Our cars: Jag XF loses its get up & go

  • XF has power problems
  • Jaguar Assist assists!
  • Problems sorted quickly
Car tested Jaguar XF 2.7D V6 Luxury
List price: £33,194
Target Price: £32,386
Run by: Roger Stansfield
Tested for: 16 weeks/6300 miles

We are running our 2008 Car of the Year winner, the Jaguar XF, for 12 months to find out what it's like to live with.

It always happens on a Monday morning, doesn't it? Car trouble, I mean.

There was no hint of a problem as I keylessly entered the car the way I've done almost every day for 16 weeks, but then I noticed the starter button wasn't pulsing as it should.

A push on it and... nothing. Just a feeble message in the instruments telling me 'smart key not detected'.

I'm no mechanic, but I figured it was likely to be one of two things. Either the transponders in the key fob and car were having a tiff (unlikely, as I'd been able to get in without a problem), or the battery was low ­ but if so, why?

I'd done plenty of long runs to keep it topped up in and among my short commutes, and it's not as if I'd had all the electrics blazing away.

There's no point losing your cool in circumstances such as this, I find. A mixture of firmness and politeness gets the best results.

In any case, the people at Jaguar Assist have a wonderfully soothing manner, like members of the Samaritans doing a bit of moonlighting.

An hour later a mobile technician was on the doorstep, and seconds later he'd diagnosed the fault as a flat battery.

'There could be a battery drain,' he explained when I told him how I use the car, 'in which case it will need to go into a dealer for a thorough check. More likely it was the software crashing like you sometimes get with computers.'

With a set of jump leads he soon had the car going again, and via a laptop he checked it over and made all the softare updates that would normally be done by a dealer at service time.

And because the battery is in the boot he never even had to lift the bonnet.
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