Switches with LEDs

The XM Series 1 was born in the era of automotive bulbs. When it came to the Series 2, LEDs were already entering the scene. New switches like those on the dashboard started to come with LED illumination but earlier switches retained (and shared with other Citroëns of the time) remained with plain old bulbs in many switches of the door windows, electric seats or some center console switches. Retrofitting LEDs to these is a simple process with huge benefits: longevity (practically, eternity) of the LED, cool operation temperatures and lower power consumption are all welcome changes.


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.

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.

Which wiper blade to buy?

I had nothing but bad experience with Bosch wiper blades, be it revolutionary, twin, aerodynamic, whatever. I stick with Champion and Valeo. But one word of caution: when it starts to streak, never rush to buy a new one. Get some alcohol and kitchen paper towel (it's better than Kleenex). Pour some alcohol on the towel, pinch it between your fingernails and literally scrape the blade edge, but hard. Dirt can stick to it with great force. You do this twice or thrice and lo and behold, you blade will probably return to its new condition immediately.