[x300] Help please! Compression Problem? Engine not starting

I would like to ask the forum for some help. I have a 1999 XJ8
which will not start.

The garage tells me that I have lost compression and the engine is
a write-off.

I moved the car a few yards on Sunday evening and the following
morning it would not start. Prior to that the car has always
started first time, there have been no unusual engine noises and
has always run superbly.

Is this Nikasil problem I’ve been reading about? (the VIN No. ends
in 6 digits) and if so shouldn’t there have been some warning signs
beforehand?

What else should the garage have checked?

Many thanks.

Barry.–
BarryM W
Ashurst Wood, West Sussex, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from BarryM W sent Wed 10 Jan 2007:

Barry, there are people on here who know far more about
Nikasil than I but before you become resigned to the
problem, there are a few things you can try:

I’m not sure how mechanically minded you are but if you can
pull the plugs you can get a compression tester for about a
tenner and test the compression yourself. If you get good
compression then you’ve got no Nikasil problems. If the car
just won’t catch all of a sudden I wouldn’t think its Nikasil.

Perhaps it’s flooded? V8’s seem prone to flooding, try
holding the throttle right down and cranking the engine to
clear out any excess fuel.

Also you could get a second opinion, are you a member of the
AA or RAC? they might not be the best in the world with Jag
mechanics but they may get you going and have some idea of
why it won’t start.

I’ll let others with more knowledge chime in here…

Good luck.–
The original message included these comments:

I would like to ask the forum for some help. I have a 1999 XJ8
which will not start.
The garage tells me that I have lost compression and the engine is
a write-off.


Regards, Bruce. 1995 XJ Sport 4.0
Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from BarryM W sent Wed 10 Jan 2007:

First step is to put some oil down the plug holes, that will
hopefully give you some compression back. Try and start and you
should be OK if the car was running OK beforehand.
I know of a car a few years ago that would not start after being
off the road due to timing chain problems (another V8 issue) and
obtaining the correct parts took a some time. When rebuilt a few
weeks later it would not start and low compression was the cause. A
dose of oil did the trick and when I last asked about 2 years
later, it was still running OK.–
Robert - S-Type 3.0SE, Mistral. Ex 1997 X300. Scotland. UK.
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Barry,

Your problem is more likely flooding. If you are in the right VIN range,
there is a fix for this that the dealer can do (free?) which involves
re-flashing the ECU program. See
http://forums.jag-lovers.org/avsn.php?572996p18

If you are concerned that you really have lost compression, get a
compression test done by someone else before believing the mechanic.

Meanwhile, you should be able to get it going by putting a few drops of oil
into each cylinder and starting it with the throttle all the way down to
shut off fuel flow. The idea of the oil is to seal the rings which have lost
compression due to excess gasoline washing the oil out of the bores.

David Hurlston
ViaData LP
Sugar Land, Texas-----Original Message-----

I would like to ask the forum for some help. I have a 1999 XJ8
which will not start.

The garage tells me that I have lost compression and the engine is
a write-off.

I moved the car a few yards on Sunday evening and the following
morning it would not start. Prior to that the car has always
started first time, there have been no unusual engine noises and
has always run superbly.

Is this Nikasil problem I’ve been reading about? (the VIN No. ends
in 6 digits) and if so shouldn’t there have been some warning signs
beforehand?

What else should the garage have checked?

Many thanks.

Barry.

In reply to a message from BarryM W sent Wed 10 Jan 2007:

Barry,

I agree with everything that’s been said but, do remember for the
future that, you have a Nikasil engine and, you should never switch
off the engine before it has reached normal working temperature.

Now that high sulphur fuel is no longer sold, the number 1 cause of
Nikasil failure is/will be, the premature switching off of the
engine. This doesn’t allow the condensation in the engine to
evaporate and it turns to acid which will erode the Nikasil
coating. Even if you are just putting the car into your garage or,
taking it out, you should let it run or, preferably, drive it round
the block for 5-10 minutes to allow the engine to get to normal
temperature.–
The original message included these comments:

I would like to ask the forum for some help. I have a 1999 XJ8
which will not start.
The garage tells me that I have lost compression and the engine is
a write-off.
I moved the car a few yards on Sunday evening and the following
morning it would not start. Prior to that the car has always
started first time, there have been no unusual engine noises and
has always run superbly.
Is this Nikasil problem I’ve been reading about? (the VIN No. ends
in 6 digits) and if so shouldn’t there have been some warning signs
beforehand?


