Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Big Cat Bites For The First Time

Many of you know that I conducted a lengthy and exhaustive (to the Kitten, at least) search for my latest ride. Lots of test drives, lots of reading, lots of lustful glances on the road--fifteen months of kvetching until I finally pulled the trigger in January on a 2010 Jaguar XF. I have to say, I have been thrilled with virtually every facet of this car. It is comfortable, it is sporty, it is eye-catching, and it has some awesome technology. My 4.2 liter V8 375hp powerplant is the entry level engine, and its throaty power is unlike anything I've ever driven. The supercharged XFR with a 510hp engine must be simply unreal. But Jaguar has had its problems, and many of you joined in with the little voice inside warning me not to buy a Jag. I ignored those voices.

Two weeks ago, I had a long drive to do a speech at a shipmate's retirement ceremony. Although I drive a sporty V8, I am still concerned with fuel mileage, and I was tickled to see the onboard computer telling me that for that tank of gas, I was averaging 29.4 mpg. Wonderful.

I arrived at the function, did my speech and then headed for a quiet place to do a little admin. I needed to schedule my first maintenance on the new car, its 10,000 mile service. I was preparing for a massive number when I asked the service manager what it would cost. "It's free" he said. Free? "Yes, free--the 10K service is with our compliments". Holy moly. I'm getting nearly 30 mpg on the highway in a car I love like ice cream and the first service is free?

So I pack myself up and start the drive back to the farm. Wasn't on the road more than ten minutes when a good sized rock came shooting out of the bed of an uncovered dumptruck (I watched it throughout its trajectory) and impacted my "windscreen" (that's what Jag calls a windshield) on the lower left hand corner leaving an immediate small crack, less than the size of a dime. Man, was I pissed.

I got my insurance company on the phone (USAA--a wonderful company) and they pointed me to their auto glass partner who would come to me and fix the windscreen free of charge. We set up the appointment.

When the technician arrived a few days later, he looked at the crack and told me two things. First--it was repairable. Second--cracks in that part of the glass--and especially on highly curved glass like I have--often tend to radically proliferate during the course of the repair job. In fact, I had sign a waiver, releasing him from liability in case just such a thing happens. Yes--you guessed it--it happened.

I now have a nearing three-foot crack across the windshield. They are coming Monday morning to replace it. Insurance normally takes care of these kinds of things--subject of course to one's deductible. To limit my monthly insurance payments, I chose a $1000 deductible. New windshield purchase and installation cost? $968. Naturally.

Still love the car, can't wait to get the windshield replaced. Added two chrome inserts to the front quarter panel vents and mudflaps to deal with the dust and mud of the farm during my free service window*. But damn, that's an expensive windshield.

*Photo without new additions


"The Hammer" said...

That's weird, I had the windshield replaced on two of my vehicles (same thing, big truck, small rock) and it was free. Glass Doctor paid the deductible. It literally didn't cost a cent.
You know there's some poetic justice going on here and maybe God's trying to tell you something. Better go buy a Focus.

Ken Adams said...

I'm surprised the price was that low -- 10 years ago the rear glass on my 1995 Chevy Blazer went for over $800, and it was no where near as complex as a windshield.

So how much did the higher deductible save you on the policy? I just checked on mine (same Blazer, also covered by USAA), and moving from my current $500 deductible to $2,000 would decrease my monthly premium by $2. I would imagine that the Jag is a bit more expensive, but still, I'm curious.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

Ken--didn't even check it--probably worthwhile....

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