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Jaguar Maintenance and Repair Costs

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Old 11-13-2018, 03:13 PM
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Default Jaguar Maintenance and Repair Costs

I have a relatively low mileage (87K) 1998 XJ-8 that is nearly perfect, close to showroom. I have all the service records from new and it was previously owned by a pretty famous person in the technology world. Having all the service records I know that over 20 years, a grand total of $57,509 was spent on repairs and maintenance. Interestingly, none of that money was spent on replacing the upper tensioners but a new transmission was, in fact, installed at about 81K miles for about $4.5K. The previous owner is very wealthy and spared no expense.

I recently had the fuel pump go out and that is an $800 job with some other maintenance things like replacing the o-rings on VVT solenoids. . I then decided to ask what the tensioner job would cost and he gave me a $1,200 estimate. Add to that a brake fluid flush and some other regular maintenance items recommended at 90K miles and the bill will be about $2,800.

I bit the bullet and told the guy to go ahead with the work. Presentable models of these cars are offered for at prices lower than my repair cost. Yes, most cars at that price cars are probably very close to a catastrophic timing chain jump and/or other major and expensive repairs like a new tranny. So, did I make a wise decision to go ahead and have the work done?

Maybe. But only because the car is 1. in near showroom condition exterior and interior, 2. the service record shows that maintenance has been performed in a timely manner as recommended by the manufacturer, 3. major failure items like the transmission, motor mounts, shocks, radiator/water pump (twice) and may other itmes have been replaced and finally, if advertised in the correct circles, it is a car whose value may be enhanced by who the previous owner was.

Just some thoughts.

If the car did not have those things going for it, I don't think I would have spent $2,800 on the car.
 

Last edited by GGG; 11-14-2018 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:53 PM
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Was the $1,200 quote for both upper and lower tensioners and chains, or just to replace the upper tensioners?
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:07 PM
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The biggest factor in maintenance cost, is who performs the work. Cheapest is to DIY, next up, an independent, and then finally, dealers. Generally, with some exceptions, that's how the hierarchy goes. Unfortunately on the one hand, you're at the earlier year for the model, which means that there were certainly things like tensioners to deal with. Researching prior might have led you to catch that they hadn't been done, to be used as a bargaining chip for a lower initial cost. That's not saying that everyone is going to be able to do so, and I'm not trying to say that in a negative light. They are very attractive cars and not everyone is going to have the ability to fully delve into every possible potential issue, and as you've noted, there is a well documented service history.

I can't speak to the costs associated with the earlier, non-SC models, as I've only had my 03 XJR. The maintenance on mine was minimal so I've had to catch up on bushings and shocks and bearings, and a pump, etc. And I'll need the fuel pumps before the days are out. But you're really hitting on the huge disparity of DIY versus dealer pricing. Those with the ability to DIY will find the costs of ownership to be average at worst in comparison to other cars of the age and conditions. But if it's something you're not comfortable with, and no independent around to lean on who is comfortable and knowledgeable, then you're in the other end. When special tools or know-how is involved, coupled with the fact that parts aren't quite as readily available as the neighbor's Honda Accord, the prices go up and as you can see, can go up rapidly.

Just a point of reference though, DIYing the jobs would cost a fraction of what you spent. The pedigree of the car, is only of value to someone interested in such. As you've seen, similar cars in good condition aren't going for much more than you spent. And considering you spent what you did on the repairs, I'm inclined to think you probably spent a few bits more on the purchase, probably from aforementioned history. That is a value you have to decide if it's worth it for that fact alone.
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 06:27 PM
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Upper only. The price quotes for doing all of them were all around 3K.
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Alfred Firmani View Post
Upper only. The price quotes for doing all of them were all around 3K.
If it is time to replace the upper tensioners, it really is time to replace the lowers too, but yes, it is more expensive, although a good independent repair shop should be able to do uppers and lowers for around $2,000-$2,250

Not to scare you but here are pictures of my lower guides at 70,000 miles.................




