Advice for first time Peugeot owner - 1997 306 XR
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  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Advice for first time Peugeot owner - 1997 306 XR

    Hi guys,

    Long time lurker, first time poster....

    After many years of Peugeot admiration, I finally jumped in the deep end and bought one (admittedly an impulse buy at a car auction). I picked up a pretty tidy looking 1997 Peugeot 306 XR 3dr hatch for an even grand.

    The thing is, I don't know much about the car as the service history is literally history...the odometer reads around 180k and I only had a few seconds to look the car over as it rolled into the auction bay. (I actually went to the auctions to buy a dual cab ute....I am still trying to justify the purchase to the mrs!)

    After driving the thing home on a 28day permit, I was relieved to find the car drove well with no real vices...the engine is strong and smooth, not smokey, head-gaskety or rough at idle. The ride was as you'd expect...quite pleasant and no sag or wallowing on the road.

    A few trimmy interior bits are missing or broken (ie passenger-door lock knob, glovebox catch faulty so glovebox wont stay closed) and some trim in the rear boot. The other thing is the aircon doesn't work (doesn't phase me so much) but the real problem would be the fan doesn't work either (and therefore the demisters which I am sure would be required for a RWC.

    So, I guess my priorities for the car would be:

    - to get a RWC and register the thing as my general runabout
    - establish an idea of the general mechanical condition of the car and take out any mechanical repairs required (without breaking the bank...yeah yeah I know, shouldn't have bought a Pug)

    So, to get to the point, my questions are:

    (1) As there is no service history, should I be doing some preventative things like replacing the timing belt straight away? Is this a job that I could tackle? (I have some mechanical nouse and would follow steps in say a Haynes manual)

    (2) In terms of getting trim bits and pieces...should I be simply going to a wrecker and buy over the counter, stripping off a car at somewhere like pick-a-part, or posting a wanted add on this forum?

    (3) Am I right in assuming I'll need the fan and demisters working for RWC? Ideally I want them working anyway for safety, but I am pretty cash strapped at the moment and need to get this thing on the road as cheaply as possible

    (4) I will undertake the main, routine servicing myself...are parts like filters, gaskets etc best sourced from say Ebay UK?

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    (5) Is there a Peugeot friendly RWC inspection place in Melbourne? I obviously don't want to skimp on safety items with the car...but am hoping not to get a mile-long list of incidental little items that add up to a fortune. Similarly, is there a reasonably priced Peugeot-friendly mechanic in Melbourne? (would prefer S.E. suburbs but will travel for a decent guy). I don't know if any forum members would like to make a little extra cash on the side, but happy to do this also.

    Re: recommendations for question 5, if appropriate a P.M. with the details might be better.

    (6) Lastly, I am feeling nervous yet excited with my purchase. Things could blow out well beyond the initial purchase cost, but I've had a thing for 205's and 306's for many years. Have I done a dumb thing here? A vague question I know, and probably impossible to answer, but within the Peugeot family are 306's generally reliable? Should I be doing anything apart from the obvious repairs and timing belt to prevent a future disaster?

    Thanks guys for reading....looking forward to interacting with you hereon.

    Cheers,

    Steve

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    Its a thousand dollars... So expect what comes with that price...
    On the positive, the 306 sold very well in this country, for a reason... they are a great car. This also means that there are plenty of cheap parts out there... from wreckers to ebay and ofcourse great forums like these...
    FWIW I always service my cars (asap after purchase) regardless what the service book says... What i d recommend to you is to give the car a thorough inspection... Take the plugs out... Do they look old...??? Oil??? is it in good nick???
    A thorough inspection will cost you some time, thats all... once you ve done this you ll know better where you stand...
    The ac issue??? you should try and determine if the heater matrix is still working and if it has been bypassed (reason why the car might have been sold before winter hits)...
    Otherwise if you are unsure of anything just post away... I m sure the "306 crew" will come out of the woodwork and help as much a possible...

    good luck and welcome to the forum



    dino

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Wintermute's Avatar
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    Hi Steve, if there is no service history then I would suggest in addition to timing belt, coolant, and brake fluid should probably be changed (two things that may have been neglected). Proper coolant concentrations are very important to avoid corosion/cavitation of aluminium components in the engine.

    Probably would be worth getting all vaccuum hoses checked and replaced if necessary.

    I've an S16 (currently dead) so a lot of my experience is not relevant because of the differences in the models. But another thing that can be a problem (at least on the S16) is the trailing arm bearings on the rear suspension. There is a mod to fit grease nipples which is worthwhile getting done if it hasn't been.

    Tony.
    306 S16 1995 black
    Morris 1100 1965 green

  4. #4
    VIP Sponsor David Cavanagh's Avatar
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    We have wrecked and are wrecking lots of these, there a great little car and parts and advice are plentyful in this country so no need to shop overseas.
    David Cavanagh

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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    if your not sure about doing services, you might want to go to a qualifed FRENCH car mechanic. they know what they talking about and they do it right. although they can be expencive

    good luck with your 306.

    cheers and welcome to the forum.

  6. #6
    Sans Pond. STALLED's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 205lover<3 View Post
    if your not sure about doing services, you might want to go to a qualifed FRENCH car mechanic. they know what they talking about and they do it right. although they can be expencive

    good luck with your 306.

    cheers and welcome to the forum.
    Disagree.

    They aren't that complex. Afterall, they have 4 wheels, 2 doors and a engine....
    2005 Renault Clio 182 Cup

    2011 Renault Megane 250 Cup Trophee - Sold

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    2004 Citroen C3 1.4 80th Anniversary (RIP)

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    Certainly no more complex than a corolla of the same vintage... I d hesitate to say the corolla is more complex...




    dino

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    well i guess thats true but its very expencive if you screw up.

  9. #9
    Tadpole
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    Thanks guys for your responses.

    I'll get a RWC inspection and service, and cross my fingers the RWC costs are too expensive.

    Looking forward to getting this little bugger on the road.

    Cheers,

    Steve

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