Save the 2CV

Tell The Tale

   posted on Wednesday 7th of August 2013 by Mark Warner

It's that time of year again... MOT. Now sadly Dolly has been unloved for the last year or so. I was using her regularly to go and play badminton with my Dad, but through a series of injuries to both of us we haven't played recently and I haven't found another reason/excuse to use the 2CV.

On the occasions I have tried to use her the dreaded fuel problem has reared its ugly head and its been a nightmare to get the fuel pump to pull enough fuel through to get the engine to start (which then "powers" the pump properly). Anyway I suspect there will be more on that at a later date.

Once she was up and running again, I took my daughter out for a spin with the roof off and she loves it! She's 2... she doesn't know any better.

So phone call comes in yesterday from the garage, she's failed because there is no main beam tell-tale light. Now she's never had one of these, but apparently the rules were tightened this year so that any car registered from 1986 should have one (because it was law for all new cars to have one from that point).

I went about researching, and immediately discovered that my 2cvgb membership had lapsed without me realising so I couldn't check their forums. I then found another forum thread where someone had posted that on the VT40 for a 2cv there should be a note that says something like:

"Some of these vehicles may not have a main beam warning lamp and should not be failed for that reason. However if one is fitted it should be tested." so the tester shouldn't fail the car."

So I rung back this next morning, feeling a bit rotten as it suggested they hadn't read their screen properly (and I trust these guys completely). Richard had also done his own research, and agreed with what I'd found. He also said that Citroen were pulled up on it back in the late 80s, but by the time the case had gone through they'd stopped making 2cvs! Anyway he said he'd phone "the ministry" (VOSA) and find out what was going on.

I got a call back later, it was all fine, she's passed! Apparently VOSA's computer system was broken and all the car specific notes weren't going through to the testers at the moment! The mind boggles, but the important thing was that they confirmed the exemption and gave the garage a code to override the fail and allow her to pass.

I had also come up with a plan B... I'd found this page which says that all the wiring is actually there for the lights, Citroen just didn't finish the job. I checked and the wiring diagram in the Haynes manual confirms this. I can get proper looking tell-tale lights from either The 2cv Shop or ecas for both the indicators and main beam, and there are even spacers on the dash already for them (funny how you can have seen something so many times and not wondered what it was for). So... by next MOT I plan to have fitted both so that I don't get any more hassles, and don't get an advisory that my indicator tell is audible only... oh and hopefully find the root of my fuel problem too.