 
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Old 11-13-2018, 07:54 PM
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The shop, which is very well regarded in the DC area Jag community, said both the upper and lower tensioners showed little to no wear. He recommended doing the uppers anyway just to be safe. He certainly would have recommended doing both if he had any doubts, as it would mean more business for him.
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:01 PM
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Then you are in good hands.
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 08:59 PM
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I got the car for $3,500. It was owned by Vint Cerf. He and Bob Kahn essentially invented the internet having been designers of the TCP/IP protocol while working for DARPA. He (Vint Cerf) spared no expense on maintaining the car. I was a DIYer for decades until I came up against a 1988 E-32 BMW 750il (12 cylinder), it was like Waterloo and I was Napoleon. I now have others do almost everything.
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 09:49 PM
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Well to echo my points above, and again this means no ill-will. But if you (an owner, not saying just YOU specificallly) aren't willing to DIY, then you forfeit some ground on the arguments of the maintenance costs when you are willing to pay others to have it done. Most any car with any out-of-warranty service, is going to be quite expensive when repaired at shops and dealers. And even more so for any brand that is even only perceived as a luxury brand, be it factual or not. It's even worse on more modern cars, Also, and certainly not taking anything away from his achievements, but the value of the car being previously owned to him, is virtually indistinguishable from any other like-mileage, and well kept XJ8. He is a niche celebrity. By that, I mean that only certain circles of people will even recognize the name. We're not talking a Jaguar owned by the Royal Family, or Bill Gates, Michael Jackson, etc. So for 99.9% of the population, there's not a dime more to be had just because his name is attached. That isn't to say that it isn't very cool and a great talking point to owning a car he had. It's just that it's a much smaller circle of appreciation for value. But, like you said, you've acknowledged that.

It does irk me a little though. There's a younger kid - and I use that term specifically - who has been posting some videos on youtube about his own XJR. I believe in his case, it's an X300 but the points are the same. He's trying to jump onto the bandwagon of other youtube auto-vloggers, right down to the same format - BUT, his points are only valid from his self-perceived opinions of it. I don't say this to slam on this kid, but to hear someone saying "oh those are a nightmare, those are way too expensive to fix and keep up, those are prone to failure" when a lot of times, it's people either trying to fix a lack of maintenance by a prior owner, or aren't willing to lift a finger to do any work and then complain about the cost of a dealer's repair. Again, not saying it's everyone, or that you fall in this category yourself. Just in general. I mean, he was trying to complain about tire costs being $400 because they are "Viper tires". It was a lot of self-restraint to not comment. And I had it typed out three different times before closing the window.

There's other threads on maint costs as well, but it really isn't any different than any other car, other than ours are out of warranty, parts are harder to come by than an average chevy, and a lot of places don't trust their knowledge to learn or work on them. When you find the place, as you have, then it's up to you as an owner to decide to either spend the money for them to do it, or do it yourself for far less cost.

(didn't mean to sound rant-y but just trying to explain my view!) By the way, have you posted pictures of it on here yet?!
 
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Old 11-13-2018, 11:29 PM
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The point of the previous owner of the car was not so much who he was, but the fact that being very wealthy, he spared no expense on maintenance and repairs. Hence, when provided with the detailed maintenance records, I was convinced that the car was an extremely good deal for the price on offer. When you get into your late 60s DIY becomes somewhat problematic, trust me. If you have the money to pay someone that has done the job many times, it is usually the best option. I mean, would you trust a brain surgeon that has done an operation 100s of times or one that is learning to do it for the first time. As far as Vint Cerf, he is known as far more instrumental in the area of information technology than Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak by people in the business.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:27 AM
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I think as long as you're happy with it that is what matters, with the low resale value it should be understood from the beginning that any serious investment is going to make it a labor of love. These are beautiful cars and they deserve to be taken care of, and you really seem to appreciate the car for what it is, AND for it's niche history, which is more than most will. I think it's wise to keep the maintenance on the car at the level it's been accustomed to, as long as you plan to keep it for a while and get the return on your investment through enjoying it.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by 96x300 View Post
I think as long as you're happy with it that is what matters, with the low resale value it should be understood from the beginning that any serious investment is going to make it a labor of love. These are beautiful cars and they deserve to be taken care of, and you really seem to appreciate the car for what it is, AND for it's niche history, which is more than most will. I think it's wise to keep the maintenance on the car at the level it's been accustomed to, as long as you plan to keep it for a while and get the return on your investment through enjoying it.
Well, it's not all dreary, Series 3 XJ 6s are rising in value after a long devaluation curve. The same will probably be true for the first series XJ8s as it is for most cars.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:46 AM
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Been watching this exchange: I was wondering which independent you were using in the DC area. There used to be an outfit next to the Volvo dealer in Falls Church which is where all my bosses at TRW used to take theirs. Also a couple of guys in Bethesda with great reputation.

