Jaguar Nikasil No Start Cylinder Washing
I recently had several questions on the seriousness of Sulfur and
Nikasil and the No-Start conditions that seem to be occurring on the 4.0
v8 blocks between 1997 to 2000. In order to answer this question I need
to separate this into 2 parts. 1. Sulfur and Nikasil and 2. No-Start.
For now I will only address the no-start conditions in this listing as
best I can.
1. Capture all the OBD codes
If you had confirmed all the above checks and you car engine block is Nikasil then you will need to do a few things to get the car started.
1. Have a fully charged battery
2. Remove all your spark plugs and introduce about a spoon full of engine oil to each cylinder and reinstall the plugs
3. Press the accelerator to the floor and hold it (this cuts off the fuel to the engine)
4. Try to start the car in about 15 to 20 seconds at a time keeping the accelerator to the floor and do this about two times. This will allow the oil to work its way around each cylinder
In order to prevent you from burning up your starter you need to only allow the starter to run for 15 to 20 seconds and allow it to cool down if your car takes more than several attempts to start.
5. At this time you will want to let up on the accelerator about half way and hold it and begin starting at about 15 to 20 second bursts. After several attempts the car will begin sputtering and a heck of a lot of smoke will be coming out of your exhaust and this will be normal until the oil in the cylinders are. Keep the car running by feathering the accelerator.
Comments from Mark who had a successful start:
This is a what Mark had done to get his car started:
E-Mail from Mark 1997 xk8:
Wahooooo! Thanks all for your support and great suggestions. Looks
like your first instincts were correct. I checked everything I could,
including a visual on both the Cam position sensor and the crank
position sensor and they looked fine. This morning I decided that I had
to give it my last, best shot at building compression and get it going
before making the dreaded call to the dealer. I felt it important to
make sure I had 360 degrees of cylinder oil coverage that would stay
without dumping a quart of oil in there to reach the high end of the
rings. But how to do it? I got a length of small clear plastic tubing, a
bit bigger than a fish tank aerator hose, melted one end closed, and put
a hole in the side of it near the closed end. This was to get a spray
out the side of the hose. I then mixed up a cocktail of Marvel Mystery
Oil and STP. This would surly stay in place and lubricate very well.
Then I got the high tech tool. The fully calibrated oral vacuum/pressure
pump. I then sucked the oil cocktail into the hose, made sure I inserted
the hose all the way through each spark plug hole, and then forced the
oil out into each cylinder while spinning the hose around in order to
reach the whole circumference of each one. I didn't bother taking
another compression test, as this would either work, or not. Well, it
took a little convincing, but by alternately fully depressing and
releasing the throttle peddle while cranking on and off so as not to
overheat the starter motor, the Cat slowly, cylinder by cylinder, came
back to life, in a big black cloud of glory. I then opened the garage
doors (yeah, details, details) and ran it for about 15 minutes. It was a
bit confused at first, not responding exactly to the throttle perfectly,
but it ran smoothly. I then took it out for a well deserved fill-up and
went to the local Auto Zone with the Check Engine light glowing at me to
make use of their scanner. The same 5 codes came up as before. I erased
them, ran the car for a few minutes (It's OK, it was warmed up) and
scanned again. Just read P1000 and P1643, and the check engine light was
out. Still sporting that low coolant light though, but I don't care for
now. I'll worry about that later. It did run even better on the way
home. Maybe the computer is in re-learning mode. Meanwhile, we're back
You will notice that washed cylinders seems to be in the series of Nikasil engines.
Nikasil is a trademarked electrodeposited lipophilic nickel matrix silicon carbide coating for engine components, mainly piston engine cylinder liners. It was introduced by Mahle in 1967. This coating allowed aluminum cylinders and pistons to work directly against each other with low wear and friction. Unlike other methods, including cast iron cylinder liners, Nikasil allowed very large cylinder bores with tight tolerances and thus allowed existing engine designs to be expanded easily, the aluminum cylinders also gave a much better heat conductivity than cast iron liners, which is an important factor for a high output engine. The bottom line is that Nikasil is a slick surface that in my opinion under ideal conditions will allow the unfired fuel in the cylinders to wash the cylinder walls of lubricating oils resulting it the washed cylinder problem, resulting in no compression. This doesnt seem to be as much a problem with steel sleeve engines.
I can tell you this, the first time this took place with my 99 xk8 I had the system reflashed (TSB 303-35 & 303-52). I had the same problem 2 times after the reprogramming. I can honestly say that I did not know about this problem and how to prevent it. My wife and I would often take short trips and it was not uncommon for me to just move the car to the street. I am doing this is to help others to understand why the no start takes place.
I found several other reasons for no start, the J switch working intermittently mentioned earlier and the key transponder module (KTM) 1998 when the key is turned quickly through position I & II without waiting for the instrument panel warning light to light up. And many others but have not seen them on a post.
This is a 1996 XK8 being started after adding oil to the cylinders to get compression have the car outside or the doors open. The oil will cause smoke.
Now you will hear several schools of thought on what is being
suggested for you to do and I can tell you that I have been
recommending this procedure for years on several of the forums
(jaguarforums.com, Jag-Lovers.org & Roadfly.com) and had nothing but
success without any repercussions as suggested by a few. If you need
additional information on this please let me know, I will do all I
can to answer your questions.