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how reliable are Peugeot 405s?

1217 Views 12 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Gus Polinski
Found this:

1990 PEUGEOT 405 S: auto, fully loaded incl. p.moonroof, alloy wheels, very clean inside & out, good working order, $800.00 obo
Probably dog-slow with the automatic 110-hp 1.9 but it would make a good winter beater for me. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

[Modified by CanuckPal, 12:47 PM 2-7-2002]
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Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (CanuckPal)

I looked at a 405 MI-16 (16v, 150hp 1.9L) a few years back.. Had 190k on the clock and ran nicely (what a beautiful exhaust note). But as the owner said... Its a Peugeot... Something is always going wrong! They have lots of electrical gremlins, that would be annoying to deal with. So if you have a good Peugeot mechanic around,a nd you would like to support him/her then go ahead. Otherwise, run away!
Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (CanuckPal)

The 405s engine was a dawg, fun in the snow though. It won't rust on you thankfully. If you want a beater there's your car. Don't expect much from it though. Great suspension... I can point you to a couple places for help if you get it and have problems.
Note.. I know more about the 505/504 than those cars.
Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (CanuckPal)

quote:[HR][/HR]Found this:

1990 PEUGEOT 405 S: auto, fully loaded incl. p.moonroof, alloy wheels, very clean inside & out, good working order, $800.00 obo
Probably dog-slow with the automatic 110-hp 1.9 but it would make a good winter beater for me. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

[Modified by CanuckPal, 12:47 PM 2-7-2002][HR][/HR]​
Well, the collapsed rear suspension would be a concern....
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Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (Double-V)

it's worth the 800 but nothing more
Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (Dutchman)

A collegue here at work has one. He bought the off-lease car from his boss; the car seemed to spontaneously self-destruct the moment he took possession. Silver paint peeling, trim falling off - although that was nothing compared to the waits for parts. (And that's here in Westchester, where there is still an active Peugeot dealer - well, parts and used cars - down the street from here....)
The 505 seems a better bet - but since its RWD, it probably isn't quite as good for a winter beater. Maybe that 350k G20 is still around....

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Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (Double-V)


