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-   -   What to look out for in an X350 - you need to know! (

Cambo 03-02-2014 05:49 PM

What to look out for in an X350 - you need to know!
Since we get more & more threads on what to look out for in an X350, I guess it's time to make a list of all the known issues, and how to solve them

Feel free to add to the thread!

General Issues

Air Suspension
Seems to be one of the most commonly discussed. Depends a lot on where your car is located in the world.

North American vehicles seem to blow out air-shocks much much more than those cars in UK/EU, don't as why cause it makes no sense. Replacement air-shocks are available from Arnott, either re-built or thier own version.

Air compressors will wear out. Mine went at 90'000mi. You can get a seal kit from bagpipingandy, or if you want to replace the whole compressor these are available from Arnott. They will wear out eventually, but will fail much faster if you have a leaking shock and the compressor is running all the time to compensate for the leak.

The air suspension also looses it's calibration on the front over time, because there is only one sensor on the left front, the right front will go a bit high after a while. The re-calibration is fairly simple with the right tools.

Suspension Bushes
The wishbone bushes on our cars should be considered a consumable item. They will wear out, i'd say every 30'000-50'000miles. The individual bushes can now be purchased in the aftermarket, so there is no need to buy complete wishbones & arms.

Heater Core & Pump
The heater core in our cars blocks up eventually which means less heat getting to the drivers side (regardless of LHD or RHD) if you're lucky it can be flushed out. If not then it's dashboard out to replace the core.

The electric Auxilliary Heater pump will eventually need replacing, around 100'000 miles. It can also start to leak externally, so you can loose a little coolant.

ZF Transmission
Some have been faultless, some have been problematic. Anything from "The Lurch" to the "Barking" at downshift. Also "surging" due to the torque converter clutch. Most have now been resolved by oil/filter changes & re-flashing the software. Several X350's have needed replacement transmissions because of solenoids failing in the TCM. Generally the transmissions are good, but you only hear about things that go wrong on a forum :)

The transmission is supposedly "sealed for life" so there is no fluid change scheduled into the offcial service procedure. If you notice the "The Lurch" "Barking" or the "Surge" then it might be worth getting the fluid/filter changed, and the TCM re-flashed. Others will say that as a precaution you should have the fluid/filter changed every 50'000miles.

Throttle Position Sensor
The TPS has a limited lifespan, could be anywhere from 50'000 miles to 150'000 miles. It depends a lot on the environment) hot climates will reduce the life of the part. Replacements are not available in the aftermarket, BUT the sensor is shared with a lot of othe cars, so you can pickup a throttle body from an X-Type or S-Type 2.5/3.0 for a fraction of the price & just swap the sensor.

Corrosion & Rust
It's an aluminium bodied car, so no issues with rust or corrosion right? Ah, no...
The alloy body can get "filiform corrosion" in some places, typically the inside lip of the front wheel arches, the bottom corners of the doors, and around the bottom of the rear window. There are several reasons for this, but fortunatley it does not spread like conventional rust, & is reasonably easy to repair for specialists in alloy panels

Rust on the other hand can be an issue for cars in cold/snowy climates where ther roads are salted. The front & rear subframes of the X350 are steel and will rust over time when exposed to salted roads. Also anything made of steel under the car will be affected (bolts, nuts, suspension parts, etc.) It's worth getting under the car & having a look at the steel parts if you are in the UK, northern Europe, northern states of North America or Canada i.e. where the roads are salted in winter.

The thermostat's in our cars do not last forever. Consider a preventitive swap-out after 8 years or 100'000 miles.

Driveshaft / Propshaft center bearing & couplings
After 120'000 miles or so the center bearing in the propshaft tends to get a little loose, giving a slight "thud" when you get on & off the throttle. The center bearing cannot be replaced, only the entire propshaft.

The rubber couplings at each end of the propshaft should also be changed preventatively after 10 years, as the rubber will perish with age. These are not available for the X350, but the S-Type ones are identical.

Transmission Cooler Lines
These also have a habit of wearing out & leaking. Should be checked after 100'000 miles at every service

Full Service History?
You need to be aware that an X350 at 95'000 miles, even if it's been service "by the book" will be on it's original spark plugs, transmission fluid, power-steering fluid, differential oil, drive belts, and possibly even it's coolant. Make of that what you will.

