XJ XJ6 / XJR6 ( X300 ) 1995-1997

Gentlemen: (No)Start Your Engines!!!

Old 09-15-2014, 05:50 PM
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Old 06-02-2015, 06:14 AM
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Question 1997 XJ6 / X300 Random No-Start

1997 Jaguar XJ6 = Intermittently Won't Start:

My XJ6 has failed to start three times in the last month... leaving me stranded.
In each case, I've been driving OK, and stop/park normally... lights were off while gone... nothing that should drain battery.
When I come back to to car (under an hour later) I unlock door with key (which should disable alarm) get in, attempt to start car dash lights up normally, with key in mid position, but when turning key forward to "starter" position "nothing"... no clicks, no slow crank, no beeps, but stranded and will not start.

The 1st time this happened, not sure what else to do, so hooked Jumper cables from another car for 10 minutes, and it started afterward. (yet battery should not have been low to begin with)

2nd time: Thought "I was just driving this 15 minutes ago" battery should not be down... what else may be wrong..?
Looked around, did not see bad fuse anywhere. Considered "maybe this is related to bad status/reset of alarm system"
got back out of car, locked the XJ6 (with key), waited 30 seconds, unlocked car (with key) got in, and car started normally.
So, Thought: this is odd, but "I've figured out the problem... just reset the car alarm"

Now it's Three days later, and the car has me stranded again.
I was just driving the car for 20 minutes, went into grocery store for 15 minutes, came back out, and Jag won't start.
No clicks, no problem indications, just won't start.
Other electrical accessories indicate Battery is OK/charged... radio/windows/etc work.
Volt meter on dash reads 12v. I have tried getting out of car & locking/unlocking to reset the alarm three times... which helped before.
Alarm on/off beeps sound normal, but car will not start.
The gear shift is securely in Park position, and [P] glows red...
I Have tried jiggling the gear shift, to activate sensitive switch... can hear solenoid under gearshift 'release' when stepping on brake.
There should be no reason for alarm/security's inertia switch to be tripped or cause a problem. (although have not reset 'inertia switch' noted in other posts above right footwell space)
Yet it's now near midnight, and I'm several miles from home...
needing to figure out the 'quirks' of my XJ6, and how to persuade it to start.

When it's running, it seems strong/reliable, but start/cranking is not reliable.
I've been reading the multiple posts with aholbro1's No-Start postings, which has several good bits of info.
After 40 minutes of trying to get car to start, I gave up and walked away.
Went back 3 hrs later, and it started fine, 1st try, no jump start, like normal.

So this still leaves me with various questions:
  • This is clearly not a battery problem... and eventually starts by itself without a jump/charge, so:
  • What is more likely a problem: Switch, relays, solenoid, starter, security/alarm, etc?
  • This problem is intermittent, so not easy to predict OR diagnose.
    You don't know if same part is working/failing [this] time... or will wait another 50 starts to fail again.
  • What are options to diagnose, "sitting in parking lot" with general tools carried along?
  • How likely would this simply be worn starter brushes, at 140K miles?
  • How to verify that alarm system is entirely disengaged, and car circuits in "normal" operation?
  • Who has a good link/diagram/instructions for tracing starter control circuits
    going from Key, through switches, relays, alarm system, solenoid, to Starter?
  • What options are there to Jumper/over-ride safety switches, and force a crank/start?
  • What do I need to be careful of, to avoid tripping my own alarm system?
  • Who else has had random/intermittent no-start issues like this? ...and how did you diagnose/resolve?

What suggestions do people have?
I cannot continue to drive this car, if it leaves me stranded every few weeks.
(and need to have confidence in car, before extended out of town trips)
Old 06-02-2015, 06:44 AM
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I am not sure whether this is in any way helpful, but I once experienced a complete "nothing" on turning the key to start the car, despite all the normal lights on the dash coming on, car in park, good battery etc. Turned out in was the inertia cut out, which is down beside the ECU in the right hand footwell in right hand drive cars. I had been working in the area (including with a hammer, long story!) and must have triggered it. Simply pushed the rubber button on it and reset it. Don't know how yours could be intermittent : Wet maybe?
Could be completely irrelevant, but might be worth a look, as it is easy to access. Good luck.
Old 06-08-2015, 12:07 AM
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After my 1997 XJ6 was having an intermitant No-Crank behavior
I found a post & diagram, showing which relay under the hood controls electricity
to the starter solenoid. (Between key switch + starter)

