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Cleaning vynil trim

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Avoid silicone spray. Many trim areas—especially parts of the dashboard exposed to direct sunlight—are constantly bombarded by ultraviolet rays which break down the molecules comprising the vynil skin, allowing raw vynil molecules to escape the panel.

New ignition switch with the old key

You can spare the expenses by modifying the new switch to match your original key.

Noisy central locking

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Unfortunately, the noise is inherent in the system: the lock motors are noisy themselves (not the motor itself but rather a disengaging mechanism inside), the rods and latches attached add to this, and the whole is vastly increased by the hollow door construction.

Re-coding the remote plip

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The remote control on a BX uses a TEA5500 chip for both the transmitter and receiver. This device has ten programming inputs and each input has three possible states, connected to the high or low bus or, unusually, left unconnected. This gives 59,047 possible combinations of code.

Rear seat headrests

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You don't have to hunt for rear headrests, just buy two for the front seats and cut approximately 5 cm off their legs. If the ones you find do not match your trim style or color but you have an extra pair of matching front ones, you can swap the cushions as those can be separated from the stalks simply and easily: they are secured with two Philips screws at the base of the stalk.

Repainting body parts

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Do it yourself! Touch-up brushes are unusable but Holts (England), Multona (Italy) or Dupli-Color (Germany) sell the same acrylic paint in 400 ml spray cans, and those are excellent. You can find the matching paint in their catalog based on your car's paint reference number. You may have to check more than one of those, their color range is not exactly the same (for instance, I could find the exact match for my Red of the Long Valley only in Dupli-Color and the Anthracite Grey used on the upper frame of the doors only from Multona). These lacquers are enough for small scratches but to repair larger areas, especially if the plain metal can already be seen, you will need the primer of the same paint family, too. The primer is a thicker paint, acting as a filler as well; and being thicker, it is much less transparent than the lacquer, one layer of the primer covers the surface much better than two or three layers of the color lacquer. Thus, if you do use the primer to make the imperfections and color differences of the underlying surface disappear, you will be able to spare a few layers of the lacquer and to obtain a better finish.

Repairing vynil trim

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Discolored or broken vinyl trim parts (even if some morsels are missing between the broken parts) can be perfectly repaired using Araldite (or similar) two component epoxy adhesive resins (choose the fast-setting version). The customary plastic packaging used in great volumes today (with paper background and the product shrink wrapped) can be used in the process. Cut out the bigger flat parts of such plastic wrappers. Araldite does not glue to them: even if it seems that it does, it can be easily snapped off once the resin is completely hardened. It is vital to wait until the complete hardening patiently because trying to remove the plastic from the resin before that will ruin your attempts at a clear and nice-looking surface. If in doubt, try first with a small piece of plastic if Araldite sets hard onto it or not. Common adhesive tapes like Scotch Magic Tape (especially the non-permanent version) can also be used as they can be peeled off the fully hardened epoxy resin. As a third alternative, you can use the non-sticky back paper used as the carrier of self-adhevise labels.

Restoring shine

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The following sequence should do the trick: wash the car well. Apply a special finish restorer like T-Cut (Automotive Chemicals Ltd, Bury, United Kingdom; phone: +44 161 764 5981) or Farécla G3 (Broadmeads, Ware, Herts., United Kingdom; phone: +44 1920 485548). These special products used to remove oxidation are available from car paint specialists—don't confuse them with the average All-You-Need-Is-Our-Product Magic Color Restorer available at gas stations and advertised by infomercials. As they work by removing the top, oxidized layer of your paint, reading and sticking to the instructions carefully is of utmost importance. T-Cut has a special variant for metallic finishes, Farécla can handle both.

Rust above the front door hinge

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Yes, this is a common fault. The reason is that this area is not strong enough and whenever the door opens against the check strap, it flexes the area which had been softened by the welding (this can be easily observed by looking at the top hinge area while opening the door against the check strap: you will see the metal around the hinge moving in and out). The hinge cracks eventually but also flexes and breaks the multilayer seam directly above.

Water from the sunroof

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The sunroof is not intended to be watertight, the water that gets through is drained by four drain pipes. The front ones are behind the plastic trim on the A pillars, the rear ones behind the C pillar trim and they usually get blocked. Never try to clean them by rodding or blowing into them, they can puncture or separate at the joints. Suck the blockage out of the pipes using a vacuum cleaner instead.

Water in the footwell

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Generally, you could find out where the water is coming from judging by the traces of water or by removing the footwell carpet and asking someone to pour buckets of water onto the car. If you have a sunroof fitted, this is the first place to check. There are water drain channels in the C pillars, if one or both of them become clogged, water accumulates above the headlining and comes down generally behind the B pillar trim.