Well, the collapsed rear suspension would be a concern....[HR][/HR]​
Maybe it's got lumber in the trunk
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I've had two - a 405 S and a 405 Mi16 - so I think I can help with this question.
If you're looking for something like an Old Honda that you can just beat on and abuse and it'll never break down, this is not the car for you.
That said, the 405 S and 405 DL are or can be made into very reliable cars and it's not uncommon for them to rack up very high mileages. My 405 S was over 190K when it was written off in an accident (other driver cited). My Mi16 was at 155K when I traded it for a mint Fiat 131.
The most reliable one would be the 405 DL, because it does not have many of the electrical gizmos of the S and the Mi16. Electrical problems are the 405's achilles heel - and the only reasons my cars were ever in the shop was for electrical problems. Relays, bad grounds, and a fuse box and wiring harness made by the Marquis De Sade are really the bad parts. You won't enjoy a 405 with lots of electrical problems. The same is true for many PSA cars of that era, especially the 405, 605, and Citroën CX and XM.
Known electrical failures include:
- Sunroofs that don't work
- Central locking that works on only one side of the car
- dashboard light relay failure (this happened to me twice on each of my cars)
- bad Oil Pressure sending units and relays*
- malfunctioning cooling fan relays (Mi16 specifically)
- poorly made cooling fan motors (Mi16 specifically)
* This can be determined by taking a very hard right turn at speed. If all the dashboard lights light up, you're getting low on oil (not dangerously, but low enough) and the sender hasn't said anything until you kicked it. This is called the "Christmas tree" effect, and it's pretty un-nerving.
Other flaws include oil leaks and idle problems, and worn out rear trailing arms. Gearshift linkages are weak on Mi16's and can snap, but aren't expensive to fix. But mostly these things happen on high-mileage or abused cars.
I maintain that the 405 is an excellent car, and I would buy another. However - the Mi16 is not a car I will touch again. The Mi16 is the most complicated 405 and has the most electronic stuff - and thanks to it's twin-cam engine, it has some pretty expensive parts - like the 8-4-2 exhaust manifold. It also has a tendency to fry it's wiring harness if the insulation wears away, and it has more of a tendency to develop leaks.
The Peugeot XU9 engine is the exact opposite of "a dog" - it's a great engine that loves to rev and has plenty of torque, too. It's very flexible and can rev freely all day without trouble. The Twin-cam unit gives more power at higher revs, but the Mi16 wastes most of it. Mi16's weigh about 600 lbs more than a 405 DL, and they don't make all that much more power. 40 more peak Hp, but hardly any more peak torque - and that torque comes at higher rpm. The only points in the Mi16's favor are that it can out-drag a brand-new Civic Si and many older "sport compacts" - and it handles like a dream, with a full G of lateral grip on moderately uprated tires.
I don't recommend an automatic. The Auto used in the 405 DL and S is a proprietary unit that, in the USA, is unique to the 405. Not a cheap thing to fix, and it totally blunts the performance of the car and it's great manual gearbox.
405's drive very well. If your experience is mostly Jettas and Escorts and Civics, you'll marvel at how well it rides and how sharp it's handling is. It really does drive like a sports car, even the cheap version and even the wagon. Don't forget that this car is essentially a 205 GTi scaled up a size. The 1.9i XU9 is even the same engine as used in the 205 GTi. You'll also love the incredibly comfortable seats and well-thought-out interior.
What you won't like are the squeaks and rattles that come from everywhere in the car, especially the dashboard. Compared to a Jetta or a Civic, the 405 lacks the feeling of quality and it shows. But it's a great driver, and once you really start to like it, you'll be willing to forgive it alot.
The 405 looks great too, and it's styling has aged very well for such a narrow car with such 80's looks.
And I never had to wait for parts, there's a central warehouse in Pennsylvania and Peugeot HQ is in New Jersey. I also use that Westchester Peugeot dealer - Overseas Motors in Hastings-on-Hudson, and like him quite a bit. The only times I've had to wait are when he's ordering some rare fiat part for me.
Pictures of my 405's :
405 S
405 Mi16

[Modified by Taimar2, 10:26 AM 2-7-2002]
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Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (CanuckPal)

This is so weird, because I looked at a 405 Mi16 last week as a potential beater. One drive turned me off. It's too bad because it has such neat Pininfarina styling and had a cracker of a motor. Well, the motor wasn't the problem - that actually felt pretty strong.
Well, nothing in the car worked except for, amazingly, the AC, which blew really strong. Two windows didn't work, the gauges were going haywire, and the power seat was nearly dead. The best part was the dash - I could literally grab one end of it and shake the dash around, and if I had yanked hard enough, I'm sure I would have broken it right off.
Plus the front shocks were shot to hell (though that's to be expected of a 12 year old car) and the tie rod ends were toast too. I balked at the difficulty of sourcing these and other normal wear items.
Too bad, because it was a neat car in its day and I would have enjoyed it as a beater. Oh yeah, and the seller was on crack - he wanted $1200 for this rattly heap.
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Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (Taimar2)

Peugeot auto trannies are <Willie>CRRRRRAAAP</Willie>!
Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? (Hawkmoon)

Pig(Peugeot) has NEVER been able to make a decent auto tranny. The ZF they ran in the 505 STX wasn't bad, but heck they problems dyno those cars for emissions tests!! You were likely to blow it out if it wasn't done properly.
Just gimme my 504 back. Now there's a car for ya.
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Re: how reliable are Peugeot 405s? ([email protected])

Growing up, my parents had a Peugeot 504 Wagon while we were in Kenya in the early 80's. Great car http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif. I had a 505 STi a few years later in the early 90's, it had the ZF auto tranny, which was replaced once under warranty.
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