Measure out 5.8 litres of 5W-30 fully-synthetic oil, then pour into the engine. Run the engine for a minute and make sure the oil pressure warning light doesn’t remain illuminated. Switch off the engine, then inspect around the drain plug and oil filter for leaks. Check the oil level on the dipstick and top up if necessary.
STICKY DOOR HANDLES
Check the doors can be opened from the inside and outside, and that all of them can be locked from the inside and with the remote key-fob (central locking). Problems with sticking exterior handles and malfunctioning locks are a common problem on the X-TYPE and many other Jaguars.
If a door refuses to lock or unlock, then the latch locking mechanism may have failed. Secondhand spares specialists such as Eurojag sell used latches for around £36. If the exterior handle sticks open, it can be removed, then use abrasive paper to clean the plastic sections that feed through the door.
WHEELS & TYRES
Check inside and outside the rims of the wheels for kerb damage. Inspect the condition of the tyres’ sidewalls and tread. Inflate the tyres to the recommended pressures – there’s a label with pressure figures on the bottom of the nearside B-post which can be seen with the door open.
The lower mounting bushes for the rear dampers can wear, resulting in a hollow rattle. These can be checked using a pry bar, as shown. The bush should allow the bottom of the shock absorber to spring back to its original position after releasing the pry bar. Look for signs of perishing. New bushes cost about £15, but the mounting bolt can seize in position and may need to be cut off.
REAR LOWER ARMS
The rear lower arms can corrode, so dig around with a screwdriver to make sure they are solid. Check the inner and outer bushes using a pry bar to make sure there’s no excessive play. Budget around £88 for a new rear lower arm.
FRONT & REAR LIGHTS
Check all the headlight and rear-light bulbs illuminate. The headlights can turn opaque due to ultraviolet damage from sunlight, but can often be rescued with a headlight restoration kit. Access to the bulbs is from within the engine bay for the front lights and the boot for the rear lights.
There are anti-roll bars at the front and rear of the X-TYPE, so check the balljoints of the droplinks by wiggling each one. Worn droplinks can result in a hollow rattle, especially at the rear. Budget for £20-£25 per droplink. Also, wiggle the anti-roll bars to check their mounting bushes (D-bushes) are not worn; these cost around £20 a set.
REAR CONTROL ARMS
Check the inner and outer bushes of the S-shaped control arms at the rear of the X-TYPE. These are known to wear, so use a pry bar to test them. Expect to pay up to £50 for an aftermarket arm or £100 for a genuine Jaguar part.
WIGGLE THE WHEELS
Wiggle each raised road wheel at the top and bottom, and from side to side, to check for play in the wheel bearings and upper wishbone bushes. Wiggle each front road wheel left to right to check the track rod ends, then do the same at the rear. The following steps help to further test the suspension for worn bushes, which is a common problem.
INSPECT COIL SPRINGS
Visually inspect each coil spring for any fractures. Don’t place your fingers between the coils in case you disturb anything and the spring traps them. At the front, the coil springs can be more easily inspected with the road wheels removed. At the rear, check the condition of the bottom spring pan (part of the lower suspension arm), which can rot through.
REAR TRAILING ARMS
The front mounting bushes for the rear trailing arms can perish. Early bushes were made of solid rubber, whereas later bushes have air pockets (voids) to make them longerlasting. New trailing arms cost £90, although new bushes can be sourced for as little as £10, but require a hydraulic press to fit them.
The exhaust can corrode and leak around the flexi-pipe, which is located underneath the vehicle, close to the centre. The flexi-pipe and mid-pipe shown here cost around £130 for an aftermarket assembly. If it’s safe to do so, run the engine and feel around the exhaust connections for air leaks.
ENGINE OIL SUMP
The sump pan for the engine is known to leak. In theory, this can be fixed by removing it, cleaning the mating surfaces and refitting it with a new gasket, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. The transfer box has to be detached to access all the sump bolts, so most people just put up with the leak.
Turn the steering from lock-to-lock to check the condition of the front CV boots for the driveshafts, looking for splits in the rubber. Inspect all the other CV boots for splits where dirt and water are at risk of getting inside.
The oily sludge that has coated the hoses and sleeving shown here is caused by an oil leak from the transfer box. Removal of the transfer box is a major job, so most owners just put up with the leak. To make matters worse, the filler plug cannot be accessed to check the fluid level.
The valve block cover for the automatic gearbox can corrode and become porous, resulting in an oil leak, as shown. Also, the seal can become brittle and leak. A new cover (Jaguar part number C2S12087) costs about £56 from Jaguar and specialists such as David Manners Group.
Look around the underside of the engine bay for traces of pink residue, indicating a possible coolant leak. The residue shown here is from the coolant thermostat. A new thermostat and housing costs around £20. The expansion tank can leak if one of the outlet connections is fractured.
REFILL TRANSFER BOX
If there’s an oil leak from the transfer box and you don’t know whether the oil is low, we recommend undoing the drain plug using a 3/8 in ratchet, draining the oil and forcefilling 550ml of 75W140 gear oil. The transfer box should hold half-a-litre, but allow for lots of spillage, so the extra 10% is needed.
The oil level inside the rear differential can be checked by undoing the inspection plug using a 3/8 in-square ratchet or similar fitting – space is tight. If no oil is leaking from here, double-check that all of the oil hasn’t drained out by confirming the level. According to Millers Oils, top it up with 75W140; the diff holds 1.2 litres.
Look through the front grille at the spiky brush-shaped pipe routed across it. This carries power steering fluid and is known to leak at either end, so look for traces of ATF fluid. A new cooler pipe (Jaguar part number C2S20483) costs £121.40 from Jaguar and specialists such as David Manners Group.
STRIP THE BRAKES
Single-piston calipers are fitted all round. Undo two 13mm slider bolts, then prise off the caliper to reveal the brake pads. Extract, inspect and clean them (renew the pads if they are unevenly worn or the friction material is 1.5mm thick or less). Before refitting the pads, clean the caliper and carrier, and apply a smear of brake grease to the top and bottom edges (not the friction material).
BRAKE PIPES & FLEXIS
The front-to-rear brake pipes are routed underneath the X-TYPE, alongside the fuel pipes. They’re open to the elements and prone to rust if unprotected. The ends of the brake pipes and the metal sections of some of the flexi-pipes are also known to corrode, along with the pipework that’s routed around the rear of the vehicle, so check all of it thoroughly.
The handbrake is known to seize at the caliper, so ask someone to operate the lever inside the vehicle while you watch the operation at each rear caliper. If the mechanism at the caliper doesn’t move, it may be possible to free it with penetrating fluid. If not, budget £150 for a rear brake caliper.
Use a wire brush along the entire length of the sills and poke around them with a blunt screwdriver. You cannot inspect all of the sills because there is a sill cover in the way. If you remove the covers, most of the fittings will probably break off. If the sills are in good condition, rust-protect them – don’t leave them exposed to the elements as they will rot out.
RENEW BRAKE FLUID
The brake fluid should be renewed every two years. There’s a bleed nipple on each caliper, so start with the one that’s furthest from the master cylinder (offside rear), followed by the nearside rear, then the offside front and finally the nearside front. The master cylinder is located in the nearside of the engine bay.