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Dashboard and Switches

UPDATED 1/2024



The speedometer on US and Canadian SM's was calibrated in miles-per-hour (MPH) instead of km/h. Also, the stopping distance was calibrated in feet. Oddly, the stopping distances are not quite equivalent between the Euro and USA speedometer. 

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Speedometer used on European models - calibrated km/h


Speedometer used in USA/Canada - calibrated in MPH and feet



We will not go into a detailed review of the radios used on USA and Canadian SM's here since the Citroenvie website has an excellent article on SM radios:


Citroenvie article on radios

However, perhaps the most common radio used on USA/Canadian SM’s is shown in the photo.

The most common radio found on USA/Canadian SM's


All USA/Canadian SM’s were equipped with electric antennas, as were some Euro cars. But due to radio differences with Euro cars, USA/Canadian SM’s often had unique switches mounted on the dashboard to operate the antenna. A variety of switches showed up, usually on the central console gage binnacle, left of the fuel and temperature gages. Most were ugly switches unbefitting of the interior quality of an SM. The only aesthetically acceptable antenna switch, which was common on 1973's, can be seen in the second photo below.


Since the plethora of uglier antenna switches do not show up in the parts book, we suspect that they may have been installed by Citroën personnel after the cars were in North America.

Ugly antenna switch found on some 1972 USA SM's

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Common antenna switch found on a 1973 USA SM


North American SM's had different headlight switches than their Euro counterparts. There were two differences; 1) the labelling on the switch (little dots versus words) and 2) whether the switch had functionality to turn on/off the inner turning lights (a push-on, push-off function).

USA cars we have examined had the following headlight switches:

  • 1971 USA SM’s had a unique headlight switch labelled with the dots and no functionality to turn on/off the inner lights (unknown part number).

  • 1972 and 1973 USA SM’s had a unique switch labelled with the word “LIGHTS” and no functionality to turn on/off the inner headlights (part number 5419295). 

Canadian cars we have examined had the following headlight switches:

  • All of the early Canadian SM's (with Euro headlights) that we have been able to examine had the Euro headlight switch installed, but one reader indicated that his early Canadian car was equipped with the 1971-type USA headlight switch.

  • Later Canadian cars with the USA headlights (1973 models) had the later USA headlight switch (P/N 5419295).


The parts books do not reflect all of these switch configurations. 

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Euro headlight switch: Labeled with dots with functionality to turn on/off the inner lights

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USA headlight switch for '72 and '73 was labelled with the word "LIGHTS" and had no functionality for the turning lights



The wiper switch was different on 1972 and 1973 US and Canadian SM’s. The USA/Canadian version (Gelbon part number 5419296) had the words “WASH” and “WIPE” on the switch rather than the symbols used on Euro cars. We believe that this was due to a USA requirement of the era. Note that DS’s had a similar wiper switch change in 1972. 


There were not many 1971 SM’s imported to North America, but 1971’s seem to have the Euro wiper switch installed. 

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Euro wiper switch with symbols

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USA/Canadian wiper switch labelled with words



Turn signal configurations on US and Canadian SM's were as follows:


  • 1971, 1972, and perhaps early 1973 SM's in the USA and Canada had a non-self cancelling turn signal switch that is different than that of Euro cars. The USA switch does not have the passing headlight flasher function. The symbol on the bottom face of the switch for the passing flasher function was present on USA cars, but was not painted in, since the functionality was absent. Apparently, the switch manufacturer used the same molded plastic part for both Euro and North American switches, but only painted in the flasher symbol on switches that had the internal switch guts to include the passing function. 

  • Partway through model year 1973, US and Canadian SM's received self-cancelling turn signals. This required a different turn signal switch and different steering column  components. According to the parts book, this change seems to have occurred in 11/72, which if correct, means that a few early 1973 SM's did not receive this change. US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #108 has required self-cancelling turn signals for many years. We presume that it is this requirement was behind this design change.

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Euro turn signal switch with headlight flasher symbol painted in. This function is absent on USA and Canadian SM's


Self-cancelling turn signal switch used on later 1973 SM's for USA and Canada

Greg Long

Video demo of a 1973 SM with self-cancelling turn signals. This car has a March, 1973 production date (click to play)



The parts book suggest intermittent installation of Hazard lights on a few European SM's, but they were installed on all USA/Canadian cars. Hazard lights were a USA requirement stemming from Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #108, "Lamps, reflective device and associated equipment." starting in 1968. 


The hazard light switch location is per the following:


  • On 1971 and 1972’s, the hazard light switch was on the center console gage binnacle, left of the fuel and temperature gages. The switch was labelled with either a triangle or “G2”.


  • On 1973’s, the hazard light switch was relocated to the main dashboard facia, just to the right of the STOP warning light oval. The switch was usually labeled “G2”.


