Braking problem on Peugeot 406

  Sapins 20:11 27 Oct 2012

Not sure where to post this so I'll start here.

I bought a Peugeot 406 new in 2000. The problem is when braking hard from a speed over 100km per hour there is violent vibration up through the steering wheel. As soon as the speed decreases to under 90km per hour the braking is normal and efficient. In the first year under warranty I took the car to a main dealer in Spain, I was on holiday, they replaced the discs and pads. Later in the same year I was in the UK and had the same problem, again discs and pads replaced. Out of warranty over the preceding years I have had the main dealer in France, where I live, replace the discs and pads twice and on a more recent date they skimmed the discs. I have had contact with Peugeot in Paris who asked the dealer to look carefully at the car, they could not find the answer!

On each visit to all the Peugeot dealers I took a mechanic out and demonstrated the problem. I am aware it is a bit late but I have told Peugeot Paris I will pay for repairs if only they can find the cause of the problem. Their latest response has been to tell me they will get the car bought off me by the dealer, I have said I prefer to keep the car as it has, apart from this one problem, to be very reliable. We have looked after it and had it serviced as per the handbook.

Obviously I cannot in all conscience sell it privately and Peugeot will only give me the trade price.

Any help anyone can give me will be greatly appreciated.

  woodchip 20:42 27 Oct 2012

You need New Brake Discs they are Warped, Put new Pads in when you fit them. Warn Steering parts can make things worse

  WhiteTruckMan 21:04 27 Oct 2012

First off, check that the discs are in fact warped. This is very easy to do with a dial test indicator (DTI), although it's not worth buying one just for this. Ask around locally. I would be curious to know what if any feedback you might be getting from the brake pedal.

Also take a very close look at your wheels, and I'm speaking as a fellow 406 owner. they really should be 5 stud wheels on a car of this weight but peugeot in their wisdom decided to make them 4 studs. ( I do like french cars, but they do have some odd ideas what constitutes good engineering). They have a bad habit of occasionally not seating on the hub correctly. resulting in elongated stud holes and a wheel that doesnt locate centrally every time, with results much like you describe.

If you go trolling the various auto forums you will find lots of nonsense written about warping discs, but the one that is consistantly missed is inadequate cleaning of the hub when they are removes and or replaced.

Hope this gives you something to go on.

But dont give up on the pug, especially if it's an HDi. They really are amazing cars!


  OTT_B 21:44 27 Oct 2012


It's interesting that Peugeot offered to buy back a 12 year old car. That's by no means unheard of, but in my experience, only happens for a limited number of very specific reasons.

Do you know the mileage and history of the car when fault was first found, and mileage between failures?

I like WTMs theory of the wheel being fitted of center, but would think that after the number of mechanics that have looked, it would at some point have been cleaned and fitted correctly! Not sure I agree about 4 stud wheels being inappropriate for the car though.

And three more things, if you know the answers....

  1. Does the car still shake when you brake in neutral
  2. Does the car still shake when you brake with steering angle applied (if you don't know the answer to this, don't go out and try!)
  3. What do you call 'hard' braking? Near ABS activation levels? Or a mild overreaction brake?
  N47. 21:48 27 Oct 2012

Have the wheels been balanced, do the rims have knocks ( kerbing), when was the last time you did the tracking?

Probably all ready done but sometimes the simple thing is overlooked.

  WhiteTruckMan 21:52 27 Oct 2012


My point about the wheel is that once the wheel is in a condition that it is capable of running off centre, it can be fitted correctly yet be thrown out by hitting a pot hole etc.


  woodchip 22:25 27 Oct 2012

If a Wheel is not on correctly it will be felt all the time not just when brakes are applied. As above if New Brake Discs have been fitted at some time and Hub not cleaned before fitting this can have the same effect as Warped Discs As it does not take much muck on the Hub to throws the disc out, we are talking thousandths of an inch

  Nontek 22:34 27 Oct 2012

I agree with N47 ... wheels need balancing!

  OTT_B 22:50 27 Oct 2012

Nontek / N47

Unlikely to be a wheel balance issue - not by itself anyway. The car is 12 years old and has likely gone through multiple sets of front tyres by now, and would have been balanced then. Woodchip had it right - if it was the wheels & tyre assy causing the problem, then it would be present under normal driving, though unless it was miles out of balance, it would likely only shake at a specific speed.

An on-car balance may yield some results, but would indicate a problem in another area, e.g. a driveshaft / joint or bearing.

  woodchip 23:52 27 Oct 2012

OTT_B Been working on Cars most of my life, Can still get things wrong but am Fairly sure that Discs are the Problem on this one

  woodchip 23:57 27 Oct 2012

Also a good sign would be uneven ware on the Tyre's if it's a disc problem. Wore in Patches round the tyre tread, this would be on account of disc pad grabbing

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