Jag Dealers Refusing to service!

I have a 1997 Jaguar XK8 that needs transmission service - filter replacement, drain and refill. I am being told that Dealers do not support service on any Jaguar over 15 years old. I have checked with two dealers in the northeast USA and both have said no.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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I imagine a Jaguar dealership service department is too busy with warranty repairs to do maintenance on a 26 year old car.

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Yeah. It really suggests that Jag/Tata is not interested in those of us who believe that a well made car should be long lived.

I had the same experience with the Jaguar dealer in Tucson. Refused to work on my 85 XJS.
Had to flatbed it to a local independent for work. Dealer said it would take to much time for them to work on the car. Since they are also the Lexus dealer they lost my servicing of my Lexus.


This has been happening for quite some time. There are some legitimate reasons for this. Legitimate in the eyes of the dealer, at least.

In my dealership days we were very selective about working on older cars but never had a fixed cut-off age. It was always case-by-case.

You were probably better off, or at least no worse. There’s about zero percent probability that any Jag dealership mechanic knows anything at all about an XJS.


I have a local ( few doors down) retired auto trans fellow to attend trans issues. According to him there is nothing particularly difficult about the ZF trans in an XK8, same as used in BMWs and others. Any competent auto trans shop should be able to help you. I was quoted $350 to have done what you want.

My experience, and obviously that of others, is that Jag dealers will be of no help. But this is not terribly difficult or specialized work. I would suggest that you brush up on the details, so that you know EXACTLY what needs to be done (forums are great for this —). Then go to to any first-class transmission shop, or other independent shop. Discuss your job with a supervisor or manager, so that you are comfortable that they understand the job. Ask about cost — if its too cheap, something is wrong.

I went to a place called “Economy Transmission” to get this job done on my '99 XK8. Cost about $400. I’m satisfied that the job was done right, and I’m a “happy camper”.

Bob Frisby
Boise, Idaho

Taking a vintage Jaguar to a Jaguar dealer will subject your car to becoming a “Learning & Training Aid”. The mechanics aren’t trained on older technology. If they can’t find the OBDII port they’re pretty much lost. That’s the wrench turning side. The Service Department probably doesn’t have (A) special tools required (B) supporting documentation (repair manuals, SB’s, TB’s, etc.) not on hand and (C) must required replacement parts are not available thru Jaguar! Lastly,
So, taking your vintage Jaguar to a dealer is not a good idea IMHO. While some there may recall your XXX was built by Jaguar, that’s about the extent of it. This is true for most Vintage automobiles.

Most Jaguar enthusiast become DIY’ers when gremlins crop up, learning how to properly maintain and repair their pride and joy while not breaking the bank. Taking a vintage Jaguar to a dealership subjects the car to becoming a training device for today’s “Electronic age” trained mechanics. That’s just the way of the world. Better off finding a good, reputable repair shop that specializes in vintage cars (preferably British). Hard to find but well worth the effort.

My wife’s 1999 XJR has the German ZF transmission, Jaguar recommended NO OIL CHANGE for life for the tranny. To me that’s sheer nuts. Same for operating a motor for 7,500-10,000 miles between oil/filter change. While products have improved both live off their lubrication system. Keeping trapped in suspension particles in the oil for that long is asking for trouble.
Of course the new 'Rule of Thumb" for modern cars is “When the Warranty is UP - Get rid of the vehicle”. Sound advice given the computerization!
Servicing a transmission (ZF - filter- oil change) most auto repair or transmission shops can do the service. I buy the service kit from NAPA (Mercedes made) and supply it to my local repair shop for fluid/filter changes. Just a suggestion…

Happy Trails,


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One additional item. If you update your Josiah1 information with car type/year that would be most helpful to other Forum members.



If the lubrication properties are still good, the particles with get taken out by the filter. I regularly run synthetic in my F150 and Suburban and have no wear problems. Oil is for lubrication, the filter is there to remove particles. I generally change oil and filter when the idiot light tells me to, which ends up being ~9000 miles on either vehicle. YMMV

Not sure if you can confirm @Doug_Dwyer , but when I started as an apprentice at an independent Jag shop in the early 90’s, the local dealership was already turning away XJ-S stuff of any depth.

They’d do oil changes, brake pads (only) and minor tune ups, but we would get 90% of the balance. Effectively anything above and including V12 spark plug replacement, they’d punt to us.

They were even denying warranty work at all costs on V12 cars, it wasn’t a pleasant time to own a ‘warranted’ XJ-S - either on the original or certified pre-owned side.

S3 XJ’s they hung in until the early 2000’s.


I can’t confirm, but am not surprised.

In a very brief and over-simplified nutshell the service department is expected to contribute xxx-gross profit to the dealership coffers every month. It really comes down to formulas and mathematics. You have (let’s say) ten mechanics working 8 hours/day and expect each of them to produce 10 billable hours/day.

You know by averages that these labor sales will generate yyy-amount of profit from parts sales as well.

Staying on course and meeting the forecast each month requires cultivating the right mix of work and keeping production moving. Anything that disrupts production makes it harder to hit your numbers. If you can keep all the service bays full, all the time, without difficult-to-repair cars…all the better.

And cultivating the right mix of work is necessarily related to your mix of technicians. Different skill levels, different training levels, different efficiency levels, etc.

It’s not that much different than indy shops that specialize in certain makes or certain types of work…and turn away the rest. They know what “formula” works best for them to make the money they need to make.



Exactly. Even Harley dealerships were forced into this model starting in the '90s.

Harley demand was far outstripping supply. Harley heavily weighted your allotment of new bikes on sales of parts and accessories.

As a result dealers were bolting thousands of dollars worth of accessories and engine performance upgrades on new bikes for sale.

With mechanics locked into new bikes the older models were going to independent shops.

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I found the same thing in Sarasota FL with my ‘97 XK-8 Fortunately, a few blocks away is an excellent Jag repair shop: Renaissance Motors. Bryan manages a small shop filled with XJ’s and XK-8’s. He knows his stuff and is very reasonable.

In our area we have a Jaguar/Landrover dealer, but luckily there is an independant guy who now also has a machine shop and does a lot of custom and general work on other models

He was apprenticed to his father who was a trained Jaguar mechanic, and his own son is now a mechanic there

He is the only local mechanic that will work on inboard rear brakes

Even though he is very good, he stuffed up a couple jobs for me many years ago, and I was dissatisfied with the outcome, so I do everything myself now