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Do it now I'll do it later...
Friday 13th September 2013


CITROEN BX GTI 16V: PH FLEET

Feeling cool and sounding good - the Citroen that is


While the occasional excitement of spurious bits of the BX's trim falling off has undoubtedly provided some amusement over the past few months, I have been keen to get a more traditional form of in-car entertainment working. The BX came with an aftermarket stereo that emitted static and those annoying little pips that remind you the faceplate's still attached when you kill the engine. And little else.

The ICE is cutting edge, even if the car is getting on
The ICE is cutting edge, even if the car is getting on
So when car audio specialist Peter Huet got in touch with an offer to sort the system out, I decided to book her in. The journey down to Huets' base in Shoreham was uneventful, with the exception of a slightly frantic period of sitting in traffic on the M25, watching the temperature gauge climb (more on which presently).

As I'd suspected, the culprit was the head unit itself, so Peter recommended an upgrade to one of the latest Kenwood units he had in stock. For the audio buffs among you, it's a KDC-BT73DAB, a string of numbers and letters which, translated into English, means it's has capacity for Bluetooth and DAB, as well as USB inputs front and rear, and if you pair it up to an iPhone 4 or later, it'll even allow you to use Siri. Plus, of course, it'll play CDs and pick up old-fashioned analogue radio too. The best part, though, is that you can tweak the colour of the display and buttons to match your car's instruments, a feature I particularly like as it means it looks far less like an aftermarket add-on than I'd feared.

As if it didn't look Gallic enough already!
As if it didn't look Gallic enough already!
So, happily, I now have every kind of music I could wish for in the BX though it sounds as though it's coming out of a portable radio that's been thrown down a well. A return visit to Huets to talk speakers is on the horizon.

While I was down on the South Coast, I decided to drop back in to Southways in Fareham, to get those radiator fans looked at. The diagnosis was pretty simple: a £10 switch - contrary to what I'd been told by a chap from a well-known breakdown provider. Still, that suited me better than a replacement of the entire fan, or possibly even the wiring, that I'd expected. No longer do I have to fear traffic jams or drive around with the heater fully on in the middle of summer. Excellent.

I'm also pleased to be able to report the BX has attended its first PistonHeads Sunday Service, naturally endowed with a smattering of PH stickers. Duly liveried I'm hoping this will be a more regular excursion.

Joining the throng at the Luton Sunday Service
Joining the throng at the Luton Sunday Service
Oh, and there's been one more small tweak this month. A friend pointed out that you can now buy yellow headlamp bulb caps on eBay these days, of the sort that were mandatory in France until 1993. They are legal for use in the UK, so I ordered a couple and popped them in to see how they look. I rather like the effect and, eventually, I'd like to emulate the proper, French-spec headlamp setup by swapping the yellow fogs out for clear items with yellow bulbs, too. Why? No reason other than I think it looks pretty cool.

 



FACT SHEET
Car:
 1989 Citroen BX GTI 16V
Run by: Scrof
Bought: April 2013
Purchase price: £800
Last month at a glance: "If music be the food of love, play on..."


Previous reports:
Alex indulges a long-held dream ... yes, a white Citroen BX
BX gets a tidy up ahead of daily driver duties
'Character' traits aplenty with Alex's Citroen
The BX is back on the road ... sort of

Main images: PrimeExposures

Author: Alex Robbins
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