1992 Jaguar XJ40 Sovereign AJ6

Summary:

Bargain used luxury car (depreciation). Just keep piggy-bank full for mechanical emergencies

Faults:

Head gasket failed twice (first time was due to poor install by mechanic).

Power steering pump failed, which resulted in intermittent power assist (unsafe). Replaced with rebuilt unit.

Power steering rack seals are leaking. Repaired once, but is now leaking again. Still unresolved.

Rear hydraulic suspension failed (SLS). Replaced with non-SLS parts and all associated hydraulics removed.

Air Conditioning leaking/failed due to rock damaged condenser. Still unresolved because I must convert to R134a in order to effect repairs, which is costly.

Oil pressure sender failure. I'm told this was a common problem. Oil pressure gauge would incorrectly read zero and the trouble light would come on. Replaced with updated sender and has not caused any more issues.

Radio arial does not retract. I was negligent in cleaning the arial. I found a replacement at a local breakers and have had no problems since.

Air thermister failure (fuel fail 16 VCM code). I tried to order a replacement from the (only) Jaguar dealer who wanted $150-170cdn for it, and I would have to wait for them to order it in from England. I called a Jaguar dealer in Seattle (across the border from me in Vancouver BC) and they only wanted $80cdn for it! In the end I pulled the sensor, flushed it out with WD40, and reinstalled it with no more faults.

General Comments:

We purchased this car because my father wanted a nice car to drive after years of agony in a minivan transporting me to hockey practice and school! We had thought that purchasing the vehicle from a local Jaguar club member would ensure little problems, but we were wrong as the vehicle had many unresolved issues that the seller unloaded on us. I also made the mistake of sending the car to a common mechanic for pre-inspection, rather than a Jaguar specialist.

We love the interior. It makes you realize how grim Mercedes or BMW interiors are. Headroom is a little tight for taller passengers, but still manageable. Back seat space is a little tight however. The trunk can swallow almost anything.

Engine performance is good for it's size. It is no match to the current AJ8 or Supercharged models, but we don't use it as a sports car.

The same applies to handling. We are a little disappointed with braking performance however... it is a heavy car and the brakes just don't seem up to the task when the need to stop hard arises.

The transmission shifts smoothly, and the Sport mode does the job, but sometimes fumbling for the button can be frustrating. The J-gate is a little too contrived... we rarely use it.

Despite all the problems, we still like the car very much. I'm not sure we would sell it because the resale value is poor, and lately it has not been giving us any grief.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th February, 2005

3rd May 2005, 05:40

A/C : there is an alternative to R134, which does not necessitate modifications to the A/C system. It is known in France as R434. I could recently have a complete check and refill for 200 Euros ($ 200).