Engine dying issues on a 1997 XK8 with 38,000 mileage

Considering purchase of a 1997 XK8 with 4.0 engine. Stored 6 years and had to have some rodent caused electrical under hood damage fixed. Car runs fine but engine dies under power suddenly, no warning. And another oddity. At times if A/C is turned on , the starter starts turning while engine is running, but this doesn’t happen if A/C is left off. Has anyone dealt with this? Low mileage and otherwise great condition.

Engine dying could be as simple as a blocked fuel filter; killed mine stone dead. Easy fix. When it happens, open the Schrader valve on the fuel rail and see if there is plenty of fuel pressure; if not, there’s your likely culprit.

Thanks. Not sure of anything fuel related the present owner has checked. I think he’s had someone concentrating on electrical issues where it sat for years. May be as simple as a filter as you suggest. He’s offering it to me cheap, He is willing for me to come do a little trouble shooting. It has me curious.

Battery… Battery…Battery… If that’s a 6+ year old battery that’s where I’d start first. These new “computer controlled” cars live off the battery. The battery may test good at the box store but replace it with a new one and see if your ills are cured!!! What say you Motorman???



Checking fuel at the rail is an easy test, but you may need to resort to OBD2 scanner and check for errors. Mine came up with a fuel pump relay error, but bypassing the relay and running the pump continuously made no difference. Turned out the blocked fuel filter caused the pump to blow the fuel line off the pump; replaced the pump as a precaution as it’s such a prick to get at, on the convertible at least. May be easier on coupe.

Thanks Mr. Wells. Yeah I just went through the battery issue with a 1999 XJ8 I recently purchased. This XK8 I’m considering picking up may be simple issue, but until I can spend some time with the car and the owner, which hasnt happened yet, its just studying up and getting opinions now.

Thanks Mr Kevin. As you say checking the rail is just depressing the stem.And an easy way to see if pump is running is taking a cardboard or PVC tube and placing on filler spigot with the cap off.
Have someone crank the engine while another places their ear on the tube. My hearing is terrible but anyome can hear a pump if its running this way. Other things I plan to inspect if I get up with owner ( travels a lot ) is bare spots on CPS , and if its cracked where ceramic transitions to steel, seen this before.Yep, a clogged filter with pressure against it can agitate the blockage enough to let fuel perk through and run intermittent.