Jaguar X-Type Spongy Brakes

I'm in the UK. I recently bought myself a UK spec 2004/54 Jaguar X-Type 3.0 Sport Premium Estate (5-speed manual) that has done 18,000 miles. I remain
to be convinced that this was a smart move.
I have concerns with the brakes.
The brake pedal is soft and spongy and has too much travel.
With the car stationary and the engine running - if the brake is firmly applied, the pedal feels soft and has (IMO) excessive movement. If the pedal is then quickly pumped, the pedal rises and becomes firm. However, if the pressure on the pedal is maintained, the firmness soon decays (as if fluid was slowly leaking past a seal) and the pedal sinks towards the floor.
The brake fluid is at <2% moisture content. There are no apparent brake fluid leaks or loss of fluid from the reservoir.
I thought it could be a problem with the brake servo. However, I have been told by a Jaguar Main Dealer that this is characteristic of the brakes on an X-Type.
Does anyone have experience of this?
If this modus operandi is in fact correct, then it is a most unusual and disconcerting design feature.
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Mike
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3.0
remain
pedal
been
an
I've driven many late model Jags and didn't note anything unusual with the brakes. I surely would have noticed 'soft pedal' or the pedal sinking towards the floor. I'd ask the Jag dealer to demonstrate on an equal car that this is characteristic of the model.
What you describe sounds like a leaky master cylinder. Or just possibly soft brake lines somewhere along the line. Will the pedal go all the way to the floor if you continue pressure on the pedal? If so there is surely a problem that needs correcting. As you know hydraulic fluid is not 'compressable' and maintaining pressure on the pedal should meet with resistance all the time.
I hope the "Main" dealer isn't your only resource for work/advice on the car.
Alan
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wtrplnet wrote:

Ditto
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wtrplnet wrote:

The brake pedal doesn't go all the way to the floor, but it gets much too close for my liking.
The vehicle is booked into the Jaguar Main Dealer Thursday of this week for investigation. I will be given a loan vehicle, which I hope will be another X-Type so that I can make my own comparison.
Either way, I have asked for a report in writing. My vehicle is still under Jaguar Warranty.
The dealer did say that they had another X-Type in with the same 'sinking pedal' problem. They said that they replaced the whole master cylinder/brake servo assembly and it made no difference.
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way
a
for
another
under
Sounds as if you are in the 'over the barrel' thing with the dealer. You have a warranty, they say it's normal. Curious that they performed the repairs on another X-Type if they knew from the start that this was "normal" for that model of car.
In my experience dealers discourage warranty work even though they will be reimbursed by the warranty issuer. They often don't get the same rate for this kind of work they would if they were billing you directly. And warranty issuers aren't fond of dealers that cave in to customer demands too easily. It all adds up to them ganging up against you to make this as difficult for you as possible. Failing satisfaction from the dealer, you can ask to speak to an area representative from Jag.
I've found enthusiast clubs are some of the best resources for finding out exactly what's "right" in cases like this. If you have a Jaguar club in your area I'd sure contact them. Not only will they know what's proper performance for your car, they will know all the local service resources.
If it were me and after the Thursday appointment I was still unhappy with the results I would contact an independant garage, one that specializes in Jaguar. You may have to pay for the inspection, but they can document any problems they find and you can go back to the dealer armed with this.
I'd guess that in the end if you make a big enough fuss you'll get your way. Before doing that I'd make sure the dealer isn't right when they say it's typical for your model car.
Good luck! Alan
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wtrplnet wrote:

I have got Jaguar Customer Service involved and their response has been very positive so far. The dealer also gives a very good service, so they have the benefit of the doubt for now.

Maybe they decided it was 'normal' only after they found they couldn't cure it?

Good idea, I'll do that.

An independent inspection would be my next move.

Kicking up a fuss is my forte :-)
However, if they convince me that soft is correct (in writing), then I'll live with it, although I still won't like it.
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Mike
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Of course then you can still have the brakes you like, constrained only by your budget. I'd have to guess, and this is only a guess, that the standard brakes are up to the job as designed. In other words, purchasing an entire after-market brake system is probably overkill for normal driving. But you might be able to tweak the 'feel' of the system without bankrupting yourself.
The first trick we always used was replacing any rubber hoses with stainless steel braided units. That's probably the cheapest way to get results you may actually feel at the pedal. And in all this discussion we haven't talked about the most obvious thing, probably because you must have looked into this first. Are you certain the system has been completely purged of air? When I was racing I always did this task myself. Getting it right is a very tedious process. It isn't something I'd just take someone's word as being properly done, though I'd say the dealer would be sure about this before possibly replacing hardware at warranty.
And what car are you used to before the Jag? Perhaps the brakes are simply 'over-boosted' compared to what you're used to. This seems to me to be something across-the-brand for certain makes. For example, every Porsche I've ever driven has had a rock-solid pedal feel. Every BMW I've driven has had, to me, overly sensitive brakes. Every Cadillac spongy brakes, and so on. Having said that, I never noticed anything unusual in the many Jags I've driven.
Guess we'll know more after your visit to the dealer, good luck! Alan
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wtrplnet wrote:

