306 GTi 6 Buyers Guide Checklist
Basic Used Car Checks
When you arrive at your viewing, take a look around the car before you ring the doorbell. This will give you a chance to look at it without being distracted by the seller.If it is dark/raining pay another visit when the weather is fine before committing to purchasing the vehicleCheck the bonnet is not warm, any cold start noises will not be apparent if the car has recently been run.Firstly take a look around the car, along the panels checking for any damage/discoloured paintwork etc. Small dings are expected on a 306 and are unavoidable.Take a look from the front and back and see if the wheels are in line.Look closely at each tyre including the spare. Watch for uneven wear, which could mean suspension damage, nicks and gouges. Tyres are expensive, so if they need replacing, use this as a bargaining tool.Take a look at the door seals, any paint on these indicates the adjacent panel has received paint after leaving the factory.Check under the car, particularly at the front and back, under the bonnet and under the carpet in the boot for signs of crash damage. Panels should be flat, and free from signs of welding or patching up if they're not, it's probably had a shunt.
Some of this guide is not applicable to the Rallye
Start the engine from cold and check for any excessive smoke, white smoke (steam) is common if the car has been sat a while. It should disappear after a few minutes.The car will tick (the fuel injectors make this noise) However listen out carefully for a distinctive tap (sewing machine like), which increases with revs. This indicates that the car has had a cambelt snap and not been correctly repaired. The car may do this when first started but it should quickly disappear (tappets filling with oil). You should not be able to hear the tap from inside the car while driving. The cost to rectify this can be in excess of £700.Check the service history for a cambelt change, the GTi-6 is renowned for premature cambelt failure. This should be changed every 40k or approx 4/5 years. Even with a Full service history from Peugeot it might not have been changed as they recommended in the region of 70k before changing. The water pump and tensioners should have been changed at the same time. This costs in the region of £300.Clutch is naturally quite heavy; as long as it doesn't slip and is smooth there is nothing to worry about. A stiff or jerky clutch can be due to a seized cable, as it runs close to the exhaust.Check under the oil cap for any mayonnaise. Also check the radiator water tank (when cold). Any mayonnaise in both indicates head gasket failure. A small amount under the oil cap is generally just condensation if the car is only used for lots of short journeys.Look out for any fluid leaks in the engine bay.Check that the car idles smoothly; erratic idling can be down to a faulty/dirty idle control valve.
Driving a 6 you should be able to feel if anything is untoward with the handling of the car. Listen out for any clunks when cornering, braking or accelerating.Check the gear change is smooth and positive throughout the gearbox. The gearbox can be slightly notchy from cold in 1st/2nd.
The 306 is well known for several electrical problems, from the alarm, central locking and door electrics.Check every electrical item on the car particularly:
o That both electric windows work with the doors closed and open
o That the electric mirrors operate in all directions, also check that they get warm when the rear demister is turned on.
o That the central locking works, a beep from the alarm will indicate that the car thinks a door has not been shut.
o Any fault above 99% of the time is down to damage to the electrical loom between the door and the main car body.
Check the alarm works properly by opening a window, and then setting it. Wait a minute (use watch, its longer than it feels) and then waggle your hand inside to set the alarm off. If it does not go off the ultrasonics are knackered (£80 to replace on Phase III 1999-2001). If the indicators flash but there is no noise, the alarm siren is knackered (approx £120).Check that airbag light comes on with the ignition and goes off again. If it flashes or stays on it is the connectors underneath the seats these are not expensive to replace.If fitted check the sunroof operates correctly.Check that all the gauges work correctly with the engine running.The oil temperature gauge acts as an oil level gauge when the ignition is first turned on.
This is another weak point on the 306. With the car running press the aircon button and listen out for a click and the car revs to increase. Quite quickly cold air should come out of the vents. If there is no click/revs increase the aircon is out of gas, probably due to leaking pipes. This can cost in the region of £300 to rectify if replacement pipes are required. The bottom pipe under the radiator is the usual culprit.
Another weak point in the 306 electrics are the engine fans. They are quite prone to problems These have a separate FAQ
How the fans should operate
The 2 fan motors always run together and have 2 speeds available.
This operates when:
1. When the engine temperature reaches 97°C and it will turn off when the temperature has droped to 90°C.
2. When the air contitioning system is switched on. It will run permanently regardless of engine temperature.
This operates when:
1. When the engine temperature reaches 107°C.
2. When the A/C refrigerant high pressure threshold is reached.
3. When the temperature sensor circuit goes faulty. (open circuit)
Basic tests you can do is ensure correct operation of the fans
1.When the aircon is activated both fans should start spinning at low speed
2.After returning from a test drive, leave the car running and check that the fans kick in when the temperature exceeds 97°C and turn off when below 90°C.
If one fan doesn't work this can be down to a broken fan motor, wiring fault, failed relay or failure of the Bitron control unit.
Please see the Cooling Fan FAQ for further information.
Check that the seats, carpet and pedals look suitably worn for the mileage the car has done. Some wear to the drives seat bolster is expected, but should not be excessive on low mileage vehicles.Check for rips, tears, stains to the leather seats back and front.The car should have 4 headrests.Check the seats to make sure they slide backwards and forwards correctly, and allow access to the back. They should remember their position when tilted forward for rear access.Check the boot carpet condition.
Check the condition of all tyres; make sure the spare is present underneath the boot. Check that same brands are on the same axle.Also check that the alloy wheel locking bolt key is present.
Car park dings are expected the body panels are relatively thin. The odd few are nothing to really worry about, and can be removed quite cheaply by a mobile dent remover if the paint in unbroken.Expect some stone chips around the front area of the car.
The car should come with 3 keys two remote plips and one master key.Check that the above keys work in both door locks, boot lock & petrol cap (last 2 where fitted).There should also be a Blue Peugeot Security' Credit card with the immobiliser code on. Without this it costs another £20 to have a replacement key cut.Ensure the radio code is present it is £20 from the dealer.Check the front and rear screens, unless they have been replaced they should have the VIN number etched into them. Check this with the VIN (is along the front wing under the bonnet). If the VIN is different ask why if the VIN is not present its quite possible the screens have been replaced, this isn't a problem.
Check the receipts etc corresponded with the service book. Check old MOT's are present. Look out for cambelt replacement invoice, also look out for any receipts for headwork this can indicate the cambelt has snapped, however if the engine sounds sweet this is nothing to be concerned about. Expect quite a wedge of service history paperwork from a well looked after exampleHPi checks are a worthwhile investment cost approx £30
Cambelt change is it due?When's the next service due, if soon try knock some moneyElectrical problems knock of according to cost of repairAny other faults
If the seller has put Or Nearest Offer in the advertisement, make them an offer below the advertised price. You can always offer more, but not less however do not insult them by offering them a silly price. Parkers is a useful source of example prices.
Cherry Red GTi 6