In November, 2000, I purchased a XJ6 as a project/second car. Jeeves, as he was known, served me well. But maintenance got to be too much and in March 2012, when I was looking at a $10,000 estimate to get some major required electrical work done on him, I decided it was time for us to part ways. It was a sad day. To replace him, I bought a 2002 Jaguar S-Type. Nigel, as he was called, served us until 2022 when he too was retired. What follows here was what it was like owning and operating this more modern of Jaguar products that was basically a Ford under the skin.

The Purchase

After a number of weeks of research, it became painfully obvious that Colorado Springs was not a hot-bed of affordable used Jags. Only two S-Types were on offer in my price range. One a V-6 (which everyone who knows Jags says stay away from) and one a V-8. It was the V-8 that I went to look at and eventually bought.

Unlike Jeeves, I did not have a title search done on Nigel so I don't know the details of his past. What I do know so far comes from a CarFax report I ran before I went to look at him.

Nigel was born in May, 2001 at the Castle Bromwich plant in the UK. He was shipped to the original dealer in Souix Falls, South Dakota, where he was purchased in February, 2002. His first owner had him until August, 2007, when he was traded at Verne Eide BMW/Mercedes in Sioux Falls. His new owner purchased him that same month, but did not keep him very long. He was traded at Billion Motors Toyota in Sioux Falls in June, 2008. His third owner purchased him the next month, keeping him until April, 2010. He was traded again at Billion Motors Toyota where he was purchased in June. This fourth owner kept him all of one month before selling him near Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. The fifth owner kept the car until May, 2011, when he was sold again, this time in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. Nigel was then sent off to an auto auction where he was purchased by Intermountain Coach and brought to Colorado Springs in January 2012. I purchased him in March, 2012.

Operating Costs

When I bought Nigel, he was in generally good shape. At only 65,117 he better have been! But there were a few things that required some work. First were the brakes. New rotors up front and pads in back were easily evident. So was a good alignment and balance. Also, I noticed that whoever changed the wiper blades last put the wrong size on the driver's side; it was about 5 inches too short.

Here I've listed the costs associated with keeping Nigel road worthy since I purchased him. Only repair/replacement costs are listed. Regular preventive maintenance things like wiper blades and oil changes are excluded.

Other than the standard local auto parts stores, the following have been sources for Nigel's parts:


It was soon after the water pump and coolant control valve replacements in December 2022 that things took a turn for the worst with Nigel. An electrical issue popped up that would cause the battery to drain quite rapidly. After quite a bit of investigation, the primary suspect was found to be the General Electronics Module (GEM). When these need replacing you must 1) find a used one that is good and 2) have it programmed for the car at the dealer since it controls important things like the odometer, security system, etc. So given that buying a verfified good GEM would cost $100 or more, getting it towed to the nearest Jag dealer 2 hours away would cost several hundred dollars and the programming would cost another couple of hundred dollars at east for the programming just wasn't worth it. So the just over 150,200 miles on the odometer the decision was made to retire Nigel. He served us faithfully and will be missed.

