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 on: June 22, 2017, 12:01:56 AM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
It is sad that most 'car guys' see Jaguars and run away.  If they could get better quality parts and better reliability I feel they would be much more successful.

This is a very interesting subject.  I have to wonder how that really works, and if Jaguar is even concerned.  A new XJ is an expensive car, (MSRP starting around $78k).  When dealing with customers of that level, I see a majority of stories going one of two ways.

Scenario 1:  They trade-in frequently for the newest model.  A new XJ comes with a 5 year/60k mile warranty.  If anything breaks, it gets fixed.  So if the customer trades every 3 or 4 years, they shouldn't have to pay to fix the car at all.

Scenario 2:  They are likely to get an extended warranty, (a Vehicle Protection Plan ), in case they plan on keeping the car long term.  I'm not exactly sure how long coverage can be extended.  One forum post I saw said a VPP adds a maximum of 6 years of additional coverage up to a total of 100k miles.  But the point is that even as the odometer climbs, the car is still covered.  And depending on how old a car can be for a dealer to offer a VPP, (I know we had restrictions at Ford), the car can technically be covered for maybe 8 or 9 years total ?  I don't know for sure.

In either scenario, the car is covered under warranty.  The customer doesn't have to pay anything for the first 5 years, and maybe only a deductible after that.  From a design standpoint, if the car performs trouble free for 6 - 8 years, the customer should be happy, and may be agreeable to trading it in for another one which should make Jaguar happy.  

While it's definitely nice for a manufacturer to be able to say that their cars last a long time, I question whether or not that makes a difference in today's automobile industry.  If you ask me, who bought a 15 year old used car, about Jaguar's reliability, I may have an .  .  . interesting .  .  . response.  But I think you would get a very different response asking that same question to the person who buys a new one every 3 - 6 years .  .  .

 on: June 21, 2017, 03:34:53 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by RatherBNarizona
It is sad that most 'car guys' see Jaguars and run away. If they could get better quality parts and better reliability I feel they would be much more successful.

 on: June 21, 2017, 12:09:22 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
Thanks Ryan !  Your comments are right on target.  Jaguar builds beautiful cars.  I still find myself seeing one from that era and smiling at the car's lines.  But then I remember how many cheap plastic cooling system parts and fuel gauge sending units I've replaced over the years.  

I was chatting with a friend and former coworker of mine who now works in a local independent shop.  What was he working on at that moment ?  A newer Jaguar XF with cooling system parts made from cheap plastic that cracked and broke.  Unfortunately, that's what this industry is coming to .  .  .

 on: June 20, 2017, 06:49:20 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by RatherBNarizona
That Jag was beautiful. One of the most beautiful cars and one I would never own. I wish it had relability because she sure looks good.

I love my Lexus because of the reliability and comfort.

Great color BMW! I like it!

 on: June 12, 2017, 11:46:12 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
Thanks !  I didn't realize just how widespread the BMW turn signal comment actually was.  I've been seeing it quite often now that I'm paying attention to it .  .  .

 on: June 12, 2017, 07:18:54 AM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by racer91
Now that you are a BMW Owner, please dont forget how to use your turn signal 


 on: March 13, 2017, 01:15:17 AM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
continued .  .  .
Part 5 of 5
I took the long way back home since the sun was still shining bright.  Once there, I naturally had to take a bunch of pics because that's what I do.

The more I look at the Olivine Green Metallic paint, the more I love it !

I don't have any hard numbers.  But a quick Google search brings up a few discussion forum threads that deal with that paint color and how rare it is.  Several posts I saw echoed my thoughts from earlier – I've never seen another one.

And the paint is in remarkably good shape !  The front end is almost completely chip-free.

The reason why was in the trunk.  Apparently, the previous owner had the front end fitted with a cover.  I haven't seen one of these in years !  While it's not something I would use all the time, I can see where it would be beneficial on a long trip.

Also in the trunk were the factory BMW floor mats.   

They look used, but not beat up.  At some point, the previous owner added molded rubber floor mats, which I really like.

Ideally, the car would have the 225 hp 3.0L I-6.  But the 184 hp 2.5L I-6 will get the job done.  Both engines are well known for their smooth operation and longevity.

During my initial inspection of the engine bay, I couldn't find a power steering pump.  The Z4 features electric power steering, a feature that is now becoming quite common.  Eliminating the power steering pump reduces drag on the engine and frees up some space under the hood.   

The trunk is small, as is expected with this class of car.  This is where the Porsche Boxster has a distinct advantage.  That car's mid-engine layout allowed for a second luggage compartment up front.  Can't do that on this car.  While I won't be able to haul bags of mulch, I'll have no problem fitting a suitcase for those extended road trips.