1995 Jaguar XJ6 Wont Start: Engine Performance Problem 1995 ...

If you look at diagram, behind Left headlight, the 4th relay in this group is labeled "Starter"
All four relays in this set appear to be the same part number, so
I swapped the starter relay with the fog-light relay next to it... in case this was the problem.
(figuring reliability of starting the car is more important than foglights, and fog relay gets WAY less use)
Now the starter has been reliable for the last 5 days.
...not exactly a guaranteed fix, but I will see how it behaves over the next few weeks.
I also noticed that removal of the starter is VERY awkward on a 1997 XJ6.
(can't reach bolts well from under the car, and impossible from above, unless you remove the engine's intake manifold)
At some point, I may need to replace the starter's motor brushes.
I found a place where I can get them for under $20... and save $140+ on replacement starter...
Either way, getting starter in/out seems difficult. (any thoughts or suggestions here?)
Old 06-08-2015, 05:34 AM
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I didn't see mention of the tach. reading about 200 rpm when turning the engine over. That would indicate the crankshaft position sensor is okay. It can be come intermittant before failing completely.
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Old 05-28-2016, 08:18 AM
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Default Revised Original Post

I compiled the original list when I had a bit of spare time and saw a rash of “won’t start” posts populating the top page of the forum. I did not have a starting problem at the time. This week, I got a text from my youngest lad: “Dad, my car won’t start, can I take yours to get something to eat?” (I had the EXc out for its monthly Kroger top-up)
“Yep, but what do you mean it won’t start? Does it crank?”
“It cranks, but it won’t turn over.”
As Jed Clampett frequently said, “Some day…..I gotta have a looooonnnnggg talk with that boy…..”
So having experienced the problem, I’ve found that my original post could be much more helpful than it is…or at least more efficient! Therefore, I present the reorganized list below:
Originally Posted by aholbro1 View Post
Seemed like every other day a new no-start thread would pop up...some days 2 or 3....so I thought I'd try to take the pain out of search for some of you:
Cranks but doesn’t start:

Bore wash: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...ession-125018/
Pump Hose blowoff: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...-start-158317/
Fuel Pump/Hose Blowoff: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...-136675/page2/
Flooded: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...t-start-37207/
Fuse: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...issues-100157/
Battery: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...p-issue-95625/

Doesn’t Crank:

Loose Wire: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...-light-120231/ post #3
BPM: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...ilizer-111316/

By no means an exhaustive list - I quit after culling through the first 200 of 500 results; but this should get you started ...er so-to-speak

Last edited by aholbro1; 05-28-2016 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 05-28-2016, 11:05 PM
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My troubleshooting went as follows:
Checked for turns whilst cranking: bouncing between 200-300
Checked 30A fuse #7 in boot fuse block; checked good
It was cranking so strong I had a passing thought of bore-wash but the situation didn't fit: Driven about 5 miles, shutdown, then failed on restart attempt 5 min later
Nonetheless, Inst Pack voltage gauge was showing only about 10 volts while cranking. It was getting dark so I hooked up the battery-minder trickle charger and retired for the evening.
Next morning, showing the same thing whilst cranking so I broke out the carbon-pyle tester and tested the battery with load. Checked good. Left the mechanism attached and had the lad crank it and voltage at the battery was 11.5V according to the meter on the batt-tester.
Checked the white/pink wire to #1 coil and found batt voltage ~12.3
Pulled #1 plug, attached to coil and grounded the plug body. Had good spark whilst cranking (assumed the same was true of the other 5) added a dollop of motor oil to cyl#1 before restoring coil/plug (in case I needed to revisit the bore-wash idea- 1 down, 5 to go!)
Disconnected the fuel line at the aft b-nut. Dry. Had the lad crank the car, still dry. We Havaweiner! Fretted about the idea of renewing the pump because the tank was over 3/4 full....AND I'd need to do a massive reorg/rearrange in the shop to string a chain through in order to use the tractor to pull it in to the shop from the backyard (About a 3" - 4" step-up to get in the building that I'm sure the lad and I can't manage by pushing.
Checked the #7 fuse again. Still good.
Checked Fuel Pump Relay #1 - mounted to the green base, second from the right in this pic:
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after much difficulty, pulled the relay to find it burnt:
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Rang Motorcarman to see if he'd encountered a fuse-fine/relay-burnt situation. He said it wasn't all that uncommon and told me I had the bothersome blue Hella relays and I should get rid of them - there's a TSB, check it out. And no, your fuel pump is probably on its way out but you can swap in an identical relay from an un-needed system or one of your other cars and it may work a little while.
Pulled the rear windscreen heater relay and plugged it into the fuel pump slot. Had the lad crank the car while I held a finger on top of the relay. Felt a click, heard a buzz, then immediate light-off of the silky smooth AJ16.
Lad egressed the car in a panic, pointing at the billowing white smoke issuing from both pipes. "Don't worry..that's just the oil we dumped in #1 before we put it back together."
Told him he should drive it until the fuel was down considerably and THEN we'd renew the pump. He asked what would happen if pump crapped-out on the highway? "We'd have to call for a tow or I'd have to bring the Exc and trailer and winch it up." and he stood there looking down at me quizzically (the youngest lad is about 6'3" and towers over his short, sawed-off old man of 5'8". "Yer right....just let it idle while I move the tractor out and rearrange some stuff and I'll pull it in and we'll just deal with the fuel."
So I spent awhile this afternoon siphoning gas. Think it is very nearly empty, now, at least the indicator says so, and I was siphoning mostly air at the end, though I did light it off again and let it idle another few minutes.
Picked up a fuel filter this evening. Will review the procedure tomorrow morning and fit a new pump assuming I can find it. I ordered one several years ago....and saw it in my stash within the last couple of months....now if I can only remember about where......
I did suggest we could move his battery and tire/wheel asy's to the SpruceBruce and he could motor on..."after all, headliner doesn't sag any worse than yours and the air conditioner works just as good as yours"....(which is to say, doesn't) but he wasn't interested...reckons the Excursion will do til its mended. So we've got a few more things to mend, on both cars, if I'm honest but for now...Bruce has a fuller fuel tank than he did this morning....

