Long-term update: Jaguar XK's smart repair showing its age

Long-term update: Jaguar XK’s smart repair showing its age

Hard to believe, but our 2008 Jaguar XK is a decade old now. I’d say we’ve kept it cleaner than most, even though we simply park it outside all the time and service it once a year. Real premium cars (not the rebadged stuff from mainstream carmakers) are generally built with better materials, so they last longer in terms of trim and leather (but not always mechanically). However, our Jag needed a bit of care to keep it looking fresh.

A part of the bonnet paint had faded, but not because the factory paint was cheap. We tried out “smart repair” four years ago to fix a minor scratch on the bonnet back in 2014. Turns out these smart-repair places, which blend in some paint over the scratch, truly are just temporary fixes, and has faded badly over this time, with matte white patches all over. True, four years is a long time, but it’s disappointing that they ruin a big section of the panel when they blend in their cheap paint in a bid to fix a minor scratch.

The only fixes are to get it smart-repaired again for Dhs 400, or repaint the entire bonnet properly from an actual non-dealer bodyshop for Dhs 900. We chose the latter, getting it done at Premier Car Care.

One of the tweeter holders on the door had also cracked, so we had to replace the entire tweeter piece for Dhs 700 at that same garage. We didn’t check the dealer cost.

On a separate note, we got a free oil change from the Dubai dealer as part of their annual offer in February. During that “free check-up,” we bought new wiper blades for an additional Dhs 374.

The car continues to run well, and all the leather on the seats, dash and doors is in great condition. We’ve left the minor chips and dings along the side of the car as is (the doors have been smart-repaired twice already), and maybe get them repainted once there are some more chips and dings from inconsiderate neanderthals.

Original Mileage When Bought: 99,150 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 113,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 14.5 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 1600
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 374

Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought: Dhs 41,243

Read all Jaguar XK long-term updates

What do you think?



  1. You should consider it as your temporary daily driver or weekend driver and give it some love away from the Chrysler!

  2. Good to see it a well maintained condition. Was wondering if you have faced the sticky buttons issue with your Jag. I have a 2012 XF and have a big problem with sticky buttons. Any tips on how to sort that out?

  3. As a responsible and experienced smart repairer (15 years experience), articles like this really make me angry. Firstly, bonnets are not recommended areas for smart repairs, for a variety of reasons (too many to go into here). Secondly, just because you had one (or several) idiot smart repairers who probably didn’t know what they were doing, suddenly all smart repairs are using “cheap paint”and only good for temporary repairs. You have effectively tarred all smart repairers with the same brush. If you had any knowledge of the technique or industry, you would know there is no such thing as “cheap smart repair paint”. We use the same paints that they use in bodyshops (which can vary in price). So your smart repairer could have used cheaper paint, but then again so could your local bodyshop. The main difference in smart repair to bodyshop repair should be the choice of repair location and technique. That comment is like me saying “all motoring journalists are uninitiated ignorant fools” just because I’ve read one article where I felt the person didn’t quite know what he was talking about. Is that a fair comment? Of course not. Just because you have had a bad experience with a particular repairer, using their particular products, does not mean all smart repairs are the same. Here is an forum discussion on Piston heads on which I am mentioned (my name is Louis Wan).


    You’ll notice at least one guy has used me for the last 10 years on a lot of prestige cars. Cars that he has kept for more than a few years. Is there any mention of cheap products or temporary repairs from me? There is another older piston heads discussion on smart repairs vs bodyshops again which I am mentioned, but unfortunately don’t have a link for. This comment is not a plug for my business (as I am based in UK not Saudi Arabia), but just to point out it is unfair to tarnish all smart repairers with the same brush.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Your entire argument is irrelevant because this whole website is only targeted to our region. We used the most well-known provider that’s available in Dubai.