The trunk floor is removable and allows access to the battery and factory tool kit which was still in place.

And so begins the next chapter of my vehicle ownership timeline.  I now have a one-owner, low miles, mint condition car sitting in my garage.  While no used car purchase is ever guaranteed to be trouble free, this car seems to have all the right ingredients.  So we'll see what happens.  Here's to many happy miles !

~  A 47k original mile car that has been well taken care of and truly looks the part.
~  Wonderful BMW seats.
~  I fit comfortably and have plenty of room in all directions.
~  Well-proven BMW inline 6-cylinder engine is known for its longevity.
~  Extensive dealership network, (including one in Athens), in case specialized knowledge is ever needed.
~  I got the deal I wanted.

~  Coming from a larger car will require a few adjustments on my part.   
~  Run-flat tires are expensive.
~  Massive blind spot over my right shoulder with the roof up, (but that won't happen very often !).
~  A noticeable difference in ride quality.

 on: March 12, 2017, 11:59:51 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
continued .  .  .
Part 4 of 5
I headed to the showroom to find my new ride parked outside the door.

I had to track down Geary, who happened to be with other customers at that moment, (did I mention that this place was busy !).  No worries.  I'll just pass the time getting to know the car a little more.

This is a one-owner car that originally came from Florida.  At some point, the car owner made his way to northern Georgia where BMW of Athens took over the servicing duties. While not "fully loaded," this car carries quite a few options including twin power seats, fog lamps, the "fine wood" interior trim package, the 10-speaker hi-fi audio system, and the "automatic anti-dazzle" rear view mirror.  Included with the car were two sets of keys and all the books and manuals.  


With paperwork in hand, Geary brought me back to his desk where I got a lot of practice signing my name.  I was now a BMW owner for the first time in my life.  I want to thank Sales Consultant Geary McWhorter and the entire sales staff at Heyward Allen Toyota for a wonderful car buying experience !  Geary was a pleasure to work with.  Never once did I feel pressured or uncomfortable.  And he sold me an awesome ride !

 on: March 12, 2017, 11:59:27 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
continued .  .  .
Part 3 of 5
Well this was a surprise !  I did not expect to do this today and was completely unprepared.  I didn't even have the Jag cleaned out let alone have the title with me.  No worries.  This would give Geary the opportunity to get the car prepared for delivery.  I headed back across town and started cleaning out the Jag.

You don't realize how much stuff you have in your car until you have to clean it out.  I had a lot of, "I wonder where that came from" conversations with myself in the process.

I returned to the dealer and parked in the lot next to the showroom.  

After two years and precisely 19,678 miles, it was time to say goodbye to my "Beautiful Disaster."

This car definitely earned its nickname thanks to the dramatic roller coaster ride that was the ownership experience.  I still think it's one of the most beautiful cars on the road from any angle.

The interior proved over and over again to be a great place to spend an afternoon on the open road.  

I'm going to miss the heated seats !  I learned over Thanksgiving that they're worth their weight in gold while riding with the roof down in the Rocky Mountains.  

The times and miles I spent behind the wheel were all wonderful !  It's the times spent on a rollback and having to buy Jaguar parts more often than I thought appropriate that got to me.  But now it was time to put all of that behind me.  I made sure I had everything out of the car and removed my license plate.  

I put the roof up so there would be no confusion on how to do it this time.

After all the trials and tribulations with this car mixed with all the wonderful miles I spent smiling behind the wheel, this is how it ended.  I liken the experience to being in a relationship with a significant other.  Relationships are a blend of good times and challenges, and sometimes the challenges win .  .  .

~  Stunning good looks both inside and out !
~  A wonderful grand tourer that loves the open road.
~  My back never had a complaint after spending many hours in the driver's seat.
~  Powerful, yet whisper-quiet V8.
~  Creature comforts galore.
~  It's a Jaguar, and I love Jaguars !

~  It's a Jaguar, and I love Jaguars.    
~  Numerous long standing quality issues that never seem to go away make for a very intense ownership experience.
~  The closest dealer is 2 hours away.
~  Jaguar parts can cost a fortune, especially if they are needed on a regular basis.

 on: March 12, 2017, 11:57:23 PM 
Started by Oldcarsarecool - Last post by Oldcarsarecool
continued .  .  .
Part 2 of 5
The first thing I noticed was that wonderful color !

BMW calls it Olivine Green Metallic.  The "olive" reference in the name becomes apparent once you see the car in person.  

