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Land Rover Valve Jobs   -   2003/12/02Viewed 145 times this month, last update: 2005/01/20

My Land Rover Discovery Series II is now 70,000 miles old. At 18,000 miles, it had a full valve job, under warranty.
At 28,000 miles, the engine developed a head-gasket leak, so, under warranty, Land Rover of Mission Viejo replaced the entire engine block.
Now, 40,000 miles later, after only Chevron 91 octane, and regular cleaning by fuel additives, my disco needs a valve job again. The exhaust valve for cylinder #4 is sticking, pretty badly, and causing a very rough idle, and loss of fuel [Land Rover Milage//mileage]. LRMV gave me the option of trying a more powerful cleaning solution, which may have staved off the dreaded valve job. $400 later, it's no better.
This is a pretty common problem for late-model Land Rovers. I've heard the problem can be traced to excessively tight tolerances in the valve guides. A note of warning for other Land Rover owners: Fuel additives, high-octane, driving like you stole it, and fuel additives.
LRMV wants $2300 for the job, my trusty grease monkey Solihull's 4x4 wants $1700, and I've found one place for as low as $1500. As low as $1500, sounds pretty damn funny huh?

Well, this is the cost of a Land Rover. One doesn't buy a Land Rover is one is trying to save money. At least the DMV gave me a $300 discount on my registration this year. Don't ask me why, and I'm not asking either.

Update 2003/12/10:
I'm thinking about doing the majority of the valve job myself, specifically: removing the heads myself , and sending them out for the valve work. It's possible this could save me upwards of $1000, just doing this labor myself. I've read through the entire process in my shop manual, removing the fan, serp. belt, pulleys, alternator, throttle cables, vacuum lines (all of which I've done before), A/C compressor, intake plenum, intake gasket, intake manifold, intake manifold gasket, rocker covers, rocker cover gaskets, rocker bars, push-rods, and finally the head gaskets.
It all seems pretty straight forward, but I'm sure there are many pitfalls. Maybe if I could convince someone to help me with it...

Update 2004/01/01:
Well, the valves are fine. Almost perfect. However, some holes/cracks in the cylinder liner of cylinder #4 gave developed, letting coolant in (for rough starts and rough idles) and exhaust gases out (into the coolant/oil) causing an overpressurized coolant system, and contamination of the crank-case oil.
This is actually the second time this has happened to my truck. The first engine lasted 28,000 miles, and was replaced under warrantee. The second engine lasted about 40,000 miles. Same problem, coolant leaking past the cylinder liners.
The result? Instead of a $1500 valve job, I get to spend more than twice that for a new engine block. Weee!!! At least now I know my regimine of high-grade (Chevron 91 octane) gas and regular fuel treatment is keeping the valves clean.
Hopefully, Land Rover has fixed this problem in the two years since my last engine was built. My mechanic (Brittish 4x4 in Mission Viejo, Ca) thinks the problem is due to bad casting and thin portions of the block allowing the coolant to leak past the somewhat porrous aluminium block material, and come in contact with the steel cylinder liners, causing corrosion.

Matt Bell (2004-01-02): Wow, that sucks! Land Rover should fix it for you. That engine should have lasted at least 4-5 times as long as that.

Erik (2004-01-02): Heh. The engine only had a 5,000 mile warantee. The best I can do is hope that the new block doesn't suffer from the same flaw. At least it isn't an explosive flaw. It comes on real slowly, with symptoms I'm not very familar with.

Vicki (2004-01-06): Eric: Help me out! My 97 discovery (75,000 miles, also only high octane, additve fuel, etc.) is leaking coolant at the head gaskets. From the sound of your problems, these gasket repairs are a little too common. Have you seen this with other LR owners? Is it time to dump the car?!

Erik (2004-01-06): Vicki, lots of people have trouble with their Rovers. They're English, like Jaguar's. You don't buy a rover beacuse you want to save money. However, a 97,000 mile old head gasket is pretty likely to leak. As long as you didn't overheat the engine, you're just looking at a head gasket replacement, which should run you less than $1000, as long as you don't take it to the dealer. (They'd want more like $2000.)

Vicki (2004-01-06): Should I go ahead and do the valves? Another guy said to do it to solve the carbon problem. Sigh. BTW, only 76,000, not 97,000. Kind of different, or not?

Erik (2004-01-06): 76,000 is still not too terribly bad. I'd say rover head gaskets last about 80-100k miles.

As to the valves: Yes, if you're going to have 'em take the heads off (to do the gaskets) now would be a very good time to pay the couple hundred extra dollars to get the valves done, otherwise you'll have to pay for the same head work again in a few more thousand miles.

Vicki (2004-01-06): Right, that's what I thought. So here we go... repair central. Brakes, exhaust manifold, gaskets, valves. A creaky car, getting old vs. a new car, no class, no problems. I will sleep on it.

