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S Type, massive failure, any ideas welcomed


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Hi all

OK, any ideas on this most welcomed, I start that car that has been running great, within some 5 mins warning on dashboard "ABS Failed", brakes all ok, so drive to garage and top upi with diesel, few mins later warning on dashboard "Gearbox Failure", manage to limp car home and leave to cool.

Gearbox seemed to be stick in second gear, no other gears or auto change, left car to cool down, (not running hot), started again, same conditions with dashboard and now massive "clunk" when selecting drive / reverse.

Any input or thoughts most greatly appreciated, (car 07 2.7d model with 90K on clock)

Thank you

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Hi Paul,

Sounds very mystifying!  It may be that changing the gearbox fluid could be the answer.  Some members have done this at 70k and say that  the gearbox  is smoother.

There could be more ideas on the way.



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Many thanks, for your reply, gearbox had been smooth with no issues, however, with the pre ABS failure, I forgot to mention that car had been parked out in the most horrendous storm ever, just struck me that two main and very expensive items have failed within 5 mins of each other, I have no way of finding if the two faults are linked in some with with something common, possibly pressure related ?. I can assume not electrical as the "clunk" when selecting gear is a true mechanical sound ?

Now wondering if its really worth further investegation at cost as I'm sure ABS / gearbox may be somewhat costly in relation to age / mileage of the vehicle.

Thank you 

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Hi Paul and Welcome to the Club,

Sorry its not under better circumstances though. However, do not assume that your troubles will prove too expensive to consider fixing, you could be pleasantly surprised.

Ron is right, the first port of call should be the ABS Sensors, Cables and Reluctor Rings, the rear ones are the typical and usual suspects as they are exposed to atmosphere. The sensors provide wheel speed information to the Transmission (Gearbox) and Traction Control Systems as well as the engine. If one or more of the sensors is damaged, fouled with dirt or metals (they have a magnetic element) this can cause all sorts of 'reported' issues with the gearbox and will often induce Limp Home mode. The sensors are reasonably cheap, around £15 and are easy to replace - provided you do not round the bolt head - cables can be found for around £30 but these can be a real faff to fit unless you have long thin and flexible arms. On occasion the build up of crusty rust under the reluctor ring - visible around the ring itself and within its rectangular/circular windows - can cause 'false readings' for the Wheel Sensor. A wire brush, some DWD40, a small electrical (slot blade) screwdriver and some patience can produce good results (I had to do this this myself last winter). The Reluctor rings can also burst, because of rust build up, or be damaged by materials thrown up from the road. Others members of this forum have replaced reluctor rings which can be a little expensive at around £40 a side but this is a job best undertaken by someone with the right tools and experience.

Before doing anything though, and again as Ron suggests, it would be advisable to examine the DTCs using a suitable OBD2 Scanner. Jaguar specific systems can be had for around £100 - £150 but if you are reluctant to invest in one you might try to get in touch with members of this club who live near to you who may be willing to meet up to download the data from your car.

If you're not comfortable working on the oily bits yourself I'm sure that members in your area would recommend a good independent Jaguar mechanic who has the kit to check out the car and confirm whether you're looking at something straight forward and cheap to fix.

Regarding the thump from the gearbox when selecting Drive/Reverse. Peters advice is also correct, it would be advisable to get the gearbox Oil changed - this also involves removal and replacement of the Gearbox Sump and integrated Oil filter and replacement of the securing bolts. An indie will charge around £200 for this but when weighed against £3000-4000 for a replacement gearbox its peanuts. However, get advice from a good indie if you are at all uncertain.

Keep us posted and if you have any more questions let us know.

Good Luck,


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Thank you all greatly for your assistance and ideas, I have arranged for the OBD codes to be viewed hopefully tomorrow and advise further as I'm sure one ce I have received the details they will mean nothing to me.

Many thanks for your input, you all may have just saved the day and some very serious expenses !!

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12 hours ago, R2e said:

Thank you Steve for the vote of confidence, I am usually right, which was always a bone of contention with my first, and ex, wife. She never seemed to understand that I only insisted I was right when I knew I was right, otherwise I would keep quiet! I can see this could be frustrating when I said I was right and I was...


My pleasure.

I checked the vows the first time around just to make sure that my omniscience would not be compromised or later contradicted. The first First Lady though earnestly believed that she knew better. The second First Lady knows that she knows better and considers my attitudes to be misogynistic, archaic and just plain wrong; despite all evidence to the contrary!:cry:

Sadly, she may have a point - what other reason can there be for making the same mistake twice?:confused1:

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8 hours ago, R2e said:

This is the crux of the problem Steve, you get a rush of blood to ....er..... the nether regions, nothing will do but you've got to marry this woman, then six months later you're thinking - WTF? It is purely hormonal and defies all logic.

I think its called navigating with the wrong compass.:crazy:

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/18/2018 at 7:20 AM, R2e said:

Thank you Steve for the vote of confidence, I am usually right, which was always a bone of contention with my first, and ex, wife. She never seemed to understand that I only insisted I was right when I knew I was right, otherwise I would keep quiet! I can see this could be frustrating when I said I was right and I was...

Amen, brother. 😀

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As explained very well by Steve the ABS must be working well.

In fact a faulty ABS sensor can put the gearbox into limp mode (stuck in 1 gear) as it disables itself to prevent damage.

Let us know what fault codes show.


Hope its an easy 15 pound fix.



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Many thanks to you all for you excellent input, most greatly appreciated. I have tried a fault code reader on the OBD  but this showed no faults /, I was later to discover that the readers only look at the ECU, and will not read any of the ABS / Gearbox issues, (and the jaguar protocol is reputedly a bit odd to read), however, I have no codes to report.

I do see reason that the ABS may have a failed sensor tho, and this in turn MAY have instigated the gearbox to go into limp mode, but indicating a failed gearbox, so............

any ideas as to where  go next or maybe a steer on what to look for ?

Again, any thoughts and input most welcomed, thank you all for your help so far its been truly amazing

Paul G.


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Hi Paul,

You'll need a Jaguar/Land Rover specific Code Reader rather than a general off-the shelf device. Good ones cost around £100 to £150 and will read DTCs from all the various Controllers - stay away from the iCarsoft i930 though as this model will frequently refuse to access the ECU.

As an alternative you could post a new thread on this site asking if there are any members who live in, or near, your neck of the woods that may be willing to meet up with you to download the codes using their scanner. You may be pleasantly surprised by how helpful some members can be.



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Not sure if its at all relevant, but I had a S Type 3.0 S 2003, it too went into limp mode with all sorts of warning lights on, managed to drive to my local indie, and too my surprise diagnosed a rear half shaft (I was thinking it was gearbox and terminal because of the thumping as reverse was selected) but credit where credits due, he changed it and it was sweet as a nut after that.

Very strange I thought at the time.

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