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Jaguar S-Type Transmission Problems



  • We're having a wonderful time with our 2003 STR - hardly any problems so far and lots of fun. Can anyone help me with the vintage of our car - the registration papers say 2003 but the sticker on the door says it was manufactured in 2002. So, are we driving a 2002 or 2003 Jaguar STR? When we order up parts (which I'm sure we will be doing sooner or later because this much fun must come at a price) which date would be the correct one to use? There seems to be a difference between the 2002 and the 2003 transmissions and this is what concerns me at the moment - what's ahead for my Cat - the 2002 problems or the 2003 problems?
  • 07/2001 to 06/2002 should be '02. 07/2002 to 06/2003 should be 2003 in America. Where do you live? If in USA there will be a sticker which states" this vehicle conforms to all applicable emissions laws for the ---- model year. Also the 10th digit of the vin#
    represents the year. 2=2002 model, 3=2003 model in american standardized vin number codes. soberguy.
  • Great info, thank you, soberguy. We're in Ontario, Canada, the Cat has a 4.2 litre engine and the 10th digit of the vin # is 3. My conclusion - manufactured in 04/02 for model year 2003, hence the 2003 registration. What a relief - for a while there I was thinking we got royally ripped off by one full model year. I'm learning - next comes the coveralls and work boots, and a bit of vaseline to keep the grease from under my fingernails.
  • Well, you Brits always get the good stuff before we do. Fortunately, the VIN # on most
    Canadian cars are the same as American. If you have the 4.2 engine then you have the 6 speed ZF transmision. This is a Very, Very, high performance car. Forget the vaseline, (you're just turning me on) and have a good tech maintain it for you. Amatuers
    can ruin an ownership experience. The most common problem with high output cars is fluid leaks. If you dont have a lift to allow you to see the undercarriage when you change the oil then you could miss things that you would like to know about before they become a problem. Just a suggestion, but that's a really high tech car. Working on it your self is like deciding to give birth at home. It might very well turn out OK, but, if it doesn't, well,
    the results could be heartbreaking. Wishing you the best, Soberguy.
  • Thanks for the confirmation, Soberguy. Everything under the bonnet indicates the 4.2 engine as does the performance. Handling is incredible-jumps lanes rather than changing lanes, stuff like that. Because of the aftermarket warranty, we have to have a proper mechanic do the oil changes etc. so we'll have to make sure that he keeps an eye out for fluid leaks. We won't be taking this car to the Jaguar dealership as our experience with them has not been stellar.
    We're using Christo's JITS download for a manual and that seems to be working out just fine. This cat has a lot going for it but just a few bugs still to be ironed out - headlights are all out of whack, the bonnet flew up on me the other day at l00 km's per hour scaring me half to death and putting a few dents in the bonnet. Seems the safety catch took it upon itself to malfunction and the front brakes have suddenly developed a very nice shutter - perhaps a warped disc, who knows. One thing at a time. So far, these are the only "repairs" we'll be taking on ourselves.
    Replacing the headlight/ballast was a big eye-opener as to just how complicated this Cat is.
    Brits get the good stuff? I have to question that - remember a Brit designed this Cat - I just wonder where he got his engineering degree? He surely did not have "simplicity" in mind. Thanks. gr8cat
  • Wow. Headlight problems and a malfunctioning safety catch, are you sure that this car hasn't been in a front end collision? Make sure that the primary latch and safety catch are both aligned properly to prevent a recurrence of the bonnet problem
    New bonnets are expensive. Thanks for the tip about Christo's JITS and if you have the discs turned before the pads are ruined you might save a little. We have had terrible rains this month and are seeing a lot of warped discs. Soberguy.
    P.S. The design engineer got his degree from the University of low and sexy hoodlines.
  • You takes your chances when you buy used - a fact of life. Seems the safety catch needed a bit of lubrication and so now whenever we close the bonnet we make sure the safety catch is engaged. Everything mostly seems so great on this car it's difficult to imagine that it was front-ended at sometime, but I guess anything is possible.
    Good advice on the discs - sooner the better. Do we really believe that brake discs warp in wet/rainy weather? I've had Ford Contour discs go wonky because of over-torqued wheels but I don't think we've had enough rain here in Ontario to warp the Cat's discs. We will have them checked out.
    ULSH sounds like the appropriate university. gr8cat
  • I took a pair of '05 mercedes E320's to the auction on Friday and I bought a Pair of '06
