buying a citroen ds

This is a short guide on what to look for what buying a Citroen DS. If you have any further questions or would like any specific advice, please contact me directly.

The number one most important thing to look out for when buying a Citroen DS is rust. If you've already browsed this site you'll have seen a whole load of rust; they rust everywhere!

If you've found a car, the first thing to check is for rust in the 'chassis'. Start by removing the closing panel at the rear of the boot, which is held in place by 4 bolts and looking at the area where the boot floor joins the rear crossmember. If there is a lot of rust here the car is probably not worth saving, unless you're planning on a full scale rebuild, and we're talking about a lot more work than I've had to do here.

If this area is OK, remove the rear wings, which are held in place by a single large bolt at the rear. Look at the rain gutters which run along the edges of the boot aperture. The photo below shows the new ones I fitted to my car, which thankfully is easy if you can weld.
Rear Raingutters

Next, move forward and inspect the floorpans. These rot all along the edges, most notably just beside the front footwells, as shown below. Whilst you're here, check the sills; they might look OK but they often rot from the inside out, leaving the metal very weak.
Rust in the floorpan

Also check the floorpan where it runs underneath the petrol tank, which is mounted below the rear seat base; any rust here indicates that water has been sitting in the tank enclosure, which could mean the rear crossmember has rotted out.

Now move to the top of the car and check the roof rails. This is not easy without dismantling the car, but you should check that the stainless-steel embelisher screwed above the windscreen has not lifted. If it has, it means the screen aperture it rotten, which is time-consuming to fix. (See below)
Rotten screen aperture

These are the main areas of chassis rust on a DS; if they are OK then you have found a solid car. The next thing to move onto is the bodywork. Doors rot along the bottom edges, so check for weak metal here. Rear wings rot at the foremost top edge, at the base of the C-Pillar and front wings around the wheelarch and towards the bottom of the panels.

Bonnets are usually aluminium and roof glassfibre, so they wont rot, but a dented bonnet is very difficult to repair. The bootlids rot from the inside out, thanks to the large foam seal usually fitted.

New body panels can be found, but they are expensive.

Mechanically, most parts can be bought new at a reasonable cost. Interiors can also be bought new from Holland, but again, they cost a lot of money. The hydraulics are not as complex as people imagine, but if you're new to the DS, go for an LHM (green) fluid car, as these are much easier to maintain.

If you've any more questions regarding the Deesse, or what to look for when buying a Citroen DS, please contact me!

Andy Todd all images and text � citroen restoration and may not be reused without permission