12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD - Winter Troubles

March 13, 2014
2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD Front Three Quarters 02
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After months free of drama, our Four Seasons 2013 Jaguar XJL was bitten by the injury bug in the middle of winter. It was only serious enough to knock the Jag out of commission for a few days.
First, it wouldn't take fuel. The pump would click off early, long before the tank was full, deputy editor Joe DeMatio reports. Then the engine light came on, and we detected a random noise from the back of the car that sounded like a gong.
The big sedan has a 21.7-gallon fuel tank good for an estimated range of 410 miles, so we could comfortably get the car the seventy-five miles from our Ann Arbor headquarters to home, and then to the closest Jaguar dealership, in Novi, Michigan, with less than half a tank of fuel remaining. The dealer found the venting valve on the fuel filler neck, called the diagnostic module - tank leakage (DMTL), frozen over with slush and salt from the road. The blocked venting made the Jag's sending unit think the tank was full, and likely caused the gong noise and triggered the engine light. The dealership replaced the fuel filler neck, the DMTL, and a connector.
Jaguar of Novi also washed the car, returning the XJL to factory-new condition. Though the car had just 14,714 miles on the clock, we had the dealer perform the 16,000-mile service, which includes an oil/filter change and washer fluid top-off. The next morning, the car took 15.2 gallons, a proper fill-up of $55.93 worth of premium.
All was well for a few weeks, until a large pothole formed during the long, cruel winter rattled the teeth of associate web editor Jake Holmes.
"I couldn't stop in time and braking would only exacerbate the problem," he says. "Swerving left would have sent me into the door of a white minivan, heading right would have sent me into a tall curb. We hit the pothole at 35 mph with an almighty bang."
Jake's night of discontent was just beginning. He hiked over to a nearby Olive Garden to borrow a flashlight. Returning to the Jag, he was grateful to find a spare tire -- many cars no longer have them -- and a set of tools nicely arrayed in the trunk. Working carefully so as not to damage the trunk-mounted batteries with an errant swing of the spare, he set about changing the tire. It swapped out easily, and in a matter of minutes our stately British sedan was wearing a skinny tire with a garish red wheel cover. It looked decidedly out of place compared with the rest of the big cruiser's Downton Abbey demeanor.
The next day, Holmes shopped around, but no one had a winter tire available on short notice, especially with the end of winter mere weeks away (or so the calendar says). We put the XJL back on its capable all-seasons rubber, and things have gone smoothly since.
The tire swapping cost $140 and took a little over an hour at a local shop. The fuel venting issue was covered under warranty at the dealer and required a night out of service. All things considered, it could have been far worse and far more time-consuming. Nevertheless, we're hoping spring is kinder to our Four Seasons Jaguar.

Long-Term 2013 Jaguar XJ-Series Reviews to Date:

SPRING 2014
2013 Jaguar XJL Portfolio AWD - Winter Troubles
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Photo Gallery

  • The tire pressure warning light came on immediately after the Jaguar XJL hit a deep pothole
  • Associate web editor Jake Holmes had the flat tire changed in minutes.
  • The spare is much smaller and much less attractive than Jaguar's usual 19-inch aluminum wheels.
  • The damaged winter tire is done for the year.
  • The XJL still looks smart from this side—the spare tire is mounted on the other.
  • The end of winter can't come soon enough, though this parking lot is thawed out.
  • The Jaguar XJL rests at sunset the day before its fuel venting system is cleaned out.
  • The stately exterior belies the fact our Jaguar is crippled. It's can't take fuel, though that problem will be remedied the next day.
  • A view of the Jaguar as it sits on a patch of ice in a parking lot.

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