Gary London,UK, 98 XJ8 4 www.jag-lovers.org/v.htm?1122951577
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In reply to a message from gary breyer sent Thu 11 Jan 2007:

Exactly my symptons and I was nearly charged �5000 for a new engine
by a Jaguar ‘‘specialist’’ and well known garage who are still
trading but I luckily got a second opinion. Oil in the bores and a
new set of timing chains got me going for �400. It is still going 4
years later.–
freduk
margate, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from -TiberiuS- sent Wed 10 Jan 2007:

Hi Barry,

Hopefully you’ll be sorted by now. It sounds like a classic
case of flooding, washing the oil out of the bores which can
/will cause a loss of compression. This occurs on the XJ40’s
as well as the XJ8, as some has said the cure is to put
small quantities of oil into each cylinder. This is trickier
on the XJ8 as each plug has it’s own coil and you have
covers to remove to gain access and some components are
quite fragile i.e. take care. I have had this on both the
XJ40 & XJ8 the 40 I could fix easily (6 plugs), the 8 cost
about �120 getting an independent mechanic to trailer it in
and to do the work (also a set plugs run at about �100+).

I know that for the 40 there was an ECU memory re-flash
which prevented the flooding. Not sure about the 8, just
avoid starting the engine and switching off before it has
warmed up, also be quite heavy on the key to make sure it
has really caught.

The Nikasil issue requires a blow by test which any Main
dealer will carry out for about �50 it takes about 10
minutes. It should be as low as possible, but any thing
under 20L/min is good, 20 to 30??? You don’t say what the
mileage is, mine was 32L/min at 41000 so I got rid of it,
with hind sight perhaps I should have kept it (nice car) and
taken on Jaguar in the Small Claims Court under the Sale of
Goods Act if it had become a real problem. Everyone who has
got a replacement out of Jaguar and there are many is very
tight lipped on the subject. In any event, Good Luck.

Neil Bennett

PS Martin at Classic Engineering, Waltham Cross ( 01992
788967) is very good and quite reasonable.–
NEIL BENNETT
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In reply to a message from freduk sent Thu 11 Jan 2007:

I had a similar problem a for the first time a year ago when the
weather was still cold. Pulled the car out of the garage (the
engine ran for less than a minute), washed it and 30 minutes later
when I wanted to put it away, the thing refused to start.

I have since found that if the engine runs for a short period of
time or if the car is left outide at night (very rarely) it will
not start first time.

My solution:
Loud pedal flat to the floorboards
Flog the starter continuously until the engine starts to catch -
keep the pedal down and keep the starter engaged until the engine
is running.
A huge cloud of white smoke will engulf the car
Take the car for a run

Regards

Peter

I eventually pushed the car into the garage and tried again the
next evening after work. Still no start. I frustration I kept the
loud pedal down to the flooboards and flogged the starter
continuously. The car eventually–
Peter - 2000 Daimler V8, 1984 SIII Sovereign
Johannesburg, South Africa
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In reply to a message from freduk sent Thu 11 Jan 2007:

Nikasil got blamed for many, many engine exchanges, when the
case was simply oil flushed down by gas after flooding the
cylinders or excess gas had diluted oil in the engine.
(There are some serious errors in the much quoted Jaguar
World nikasil article, for instance it’s not nikasil wear
that is cured by adding oil in the cylinders, it’s obviously
just a flushed away oil condition remedy.). The nikasil
issue ws speeded by tendency of the MY 1999-00 cars flooding
easily due to over-rich mixture (can be corrected by ECM
reprogram).

Actual diagnosed Nikasil wear was very uncommon and symptoms
are a WORN engine. (You all know those symptoms if you have
driven a very beaten-up old car in your youth.) Can easily
be verified when opened up by the coating flaking off.

Gary–
The original message included these comments:

Exactly my symptons and I was nearly charged �5000 for a new engine
by a Jaguar ‘‘specialist’’ and well known garage who are still
trading but I luckily got a second opinion. Oil in the bores and a


XJ-SC V12 1986, XJR V8 1998
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In reply to a message from David Hurlston sent Thu 11 Jan 2007:

Thanks David!

Now anybody having a MY 1999-2000 NA V8 go see this service
bulletin and have your ECM re-programmed.

Why? A flooded engine, gas diluted engine oil, and rich
mixture in general, they all will lead to acids in the
combustion by-products and that sulphur and phosphorous etc
WILL eat your (nikasil or anything) engine sooner or later.

