Brucie’s Diary: December 2011

Current mileage: 138,643

Last month, with the weather turning colder, Brucie decided it would be fun to refuse to provide any warm air to the cabin so that his driver and passengers could freeze! I’m not currently impressed with his sense of humour, and with his MOT due at the end of the year, I think he has his priorities all wrong!

I threatened Brucie with ebay, but that didn’t work – he knows I’m besotted, so with freezing cold feet, I drove him to a Jaguar Main Dealer, who confirmed the previous diagnosis of a faulty water valve and fitted the part which I had ordered from Grublogger.

Normally, parts would be ordered through the main dealer, but if used parts are supplied by you, then obviously, they cannot be guaranteed by the main dealer.

At my request, Grublogger had supplied an X300 (3.2/4.0 litre) water (heater) motorized valve, part number MNA6711AB, superseded by MNA6711AC. A new one is almost £200, Grublogger supplied this one for £50 plus P&P.


Graham Hallett at Grublogger was very good and also sent the water (heater) circulation pump (Part Number MNA6710AB) which accompanies the valve as he was not convinced that it too would not have failed and he did not want me to suffer further inconvenience.

This part was sent on approval, to be paid for or returned in due course and retails for over £300 new, or £95 via Grublogger (Please refer to details on Grublogger website).

Situated at the rear of the engine compartment on the near side, and easily accessible, fitting is fairly straight-forward and took approx one hour.

So now my feet are warm again, and all is well with the world!



Time for an XF !!

The day arrived when Brucie was due to have the offending parts replaced, along with a FREE “Visual Health Check” – it was the eve of my first anniversary as Brucie’s proud owner – it would mean no more cold journeys, and a chance to get back at Brucie for freezing me!

Leaving Brucie in the car park, at the mercy of a large number of new XJ saloons, I went in to the service reception to book him in. Returning to the car park, I climbed smugly into an XF ……….not smiling now Brucie, as they say !!!

Although I have read plenty about the XF, this was to be my first drive in one! The keyless operation and start up routine which features a pulsing start button, JaguarDrive, awesome blue lights and air con vents rolling up, never failed to entertain me every time I climbed back into the car!

This Jaguar is so far removed from my own X300. The suspension and steering is derived from the XK, but it has been 5 years since I drove one, and I had quite forgotten how different it feels to the older Jaguars. It certainly was very different to my X300, but I was not convinced that it was necessarily better!

Of course it has to be better – technology and everything else has moved on, but I haven’t, I am stuck in my ways! My love affair with Jaguars started with the XJ40. At an impressionable age I was struck by its clean cut lines and symmetry, and this wonderful new invention – the J-gate! Alas, Jaguars will never be the same – they don’t leak or rust like the dear old XJ40 and they drive with the precision of their German cousins – but where oh where has my J-gate gone?

This was a 2009 Premium Luxury 3 litre diesel, which I knew would be swift and silent, from my previous experiences of driving the various diesel Jaguars from 2.2 X-type to 2.7 X350. It was a dismal day with wet and greasy roads, but eventually I did have the opportunity to prove that it could go from nought to naughty in next to no time! Having 2 windscreen wipers which seemed determined to do exactly as they pleased, despite my efforts to direct them, was just one of the new things I had to become accustomed to! I was mesmerized by the modern windscreen washers and on locking the XF, it neatly tucked its ears in, with no prompting from me!

Finished in Silver with black hide, walnut and aluminium trim, the seats are entirely different to those I am accustomed to – the troublesome bolster which traditionally wears away, appears much more shallow, and yet still holds you firm. If this 40,000 mile example is typical, the wear will unfortunately now appear where the edge of the hide cushion is pinched between the driver’s leg and plastic base, every time you enter or exit the car! Despite the generation gap, there is a common theme, and all instrumentation falls easily to hand as it does in every Jaguar I have yet driven. Tinkering with the radio, I felt that the sound system was severely wasted where I found it – on Radio 2 !!

Looking in from the outside, modern cars appear claustrophobic, with their higher waistlines and smaller windows, but I am happy to report that, once inside it doesn’t feel how I had imagined! The bonnet is much higher than the long sloping tabletop which leads the way in my X300, and the rear window is much smaller, but despite this, aided by parking sensors, reversing was far easier than I had expected.