I did a lot of my own work. And really heavy stuff (rear shocks; left side oxygen sensors), I left to an independent, who was outstanding, because some of those old bolts are rusted on. Wheel alignment, the dealer. I never had a transmission issue. All other problems you see on this forum I managed to attract. But what I found was it was no more expensive than keeping up my wife's Maxima or any other car of the same age. I worried about the transmission, but the best local guy said it wouldn't cost anymore than any BMW, Volvo, or Mercedes that used a ZF box. "Same work, same parts, actually easier to get out of the car!".

All cars age due to time and mileage (and almost one to one). But as noted, the real issue with these cars is the availability of parts. It is not a Honda Accord or Maxima, but sure is a much better car when running right.

Hunting parts can be a full-time occupation (especially interior plastic): but a surprising number of dealers (best is the guy in Vegas) have old parts sitting on a shelf.

The other issue is rust: they use a lot of salt in Northern Virginia and Montgomery County (can't afford it in DC!!). But I am betting your car never saw snow and was garage kept.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 11:51 AM
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Lou and Ray at Eurosport Auto Care in Davidsonville, Md.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:56 PM
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The early cars did indeed have more items that needed attention and the ZF transmission in the non SC cars had a couple issues ...many dealers up-charge from list on parts and the book time is very generous -- they also tend to replace more and sooner. Still .. 54k is a lot of maintenance. My 95 x300 at 100k had noting close to that in maintenance costs. Dealers don't fix transmission -- they send them out for full rebuilds or replace them.

There has been an uptick in the pricing for low mile examples .. especially the later XJR's ... but the middle of the road cars are all over the place and a killer value.

I have two 02 XJR's -- the one I bought new has 77k on it and has required very little. Most of it is untouched -- fluids and a bunch of tires. Full set of rotors -- two front pad replacements one rear. Both fuel pumps -- upper ball joints and the small plastic bleed hoses for the cooling system. I just did the driver door handle. It's had one AC hose replaced. My other car is not driven often and I have not done anything to it since purchasing it a few years back
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 02:37 PM
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Previous owner had a lot of work done that many would have not bothered with. For example, the cupholder broke and he had it replaced at cost of over 350 bucks. Most of the work was done by an independent shop in Northern Virgina called "Foreign Service" , only about a third of the work was done at the dealership. About 4,500 dollars was to replace the transmission at 75K miles.It seems that when his favorite tech left the dealership and joined the indy shop, the previous owner started bringing the car there. He also had dings, scratches and any exterior or interior damage issues fixed immediately so about 7-10 K seems to be stuff like that, including replacing the headliner.
 
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Old 11-14-2018, 03:32 PM
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Headliner: yes -- I'm about to have mine done and a new windshield as well. Forgot the O2 sensor and third light . I grew up with Jaguars and MB's -- in fact I credit those two makes for my love of cars ... and I will add Triumph when it comes to fixing. My first car was my mother's old W108 back in the 70's ... but I was well versed keeping our XJ's on the road. You had to be a bit of a mechanic back then .. especially when I got may dad's HE coupe a few years later -- all early XJS coupes should have been supplied with tow trucks. In general the MB's were better built .. but no less problems. My W140 was bought back by MB -- it was an early car and nothing but problems. bought Jaguars after that -- the last new prior in the family was a 82 XJ. The XJ40's were particularly bad. Jaguars were aways expensive -- mostly because the resale was so bad.

I always had a good relationship with our various dealers -- they knew not to tell me when an a odd O2 sensor failed early -- replace them all. At dealer prices that's easy $1100. You need new plugs -- the valve cover is leaking ... it all adds up.
 
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:27 PM
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Well, I got the cat back today. $2,900 poorer. Secondary chain tensioners replaced with updated version. The old ones looked great, but hey, you gotta change them, right. In tank fuel pump replaced including, new relay and filter. Replaced VVT o-rings that were leaking. 90K mile service, oil change, filter, air filter. Fuel induction cleaning service. Brake fluid flush and renewal. Fuel pump circuit in fuse box burned out with the fuel pump short so they had to install an overlay wire (no charge). This indy (Eurosport Autocare) seems pretty good in the DC/Annapolis area (Davidsonville).
 
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Old 11-20-2018, 10:16 PM
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Good call, preventive is better than remedial !
 
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Old 11-21-2018, 07:24 AM
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Alfred: fuel pumps using OE parts was around $1100.00 at my indie ..... its a fair amount of work. ... and the last I checked the tensioners are around 2k .... so, you are in the ball park.


Older luxury cars are not about the purchase price ... it's the upkeep. That's why buying the best typically is the cheapest way to go if you plan on keeping for a while. Typically, my cars go when the cosmetics are effected ..
 

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