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Jealous Cat Showing Her Claws

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A month or so ago the First Lady announced that she was thinking of replacing her Audi A4 Allroad as it had started to push 70k miles and for a time she had felt something smaller would better suit her needs. After some procrastination she finally made her mind up and, having in her words - battered the sales teams of several dealers - she finally got the deal she was looking for. So a week last Friday she set off for the bruised dealership to pick up her new toy - seemingly the only input from me that was finally included in her selection criteria was 4WD, we live in the sticks - a brand spanking new Audi S3 Quattro!

That particular Friday morning we had heavy fog / low lying cloud - hard to tell which at times out here - so everything was rather damp and cold. Having a few errands to get out of the way I decided to take Black Bess (my S Type) out rather than my day-to-day car. Less than twenty yards from our driveway the dashboard lit up like Christmas - Amber Engine Warning Light (MIL), ABS, DSC and I'm sure there were others - so about turn and back to garage goes Black Bess, with a puzzled and concerned driver, with a grin that’s turning decidedly sickly, behind the wheel. First thoughts, of course, were that the battery charge had fallen below that magical level at which most Jags will start to play mind-games with their keepers but there was no apparent sluggishness about the starter, nor was there any obvious dimming of the running lights without the engine running. Even so, at that point I was fairly convinced that it was either the battery gremlin or perhaps a dud ABS Sensor.

A battery charger and code scanner were already on my shopping list, having previously noted the many posts on this and other sites concerning similar problems, so purchase of these went onto my immediate ToDo list. However, while I was still scratching my head and preparing to use my day car to head off to Halfords, and to get my other errands out of the way, the First Lady shows up with her new ride;

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And in that colour too!

Now it may just have been my imagination but as the First Lady pulled into our driveway Black Bess seemed to settle on her haunches and gave the impression of being ready to pounce on the new arrival. Naturally, on getting out of her new toy and sensing something was amiss the First Lady asked what was wrong and, having told her of the mornings misadventures, she promptly announced that Black Bess was obviously jealous, like any other cat, and needed to get used to the new stablemate. Without missing a beat, she went on to introduce her new ride – ‘Red Bob’ (think BlackAdder) – to Black Bess and pointed out that Red Bob would be hers exclusively and I would not be permitted to play with her beyond the occasional wash and valet; b%^%$r!

Appearing completely un-mollified Black Bess went back into the garage and off I toddles to Halfords et al and returned with a Ring 12A Smart Charger, which does an excellent job of both charging and condition diagnosis, but without a code scanner – ludicrous prices for kit better suited to the pro’s I think. Having re-charged the battery over Friday Night/Saturday Morning with no change to the Christmas Lights other than settling on ABS and Amber Engine Warning Light I concluded that a dud ABS sensor was probably the root of my problem – but which one and why was the MIL lit up? I had placed an order for an iCarsoft i930 on the Friday evening (I would have gone for the IDS/SDD and Mongoose route but we’re an all Apple household when it comes to PCs) but did not expect it to arrive until maybe mid-week. So, checked the Jaguar Owners Club for other members with ABS problems and having found a promising thread posed my questions and got a very prompt reply from Joe (Joe-Dot-Com) not only confirming that the MIL light would probably come on in sympathy with the ABS warning but also providing the details of how to access the hidden integrated diagnostics system; thanks again Joe.

Armed with this information I went back to Black Bess and finally gained access to the IDS as Joe advised, worthwhile noting here that the buttons to navigate the codes list on my car differ from those in the notes provided – although why Jaguar would not make these consistent is a mystery to me – but I finally got through. Sure enough, an ABS code was recorded but did not provide any specifics. Rather than simply waiting for my new code scanner to show up, and as I would be unlikely to be able to do much more until the following weekend, I decided that a visual inspection and examination of the sensors and cables with a Multi-Meter would be my next best step.

Now here comes the technical stuff and some further evidence of how Black Bess, in true feline style, made her displeasure at the appearance of Red Bob known and almost felt.

There’s plenty of guidance on the Web concerning modern ABS systems, how they work, what can go wrong and how to fix them so I was feeling rather confident that I would be able to track down the source of my primary problem. I won’t bore you with the details but after inspecting and cleaning the front end and getting good readings from the sensor test and pin-to-pin check on the cables I moved on to the Off-Side Rear where the fun started.  

Unlike the front, the rear sensors operate using a pierced Reluctor Ring fitted to the drive shaft so this and the business end of the sensor are exposed to the elements and all the rubbish thrown up from the wheels and therefore more prone to corrosion and physical contact damage. None found, so on to the next step, connect the Multi-Meter probes to the sensor and, after making sure the EPB was off, try to spin the hub to get a current. ‘Try’ being the operative word. Between resistance from the brake calliper and the drive shaft I could not move the hub fast enough to generate a current from the sensor. Off comes the brake calliper and finally I managed to confirm a current from the sensor. So far so good and the cable pin test is next.

What clown decided the other end of the abs cable should go to a socket mounted on the rear bulkhead behind the suspension sub-frame, exhaust at al?????

At full stretch and with hands approaching from two different directions I could barely get my fingertips on the damn thing and there was no way I could get the socket out with any confidence I could put it back afterwards! Abandon pin test and carry on to final wheel.

Same process on the Near Side Rear, naturally, but this time not a flicker of current from the sensor- so culprit found - (Sods law reminder – when you plan the job and decide which task will be last, make it the first).

