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Peugeot 306 (1993 - 2001) - 1995 - refusing to start after battery went flat  
1995 - refusing to start after battery went flat - petronus
My father-in-law has a 306 xrd which is refusing to start after the battery went flat and has been recharged. All other electricals work fine, it just seems as though the starter motor has been isolated. There is an isolator switch under the bonnet but he doesn't have a key for it. He's spoken to an auto-electrician (a so-called peogeot specialist) who doesn't want to touch it with a barge pole. He's considering cutting wires and tring to bypass the switch!
Any ideas before he takes drastic measures?

{changed header because the drop down menus weren't available at time of original posting}

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 29/09/2008 at 10:12

Tags: technical issues starting batteries starting problem

dead peugeot 306 - M.M
What age is it, does it have a keypad or perhaps a "non-Peugeot" immobiliser??

MM
dead peugeot 306 - petronus
It's a 1995. It doesn't have a keypad and everything is original Peugeot. If it had an after market alarm/immobiliser on it I would be a little happier about messing about with it. The switch is located uder the bonnet near a headlight.
dead peugeot 306 - M.M
P,

My experience with the 306 isn't quite as good as Citroens but I would not do anything drastic just yet.

I don't think your age of car has an immobiliser, doesn't the key you mention by the headlamp cut off the alarm system? Isn't this purely an alarm that sounds and flashes the lights, but doesn't actually immobilise the car.

The immobiliser came out first with the petrols and that keypad by the gear lever, later cars then had a transponder in the key.

If I'm right there could be another reason for the non-start. How do you know the battery has taken a charge good enough to start the car? Perhaps the battery has died...they can after being flattened completely. It may still make everything else work but not the starter.

Have you any decent jump leads or a known good battery to fit so you can prove this?

Or why not make up a simple jumper wire to connect between the starter motor solenoid terminal and existing battery positive terminal? If it still doesn't go this will prove it must be the battery (or some high resistance connections/poor earthing).

Do you have a voltmeter to test this situation?

As for an auto-eletrician who turned the job down! He must be earning too much or know little about car electrics.

MM
dead peugeot 306 - petronus
Thanks, I'll pop round now and try a jump start.

I'll let you know the outcome.
dead peugeot 306 - M.M
P,

Yes I've got to do some grubby bits now so will look in later on this afternoon.

As a matter of interest I've just been out to the Xantia in the yard with what I think to be the same alarm system as your 306 (plip operated, interior movement sensors and cut-out key under bonnet).

By setting the alarm and then entering the car (with the key not plip) I've made it go off. While the horn and lights are still flashing it starts OK...definately no immobiliser function on the way Citroen fit this system.

MM
dead peugeot 306 - bazza
MM You're right, -I had a 94/95 ZX TD with exactly the same alarm, the key switch underneath the bonnet just turns the alarm off, there is no immobiliser function.
Baz
dead peugeot 306 - petronus
Hi
We tried jump starting it from a diesel transit but no luck. When the ignition was switched to the position where the glow plugs are initiated (but not the starter motor) the drain on the transits' system was massive, causing the alternator belt to slip. And there was nothing when the ignition was turned to starter. Strange thing is that when the key is turned to starter, there is no drain on the peugeot system, no lights dim or go out.
It is possible to push start the peugeot but it will not restart on the key afterwards.
I am coming to the conclusion that the starter motor has blown and perhaps shorting the system?
We could not find the starter motor couldn't even trace the leads to it. I assume it is on the far side of the engine connecting to the flywheel as usual? Have to get it up on ramps and have a propper look.
dead peugeot 306 - M.M
The starter is on the front of the engine below the fuel filter and behind the air filter if you have that round thing.

If the engine is dirty they can be quite hard to see!

Next step is to jump power directly to the starter solenoid connection and see if it goes then.

If the starter is OK might be an ign switch problem, strange after the flat battery though.

You haven't pulled the connection off the starter when fiddling about with the battery??

MM
dead peugeot 306 - petronus
Oh well, I think we've taken a step backwards.
Convinced that it was the alarm system, my father-in-law (In my absence, I'm glad to say)has ripped the lock out of the middle of the alarm switch, in order to turn it off. Now the alarm goes off and the headlights flash regardless of where the switch is set.
I think it's time to get it to a garage before he attacks it with something larger!
Thanks for everyones advice, but unfortunately it helps if people follow it!
That's life!
dead peugeot 306 - M.M
Oh well...such is life.

Do let us know the outcome after all that though.

MM
dead peugeot 306 - AndyT
I wonder if something in the glow plug circuit is shorting out?
A glow plug perhaps,or a cable chaffed?
If you have a short, a fuse should blow. But then the 306 may not use a fuse to protect the glow plug feed.
It's got to worth a try to isolate the glow plugs and then see if the starter will turn over the engine. Either pull out/dis-connect the glow plug relay or take the main feed wire off the glow plugs(and tape up the end to keep it from shorting to earth). Of course, make sure the battery is charged.
dead peugeot 306 - Oilburner
Hi Petronus

I had a similar problem on my 94 xldt

Changed battery and vehicle wouldn't start. Strange noise when ignition activated.

