The 406 won't start!
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Thread: The 406 won't start!

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    Default The 406 won't start!

    Hi,

    The car is a manual 2 litre 2001 406 D9.

    About a week ago, the radio stayed on after turning off the engine and taking out the key. I could only switch the radio off by starting up again, switching off and taking out the key. This happened on 2 or 3 occasions.

    After washing the car last Sunday, I was unable to start the car. Next morning the same thing happened, but in the afternoon all was well with half a dozen starts.

    Later on, the car wouldn't start. Initially, some of the instrument icons would go out when attempting to start as per normal but no click of the starter motor or any other sound.

    I've also managed to do my back and, at the moment, this is preventing me from investigating.

    Symptoms now are that when ignition is switched on (but not to start) a buzzing noise is coming from the area just in front of the passenger firewall. A relay in the fuse box? Nothing happens when the key is turned to start.

    My thoughts so far are -

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    1. Faulty starter motor.

    2. Faulty ignition switch.

    3. Some fault in the engine fuse box - a relay?

    4. Something I have no knowledge about. Lot's of scope there.

    5. When washing the car, moisture has found its way into a part that should be dry. However, would've thought that some days of fine weather would've dried it out. Anyway, I couldn't find anything wet when I had a close look around except that I didn't check fans and horns etc at the front.

    6. Voodoo.

    Does anyone have a clue to what the problem could be?

  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    How's the battery?

    These are direct (hard) wired from battery to underbonnet fuse panel, to key switch, to starter solenoid. If the battery load tests at 80% or more of rated CCA then the fault is quite possibly a claggy keyswitch.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    Thanks. The battery should be okay but I'll check it. I'm hoping it's not the ignition because it doesn't look like fun to swap.

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    They're easy to remove, the barrels, if it's like the D8.

    Fairly sure there are online tutes (Youtube etc) for dismantling and cleaning the switch.

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    It looks daunting but the ignition switch is easy to disassemble and clean. Have you tried disconnecting the battery for an hour or so and reconnecting it to "reset" everything?
    406 HDi

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hypermiler View Post
    It looks daunting but the ignition switch is easy to disassemble and clean. Have you tried disconnecting the battery for an hour or so and reconnecting it to "reset" everything?
    Thanks for the info about dismantling the ignition switch. I've tried disconnecting the battery for some time but without result.

    That the car broke down at a friend's place and my sore back means that I'm out of action doesn't help. Think I'll have to wait until the back improves a bit.

  7. #7
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    Most likely a starter solo nous
    Give it a tap when is not throwing in
    Use a broom stick or whatever reaches

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Chisholm View Post
    Thanks. The battery should be okay but I'll check it. I'm hoping it's not the ignition because it doesn't look like fun to swap.

    I think you'll find if you JUMP start the car it will go,
    The Battery sounds like it is most likely on it's way out and has to wait til the warmth of the day before it will gain enough strength
    Have it check it WILL most likely need replaced ( but make shaw you get a good strong one for all the electronics) the computers and radio are powered 24/7

  9. #9
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    The battery was replaced in June 2013 so, hopefully, it's still okay.

    Had a look at the 406 ignition switch removal on Youtube, which was quite helpful. Lock and switch now in pieces awaiting a cleanup and re-lube.

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    Cleaning/servicing the switch did fix my aircon problems (only temporarily - had to replace it) - but when our 406 (D9 SV) won't start (similar symptoms) I switch it on and off a few times - so far it has always started eventually. Switch is fairly new (and the aircon works), which is why I don't think it's the problem...

    I think it is more likely that my problem lies in the starter motor solenoid, as Sherman suggests (at least I THINK that's what he means ), although I haven't tried hitting it with a broom handle...

    Cheers

    Alec

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    I'm was thinking that the starter solenoid could be the problem as well. The main thing that swayed me was the fact the radio stayed on after I took out the ignition key.

    The other thing is that the starter motor isn't exactly easy to remove so I'm trying the ignition switch first. While I'm at it, has anyone got a particular preference for ignition switch lubricant? The electrical switch part, that is.

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    Hi Peter , wonderful things starter motors aren't they . If you can get to it put 12 volts to the solenoid connection on the starter motor, if the motor turns over that would suggest trigger from the switch

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    Hi Keith, tried this already. Other than a spark, nothing happened. The solenoid wire is screwed on, not spade terminated so I can't try direct connection to eliminate a wiring or ignition switch problem.

    Now have the ignition switch out and in pieces and wondering what lubricant to use on the electrical switch therein.

    These 406s are lots of fun.

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    If you got a spark then there is a connection to earth somewhere. Now that you have the ignition switch out put +12 volts onto the wire that goes to the solenoid . I presume that nothing else is connected to this wire so if the solenoid does not energise this would indicate the starter motor . If you do decide to replace it get a brand new one . Steve from John Norder got one for me at a really good price but I don't know where he got it from

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    I believe graphite powder is the recommended lube. should be available at most hardware stores.
    Now that I'm thinking about it, when I bought a new door lock for my 306 it came lubed with what looked like Vaseline in the barrel, so I guess that is an acceptable lube as well.

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    1000+ Posts Peter C's Avatar
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    First off, thanks for all the replies.

    I was wondering about using Vaseline on the electrical switch part as well. Then again, I was reading on the net about dielectric grease so maybe that's what you're supposed to use. Vaseline is said to have a melting point low enough to be a problem if the cabin temperature was high enough on a hot summers day. From what I've read, non conductive, dielectric grease is the go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gromzx View Post
    I believe graphite powder is the recommended lube. should be available at most hardware stores.
    Now that I'm thinking about it, when I bought a new door lock for my 306 it came lubed with what looked like Vaseline in the barrel, so I guess that is an acceptable lube as well.
    Hi gromzx

    In the 406, the switch is separate to the lock. You are correct that graphite is the bees knees for locks, and that the factories use a special vaseline-like grease. However Peter is, I believe, rejuvenating the electrical switch which the lock operates. As such he should definitely not use graphite. The dielectric (silicon) grease looks optimal.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    Farnells sell a contact grease made by Electrolube, it's a bit exxy but being a purpose-specific product (sliding/rotating sealed switch contacts) you can be confident it's right for the job.

    SGB35SL - ELECTROLUBE - GREASE, CONTACT, 35ML, SYRINGE | element14 Australia

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    yep - any dielectric grease is acceptable.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for the input.

    Years ago when I was into 504s, I used whatever grease as closest. Obviously not ideal but I had quite a few ignition locks/switches laying around so it didn't matter a great deal.

  21. #21
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    I'm just following up on this problem which has now been resolved.

    A test light connected to the solenoid terminal didn't light up when the ignition switch was turned to start. The ignition switch has been cleaned, greased and re-assembled. Unfortunately, this didn't make any difference.

    However, the starter worked reliably if I lightly tapped the side of the solenoid prior to each start attempt.

    A new starter motor has resolved the issue. If there's anyone out there with a manual 2001 D9 2 litre 406 sedan, swapping over the starter motor isn't a fun job but I'm told it's a lot easier than some other Peugeot models.

    Although the Haynes Manual says that, once unbolted, you can manouevre the starter out from underneath this was found to be virtually impossible. Maybe it's do-able on a D8. With a 2 litre D9 manual, it's just possible to take it out from the top - after first removing the top coolent hose. Removing the second hose which is located immediately under the top hose should make it fairly easy.

    The nut sizes are 8mm for the solenoid terminal and 13mm for the battery supply cable.
    addo and Armidillo like this.

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