Over the past year or so the sale of Continental cars has increased considerably in this country for many reasons, the main one possibly being that of better value for money. However, like the roundabouts and swings theory, one has to pay in the end, and it is in the field of spare parts and servicing costs that the initial benefit is lost. This appears to have been borne out by your correspondent Mr. J. F. Cliffe with regards to the price he has to pay for keeping his Citroen GS on the road. I have run a 1,015 c.c. GS Club for the past EWO years and, like him, I have found the costs higher than running a British car.
In his correspondence J.F.C. makes mention of the 12,000-mile service on his GS which cost £67.86. This, I feel, is intolerably high in the light of my 12,000mile service which set me back £24.78, the labour charge being £14.63. As his service, apparently similar to mine, was routine there is an obvious discrepancy somewhere. For J.F.C.’s interest and anybody else contemplating buying a GS, the costs which I have incurred for the main services are as follows:
As for the car itself, I have nothing but praise. The ride, comfort and roadholding are everything a Citroen purports to be. The performance is adequate for a 1,015 c.c. engine pulling a ton, including two passengers. Fuel consumption over the past 14,000 miles has averaged a shade over 29 m.p.g. with oil consumption being 980 m.p.p.
In 20,000 miles it has only been off the road once, when a compression ring fused to a piston, at 11,000 miles. This was replaced by Harley Continental Cars Ltd., Birmingham, in two days. This might seem tame but the ring had scored the cylinder so that had to be replaced. As the cylinders on each side are matched this necessitated the replacement of both cylinders on the right side. These had to come from London. It might interest your readers that this occurred 5,000 miles outside guarantee and yet the cost for both labour and spares was borne by Citroen Cars. As was the replacement of both headlights (£25 each) at 9,000 miles, due to slight loss of silvering on the reflectors on the leading edge of the light. This was carried out by the above garage who, at all times, have been the epitome of what aftersales service should be but very seldom is.
All in all, my two years of motoring a la Citroen has proved very enjoyable and I am eagerly awaiting the advent of the GS Birotor, despite the fact that it will probably cost nearly £2,000, thus partially negating the point of the GS range.
Little Aston, Staffs. M. N. Rushton