Since acquiring the white 1990 Jaguar Sovereign, it has on occasion been difficult to start in the morning. A variety of ideas were presented by mechanics and internet articles. Someone mentioned the fuel pump and filter. Did that. Someone mentioned the fuel relay. Couldn’t find that (as it’s supposed to be buried behind the glove box somewhere). Finally, after sitting for three days, the car would not start at all. I pulled the distributor cap and everything looked good. And all the wires were connected securely. Still no start.
After driving the Volvo to work that morning, I remembered something that had happened that might be part of the problem. On Saturday, I had installed a different radio and shorted out the cigarette lighter fuse in the process. Had I shorted out the fuel relay or some other system that affects starting the car? After prayer meeting, I went out to the car and checked the VCM (short for Vehicle Catastrophe Message or something like that). The fuse had already been replaced, so if it still said a fuse was bad, I would know where to look. This time the car read fuel fail 89. Hmm… .
According to the Jaguar Forums, the problem had something to do with the fuel purge valve. Fraser Mitchell says that is “a valve that purges the charcoal canister. On modern engines, fuel vapor in the fuel tank is not allowed to vent to atmosphere, but is collected in the charcoal filter and then periodically purged into the inlet manifold via the Fuel Purge Valve.” So, there you have it. But where is it located and how do I get to it?
Get the car up on a stand and remove the LF wheel (index the wheel/stud so you put it back on the same way it came off.) Remove the plastic liner from the fender. There are 3 bolts with 10mm heads bolting the canister up to the underside of the well. Remove these and allow the canister to drop and you will be staring right at the purge valve. The other end of the purge valve vacuum hose goes to the under-side of the air plenum of the intake manifold. (just behind the throttle body). Good hunting!
For a slow moving white boy like me, those were pretty good instructions. I started at about 10:15 pm with a flashlight and finished putting things back together at 12:15 am this morning. What I found was that one of the rubber hoses coming from the canister to the purge valve was very cracked. So, what does a redneck do when all the parts stores are closed? I was fresh out of duct tape, so I used what I had: gasket maker. I spread the orange gasket maker all over the cracks and then used electrical tape to cover it all up. Then I disconnected the battery for a few minutes to let the computer reset itself.
It was too late to try starting the car as I was working near a bedroom window. But when I turned the key to the accessories position, there was no Check Engine light or VCM code of any kind. Hopefully, the redneck repair did the job (especially because a new purge valve is $168 on Jagbits.com and the connecting hose is probably a Jaguar only part). Once again … we shall see.