[modern] Jaguar reliability

Hi Eli,

As a suggestion, and perhaps a little encouragement for you, I offer the

If you like the Jaguar road car ( meaning a 2 or 4 door non-street racer) I
encourage you to buy the best one YOU think is right for you. If you focus
on what is best and what is going to be “just right " you perhaps will never
find the “perfect” so called “car”. The XJ40 series is going the way the
past Jaguars have been. Used-up driven hard, enjoyed for what they are and
largely forgotten. Except for a few stalwart fans, which it appears, you can
find on this “list”. Most Jaguars ( can only speak for the USA) were just
plain used and sold and used again. I have owned 3. Which in and of itself
is far from a credible example of these road cars. A manual tranny MKII, a
XKE 3.8L-manual tranny rag top, and the latest is, the XJ40 series with the
3.6 L block. Unfortunately equipped with a seemingly reliable GM type-slush
box called an automatic tranny. If you like and fall in love with a
particular Jaguar, buy it.
Jaguar failings are largely common ordinary parts. To which all road cars
have the same failings. Those items that fail on a Jaguar that are not
failing on other road cars are not found on other road cars. You will hear
“scary” tales of bad electrical systems, bad suspension systems, bad braking
systems etc etc. When one traces these problems to a root cause one will
find, that most owners have never had such advanced state systems on
previous cars, don’t have the least idea how the system is supposed to work
to begin with and last and not least, have no idea who knows how to service
the item or adjust it to what the design entails. Further evidence
indicates that such failing is normal for what the design was originally
meant to do. Further! If there was a web site around when hydraulic brakes
independent front suspension, and aircraft tele-scopic shocks were first in
use, one will hear the same sad songs. Or if you like, add automatic
transmissions. Fordomatic, Hydramatic, Powerglide to list a few early ones
that were heavily faulted…just because they were new and not the old crash
box manuals - with no synchro’s in first gear. Add to this radios that were
transistor equipped or hybrids, in newer the cars of the 50’s. I used to
endless tales of these “bad” radios. While in college I worked my way
through by working in a radio and TV shop.
The bottom line here is if you like the Jaguar, you are in a good group.
Most of us can’t afford anything newer than the series 3’s or the XJ40’s. So
in this legion you will find the
greatest amount of expertise relative to what is needed to be done to
maintain a given road car…yourself. The 300 cars are adding to the
list of “used”
cars everyday. As such the expertise will begin to develop here as well.
However, as I was told the other day at a very very- reputable dealer, the
cars as used are not expected to be as romanticized as the past Jaguars. I
challenged this observation by asking for quantitative evidence. I was
further told that, and I quote” the more reliable the car the less of a long
term following it has". Keep in mind this dealer has been selling Jaguars
since Watkins Glen road racing was done through that cities “downtown”. If
you know “Watkins” you know the history. Whatever you decide, I for one will
support that decision. Owning a Jaguar is, if you appreciate unique designs
and technical innovations a true once in a lifetime experience. Or, as you
will learn to love and respect the on going comparisons, "go buy a SUV,
minivan or some other daily driver. But you probably won’t practice shank’s
mare with any of these either!! How boring it can be?
Regards from Ill. USA where a barned 89 XJ6 lives…waiting for the
next set of 35 mph S’s…if you know what I mean!


I am looking for more information regarding the reliability of '90-'93
(XJ6?) and '94 (XJ40?) US cars

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With all these opinions on reliability flying about…here’s mine.

Reliability does not increase as price increases.

Reliability does increase as production totals increase.

Reliability increases as complexity decreases.

Reliability decreases with age as much as with mileage.

When you drive an old, expensive, low volume, complex automobile
you can expect some maintenance. Just be thankful we aren’t trying to
every day drive 10 year old high mileage Ferraris!

Richard Drozdowski
1992 XJS

Mmmm…I might be prepared to risk it for a few days…if someone will lend me one…

Rick Drozdowski sssedm@compusmart.ab.ca 07-Apr-00 9:57:45 >>>
Just be thankful we aren’t trying to every day drive 10 year old high mileage Ferraris!