Erik (2004-01-06): You've got to make that call: How much do you love your Rover?

Vicki (2004-01-07): Eh, let's just say I love my husband more.... Another thought: what do you think of going with a guy who works out of his home vs. a guy who works from a shop? Both are experienced but I'm a little shy of what might happen if the work isn't good--ie., no recourse. Saving money, of course. Both are busy and I'm in a rental car right now for $150/week.

Erik (2004-01-07): I don't know... I'm a little warry of even going to a non-dealer shop, being a little suspicious of mechanics in general. However, I found that by going to yellowpages.com and typing in my address, and 'Rover' in the name serarch box, several real shops with Land Rover experience came up.

Liam (2004-01-15): We had the misfortune of buying 2 Landrovers. A 99 and a 2000 Discovery. Both have been plagued with problems and neither has over 40,000 miles on them. Land Rover of Fort Laderdale acts like they'r edoing you a favor every time they repair a major fault in these pieces of junk and act annoyed if you have the audacity to request WARRANTY work. I will NEVER buy one again and don't recomend that anyone else does. Go buy a freakin' toyota....you'll never have these problems. LAND ROVER SUCKS!!!!!

Erik (2004-01-15): You're entitled to your opinion, and you might think I'm crazy for saying this, but, I love my truck! It's part of me. If I had to replace every part on it five times over, I'd still love it. However, if you're going to buy a Land Rover, you're just going to have to come to terms with this fact:

No one buys a Land Rover to save money.

claudia (2004-02-10): My Land Rover Discovery is a piece of SHIT!!!! and that is being nice it is so bad that the dealer or Land Rover North America are not even willing to do anything. The have taken me for a ride. Does any one know what I can do??? I must stop this dealer from continuning... pplease reply to princess003@earthlink.net

Erik (2004-02-10): Sorry Claudia. If you can't get the dealer or LRNA to take it back, maybe sell it.

Jeff (2004-03-10): I have a 1999 Disco. It was a recertified used one from the dealership. It had 38K miles. It needed a valve job under warrenty at 40K, then ran perfrectly fine for 15 months. Now at 60K miles it needed another valve job only after telling me that I need new spark plug wires ($900). The warrenty was covered on the 1st one, then the second one since it was only 3 months out of warrenty, with the help of land rover cust. relations, they did the next valve job for free as a good faith repair. So now I'm fresh at 60K miles. I bought the extended warrenty again which only covers me for like 2 more years.

omar (2004-04-01): wow it sounds like i might have made a mistake in buying my 00 disco II. It only has 33000 miles on it and for the most part is running great, when i got it, it had a hole in the radiator which i replaced. but with that mileage and i dont really have the maintenance history on it, what should I watch out for, or try to do to prevent maintenance from becoming a problem

Erik (2004-04-01): Land Rovers are not maintenance free vehicles. They need care throughout their life. But, if you take care of them, in general, they'll take care of you. I've had several problems with my truck, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. Here's what I do to keep my truck in top condition:

1. Only the very best fuel. Dirty, poor quality or poluted fuel can ruin injectors, fuel rails, valves, etc. I only fill up with the highest grade Chevron gasoline.

2. Regular oil changes with the very best oil and filters. I use Mobile 1 10-30, with K&N filters.

3. Regular changes of the transmission fluid. I change mine every 30,000 miles with Mobile 1 ATF.

4. Regular greasing of the driveline. The U-joints and slip joints of the prop shafts need attention. I also swapped out the ungreasable ujoints from the front prop shaft for greasable ones. (www.greatbasinrovers.com)

5. Regular oil changes of the transfer case and differentials. I change mine every 9,000 miles with Mobile 1 gear oil.

6. Misc: Air filter, spark plugs, coolant

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, start doing maintenance yourself. Order a copy of the work shop manual, and read it in your leisure. Information is power!


Roger (2004-04-11): Im with you I also am a tech and what you have to say is so true. I have a 91 classic and i love it i would drive it any where . Yes valve jobs and radiators are problems but i have never seen a person not get it covered if they take care of there Rover as they should LRNA pretty much will always good will these problems aslong as they are not 50 k out of warrenty

Biggs (2004-04-27): As a Range Rover owner I ask of LRNA, can we PLEASE have a diesel? And as a LR Tech I ask, How do some of the customers I meet make the money to buy these things? They obviously ain't got the sense to read the owner's manual?

