New member, prospective buyer
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Thread: New member, prospective buyer

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default New member, prospective buyer

    G'day All,

    Name here is Mark and I'm looking to buy a reasonable used Pug.

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    A few years ago, partner had a 306HDi, around about a 2000 model. It was a great little car, pretty simple, economical and trouble free, especially given the high kilometres we were doing commuting from Melbourne to our farm in Benambra every weekend or two.

    I now have a 100 Series diesel Landcruiser which I mainly use for family trips, holidays and heading up the bush when I can. Driving it around the city is somewhat painful and expensive, with servicing costs and tyres ($350ea) etc.

    I'm looking to purchase a cheap(ish) second car for commuting. I do a reasonable number of trips to Gipplsand each month and this will probably increase intermittently.

    I started looking for an old 306 in good nick, but here in Melbourne, they appear as hens-teeth. I then started looking at the 407 and found quite a few around at prices which at first glance appear very cheap. Around $5k should ge me into a 2007 HDi manual with around 170-220k km or so.

    I have been reading the forums from the UK and here and have a list of 'potential' problems and was wondering whether those on here could add to the list or reassure me that what I have noted is 'rare'.

    List as I've found so far:

    Diesel return pipe issues.
    Ball Joints (weak point, but better in the May 07 update onwards) look out for rust stains around the front end..
    Require software updates..?
    Bad earth in rear tail lights
    Central display can 'fade'
    Brake light switch harness problems
    Timing belt requires replacement
    ABS sensors..?
    Climate control and heater issues. Flaps break off and often poorly repaired. Difficult repair.
    Suspension bushes
    Dual mass flywheel issues and clutch replacement...difficult? expensive??
    Droplink can get clunky..??
    Discs and pads wear quickly..?
    Boot wiring harness problems
    Tyres expensive size (215/55 x 17)

    I have also researched local mechanics and found Europarts in Cheltenham, which appear to be reliable and reasonably priced.

    Any guidance from the brains-trust here would be most welcomed. I'd even look to an older 406 if cheap enough and recommended.

    Must be diesel for long distance commuting and for preference.

    Thanks all,

    Mark

  2. #2
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    A liitle tricky as most of that list can apply to any car of that age, and we don't have a mileage.

    Most 407s I have come across are autos, and here it is important to get a later 6 speed box (made in Japan by Aisin) Diesels will come with the better box because of the torque. Autos don't have dual mass flywheels. Diesels atre very reliable. The pick of them is the 2.0L RHH engine, but earlier ones will be slightly lower powered RHR. These are letters in the VIN. If you tell us what you look at, there will be comments about the particular engine.

    Tyres are available from Chinese makers, but you won't want them. Most of us use tyres from Michelin, Dunlop, Continental, etc. Some report good results from Hankook and Kumho. There are regular tyre threads here.

    Timing belt changes occur on most engines and of course it's age and distance related, so service history is important. Another distance thing for diesels is the Eolys catalyst replacement at about 160,000 km.

    Drop links are a quick cheap fix if you hear them being noisy. They are a periodic replacement as needed, but I've never had trivial mileage from one.

    All Euros go in for soft discs and pads for performance. Dealer parts can be expen$ive, but independent suppliers and importers have affordable parts available. The same goes for service parts. You have a choice in Melbourne for suppliers and specialist mechanics. French car maintenance using independents is actually reasonable, particular compared to some Japanese makes.

    We don't salt roads as in the UK, and the front suspension joints last a great deal longer. Rear multilinks have rubber bushes but they last well.

    Many of the list are uncommon events, and most are easily fixed. Even the AC flap issue can be fixed with a modified motor spline accessible from the side.

    Lastly, one out of left field. In 2008 the sister car, the Citroen C5 X7 sedan came here. It is built on the same floor with similar suspension, and the same engine range and most mechanicals and electricals are identical, but this time computed hydraulic springing is available on most models. For country travel to Benambra or onwards this car is unbeatable. For tyres and engines watch C5 threads as well.
    Last edited by seasink; 30th January 2019 at 01:45 PM.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts dmccurtayne's Avatar
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    What are you looking at spending I also would recommend a c5 more modern less of those annoying 407 type problems
    https://www.carsales.com.au/cars/det...SSE-AD-5880556


    Garage C5 X7 3008 XTE
    Gone but not forgotten 206 GTI 180 306 XR SED 405 MI16 x2 xzara VTS 406 SV 206 XT Berlingo 2011 (best car ever) 306 HDI 307 XSE HDI touring
    Fix it right the first time
    Garage C5 X7 4008
    Gone but not forgotten 3008 206 GTI 180 306 XR SED 405 MI16 x2 xzara VTS 406 SV 206 XT Berlingo 2011 (best car ever) 306 HDI 307 XSE HDI touring
    Fix it right the first time

  4. #4
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    Hey Mark, this is a comment from the other side (Citroen) which has been mentioned above. I have a 2009 Tourer (estate) which is now approaching 160km trouble free. My one has the less regarded 2.0 hdi motor but its never seemed wanting for power withing what it is designed for. The hydraulic suspension is a revelation - especially for dodgy roads! Servicing has never been expensive (standard $220, major $520) nothing more or less than any other brand. Tyres? Well, yeah several outlets passed the comment that they are an unusual size..."you know. the same as the SS Commodore"...the wariness over French brands is WAY over hyped (my most unreliable vehicles have been Toyotas). End of the day, they all aren't perfect but modern cars are pretty darn good; might as well just buy what makes you feel good Me, I'm looking for my next Citroen (they have a long, log history in Australia. Check out the Nathional museum in Canberra to see the first vehicle to circle Australia). Enjoy!

