Actually, saying it won't start isn't entirely true. The £500 XJ6 is perfectly happy to start when you first climb in, but recently, when I'm cruising along it will kill power without a hint of warning.

You may remember that I attributed this to low fuel in the last blog, but it has now happened twice with the tank half full, so that rules that out.

The point at which it became a real issue was as I was idling downhill along a dual carriageway. All of a sudden the engine was dying and I had no power. More importantly, I had no steering or brake assistance at 40mph. I managed to engage neutral and style it out down the hill, dodging traffic before coming to a stop on a garage forecourt. Nobody even noticed. 

The battery was holding a steady 11 volts or so, so I took a deep breath and attempted to start it. Three turns of the key and no cigar, but on the fourth try the engine sprung back to life, as smooth as ever. Trying my luck, I inched back out into traffic, only for it to die on me again just a couple of hundred metres down the road. Two more turns of the key and nothing. A third and it was business as usual.