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Richard, Jaguar Technician
Category: Jaguar
Satisfied Customers: 15509
Experience:  12 years at a Ford/Lincoln Mercury and Jaguar dealer as technician and shop foreman.
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2003 Jaguar S-type: strange noise..right rear..noise happens..35mph

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I have a 2003 Jaguar S-type 3.0L. I have a strange noise that sounds like it's coming from the right rear. The noise happens at about 35mph. It is intermittent, without a real pattern to when it will happen. The noise is a very rhythmic rubbing sound (rump..rump..rump) and you can feel it a little bit. The car must be under power, if you let off the gas the noise immediately stops even if the speed remains the same. Jag mechanics have inspected the car and say the suspension is fine.

Hello and welcome to


Do you have this problem when the vehicle is cold or after driving?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It sat overnight last night, and the problem was there this morning. I can drive several miles and have the car completely warmed up and it can still happen as well. Most likely to happen going up hill, or cresting a hill. Often acts up in exactly the same places, it seems to have favorite spots to do this is what I'm saying.

I beleive there is another symptom that may be related to the same problem. When there's a good amount of snow on the road, it can act like it's hitting an ice ball on the road, even when I'm sure none are there. That also seems to be from the right rear.
Ok thanks for the additional info.

Does this noise change when turning or making steering maneuvers like changing lanes?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I've never noticed the noise when turning or changing lanes, it seems to only happen when I'm driving straight forward. Of course, I don't often change lanes or turn at roughly 35MPH either, so it's a bit hard to say if it would or not.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I've also had the wheel beraings checked and they are good.

The other thing I notice is a whine from the back after I've been driivng at high speed for a while and apply the brakes. It stays that way for a long time after I release the brakes, probably until I park it and start out fresh. It almost sounds like when dirty brakes don't release all the way; but they checked the brakes and slides and say they're good.

I am wondering if we have a rear axle or differential problem. I was going to suggest checking the rear brakes to make sure a caliper is not sticking but since all was given a clean bill of health I suspect we have a problem in that rear differential.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX one area I had suspected.

I've heard of differential problems in some of these cars. If it's not causing tire or brake wear on the vehicle, and is just an annoyance, how critical is it to have this checked out?

Is the differential entirely mechanical, or is there an electronic controller?
I would have it checked as if there is a major failure it can cause your vehicle to be underivable. The differential is fully mechanical as there is no electronic parts to it.
Richard and 3 other Jaguar Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I took my car to a Jag dealer, specifically telling them I wanted the differential checked out. They looked at the fluid level, and said it was full and the fluid was fine. I expected them to pull the cover off the differential and physically check the bearings and gear condition. I asked them about pulling the cover, and looking it over, and they said that you can't do that. "it's not that easy" is what I believe they told me. Was this a reasonable service call, or did they ignore my request?

IN order to remove the cover the unit needs to be dropped down. They should have taken it for an extensive road test, perform a visual inspection and take a fluid sample.