      • I understand that you were referring to smart repairs from a particular repair company in your region, but do you make that clear in your article? No, you make a sweeping generalisation that all smart repairs use cheap paint and only good for temporary repairs. If I picked up this article in UK, you can bet my potential customers would be able to. For the uninitiated people contemplating a smart repair (anywhere) do you not think reading this article would put them off slightly? It is not even fair on the smart repairers in your region or even the the company involved. The repairs were done by an individual. It’s like me getting a bad bodyshop job (which have had and kind of how I got in this business) and then saying bodyshop jobs are rubbish, you’ll get masking lines over the repair areas, overspray everywhere and then it’ll go rusty after a couple of years. That was my experience with a particular bodyshop done by an individual. Would it be right to infer or conclude that all bodyshops are rubbish?

        • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

          If you’d like to know more, you’ll be pleased to hear that the outfit we used is indeed a local franchise of a well-known UK provider and are the best known in the business here as well. Regular readers can find our original story from when we first got it done. We have two more cars with faded smart-repair jobs and you can be sure they will get their own stories. For a website with “Arabia” in its name, it is not our concern how it’s done elsewhere, as fine a job as you may be doing in the UK. The quality here has only become worse with more competition and rising costs, to the point where our last smart repair on another car faded within a month.

  4. Have to disagree to this article! So it seems that someone blew in a bonnet (which is never a good thing to do in the first place) and now you’re accusing all ‘Smart repairers’ of doing shoddy work with ‘cheap’ paint. Let’s be honest, I have seen bodyshop repairs look horrendous in no more than a year so in reality it boils down to the particular individual carrying out a repair and the type of products they use. I can only assume that you went for the cheapest quote expecting the same quality of repair from someone pricing higher and now feel the need to tar every ‘smart’ repairer with the same brush and give the ones who are doing high quality repairs a bad name.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      Your entire argument is irrelevant because this whole website is only targeted to our region. We used the most well-known provider that’s available in Dubai.

  5. As someone who’s been making SMART repairs professionally for over a decade, I should point out that no competent SMART repairer would repair a bonnet scratch – especially on a silver vehicle – if it involved blending lacquer on the bonnet.
    Sounds like you were basically scammed as here in the U.K. any reputable SMART repairer will use exactly the same paints and lacquers as the best bodyshops, and will offer a lifetime guarantee.
    Cowboys exist in all trades and can seem genuine, but any reputable SMART repairer would have advised you to respray the whole bonnet which would have meant using a bodyshop.
    That being said, your repair shouldn’t have deteriorated so much after just four years so I suspect cheap products and poor preparation of the bonnet before spraying was involved.

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      We used the most well-known provider that’s available in Dubai. Can’t do anything more than that.

  6. Bit disappointed to see you painting all SMART repairs with the same brush. Only an utter idiot would attempt a SMART repair on a silver bonnet. I know all the other respondents are from the UK but your articles do go worldwide. For the record,my paint is made my ICI and exactly the same as used by manufacturers and body shops. Cheap it is NOT!

  7. Apart from the Bonnet frenzy..

    My interest lies in the soft-door mechanism ?

    How’s that working for you? Any problems?

    • Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury Author

      It works for the most part. A couple of times recently it didn’t close the door fully, causing the alarm to go off once. The noise also seems to have increased as it pulls the door in.

  8. I agree with you on the smart repair done in Dubai.
    I used automotive repair systems on the c pillar and it lasted about a year. Now it’s just faded. While the shop does have good reviews ,my experience with 2 cars were below average.
    Another vehicle had its wheels repainted, they did not even bother taking the old paint off with sandpaper and looks like they just painted over it. While the wheel paint did last for about 3 hrs which is not bad when it peeled off I noticed the original paint in pretty decent shape under it.
    There are some very good body shops in Dubai that do honest, good work but not necessarily cheap.

    Just fyi, the same shop that has now painted your bumper painted a bumper for me about a year ago. While the paint quality was acceptable (just about) they managed to get a lot of overspray on the black plastic grilles and vents

  9. I think you should stop servicing it at jaguar. jaguar parts are too expensive and they only give you 6 months warranty. where else you should only buy batteries from jaguar.

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