Alloy wheels
The OEM wheels made by BBS are not the strongest, and can often be bent by potholes. This is not an issue unique to Jaguar, but seems to come up fairly regularly.

Supercharged Specific Issues

Valley Hose
There is a $10 rubber hose under the supercharger which can fail. If this happens the whole supercharger/charge-coolers/intake needs to be removed to access the hose. It may or may not happen. Pot luck. $1800 labour to change a $10 hose.

Brake Rotors
The early XJR & SuperV8 had Brembo brakes. The OEM rotors are poor & warp regularly, giving a shudder under braking. Aftermarket replacement rotors of a "performance" nature are much better & do not warp like the OEM ones.

Diesel Specific Issues

EGR valves
The EGR valves will eventually block/jam up with crap. Expect these need replacing at 100'000 miles.

Diesel Particulate Filter
The DPF should not need any servicing, but sometimes they get so full that they are totally blocked & need replacing, especially problematic for "city cars" which don't get a good motorway run to clean out the DPF.

It also happens that the pipes running off the DPF can develop leaks, which can cause a lot of "unrelated" issues. So always check these pipes at every service.

Engine oil level
Keep a constant eye on the oil level, over time it starts to rise as diesel gets diluted into the sump. When you do an oil change don't fill the sump all the way, just a little over the "low" on the dipstick. If the sump gets full then the service message on the dash comes on, and it can happen within a few thousand miles.

Flex-joints before the cat converters
Are known to start leaking & you get diesel fumes in the cabin. These flex joints are welded to the pipes and are not available as a spare part from Jaguar, however are available in the aftermarket or can be sorted by an exhaust specialist.
These are now available from some Jaguar dealers!

Feel free to add more info!

JimC64 03-02-2014 07:15 PM

Great write up Cameron, thanks for taking the time to compile and post, It will be helpful to many owners I'm sure.

You may want to add........

Alarm issues have been reported too, alarm sounding for no apparent reason.
I have seen / read many posts about this relating to the bonnet catch switch?

Diesel variants - It seems prevalent to suffer at some point with diesel fumes entering the cabin. This usually the result of cracking flexi joints.
Jaguar would insist that new Cats would be required at a cost of 2000+ but there are flexi joints now available for various sources.

Jaguar themselves have started to offer these as an alternative at various dealerships

Cameron - your post is great and will help many owners / prospective owners I believe.

Please add this to the HOW TO / FAQ section


motofreak72 03-03-2014 03:51 PM

Thank you for this list. I have seen all of this plus a few extras with mine. My XJR was originally a California Car and now lives here in Florida. So with the high heat and terrible humidity that I deal with I would like to add that headliners tend to come loose over time. After looking into repair places and having them tell me that the rear window needs to come out I can tell you that you can DIY. After removal of all fasteners for the headliner and sail panels inside you could move the front seat all the way up and than remove just the bottom of the back seat for more space(beware of your seat heater and any there connections before you start pulling) you can remove the headliner through the rear door. I've had to replace this as I found there isn't much glue used at the factory. Now the headliner is better than new and for under $100. Not the $800 quoted.

I found and maybe because of the humidity or heat that the bonnet shocks wear out pretty quick with the OEM (Happens to all my cars I feel). I found a great company that charged me $50. for the pair! The company is called Lucid out of California.

Here's another tip for you...keep extra lug nuts handy. Anytime you take your car to have the tires rotated the new guy always seems to zip them on or off with his air ratchet..stripping the cap which is just a chrome cover. I found a few (8)from a local yard that looked new for $20. and have had to dip into them with a smile knowing that I had them.

Of course HID bulbs aren't cheap so a trip to helped save money and time just very tight space given to replace(Large handed), but can be done fairly easy.

I know my next item to buy is the Arnott Compressor as mine after nursing blown air suspension is tired Of course Ive replaced all four corners with Arnotts suspension now. I have bagpipingandys repair ring but I think its to late.

I don't know if there is a common problem with the stereos in our cars but I have the Alpine and know the tweeters in the dash one day were emitting smoke(removed completely now) and rear subs in the deck sound like garbage...I believe this is an amplifier problem. Who knows?