HondaZom (2004-05-09): I have a 95 land rover discovery, man i tell u its a headach, first it blew the 3" hose at the top of the motor, replaced it, then it blew the the hose next to that that runs into the firewall inside the car to the heatercore, replaced that, and now it blew the small screew or bolt ontop of the radiator, witch is weird and not normal, its making me go crazy, can't drive it more then 1 hour at a time before i have to fix it? i love hondas there so easy to fix and maintain, never have a problem with those, so anyways my DISCOVERY has 137,000 km and is just sitting there, does anyone have a solution or know what the problem is or knows how to fix it PLZ let me know thanks email me plz at hondazom@telus.net

HondaZom (2004-05-09): IF anyone knows the best way to bleed the system on the land rover discovery? plz let me know thanks hondazom@telus.net

Erik (2004-05-09): HondaZom, it sounds like your cooling system is over-pressurized. I hate to say it, but you might be looking at a head gasket leak, allowing exhaust gasses into the cooling loop, or perhaps a constriction in the system somewhere. Have you used any kind of stop-leak product? These can cause blockages.

Ming (2004-05-13): I have a 2000 Disco II, nearly 4 years and 35,000 miles of trouble free experience, and almost zero cost since it included the 4-year service. However, on my last visit to the shop for the final 4th year warranty service, I was told that the warranty actually expired a month earlier even though I bought it in June 2000, but it's only May 2004 now... because it was in-service in April of 2000... But they ended up giving me this service as good-will...saving me $249. However, a few hours later, I was told that it has 1) Intake Gasket leaks coolant, 2) radiator leaks coolant, 3) throttle heater leaks coolant. Cost: $1650.
NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY. This for a 2000, 47-month, 35K car.... I am contacting LRNA to try to get some remedy...and will let you know... Anyone else have similar experience? Aren't these 'leaks' suppose to be under-wanrranty rather than as 'wear' items such as brake pads??

Erik (2004-05-13): Sounds like the stealership is trying to screw you. The Warranty starts from your date of purchase, and there's no way your truck developed all those leaks all of a sudden. Keep on pestering Land Rover North America, it should all work out. If not, don't reward the dealership for their thievery, take the truck somewhere else to get the work done.

Ming (2004-05-14): LRNA didn't come through....sided with the dealer...
My main issue is : ARE the three jobs listed above considered 'wear-and-tear', thus it's owners' responsibility, or should they have been covered under warranty? Sounds like leak radiator is a relatively common problem with Land Rovers; yet there's no clear documentation that they're covered or considered wear-and-tear item..... Sure does not sound like it's something that should have been worn out in 35K miles.....

Erik (2004-05-14): Ming, coolant leaks are NEVER normal wear and tear. In your case, it sounds like two gaskets failed, the the radiator cracked. These are defects, and definitely should be covered under the warranty, regardless of how common the problem is. Moreso actually!

Ming (2004-05-14): That's what I thought, but the LRNA person, admitted that she is not a 'technical' person; however, she aquiences with the dealer that THESE leaks are considered wear-and-tear items; therefore, not covered under warranty!!!
I think I should contact BBB AUTO LINE and ask for a claim, or are there other resouces to fight this...??

Erik (2004-05-15): Yes, perhaps you should. The leaks you described are somewhat common to late model Discoveries, but that doesn't make it normal wear-and-tear. Keep fighting! Maybe try a different dealer?

Ming (2004-05-26): OK, case with BBB autoline is opened, and BBB will try to get re-imbersement for me from LRNA; however, if they don't, then I will have to go to arbitration; where I will have to provide evidence of why I think these should be covered under warranty....where can I find additional 'expert' opinion that I can use...??
i.e. if there're other users/dealers that provided warranty service for this? Or if these are 'generally' covered by other brands of cars?? Thanks, Ming

Erik (2004-05-26): Ming, I think you should be able to find some ex-employees of a Land Rover shop, or any other suitably experienced mechanic to testify. My new favorite shop, Brittish 4x4 in Mission Viejo, Ca is owned by an ex-employee of Land Rover, you might want to talk to him.

Mary (2004-06-04): Erik, IN your 01/01/04 update you said that the valves are fine...did you do the valve job or did you figure out the valves were not the problem? My car loses power at about 75 mph on road trips. if i punch the gas it picks back up and runs fine. Does this sound like sticking valves to you?

Erik (2004-06-04): When I had my engine block replace, we looked at the valves, but they were almost like-new clean. But, I had been taking very good care of them, with all Chevron gas, cleaner additives, etc.

Your problem sounds more like either a faulty fuel pump, clogged catalytic converters, or something else clogged or sticking... Have you changed your air filter recently?

Ming (2004-06-24):
Great news! Land Rover decided not even to show up for the arbitration, and will refund the whole amount that was charged $1275....
There was no explanation from Land Rover, or acknowledge anything, just that they will settle without arbitration, and refund my money...

I really think they don't have much of a case....and probably don't want any further 'publicity'....possibly realizing that I was sending questions into Internet car talking forums, and getting very one-sided responses from
everyone.... Thanks!!

Erik (2004-06-24): That's great! Too bad it took so long.

getachevy (2004-06-29): should of bought a chevy!!! We oun all GMC vehicles and we religiously keep them up. No problems here! My Jimmy is the best vehicle I've ever ouned!

