1998 Peugeot 306 D Turbo 1.9 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland
Con-rods work better inside the engine!
Was running really well until it threw a rod through the side of the block at 44,000 miles.
There I was accelerating gently away from a pedestrian crossing when there was what can only be described as a "CRACK" from under the bonnet. It sounded like a gunshot, but as all the warning lights lit up and the engine stopped dead, I realised it wasn't. The waft of hot oil and wisps of smoke from under the bonnet added to the sinking feeling.
Pushing the car to the side of the road, I open the bonnet to see a jagged hole the size of a fist in the front of the engine block. Subsequent investigation revealed number three con-rod had snapped like a carrot and punched its way to freedom through the cylinder block.
Turns out this isn't a rarity on 1997/1998 XUTD engines in either Peugeot or Citroen models. Needless to say the manufacturer wouldn't accept responsibility as the last service on the car (a minor 9k service) was done outside the dealer network. They were also implying the oil level was probably too low, although as most of the engine's oil poured all over the street, I don't see how they can substantiate this. I never let oil run low on cars, but I might as well have been talking to a brick wall.
Conspiracy theories are rife, but one consistent and plausible explanation is that a batch of turbo engines were fitted with non-turbo con-rods in error. As all the XUTD engines were built in the same factory, this explains how the problem is spread across both Peugeot and Citroen models.
The two types of rod are interchangeable, but the non-turbo items are a much lower grade and the extra stress (the turbo engine produces twice the torque of the non-turbo) causes fatiguing and eventual failure. There have been documented cases of this on engines as new as 2,000 miles so mine did well considering. Apparently pre 97 and post 98 engines are fine, as are some of the 97/98 units themselves. Hardly comforting to a buyer though.
Fitted a reconditioned engine at considerable expense and ran it for a while, but it was never the same after that so I eventually sold the car on. Because of Peugeot's disinterest, it ended my long line of Peugeot purchases. A shame as the D-Turbo was a corker before this failure. Lively, economical, superb handling and well specified. I would never buy another PSA group car though.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 4th July, 2005
I've just suffered the same conrod trick, but amazingly the engine still wants to run with just three cylinders!!! My car has never ever been short of oil, I work with large generators, so oil is not in short supply!!! However the car has done about 112k miles and has been serviced by reputable dealers, sadly not peugeot though. Have I been unlucky or did it just take a lot longer for the fault to show, I do a lot of high speed miles, but had no warning at all, before such a catastrophic failure, no loss of power etc??