Monday, March 30, 2009


Statistics from the Malaysian automobile dealer association reported that the Citra has been sold at an average number of 500 units per month for year 2008. At the current price, nothing beats the value of features being offered - ABS, EBD, 2x Airbag, 2.0 liter CVVT engine, 4 wheel independent suspension with SACHS absorbers, 7 seater, sunroof & roof racks included.

Care must be taken to ensure the interior leather, which is sensitive to sunlight, is protected, or it will deteriorate very rapidly by "greying". Window tint that blocks UV rays and heat will help, but applying leather conditioner will ensure a long lasting "showroom" condition. I used Armor all leather protector (available at Brothers) on this interior.

There were some setbacks in the initial editions for year 2005/06/07 - especially on multiple complaints of radiator leak. That was apparently due to the A/C condenser being bolted directly to the radiator side flange, having to absorb vibrations from the A/C compressor during cooling load cycle.

Subsequent revision to the design on the A/C condenser foot mountings appear to diminish the complains. I myself however, not taking chances, installed additional rubber pads on the mounting points to eliminate any possibility of vibrations leading to radiator leak in the subsequent mileage (referring left photo, left lower foot is pictured, with rubber dampers mounted to the radiator side flange. Also notice the alternator in the background).

The top bracket for the radiator will have to be fitted with a rubber damper as well in order to make sure the entire aircond condenser is aligned in parallel as per my motto : " Do the job right".

An additional piece is added to ensure no incident of "rubbing" between the aircond condenser metal bracket and chassis frame.

The exhaust was another factor for concern as the close proximity of the catalytic converter to the rubber hoses, fans, and other electrical connections. In addition, most cat. converter shorten the useful life of the engine by creating a harmful back pressure in the exhaust flow, causing carbon accumulation in the valves, pistons, combustion chambers.

Note the uneven carbon accumulation on the cat. converter that was removed only after 1,000km of usage to prove the point.

Upgrading the exhaust may void the vehicle guarantee, so beware of the risks before doing so. The reason is pretty obvious, as the 4-2-1 extractor does not come with a heat shield, neither it was done with any ISO standards. I did a surface straightness check on the extractor manifold flange before purchasing so to be sure there is no distortion or it will cause damage to the cylinder head when bolted.

Any and every coolant rubber hoses at the near proximity of the extractor are wrapped in aluminium foil to prevent peak heat exposure, which will cause burns and disintegration, and long term exposure leading to rubber hardening

Engine compartment wash is essential to ensure dust and grime do not accumulate and "eat" away at the rubber/plastics, especially when the temperature in the engine hood may go above 100 degree Celsius. As shown, sensitive components are covered prior to wash. Immediately after detergent and water spray is applied, all residual water must be mopped up, especially at the electrical connections. The gearbox has several of these sensitive electrical connections at input & output shaft speed sensors, solenoid controls, etc., that must be dried immediately.

The photo shows the result of engine compartment wash, with the engine cover and air filter removed and washed separately.

At any time the air filter is replaced, I always wash the A/F housing to clear the dust and sand. No air filter performance is 100%. Like most HEPA filter, the filtering ability is probably up to 0.5 micron particulates. This means, there will be fine dust invisible to the eye at that may be attached to the filter housing.

Notice the darkening of the filter from the "clean side" at the top. These are particulates that are trapped by the filter. Those particulates that escaped may just be attached to the surroundings.

All in all, the Citra is a MPV designed with ease of service/maintenance in mind, especially good accessibility to all components, a rugged powertrain design built to withstand many years of usage. Good value for money.


  1. excellent articles, useful for me. keep writing and happy blogging.

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  2. Hi Paul, I'm thinking of buying a 2ndhand Citra, circa 05-06. What's to look out for? Mileage below 80k. Thanks.