But, the NSR sensor cable was showing signs of wear where it had been rubbing against the hydraulic fluid pipe, so there’s a chance the ABS cable is shot too. Oh joy! Also, the spring clip used to support the ABS cable on the upper suspension arm is falling apart but this can be fixed temporarily with a couple of cable ties. Time to pack up. Now I know some will disagree but I’ve never liked to leave a car with one corner in the air even with an axle stand in place. So, wheel back on, axle stand out, and start to lower the jack.

Now I know why they call it an Emergency Jack – it aint strong enough for repeated use! One rotation of the screw and the damn thing collapsed. Fortunately, with no fingers or other appendages in the way – add new scissor jack to the shopping list. (Note to self if they call it an Emergency anything – don’t use it!)

Before retiring to a comfy chair and a single malt I decided to place an order for a replacement sensor hoping that when I fit this I’ll find the abs cable is working still and I can worry about replacing it later.

I am sure that many of you will have had the same experience but I just could not believe the prices some people were asking for these things £100+ in a couple of instances and without the cable at that – gouging b$^^&&d’s! Finally, I settled on a replacement from IAutomotive Solutions in Birmingham, courtesy of eBay, for £20 with a 12-month warranty.

Hmmm, maybe a couple or even three single malts.

Over the following few days the ODBC code scanner shows up, as does the new sensor, replacement scissor jack and new hydraulic trolley jack but other commitments meant that Black Bess was left to sulk in the garage until yesterday when I was able to take some time out.

First, connect up new iCarsoft i930 code scanner. Annoyingly it reported it could not read the ECU and asked whether indeed the car had one fitted! This seems to be a common issue and I’ll need to update the software to correct this – will keep you posted. However, it did manage to download error codes from the other systems including the ABS. Sure enough, NSR faults only. Fit new sensor, clear the DTC codes, Amber Engine Warning Light still on take BB for short run, no further ABS problems, Engine Warning Light goes out within a mile and all problems now resolved – fingers crossed – and Black Bess is back to purring and growling as she should. Amazing what a little(?) TLC can do.

That said though, the First Lady and Red Bob have been away on business for the last few days and are not set to return until the back end of next week – maybe I’m counting my chickens.

Hey ho, now where can I find a mechanic with long, thin rubber arms.

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Hi Ron,

The First Lady will typically advise that I am sadly lacking in the personality department and therefore perhaps it Transfer rather than Anthropomorphism. So far no need for flexible mechanic and long may that condition obtain. However, I did consider asking one of my nieces to take on this task should it be necessary; but only briefly - their negotiating skills were learned from the First Lady and you can guarantee their prices would be higher than any swingeing spanner handler.

Cheers,

Steve

P.S. Did your son get his car sorted out?

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And another one joins the club, but I do admire some of his past choices even though he's been ploughing funds in to the coffers of the insurance companies. As your tame mechanic says though the Jag 4.2 V8 is indeed bulletproof. My only regret is that, unlike your own, the S Types 3.0 and below is fitted with the Ford / Peugeot lumps, ah well maybe the XK, if I ever find one with active stealth fitted to avoid the ire of the First Lady - or more hissy fits from Black Bess - I will remedy that particular shortfall.

Yes, I have indeed abandoned any thought of press-ganging any one of my nieces - a rubber armed mechanic is going to be by far the cheaper option.

Cheers, and if your son looks like bottling on the XFR give him a kicking from me.

 

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Glad to hear he's now fully committed to the Jaguar fold and also to hear it was just the underskirt brushing the ground.

I concur regarding the body styling of the XK, XE and to these I would add the XK. They all have a fairly aggressive visage but to me there's an element of 'discreet' styling possessed by the S Type that the others do not exhibit.

9 minutes ago, R2e said:

Coming home afterwards, I took the slip road onto the dual carriageway behind a Transit and as we hit the carriageway, I pulled out and floored the throttle. I looked down at the speedo and to my horror was doing 110........ My old lady can still lift up her skirts and fly!

Bad boy - but the S Type does sometimes bring out the worst in us, but don't you just love their inherent wickedness gets into your blood?.

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4 hours ago, cubist said:

I concur regarding the body styling of the XK, XE and to these I would add the XK.

Meant the XJ!

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18 hours ago, R2e said:

My old lady can still lift up her skirts and fly!

Ron, that is no way to talk about your first lady!! Tsh tsh.

14 hours ago, cubist said:

Meant the XJ!

Glad you amended that, Steve.   Our Myfannwy (XK) was getting decidedly hot under the collar, Claude was rattling his cage, and, gosh, we thought maybe a Sunday mission was in the offing.

18 hours ago, R2e said:

if ever the S Type went to that great cat house in the sky (assisted no doubt by the expertise in this field of Carole and her partner, with the black plumes in attendance)

Fear not Ron.  Our suitably-adorned flat back can be on standby for the occasion, although we hope that it won't be needed for sometime yet.

Actually, we understand the comment about the XF/XE styling...it always looks a bit "clumpy" on the rear quarters.    We do, of course, prefer the slightly retro S and the delightful Ian Callum XK.     We should also be quite partial to the Keith Helfet styled XJ220 but, sadly, the moneybox doesn't run to such a delight; not to mention the fact that either one of us would probably get stuck half in, or half out.   The XJ220, that is.    Behave.

As always, happy growling

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