Chris (2004-06-29): I don't know much about LandRovers, but I am considering buying one. However, after test driving it (1995 Discover)I noticed that the engine was extremely hot. In fact, I could barely touch the hood prop rod because of the heat. I had only gone 20 miles in it. The dealer says this is standard and the temp gauge was running normal. Is this common? Please help because I'm not very mechanically inclined and can't afford to buy a lemon.

Erik (2004-06-29): GetAChevy, while I would like my rover to be more reliable, my intention was not to buy the most reliable vehicle on the planet. If it was, I would have bought something from Japan. My rover does what I need of it, better than anything else that was or is available. That it can be unreliable is frustrating, but I love it none the less.

Erik (2004-06-29): Chris, I find the hood and prop rod of my hood does become very hot in hot sunny day conditions. Sometimes too hot to touch. If the fan(s) were running, and it had coolant in it, that was not boiling over, it's probably OK, but it never hurts to have the temp guage checked.

anonymous (2004-07-04): If you want your head gasket to last, change your coolant every 12 months! Use only the recommended coolant for your landrover - coolants are NOT all the same - coolant is not just an antifreeze, its an anti corrosive!As a uk service manager of 40 years experience,take my advice!

Erik (2004-07-04): Definitely true! Discovery Series II trucks need DEXCOOL (orange) coolant, while the older trucks need the green stuff. They are not interchangeable. The coolant also serves as a lubricant for the coolant pump, so even those of us in the desert need to keep that mix near 50/50!

Pissed gasket blower (2004-08-03): My '99 Land Lover Dicorvery II Series just blew a head gasket after only about 60,000 miles and the cost to fix it is $1900. Is this a common problem with these vehicles??? This is outrageous...they should have to pay for it in my opinion...

Goon-com (2004-08-04): My 1999 Land Rover Discovery II is a flaming hunk of dog shit. You can't even buy windshield wipers without going to the dealer - then you pay $45 for some made in France wipers. I am mechanically inclined (thank goodness) and do most thigns myself, but we have spent a ton of money on this rotton pile of dog shit and today... another $450 for Land Rover's poor engineering mistakes in the ABS system.
What's the difference between a Discovery II and a $35,000 piece of dog shit? nothing.
We owned 2 Jeep Cherokees before we got this Disco II and I can't wait to go back to something that is more reliable.
PS - Don't even try to say that Rovers are the best vehicles for off road, that is simply untrue. Come to Moab, Utah and see the Jeeps, Toyotas, Fords, Chevs, everything else - then see the Rovers. What a joke.

Erik (2004-08-09): Pissed gasket blower, that sucks. Right out of warantee. $1900 sounds like an average dealer price, it's all labor. To get at those gaskets the whole top half of the engine has to come off. Shop around, if you still can.

Erik (2004-08-09): Goon-com, it seems lots of people have had your experience. A lot more than most other vehicles. Sounds like you need to just dump your truck and get something that makes you happy.

AV (2004-08-28): Land Rovers Suck! I bought a 1996 with 60,000 miles on it back in 2001. From that day on I was never the same...the car consumed easily $500 a month in maintenance costs...lucky me: I found a dealership that gave me almost full retail on a trade and I left with a new Lexus is300. I hope that Rover ends up in a fucking car crusher somewhere because I pitty the fool who ends up with it. If you have a Rover, dump it is my advice.

Kasye (2004-08-30): Hello! Just wanted to get some information about my Rover. Just bought a 1997 Discovery and ran the diagnosis on it; it is a P1178 code which mean Air Mass Flow Rate or a clogged filter from what I can gather. I am going to try replacing the filter and see if that makes the check engine light turn of. If not...what can I expect to pay for a Air Mass Flow Rate problem? Kindest regards and thank for starting this forum!

Erik (2004-08-30): Air Mass Flow Rate or Mass Air Flow, or MAF devices vary in price quite a bit actually. They used to be very expensive, but I replaced mine for $150ish just a few months ago. (They used to be in the $700 range.) But that's for my '00 D2. Your '97 D1 might be different. Call the dealer. If it's too expensive, try calling Bill at GBR, or try British Pacific.

anonymous (2004-09-02): Kasye P1178 should be 02 Upstream Sensor ...Check your sensors the are right before the cats and right after the cats...

Dan (2004-09-27): Kasye. Sorry to hear about your troubles. I have a 98 Disco and just received the same code. My mechanic has quoted me $695.00 to replace the mass air flow meter (parts only) if it's not the oxygen sensors (~$350 each). I found a "comforting" quote on a website while researching the problem: "What Land Rover doesn't need to have its Rover air filter or air flow meter, mass air sensor replaced? Fact is that every Land Rover Discovery, Range Rover, Land Rover Defender and Land Rover Freelander are going to need one or both in their lifetime." Prices range on the site from $600 (new) to $400 (rebuilt). The website is land-rover-auto-parts.com (I' don't know anything about the company).

