Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Bargain I May Not Be Able to Refuse

A 2014 Jaguar XF AWD closeout at my local dealer.


  1. One cost factor involved in owning an AWD can be a shock for some people: if you destroy a tire, you MAY end up buying 4 new ones.

    They normally have 3 differentials, and quite often at least one of them will be a limited slip design. With any of that sort, you do not want mixed diameters (different circumferences) on the same axle, as that can cause premature failure. The same thing can occur with different front and rear tires, as that center diff will not be happy dealing with different rotation speeds for any real length of time. The faster you go, the more stress it puts on the gearing system and associated parts.

    You can run into this problem just putting a new, identical tire, in with half-worn tires. Also, you absolutely cannot expect that a different model tire with the same size listing will actually BE the same physical size, even if the same brand. You would need to measure the inflated tire circumference to compare them.

    In addition, never have an AWD towed by a wheel-lift type tow truck, unless the other end is on a dolly. All wheels must be in the same state. All turning, or none. I've seen a center diff destroyed this way, and it was less than a half-mile on the freeway. The tow driver thought it was a FWD version, which was the more commonly seen of that model.

  2. Consumer Reports tested the car and liked it. Their one caveat was "No recent Jag has been reliable".

  3. My 2007 X-type has never stranded me, failed to start, or otherwise disappointed me.

  4. Will -

    I've owned a front-wheel-drive SUV and have found that AAA and towing company would both triple-check that it was not 4WD before dispatching a tow-truck. Then often the driver would ask if i was sure, and then look under to verify the lack of a rear differential himself.

    I've concluded that in my area at least the probability of damage due to towing a 4WD vehicle two-down is remote.

    Buying 5 tires and following a frequent rotation schedule is one way of making sure you avoid the sudden expense of all-new tires. I've had 2 cars that carried original spares at 10 years old, and I was always pretty uncertain that I would want to put much trust in a tire that old. Aside from the obvious risk of blowout, the rubber compound hardens to the point where wet traction approaches nil.