I solved it by taking the back seat behind driver forawrd as if you were folding seats down. Then under the back rest on the seat there are 2 grey connecter blocks. Undo the one nearest to you and reinsert. This seeems to reset the system

Good Luck
dead peugeot 306 - Pug306xldt
Oilburner - how did you know that there where 2 grey connector blocks under the rear back rest?

I have a 1995 peugeot 306 xldt and had the same problem, but I was told to bypass the Immobiliser by fiddling with the unit under the drivers seat.

I never realised there was anythink under the rear back rest until I was reading what you said to Petronus.

dead peugeot 306 - Oilburner
Hi had same problem

Lift up back seat behind driver. Under the backrest bit are 2 grey block connectors. Undoe the one nereset you and re connect. It just seems to reset the system!!

Good Luck
dead peugeot 306 - IanT
Further information about the operation of the 306's immobiliser (it does have one!), copied from the handbook for a late-1993 306 XRDT (early 1993 models may be different).

---------------------------------------
"Alarm System (according to specification or country)
- Some models are fitted with an alarm system which protects the doors, tailgate and bonnet. In addition the engine is immobilised and internal sensors detect air movement within the car. The sensors can be over-ridden if required (see below)."

"To switch the complete system on/off
- A master switch, operated by a dedicated key, is located in the engine compartment behind the left hand front headlamp. It is protected by a plastic cover."

"To activate the system fully
- The remote control (PLIP) unit is the only means of activating the system when locking the car. All the indicator lamps and the side repeaters will flash once when activated. Activating the system sets the alarm and neutralises the starter. This process takes approximately forty-five seconds to complete. When activated, the alarm indicator lamp, located to the left of the central vent controls, will flash continuously."

"To deactivate the system fully
- The system is only deactivated by the PLIP when the car is unlocked. All the indicator lamps and the side repeaters will flash rapidly several times when deactivated.
- If on deactivating the alarm with the PLIP the alarm indicator lamp flashes rapidly, it indicates that the alarm has been triggered during your absence.
- If the front door or the tailgate are inadvertently unlocked and then opened by means of the key, the siren will operate. In this event the system can be de-activated by the PLIP.
- Should the batteries of the PLIP become discharged or if the PLIP is not available for any reason then the vehicle must be unlocked using the key. In this instance the complete system must be switched off using the master switch located in the engine compartment."

"To deactivate the internal sensors
- The following procedure must be followed each time you wish to leave the car with the sensors deactivated.
- Press the switch mounted on the right of the steering column. The central alarm indicator lamp will light permanently.
- Lock the vehicle by means of the PLIP. The lamp will revert to a flashing mode."
---------------------------------------

However, my 306's alarm has a mind of its own.
From new, it has occasionally false-alarmed. Typically this happens when the car is very wet and after it has been parked for five or ten minutes. But it isn't as consistent as this makes it sound. It false-alarms on average every couple of months or so.

The underbonnet master switch (described above) does not turn the system completely off. The alarm can be set and is fully operational whichever position the underbonnet switch is in. Though turning the switch will turn off the alarm if it is sounding.

Starting from when the car was about 5 years old, the alarm occasionally goes "half-off", as well as continuing to occasionally false-alarm. It makes a continuous ticking noise from under the bonnet (a relay rapidly switching on and off). You can only stop it by disarming the system with the PLIP and then also turning the underbonnet master switch.

When the car was 8 years old, I left it in the care of my brother while I went on holiday. The alarm went off on his drive. He couldn't turn the alarm off and the car was immobilised, so he called the AA. The AA-man managed to turn the alarm off, but couldn't properly un-immobilise it. He was able to bypass the immobiliser temporarily and get the car started (never explained how to my non-techy brother), and told my brother to drive straight to the nearest Peugeot dealer, making sure he didn't stall the engine on the way! The garage quoted £400 to replace the alarm system, or £60 to bypass the immobiliser. Surprisingly, since I would have to pay, he chose the £60 option. The invoice merely states "Disconnect Alarm - No Parts Issued".

Whatever the garage did, it wasn't disconnect the alarm, since the alarm works exactly as it did before, including occasional false-alarms and half-offs. Maybe they really did bypass the immobiliser, but I don't really believe it.

Last year I finally gave up with the alarm. These days I lock the car with the key, holding the key in the locked position for 2 seconds to set the deadlocks, and unlock it with the PLIP. No more false alarms, no more half-offs, no immobiliser. Bliss.

Ian
dead peugeot 306 - petronus
Excellent Problem solved!

Followed the instruction of "OILBURNER" and eventually found the plug located in a black plastic box under the back rest of the rear seat. Disconected it and then reconected it, and low and behold the starter turned on the key!!!!!
The battery was too low to start the engine and when tested was condemmed to the scrap heap.
So one new battery later and the car is up and running (unfortunately had to pay £57.00 at Halfords as Costco was out of stock of theirs at £44.00).
So my father-in- law is over the moon and thinks that I am some sort of a Guru!

Thanks Everyone!!
dead peugeot 306 - M.M
Ian T...thanks for the 306 handbook info confirming the immobiliser fitment, and to Oilburner for his reset tip.

As a matter of interest I've looked out the records for the two early 306s I look after and one has a Sparkrite alarm and no immob, the other has the whole lot disconnected. These were both altered before they came to me.

Obviously from this and your experience these alarms/immobs are quite tricky...as is the one on my Xantia to be honest.

All the more modern 306s I look after have either keypad or key transponder immobilisers and these seem more reliable ...so far.

MM
dead peugeot 306 - IanT
And I also want to pass on some thanks to Oilburner.

I saw this plastic box in a well hidden place under the back seat some time ago, and wondered what it was. I bet that's all the garage did for its £60 when the car went in to have the immobiliser fixed!

Ian
dead peugeot 306 - JamesH
Once had a similar problem with a 405 TD with the same alarm.

Only the siren came on, never the headlamps (quite frequent when the battery was getting weak). On putting in a new battery, the alarm went off twice as usual but the headlamps kept flashing, no matter what I did. Disconnecting/reconnecting the battery, starting the car (started fine), locking and unclocking the doors all had no effect.

I took out the alarm fuse then put it back in again. The alarm was perfect afterwards. I would get both the lights and siren on a 'break-in'.

James
dead peugeot 306 - Oilburner
Glad my tip has worked.

I originaaly came across this when I was having trouble with the central locking (It used to lock and then immediately unlock). A mechanic friend suggested that you could undo the plug under the back seat and revert to manual locking, although alarm and immobiliser wouldn't work of course.
dead peugeot 306 - slipper
Had a similar problem myself with a 306 diesel. Bought it without alarm fob but have keys.

Model has factory alarm/immob but is version before keypad.

After reconnecting battery car would not start (headlights lights flashed whenever you tried).

Solution was to disconnect battery, then turn ignition on to the normal running position, then re-connect battery. This seems to disable the alarm/immob and allows you to start the car.
dead peugeot 306 - was8v
Some more tricks with those peugeot/citroen alarms:

If the alarm is armed and you can't disarm it (lost plip / plip battery run out), you can disarm it by manually unlocking the car, then turning the ignition on whilst holding the switch near the ignition key down.

Also to reset the alarm, arm the alarm, then unlock and relock the doors manually, then rapidly press the plip button until the doors open.
dead peugeot 306 - catterinalee
Hi. My sister's car was suffering with alarm/immobiliser problems as well. After fiddling around with it for nearly a week, we logged onto this forum and followed some of the advice in these pages. I am very happy to report that the method above was the one that did the trick, so thank you very much for the invaluable advice. You see, your help and words of wisdom spread far and wide!
dead peugeot 306 - Captain Haddock
Hi there, we experienced exactly this problem with my dad's 1995 306 XRd M Reg. We tried most of the methods above but the one that finally clinched it was the holding the button in (the alarm button near the ignition) and starting, turning the ignition on whilst holding the button down. great forum, many thanks for everyone's words of wisdom :o)
dead peugeot 306 - jc2
£5 for unplugging and plugging and £55 for knowing what to do!!
dead peugeot 306 - jc2
And I also want to pass on some thanks to Oilburner.
I saw this plastic box in a well hidden place under the back seat some
time ago and wondered what it was. I bet that's all the garage did for
its £60 when the car went in to have the immobiliser fixed!
Ian


£5 for plugging and unplugging and £55 for knowing what to do!!
dead peugeot 306 - iain32
Hey I had this exact problem with a 306XRDT from 1995. The battery died so I jump started it and drove it but could not restart it afterwards. There is a small red light above the radio unit that I think indicates the anti-start immobiliser is on.

Fixed it by disconnect the battery then reconnecting it with the doors locked. Then went into the car and turned the key and pressed the small alarm button on the right of the steering rack for about 10 seconds. The immobiliser light went out and the car started up fine!
dead peugeot 306 - hybrid375
I had the same problem this morning after fitting a new battery, the under bonnet switch was in the 'off' position already and i got the same symptoms, flashing lights, alrm buzzing, non start after waiting for the re heat to go out.
Having tried the grey plug, this did not work so then tried the manual locking of the doors, switching the ignition on with the little button next to the ignition switch pushed in [has the alrm legend on it].
Presto hey! Thank you very much guys, wish i had looked here early, would have saved me 3 hours faffing.........
dead peugeot 306 - GeoITFC

I've an 806td, and tried the method of pushing the button for several seconds before starting, and it worked!! Top advice thanks. Just got to switch the car off now....wont with the key! :o/

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