97 406 Auto. operation and economy
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 97 406 Auto. operation and economy

    Have owned our 406 for 2 years and was reasonably happy for the first year - i.e. until we moved to the adelaide Hills. I like everything about it except for the auto. trans. (wife must have) and the fuel consumption, and suspect these two are related.
    Up the fairly steep hills around here it will stay in second gear, both up AND down, at 3500-4000 at 60km/h and is very reluctant to change up even when the road flattens out. I've tried every trick but it won't 'adapt' to my requirements. On flat running it behaves quite satisfactorily. Current consumption is invariably around 13litres/100km. i.e. too much.
    Questions -
    Is this operation normal for the model ?(ZF trans)
    Is the later model French built trans. better?
    Is this consumption normal? It uses 7.6 at 100-110 km/h cruising.
    Any comments welcome from owners of 307 2L autos. also.
    PS - Yes I am thinking of a HDI 406 but the prices seem to be skyhigh at this time.

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  2. #2
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Touring consumption sounds great but this is when the transmission is locked up so that's not a guide to the autos performance.
    I find for around town running, 3rd is the one to drive in as it gets rid of this half in half out feel that they get, but having said that, I'd suggest you grab all of your service records and check to be 100% certain which fluid has been put into the transmission. Unfortunately, it seems over here in Oz we;'ve been victims of an urban myth about ATFs which has resulted in a lot of perfect autos becoming defect autos.
    Here is the contents of a recent e-mail I received from a Pug owner

    "Manufacturer recommends transmission fluid/ _*Part No. PR 9736.22.*_
    and

    /
    In front of me is the official Peugeot 406 Worlshop manual for the 4HP20 Auto Gearbox which quite clearly and unequivocally states -/ _*"IMPERATIVE: Use only Esso LT71141"*" (Which is apparently the same as the Peugeot stuff)
    If you've been one of the many who have had their transmissions fed on Dexron3 then this could be having an effect on the performance of the auto. Hanging on and premature changes being symptoms of the Dex 3 problem.
    I have also been advised in the past week that Dex3 is again having some formula changes as there is now more "Mercon" (Ford fluid) being added to the D3, so whether this will be more or less harmful to these ZF boxes is yet to be determined. Whichever the case, get the correct fluid in if it transpires that yours has had the wrong fluid in it as it is apparently a nono to have a Dexron of any type in them.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  3. #3
    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tresbon2
    Have owned our 406 for 2 years and was reasonably happy for the first year - i.e. until we moved to the adelaide Hills. I like everything about it except for the auto. trans. (wife must have) and the fuel consumption, and suspect these two are related.
    Up the fairly steep hills around here it will stay in second gear, both up AND down, at 3500-4000 at 60km/h and is very reluctant to change up even when the road flattens out. I've tried every trick but it won't 'adapt' to my requirements. On flat running it behaves quite satisfactorily. Current consumption is invariably around 13litres/100km. i.e. too much.
    Questions -
    Is this operation normal for the model ?(ZF trans)
    Is the later model French built trans. better?
    Is this consumption normal? It uses 7.6 at 100-110 km/h cruising.
    Any comments welcome from owners of 307 2L autos. also.
    PS - Yes I am thinking of a HDI 406 but the prices seem to be skyhigh at this time.
    I have a 99 D8 with the ZF auto. The kilometrage you are getting on the open road is excellent and you obviously have flatter areas than I have.

    Your transmission has adapted to your throttle requirements in the hills so is holding onto gears longer as a result. It readjusts when you get on the flat but then has to relearn when you get to the hills again at the end of the day.

    The transmission isn't perfect but I've grown used to it. I want a bit of urge before it changes gear so I have learnt to squeeze the throttle a little further from the standstill in order for changes to be made about 2500 instead of below 2000 rpm. The V6 is peaky but has nothing below 2000 rpm.

    I suggest you put her in sport mode when you are playing in the hills and snow mode when you want to come back down. You'll find the changes are softer in the latter mode and it will lose its tendency to hold onto the gears.

    There has been several software updates (the last being in 2000 I believe) whe Peugeot played with the gearbox settings for improved driving. If you have been doing your own servicing or using 'Bob up the road' this might help.

    Enjoy the big Pugs, when they're running well they are a beautiful car!

    Dave
    2008 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi break
    ​1997 BMW K1200RS

    IR655
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  4. #4
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Unfortunately, it seems over here in Oz we;'ve been victims of an urban myth about ATFs which has resulted in a lot of perfect autos becoming defect autos.
    I have 4HP20 and at the last service it was topped up with Dex 3. I understand it is wise to get this out of the gearbox as soon as possible and a link in a thread here pointed to this penrite oil. This should be OK I think as it specifically mentions the 4HP20 and the Peugeot part number. They also state that Penrite tried to gain approval from ZF although ZF have stopped giving approvals. Any thoughts?

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! Jack Z's Avatar
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    The Castrol site quotes Castrol Transmax Z (fully synthetic ATF) as recomended for these boxes which we used in our Volvo 850R wagon for over 200,000klms without any problems...