Last edited by aholbro1; 05-28-2016 at 11:19 PM.
Old 05-29-2016, 04:16 AM
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Very good call on the "dying pump", as that is exactly what happens to the relay on the external pump on the XJ-S, if you ignore the horrendous squealing from that pump long enough.
Old 05-29-2016, 09:36 AM
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The good thing about maintaining a 'fleet' of similar cars is that you can stock parts that are 'required maintenance' and 'common fail' items.

Just gather...........................
Spare fuel tank with new pump.
Diff with new bearings installed.
Rebuilt crank damper.
A few dozen replacement relays (NOT blue HELLA).
Ignition coils.
Engine coolant water rail hose.

Then you can also stock parts for your fleet of S-Types??????????????

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Old 05-29-2016, 09:42 AM
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Edit window has closed, here's one for the "cranks but won't start, not yet resolved" categoryintermittent)

Last edited by aholbro1; 05-29-2016 at 10:28 AM.
Old 05-29-2016, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by motorcarman View Post
The good thing about maintaining a 'fleet' of similar cars is that you can stock parts that are 'required maintenance' and 'common fail' items.

Then you can also stock parts for your fleet of S-Types??????????????

Hehe, Bob, funny you should mention that, as I ordered 3 complete sets of cam-cover gubbings in preparation for refurbishing the one on my 95....and damn near lost the bag of bolt-seals before I did my second install! I need to perfect some organizational space before I build up too much stock! And anyway, when a diff starts whining, I'm gonna round up some cash and head to your place hoping you haven't sold all your spares by then.

I've gotta sort through the 05 and take it to my daughter. Needs an upper right front A arm due to rattling ball joint - I just ordered the cheap pair from Amazon reasoning I'd already bought your last one for the 03, and Rock was out of Lemforders at the time. Also has a slight oil leak - I suspect at the cam cover, so I'll replace gaskets both sides and fit new plugs while I'm at it, then drop it on you for another transmission fluid change. Won't likely get that started for another two weeks though, due to being out of town.
She's in the stretch-run of her pharmacy studies - Rotations - Where the student pays the school to be assigned various places to work for free as a pharmacist-in-waiting for 6 weeks at a time - so they try to find friends and/or relatives of classmates nearby for housing. Most of her arrangements are looking like an hour's drive each way; and given the minimal time I've had with the 03 over the past couple of years, I'm afraid it'll strand her.
Old 05-29-2016, 10:47 AM
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Question Where can I find this relay diagram for a 1997 XJR?

Originally Posted by AtlantaJoe View Post

Sorry for the slight digression, but the diagram above it very helpful.

I'll look in the service manual to see if it is there, but regardless, does anyone have a link to this image for the front half, and image for the rear half (of the car) of the relay locations that are appropriate for the 1997 XJR?

EDIT: I found it in the 1997 Electrical Guide


Last edited by al_roethlisberger; 05-29-2016 at 11:19 AM.
Old 05-29-2016, 01:54 PM
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The 'FRONT MATTERS' section of the Electrical Guides have some good info that most people often overlook.

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Old 05-31-2016, 12:51 AM
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May as well save yourself alot of work and leave the burned relay in-place if you can't be bothered to plug the pump harness back into the underside of the evaporative loss flange.... the end result is the same
Old 07-06-2016, 06:56 AM
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I'll assume this one fits the "Cranks but doesn''t start" box:

Old 07-06-2016, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by colin124 View Post
thanks i will ,started fine on the way home but fuel light came on and fuel guage read empty and slowly over the journey home (5 miles) started to rise to full,and fuel light went out,its definatly something electrical just dont knowif its a dodgy earth somewhere or something packing up,might have to get an auto electrician to look at it as im starting to pull my hair out ,thanks for the reply colin

Looks like the fuel sending unit is acting up. In my case, I would get erratic readings of gas levels even with full tank. Before attempting to replace the fuel sending unit, I used a bottle of techron fuel cleaner and in two tank cycle refills the gauge is working fine. Try it. Follow instructions on techron fuel additive bottle.
Old 05-25-2019, 11:35 AM
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I just realized this thread had not already been stuck so I have made it a Sticky.


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