Jaguar V8 Timing Chains & Tensioners

Even though the oldest of the Jaguar V8 engines is now 16 years old (beginning with the introduction of the 1997 Jaguar XK8), we are still seeing cars with their original plastic timing components, tensioners & guides, failing. Some of these V8 Jaguars are still out there with these original plastic parts just waiting to fail – an actual ticking time bomb! No longer do they just fail from mileage, but age also causes the plastic components to crack, crumble and fail. When the plastic breaks it usually causes the timing chain to jump or break. If this happens as you start the car you could be lucky with minimal damage. However, at 20 mph you will definitly bend a few valves and possibly damage the entire engine beyond repair. I have seen a few break valves, pistons, and con rods. Several engines shot the piston thru the side of the engine block. A new engine is over $10,000 which is usually cost prohibitive – unless you really LOVE your Jaguar.

If you own a Jaguar V8 from 1997-2003 and you dont know if you have had the updated timing components fitted to your engine – You might want to save yourself alot of headaches and get it checked!

In this photo you can see a broken piece of plastic tensioner sitting in the lower right corner. We caught this just before it caused MAJOR damage.



Land Rover Madness!

The shop is full with LAND ROVERS! We may not have a baker’s dozen, but we sure have a dozen Land Rovers in the shop. Everything from a Series Forward Control, Disco I & II, P38 Range Rovers, LR3’s, and new style Range Rovers. We also have an ’89 Classic Range Rover coming in this weekend. However, The newer and classic Jags are still outnumbering the Rovers! We are doing everything from full power train overhauls, timing chain upgrades, to the simple stuff like oil changes and services. With all this work maybe I’ll shed some of the extra weight I gained during the holidays…





Don’t Run On Empty!

Recently we have had several vehicles towed in with a no start condition.  One Land Rover died at the car wash and a Jaguar wouldnt start in a customer’s garage.  Both vehicles had the same problem – a seized fuel pump.

With the cost of fuel soaring, many people are running their fuel tanks close to empty.  This can create MAJOR problems and BIG expenses.  During this cold time of year you should try to keep your fuel tank full or as close to full as possible.  Excess moisture in your fuel will cause condensation in the open space within your fuel tank.  This condensation will eventually settle to the bottom of the tank causing many corossion related problems.  It could lead to costly seized fuel pumps or injectors, frozen/broken fuel lines, rusted out fuel tanks, or it could leave you stranded.  Remember, top-up that tank to eliminate moisture problems. 

If you have an older vehicle or classic car sitting in storage, you should use a fuel stabilizer that helps combat moisture problems.  We have one old JAGUAR that has been sitting since the summer.  Its twin SU carburettors are stuck with a white film of corossion.  Now they need another costly overhaul which could have been avoided if we had listened to what we preach!



A little Spark in your life!

Your car is like your love life – it needs a little spark every now and then. You should change your spark plugs according to your owner’s manual or service schedule. Worn out spark plugs waste fuel, and they can also damage the other ignition components and emissions systems. The result: A repair as expensive as “making it up” to your significant other after you forget an anniversary…

A flashing “Check Engine Light” almost always means a MISFIRE! This is usually a fault of the ignition system and the spark plugs are most likely the culprit. I have seen many JAGUAR V12’s with the Marelli ignition cause major misfires due to worn Spark Plugs. Left unrepaired, this misfiring can cause the catalytic converters to heat up “cherry red” and catch the car on fire. Many beautiful JAGUAR XJS’s met the junk man in this fashion…


Snow? Use your Land Rover Terrain Response!

We are supposed to be getting anywhere between 2-6″ of cold wet snow tomorrow morning. If you have a LAND ROVER LR3 or newer RANGE ROVER, turn your “Terrain Response” dial on your center console to the “mud snow gravel” setting. This will optimize your Land Rover’s onboard systems to provide you with the safest performance on these snow covered roads. Remember, just because you have the best4x4xfar you need to keep control and drive safely for the road conditions. Stay Safe!


Why are you pressuring me to check my tire pressure?

Because you should check your tire pressure regularly!  Underinflated tires produce more drag and heat – making it more difficult to ride smoothly.  This increases fuel consumption and tire wear.  You have alot riding on your tires – like your safety –  so you should properly take care of them!  Measure your tire pressure every other time you fill up with fuel and you should be ok.  Usually you can find the correct tire psi listed on a label on the driver’s door jamp and in your owner’s manual.

I know for a fact that my wife’s Land Rover LR3 gets about 18 miles a gallon on the highway, but if the tire psi gets low the fuel economy drops to about 14 miles a gallon.  That is a huge waste of fuel.  I have a customer with a Jaguar V8 who runs 34psi in all four tires.  The ride is a bit stiffer, but he claims to be getting 25 mpg on average.


Do I really need to change my air filter?

I was asked this very question today – After showing the customer the black soot, bug, and grime encrusted air filter from their LAND ROVER.  I could not believe they questioned me on its replacement.  Air filters need to be changed – OFTEN!  Dirty air filters restrict the air flow to the engine, which makes the engine work harder and less efficient as well as creating excess wear and tear.  How do you work when you can’t breathe?  Dirty air filters waste fuel and then your fuel economy plummets – costing you more $ at the fuel pumps.  Have your air filter checked at every oil change.  Replacing a dirty air filter is inexpensive to replace, but will save you big money in the long run!


You can now Subscribe to our blog!

On the right side or bottom of your screen, there is a little widget that will allow you to subscribe to our blog.  After subscribing, you will be able to control how and when you receive notifications for our latest news and postings.  Stay up to date with what is happening at Authorized Imported Cars and get the latest news about Jaguar and Land Rover.  I think a subscription to our blog would make a GREAT Christmas Present!  HAHA!


Holiday Hours

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!!! So that we may spend a little extra time with our families, we will be closed from Saturday December 22 thru Wednesday December 26. We will reopen on Thursday the 27th at 8am. If you need to reach us for any reason call the shop at 908-788-1982. All calls will be answered or returned.


One Stop Import & Foreign Car Shop

Just a reminder… Authorized Imported Cars is a complete imported and foreign car repair and service shop. We do it all. We are also a fully trained and certified Autologic Diagnostic Center. We have the proper tools and equipment to perform any repair on BMW, MINI COOPER, MERCEDES, VW, VOLVO and many others as well as our specialty – JAGUAR & LAND ROVER. We have spent countless hours obtaining the proper training and knowledge, along with the proper specialty diagnostic equipment and tools, to be able to provide the best care for your vehicle. Thank you for trusting us with all of your automotive needs.