    Jaguar S-type 4.2 V-8s while I was there. Niether one of the Jaguars made it home with-out throwing transmission faults and riding home in the "limp mode". It was a very long drive from Dallas to Oklahoma City in 3rd gear. I had to drive 75mph or less on both cars. When we got them home, we found that an overzealous detailer had washed the engine on the one with 39,000mi and filled 2 of the spark plug tubes with water. This has shorted out the coils on those 2 cylinders and caused a missfire which has thrown
    the transmission into "failsafe" mode. We used a compressed air blower to clean the
    water out of the spark plug holes and now the car drives with normal power. However, It
    is unusual to get away without having to replace the shorted coils. I charge $190.00 plus labor to replace these coils for a customer and I don't expect them to last more than a week. If they do then I will offer the car for sale. Otherwise, I will have to replace the coils.
    The other car has 79,000mi on it and appears to be in perfect condition except for
    its transmission problems. It is throwing codes for 3rd gear ratio, 4th gear ratio and Illogical ratios. This looks Bad!!!! It could be bad sensors or solenoids but these are
    classic codes for a slipping transmission. If this transmission needs a rebuild then I dont even know how to do it. The 6 speed ZF is supposed to be bullit proof. None of the Mercedes, BMW, or Jaguars I have ever worked on with this transmission have ever needed work untill the transmission was completely worn out. (aprox. 250,000mi.).
    I hope I haven't caught a bad one in this case. Many of my friends have bought cars
    that went through the hurricane and got screwed. The auction is supposed to screen these cars against the insurance list to make sure that we dont buy cars that have been under water. However, lots of cars drove through water and took their owners out of danger. If this car has gotten water in the transmission then I may become one of the few
    mechanics in the southern U.S. who can rebuild a ZF 6 speed. I'm certainly not going to knuckle under and buy a new one at my own expense without at least looking inside to see what the big deal is.
    This is probably no help to people who have legitimately worn out transmissions. I'm
    just keeping you up to date on what I'm up to. Soberguy.
  • Do brake discs really warp in rainy/wet weather? Well, yes they do and no they dont. The question is-"How hot are they?" The biggest problem with high performance brakes is that they have such a large surface area. The better your brakes are, the bigger their "pad swept area". that means the amount of steel that is constantly in contact with your enormous, high-performance, fail resistant, squeak-resistant, wear-resistant, fade-resistant brake pads. This is a constant compromise of performance over durability. If you drive at hiway speeds and then hit a mudpuddle with big brakes, then, you are more likely to get warped brake discs than someone with small brake discs. As cars increase in performance, we are seeing this constantly in all models and brands of cars. Bigger brakes mean more warpage. The korean cars are by far the worst.(even though they have the smallest brakes.) The resistance to warpage seems to have a lot to do with the quality of the steel and the size of the "Brake swept area". I
    live in Oklahoma, USA. We are seeing so much trouble with Corvette brakes this year that you wouldn't believe it. The biggest and best brakes in the world are warping like HELL!! At least you have brake discs that can be turned. These other cars only have 12
    1000ths between new and discard. We have to replace them. Dont even ask me about the cars with Ceramic brakes. Those owners just cry alot. Soberguy.
  • I have a 2001 s-type 4.0 with just under 80,000 miles. I get frequent transmission faults at lower speed, but if I switch the ignition off and on, they disappear and the car runs normally. I haven't read the codes yet, and would like to reset the computer by disconnecting the battery but I don't know my key code. I'm thinking there's probably nothing too seriously wrong with my car which I love, but I'm not positive. HELP..
  • transmission fault amber light appeared for several miles and then disapeared after turning engine on much later , there have been no unusual sounds or worry over trans, so what should one do ? 70.000mls jaguar 2001 s-type
  • jaymzsjaymzs Posts: 16
    I don't believe they had the ZF in an 03,, only 04 and up , check it out
  • You are going to have to get the car diagnosed. If there is a reputable after market
    shop with the correct scanning equipment then that is best. Otherwise you're bound for the dealership. Disconnecting the battery to clear codes will erase info that a tech needs for diagnosis. I had a problem with a 79,000 mile S-type recently that had a leak at the transmission cooler line and was running low on fluid. The
    line was replaced and the trans was properly filled with fluid. At this time it is performing normally. Best of luck with yours, Soberguy.
  • Both transmissions in the 2003 S-types were ZF units. They switched from the 5R55N to the 5HP24 or the 6HP26 depending on the engine size. That is according to Mitchell Ondemand.; which I only have a subscription to in USA spec.s . Soberguy.
  • Name says it all.....I love my 03 S-type 4.2L but it doesn't always treat me well.

