RUSTY HEAPS

A Mostly British Obsession

Vanden Plas Update

1996 Jaguar Vanden Plas

Generally speaking, I’m very pleased with the Vanden Plas. I’ve put a few thousand miles on it and it has returned a rock steady 23 MPG — overall. On the highway it gets very close to 30 MPG.

Two incidents have cropped up, one was a “check engine” light indicating (according to my scanner) that the secondary catalyst was under-performing. I cleared the code and it has not reappeared. The other is an ongoing issue which first cropped up about two weeks ago. The car developed a fairly severe misfire, running on five cylinders intermittently. Eventually it threw a code for “engine misfires out of range” or some such, with specifically “misfire on cylinder 3.” I replaced the plugs and the problem mostly went away, though it will still misfire occasionally at idle when warm. I suspect the coil pack on cylinder 3 is near the end of its life and the new plugs helped but didn’t solve the problem.

Coil packs are, sit down, $480 at the dealer (there are six on the car), but you can find them for about $190 each online. I think I will buy one and see if replacing cylinder 3’s pack completely cures the problem.

What was interesting was that the car didn’t throw a code until it was running very poorly indeed. Having a scanner and an OBD-II capable car is a different experience for me. There’s quite a bit you can learn from the port while the car’s running.

3 Comments

  1. Golly Roger. Why don’t you just pony up for six brand new coil packs? Yeah, it’ll cost you almost 3 grand, but isn’t peace of mind worth something, too? Actually, $190 isn’t bad at all these days. Remember how much it cost for a dealer replacement of the fuel pump on your Disco? I think you and your Jaguar are doing just fine…so far.

  2. Roger

    April 29, 2009 at 1:42 am

    I need to add a correction, here. This car delivered in Canada: check. They measure in imperial gallons up there: check. The trip computer measures things in imperial gallons: check. 23 MPG imperial is 19.3 in US gallons.

    Yeah, I’m a bit dim, sometimes.

  3. I’m looking at getting the same vehicle. It’s got 95,000 miles, paint a little dull on right rear fender(owner says it’s never been wrecked) and sunroof hasn’t worked for past two years. He’s asking $4,350. He said the engine is sound. I would be buying this as my primary vehicle. What do you advise? Sure is pretty!

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