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OnlineHelp, Mechanic
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Is the Jaguar 2001 XJ8 a reliable car, and what should I be

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Is the Jaguar 2001 XJ8 a reliable car, and what should I be careful of when purchasing this vehicle?
Hello and thank you for choosing Just Answer.

It's reliable, it's very reliable car actually. The only thing that you will find is that it's a very electrical car. There are many sensors that monitor the cars operation. This may cause the check engine light to come on and call for repairs. I would pay close attention to maintenance records, and I would make sure the car has not been in a accident before. Check the frame and take it for a drive on the freeway. Get it up to speed and make sure it does not shake.
Another thing you need to look for is the transmission, make sure it's shifting smooth. You should not be able to feel the car shift from inside.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your reply - Much appreciated.

The XJ8 I am referring to has only had one owner and has 59,000 miles on it, which is very little for a 2001 model Jaguar Vanden Plas - Extremely Clean and looks very close to Brand New!

I have ALL the service records from the Jaguar Dealer who worked on this car right from the beginning when it was new until recently.

Currently there is a problem with the throttle body, but fortunately it appears as though this components (emission component) has a warranty which is only going to expire this year in August. This is a fairly expensive component and luckily it will be covered by Jaguar (parts and labor to replace).

What concerns me is the following:

While I was testing the car on the freeway, it suddenly slowed down and went into the "safe mode" which only allows you to move very slowly and the following messages appeared all at the same time:
ASC Not Available
Fail Safe Engine Mode
Track Not Available
Transmission Fault
And Red Light Came on which means one should not drive the vehicle.

Obviously I was concerned, especially since it stated that there was a "transmission fault".

After about an hour the vehicle returned to normal and appeared to be 100% in all respects (the transmission is extremely smooth and so is the engine - feels like new).
Then the following day, after driving the vehicle about 15 miles, the SAME problem happened. This time though, even after waiting an hour, the problem was still there.

I towed it to a Jaguar independent shop who diagnosed the error codes with his instrument and determined that the Throttle Body required replacement.
Since the Throttle Body was still under warranty, I had the car towed to a Jaguar dealership and am waiting for them to repair it.

What concerns me is that once they have replaced the throttle body that something else will create the same problem and I will get stuck somewhere and could be another "expensive repair".

I'm wondering if you have experienced this on any of the Jags you have worked on and what you think.

Also, how complex are these vehicles to work on, and MUST I take it to someone who specializes in Jaguar? Possibly there are other less expensive people who can work on it? Do you have any suggestions?

Finally, I can purchase this car for $7500 - What do you think?

Thanks again for getting back to me and looking forward to your response.

Best Regards.
That is what I meant by the "very electrical car" comment. As soon as the car senses that there is something wrong it goes into a fail safe mode also called a limp mode. So even if a simple sensor goes bad you will go into limp mode. The message
ASC Not Available
Fail Safe Engine Mode
Track Not Available
Transmission Fault

is normal when it's in limp mode or fail safe mode. It does that to reduce power so that you can drive the car home or a shop at a safe speed.

If your question is "Will this happen again?", then my answer would be yes. It is common, as soon as the car detect a fault it will go into fail safe mode. That does not make in less reliable. That actually is a feature that helps keep other parts from failing.

I would take the car for another test drive to see if the problem was fixed. If anything is wrong with the car the fail safe mode will come on. If the issue has been taken care of, then you will be able to drive the car without a problem.

With that said 59,000 miles is nothing for that car. The price is very good $7500 is excellent for a car with that mileage. The car is reliable, it does not break down often. You may see some sensor going out, but thats common on all cars. They are not very expensive to replace and most local shops will have no problem working on it.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks again for your reply.

Yes, I intend to drive the car for a full week after the throttle body is replaced to see if the problem will happen again. If it does not, then I will probably purchase the vehicle.

One more question - When these sensor problems are diagnosed at a repair ship, is it pretty clear WHICH SENSOR needs to be replaced, or is it a bit of a "hit and miss"...
and will most local shops be able to determine what is wrong FIRST time round....

Also, if I have any more problems with the vehicle, will you be available to answer questions should I need some advice on a particular item?
It really depends on the code. Typically it's very clear which sensor has gone out, the sensor is replace and problem is solved. Most shops just like the dealer will know what's wrong the first time around.

There are exceptions however, there are codes that are harder to diagnose. Codes that don't indicate a sensor problem. That may need extra attention, but as far as sensors go it will be a first time around thing.

Also, for your own reference. You can take the car to autozone to have the OBDII scan done prior to taking it to a shop. They will scan it free for you, this will at least tell you what your dealing with.

If you need any further assistance, feel free to request me for help. I will answer the same day.
OnlineHelp and 9 other Car Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks again for your help - Taking the car to Autozone is a good idea - I did not know they offered this type of service.

I will get back to you should I need you help in the future.

Best Regards.