You purchased your Jaguar due to its sleek design and reputation as a high-performance import. So it’s likely worrisome when any performance light comes on your dash.

Your mind starts questioning.

Is it serious? If you’re driving, is it serious enough to stop the car? Is it serious enough to take into my mechanic or the dealership? Is it just a little of nothing? Is it a fluke? Will it go away on its own?

All these questions and more fly through your brain in rapid succession.illustrated Jaguar Restricted Performance blog

If you see the amber or red light for “Restricted Performance” you may certainly be asking these questions. If you are driving when the light comes on, you have the additional worry of whether you are going to get stranded. Murphy’s Law will more than likely come into play, leaving you on the side of the road while enjoying a long and, what was formerly, a pleasurable drive! Right?

You may be used to lights coming on and repairs being made, especially if you have any older model British automobile. But, the dreaded “Restricted Performance” indicator can be a pesky one as it is difficult to diagnose. Here are some possible causes and solutions if your Jaguar dash indicators display this message. Hopefully, this information can help you narrow down the root of the issue and give you some direction in finding a solution before it becomes a major problem.

What is the Jaguar Restricted Performance error?

With the Restricted Performance error message, the car is indicating that the engine management system has gone into a “limp” mode to protect certain systems and components. This changes depending on the system or components being protected.

For example, if a coil pack (or packs) is failing, unburnt fuel would be getting into the exhaust system, which would damage the catalytic converters. So to protect the catalytic converters, fueling on the affected cylinder(s) is switched off. This is why the car appears to run very badly if this is happening.

Our research found that it occurs more in S-Type and XJ-Series Jaguars.

What are the symptoms of Restricted Performance?

Generally, the Restricted Performance light either comes on before and during a cold start or while driving. If the error message illuminates while driving, you can experience limited acceleration of 1800 – 2000 RPM. Many times, the message displays when going heavy (around three-quarters down) on the accelerator. The car is trying to protect itself when this happens.

What are the possible causes?

First and foremost, always use an OBD scanner to run diagnostics when you get the Restricted Performance message. If you’re a “do-it-yourselfer” but don’t own a scanner, you can go to any local auto parts supply store and use theirs. If you prefer to take the car into a Jaguar specialized mechanic, they have a diagnostic scanner. Using a scanner is very important in pointing you toward a smaller list of the source that is causing the problem. A Jaguar mechanic will have the certification and experience to diagnose accurately the performance issue, and repair to OEM specifications.

Common Restricted Performance Message Problems

The Restricted Performance message generally indicates issues with these systems in your car:

  • air intake and/or throttle body
  • fuel system

Possible causes for the Restricted Performance error can be from leaks in airflow, mass airflow (MAF) issues, fuel, intercooler hoses, throttle body housing, and gaps in hose closures.

More specifically, these are some of the most common causes of the error (including diagnostic codes where possible):

  • Gearbox fault – Can cause hard shifts in S-Types (2002 – 2008)
  • Breather hose connected to the throttle body
  • EGR valve not working – diagnostics read “air mass and turbo”
  • Turbo Turbine Inlet Valve Stuck Open (P22D2)
  • Turbo Turbine Inlet Valve Control Circuit – Open (P22CF)
  • Faulty turbo actuator
  • Split intercooler
  • Inlet air leak or leaking hose

Check for these issues when diagnosing your Jaguar

If you are working on the car yourself, run through this check list:

  1. Check the obvious things like the air intake box (air filter housing) for cracks or to make sure all of the clasps are fastened/not missing.
  2. Check the breather hose from the engine that intersects the intake pipe to make sure it isn’t cracked and that both ends are completely fastened.
  3. Check the mass airflow (MAF) sensor right after the air intake box to make sure the wiring harness is completely fastened and remove it and apply a small amount of cleaner if dirty.
  4. Check the air intake pipe for cracks and where it connects with the throttle body and make sure that seal is tight.
  5. Check the o-ring seals around the dipstick and the breather hoses between the engine and the firewall and the plastic air intake manifold seals.
  6. If your car won’t start, it’s possible you have a clog in the fuel lines or a fuel pump problem.
  7. Check (because we found other folks with the error also had experienced) faulty dipstick o-ring, faulty mass airflow sensor, a cracked breather hose, and a cracked plastic nozzle that extends from the valve cover.

Possible Solutions to “Check Engine” or Performance Restrictions

If you are driving when you get the code, you may be able to clear the message by following these steps. Please note, however, that if you can’t clear the message, it is advisable that you do not drive any more than is necessary before diagnosing the problem(s).

  1. Pull the car over and switch the ignition off.
  2. Wait one minute.
  3. Switch on the ignition, but wait until all the lights on the dash have gone off except for the four that stay on until the engine is started.
  4. Start the car.

If you are seeing the Restricted Performance error persistently, as related to the above list of possible causes for the error, these are places to check (perform in the order presented) in order to solve the issue:

  1. Fix any cracks in the air intake box (air filter housing)
  2. Make sure that there are no clasps missing and that all clasps are fastened.
  3. Make sure that the breather hose from the engine that intersects the intake pipe isn’t cracked and that both ends are completely fastened.
  4. Be sure the wiring harness for the mass airflow (MAF) sensor is completely fastened; if dirty, remove it and apply a small amount of cleaner.
  5. Make sure the seal for the connection of the air intake pipe and the throttle body is tight.
  6. Make sure the o-ring seals around the dipstick and the breather hoses between the engine and the firewall and the plastic air intake manifold seals are all tight.
  7. Replace a faulty dipstick o-ring, faulty mass airflow sensor, a cracked breather hose, and a cracked plastic nozzle that extends from the valve cover.

Contact our Jaguar Repair Team in Raleigh

Again, the Restricted Performance error message can be a bit tough to diagnose because there are several possible causes. If you experience this error, it’s best take your Jaguar to a licensed Jaguar technician who can efficiently and correctly diagnose your problem.

Schedule your Jaguar repair today or if you need roadside assistance, request towing to our shop.