306 N5 Dash Gauge Question (Fan? Oil Pressure?)
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default 306 N5 Dash Gauge Question (Fan? Oil Pressure?)

    Hello all

    I've just bought my second 306 - this time an N5 XSi after having an N5 GTi6 many years ago. Luckily this one is also black so my nickname is still accurate.

    After taking it for a long drive - mostly freeway driving - on the second day I owned it, I noted that the car was running very hot (over 90deg). I expected one or two of the fans to kick in. I pulled over, engine running, and waited to see if the fans would kick in then, and they didn't. Drove home (also freeway) and the temp stayed in that range, but didn't get much higher.

    I took it for a city drive later in the day, and again the same (ie hot-ish and no fans). Nothing I could do would get the fans to kick in (nor was it going much hotter than 90deg). I read elsewhere that it should kick in around 90deg and got worried.

    Took it to my local French car specialist and they said that nothing was wrong with the car. They managed to get the car going hotter and the fans kicked in, apparently.

    All fine I guess, but during this episode I noticed that the gauge in/under the speedo stayed off the whole time. The gauge has the markings (Off/Min/Max), and it stayed on "off" the whole time. I guess I was thinking this might be the "fan gauge" (stupid as that sounds).

    The mechanic explained that the gauge in/under the speedo was the oil pressure gauge (which only works on starting up the car as another back-lit section comes on). I don't recall this from my last 306 - is this right? If so, what is the point of a gauge that remains "off" all (most) of the time?

    Is an oil level (as opposed to pressure) gauge also part of this?

    Confused...

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  2. #2
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    There may be a two function gauge. Some act as an oil level gauge when the key is first turned to "On". This stage is indicated by a backlit arc, and sweep of the gauge indicates oil level. Then as the motor runs, it will either function as a pressure or temperature gauge (Mi16 has temperature of the oil).

    Starting the car from cold with the AC on, should see both engine cooling fans come on to the slow setting. Unplugging the brown two pin plug from your thermostat housing or just adjacent then starting the car, should see both fans turn at high speed after a few seconds' delay.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    There may be a two function gauge. Some act as an oil level gauge when the key is first turned to "On". This stage is indicated by a backlit arc, and sweep of the gauge indicates oil level.
    Great - this bit seems to align with what I see. The gauge sweeps etc and seems to be working fine - and matches my experience on my GTi6.

    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Then as the motor runs, it will either function as a pressure or temperature gauge (Mi16 has temperature of the oil).
    Ahh ok. So with a gauge showing graduated markings, and the settings "Off/Min/Max" what would you say that would relate to? Doesnt seem like the wording I would use for either. Why would Temp or Pressure ever be "off" as the reading while the motor is running (unless there is a problem with either the pressure/temp or the gauge)?

    Quote Originally Posted by addo View Post
    Starting the car from cold with the AC on, should see both engine cooling fans come on to the slow setting. Unplugging the brown two pin plug from your thermostat housing or just adjacent then starting the car, should see both fans turn at high speed after a few seconds' delay.
    Great stuff - i'll give this a go and see if I can make the fans come on.

    Cheers

    B

  4. #4
    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    Some gauges die (typically fuel gauges; it seems to be failure of a diode) and others have sender units that die.

    Identifying the senders on the block is your first step; unplug one at a time and note the change in gauge behaviour between fully unplugged and fully shortcircuited (or grounded out, if a one pin plug). Don't run it for ages like this, just long enough to see whether it makes any difference.

  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    I also have a 306 of the same era, said gauge is actually the sump level. It swings back to "Off" after a few seconds when the car is started and stays there the whole time.

    Early 306's had this gauge double up as a oil pressure gauge once engine was running, later GTI-6's had it function as an oil temp gauge.

    Later XSi's for some reason just had the sump level... Makes me wonder how hard it would be to rig it up to measure pressure or temp...

    Also, mine sits between 85 & 90 most days, fans kick in closer to the 100 mark and go totally ballistic when water temp goes up to the 105 mark (found this out towing a mate up a steep hill)

    Hope this helps
    Last edited by mongoose100; 9th November 2010 at 08:52 PM. Reason: more info

  6. #6
    Tadpole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black306 View Post
    Great stuff - i'll give this a go and see if I can make the fans come on.
    It worked! Good to see the fans move at last!

    Will have to keep an eye on the temp to see if it kicks in at other times when it should.

    Thanks

    B

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongoose100 View Post
    Also, mine sits between 85 & 90 most days, fans kick in closer to the 100 mark and go totally ballistic when water temp goes up to the 105 mark (found this out towing a mate up a steep hill)

    Hope this helps
    Thanks - I'll recalibrate my expectations of when the fans are meant to come on based on this.

    I had a feeling, not sure why, that they were both supposed to be on from 90deg

    Thanks

    B

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