Batteries...What can you say. They eventually go weak and cause all sorts of issues that are related yet unrelated. If your battery is 3-4 years old and not used on the regular it may be the first thing you want to check if your having an electrical gremlin. Preventive maintance get a battery tender.

My two cents or three so take it for what its worth and maybe help. Keep this going please because even with minor or major problems I love this car :D

Sarks 03-04-2014 10:03 AM

I'll add a couple of items to the list:

SIDE MARKER LAMPS - the connectors and sockets corrode very easily. It is not worth replacing the entire wiring harness, just to see that one corrode as well. At each of the four side marker lamps, I have cut out the wiring past the connector (about 8-9") and spliced in my own wiring and bulb holder. It takes a little fabrication to make a 4-tab bulb holder from the parts store fit into Jaguar's 3 tab side market lamp housing, but it works better than the corrosion-prone OEM junk.

COOLANT RESERVIOR BOTTLE - Mine leaked at the seam between the clear plastic bottom and the black plastic top. To be honest, I am not sure if this was a function of material fatigue or the result of a misbeehaving thermostat. I replaced both, using funds that had been earmarked for a new snowblower (yes, it cost about $500).

rosskuhns 03-08-2014 04:02 PM

Great Write up Cambo! There are a few in there I had not read about.

Can we link my 'super' thread on Suspension Options?

It delves into the first one on the list pretty well I think (and updating as I get info), and links to all your repair options.

duplicates 04-06-2014 04:50 PM

Valley Hose 2004-2005 XJR
Is there a way to inspect this hose?

psg 05-09-2014 06:35 PM

Great summary Cambo. BTW dash does not have to come out to replace heater core on LHD vehicles, don't know about RHD.


meirion1 06-16-2014 05:52 PM

I reckon it can be done after removing the glove box but I have not done it


CHATEAUJAGUAR 06-29-2014 03:28 AM

great post CAMBO!

i'm researching purchasing new BBS wheels for my 2004 VP and i had no idea BBS made the OEM wheels! classy move JAGUAR!

this is my first post. i'd love to know how many members have 4.2L engines with 150K or 200K or 250K miles on them? i'd love to know how many miles this engine can go with regular maintenance and synthetic oil? any experience? any anecdotes?


Fraser Mitchell 07-11-2014 04:13 PM

Could I just add a little item: -

Lighting/Indicator switch on steering binnacle
Symptoms like

- lights flickering or even going out for a few seconds
- sat nav goes to Night mode in daylight

The above could be caused by the above switch being faulty, and faulty switches are a known problem. It is the same switch on the XF and the S-type.

Only when my lights failed for about 3 seconds on an very twisty unlit road on a moonless night did I resolve to finally take action. A new switch cured all my problems.

btucker21 07-30-2014 01:19 PM

Great Information
Thanks for the great information. This is priceless to a new owner of a used Jag like myself.

MeatBag 07-30-2014 06:48 PM

Adding to a great post - Radio Silence
Adding to a great post - Radio Silence
I heard that it is not uncommon to suffer bouts of radio silence where the radio, CD, and CDC all go mute if the car sits in high heat (90+ degree) for a few hours.

While mute, I can't switch the nav screen to the CDC in the trunk. I can see the radio, and the dash-CD, but they produce no sound. Allowing it to cool overnight clears it up. I think its the CDC not booting on the audio network.

ProTech1952 09-04-2014 08:52 PM

Amazing post, very educational
Thank you Cambo351, answered many questions I asked about in my first post here... At this rate I will be ready to start looking for my new project car.


JaysonJaguar 09-14-2014 12:26 AM

Even at 100k mile on my car, the ZF Transmission Pan with the build in filter do not need replacement. I was told by the dealer that pan doesn't need to be change, but being skeptical I changed it anyway. After replacing the pan, my curiosity keeping me thinking if I really need to replace it. I decide to drill holes on the pan to expose the filter, the filter look very good. I would just drain and refill oil, but after drain and refill you don't see improvement in shifting then, I suggest changing the pan out. I got pics of the drill out pan, but I don't know how to upload the images. By the way, great write up CAMBO!

motofreak72 09-15-2014 09:21 AM

Recently replaced in the last 7 months:

All 4 rotors and pads are drilled R1 brand and purchased from ebay...replaced all 4 on wife's S type as well. They have been great and no more pulsing feeling with great stopping power. Also, look much better IMO.

