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  1. #1
    al_uk_xk8
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    XK8 won\'t start

    I have a '97 XK8 convertible with 56K miles, which I bought in August '03. On Monday morning the car refused to start. Jag mechanic has been twice (Monday and Tuesday) and tried to get it going - cleaned the pluds etc. but no joy. No obvious problem in the engine other than a damaged breather pipe.

    One possible cause (but also a possible red herring) is that the car was fired up on Sunday and reversed a few feet then the engine was switched off again until I tried to start it on Monday.

    The battery is now flat so I am charging it overnight with a view to another attempt to start the engine tomorrow (Friday) morning. Below freezing weather here this week has not helped but at least it has warmed up to about +3 degrees.

    Any thoughts or tips on getting the engine started would be much appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Re: XK8 won\'t start

    I have twice experienced flooding in my '98 XK8. In both cases I had backed it out of the garage and promptly turned it off, washed it, then pulled it back into the garage and promptly shut it off. It was under warranty the first time this happened and it got taken to the dealer on a flat bed. They explained that this sometimes happens when the car has been started and only run for a few seconds before being shut off. The second time it happened I let it sit for a while before trying to start it again. Then I held the accelerator peddle to the floor while cranking it over. It worked. Now when I back the car out to wash it I rev the engine a few times to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
    Your case may be different, given that the plugs have been cleaned. Most cars are harder to start in really cold weather. With your battery having gone flat it may not have had enough cranking power when your problem started.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Real Tech
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    Re: XK8 won't start

    Did your mechanic put oil in the cylinders when he had the plugs out? The Jag engine is notorious for washing the cylinders and losing compression. The only way to restore it is to oil the cylinders.
    One thing you may want to try is to put a light bulb under the hood over night to warm up the underhood temperature. You would be surprised how well this works. An engine just 10 or 15 degrees warmer is much easier to start when the outside temp is near zero.

  4. #4
    Alex
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    Re: XK8 won\'t start


    I had this problem with my XJ. I ended up calling out the AA. The guy said it was quite common with Jags. The solution was:

    1. Locate the fuel pump fuse.
    2. Remove it
    3. Turn over the engine for about 2 mins (don't run the starter for busts of more than 10 seconds though).
    4. Wait 2 mins
    5. Reconnect the fuse
    6. Try to start the engine again (it may take a while for the fuel to get through).

    It worked for me...

  5. #5
    al_uk_xk8
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    Re: XK8 won\'t start

    Thanks for the advice guys.

    Today (Saturday) my mechanic returned for the 4th time and he managed to get the car started to much relief all round! The diagnosis was a combination of flooding, below freezing temperatures, dirty plugs and a broken air filter.

    Full marks to Alan Carr of Jaguar Services, North Shields (Tyneside, UK) for his persistence and for charging no more than his petrol money for 4 visits to my home. That's what I call customer service.

  6. #6
    Ed
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    Re: XK8 won't start

    Congrats, no go for a good long ride and heat that baby up real good.

    Remarkable that the Jag service would make a house call, thought those ended a long time ago.

    Ed - 97 XK8 Conv. 36k

  7. #7
    John
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    Re: XK8 won't start

    Have had this problem on two occasions, now leave the following note in the car in case wife gets caught. Works every time. Apparently a lot of large engine European cars have similar problems. Know a mate with an E55 does.

    Cold Starting Problem:
    If engine has been briefly started (once or twice), without fully warming, excess fuel may remain in the system and flood the engine when next attempting to start. Symptom is that engine cranks but doesn’t fire.
    Continued cranking without the following procedure will further flood the system and flatten the battery.
    How to overcome: To reduce volume of fuel injected at start-up, Turn ignition key until all warning lights appear. (Don’t continue to turn key to crank engine at this stage). Wait until majority of warning lights go out (approx 5 –10 seconds), then, with accelerator flat to floor, continue to turn key to cranking position and hold while engine cranks (don’t release for maybe 20 seconds, unless engine starts running).
    If engine doesn’t fire, switch ignition off and repeat process. It may be necessary to repeat this a few times, allowing 30-60 seconds rest between attempts. (You are attempting to purge excess fuel from system).
    If it doesn’t start after say 2-3 attempts, try depressing accelerator only 20 mm instead of flat to floor and use same procedure. Eventually you will notice engine trying to fire - don’t release key at this stage, keep it cranking (within reason), until it starts.
    If it takes more than a few attempts, don’t despair, keep trying, alternating between flat to the floor and 20mm depression of accelerator. It will start.

  8. #8
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    This just worked for us after same problem! Lifesaver!
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  9. #9
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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful. Yes | No
    This might help the next time http://www.gusglikas.com/AutoRepairNoStart.htm http://www.gusglikas.com/AutoRepairNikasilSulfur.htm and better understand the Nikasil cylinder washing situation.
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    I agree that a squirt of oil in the cylinders to restore compression is the only way to get the nickasil engines started again after a quick start and shutdown. Has happened to a few I know and this has worked every time.
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    Interesting solution

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I had this problem with my XJ. I ended up calling out the AA. The guy said it was quite common with Jags. The solution was:1. Locate the fuel pump fuse.2. Remove it3. Turn over the engine for about 2 mins (don't run the starter for busts of more than 10 seconds though).4. Wait 2 mins5. Reconnect the fuse6. Try to start the engine again (it may take a while for the fuel to get through).It worked for me...
    I have tried this twice and it has worked both times. Now I need to find the root cause so I can fix the problem at the source. Any ideas?
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    It's more commonly called a "flooded" condition. The engine is given an excess amount of fuel to start it and when shut down immediately it still has some of that fuel in the sytem...the injectors releasing most of it into the cylinders. The only real solution is to let the car idle for a few minutes until all the air/fuel is balanced and not overloading the cylinders/plugs. If you're in a cold or damp climate the warmer the engine gets, the less chance of leaving moisture in the exhaust system to cause rust.
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  13. #13
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    Just got my xk going after reading this info thanks. Freezing cold here in England drove a mile turned her off so that must be why she flooded.I won't do that again.
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    From WSS25

    My Jaguar XK8 lost compression and would not start. Took it by flatbed to Gable Cats in Miami. They blew hot air into the system to loosen oil sludge that had accumulated while I was on vacation and did not use the car for two weeks, put flush into the system, changed the oil and filter, started right up on a regain of compression. Total cost was under $200 for labor, oil and filter. Beware of anyone trying to tell you an engine overhaul is necessary just because the car looses compression.
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