Purchased this car in January 2007 just under 3 years old from a main Citroen Dealer.
A week after purchase the Car had a flat battery after a trip of 200 miles. The garage replaced the battery and the car seemed to be fine. In June the battery was flat again but this seemed to be overcome by giving the battery a full overnight charge.
In January 2008 the car had a flat battery and this time it was identified that the alternator had failed. The AA Warranty on the Car then had the alternator replaced with a non-citroen part which failed two weeks later and had to be replaced again.
The Garage also checked over the cars electrical system and found water ingress into the ECU connector. The cost for the repairs was £1,300 for a new ECU and Engine Harness (Wiring loom). The dealer cannot guarantee the problem will not re-occur.
I though this problem was an isolated incident until I read Michael Goodfellows review of 11/12/2007.
If you are going to buy second hand Xsara Picasso have the connection to the ECU check for water and corrosion it could save you a lot of money.
Cheap to buy, cheap to run, loads of space. In our first 20000 miles averaged 55.4 to the gallon according to the on board computer. At 26000 miles rear tyres hardly worn, fronts half gone (expect 40K). It is a quiet & comfortable long distance cruiser with loads of space for a family and their bits. Seats easily removed-seconds, it becomes a van. It is not a sporty drive but accelerating hard the 1.6HDi pulls well for overtaking. We make fast long journeys in it. Ours has had no faults and was bought new on the internet for just over £11k. There is a blind spot around the front pillars which must be watched. Parking is not as easy to judge as our Berlingo. Both daughters (with small kids) have them and love them. They had them first. Utterly functional and easy to live with. Absence of a rev counter is irritating. For most family use there is no point in struggling with a smaller car. The 1.6HDi is one the best small diesels around. Servicing at independent garage is simple and cheap. We buy fully synthetic Total oil in France and change it every six months.
We have owned one of these since new in September 2003. It has done 32,000 miles and is regulary serviced by a Citroen dealer.
We had no real problems until last week, when the car stopped dead in heavy traffic a couple of weeks after a full service. It was towed to a Citroen garage - the fault was diagnosed as water ingress into the ECU which corroded a number of ECU pin connectors. The garage quoted over £1300 to fix it (it needs a new ECU and wiring loom). It appears to have been a problem since the car was first driven in the rain!
This appears to be a big risk with this car, because the ECU is badly positioned in the engine compartment and is not properly protected from the risk of damp/water ingress. The dealer cannot guarantee a repair as it's a design fault.
So, we are repairing it ourselves using a web-based ECU repair company and a DIY job to prevent the problem arising again.
So, if you own a Picasso, our advice would be to get your dealer to urgently check your ECU connections for water damage (it only takes a couple of minutes) - better safe than sorry.
Alternatively, sell the car quickly before you get hit with a very large reapir bill. We think the cars are inherently unsafe because of this problem - imagine the car fully loaded with kids in the outside lane of a busy motorway when it suddenly stops dead!
Dealers do not seem to check for this fault when undertaking routine servicing. Other websites report the same problem from other owners.
I run this car on business- its done over 50k miles in less than 2 years. Yes, this car is old technology is some ways. The roadholding is ok but not state of the art,a little noisy, economy is good (47mpg, but 1.6HDI(110 hp) is much better, had one as a loan car whilst mine being serviced)performance ok but again 1.6 HDI better. Overall has been reliable (just one electrical problem - electric windows kept blowing fuses - turns out that brake pedal was shorting out wiring)Front tyres lasted 50k miles!This car was cheap to buy and although its not a porche it has done everything that was asked of it. Seats very comfortable and interior space and flexibility good. Good workhorse-I would recommend.My problem is that when this one goes I want another but wont be available new and the replacement is so much more expensive
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