Thanks for the useful info.
Yes, the brake system has been purged of air.
The stainless steel braided brake hoses seem a good place to start.
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I always said that before we invaded Iraq, we should have invaded the UK and arrested Tony Blair for letting everyone over there drive on the wrong side of the highway. Think of the lives that could be saved and the benefit of freeing the population from this ruthless dictator. :)
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replying to wtrplnet, jaquar guy.. wrote: changing the brake pads help, changing the brake calipers sometimes makes the difference.
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I have a standard, no sport package, 2003 U.S. X-Type 2.5. My car was not new. It had about 2200 miles on it. I believe it was either a leased car or a loaner from the service department when I bought it. It now has around 35,500 miles on it. I would describe the brake pedal as soft with quite a bit of travel as well. The pedal stops nowhere near the floor. It has always been this way. The dealer tells me it is normal as well. My dealer sells several different types of cars so I have not recieved a X-Type as a loaner so far.
I recently had the brakes worked on and it is pretty much still this way. The parking brake was not working when I took it in. They replaced the rear pads and adjusted the parking brake. The pedal feels like it might be a little bit firmer. But, that may be my imagination since I just had it worked on. This is the first time I have had it worked on for anything other then oil changes and the standard service intervals.
It is quite a bit different then other cars I have had. My previous car was a 1994 Volvo 850. Its brake pedal was always very solid with not much travel. All of that said my car has always stopped very well. I have engaged the anti-lock system several times as well. The ABS in the Volvo made a fair amount of noise with minimal pedal pulsing. The ABS in the X-Type makes a tremendous amount of noise and a great deal of pedal pulsing. I assume the two cars have different hardware for the ABS systems since they are ten years apart. I just keep the pedal down and it stops nice and straight.
So now I just assume the pedal will travel and stomp it down. Hope this helps. I would be curious to hear what your dealer says about it on Thursday.
On Mon, 2 Oct 2006 17:51:41 +0100, "mlv"

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David wrote:

My X-Type is an ex-Jaguar management car.

Well, that matches my experience almost exactly. The only difference for me is that the pedal gets too near the floor for my liking.

I haven't managed to invoke the ABS yet. All my previous cars have had a brake pedal that comes up solid. Soft has always indicated a brake system problem in the past.

I'll report back.
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No news on my X-Type yet, but the Jaguar Dealership has lent me a mint 2005/55 S-Type 3.0 Automatic (Diesel). It was delivered to my house, fully valeted and with a full tank of fuel.
The S-Type is really smooth and a real pleasure to drive. The performance is excellent and the brakes are superbly efficient, with a nice firm feel. And it's returning 34.2 mpg without me really trying.
I've told them there's no rush to return my X-type :-)
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I collected my X-Type Saturday morning.
Rather predictably the brakes are "normal" for this vehicle.
The soft, 'spongy' feel seems to be a consequence of the poor conversion from the 'favoured' LHD design, to RHD. The servo and brake master cylinder remain on the left-hand side, whilst the brake pedal moves to the right-hand side. Presumably whatever mechanism transfers the pedal movement across the bulkhead has too much torsional movement, hence the unpleasant 'spongy' feel.
But it gets worse, much worse. One of my other major gripes is the rough, 'agricultural' gear change. It transpires that the 3.0 X-Type has a CABLE gear change. The Austin Maxi lives! Cables - no wonder the gear change is so poor.
If I had known it had a cable gear change, I would never have purchased it.
Maybe Jaguar like cables. Maybe the connection between the brake pedal and brake master cylinder is another cable. That would explain a lot...
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Mike
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You got me with that explaination. Several dealers have told me some great stories in the past but this one wins. I have never heard of a problem being caused by a poor conversion from left to right hand drive or vice versa. I do not know enough about brake hardware to know if they are right. I guess it is possible that a couple more feet of hose could change the pressure inside the hose. I would think once the master cylinder was involved it would not matter.
On Mon, 9 Oct 2006 18:25:41 +0100, "mlv"

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David wrote:

I think you may have misunderstood what I wrote.
The LHD brake pipework/servo/ master cylinder/etc. seem unaltered. The brake pedal only has been relocated to the right-hand side of the vehicle for the UK.
The 'soft pedal' problem may be a consequence of whatever mechanism has been used to mechanically connect the relocated brake pedal (on the right) to the master cylinder (still on the left). (e.g a steel shaft running across the bulkhead, or maybe a cable - both would introduce flexibility).
I had a look at the weekend, but couldn't see how the movement of the brake pedal was transmitted to the master cylinder.
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Mike
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My last one (a 2.0D) did it as well. Very disconcerting, and I got the same answer from the dealership - I solved it by swapping it for a 2.2D (mistake) that still does it a bit, but not nearly as much (now at 20k miles).
David

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