Peugeot 406 Drawbacks

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Some spares no longer available

IMHO the 406 has numerous problems.  The brakes are discs all round but the parking brake uses tiny little drum brakes that are built into the rear discs.  The drums are so small that IMHO they would be more suitable for a moped.  To make matters worse they are not self adjusting and the adjusters are very fiddly to access. Most owners take the disc/'drum off, adjust the brake then refit the disc/drum.  If the disc/drum will only just go back on, the parking brake adjustment is about right.  Often the air conditioning will become very poor but the problem might well be the electrofans and not a lack of Freon.  If the car is bought in spring, autumn, or winter this fault is easily missed. Whacking the electrofans might get them turning again but when the carbon brushes are worn out this is just a temporary expedient.  The brushes wear down because the fans are powered whenever the air conditioning is switched on. As the motors have housings which are clenched together the official line is that they cannot be repaired.  Fortunately the fans are not unduly expensive.  I have repaired "non-repairable" motors in the past however. One was the heater blower motor on my Audi 100 and heat was essential in winter to de-ice the windscreen.  The Main Dealer wanted about £200 for the motor but a  £2 "Lucky Bag" of carbon brushes saved the day (£198 actually!)  A chainsaw was used to cut wooden wedges for springing the blower housing apart as the official method was seats out, "furniture" out and heater assembly out which was a three day job!  Getting back to the 406 a really major and mega drawback is the way that the car is built.  The problem is that each side of the car is a single pressing and there are no separate sills or sill panels like on the classic cars.  At one stage sill repair sections were available and these were like the bottom foot or so of a body side pressing.  Supply of such parts dried up years ago so if one has a rusty or damaged sill one has a problem.  Allegedly desperadoes drive around looking for fly-tipped fridges and freezers as these items can be recycled into Peugeot 406 sill repair patches!  Apart from the car's foibles the cars are pleasant to drive, economical in diesel form and they handle quite well. The sill problem is however a great nuisance as AFAIK there are no repair panels available that fit well.  I have heard it rumoured that Cortina sills will fit but allegedly its just a myth.  As to diesel engines I still prefer the classic type that uses what the Americans call a "jerk pump" as from empirical results, admittedly from a fairly small sample, these are far more reliable than the Common Rail Drive-By-Wire types.   Of course newer high mpg cars do qualify for cheaper road tax.  One can surmise however that when it comes to older cars the gaz-guzzlers will mostly have been scrapped whilst the economical  cars will have been kept.  Nevertheless one can still be hit with £225 road tax even when the car does 50 mpg!  Take care!
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