and the rear end is sat on its bumpstops. It still runs and drives though!

53 minutes ago, Sham said:

Yep, really. The doors move around in the frames, the body flex is so great when cornering hard. And because of that, after a short time on country roads the thing was coming to bits. If you want a comfy cruiser, or a practical way to get from a to b, then they're great.

If you want to press on, they're woeful. But to be fair, not much in the MPV/SUV world is much better. Car shaped cars for the win.

The idea of these things is to use them as family transport or maybe a van, I don't think they were designed to be used as go karts with cornering capability in mind ;)

52 minutes ago, 320touring said:

I bought one of these (1.6 manual, low miles) off of @rml2345's outlaws. Short MOT, needed a skip run motor.

Went well, handled great (even with the rear tyres touching the top of the arches).

would buy again.

 

 

It looks nearly identical to mine

The rear suspension on mine seems absolutely fine, arch gap looks ok, but a lot of them I see are sitting on their bump stops so I count myself lucky in that regard

43 minutes ago, sierraman said:

Every Picssso I see lately seems to have corroded and had ‘MOT patch spec’ welding on the front of the sill, the Schutz is fairly thick from new so it looks as if it’s one of those where they look sound until one day you give the rubbery coating a push and a foot long hole appears. 

It's a possibility and I sure hope that's not the case! I don't think it's ever been welded

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the rear suspension was an issue on mine

really started to get quite low, to the point where i looked quite stupid

i decided the correct fix was to fit lowering springs to the front so it looked normal!

 

mine had erm issues with a crusty underside, then injector issues and i unfortunately got tired of it and bought a C5

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9 minutes ago, maxxo said:

the rear suspension was an issue on mine

really started to get quite low, to the point where i looked quite stupid

i decided the correct fix was to fit lowering springs to the front so it looked normal!

 

mine had erm issues with a crusty underside, then injector issues and i unfortunately got tired of it and bought a C5

I won't be lowering mine though! ;)

Remanufactured rear axles can be got for about £275 so it'll get one of those if/when it ever needs it

Was it you that got attacked on the FB group for making the mere suggestion of lowering a Picasso!?

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2 hours ago, RoverFolkUs said:

I won't be lowering mine though! ;)

Remanufactured rear axles can be got for about £275 so it'll get one of those if/when it ever needs it

Was it you that got attacked on the FB group for making the mere suggestion of lowering a Picasso!?

Yes I was called a derogatory homophobic slur

I didn't want to lower it, it was just the most logical solution at the time

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1 hour ago, maxxo said:

Yes I was called a derogatory homophobic slur

I didn't want to lower it, it was just the most logical solution at the time

FB "enthusiast" groups are usually 95% cunts and 5% knowledgeable folk. From what I've seen and what you now describe it seems the Xsara Picasso one is no different. :(

See also - specialist Forums eg the Ford owners club...

I had to stop myself from visiting the MG/Rover FB group because I couldn't stand the absolute twats it was full of. It's a shame because Paul who runs it is a top fella yet he's somehow amassed every mouth breather imaginable into this one group

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19 hours ago, RoverFolkUs said:

FB "enthusiast" groups are usually 95% cunts and 5% knowledgeable folk. From what I've seen and what you now describe it seems the Xsara Picasso one is no different. :(

See also - specialist Forums eg the Ford owners club...

I had to stop myself from visiting the MG/Rover FB group because I couldn't stand the absolute twats it was full of. It's a shame because Paul who runs it is a top fella yet he's somehow amassed every mouth breather imaginable into this one group

led me to create my own group which is quite successful

but yes i agree, mostly either stupid questions or people just seemingly looking for trouble

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So the plot thickens with the Picasso's electrical issues/drain

Charged the battery up fully on Friday, reconnected it, followed the BSI procedure and it was sound as a pound

I had a check on things on Monday, it went into economy mode but no issues, battery was a tad low at 11.8v but it was alive

Come today it's completely stone dead. No lights, nothing at all.  Battery was 8v connected to the car and 10v out of the car

Chucked it on charge and 5 hours later it's fine, sitting at 13.2v, accounting for surface charge I make that somewhere in the region of 12.6-12.8v. 

