Troubleshooting the electric circuitry is often feared but is very straightforward in reality.

Start with a copy or printout with the circuit diagram in question. We take an example here, the driver's side electric window of a Series 1 XM. A printout or a copy will enable you to take extensive notes on the diagram. Create as many as there are actual operating states of the circuit. In the case of the electric window, this might be:

Secrets of ORGA

This number shows the day when your BX was actually assembled on the production line. The dealers and parts stores use this number (often called ORGA or RP number, this latter stands for Replacement Parts) to identify the various parts and components fitted to your car. You'll find this number either in the engine bay, in front of the left front suspension sphere or on the A-pillar, in the door opening, below the hinge.

After purchase

First, congratulations! You'll soon find out that there are only two kinds of car drivers: those who drive Citroëns and those nincompoops who don't... :-)

Start with a major cleanup of all compartments: clean the carpets, under the front and rear seats, in the trunk. Clean the exterior, the wheels. Check the car body thoroughly for scratches, small dents and rust. Rust should not be a problem on a BX unless it was neglected or some repairs were carried out without paying attention to prevent rust formation. Repair as necessary.

Before purchase

As you would expect, Series II cars are a better buy; not only because they are younger but the newer series were significantly more reliable than the first one—at least this is what data collected by roadside emergency services like that of the German Automobile Club ADAC shows.

Look for a trailer hitch or the remnants of one. If you find one, don't buy the car. Even if you want to tow something yourself, it's best to find a vehicle that has never towed anything in the past.

Repairing vynil trim

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.

Cleaning vynil trim

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.

Repainting body parts

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).

Restoring shine

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.

Rust above the front door hinge

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.

Rear seat headrests

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.