New pads on Ebrake as well (easy job)

Replaced some rear bushings and bars with zerk fitted moog. Stiffened the rear wiggle abit.

Replaced Throttle body sensor after fault was tripped and put car in limp mode (never a cool thing to happen)

And now looking to replace or repair 20" Sepangs that took a beating on a recent road trip from S. Florida to NYC. Potholes took there toll. Not nice

Noticed I didn't mention in March on my post, but when I received this XJR the AC was not blowing and so I removed the glovebox and found a resistor for the fan motor was blown. I contacted Digikey? and ordered a .18 resistor which I soldered in and solved my problem that local shop/Dealer wanted over $1000. to do. 2 hrs and less than $1. :) Because, nobody repairs and they just want to replace whole part. Hasn't caused a problem again.

JaysonJaguar 09-16-2014 11:45 AM

Thanks motofreaks!
Can you give me a little more detail on removing the glove box and the process of locating the particular resistor? My ac is working fine, but it seems like a good thing to learn. Is the throttle body sensor the same as MAF sensor? I just replaced my MAF sensor yesterday because it threw a P0101 code.

dinokirkham 09-23-2014 03:01 PM

So should I expect a lot of expensive repairs with my x350 or are they reliable on the whole

Don B 09-23-2014 03:28 PM

Originally Posted by dinokirkham (Post 1064566)
So should I expect a lot of expensive repairs with my x350 or are they reliable on the whole

Hi Dino,

If you've read Cambo's post #1 in this thread, you've learned as much as most of us could tell you without going into full service histories of our individual cars. I think it's safe to say that X350s are generally as reliable as most 6-to-10-year-old luxury-performance cars, and also similar in terms of cost of upkeep. There are known problem areas which can be expensive to correct, depending on how much of the work you can do yourself. Again, Cambo's post spells these out pretty thoroughly.

My wife and I are on our third Jaguar saloon since the mid-'90s, and I've done virtually all the service work myself. If you don't do the maintenance and repairs yourself, owning any out-of-warranty luxury-performance car can become expensive.

All that to say, the quirks, idiosyncrasies and known weaknesses of the X350 didn't keep me from buying one, and although in just over a year of ownership it has had a number of issues, it has never failed to start and get us from point A to point B.

As I mentioned in a reply to one of your earlier posts, please visit our New Member Area - Intro a MUST - Jaguar Forums - Jaguar Enthusiasts Forum and post an introduction to give us some info about yourself and the kind of X350 you would most like to own. We'll look forward to hearing what you find!



buttpt 09-23-2014 05:28 PM

Corrosion and rust- The steel support arms which hold up the petrol tanks were badly rusted and needed replacing on my X350 - This was in 2010 and the car is only a 2004 model.

Transmission fluid/filter change - Will do some more research on this after noting the following; the ZF units are sealed for life, which implies 60,000 miles- as I have read in some "other" forum posts. I asked our local Jag dealer and they have never replaced the transmission fluid or filters and don't recommend this on X350's. Once changed you may have issues with the seals, as the pressure may blow them. Also read that oil changes can disturb the sludge (filter muck, metal filings etc) back into the system if not correctly flushed out by the mechanic. ( refer Jaguar World May 2009 - page 25)

Spark plugs- conflicting information if to replace them at 50,000 miles or at the service recommendation of 70,000 miles. ( refer to "Jaguar world" May 2009 ,page 24 and 28). In regard to getting them out at 50,000 would be easier, before getting "seized in".

I note this post for " Full Service history" stating original plugs at 95,000 miles.
So it would be good for other members to share their maintenance experience on what can be left alone without any issue?

Don B 09-23-2014 05:35 PM


Welcome to the Jaguar Forums!

Please visit the New Member Area - Intro a MUST - Jaguar Forums - Jaguar Enthusiasts Forum and post an introduction so we can know something about you and your car.



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