Did you ever get your MAF replaced? How much may I ask?

Molly (2004-10-07): I have spent $1400.00 on, for the second time, a broken fan belt, and now, replacing the axle sensor/hub...getting pissed off and its only three years old...

Erik (2004-10-08): The "axle sensor" is probably the anti-lock brake wheel spin sensor. I've had this replaced too, and in the same way, they have to replace the whole wheel hub. It sucks, it just does. $1400 is a bit much for a fan belt... Did the breaking of the fan belt damage other things?

Mike (2004-10-08): Bought a 2001 disco se7 w/ 9000 miles on it a year ago and have had a valve job at 14,000; blew an exhaust manifold at 22,000; cup and change holder fell apart at 22,500; and ABS warning lights with accompaning TC light and descent controllights went off at 24,000. Still in warranty... Any Takers?

Jim S (2004-10-22): I have a 2000 70K mile Disco II that is leaking radiator fluid out of the backside of the engine (about a gallon of dex-cool 50-50 mix a month. I assume it is a head gasket leak. 2 questions
Question 1. Is there a hazard to just refilling the radiator reservoir as required. I check the oil for contamination every morning - so far no problem and the exhaust is clear.

Question 2 - with shop manuals how hard is it to replace the head gasket, how long would it take?

Also has anyone had cracking problems with heated windshields, mine cracked of it's own accord at 65K. (vertical crack along the axis of a heating element)

Erik (2004-10-23): Jim, first, check to see if the cause of your coolant leak is not the head gasket, but the coolant hoses to the throttle body. These hoses keep the throttle body from freezing shut in cold weather, and leaked on my engine. The coolant leaked down the side of the valve covers and looked like it was comming from the back, drivers side corner of the engine.

Sorry, no help with the windshield.

Tom (2004-11-13): Erik, I have a '97 TDi with only 89 thousand Kilometers on the clock. It has a long complex and expensive history of componant failures, some of which , judging from your website, are comon. However I recently began towing a trailer, (about half the weight limit)and within about 1200 kilometers the beast had blown the head gasket with very extensive damage. Repairs? about A$7500!! I know for certain of one othe Disco diesel, (and another probable),which pulled the same trick at about the same "mileage". It is quite possible a split coolant reservoir had something to do with initiating my diesels woes, but I would be interested in your views, and ? have others had similar problems with the TDi? he local workshops with experience feel that towing with this vehicle is risky in a hot climate such as ours and have (probably wisely) recommended an improved coolant condition sensor, and a transmission fluid cooler. ?Any comments?

Erik (2004-11-13): Tom, here in the states, we see very few of the TDi models, though I wish that weren't the case! $7500 is an awful lot for a head gasket, you must have warped the block or something. I actually have heard though of several D1 owners cracking their coolant expansion tanks. It seems to be fairly common, though almost always catastrophic! I really wish there was some way to measure the amount of fluid in the coolant system, rather than just it's temperature.

Secondly, for a D1, a transmission fluid cooler is a good idea. The D2's have them as standard equipment. I have no idea how to go about adding one however, though I know there are kits. You might try posing the question on Discoweb.

93_Capri (2004-11-26): Wow, and I actually considered buying one of these things. Good thing I was $100 short!

Derek (2004-12-23): We have a 99 Disco Series II. Worst vehicle ever! Service records could fill a file cabinet. It's having it's second valve job as I write this. 85k miles. Land Rover tried to appease us after the first two horrific years of ownership with an free extended warranty. The warranty is not worth the paper it's written on. I hate that damn truck. My recommendation to anyone who has one sell, anyone who wants one should have their head examined!

alex (2005-01-15): I've had my 99 D2 for about 4 months and now is when the shit is hitting the fan. I bought it with 68k mi. and so far my intake gasket has gone to shit, my plug wires are so far hidden that I can't get to them until I change that gasket and God forbid Auto Zone, Napa,
or a fucking Murray's will even stock a rear tail light bulb! Oh, and every time I wash that piece of shit, I find a new location where water is leaking! I hope the antifreeze starts an electrical fire while i'ts parked so I can tow the piece of shit back to the dealership I bought it from


Erik (2005-01-20): Axel, the timer relay is probably fused. You have two choices: Disconnect the battery (negative, black wire), or pull the bulb.

Jai (2005-02-07): My Land Rover's front drive shaft broke and cracked my transmission housing. The Land Rover dealer wants $4800 to replace the whole transmission. Can a crack in the transmission housing be replaced/repaired without replacing the entire transmission? This Land Rover has cost me so much in repairs over the last three years that I hope it flows the f*ck up.

Erik (2005-02-07): Jai, the front prop shaft issue in humble opinion, should have been a recall. The problem is that the 'double cardan' joint on the rear of the shaft is not regreasable. It's greased at the factory once only, and when it gets dry, it can shatter and take out the transmission. I had my DC joint replaced with greasable units, at a cost of about $150 all told.

