Launched in 1996, the Jaguar XK8 came with a 290-horsepowered 4-liter V8 engine that lurched the car to 60 miles per hour in 6.5 seconds. By all means a luxury car with a nice exterior and plush interior, the XK8 is not without its problems. Here are some of them.
The engine is one of the most common problem areas of Jaguar XK8 parts, with one of the biggest being the potential for engine bore wear, thanks to its Nikasil cylinder lining. The bore is the diameter of the piston, which in turn is a cylinder fitting inside of the likewise cylindrical combustion chamber. This part works by alternately providing energy from fuel and getting rid of exhaust gases. Bore wear is caused by fuel with high sulfur content, which unfortunately is what the XK8 uses to power its engine.
One step further from the rattle is a rough engine, indicating that a tensioner is so worn that the camshaft chain has already slipped a tooth-one more slip and the engine will go pop. That's right, its secondary tensioners easily fail. When the tensioners fail, the chain slack may allow the chain to jump one tooth on a sprocket so that exhaust valves open and close later than normal, making engine performance suffer.
Most of the time, engine replacement is required with this model. Front wheel bearings also fail and control arm bushings split and throw the XK8 out of alignment. The gearbox is
sealed for life but can start to drip oil without the driver knowing it, as there's no easy way of checking. This is because the XK8 is prone to having fine cracks within one or more of the gear teeth within the gear train, inside the automatic transmission gearbox. There had been complaints of drivers about the XK8 dripping oil in parking lots due to leaking cam cover gaskets and valve covers and the gear gasket where the engine meets the transmission. Sticking electric aerial and broken auto steering wheels are also issues of this model.
The Jaguar XK8's automatic transmission is known to shift to reverse without warning, potentially resulting in a crash. Drivers also encountered problems with opening or closing the convertible top.
In 1998-1999, Jaguar replaced Jaguar XK8 accessories like the five-speed automatic transmissions that made noise when accelerating in low range, lose reverse, or drive.