    Bought from a family member 16 months ago with 60k miles. I have driven it 30k miles during this time (mostly highway). Maintained by dealer under warranty and since. Car is beautiful and romanced its whole life.

    During routine maintenance dealer found leaking transmission cooling lines and I paid the $1000 to have them replaced. I saw no signs of leaking on my garage floor nor did I experience driving symptoms but good professional mechanics proactively looked and found that issue.

    Bizarre problem with rearview mirrors. Both arms corroded under visible shell and need to be replaced. ($831 each from dealer and $200 to install both). I'll buy used and refer to the service CD I have to install myself.

    While I was waiting for Jag corporate to respond to my request for help replacing the mirrors (the decline eventually came). I got the dreaded amber gearbox fault error. When I restarted the car the message reset and reappeared the next day, this time with the amber engine light. The car drove normally around town and I brought it to the dealer for diagnosis.

    The dealer diagnosed a sticky/faulty torque converter ($2500 to pull transmission and replace). They reset the error codes and suggested waiting to see when and if it returned. My driving is mostly highway and I discovered that high speed (50mph +) inclines caused the error when the transmission went back and forth into overdrive on its own. Forcing the shift with acceleration generally prevents the error. I took the car to a very good transmission specialty garage. They confirmed the torque converter is acting a little funny but there were not any signs of a failed torque converter when the transmission plate was removed. However, they believe my problem is caused by a faulty speed sensor. Unfortunately the ZF transmission can not be worked on. The sensor ($10 part) is integral to the throttle plate containing all the solenoids ($2000+ part). The concern is that if I replace the torque converter the speed sensor will pretty quickly damage the new one. Also if the transmission gets pulled to replace the torque converter with 90,000 miles it might make sense to complete a rebuild or replace at that time.

    $2500 for Torque converter or $6500 for complete rebuild.....tough call. Any idea or suggestions?
  • Dear jadedjaglover, Well you may be screwed indeed. There is a factory tsb out on a
    faulty lining in the torque converter on your model. They have come out with a revised torque converter for the Jag and BMWs that have that transmission. The local Jag dealership has only sold 5 of them in the last 5 years and I have never seen the problem myself but apparently it does exist. Transmission code P0741 is the code for this problem. If your check engine light is coming on, you could go to AutoZone and get your codes read or ask the Jag dealer what the codes were that he got to recommend a new converter. A brief look on the internet returned no one offering that converter for sale but I didn't look very long. You're probably looking for a 6 speed ZF
    6HP26 Torque converter and the dealership price is $1600.00 retail. My price to install would be 7.7 hrs = $692.00 plus fluid. I can't find any cases where the embedded speed sensor was the problem. Just torque converters. If you were my customer I would probably take torque converter out and have it rebuilt. Usual cost $100-$300 dollars. That is of course based on the assumption that the torque converter is actually the problem. I would have to diagnose it myself to be sure. However, If you're getting that P0741 code then you are probably just looking at the converter problem,not a speed sensor. Clutches and solenoids inside transmission should still be good. Check ebay and the internet for one of the revised converters and then have someone put it in. When you find out what your codes are,I'ld be interested to hear what they were. Soberguy.
  • Thanks Soberguy.....code was P0741.
    Dealer quoted $2408 parts and labor so it sounds pretty close. They also talked about a tsb advising an additive to eliminate an occasional "chirp" when accelerating and shifting from 2-3 or 3-4. Told me there was no performance or damage impact but while they were working on the transmission they should do at the same time.