Todd (2005-02-08): I have a 97 discovery that I bought about 6 months ago. the check engine light has come on.Land rover wants $600.00 to fix. They stated it's the intake manfold gasket that needs to be replaced. The part is only $100.00
Labor is a killer on this. I don't mind spending extra money on my cars if they do things right the first time. No one work on land rovers! A good place to find Parts?

Erik (2005-02-08): Todd, $600 sounds pretty good to me for a intake manifold replacement. It is a lot of work, though if you want to do it yourself, a good place to get the parts would be either the dealer or in the US, British Pacific. However, on a '97, if you haven't already, replace the head gasket while you have the thing apart, or you'll be looking at another $600+ job soon.

Caryc (2005-02-09): 2000 DII 50,000 original miles. No troubles ever... love it.

Shamol Vyas (2005-02-13): got a 96 that doesnt run and a 2001 that doesnt run, somebody want to steal them i wont say anything for a couple days

JohnF (2005-03-03): Brought my 98 Disco in for a 90K tune up and they found some metal bits in the transfer case. I have an extended warranty BUT I did my 60K service at 64K miles and as a result they denied coverage on the transfer case. This is the only waranty request they have denied... The car has been pretty reliable so I am not that bummed. My question is - if the transfer case was looked at 4K miles late (at 64K miles instead of 60K) could this possibly result in shavings at 90K miles???? I am looking at arbitration and need some good feedback on how to handle my situation. Thanks All!

JohnF (2005-03-03): Sorry - Just noticed I was on the valve job page when I posted the above comment! - John

Erik (2005-03-03): John, it's ok to post about this on this article, it's become home to a great many complaints about land rovers. I think you're right about the shavings. Waiting 4k miles to oil a part that needs re-oiling only every 30k miles isn't going to cause excess wear 30k miles later. But then I'm neither an expert or a lawer. Good luck!

Todd (2005-03-14): Erik, Were is a good place to get a replacement exhaust system for my 1997 Discovery. The headers are great but from there back could be replaced. I haven't found any muffler shop that will work on my discovery. I would like to avoid the dealer! $$$$ Any after market that would fit for a good price. Thanks ~Todd

Erik (2005-03-14): Todd, I'm far from an expert on D-1's, but I have heard of people putting borla exhaust systems on, but you need to find a willing and expert installer. You could ask arround on DiscoWeb for advice on that. For a genuine LR part, I recommend British Pacific. I buy most of my genuine parts there. For aftermarket stuff, I go to Great Basin Rovers.

Michelle (2005-03-21): I just bought a 2002 Disco II at 30k, 4 weeks after I bought it I started hearing a knocking om exceleation. Any ideas??

Erik (2005-03-21): Michelle, knocking on exceleration probably means you're using fuel with not a high enough octane rating. I use only Chevron 91 octane fuel.

Other possible causes of problems would be the O2 sensors, timing chain, worn cams, etc, but your truck is pretty new for those issues.

Michelle (2005-03-22): Thanks Erik, That was thoughts also.

Marie (2005-03-25): 99 Disco II - just got word from an honest mechanic that coolant leaks from head gaskets, timing case cover, and water pump, he says parts from the dealer won't be available for weeks could be months, dealer says he's got a bunch of trucks on the lot waiting for same repairs. Mechanic says three grand after its all over. What a piece of shit! Only 70,000 miles of being babied. What a disappointment. Is there any recourse?? Could you imagine what LR Cherry Hill would have charged to repair????

Erik (2005-03-25): Marie, sounds like some major problems. Did the engine ever run without coolant?

$3000 sounds reasonable for all that work, if you trust the mechanic.

Marie (2005-03-28): With regular oil changes , I can not imagine it was ever without coolant completely. The truck never overheated.

Erik (2005-03-29): Marie, coolant and oil are different. Coolant is the orange sweet smelling watery liquid that was leaking out from your engine cover and water pump. If it was leaking for long, all the coolant could leak out, and cause the engine to overheat, which could cause other problems.

Still, $3000 sounds reasonable, so get it fixed, then sell it if you want, but 70,000 miles with just one big repair job is a lot better than my truck is doing!

Joanne leBlanc (2005-04-08): I bought my 98 landrover discovery se7 one year ago everything seemed fine until I drove it of the lot within 1 week I had to replace the water pump $300cnd after that my engine light came on o2 sensors x2 $800cnd three weeks later another 02 sensor I was soooo thrilled as you can imagine since then I have had brake work no big deal but then my sun roofs just started opening on there own in vancouver canada not a good thing when we get rain 9 months of the year landrover told me the wiring and rear sunroof need to be replaced $1800cnd both back locks have been welded due to them just breaking off would anyone like to buy my money pit???????helpless Joanne vancouver
p.s.I was told by a mechanic that the o2 sensors for the nissan 320z work in the land rover for $90 a pop compared to $299 at the dealer your thoughts on this anyone.