I call it wonderful, and a refreshing change from the often seen white or silver colors.  I also call it very unusual in that I've never seen another one like it.  

The interior is called Oregon Beige Leather and works perfectly with the exterior color.

I took a seat and immediately remembered why I love BMW seats so much.  They fit my frame perfectly.  Finding a good driving position was easy thanks to the 8-way power driver's seat.  The problem I had with my Porsche Boxster's roll bar isn't an issue on this car.  Legroom is abundant.  I was able to put the seat back far enough to get me away from the dash and windshield and still be completely free of the roll bar behind me.  At the same time, the tilt and telescoping steering column allowed me to bring the steering wheel closer.
All of the other expected goodies were present and accounted for – power windows, locks, and mirrors, climate control, cruise control, and CD player, (what would I do with all my cassettes ?).  Driver and passenger seats are 8-way power (driver's seat also has memory), but not heated.  One of the Z4's most welcome updates was the glass rear window that replaced the Z3's plastic piece.

Memories of my earlier Z4 impressions were accurate.  This is definitely a small car, especially coming from a 4-seat Jaguar.  But I felt like I had more room, especially shoulder room, compared to the Z3 from a few weeks ago.  Even though the interior dimensions of both cars are virtually the same, the Z4's ever-so-slightly more leg room, (42.0 inches vs 41.8 inches), and shoulder room, (52.5 inches vs. 51.7 inches), seem to be enough to make a difference.  Adding what I'll call the "elegantly simple" overall design of the dash makes the area directly in front of me seem larger.

Notice the shape of the Z3 dash in the photo below.  The horizontal centerline (where the vents are located) is curved outward toward the passengers which gives the impression that the dash is encroaching on your space, which makes a huge difference when there isn't a whole lot of space available to begin with.  The Z3's dash also appears somewhat busy, especially around the center console.  
2001 BMW Z3

Now compare that to the shape of the Z4's dash.  Less clutter combined with the placement of the dash vents and the slope of everything away from the passengers gives the impression of more available space.

Starting the car showed me the number I was looking for and the reason why I was here today.

My 17 years of turning wrenches for a living has taught me that even though plenty of cars have a reputation for their longevity, all of them will eventually need to have parts replaced at some point.  Some makes are better than others in this regard, (is it necessary for me to remind everyone that I drive a Jaguar ?).  But a car is a mechanical object designed and built by human beings, and its parts will eventually wear out.  A low odometer reading does make a difference regardless of make.
The sun was shining bright on this morning.  So the roof would have to be down for a proper test drive.  The Z3 I drove a few weeks ago had what I'll call a "semi-power" top.  Latching and unlatching was done via a pair of manual handles.  Once unlatched, the top had to be manually lifted by hand about 8 inches before power operation began.  This Z4 has a fully powered top with automatic latching/unlatching.  With my seat adjusted and the roof down, Geary and I hit the road.  
Power comes from the base 2.5L inline 6-cylinder engine which is paired with BMW's 5-speed "Steptronic" automatic transmission.  The mediocre 184 hp produced by the engine only has to move around 3,000 pounds.  Acceleration was actually quite brisk.  Contemporary road tests from back in the day seem to indicate that zero to 60 mph would take around 7 seconds with the quarter mile arriving in the mid-15-second range.  Having the 225 hp 3.0L inline 6-cylinder would shave about 1 second off of those times.  But the 2.5L's performance was more than adequate.  

