Episode 74. Jaguar S-type. X667 HLB. (Part 6).

Well that's changed my plans...

Drat, and double drat! It feels like it's been a little while since the Jaguar had an outing, and so, last evening I decided that as I had some errands to run, and I needed to go to my friends workshop to deliver some parts for my car he was working on, then the Jag would be the car I used to deliver them! It was going to be a round trip of about 100 miles or so, and pretty soon I was cruising along the A31, staring out across the landscape of the New Forest as the sun started to dip below the horizon. It really was quite a glorious evening, and the Jaguar was purring along like the contented kitty it is. I know that it really is time to sell it, but I was trying to find a way that I might keep it, and sell something else instead. I knew that selling the mighty Chev-suzu meant that I would be able to hang on to the Jaguar a little longer, but then what? What should I sell next? I had a brief moment of madness, and thought about selling the Scorpio, but that would mean that I still hadn't experienced it to its full, and over a year after buying the Jaguar, really I have experienced it. Its just that I'm still not bored with it yet.

Before I knew it I was pulling up outside my friends workshop, still deep in thought, and still trying to talk myself into keeping the Jaguar somehow. Parts delivered, and a fair bit of chatting later, and I was off on my way home again. About ten miles into my return journey I pulled into a garage to get some go-go juice, and as I got out I thought that maybe the Jag smelled a little warm. I'd not been hammering it, I never do, and I'd not been sitting in traffic or anything, but it did smell warm. I fuelled up, and started to make for the A31 again. I looked at the temperature gauge which showed it to be just a little warmer than it usually gets, but I just figured that perhaps the fan hadn't been cutting in or something. Then, as I sat there at some traffic lights I thought to myself that it had got a bit misty all of a sudden, and it was as I pulled away from the lights and started to accelerate that I took another look at the dashboard.

Thats not ideal! I actually watched the needle on the temperature gauge embed its self all the way the other side of the red, and then drop straight back to cold. I thought to myself that, that probably wasn't a good sign. In my motoring career I've had that happen a couple of times before, and it's always been when the engine has just dumped all its coolant in one go. I thought that I'd better pull over, and take a look. I found a little side road, and pulled into it!

I got out, and took a look at the situation, as I had expected, the Jaguar had run out of coolant, and if it wasn't smelling hot before, it really was now. I thought to myself that the best thing I could do (as I'd not renewed my breakdown cover) was to sit there until it cooled down, then head back to the petrol station, and fill the cooling system up with water.

As I sat there mulling things over while I had a ginger beer I came to the conclusion that it was probably a hose that was gone, and once back at the petrol station I would have a quick look to see if I could locate the problem. I went on to think that if it's anything more than a hose or something simple, then I will sell the Jaguar, spares or repair. But if it is something simple, then I shall keep it for a while longer, but maybe let it hibernate for a while in a nice dry garage. After a half an hour or so, I drove back to the petrol station, filled it up with water, and bought three five litre bottles of dirty river water, sorry, I mean lovely pure spring water, to take with me for topping up duties on the way home!

