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1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas not running.... computer issues??

Andrew Myers
Jaguar Drivers Club of Long Island *

forum user since 2008-06-11


I originally posted my delima on 4/27 and my Jaguar is still sitting. Unfortunatley, it is located in WV and there are not many (if any) qualified technicians and it still doesn't run.
As I posted in April, my saga began almost two years ago when someone lost my key and remote. I keep this car to use when I'm at my vacation home and although it has been inconvenient, I have used a rental car.
I recently purchased a new key and remote from a great Jaguar parts supplier and proceeded to have my car trailered to the nearest dealer (1 hour away) and they programed the key and remote. The dealer determined that due to the car sitting, it either has bad gas, fuel pump is not working or perhaps fuel injectors are not getting power. Since this car is approximately 12 years old and at $100 per hour, I requested that they only program the key and remote and I would have my local mechanic take it from there. Today the car was trailered back to my town and my mechanic has determined that the "anti-theft" system is not allowing anything to work and the remote isn't working either! Does anyone have any suggestions that will help me out of this mess? Please....please!!
PS, you may reach me directly at amyersny@verizon.net

1999 Jaguar Vanden Plas V8 Champagne exterior and tan interior with only 7K original miles

1998 Jaguar Vanden Plas not running.... computer issues??

Garfield Schexnayder
Jaguar Car Club of North Florida *

forum user since 2009-12-02


Since you haven't had much luck getting your car running, I'll input my 2 cents.

First; don't try to get too exotic on the cause when it comes to an engine not running and take things in a simple, yet complete order.

Engines have to have three things in order for them to run. Fuel, air and spark. Of course compression is major, but unless you blew the heads off the engine when you first parked it, there should be enough for the engine to operate.
Second: Look around and find an auto shop that has been around for a long time. Talk to the head guy and explain to him what you would like him to do. Any machinic worth his salt should know how to disconnect the fuel line and check to see if you have fuel pressure. If there is pressure, your fuel pump/pumps are ok. Water in the gas is not good, but the engine should still fire. It may mis and pop, but it should run. Also, if your not getting gas at the engine, have the fuel filters replaced. Even if the old ones are still good, it won't cost much to replace them anyway. While the filters are removed, check to see if the pumps are working.

Next, have him check to see that the air intake system is clear. Being parked for long periods of time is inviting to small creatures who could eat into the air intake tubes or hoses and build a nest. If everthing is clear, the only other thing to have him do is to have him check for spark.

Simple test would be to remove a plug, connect it back up to the plug wire, ground it against the engine while someone turns the engine over. If no fire at plug, then checking deeper is called for. I don't know if the spark for your year model is controlled by a onboard computer or not, but the correct service manuals or Computer programs will answer that question.

If the spark is not controlled by the onboard computer, then bad coils or other components can be checked and replaced if necessary.

If you have these three things checked, and they are as they should be, then the onboard computer could be the problem--------however, you said that you took the car to a dealer to have the key programed. My question there is, if they correctly programed the key, they should have been able to check the things I just mentioned and tell you why the car would not run. The fob not working, I've been told, has nothing to do with the engine running. It only open locks etc. _

IF (and that's a big IF) the key was not programed correctly, nothing will make the engine run, until it is.


Garfield (Chuck)
05/XJ8L and 05/XK8 Convertible CF addition