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  6. #6
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew406
    I have 4HP20 and at the last service it was topped up with Dex 3. I understand it is wise to get this out of the gearbox as soon as possible and a link in a thread here pointed to this penrite oil. This should be OK I think as it specifically mentions the 4HP20 and the Peugeot part number. They also state that Penrite tried to gain approval from ZF although ZF have stopped giving approvals. Any thoughts?
    Andrew,


    I would feel fairly confident about using the Penrite recommendation, but as you will see, these days it seems the Oil companies keep their heads down regarding their recommendations and cover their backs by constantly advising oils from the "manufacturers handbook" to be used as gospel, so if nothing else we seem to have rid the industry of this gung-ho attitude about sticking D3 into anything that doesn't have a clutch (and a few that do) I can also understand why ZF have stopped giving approvals as I have discovered that a Dex2D fluid a friend and I both used in our trannys gave similar faults in operation after being filled and flushed with it, however when brand was changed in his case, box performed perfectly and I did mine yeasterday and noticed a marked improvement, so even though they can be shown as equivalents, there's obviously a few "magic potions" used by some and not by others and I would reckon ZF would be aware of this and not want to put their necks on the block.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 97 406 Auto. operation and economy

    thanks fellas for the information.
    I don't have full service history, but I do know that it was religiously serviced, mostly by a non Peugeot garage. So it is quite possible that it has been fed the wrong stuff. I will now arrange for it to have the right oil, Penrite sounds suitable.
    I will try using the S and * buttons - never have before!
    Don

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Be a little wary of the Penrite listings. They list DIII for my Renault R25, where Renault say DII. When I actually spoke to a Penrite rep (very helpful guy) he said he knew all about the DII v. DIII problems and admitted their listing for my Renault was not quite right.

    Luckily Mobil ATF220 is readily availalable, which is the other fluid listed by the factory (apart from ELF Renaultmatic) in the factory transmission workshop manual I have for it. Its on its second change of ATF220 replacing DIII and its already feeling better.

    Anyway, I would be checking fluid specs against the factory Peugeot labelled stuff very carefully. Not so critical on a 18 yo Renault full of rattles and worth very little, but on a nice 406 I would be careful
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  9. #9
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Haakon,

    The above message
    "Manufacturer recommends transmission fluid/ _*Part No. PR 9736.22.*_
    and

    /
    In front of me is the official Peugeot 406 Worlshop manual for the 4HP20 Auto Gearbox which quite clearly and unequivocally states -/ _*"IMPERATIVE: Use only Esso LT71141"*"
    came from an owner/Pug mechanic in New Zealand is the actual recommendations from Peugeot and ZF.


    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  10. #10
    wid
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    I have been driving a 406 St auto for 5 years and the only fault with the car is the auto transmission. 98% of the time it is a delight but the other 2% it has a mind of its own particularly on steep roads when it is too smart by half. It appears to be crap programming for the computer which controls it.
    If anyone has a solution speak now.

  11. #11
    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tresbon2
    I will try using the S and * buttons - never have before!
    Don
    Hmm, sports mode. Enjoy yourself!

    Dave
    2008 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi break
    ​1997 BMW K1200RS

    IR655
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  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default 406 manual

    I did a fuel economy check today on the 2ltr manual.

    Over a 370 kilometer trip it worked out at 38.5 MPG or 7.17 ltrs per 100kms. This was just normal driving at speed limits. No special economy style driving.

    I am sure this would beat my GTI 138 on the same trip and speeds.

    Graelin

  13. #13
    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wid
    I have been driving a 406 St auto for 5 years and the only fault with the car is the auto transmission. 98% of the time it is a delight but the other 2% it has a mind of its own particularly on steep roads when it is too smart by half. It appears to be crap programming for the computer which controls it.
    If anyone has a solution speak now.
    There has been a number of downloads available from Peugeot (the last I remember was 2000). Next time you need a minor service take it to a Peugeot dealer and ask them to download the latest transmission software updates.

    Dave
    2008 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi break
    ​1997 BMW K1200RS

    IR655
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  14. #14
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    A friend of mine just bought himself a D8 ST auto (bloody bargain and immaculate) and has already said the auto in a bit strange in its shifting habits.

    Anyone have any opinion on disconnecting the battery to wipe its memory? Its seems to me that it has "learned" the driving habits of the dealer and several test drivers recently (including me giving it a bit of spirited driving ). Now it is being driven normally by someone who not a racer type driver and is being a bit aggressive in its shifting patterns. I imagine it will eventually settle down, but a reset should allow it to learn its new driving pattern faster.

    The software update sounds interesting - any idea on what it would cost?
    I tried to drown my sorrows in alcohol, but the bastards learnt how to swim

  15. #15
    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
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    Chuck her in sports mode and she'll learn really quickly. Otherwise some decent throttle inputs from the lights will have her talking to you after 20 mintes of driving or so.

    The downloads should be included in the service. Just ask for them to make sure it has the latest transmission downloads thanks! Shouldn't cost anything, just part of the labour/service fee.

    Dave
    2008 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi break
    ​1997 BMW K1200RS

    IR655
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