A personal experience of owning a 2003 Jaguar S-Type with a LURCHING ZF Gearbox 
AA & TCS Reports
Choice of Seats ?
List of Faults
 My Personal Experience of the ZF automatic gearbox LURCH on my Jaguar S-Type

All about The ZF Lurch - Lurching from my Jaguar S-Type's ZF 6sp Automatic Gearbox (6HP26).

Variant 1 : The Lurch we experience occurs when you bring the car to a halt in a smooth manner by braking very gently and letting the car come very smoothly to rest. Just before the car has come to a complete rest a little lurch like somebody has gently nudged the car occurs. It feels like a gear is being engaged or disengaged just before coming to rest. This can vary in intensity from a very slight nudge to a powerful jump that rocks the car.

Variant 2 : In addition, when you slow very gently to a creeping halt without actually stopping and then gently try to accelerate - there is a slight hesitation when the engine revs higher, then the gearbox engages the drive wheels with a jolt. This varies from a harsh jolt to snatchy.

I wrote to Mr. Joseph Greenwell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, of Jaguar UK on 15th April 2004, along with 7 other S-Type owners who also experienced this ZF gearbox lurch fault, to demand this issue be taken seriously ( letter 71kb) and on 1st February 2005 to Ms.  Bibie Boerio, Jaguar Managing Director ( letter2 60kb). The official Jaguar line is that the Jaguar Dealers themselves would take care of it. My Dealer does not acknowledge that my S-Type lurches.

  • Many Jaguar TSBs discuss issues with the shifting quality and adaptive functions of the ZF Gearbox (For more details - see Jaguar TSBs).

    TSB S307-09 : Harsh shifts.
    TSB S307-10 : Transmission hesitating and then thumping. Judder.
    TSB S307-11 : Growling Noise In 4th Gear During Warmup
    TSB S307-12 : Transmission driveline clonk/knocking when changing R to D, 5 to 4, 2 to 1.
    TSB S307-13 : Fault with the clutch lining of the torque converter.
    TSB S307-14 : Surge in excess of 150rpm during engine warm up.
    TSB S307-15 : Squeal or squeak noise heard during gearshifts under acceleration.
    TSB S307-17 : Drifting of adaptive learning causing higher than normal clutch pressures.
    TSB S307-19 : Erratic or Harsh transmission shifts.

  • BMW has a TSB (SIB240305) for the BMW E60 (New 5 Series) and E63/64 (New 6 Series) with the same ZF 6HP26 transmission, that defines IDENTICALLY the symptoms as outlined above. Excerpt below - full text see Jaguar TSBs

    Customer may complain of the following:

    An excessively harsh 2-1 downshift when decelerating to a stop, or

    Transmission "bangs" into gear when accelerating from a full or a "rolling" stop
    (vehicle did not come to a complete stop).

    In addition read about one BMW Owners' experience and discussion with a ZF Engineer on the Lurch variants - a simple technical admission of the Lurch by ZF :


  • A Jaguar Test Driver also confirms the existence of the ZF Gearbox / Transmission Lurch - See Owners' Feedback.

  • A German Jaguar Dealer organises a visit from a ZF Engineer to specially reprogram the ZF Gearboxes on many cars during the same day. See Owners' Feedback.

  • I had my S-Type independently tested by the AA (Automobile Association, UK since 1905) and the TCS (Travel Club, Switzerland since 1896). Along with the other faults I have experienced, they both state categorically in writing that my car lurches. See AA & TCS reports.

  • This ZF gearbox Lurch fault has been experienced by many other Jaguar S-Type Owners - see Owner's Feedback which now includes over 80 comments from S-Type 4.2, S-Type R, S-Type Diesel and XK8/XKR owners.

Michel J. Tinguely, the Service & Training Manager for JAGUAR Land Rover Schweiz AG explained in an e-mail (dated 27th Nov. 2002) :

"It is true that we have reported this kind of trouble to the manufacturer. The trouble seems to be in relation with the Adaptive Shifting programme this type of Gearbox is configured with. Jaguar Cars Ltd will soon give us a solution to this, may we ask you to be patient for while until we will be in possession of this software updating programme?"

My Dealer STILL does not acknowledge the Lurch I experience and claims they are unaware of this fault. I still experience this Lurch every trip after around 10 ZF Gearbox TCM software upgrades.

In June/August 2005 I had a list of faults addressed by my main and local Dealer

  • Steering Rack replaced - squeaking steering wheel.

  • Gearbox oil flushed and replaced - "whooop" noise on brisk acceleration S307-15v2.

  • Transmission Control Module & Engine Control Module reprogrammed (previous TCM adaptive points deleted) TSB S307-17 - For the Lurch.

  • Rear Brake discs replaced - to replace heat damaged and burned-out rear brakes (now experienced by EVO magazine's Journalists - see Rear Brakes Fault).

  • Torque Converter replaced - due to low frequency rumble/judder that occurred at about 80km/h (50 mph).

  • Rear Differential replaced - Diff whine most noticeable at 100 km/h (60 mph)

During this time I have not experienced version 1 of the Lurch (as defined in the animation above). I have been in contact with other owners who have reported a similar experience, and who also have had both S307-17 and the S307-15v2 performed together. If you experience variation 1 of the Lurch this seems to finally cure the problem.

The replaced steering rack has, at the moment, appeared to cure the squeaking steering wheel. The steering rack's oil was previously flushed.

The time taken for the lurch to be addressed .....


passed since informing Jaguar in writing about the ZF Gearbox LURCH
to address variation 1 of the lurch

Jaguar's explanation about Quality (Jaguar Website Link) :

"Buyers of premium luxury saloons expect the highest standards of build quality, performance and attention to detail. Jaguar continues to work relentlessly towards total customer satisfaction."

The REAL experience of owning a 2003 Jaguar S-Type      The REAL experience of Swiss "Quality"
ZF Gearbox Lurch | S-Type Brake Faults | AA & TCS Reports | Xenon light fault & steering squeak | Air-con & display faults | List of Faults