Fuel Filter $11.26 Since I had no idea when this was last replaced, I figured it'd be a good idea to do so. The fuel filter is located behind the plastic splash shield in the front left wheel well. You have to pull off the left wheel, remove two 10mm nuts and two push clips then pull the plastic shield back to get to it. Not hard, but not easy either. Used Wix 33595. The fuel filter for the S-Types also fit a ton of other Ford, Mercury, Lincoln and Mazda cars from the 2000's.
Air Filter $9.49 Above I said I wouldn't put the regular preventive maintenance stuff on here, but I decided to include this one. When I pulled the one out of Nigel it was horridly caked with dirt and debris. So bad that several of the vanes in the middle of it were completely full of detritus. Used Fram CA8956. Again, these fit a plethora of other Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Mazda cars.
Front Brake Rotors x 2 $72.50 The front rotors on Nigel were showing major wear. I changed these and the pads (below). Another job that's not hard, but could be a bit easier. Biggest issue here was with the upper caliper bracket nut. It's buried in a sub-assembly necessitating some creative socket and extender work.
Front Brake Pads $38.79 See the Brake Rotors entry above.
Rear Brake Rotors x 2 $46.00 Did the rear brakes at the same time. Although the rotors weren't worn like the front ones, I figured it wouldn't hurt. Note that the single piston on the rear calipers requires a special capliper piston cube/block tool. Use this to turn the piston and recess it enough to get the caliper back on over the new pads. The tool is available at any auto parts store for less than $15.
Rear Brake Pads $26.00 See above rear brake rotor entry.
Lug Wrench $8.05 While doing the brakes on the fourth wheel, the lug wrench that came with the car stripped itself out. The aluminum basically rounded out. Guess they're only made for 4-5 wheel changes. Come to think of it, probably should have bought two.
Push Rivets $2.49/pair While replacing the cabin air filter, a couple of the original push rivets holding the cowl cover broke. Found these (Dorman 961-070) at the local auto parts store.
Expansion Tank Hose $2.09 Came out to find a puddle of fluid just the rear of the front left wheel. Traced it to the hose that plugs into the bottom of the coolant expansion tank. Had to pull the wipers, cowl, and brace out to get the tank and hose out.
Thermostat $65.40 While driving to work a couple of days in a row, the temp gauge went way up to red then suddenly dropped back to normal. Sticky thermostat. This chore requires removing a ton of hoses but isn't all that hard.
Water pump $98.95 Since I was going to be draining the coolant and disassembling the the thermostat housing, I figured I would replace the water pump too. The originals have plastic blades that deteriorate over time. The replacement has metal blades. A very simple procedure to do.
Thermostat Housing $79.99 This is another one of those parts that deteriorates over time because it's plastic. Replaced with a metal one. Replacement would be really easy if it wasn't for the two rear bolts. They require a 8mm crows foot or adustable wrench to get to because of how the air intake plenum sits above them. An infuriatingly stupid design.
Coolant Expansion Tank $94.95 I found a puddle behind the left front wheel again and thought it was the hose leaking. It wasn't. I pulled the bottle out and found small cracks along the back side of it. When the thermostat got stuck those two days, the pressure in the system cracked the tank. This requires the removal of the cowl cover and some nimble fingers when snaking the hose around under the brake resevoir and other components.
Coolant Expansion Tank Cap $15.95 Figured since I was replacing darned near everything else, might as well replace this. Cheaper ones can be had from Stant, however the reviews for them were really poor. Opted to go with the genuine "Made to Jaguar Specs" version.
Timing Chain Replacement $1,035.00 Of this, $412 was for the new, metal type timing chain and tensioner kit. The rest was labor.
Valve Cover Gaskets $61.00 Replaced since the valve covers had to come off to replace the timing chains.
Upper Radiator Hose $127.20 Ah, the days when you could just pop down to the K-Mart and grab a $7 piece of hose. Replacing the hose is almost a 2 hour job; 30 minutes to drain the fluid, 10 to change the hose then 45 to put all the fluid back in and bleed the system.
Lower Radiator Hose $19.01 This one is easy except for the lower connection at the radiator. It's really tough to get the clamp off. And if the hose has adhered itself to the fitting, a real upper body workout to get loose. Even if everything goes smooth, figure almost 2 hours to do it because of the draining, filling and bleeding of the system.
Sway Bar Link Kit $67.50 (pair) While replacing the radiator hoses I noticed these looked pretty rough. The rubber boots had deteriorated badly and the plastic caps that cover the lower knuckle were cracking and missing bits. A fairly easy chore that only took about 15 minutes each.
Transmission Filter $35.00 Although the Ford 5N55R transmission is supposed to be a sealed for life unit, anyone who owns an S-Type will tell you that you should still replace the filter and fluid every 75K or so. This is not an easy process but can be done in your garage. However, someplace with a lift is the best way to go.
Transmission Fluid
(Redline Synthetic)
$65.00 Bought 7 quarts; required just under that.
Transmission Drain Plug Gasket $2.00 Replaced it just in case.
Dual Coolant Flow Valve
(aka Dual Coolant Control Valve)
$146.83 One day I adjusted the automatic climate control to 72 and it kept blowing about 120. Refrigerant level checked good as did the compressor, hoses, etc. Further troubleshooting using these procedures revealed this part had gone out; a known issue on these cars. Normally the thing short circuits and takes out the climate control head unit in the cabin too. Doesn't look like that was the case...so far. On a scale of 1 to 5, the job is about a 2 in complexity but a 4 in PITA. Set aside about 2.5 hours at least to do this. And for the record, yes the Motorcraft YG355 for the Lincoln LS is the exact same part as Jaguar XR822975.
