Jaguar XJ8



May, 3, 2006 AT 6:55 PM

I am in the process of buying a 1999 Jaguar XJ8 with 50,257 miles. As far as I can determine the car has been impeccably maintained. The dealer who is selling it says that he has contacted the two Jaguar dealerships who serviced the car, and he was told that it has been very well cared for. He told me this morning that he found a coolant leak and has replaced the water pump in advance of shipping the car. This is where my dilemma begins.

First of all, the car is out of state, so I cannot inspect it personally. The dealer has an impeccable reputation, however. The dealer photographed the car profusely for his ad, and everything looks great, at least cosmetically. Coworkers I mentioned the coolant problem to said that I should be very concerned about future engine damage from coolant in the oil system as a result of the failure of the water pump. One even advised me to pass on the purchase. Should I be worried enough to pass on this apparent jewel?


3 Answers



May, 4, 2006 AT 3:23 PM

Sounds like a good car I would check into the water pump leak, I just bought a 1998 xjr 95,000k and with the previous owner the thermostate went bad and with these model cars the impeller on the water pump is plastic so when the car runs hot the impeller melts jaguar has redesinged the water pump to stop this problem, but for me I wasent as lucky my problem go's deeper than that, my car also has a blown head gasket luckily I am a mechanic so I will do the work myself, to have the job done at a shop (im looking at the qoute) 4,246.95 floored me! So with you not being able to drive the car and check it out this is what could happen but no that my situation is a worst case scenario. And one more thing at 60,000 you should have the timing tensioner changed, the problem with this is that there also plastic and break, the new desing, you guessed it, metal but big money if you what untill it brakes. Hope this helps, good luck with the buy.



May, 4, 2006 AT 7:33 PM

I checked into the pump situation this morning. The seller said that the previous owner noticed no problem, so this is apparently a recent development. The seller said that the pump was leaking through the front seal, and they found no evidence that the engine had been " cooked". The leak was supposedly very slight at this point, but the seller said " We had rather pay our prices than yours to fix it.&Quot; Apparently they have their own mechanic. He said that as long as I keep up with the scheduled maintenance, I should be fine. I am presuming that since the water pump that was installed is new, it doesn't have the plastic parts you are talking about. The seller mentioned that since the water pump has been installed the fluid leak that was there before has disappeared.

According to CarFax this has been a lease vehicle for much of its life, so I have no doubt that it has been well kept.

Thanks for the tip on the timing tensioner.



June, 27, 2006 AT 9:21 PM

When this car was delivered, the low coolant warning was on. The mechanic who installed the water pump did not bleed the air from the cooling system when he refilled it. I bled the system and topped it off. Problem solved - at least apparently.

About three days later, our old friend the low coolant warning made another appearance. After my wife drove the car, she noticed coolant running underneath it. The car never lost enough coolant to begin overheating, but it lost enough. I traced the problem to the connecting hose that connects the expansion tank to the radiator. The hose developed a leak at the radiator end while the previous owner had it. I found a big glob of glue on the hose at that end. Someone tried to avoid replacing the hose by repairing it. The repair held long enough for the car to be sold, and that's about it. I assume that the previous owner was either afraid to go under the hood, or assumed that the dealer would charge a fortune to replace the hose (and they probably would have, since my local dealer quoted me $100 for an oil change).

I bought a replacement hose from my local dealer (cost just over $30), and it took about 15 seconds to install once I got the old hose off. Hint: if you do this repair, just break the plastic clamp ring on the old hose and gently pry it open rather than trying to compress it. It saves a lot of time. The warning light has not reappeared in the month since I installed the new hose.

The only other problem I have had is that the power antenna has stopped retracting. The motor still runs, so I bought a mast kit for about $15 and will install it next weekend.

The only other thing I plan to do right now is have all the fluids flushed and replaced.

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