    Where are you located, I'm in upstate NY.

    Couple of other questions.

    If I avoid the highway and manually keep the car in 5 instead of D is there any chance of further damage over a few weeks while I schedule work?

    I know it is a crap shoot but any idea of expected life of this ZF transmission when mostly driven on highway. I'd rather not spend this money now and then have to pull the transmission again in 20-30k miles.

    Do you have thought and recommended sources of OEM front shocks with atc? One of the separators is worn on one of mine and I get a rattle once in a while but the dealer wants about $750 for parts alone.

    Finally, any good sources for used body parts. I need both door mirrors.

  • Soberguy -
    Both ecm and tcm codes were P0741.
  • Shouldn't make any difference to drive a couple more weeks. $750 is correct price for the front shocks. My shop is in Oklahoma City. Go to
    for used front shocks or body parts. Also try for mirrors(maybe). Are there any driveline shops in your area who can rebuild and install your torque converter?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,588
    No Jaguar parts at, sorry.

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • thank's fingers crossed , filter replaced , plus refilled synthitic oil , light has not appeared yet , haven't put car through paces, all is smooth , hopefully not knowing last service date if any ........say no more !
  • I have a 2001 S Type 3.0 with 77,000 miles. Car was fine when I bought it (76000 miles) with no engine codes and no previous engine codes. Soon after, Engine light came on with a brake switch code. Mechanic replaced brakes switch twice and it came on again both times after about 2 days. Car drives normally, except when shifting from 3rd to 4th, it rumbles. This occurs most of the time. Any idea if the two items are related? I am most concerned about the rumble when the car changes gears. Mechanic wants to trouble shoot the problem, but if anyone has had this happen and knows how to fix it, it would certainly help to save me on labor charges. Any ideas?
  • kidcocokidcoco Posts: 2
    Dear Soberguyjaguar! Wow, I'm so impressed with your really know your stuff and you are completely level headed. My question, for now, is, do I need my 2000 s type 3.0 to have the "transmission fault" light on for it to retrieve the codes?
    The engine light is on, but the code for that was P1571 Brake Switch. I haven't done anything about that. I plan too, but the breaks are fine. This car has 103k on it. I had the oil changed...then driving it away, I smell some burnt oil. I checked everything and saw no engine oil, saw no drips for months. I only smell it inside the car. I figured, well, the oil guy touched a manifold with oily rubber gloves and I smell it through the heater. But today, the "Transmission Fault" light came on. I could REALLY smell that smell now! The tranny was slipping on the freeway, made a rear end clunk as it reved to 4 to 5k rpm, then would kick in and go back down to 3k. The Tranny Fault light would come off when the car cooled down. But it slips at high speeds on the free way (when trying to pass or something).

