Scary things happening with my 406 auto
  • Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Scary things happening with my 406 auto

    I've combed the web looking for answers, and cant even find a similar fault description, hope someone here can help. I drive an auto 98 406 that seems a little temperamental. Every time I drive her after she has been sitting for 5 hours plus, the gearbox spits the dummy. Usually within the first minute or so it will suddenly shudder like Ive just dropped both front wheels into a ditch, the revs will jump to around 3500, and the sport and snow lights begin to flash. If I drive her for a few minutes like this, then switch the electrics off and back on again, the gearbox resets itself, and she gives me no grief for the rest of the trip.

    Ive had a few different gearbox companies give me their diagnosis, and Ive been told everything from Its a $2 switch and a half hour job through to well have to re-build the gear box and itll cost around $3000 As you might be able to tell, Im a little confused.

    Anyone got any clues as to what it is and what is required to fix it?


  2. #2
    Veni Vidi Posti 68 404's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    There's a thread from a Pug site in the UK. Might find some follow up there.

    2008 Renault Laguna 2.0 dCi break
    ​1997 BMW K1200RS

    (George Bush Snr): "I'll never apologize for the United States of America. Ever, I don't care what the facts are."

  3. #3
    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    North Parramatta


    Would that be a 2.0L petrol or a 3.0L V6?


    2018 308 GTi 2011 DS3 DSport
    2014 208 GTi 2007 207 GTi 2004 206 GTi180 2000 206 GTi 1995 306 XT

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Just Nth of Parramatta

    Default 406 auto

    When the snow/sport light flash that indicates a few things. Could be low oil level. Or just the g/box needs an oil change. The g/box ECU has an oil counter in it. When the counter recahes a preset count it will flash the two lights to indicate oil change time.

    First have the oil changed. Pug oil is about $30/L (ouch). Or Castrol Transmax Z can be used at around $15/L.

    Does your car have a 2 ltre motor or the 3 ltre V6. The 2 ltre motor uses the AL4 auto not very reliable. The V6 uses the 4HP20 g/box that is much more relaible. Has your car travelled less than 100,000kms or more than 150,000kms?

    If your car has less than 100,000kms and is the V6 the g/box should still be ok. If it is the 2 ltre auto then the auto could need to be overhauled.

    Withe the 4HP20 auto if the ECU detects a major problem the ECU limits the motor to 2,000 revs. Is this happening?
    Steve V6 ..
    404,504Ti, 406SV.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Queensland, Australia


    Apparently, there is an ECU attached to a 4HP20
    If so then a trip to a dealer for a software update is the starting point.

    FYI, from the ZF service manual.

    This is provided by:
    the hydraulic unit,
    the ECU,
    the control cable.
    Points of note
    Lock-up of 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears with controlled slip.
    Electronic management of all regulation and gear changing functions.
    Multiple programs: auto-adaptive (DSP) - Sport-Snow.
    Gears and programs displayed on dashboard.
    Possibility of manually selecting one of the first three gears:
    1 - 2 - 3.
    Cannot change up a gear when in no load position (foot off accelerator).
    ECU with auto-adaptive "Flash EPROM".
    Downgraded mode operation in the event of a fault.
    Closed loop operation.
    Autodiagnostic and downgraded mode.
    SHIFT LOCK* and KEY LOCK** functions
    * Shift lock: impossible to leave position P without having pressed brake beforehand
    Hanging on, shuddering etc have all been detected in transmissions that have had incorrect oil in them and this is a common problem here in Australia; overseas, owners tend to read the service manual and not just drop the first oil in that comes to mind.

    Again, from ZF Service manual:

    Engine ES9J4L3
    Transmission capacity 7.7 - 8.3 litres
    Draining capacity between 2.7 and 3 litres
    Exclusive oil ESSO LT 71141
    Draining interval lubricated for life
    Top-up interval 60 000 km
    Transmission lubrication pressurised
    Final drive lubrication oil splash
    Weight 88 kg with oil and electronics
    Torque capacity 330 mN at 3500 rpm
    Personally, I'd start by doing an oil cjhange and seeing if that makes any difference at all particularly if you find in the service records that it had had a transmission oil change and more particularly if the oil used either isn't stated or is different to the above. I understand that Penrite now "may" have a substitute, but be guided by the manufacturers and not by the local greasemonkey on this.
    If that makes no difference, then I'd be looking for someone (possibly a Pug dealer) who can upgarde the software in the ECU.
    Cit C5s had similar weird things when they came out at first and a trip to get the software sorted usually fixed it.

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

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts