Winter can be a difficult time for any car owner, as the cold weather and icy conditions puts an extra strain on the vehicle. To help ensure your classic Jaguar runs smoothly during the winter months, we’ve put together a list of our top tips:
1. Fit winter tyres
The XJS is not best suited to snowy winter weather, due to its relative heaviness and rear wheel drive. Fitting winter tyres, however, will dramatically improve your ability to drive in snow and ice. An example is Avon Ice Touring, typically £85 per tyre plus fitting. As an alternative, try reducing the tyre pressure by about 10%, creating a greater surface area to grip on the roads.
2. Avoid salty roads
Easier said than done at this time of year. If you do drive on salty roads, quickly wash off any salt/mud residue in the wheel arches and sill ends as soon as possible. For further advice, read our post on how to keep rust at bay.
3. Check your antifreeze
Regularly check your coolant additive (antifreeze) concentration using an antifreeze tester, which can be purchased from retailers such as Halfords. In the winter, the concentration should be at least 30%, rising to 50% in the north of England and Scotland where it’s colder. It is important to change the coolant every two years for conventional types, or every five years for OAT (red) additives. At KWE, we only use OAT additives on XJS and XJ saloons.
4. Upgrade your headlamps
Upgrading your headlamps will give you greater visibility during the dark winter months. We’d recommend Xenon HID electronic lamps, and can fit a pair for £456. These lamps are powerful enough to punch through dirty headlamp lenses, making sure that road signs and cyclists are well illuminated.
5. Look after the battery
A V12 engine can build up more friction when cold, contributing to the malfunction of many car batteries over the winter months. To counter this, keep the battery on trickle charge, or disconnect it entirely when not in use. We can fit a simple battery switch for just £15. As a precaution, it’s always a good idea to keep a spare battery and jump leads just in case.
6. Washer fluid concentration
In winter you must ensure a 30:70 concentration of antifreeze to water, otherwise the washer jets will freeze solid.
7. Prevent locks from freezing
To do this, try and avoid water from getting into your car’s locks. However, if you do find yourself in this situation, use a hairdryer to carefully and gently melt the frozen locks.
8. Keep your car covered
To stop the winter weather from causing damage to your XJS’s exterior, keep things covered up on those particularly frosty days and nights. A good quality protective cover (like this one) will ensure that the weather does not penetrate your door seals and age your screen seals or convertible hood, while also keeping your windscreen clear of frost and ice.
Speak to the experts
To improve your car’s vision at night and keep rust at bay, we offer a special winter package for the Jaguar XJS, which also includes a winter service. For more details visit our website or call 01635 30030.