I think the battery is ok but will be load testing it to make sure

I can borrow the amp clamp from work over the weekend so that should help me suss things out

But for now I am going to disconnect the alternator and wrap up the +ve cable so it doesn't short out... I would pull the fuse but BECAUSE CITROEN it's among the maxi fuses and I cba disturbing all the wiring unless I have to

If it still drains with the alternator disconnected I'm going to have to pull fuses while observing the amp clamp. Radio and interior lights are prime suspects.

I hope it's not BSI/Comm2000 related!

 

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6 minutes ago, RoverFolkUs said:

So the plot thickens with the Picasso's electrical issues/drain

Charged the battery up fully on Friday, reconnected it, followed the BSI procedure and it was sound as a pound

I had a check on things on Monday, it went into economy mode but no issues, battery was a tad low at 11.8v but it was alive

Come today it's completely stone dead. No lights, nothing at all.  Battery was 8v connected to the car and 10v out of the car

Chucked it on charge and 5 hours later it's fine, sitting at 13.2v, accounting for surface charge I make that somewhere in the region of 12.6-12.8v. 

I think the battery is ok but will be load testing it to make sure

I can borrow the amp clamp from work over the weekend so that should help me suss things out

But for now I am going to disconnect the alternator and wrap up the +ve cable so it doesn't short out... I would pull the fuse but BECAUSE CITROEN it's among the maxi fuses and I cba disturbing all the wiring unless I have to

If it still drains with the alternator disconnected I'm going to have to pull fuses while observing the amp clamp. Radio and interior lights are prime suspects.

I hope it's not BSI/Comm2000 related!

 

unlikely to be the BSI

now a way to test if it's going to sleep is to sit in the car, lock the doors with the fob and then after a minute or two you should hear a relay click from the fusebox area which is it all powering down and going to sleep

comm2000 wouldn't cause a battery drain, they usually cause indicator headlamp fun.....

could well be the alternator

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1 minute ago, maxxo said:

unlikely to be the BSI

now a way to test if it's going to sleep is to sit in the car, lock the doors with the fob and then after a minute or two you should hear a relay click from the fusebox area which is it all powering down and going to sleep

comm2000 wouldn't cause a battery drain, they usually cause indicator headlamp fun.....

could well be the alternator

Cheers that's reassuring. I was sitting in the car on Friday when doing the BSI reset and I heard a click after a minute or so when everything shut down so that's good to know. Thank you again

1 minute ago, Rusty_Rocket said:

That battery is totally knackered.  It's not a 'Lion' ECP special is it? 😆

It's a brand new Halfrauds special. Not my first choice, was the previous owner's who fitted it just before getting shot of it. Make of that what you will ;)🤷‍♂️

Cranking voltage is just under 11v so all the cells should be healthy. I will definitely stick it on the load tester to get a clear result though, of course it could be duff if it's been stored or handled incorrectly 👍

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8 minutes ago, maxxo said:

where about's are you located? i've got a battery tester and lexia and i have no issues helping you out if somewhat local

Sussex! That's a very kind offer, I think you're somewhere 'oop north though? 

We've a battery tester at work, I'm thinking of getting a Lexia kit too as it's going to be a longer term keeper 

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5 minutes ago, RoverFolkUs said:

Sussex! That's a very kind offer, I think you're somewhere 'oop north though? 

We've a battery tester at work, I'm thinking of getting a Lexia kit too as it's going to be a longer term keeper 

yes that is rather far away! indeed i am up in Middlesbrough

yes Lexia is well worth having!

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Just now, maxxo said:

yes that is rather far away! indeed i am up in Middlesbrough

yes Lexia is well worth having!

That's just under 300 miles each way! That's a shame but thanks anyway :)

What sort of setup do you have? Is there any kit you'd particularly recommend or is it just a case of a laptop, the software and a cable like Forscan for my Focuses?

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