-40C XJ-S startup procedures

OK, I must admit, I might have missed this chapter in Kirby’s Book. ( might have something to do with the fact he lives in Florida). But we’ve had some serious temperature drops here in the great white north in the past two weeks. ( Brass Monkey weather as the Brits like to call it).
I’m thinking of starting the old girl to get the fluids running and flowing in order to not dry up seals etc…
Is there a standard procedure for this? Do I just get up to temp and keep below a certain RPM ? Do I need to drive around the block or can I just get the auto transmission lubed by going through the gears?
Should I be putting 60 PSI in the tires? I understand the XJ-S doesn’t like hibernating a whole lot. We have a lot of members on this site that probably have a lot a various weather circumstances. I’m not a lucky one that gets to drive the car year round, but I’m guessing a few of our Texas XJ-S owners have had some weather and temperatures thrown at them they never expected to see.
I can recall in the early to mid 1980’s I came across a car carrier with brand new XJ-6’s on board. Jaguar decided to use Alberta as a cold training ground for cold weather operation and reliability .Apparently they thought Jaguar had cold weather reliability issues. Go figure! Anyway I think they thought quality control was way better at this time.
My bottom line question should be how often during hibernation should a person try and start and bring up your Jaguar to operating temperatures in order to maintain and prevent long term damage. I suppose the caveat to that question would be can you go through the gears or back it into the driveway a few times for transmission and brakes etc.
This has probably already been discussed somewhere but just inquiring Incase we’ve revised our philosophy on this.

When I went to A&P training years ago the instructor was telling us that some Alaskan bush pilots drained the oil from the aircraft piston engine into jugs and heat the oil on a stove, then add it to the engine before attempting to start it in the cold morning.

The low temp here in North Central Texas was a few degrees above ZERO Fahrenheit (-16 Centigrade) for two mornings in a row this week.

I pulled my Ford Diesel tractor into my shop (I kept it at about 45 F at night) so I could get it running easily to put out hay for the animals in the morning.

Jaguar did make a coolant heater for the lower radiator hose. I think it was an option for the XJ-S?

Thank you for your comments. My XJ-S came with the factory/ port option of a block heater in the lower (2 hoses) . I would like to get rid of this set up as I don’t like it it for a couple of reasons. It looks like a 1/4 ring in the hose that probably blocks flow on the lower hose. Also you have two hoses as apposed to one so more connection or leakage point problems. I don’t heat my garage but even in -40C my garage only gets down to +3C . The only thing I wonder about is if I remove that heater connection I probably ends up with a hose about 8” long with a more failure point. Not sure how much coolant pressure that bottom hose sees but I’m sure the experts will weigh in .

Gary . . .
The answer to your question “how often during hibernation should a person try and start . . .” is never, in my opinion. My XJ-S is stored in Ontario - temperatures not quite as severe as Alberta, but still cold - for 6 months every year. I put a battery maintainer on it, put the cover on it, and then leave it alone. In the spring I turn the key and it starts. Drive it until it warms up, check for leaks (none so far), and that’s it.


Hi Gary, Jag used to do cold weather testing in Timmins, Ont. Personally I would wait until the weather warms up before starting the car especially if you have 20-50 oil in the engine. Plug in the block heater and bring the battery inside to warm up and you will have more power to start. Pumping the tires up to 60 psi avenue is a good idea to prevent flat spotting.

i’d be worried about gas freezing up? Or will the ethanol prevent that?

I think it would be safer to leave it alone. Trying to start it now could cause more damage than just letting her sit a while.

Only thing to worry I would guess is the coolant freezing and cracking something? Do you have a radiator heater for the garage?

Gary, I do the same as Ron. Store it like a boat, and leave it alone until spring.

Thank you all for your input. I was always of the understanding that if you didn’t warm up a Jaguar once in a while you would have serious seals and rubber components problems. Also just to let you all know that I spent a lot of time and money on this car after it sat in a shed for five years, replacing seals, anything that looked like rubber and anything else that didn’t move or turn over. I sure don’t want to go down that road again.
But I do appreciate all your input, I can’t help the fact that I live in the great white north.

That’s the thing, get everything hot and drive it a while or best don’t worry about it until spring :slightly_smiling_face:
They like being driven regularly, yes, as all cars do. But letting it idle in the cold or going around the block a few times will only lead to condensation and wear, especially from cold running, throughout. This also applies to all cars. If the roads are clear you can always try if it will start, and why not!

I also agree with Gary and the others.
You will do more damage than good.
Pump the tires and leave it alone until you can drive it.
It is true that no car likes to sit for long, but most of the wear is happening on start up, especially if it hasn’t started for some time, and the colder the worse. So leave this exercise for when you have to.
I lived in Montreal for many years and I just let it be for the entire winter.
Always started right away in spring.

Thank you all for your thoughts and opinions.
I must admit your responses are not what I thought they would be.
My XJ-S generally goes into hibernation in November and doesn’t see the light of day until April/May weather permitting.
I thought you folks would be all over me to start her up once in a while during the winter. Which is what I’ve kinda been doing (at least twice per winter).
My garage isn’t heated and only gets down to +3C.
Maybe I’m old school and have been taking my dear old Dads advice who’s an old aero engine technician. But with all your comments. I will now change my strategy and just let the old Jaguar sleep through winters.
Thank you all.

The thing is, as has been said: if you drive it, it‘ll collect salt and mud, but it is good for the mechanicals. They will enjoy regular use.

If you fire it up but never drive it far or at all, condensation will build up in the crankcase and in the exhaust, it will run rich so the plugs will soot up, the bores will be washed down all the time and the oil will get diluted and also begin to eat the bearings from the acidity. I do believe that starting cars up to „warm up in the driveway“ or for very short trips is about the worst you can do to them, better to sit inside and make driving noises until it gets too cold. A short trip sometimes is absolutely fine of course. But they will need 15+ miles of actual driving to get close to hot in normal weather, and they never will at idle!

Weather permitting is probably the best you can do weighing the pros and cons. I‘d overfill the tires to avoid standing damage. As I said, don’t worry too much.

According to AutoZone:
t what point will the fuel fully harden? This depends on the type gasoline and its components. Different elements of the fuel are made from unique molecules, which will become more solid at different times. You could probably give it a range of about -40 and -200 degrees Fahrenheit, with most of it freezing at -100 degrees.

I would guess ethanol would make it worse, as it pulls water out of the air, and THAT will freeze quickly.

To answer the original question, “Is there a standard procedure…?” Yes.

Step 1: Move to Florida.

Seriously, I understand your concern about keeping the seals and rubber that you’ve taken great pains to replace fresh. But THOSE things are at -40 too, and not only will they be loathe to move, they are probably pretty brittle at that temp. I would guess you’d be doing more damage to them than if you let them sit. This is, however, a good advertisement for synthetics. Anyone remember the old Mobil1 commercials from the 80s?

Most places change fuel formulations between winter and summer. If you’ve recently gassed up, you’re probably better off than if you parked the car last summer and this is the first time you’ve started it.

As evidenced by the Challenger disaster.

I really like step one ! LOL

I drove from Prince Edward Island, Canada to Daytona Beach and camped in New Smyrna Beach in 1978. I loved Florida!
You just reminded me of me and my Buddy were driving to Florida in his 1971 VW going down Interstate 95 , (somewhere around Connecticut), this white flash of beauty went by us at warp 10.
It was a first generation Jaguar XJ-S ! The first one I had seen in the flesh and it just seemed to sail by us effortlessly .
I had heard about about them
The most beautiful car I’d ever seen. I knew from that day going forward I had to have one.
The rest is like they say is history.

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