(by David Lapidus) How do you say, “You win some, you lose some” in French? And while we’re at it, how do you say, “My loss is your gain”?
A few years ago, I acquired a 1987 Citroën CX Prestige. In spite of fulfilling all of the stereotypes about crazy French mistresses, I fell head-over-heels in love. Then I figured that if one crazy French mistress is good, two must be better, right?
So, almost two years ago, I decided to add a 1992 Citroën XM to my little collection. Though she may be French, she’s not nearly as crazy as the CX. And that’s the problem: Without the blazing originality and weirdness of the CX, I’m not inspired to put up with the XM’s fragility. And so, it’s time for her to find a new home.
How does this work? No reasonable offer will be refused. Heck, I might even accept an unreasonable offer. I just want her to go to a good home that will appreciate her and take care of her. She’s currently in Oklahoma City.
So let’s talk about this car.
It’s a 1992 XM V6 with—I think—nearly all of the gadgets. It has the 12-valve V6 engine (not the more-powerful, less-robust 24v), automatic transmission, sunroof, power seats, leather upholstery, heated seats (not working!), and automatic climate control (good a/c when parked, but no heat!). The “orga” number is 5204.
The big problem: There’s an LHM leak. My mechanic says that the leak is in the steering rack. I’ve been getting parts from suppliers in Belgium and Germany with no trouble… so it’s probably easy to get what you need, I’m just tired of dealing with it. The leak is severe. The car can be driven “yard distances,” but do not take it on the open road! I haven’t driven it in many months.
Some squeaks and rattles from interior trim.
The transmission’s Park-position sensor is wonky, so sometimes the car has to be started in Neutral. Not a big deal.
There seems to be a small electrical drain. If the car is parked for a couple weeks, it may need a jump-start. After sitting for many months, the battery was totally dead. But the car fired right up with a new battery this morning.
The lock tumbler on the driver’s side spins freely, making it very hard to lock the car from the outside. Apparently this is a common problem for XMs.
The door lock plunger is missing from the driver’s door, making it hard to lock from the inside. It can be manipulated with pliers. I always park it in a secure garage, so it’s never been an issue.
The clearcoat is fading on the roof.
The rear wiper arm went missing under previous ownership. Weird.
Michelin tires, nearly new. But I wouldn’t be surprised if they developed a flat spot after months of sitting in the same position.
It may need an alignment.
Good a/c (when parked), but no heat. It uses R134a.
Heated seats don’t work
Before the steering rack leak developed, I tidied it up a little: New spheres all around, new exhaust, and a new rear suspension cylinder. And as noted above, a new battery this morning. The pump and spheres all seem fine; the car rose to normal height within several seconds of starting up.
I think that’s it. For someone who is mechanically handy (and a Citroen enthusiast), these are probably manageable issues. It’s titled, registered and insured. However, I haven’t driven it for months, so there could be surprises for the next owner. This is surely one of the rarest Citroen models in the US, so it could be a rewarding project (personally, if not financially!) if someone wants to revive it.
Sorry about the low-quality pictures. She’s parked in a dark garage, and I hesitate to bring her outside in her current state.
email inquiries to CurbsideCitroen@gmail.com