Sean (2005-05-16): your repair costs sound reasonable and more annoying than anything. I admire Land Rovers for their heritage and off-road and tank like strengths. I have had several Landcruisers and a Land Rover is next. You should come to my world where your Porsche needs a $9000 valve job at 40K miles and a $20K (minimum with no upgrades) engine between 60-75K miles, oil change, $275, clutch $3000. Hopefully this makes some of you feel better about driving one of the best, most capable 4x4's on the planet.

Tom (2005-07-07): ?Has anyone heard of this one? My 1997 tdi had done 80+k Km when it suddenly got very hot-out of coolant-blown head gasket and a A$10,000 rebuild. 1200Km later-losing coolant gain but this time detected early, so no damage. The cause, (? of the whole fiasco?) a rotted and perforated thermostat housing plug which could have been leaking for some time. The local dealer says this should be replaced each 40k Km, but I can find no mention of this in the owners manual service schedule,or the workshop manual. Needless to say the plug was not replaced in the rebuild as at that time there was no external evidence of a fault with it. Have you any information on related problems?

Mark Staples (2005-07-07): Just a note to D1 owners. At 70,000 my D1 started skipping and the Dealer wanted 3700 for a valve job! Took it my 1 armed shade tree mechanic locally and he drove it around the block raised the hood and told me to change plug wires and plugs! No problems for 70,000 more miles and at 140,000 the same thing started so I changed the plugs and wires, No better after 1 week! Took it back to my shade tree and he kept for 2 days and replaced my Bosch plugs and put in NGK, no problems since! Bosch did not tolerated the heat created so he said and has had similar problems with bosch plugs in Nissans! Watch your dealers and tyry and find a good mechanic with COMMON snese it will save you a ton at least it has me!

Julz (2005-07-07): '97 disco- The coolant started leaking badly, as if a drain plug was removed. I checked the reservoir it was empty. I poured water just to see if I was able to spot where the leak was coming from and i found that as i poured water the was coming out through what looked like a small hole (as if a small screw or bolt was missing) from the left side of where the fan is attached. I checked the hoses and clamps and there were no leaks there. I got creative and plugged up the small hole with a screw just to see what effect it had but it started leaking from what appeared to be where the lower radiator hose attaches to the engine...any ideas????on repairing my sift??

Erik (2005-07-11): Sorry Julz, sounds like you need to take it in. Maybe as simple as a hose replacement.

Lord Sinclair (2005-07-26): Get rid of your Land Rovers and buy a Toyota, a simple soloution that works well

Jessica Melton (2005-10-10): I hate my 2001 Land Rover. At 56,000 miles and after only owning 1 year and a half it has been in the shop 4 times! The electric systems in Land Rovers are horrible and I was just told that it needs a valve job! I have an extended warranty, but they are giving me problems covering it. The mechanic at Land Rover also recommended high octane gas and fuel injector cleaners for a few tanks to help the valve problem. My husband and I will definitely be getting rid of this English piece of shit!

Michael (2005-10-15): i have a 2000 Disco II ... good news i have changed the engine with a european td6 v6 diesel engine with a manual gear box, computer and heavy duty front and rear axels from the MOD UK surplus store :))) ... custom air suspansion qith higher ground clearence ... air snorkle.. self maid skid plates .. i am looking know for a place to try it in Quebec

Michael (2005-10-15): Land Rover is a passion.. The Camel Throphy .. This is the car to have ... the new LR3 looks like a Honda Hybrid. You have to go all the way... when you buy this car .... forget about delears... never step there . you have to fix it yourself ... I am going to try my new and improved version this on Sunday. Looking to kick ass against H3 Grand cherooke ... the next car project is : G class 320 CDI

G.W. Bush (2005-10-30): You bought a Land Rover and now you're complaining about it? Do you stick knives into your eyeballs and then complain about blurry vision? Newsflash pal: Land Rovers are garbage. That may surprise Americans, but trust me, it's common knowledge in the Rest Of The World(TM).

Erik (2005-10-31): Land Rovers are certainly not garbage. The best blade in the world needs constant sharpening, but when it's cared for, it's still the best blade in the world. Land Rovers do exactly what they're designed to do, and do it well. They have drawbacks, as anything does. Life is a compromise.

GA Rover (2005-11-02): Warning to all: If you buy a Land Rover it will cost you bewteen $1500 to $2000 US to maintain. In addition, they take premium unleaded fuel, kinda funny for a vehicle billed to go anywhere. I have a 1996 Disco that leaks oil like a stuck pig despite the fact it is maintained to the highest standard (oil changed every 3,000 miles all the regular tune-ups fluid changes etc. To date I've spent about about $8,000 in repair costs over the past 9 years of ownership. While Landies look cool and are outstanding off-rad vehiles, they are mechanical nighmares that should be avoided by all but the most devoted fan. Honestly, a Jeej, Chevy, Ford, or Toyota will be much cheaper to own an operate. We can only hope that Ford (the new parnet Co.) can enhance the reliability. If the LR3 is anything like the previous models my guess is Landy will die within the next 5-years.

