I'm now three months into my £500 XJ6 ownership, and if I'm honest, I was having it all a bit too easy. I'd jump in, turn the key, and it would start every time, and since the suspension work a month back, my smug face was beginning to annoy people.
However, last week I was given my first reminder that this is an 11-owner, 150,000-mile car. I turned the key, on came the engine with all the warning lights on the instrument cluster as usual. But, usually they all disappear again, to be replaced by a reflection of my smug face. Not this time.
This time the 'ANTI LOCK' light stayed on. A quick Google search resulted in forums suggesting it was either a fuse problem or that the wheel sensors were playing up and that 'a good long drive' would sort it out. I was sceptical, but sure enough, it soon went off again and hasn't reappeared. One to keep an eye on.
One evening this week, though, a bigger problem emerged. Driving back from a car launch late at night the engine began to hesitate and eventually I was restricted to a sort of limp-mode 5mph. This happened on Hammersmith roundabout, at 11.30pm, and three attempts to restart it resulted in nothing.
On the fourth, it fired back to life, so I crept around the roundabout only for the same to happen again. Luckily it's probably an easy fix: put some fuel in. The range was showing 50 miles, but I haven't trusted my gauge since day one, and I think 20 years of sediment was obstructing the pick-up in the tank.
Eventually, it started again and I made it home. After brimming it the next morning, there were no complaints from the straight-six and all seems well again. Another one to keep an eye on, and a reminder that older cars often don't like being driven near empty.
In other news, a free weekend is just around the corner, so the Jag is due some TLC - I'm currently investigating a paint repair kit to sort the rust on the rear quarter and wheel arch. What were 'flesh wounds' when I bought it are starting to look ugly, so it's time to sort them.
Lots of things become saggy with age, and my headlining is one of them. I'm not keen on having the roof reupholstered to the tune of hundreds of pounds, so the next best fix I've found is transparent fabric screws. Placed carefully, they should look sort of okay. Sort of.
The last thing I have in mind is a 'leaping cat' for the car's bonnet. I know it didn't get one as standard, but I'm wondering whether it would finish it nicely. What do you think? Am I going mad?
Would be great to hear what you think. I'll have the results of my fettling for you in due course.