Ride quality seemed appropriate for the class of car.  Like the Boxster, road imperfections were handled with ease, albeit with a bit more noise than I'm used to.  But there is no point in comparing this car to a Jaguar, and I wasn't going to try to do so.  I felt the ride quality was very good, all things considered.  I discovered that the relatively small 225/50/16 tires on this car have quite an effect on the ride quality.  But there's more to this story.
The automobile has been equipped with a spare wheel and tire for more than a century.  All of us have grown up knowing what the "spare" is, and why it's there.  Pre-war era cars featured two spares, one mounted on each long curved front fender.  Styling changes in the 1940s reduced the number of spares to one and moved it to the trunk.  It's biggest drawback was the amount of space it occupied due to its size.  Manufacturers began looking at ways to shrink the size of the spare in the late 1960s which lead to the development of "space saver" or "donut" spares commonly seen today.  
In the modern era, some manufacturers, like BMW, have begun fitting run-flat tires to their products.  A run-flat tire allows the vehicle to be driven for a limited distance with zero air pressure in the tire.  This is accomplished via a thicker and much stiffer tire sidewall.  The biggest benefits of using run-flat tires are the increase in available storage space that results from ditching the spare and jack, and greater stability in the event of a tire failure.
The list of drawbacks, however, is quite long.  They can cost more than twice as much as a conventional tire.  The additional cost means they don't sell as well, and therefore aren't as widely available.  The tire's extremely stiff sidewall works against ride quality.  To offset this, the actual tread surface is made from a softer compound which wears out faster.  While run-flat tires offer protection against running over a nail, they cannot be used if the deflation is due to a sidewall puncture.  And finally, most run-flat tires cannot be repaired.   That means every flat costs a few hundred dollars to fix.
This car has four Bridgestone Potenza RE050 run-flats with (thankfully), a lot of tread remaining.  Tire Rack lists this tire as "original equipment" and sells them for around $197 each !  Conventional tires in that size can be had for as little as $70 each.  So it's easy to understand why a lot of owners aren't sticking with the run-flats when they wear out.  The problem is that the car doesn't have a spare tire or jack.  Parts specialist Bimmerzone in Pennsylvania offers a spare tire and jack kit for around $350.  The question then becomes do you spring for the run-flats, or do you get the spare tire kit that takes up a good bit of room in your already small trunk.  With this car having 7/32nds of tread remaining on all the tires, I hopefully wouldn't have to worry about this for a while.
The very tight-on-center steering of this car invoked more great memories of my Porsche Boxster.  The Z4's 2,932 pound curb weight and near perfect 50/50 weight distribution make the car feel extremely precise.  It immediately goes where it's pointed without any drama.  Body roll is non-existent.

I realized that this test drive was going very well !  I was extremely impressed with the car and kept listening to how it was definitely "speaking to me" just like the Boxster did back in 2012.  Even better was the fact that I couldn't find anything to question.  In the midst of this concentration, I forgot I had a passenger with me.  Geary didn't appear to be too uncomfortably cold riding in a convertible with the roof down in February.  But I could tell that this definitely wasn't his normal winter driving routine.  I didn't want to freeze him out completely.  So we headed back to the dealership after a brief ride around town.  
The crowd at the dealership seemed to increase significantly in that short amount of time.  This place was busy !  Even so, Geary's sales managers quickly made time to give my car an evaluation while Geary and I chatted at his desk.  Phone call number one from the parking lot requested instructions on how to put the top up.  A second phone call came in a few minutes later wanting to know how to release the parking brake.  I had to laugh because this isn't the first time this has happened.
And so I waited.  Geary returned to his desk with an offer:  My car and around $7,500 difference.  Too many incidents over the years of being surprised in a not-so-good way during the numbers game have taught me to never get my hopes up, and this is why.  But more importantly, these incidents have also taught me to do some research beforehand.  Two numbers jumped out at me from Kelly Blue Book.  Using the "trade-in value" for my car and the "fair purchase price" shown for the Z4, I came up with a difference of $4,500.  I explained this to Geary the way I always approach the car buying experience – That’s what I want.  If it's not feasible, that's ok, no harm done.  
Geary headed back to the powers that be with this new information in hand.  He was gone for what seemed like a very long time, at least much longer than I am used to.  No worries.  I passed the time watching "My Lottery Dream Home" on HGTV that was playing in the Customer Lounge.  Seeing Geary returning with paperwork in hand reminded me once again not to get my hopes up.  He said that my offer was "fair and reasonable .  .  .  but we're scared of your car. "
I laughed !  This is probably the most honest statement I've ever heard during a car buying experience.  He explained that as a Toyota dealer in Athens, they don't know what to do with a Jaguar.  They have no market for it.  They don't know how to fix it.  They can't easily get parts for it, (tell me about it !).  This means they're not going to keep it.  I had been waiting longer than usual because the sales managers were calling their contacts for cars of this nature to see what could be arranged.  Then came the moment of truth:  Geary said the best they could do was $5,000 difference.

After the initial offer of $7,500, I expected Geary to return with something in the $6,500 - $7,000 range because that's what typically happens.  And I would have politely declined.  Instead, he surprised me.  He really surprised me in the best way possible.  I instantly became a blabbering idiot asking him the same series of questions several times – "So, this means my car and $5,000 ?"  "Is this 'out-the-door' ?"  "Does this include all the taxes ?"  "So you're saying my car and $5,000 ?"  Yes, that's what he was saying.  Geary was happy to say yes as many times as I asked.
Here before me was the opportunity to get a mint condition car that "speaks to me" for the deal I was looking for.  I normally don't make a decision like this on the spur of the moment.  But this was exactly why I came to Heyward Allen Toyota today.  I reached across the desk and shook his hand .  .  .

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