Car maintenanceTechnical

Getting winter ready

Winter has arrived, and with it my daily driver, the 2014 XF,  has decided that it needs some help.  The rear tyres are at the tread limiters, but what reminded me to do some winter checks were my brake pads.  Today the car gave me a Low Brake Pad warning … but not which set of pads are worn out!

This prompts a slight grumble – on the XF, most of the braking is actually done on the rear so that the car does not nose dive under braking, thereby providing a more comfortable and stable ride for the passengers.  I think that’s a good idea, actually.  But what I am going to grumble about is the warning message – the car has separate wear sensors for the front and rear brake pads, so it knows which set are worn when the message is activated.  But the message I receive is generic … why can’t we have two messages, one to warn about front pads and a separate one for the rear brake pads?  I understand that in the past, a dashboard light was turned on, but that is not the case here as the message is portrayed in the message centre.  A little bit of imagination here would have given the driver a more useful message!

Anyway, I’ve gone for Ferodo brake pads this time around.  In the past I’ve generally preferred EBC Redstuff, but my new Jaguar expert, Alex AutoService in Blanchardstown, has recommended Ferodo pads for the XF and he knows more about the greasy bits than I do.  The car is getting the pads fitted as I type this (Monday morning at 0915) – and I only rang him last Saturday afternoon.  Quick and friendly service, so anyone in Dublin looking for a reliable grease monkey to keep the car running, give this guy a call.

A sidenote – it’s worth getting your discs checked at the same time as the pads.  The old pads were inspected, with uneven pad wear noticed.  This led us to look more closely at the discs, which had a lip around the edge of the disc and a thickness of only 17mm (the minimum limit is 18mm and they are manufactured with a thickness of 20mm).  Oops – new pads ordered so, and the whole job will be finished by lunchtime.  

Now, with the rear pads and discs sorted, I also need new rubber on the back.  This car needs a good pair of shoes, as there’s 600nM (443 lb/ft) of torque running through the rear tyres.  A read of a reliable tyre test from EVO magazine has prompted me to look for either Michelin Pilot Sport 4 or Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 3 tyres.  I’ve decided to go for the Goodyears, because I also came across a written review in another magazine recently extolling the virtues of the AS3 from Goodyear.

Papa’s got a new pair of shoes …



Hunting for a good deal on tyres (man, the prices really vary!) has led me to buy these tyres online.  I checked Blackcircles, EireTyres, Openeo and and the winner is  Tyres ordered Sunday night with an expected delivery on Thursday and to explain why I ordered online, the best price from a tyre shop for buying and fitting the AS3s was €203 per tyre.  I bought them for €158 per tyre and with free shipping and a fitting cost of €15 per tyre from my local tyre shop, I’ve saved €30 per tyre.  Not too shabby!


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