I had a feeling I was going to need it! I thought that I would probably try and take it steady, I usually like to drive around the 60mph sort of pace, but, seeing as my Jaguar was leaking, I thought I'd keep to about 50mph. After about ten minutes it was out of water again. I pulled off into a layby, and tipped in the first five litre bottle, it drank all of that straight away. I tipped in the next one, and almost all of that went in too! looks like I had underestimated the Jaguars cooling system capacity! I headed off into the night wondering just how far I was going to get before my engine exploded, or, far more likely heat siezed! Before too long another petrol station loomed into view. I pulled in. I let the Jag sit a cool off for a bit, whilst I phoned Mrs Clint to tell her that I was probably going to be late home, and it might not be a bad idea if she stayed awake, and maybe found the tow-rope! I filled the cooling system up again with the water hose at the petrol station. I also re-filled my dirty river water bottles, and bought another five litre bottle just for good measure. Once more I headed off into the night. I knew that the next petrol station wouldn't be for some time and infact I would be on the M27 before the next petrol station came up. Just fifteen minutes later I was pulling off the A31 at Rufus Stone to once again let the big cat cool off, before I could refill the cooling system. It's funny how your mind works when you're in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch black and its a little bit misty! I'm not a horror movie fan at all, but pretty much every horror movie I've ever seen played in my minds eye as I sat there waiting for the Jaguar to cool off. Once it had cooled off I can tell you that I really wasn't feeling like getting out to refill the system, but after a while I did manage to talk myself into it. I reckon I probably chucked nearly as much on the ground as I put into the engine, and then we were off!! There may have even been tyre smoke! I was really creeped out sitting there! Five minutes or so later I was pulling into the sevices at Rownhams to re-fill my cooling system, refill my water bottles, and empty my undergarments! I wandered in the get myself a McCuppaTea while the Jaguar cooled off. It was almost midnight, and I pretty much had the whole of McDonalds to myself. I supped slowly on my cup of tea and I must admit I did start to wonder what on Earth I am up to with my life! Am I really having as much fun as I like to think I am? Who knows, but what I did know is that driving home whilst dumping all the coolant out of the Jaguar is not too much fun, and as I've taken nearly three hours to do about 35 miles I really wasn't McLovin'It!! Right, engine cooled off, bottles topped up, off we go again! I couldn't decided what I thought was worse, breaking down in the middle of nowhere, or breaking down on the motorway. I didn't relish the thought of either to be honest, but with probably just over fifteen miles or so to go I joined the M27, and headed for the M3. Another ten minutes or so, and it was smelling hot again. I pulled off the motorway onto a bridge above the M3, and stopped on the pavement. I was about five miles from BelongaClint, this was it, let it cool down, then a quick splash and dash and I would be home. Half an hour or so later and I felt it was cool enough for another drink, I emptied the best part of another ten litres into the Jag, and hit the road! It was almost 01:30hrs and I was starting to feel a little drained, I thought I would throw caution to the wind at this point and just go for it! Just over five minutes later the mighty Jaguar was dumping it's coolant on the ground outside BelongaClint! I patted it on the bonnet, and headed inside to go to bed.

This morning I figured I'd have a proper look at it in the daylight...

Ah the mighty V8! I had worked out last night that the hoses that go from the engine block to the radiator are ok as the water would appear to be coming from the back of the engine. I'm not much of a mechanic but my feeling is that perhaps the hoses that run to the heater have gone, or maybe the heater matrix itself has sprung a leak. You can't really see much at the back of the engine in a Jaguar S-type, everything's so rammed in there. I filled it up with water, and started it up. There seemed to be no sign of a leak at the top of the engine, however underneath...

It was spraying out! I realise that the little stream between those two arrows doesn't look much, but it was under quite a lot of pressure, and ten minutes later the cooling system was empty again. I decided that the best thing to do would be to let it cool off, re-fill the system then get it on some ramps and have a proper look. Except I couldn't do that because I have lent my ramps to one of my friends, and I can't remember which one. If by chance you are one of my friends who is reading my babble, and you have my ramps in your garage, please feel free to drop them back to BelongaClint as soon as possible! Anyway, once it had cooled off, and I had re-filled it I put it up on my make-shift ramps for a closer inspection.

I'm not sure how Mr Health and Safety would feel about my concrete block ramps, but they did the job! The trouble is that much like the top of the engine bay the bottom is really no better, everythings just rammed in there. I could see that the water was spraying out, but I really couldn't see from where. In the end I admitted defeat, and called my trusty mechanic. I told him what the problem was, and waited patiently for his words of wisdom. They came pretty quickly, "SELL IT!" he said,  "Put it up for sale spares or repair!" I asked him if it really was as bad as that, and he told me that without looking at it he didn't know to be honest. But he said that really they're not worth much money, and pretty soon I would have probably paid him more than the car was worth, so from an economical stand point I should sell it and get something else. Well, I can't really argue with his logic. S-type Jags don't sell for a fortune, and I've had a years motoring out of this one, so in all honesty it owes me nothing. But I'm going to have one more look at it over the weekend, and if I can find the leak, and it's an easy fix, then I'll fix it, and then sell it. If not, then it's going to have to be sold as spares or repairs! But it has to be said that I'm not all that thrilled with that idea!