  5. #5
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    Despite Citroen's separate history, for a long time now large Pugs and Cits have the same ownership and come from the same factory and use mostly the same components.

    French cars are as reliable as any other. The components all come from the dozen or so multinational suppliers that provide for all makes, such as units of Continental, or Visteon (USA), or Aisin (Japan) or Bosch (Germany). PSA built diesels have an outstanding reputation and are found in other makes.

    Journalists talk about "French" electrics. There is no such thing. One thing that the journos never mention is that the supplier of car seats and interiors for nearly every Euro maker is Faurecia, a Peugeot company. Hard or soft as the assembler wishes - most C5s are soft.

  6. #6
    Tadpole
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    Thanks everyone so far for the comments and advice.

    At this stage, I'm still in the early days of my search, so don't have any specific cars on my list, just really trying to figure out what to look out for and what to avoid etc.

    I will certainly have a look at the Citroen C5 given the glowing reports from above. They sound quite remarkable and I have little knowledge of the brand.

    So the learning curve is still steep.

    With regards to the year model to look for, is the May 2007 update worth the premium price..? I understand that the front end was updated and some cosmetic changes, but anything else major..?

    Thanks again for the help, will keep the thread updated with what I look at. I will also have the vehicle inspected by someone knowledgable.

    With regards to maintenance, I can do minor servicing and have he skills to do more major stuff, but unfortunately not the space or time at the moment, so will be serviced by trusted mechanics that I find on this forum.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Beano's Avatar
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    If you liked a 306 previously, this guy has one for sale...he bumped the ad today.... and I wasa just commenting to myself (as you do) that it has had everything replaced that you could hope would be replaced in a secondhand 306, including timing belt, rear beam etc etc. FS: 306 Gti6 P2 1998


    Though he hasn't stated the Ks travelled....

  8. #8
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    If you look at C5s, start at 2008 and newer. That model is also known as the X7. Like the Corolla, the various years had utterly different cars, all with the same name. (C means Citroen, and 5 is the vehicle size). There are three C5 versions.

    The X7 uses similar components to the Peugeot 407, but with many improvements. It was a later design. Parts and services are done by the same people. For super rural road comfort get a hydraulic suspension model (big spheres visible on top of the front wheel top mounts, and an electric pump filling up space on the driver's side of the engine bay.). Some lower spec 2012? on cars used Peugeot 407 suspension instead. There are many fit out/fruit variants. "Exclusive" has most.

    PS I'm an amateur mechanic who has to fix a host of relations' cars, but dmccurtayne is a PSA experience pro.
    Last edited by seasink; 31st January 2019 at 03:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Again, thanks.

    With regards to budget, I'm looking at spending around $5k on the car itself, with around $1-2k 'up my sleeve' for service work, repairs and/or to bring it up to a reliable state and fix any little annoying issues that may surface.

    I know it sounds a little low, but we're renovating at the moment and the demands upon my shallow pockets are significant. When it's all done and dusted and the Pug/Cit car seems like a good way to go, I might consider upgrading to a higher spec or later model, but for now, that's the approximate budget.

    I will definitely go and have a drive of both marques. I'm now fascinated by the talk of the hydraulic suspension on the C5 so would love to experience this. I remember as a kid riding in a very old Citroen DS, probably around a 70's model and couldn't believe the 'smoothness' of the ride in that thing. Interested to compare...

    I will admit to preferring the 'look' of the 407 to the Citroens, but I'm going to try to let my head rule my heart with this decision.

    Cheers,

    Mark

    Ps. I have noted quite a few 407 manuals around at the moment and they seem a little cheaper. I'm not averse to a manual, but how do they stack up, reliability-wise, in comparison to the autos...?
    Last edited by markeaust; 31st January 2019 at 04:10 PM.

  10. #10
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    Manual diesels use a German dual mass flywheel to absorb vibration. Very expensive to repair if failure happens to you, so watch for it when test driving. Manual boxes on the other hand are cheaper to fix than autos.

    Don't even think about a petrol with a 4 speed auto unless it has no significant mileage.

    Go and try a C5. Unlike the old DS the pressure now comes from an electric pump, both it and the hydraulic valves being computer controlled. The hydraulics don't give much trouble.
    Last edited by seasink; 31st January 2019 at 05:03 PM.
    markeaust likes this.

  11. #11
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    Just on aesthetics, the X7 C5 has such a fabulous on road presence too compared to the 407. Being quite rare in WA I can't help looking over their body and interior detail work when I see one. I regret I've never driven one as from all reports they are excellent.


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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