Gary

Your problem is more likely flooding. If you are in the
right VIN range, there is a fix for this that the dealer can
do (free?) which involves re-flashing the ECU program. See

http://forums.jag-lovers.org/avsn.php?572996p18--
The original message included these comments:

Your problem is more likely flooding. If you are in the right VIN range,
there is a fix for this that the dealer can do (free?) which involves
re-flashing the ECU program. See
http://forums.jag-lovers.org/avsn.php?572996p18


XJ-SC V12 1986, XJR V8 1998
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In reply to a message from BarryM W sent Wed 10 Jan 2007:

The early V8’s have a software glitch that overfuels the engine on
cold starts if shut down quickly. You need to go to the dealer and
have this fixed, it is a recall item. Your engine is most likely
just fine, just don’t let it ever run less than 5-10 minutes.–
Brian Caro 96XJ6 4.0 63E-TypeS1FHC
Newport News, VA, United States
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In reply to a message from Brian Caro sent Thu 11 Jan 2007:

Barry, I think it’s safe to say after all these posts that
your problem is likely a flooded engine. I’ve had flooded
engines a few times in the past and they do give the
impression of low compression, engine will turn over a lot
freeer than uaual.

Floor the gas pedal (I mean as far as it will go, literally
stand on it) and crank the engine for periods of 10 sec,
giving the starter time to cool inbetween. Do this a few
times then try and start normally…if it still won’t start
then go back to the floored gas and give it another couple
of 10 sec bursts, then pull each plug and pour a bit of
engine oil into each cylinder. Clean the plugs if they’re
fouled up with fuel, put it all back together and try
starting normally…hopefully this should get you going.

Then take it out and drive it for at least 10 miles, to
clear the bores and top up the battery.

Good luck.–
The original message included these comments:

The early V8’s have a software glitch that overfuels the engine on
cold starts if shut down quickly. You need to go to the dealer and
have this fixed, it is a recall item. Your engine is most likely
just fine, just don’t let it ever run less than 5-10 minutes.


Regards, Bruce. 1995 XJ Sport 4.0
Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Brian Caro sent Thu 11 Jan 2007:

Not a a direct reply to Brian ,but as an addition to this thread:
Flooded engines are nothing new. In the day of the carburetor,
stuck chokes, etc., this happened frequently.
The difference is that most modern engines use very thin oil due to
engine design, close tolerances and other issues. I think this
thinner oil, which is less in quantity at any point within the
system may be more easily washed away.–
The original message included these comments:

The early V8’s have a software glitch that overfuels the engine on
cold starts if shut down quickly. You need to go to the dealer and
have this fixed, it is a recall item. Your engine is most likely
just fine, just don’t let it ever run less than 5-10 minutes.


uncle
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In reply to a message from BarryM W sent Wed 10 Jan 2007:

Barry-

Have you tried the recommended actions yet? I am having the exact
same issue with my '98 XJR. I even moved the car a few yards the
day before the car wouldn’t start just like you.–
The original message included these comments:

I would like to ask the forum for some help. I have a 1999 XJ8
which will not start.
The garage tells me that I have lost compression and the engine is
a write-off.
I moved the car a few yards on Sunday evening and the following
morning it would not start. Prior to that the car has always
started first time, there have been no unusual engine noises and
has always run superbly.
Is this Nikasil problem I’ve been reading about? (the VIN No. ends
in 6 digits) and if so shouldn’t there have been some warning signs


rbinhb
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In reply to a message from rbinhb sent Tue 16 Jan 2007:

Hello,

The following is a link to an article that appeared in the May
2004 Classic Jaguar World magazine that deals in some detail with
the Nikasil problem – ie. what the symptoms are, which VIN #s have
Nikasil liners etc.

It might be useful in clarifying things for you.

http://www.jag-lovers.org/cjw/nikasil.jpg--
The original message included these comments:

Is this Nikasil problem I’ve been reading about? (the VIN No. ends
in 6 digits) and if so shouldn’t there have been some warning signs


Strick – 2001 Vanden Plas
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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In reply to a message from rbinhb sent Tue 16 Jan 2007:

Hi Dont know if it will help, I had the same last Friday, a friend
came to see me and asked after the 99 XJ8, fine I said got in and
it fired up, ran it for a couple of minutes.
The following day it would not start, I almost flattened the
battery, after recharging it the car still would not fire, so I
called the RAC breakdown people, when the guy had a listen to it
turning over, he said I know what that is its flooded.
He connected his battery charger up to my battery, and kept turning
the key, after about 5 minutes it fired up with a large cloud of
smoke, since then so far its been ok.
I am new to Jaguar, but it seems to me people have the N problem
inprinted in their brain, it seems everything is put down to it, I
am waiting for someone to say a blown bulb it down to it.
I am not saying there is not a problem, but come on guys its not
all bad.

ColinE–
1999, XJ8.3.2 Pacific Blue- Oatmeat 74000mls
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In reply to a message from rbinhb sent Tue 16 Jan 2007:

I have felt all along that it was probably something other than the
compression. The Jag Service dept told me that I needed a new
engine and I have figured that they are full of it!!! Thanks for
the info…–
rbinhb
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