Long-term update: Our Jaguar XK got a “smart repair” makeover
The first thing we did after buying our used Jaguar XK last summer was to take it in for “smart” repair. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, then read on.
A recent phenomenon to the UAE, “smart” repair is simply the specialised process of repairing paint chips and scratches without having to repaint the entire body panel and without horrendously touching up with a nail-polish brush, like most dealerships and body-shops do. The smart-repair people mix new paint to match the colour code of the car, and then paint over the scratch, making sure to blend it in with the surrounding paint. They generally prefer to paint on small sections and corners rather than big flat panels like roofs and boot-lids, so it helps if your car has a lot of character lines by design.
The benefit is that we got to retain most of the original paint. But not all body shops can do it, and certainly none of the ghetto garages can manage it. Even the dealerships that offer it generally outsource it to one of the established outfits. We used a place called Automotive Repair Systems in Dubai, which also did our Honda S2000 in that same month.
It got rid of the numerous scratches on the doors, fenders and bonnet, although they skipped a couple of them because we didn’t point them out. You get charged anywhere from Dhs 400 to Dhs 700 per section (this apparently being with some sort of Ramadan discount), and our bill came up to Dhs 2250. We elected not to repair the existing chips on our alloys at Dhs 500 apiece, since it would involve repainting the whole wheel. The shop had initially goofed up and returned the car to us without polishing the new painted bits, requiring a second trip there to get that rectified.
We’re satisfied with the results, as only the most trained eye would notice the newly-painted sections. Now we try to park in corner spaces and isolated spots as much as we can, even if it means a few extra minutes of walking.
In other news, the XK otherwise drives fine, and we’ve gotten the fuel consumption down to 13.6 litres/100 km with a judicious use of the right foot. Our car had developed an a/c issue again, taking 30 seconds before it gets going, somewhat similar to the one we had repaired at the dealership several months ago. We took the car in during a “free health check” offer and got some valve tightened to fix the problem. That offer also landed us an automatic invite to a Jaguar customer ride-along event at the Dubai Autodrome, which was a great drift-filled shindig for noobs even without any actual drive-time, but we went there for the excellent food. Wagyu burgers, wasabi prawn, truffles, it was all there on the buffet.
The smart-repair cost will not be added to the expense tally below, since it is entirely optional, depending on how much you want to pamper your car.
Original Mileage When Bought: 99,150 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 101,850 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 13.6 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 13604