Hazard light switches on DS’s were labelled “HAZ” or “G1”. On SM’s the hazard switch was labelled “G2” or with a triangle symbol. North American regulations of the era were behind some of these changes, but the origin of the G1 and G2 labelling is unclear.  

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Hazard switch location on 1971 and 1972 USA/Canadian SM’s

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Hazard switch location on 1973 USA/Canadian SM’s


A buzzer was incorporated on all USA/Canadian SM’s to indicate if a door was open when a key was in the ignition switch. This system was added to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) #114. 


The buzzer module, made by AXO, was hooked into the door interior light switches and the ignition switch. Most the buzzers were disconnected many years ago due to the irritating noise they made when a door was open (disconnecting them was tricky however, since if done in the wrong way, it prevented the interior lights from working). The buzzer module was the same part that was used on ‘70-‘72 USA DS’s (P/N 5422812). The logic was:


Either door open + ignition key inserted = buzzer on

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AXO Door Buzzer Module behind the Dash on a USA SM

The interior light wiring on USA and Canadian cars is shown in zone 102-105 on the USA Functional schematic HERE



The defroster control on the dash of USA/Canadian cars had the abbreviation “DEF” added on the facia on some cars. Unfortunately, the parts book is of little assistance to help sort out the various configurations. However, based on observation, there appear to be three versions of the defroster lever used on US/Canadian cars:

  • There were not many 1971's sold in North America, but the few we have found have no specific labelling for the defroster other than the 'up' arrow that European SM's had. 

  • 1972 SM's in the US and Canada typically had the letters "DEF" printed on the black facia. 

  • 1973 SM's in the US and Canada typically had a back-lit window in the facia that had the letters "DEF". 


Note that similar “DEF” letting was added to the DS defroster lever in the 1972 time-frame as well. We believe this to be a USA requirement of the era. 

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Non-illuminated 'DEF' lettering for 1972

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Illuminated 'DEF' lettering for 1973



All USA/Canadian (and Swedish) cars had a different button to open the glove box door that was not lockable. Most Euro SM’s had a lockable glove box. It is unclear what drove this change. 

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Euro glove box button with lock

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USA/Canadian glove box button without lock



All USA SM's originally had a sticker on the inside of the glove box that listed tire-related information. The requirement for this sticker seems to have been Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 110.


Since it is hard to read in the photo, the sticker content is repeated below:

Vehicle Capacity Weight: 620 pounds

Designed Seating Capacity: 4 - 2 in front seat, 2 in rear seat

Inflation Pressure: 33 psi on front tires, 30 psi on rear tires

Tire Size: 205-70 VR 15 X

By 1973, Canadian SM's had the same sticker. It is unclear if 1971/1972 Canadian SM's had this sticker. 

USA DS's had a similar sticker which can be seen HERE

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The choke knob on all USA/Canadian cars was labelled with the word “CHOKE” in lieu of a symbol. We believe that this was a USA requirement of the era.  We have been advised that the CHOKE lettering was simply a sticker that was placed over the symbol on the euro choke knob. This sticker tended to fall off, thus explaining the lack of consistency if we look at the choke knobs on cars today. 

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Euro choke knob with symbol


USA/Canada choke knob


All 1971, 1972 and early 1973 USA and Canadian SM’s had a small aluminum plate with the car’s serial number (VIN number) riveted on the left side of the steering wheel pod. A similar plate was added to the steering pod on USA DS’s, starting in mid-1969.

Sometime in 1973, this plate started disappearing from the steering pod and instead was installed on the dash, behind the windshield. It is not clear when this change kicked in since we have seen 1973 SM's with the pod-mounted plate and other 1973 SM's with the one behind the windshield. In fact, we were able to find two SM's, both manufactured in March of 1973, and one had the pod-mounted plate (SD0864) and one had the serial number plate behind the windshield (SD0968 - see photo). 

This suggests that it was mid-March of 1973 when this change occurred.

The only Federal rule we could find for these plates was that they were required as of 1968/1969, and that they be visible from outside the car.  

We are guessing that the Feds got annoyed since the serial number, when mounted on the pod, wasn't really all that visible from outside the car and subsequently forced Citroën to install the plate behind the windshield. 

Euro SM's did not have these plates.

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Pod-mounted Serial Number Plate for 1971, 1972, and some 1973 SM's in US/CANADA


Serial Number Behind Windshield for "some" 1973's in US/CANADA


The parts book shows that all Euro SM's have an ignition switch with 8 wires and that USA/Canadian cars with the Borg Warner automatic transmission have an ignition with with 9 wires.


We think that the parts book is not quite correct and instead all USA/Canadian cars (manual shift and automatic) have a unique ignition switch, since all North American cars have the door buzzer function which requires an additional wire to indicate when the key is inserted (used as part of the door buzzer logic). You can see this functionality at zone 103 of the SM USA functional schematic HERE

Schematic snippet with the 9-wire ignition switch (the brown 'Mr' wire is the one that is used by the USA door buzzer system)

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Euro ignition switch with 8 wires


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