2012 Jaguar XF Supercharged Alaska Road Trip Last Stop: Service
October 2, 2012
As you no doubt remember, somewhere around the midpoint of our really long drive to Alaska, the Jag surprised us by being 2qts of oil low. Unsurprisingly, the Jag's preferred Castrol SLX 5W20 juice was nowhere to be found. We did the best we could finding a nice 0W20 for relatively cheap -- it was that or cooking oil.
That, combined with the new wheel wobble made the decision to take it to get service a no-brainer. We were about 1,500 miles from the deadline, but with a wonky wheel, 2qts burned and 2qts of non-matching oil, we weren't going to worry about a few miles. If they wanted to charge us because of this (instead of counting it as our scheduled free maintenance) we were fine with that.
We took it in for service at Hornburg Jaguar/Land Rover in Santa Monica before we even had a chance to get it washed. The service adviser looked impressed and asked, "What'd you do, drive it cross-country?" "Farther," I said. (Note: For those of you not in L.A., a dirty car is not a common site. A dirty luxury car is an abomination. Dirty cars are so uncommon they're a talking point.)
I told him about the burned oil, about the wobbly wheel and left the car there just shy of 9am. He said I'd get a call by noon when it would, probably, be ready.
I called at 2 and left a message.
And then again at 3.
And then again at quarter-to-5.
And then again sometime after they'd closed for the night.
The next morning I started over. My guy wasn't in yet, but I asked to speak to the manager. "Sure, she just walked in," quickly turned to "I'm sorry, she's in a meeting."
Finally, after two messages that day, she called me back and told me we were just waiting on a senior tech to road test the car. She assured me I'd get a call from my adviser as soon as possible.
Around 11, I got a call from the adviser saying the tech had driven it, confirmed the wheel wobble (thanks) and that it turned out to be a bent rim. We can't pinpoint exactly on which stretch of nearly-unpaved Canadian roadway this happened, but that hardly mattered. They'd attempt to balance it as a quick fix.
The balance took and we were allowed to pick up the car something like 24 hours after the initially agreed upon time. When we showed, the car had gotten a quick wash and thorough interior vacuuming. There was no charge.
As for the wheel balancing: It's good, but not perfect. I notice it, perhaps because I know. Others may just think the pavement's rough.
Days out of service: 1 night
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 11,395 miles