Assessing and Inspecting

From Citroen SM Wiki


What are the appropriate things to check before or after purchasing an SM in order to assess its state, safety, and immediate needs?

See also Danger

  • Does engine move freely?
Remove plugs
Engage fourth gear
Can car move?
If on a ramp, you can turn the engine with a screwdriver against the starter ring.
  • Exhaust valves
If possible, do not start it until checking that they are not sodium filled.
  • Fuel lines
They crack and spray gasoline all over
  • Rust
SM cars normally get cosmetically bad before major structural rust is a danger. As the car is easy to inspect when on a ramp, it is not difficult to assess the car.
  • Primary Chain Tensioner
Drop the oil pan to check position of tensioner, and presence or absence of curved static tensioner. See also below.
  • Secondary Chains
As a quick check, rev the engine gently to 3000 RPM, and let it idle. If you hear a chain noise as the engine accelerates & slows down, then you have chain work to do. A SM engine in good condition has NO MECHANICAL NOISES AT ALL.


See also: