Peugeot 306 1.9 D - electrical / starting problem - russasaurusRex
Hi all,

I have a 1998 Peugeot 306 1.9 diesel which, 2 nights ago, I went to start as normal but after the glow plug light had gone out on the dash turning the key to start the engine caused all electrics to fail.

When I had time to investigate more thoroughly the following day I checked all the fuses is both the fuse boxes (in the engine compartment near the battery, and under the drivers-side console), but all were fine. I then checked the battery (which was only replaced a few months ago) and that also appears to be charged and in full working order.

I tried a number of things to narrow the problem down but was getting non-deterministic results (i.e. I would try something and get one result, but when I tired the exact same thing a few minutes later it'd get a different result). As this didn't make a lot of sense to me I decided to do a bit of research online and ended up going down the route of suspecting the immobiliser, but everything I've seen referred to that would fix/reset it don't seem to apply to my car (I have no fob - which I think is what's commonly referred to as a plip; there's no 'grey squares' under the rear seat behind the driver; and no reset button on the right-hand side of the steering column; also, the spare key gives exactly the same result)

Last night I was again testing things and the good news is that it's behaving a lot more deterministically now (I can run the same test multiple times and get the same result each time). This is making me wonder if I've got a short somewhere, due to water ingress, that is slowly getting better as it dries out?

Things that I've witnessed that I believe are significant so far include:

1) Although right before the fault I was able to get the glow plugs to activate (although the only evidence I have of this is the glow plug light on the dash illuminating and then going out a few seconds later), I am now no longer able to get this far in that starting sequence. As soon as I turn the ignition to position 2 all electrics cut out.

2) If I turn the ignition to position 1 I can active the sidelights (and rear lights), but as soon as I try to active dimmed headlights, or full beams, all electrics cut out.

3) After electrics have cut out nothing will operate until I switch the ignition off completely. At that point the central locking and courtesy light will again have power. I can then go ahead and turn the ignition to position 1 and get sidelights, as stated above.

4) When I was testing things the other day I noticed the one of the relays located with the fuse box under the drivers-side console was ticking. This ticking was regular in timing, but occasionally would 'skip' a tick and occasionally would tick even more rapidly for a few seconds before return back to its regular ticking speed. I did not observe this ticking when I tested last night.

5) On a couple of occasions while testing (sorry I didn't pay a lot of attention to exactly what tests at the time) the clock has been reset. This doesn't happen with every test, which to me suggests that what I've referred to above as 'all electrics cut out' isn't actually a total loss of electrical power.

Anyone got any thoughts on what else I should be investigating?


Edited by russasaurusRex on 28/02/2012 at 14:33

Peugeot 306 1.9 D - electrical / starting problem - Peter D

Very carefull check of the battery connections and the earthing points. Remove them and clean them and replace. Regards Peter

Peugeot 306 1.9 D - electrical / starting problem - dieselnut

Sounds like you have a poor conexion to the battery or fuse box.

Remove the battery conexions & clean & tighten them.

Check the earth cable from the battery to the car body for any corosion.

If that doesn't cure the problem you will need either a lamp tester or preferably a cheap multimeter to test further along the circuit to see where you are loosing the 12v supply.

Peter beat me to it, great minds & all that LOL.

Edited by dieselnut on 28/02/2012 at 14:55

Peugeot 306 1.9 D - electrical / starting problem - russasaurusRex

Thanks Peter and dieselnut for your quick replies. Sorry it's taken me so long, with the dark nights I've been unable to work on the car during the week after work.

You were both right about checking the battery connections, two of the lines connected to the positive terminal had corrosion on them - I guess this is probably why I had some power.

I never thought that it was possible to have some power with corroded connections, I thought that would mean no power at all, hence why I was looking for an altogether more sinister cause. So, I guess I've learnt a few new things!

Once again, thanks for your help.


Peugeot 306 1.9 D - electrical / starting problem - Peter.N.

This effect is caused by the high resistance connection being able to supply a small ammount of current, perhaps an amp or two, but when you engage the starter you are drawing several hundred amps which just burns out the connection. It can reform with no current flowing until the next time you try.


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