Stabilizer Bar Link (Rear) $16.88 x 2 More suspension bits in rough shape; cracked boots and leaking grease. These are fairly easy to replace; about 20 minutes each. The top nut is easy to get to. The bottom one is really close to the hub/rotor assembly so it's more of a chore.
Tie Rod End (Rear) $86.52 x 2 Like the sway bar links, these were shot as well. Again, fairly easy to do at about 30 minutes per side. Your alignment will definitely be shot after you get done so go ahead and schedule that service when you get ready to put them on.
Drive Belt $23 The old one started chirping occasionally and eventually started doing it more and more. This was a fairly easy task. The JTIS directs the removal of the tensioner pulley to remove and install the belt. However, if your fingers are nimble enough you can slip the belt around the back of the pulley. There's just enough room to wedge the belt between the pulley and block. Needless to say, if you opt to do it this way, do it when the engine is cool.
Ignition Switch $55 During the spring, the car had developed a battery drain. It happeneded at random times and without warning. It would go 2 days or 2 months then suddenly the battery would be as dead as Lindsey Lohan's career. Changed the battery out (it was about 4 years old) without any change in the issue. After quite a bit of electrical sleuthing by someone with way more knowledge of that subject than me, the cause was determined to be the ignition switch. It wasn't turning off the valet system completely thus draining the battery over night. This would also explain why the radio would remain on sometimes when the key was removed (not a feature on these cars). The part is not the actual bit you put the key in, but the electronic piece that attaches to that. Finding a replacement was problematic at first; nobody had it in stock under the Jaguar part number (XR815815). However, by using the Ford part number for a 2002 Lincoln LS (F8LZ-11572-AA) it wasn't so hard to find. Installation is fairly simple, although you'll need a flexible back.
Heater Hoses x 4 $520 Another leak found under the car. This time turned out to be two of four hoses that are used to send warm water into the heater core. Went ahead an had all of them replaced. Cost here also includes labor (they were in some really tight spots) and new anti-freeze.
Sway Bar Bushings x 2 $260 Worn sway bar bushings were causing a bumping/clunking noices on over bumps. Cost here also includes labor.
Coil Springs x 4 Front: $95.44 x 2
Rear: $94.50 x 2
Late last year when the sway bushings were replaced the ride height was measured. It was found to be low by just over a half inch up front and an quarter inch in the rear. These are not hard to replace, just labor intensive. There was a noticable difference in the handling and ride after these were done.
A/C Discharge Hose $658.00 Somehow this hose shifted just enough to rub against the compressor pulley causing a hole to wear in it. Natuarlly, all of the refrigerant leaked out (sorry, Mother Nature). It did this over the winter so I didn't notice it until we had our first warm day and I needed some A/C to cool off the all black interior. I checked the shop manual. This thing is a total PITA to replace. Plus I don't have the tools to do the pressure testing and refrigerant replacement. The cost here includes part, labor and refrigerant. Interesting side note: the part was originally quoted as over $600 from the local dealer. I confirmed this by calling the dealer myself, getting the same price as the shop. I got the same OEM part for $279 from Guadin Jaguar in Las Vegas (see their link near the top of this page). The markup by some of these dealers is criminal.
Steering Rack $1300.00 On a cold November afternoon I came out from work and started the car to hear a loud groaning from the rack. After 15 years of below freezing winters, the seals on the rack couldn't take anymore. Power steering fluid was leaking from the side seals out near the wheels and the fluid reservoir showed about half the normal level. So the rack had to be replaced. Price here includes the rack ($750), labor ($234), power steering flush and fill and an alignment.
Lug Nuts x 20 $100.00 The OEM nuts are the two-piece type so in vogue with car makers. Over time the little cap over the nut gets fatigue and begins to move and flex. This is bad as it can get so out of shape that the nut can't be removed. Mine were getting that way so I replaced them with Dorman 611-117.1 wheel nuts. These fit perfectly and are the one-piece type (no cap). The only operational difference is the head is a 21mm instead of the OEM nut's 19mm. This is no problem for me since I replaced the Jaguar lug wrench (good for about 2 uses) with a four point lug wrench that fits perfectly in the spare tire area.
VVT Seal x 2 $20.00 Noticed a light film of oil around the VVT solenoids in the valve covers. Turns out the seals had dried out enough to allow a bit of oil to weep out. Easy to replace. Just use a small flat blade screw driver to pry the old ones out then press the new ones in. Jaguar part AJ82856. Ford part 2W93-6A545-AA.
Sway Bar, Bushings and Bracket $750 Since I got the car I've had this clunking loose sound in the front of the car when it went over large cracks or bumps in the road. But then in early May I picked up a knocking sound as well. Pushing down on either fender and releasing would replicate the knock. I put the car up on ramps and crawled under to locate it (with a little help from the spouse who tired quickly of the fender pushing but hung in there). After ruling out everything I could reach like control arms, ball joings, tie rods, etc, I dropped the splash shield (replaced it; see next entry) and checked the sway bar. And that's where it was at (side note: I'm wondering why this wasnt' caught back in 2016 when I had it looked at). I ordered the new sway bar and bushings because initially it was a job that I could do myself. But when I got to looking at the right side bushing and bracket, it wasn't looking too good. In fact, it was looking a bit beat up and gnarled. And it looked like it wasn't angled correctly. In fact, I couldn't get a wrench or socket on the top bolt like I should have been able to. Took it into my local shop and they were able to get it off with some effort. Seems the hit this car took on the right side (curb or something) before I got it not only tore into the splash shield but it also hit the sway bar hard enough to bend the bracket and strip the bolt. So this cost includes the new sway bar (might as well), bushings, a bracket plus alignment and labor for the work. Clunk AND knock are gone.