Driving back to the dealership, there was a cloud burst and the XF felt more composed in those appalling conditions than my X300 had in the same conditions on the same road a week before, so that’s a good comparison to work with and I often think that if you are unsure about whether or not you like a car, try driving it in the most appalling conditions possible, and you will soon know the best and the worst of its characteristics!

Yes, I got quite attached to the XF by the end of the day, and even my husband started to show his first interest (smart move bringin’ it home !!)

First introduced for the 2010 Model Year, the 3 litre diesel uses the same 2.7 diesel power unit, produced by Ford for Jaguar, but with a 0.3 increase in capacity. It benefits from improved emissions, increased power, and was designed to meet 2011 EU5 regulations.

Combined cycle average fuel consumption: 42.0 mpg

Transmission: 6 speed electronic ZF 6HP28 with revised ratios.

Brakes and suspension remained unchanged from the previous Model Year.

Subtle changes, for the 2010 MY were made to exterior and interior trim.

Standard 3 litre diesel engine specification
2993cc V6
Bore & stroke: 84 x 90 mm
Compression ratio: 16 to 1
240 bhp @ 4000 rpm
Maximum torque: 369 lbs ft @ 2000 rpm
0-60 = 6.7 secs
50-70 mph = 3.7 secs
Top speed = 149 mph

Other engine and trim options were also available for 2010MY.

By 2012 the Jaguar XF was available as a 2.2 Diesel, 3.0 Diesel, 3.0 Diesel S, 5.0 V8 Petrol or 5.0 V8 Petrol Supercharged. Trim levels ranged from SE, through Premium Luxury to Portfolio and XFR.
Indulge in a test drive and aquaint yourself with a new Jaguar XF


As for Brucie, I found him in the car park at the dealership waiting hopefully for my return! Apparently, he had not missed me as much as I had imagined, being pampered in the workshop while I was gone.

After fitment of the water valve, Brucie had his Visual Health Check (VHC). The VHC is a list of SAFETY related checks carried out by a technician and passed to the service advisor who then explains to the customer the relative severity of the problems listed and suggested order of priority in carrying out repairs.

Each area is given either a green, amber or red rating and to give you some idea of what to expect, Brucie’s list appears below:

Area Green Amber Red Comments/Recommendations
Bodywork & Wheels X These were deemed too dirty to inspect, and I hasten to add that this was surface dirt, as Brucie was immaculately turned out that dismal wet morning when he left the garage!
Washer/Wiper & Horn X
Lights Exterior/Interior X Off-side number plate light requires bulb
Transmission X Rear diff oil leak
Exhaust X
Interior Cabin X
Belts & Levels X
Engine Oil X
Engine X Bad oil leak (this and the rear diff are Brucie’s latest projects – determined to break my heart, if not my bank, he has developed them only recently!)
Brake Fluid & Coolant No marks were given for these! (presumably they were deemed ok, hence no comment?)
Steering & Suspension X Excess play in front wheel bearings. (I took this up with the advisor and Brucie was put back on the ramp and the recently fitted new wheel bearings were tightened).
o/s/f lower ball joint grease cover split
Brakes (Visual) X Corrosion on brake & fuel lines. Unable to measure discs & pads – all enclosed.
Miscellaneous X n/s/f & n/s/r electric windows inop
Drivers door check strap noisy. Underside corrosion.


Tyre Report

Tyre Psi Size Brand Outer Inner Middle Damaged Green Amber Red
NSF 32 225/60 R16 Pirelli 8 8 8 x
OSF 32 225/60 R16 Pirelli 8 8 8 x
NSR 34 225/60 R16 Pirelli 6 6 6 x
OSR 34 225/60 R16 Pirelli 6 6 6 x

The spare wheel was listed as a space saver but no report was provided regarding its condition. Although the tyres were recorded as being Pirelli’s, the two on the front were, in fact, a cheap brand!

Fortunately, Brucie’s VHC revealed no surprises, and I could even add a few more items which they missed, but perhaps these would not be classed as safety related?

In my own case, this assessment is to form the basis of a monthly programme of refurbishment to be planned according to my budget and recorded in Xclusively Jaguar News as a series of reports on running and maintaining a neo-classic Jaguar.