For many happy customers, a Jaguar, designed and built in Britain, is the ultimate driving experience. While being considerably cheaper than a Rolls Royce, for example, it has none of the associated ostentatiousness, yet still combines style and flair to tell those nearby that the driver possesses style, and above all, a certain class that other cars may imitate, but never surpass.
The downside to this is that Jaguars, for the main, are not seen as cheap cars, either to purchase, or to properly maintain. With a little knowledge, a little care, and no small amount of love, Jaguar owners can be assured that not only do they own a classic piece of British engineering, but with that extra care, it shall continue to provide driving pleasure for many years to come, with hopefully as few nasty financial shocks when it comes time for the yearly service as possible. Of course, all cars age, and as their age increases, the repair bills seem to likewise get larger and larger. By knowing a little about what makes their Jaguar work properly, and how to prevent some of the more common problems, the owners can be confident that the repair bills will not be as large as they could otherwise be.
Taking Good Care of the Basics
It almost goes without saying that to properly maintain your Jaguar, you must take care of the basics as a very minimum. These include such obvious things as checking the oil and water levels, keeping the screen washer bottle topped up, checking the tyre pressure weekly, and other routine jobs. Checking the tyre pressure is particularly important, as low pressure generally affects handling and increases fuel consumption, whilst higher than recommended pressure results in uneven tyre wear and a noticeably harder ride.
To keep your Jaguar in peak condition, it may be worth making a routine, in that every week when you wash and wax your car, you check these minor details when you have finished. A little extra time spent on these seemingly inconsequential matters may well save you a small fortune in servicing costs at a later date.
Performing Regular Service
Rather than passively waiting for something to break down on your Jaguar, you should make sure it is regularly serviced. This can either be carried out by a recognised Jaguar dealer or by yourself, if you are willing and keen enough to learn about the innards of your car. Many owners of "classic" Jaguars prefer to carry out this work themselves, and often call it a labour of love. However, owners of newer Jaguars often choose to have any servicing carried out by trained Jaguar-approved engineers.
Checks and Time Intervals
Whether you use your Jaguar on a daily basis or just on weekends, there are certain maintenance jobs that need doing regularly. By doing them, you make sure your car is always in peak condition.
Frequency of Schedule
Tasks to be Performed
Check: anti-freeze mixture and radiator cooling fluid levels, brake fluid level, power steering fluid level, oil level and consistency, washer fluid level
As above and include: brake inspection, lubrication bolt inspection, tyre depth check, spare tyre check
Spark plug wire check, timing belt visual check, fuel pressure regulator inspection
The above checks and inspections are the bare minimum you should carry out. As your familiarity with the Jaguar increases, you can add further checks to suit your car's particular needs.
If you own a new Jaguar, and do not have the time or inclination to learn to service your car, the Jaguar dealership is the one-stop destination when it comes to getting your car checked over by professionals. By doing this, you are trusting that the dealership keeps your car in tip-top condition, but may also warn you of any problems that may occur in the near future.
But this service comes at a price. Dealership servicing is notoriously expensive, though many consider it worthwhile, as well as being able to show it has a full service history, as evidenced by the dealers' stamps if they ever come to sell it. Many Jaguar owners like to build up a long-term relationship with their chosen garage.
Do It Yourself Servicing
If you own an older or "classic" Jaguar and are unwilling to trust your local dealership with your "pride and joy", you can do any and all servicing yourself. By doing this, it not only keeps the car in a condition that many garages would envy, but it provides you with a worthwhile and fascinating hobby. In the course of your repairs, you may meet many like-minded individuals who would never dream of letting a professional mechanic near their cars.
In the past you may have been only too happy to have a dealer carry out your servicing, but in these times of financial belt tightening, you may want to save money and attempt Jaguar maintenance yourself. Before you do though, it would be wise to spend as much time as possible researching your model to find out as much about it as possible. If your Jaguar is considered a "classic", then there are sure to be groups both locally you can join, or even join a discussion group on the Internet.
Before You Begin
If you are a beginner, just starting to learn about your Jaguar and how to maintain it, then the most important thing for you to do first is research. If your Jaguar is an older model, then there are sure to be websites dedicated to it, and often there are lively discussion groups for you to join that allow you to ask questions of fellow owners who have much more knowledge than you. Often in these discussion groups, there is an archive of questions and answers given, and it is worth your while to spend as long as necessary reading up and absorbing as much knowledge as possible.
Sometimes an avid amateur buys a second-hand Jaguar, and fancies himself as a "proper" mechanic, when in actual fact he knows very little about the car and how it all fits together and works. When the buyer purchased it, it may have been cheap, as the seller highlighted some problem that the car had, and that this was the reason for selling it. The amateur mechanic therefore sees an opportunity to buy cheaply and carry out the work himself.
This approach may work occasionally, but for the vast majority of these mechanics, the car lies in many pieces, untouched in the garage for months, if not years, slowly gathering dust and rusting after the owner "got stuck". This need not be the case if the mechanic first takes some advice, and more importantly learns the "stock faults" his Jaguar may suffer from.
It also greatly helps to first start working on your Jaguar by doing the basic, simple things. By doing this, you build up familiarity and above all, confidence for when you need to work on a major problem like an engine, gearbox, or transmission change.
Sharing Your Passion with Others
When you research the maintenance of your Jaguar, you will no doubt come across many groups of avid enthusiasts who have an infectious passion for their Jaguars. As you become more familiar with the inner workings and foibles of your car, you are likely to also come across problems and solutions to those problems, and you would be advised to share with others who have a like-minded interest. This in time repays them for their expert knowledge from when you were just a beginner.
How to Properly Maintain Your Jaguar with eBay
For the Jaguar owner, eBay is a goldmine for both repair manuals and parts. Many of the repair manuals are sold as CDs with the information saved as documents or text files. This is especially useful if you do not want to carry the whole manual around with you, and allows you to print and reprint pages of particular interest.
When using eBay for researching or buying parts for your Jaguar, it is important to know exactly what it is you are looking for. Once you know exactly what you need to maintain your Jaguar, you can type in a description in the search box found at the head of any page within the eBay site. Some good examples include "Jaguar oil pan" or "Jaguar spark plugs". To make sure you get the right part for your particular car, you can also choose the make and model of your Jaguar from the options provided by eBay.
Some, if not most, Jaguar owners are more than happy to let their main Jaguar dealer service their cars, particularly if they are new. For others, buying second-hand Jaguars is only the start of their adventures. These owners look to maintain, often with more skill than a main garage, their beloved machines.
If you want to properly maintain your Jaguar yourself, then the most important thing to do is start learning all about your car. Search the Internet frequently, ask around to find local Jaguar enthusiast clubs, and ask your local friendly garage mechanic if there are any clubs in your area.
Above all, take your time. Do not be in a rush to change an engine if the most technical thing you have ever accomplished is changing the oil. Start small, ask around for advice, and above all, have fun while you are learning. Merely owning a Jaguar makes a statement of who and where you are. Being able to maintain it yourself makes a further statement, not only of who and where you are, but it also demonstrates that you are not afraid to learn and take advice from others.