Splash Shield $180.00 As noted above in the sway bar entry, my S-Type took a hit at the front right wheel at some point in its life. This tore up the splash shield underneath the nose among other damage. Since the shield had to come out anyway to replace the sway bar and bushings, I figured I'd replace this as well. URO makes a fairly cheap replacement (got this one through Rock Auto) and its pretty easy to replace as well if you have the car up on ramps or a lift. However, being a URO part the fit isn't exact and took a little work to get aligned properly.
Fuel Filter $15.00 Because I had the splash shield out, the wheel well liners were loose as well. This made it a good time to change the fuel filter.
Driver's Seat Motor $163.00 Since I've had the car, the driver's seat motor has been weak. It finally got so weak that it would give out trying to move an inch in either direction requiring multiple attempts to get the seat into the desired position. Got a used one off eBay (price above includes shipping). Replacement is fairly easy but there are some gotchas. First, the front door opening is sized and shaped so that it takes some very careful rotation to get the seat out without scratching the paint or plastic trim. Moving the steering wheel all the way up and in gives you a little extra room. The clips holding the seat back cover are fragile so be careful popping those loose. And the yellow connector under the seat has a slide lock on it; the only one of the 7 connections that you work with that has this type of lock (the rest are your standard pinch clips). And since JTIS doesn't inclued bolt sizes in the step-by-step instruction: main seat to floor bolts are 15mm; seat belt attaching bolt is 15mm; bottom cushion to frame bolts are 13mm; and seatback to frame bolts are 10mm.
Driver's Seatback Clips $17.00 When the directions say to remove the seat back gently, it should define "gently" as slowly and deliberately like a sloth. These break easy. Luckily they are cheap. Jag part number is XR823622.
Front Passenger Window Regulator $688.64 Window went down. Wouldn't come back up. Took the door panel off and checked things out thinking it may have just come out of the track. Nope. Found several parts of the window assembly in the bottom of the door. One week at the Jag dealer (no other place in town would touch the job) and one new regulator (XR848082) later, all is well. Cost is $290 for the part and $362 for the labor. I don't begrudge that labor cost. You need spaghetti arms with 360 degree movement in all your joints to get into the tiny space they cram the window mechanicals.
Knock Sensor $29 Got a check engine light one day that was caused by a P0330 code indicating a problem with knock sensor 2 on bank 2. On the 4.0L V8 S-Types this is the second of two sensors located on the left side of the engine down between the valve cover and the intake manifold. JTIS says to remove the intake manifold. I was able to do this without such a drastic step (for sensor 1 on the other side of the engine the first step is to remove the starter!). The sensor fits over a stud and is held in place with a 13mm bolt. A standard tall socket with extension will reach down in there; loosen the bolt until it is ready to come off the stud then use a pair of long needle nose pliers to extract the nut. Disconnect the wire then pull out the sensor, fishing the wire out from in between the intake manifold and the insulation on the top of the head. You can see from this picture why the code was being thrown. The connector is attached to a mount at the front of the valve cover. I found it easier to remove it (8mm nut), disconnect the sensor then pop it off the bracket. When you extract and re-install the nut on the sensor stud be very careful. If you drop the thing it's pretty much gone for good. The replacement part was an NTK unit, part number ID0136.
Alternator $400 After making a loud whining noise for a couple of months the alternator finally gave up with one last squeal and a whiff of ozone. I was able to get the old alternator out. But the tight fight of the lower bolt (and the spacer that's about 1mm too long) and very limited room to work kept me from being able to get the new alternator in. So I had it towed to a shop where they installed the $84 remanufactured Bosch alternator for a little over $300 in labor.
Water Pump and Gasket $125 A weeks after the new alternator was installed, the water pump started making a high pitched whine due to a bearing going out. So replaced the pump and gasket. However, when trying to bleed the cooling system I couldn't get it to bleed correctly when the heater was on. Only cold air would come out regardless of the water temp itself. That led to the next part being replaced...
Dual Coolant Flow Valve (aka Dual Coolant Control Valve) $189 Replaced this once already back in 2014. This was the reason why the coolant system wasn't bleeding right and no hot air was coming out of the heater. A quick test to know if this has failed is to unplug it. With no power the valves should both open and hot air should come out of the vents regardless of how high the temp is set at the controls. If this doesn't occur it's most likely because the valves are stuck shut. Once this was replaced the coolant system bled fine and heat was coming out of the vents again. Another Motorcraft YG355.