406 HDI harmonic balancer - short life? other problem?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default 406 HDI harmonic balancer - short life? other problem?

    I have a 2002 406 HDI wagon that got an increasing rattle and then i replaced the harmonic balancer with a Quinton Hazel unit from memory. I'm trying to work out how long ago, doesn't seem that long but maybe 2 years and 30000km ago is my best guess.

    Today I drove the car up a steep winding road and hard to remember but it didn't seem like the engine lost power, just that the battery light came on and the steering went dead - no noise though. Got home though and there was a real smell, at first i thought it was electrical, but then i restarted the car and could see smoke coming from the harmonic balancer and melted rubber bubbling out of it. Pulled the wheel and the inner guard and there is ground metal all around the place. I released the aux belt and my thinking was that something else had seized and that had caused the HB to burn out, but all the wheels seem to be spinning smoothly. I felt each of them hoping to feel heat but alternator and power steering pump both felt really hot equally.

    So now i am thinking that if something had seized i probably would have heard a screech or something and i think it is just that the HB got hot and would have a point where it would spin inside it and simultaneously stopped alternator and PSteer.

    So the purpose of the post is fishing for any similar experiences. Maybe it is just a matter of changing HBs every couple of years and be thankful the rest is still good! Better still hopefully just a dodgy HB that didn't bond properly and hence the short life.


    Any comments or knowledge appreciated. Any experiences of different brand HB's? I think the genuine one was about $1k and after market $300ish, but if the genuine lasts for 170k and the other 30k then it is false economy. Maybe someone could build a tougher aftermarket one - bit like you can buy simple clutches to replace dual mass ones in modern 4WDs?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    Obviously oil or heat does the rubber no good, but was the replacement damper the same mass as the original part, or lighter? They aren't cheap, but 1 grand?

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! rmac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Denmark, Western Aust.


    The harmonic balancer was replaced in my 406 during the 160,000 km I had the car. Certainly didn't cost anywhere near $1000 and it was done at the Peugeot dealer (not DVG) in Perth.
    Current Cars
    Australia's 2016 C5 2.0HDi Last
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    1973 Citroen D Super 5,
    1981 Citroen CX 2400 Pallas C-matic,
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    1991 Mazda E2200
    1924 Citroen 'la petit citron'

  4. #4
    1000+ Posts driven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    Check for engine seal oil leaks, this kills them in no time

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