    I live in WA state. I sure wish I lived in Oklahoma to see you!!!!
    I have an extended warranty, it appears to cover up to 2,000 on a tranny (there are so many clauses though). I'm wondering if it's a good warranty. Tomorrow, I'm heading to auto zone. Then I'm will take it to the used dealer I bought it from (and the warranty) hoping they will be great advocates. Can I come back to you and get your take on the codes? I'm thinking that If I need a new tranny, I may be able to get by on paying about 1000 out of pocket for the labor. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you for posting here. Thank you thank you thank you!!! You are an amazing nice guy for lending your expertise here!
  • kidcocokidcoco Posts: 2
    Well, I guess I shouldn't limit myself. I am pretty stressed out with my car woes and limited funds and not many options. Soberguyjaguar...I find you an expert, but I see earlier threads with some pretty great knowledge. I come back here with codes:

    Autozone tells me 1572 and 0795. Brake Switch and Faulty shift Celenoid. Here's my fear: My after market warranty I bought (First Automotive) states that it doesn't cover electronic parts. I believe a celenoid is an electronic part. I believe the transmission is a sealed transmission, hence, if it needs a new celenoid, it needs a new transmission. But because it's the celenoid, and not the lubricating parts, it won't be covered under my warranty. I might be completely talking out my own rear end as well! I don't know. It sure sounds reasonable that because it's seal, if a part inside goes but the whole needs replacing, it should be covered. I guess it's up to them? I would love Soberguyjaguar's take on my problems. I would love anyone here who would love to comment. Please also read #172 post where I replied. Pleaded, and cried! I also accept any sympathy and empathy. I need it. I know I sound joking, but I'm kinda down about my car problems and not much cash to back it up. It's a beautiful car and it drives very nice when all is in order.

    Here's another issue. I checked the history and it was recalled for ball joints. But they went out about 3 months ago so I had them replaced. (I feel the dealer should honor a recall if it still continues with the same problem, but they tell me it's a one shot deal. I now again, have the same squeek rusty iron sound when I go over speed bumps. These are brand new ball joints, 3 months old! No sound for three months. Back to the same problem. Do shocks or struts make this sound? I had the car checked out before I bought it and they said it needed ball joints.
    No mention off shocks or stuts. It "appears" to just be ball joint arthritis with this machine. Give it a steroid shot and it's ok for few months, but when it wears off, you still have arthritis?

    I know this rig has 100,000 miles on it. But i have record of many things replaced and it looks extremely clean, like a car only 4 years old. OK, I've completely spilled my automotive guts and gears in two posts (172). My fish hooks are out. Bite anyone? Soberguyjaguar?

    Thank you so much for reading my posts!!! All the best to you folks!
  • aroent3aroent3 Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 S Type and it wont shift correctly. I have gotten the transmission fault message before but it began to work again. More specifically it wont go into first gear easily. Now it wont even go into first gear the engine just rams really fast and moves very slowly. now once it gets into the upper 50's it has a problem shifting. I have a issue going up and down hills also. I used to take it to the 2 then put it in drive and take off. that was working for a while now its not. Also i hear a huge rubbing noise in the rear of the car when its trying to shift. Im not sure whats going on.
  • You need a capable mechanic or transmission shop. Transmissions that dont have a dipstick can still have their fluid checked and topped up. The shift solenoids are all inside the transmission and are bathed in fluid. Most extended warranties cover them because they are internal. Call the 1-800 number on your extended warranty and ask if a shift solenoid is covered. I am concerned that you are still driving the car. If it is low on fluid and you have a brake switch problem, you could be turning a
    $600 warranty repair plus $100 brake switch into a $3200.00 trans. rebuild. You also need to find out where it is leaking to get that burning smell. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
  • Sorry, but you wont be driving much longer. You are either low on fluid or your transmission is out. Forcing the car to drive when you are low on fluid burns up the clutches; ruining the transmission. Make a plan now.
  • aroent3aroent3 Posts: 3
    So it could just be out of fluids? When it goes into the first gear and the car jerks a little after i take it to the 2 and back to the drive it works fine i have no problem with it but when i start it and after bringing it from the 2 back to drive and it doesnt jerk or only jerks a little it wont work or shift right and its getting worse when it doesn't shift.
  • Yes, that's one of the 2 possibilities.
  • aroent3aroent3 Posts: 3
    Im trying to change the transmission fluid how do i change the fluid, and what kind do i get.
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