Blake (2005-11-28): Just so you know...G.W. Jenna Bush drives a 03 Disco

chris (2005-12-07): I have a 99 disco with 30k on it. I smell coolant. Have climbed under it and followed the hoses everywhere. The engine looks brand new so a coolant leak should be easy to spot. In 8 months it has leaked 3/4 of a gallon of coolant. Sometimes I can smell coolant so that means it must be a small leak that is dripping somewhere hot and then evaporating. Meaning that I can not see the leak. The only thing that I did not do is pull off the side covers of the engine and look where the heater hoses go into the motor. Any suggestions to what might be the problem?

Erik (2005-12-07): Check the driver's and passenger's side floor mats. Smelling coolant usually (and did for me) means that you're leaking from the heater core, which is a little radiator used to heat the air in the HV/AC system. It's known to leak and is a real pain in the ass to fix.

GA Rover (2005-12-11): I had the same problem on my 1996 Disco, and traced the problem to several small leaks around the head gasket. I called Rovers North and they said all Disco's eventually leak and smell of coolant. The solution recommended by Rovers North was the use of Barr's Stop Leak. I figured waht the heck I'll give it a shot since the cost of head gasket replacement was abot $1,700. I unscrewed the small radiator cap and fed the pellets in, and guess what the leaks stopped and I have no coolant odor. The boys at Rovers North told me the use of Barr's Stop Leak is standard practice and is often used by Rover and Jaguar to stop the leaks common right off the assembly line.

Aaron (2005-12-11): Hi all, I have a 2001 disco II. My problem is with the heat, when the vehicle reaches temp there is no heat that comes into the vehicle until after about 15 mins. after driving then cools off when I stop at a light or stop sign and then slowly warms back up inside the vehicle when I continue moving again...hmmmm could this be due to a blocked heater core or crack? the vehicle has about 76,000 miles on it. also have leaking valve covers and notice a big spot on the ground of oil or sometype of oil/water mixture...does this sound familiar to anyone? also a little water coming from the tail pipe. I love this car and it has always been a dream of mine to own one but I feel I'm losing my baby...please help.

GA Rover (2005-12-11): Aaron, all rover valve covers leak, Atlantaic Bristih and Rovers North have a valve cover gasket upgrade kit that will fix the leaks. With respect, to your heat/cool problem it sounds like a failing water pump. To check if your water pump needs replacing. It could also be a faulty thermostat.

Ava (2005-12-30): Just bought a 98'Disco-2nd day would not shift out of park,got fixed 4th day-water pump failure. Did I mention it is was my birthday, then Christmas. Now New Years and can't drive.

Stephanie Williams (2006-02-12): I have a 99 Land Rover Disco II and I have so many problems. The first one is the intake gasket leak and then the second problem is the abs lights are all on. Land Rover Alpharetta in Georgia is estimating 5800.00 in repair costs. A mechanic here told me to look into an extended warranty (costing me 1500.00 - 1700.00) is it worth it? I have had this truck less than a year. I had an extended warranty which expired last summer..go figure. I am so confused. I am putting water in place of my coolant every other day so that it won't run hot!!! The mechanic told me the reason my intake gasket leak happened was due to it running hot and it warped it. Does anybody have any suggestions and were there any recalls on intake gasket leaks, should I purchase another warranty? I am upside down in costs regarding a trade in and when I got it appraised (offered me 4000.00). Signed confused in Georgia.

Zoë (2006-02-13): Looking for answer to recurring problem. I have a 2000 Land Rover Disco II. These three lights have come on all at the same time; TC, ABS and the HILL DECENT light. What does this mean? It also now sounds like the engine is in 3rd gear all the time once you hit 35 mph and over?? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

David (2006-02-15): 2006-02-15: I have the same problem with those three lights coming on. I would like to know what this means too! If I find out I will post it.

Erik (2006-02-16): Zoë and David, When your TC, HDC and ABS lights all come on at once, that means there is a failure in the computer somewhere. My truck has done that twice, and required a trip to the dealer so they could reprogram the ABS computer. It seems to be a very common problem.

alondes (2006-03-01): 95 discovery stuck in park

Erik (2006-03-02): Alondes, are you asking for help?

Stephanie Williams (2006-03-07): I still need help with ny question - Stephanie Williams

Erik (2006-03-09): Stephanie, you have at least two seperate problems:

1. The ABS/TC/HDC light problem. This may indicate a failure in one of the wheel hubs, and could cost up to $600 to repair. It also could be a computer problem, and cost $100 to fix. No way of telling without taking it to the dealer, or someone with RovaCom.

2. The intake gasket. If your block is warped, you're probably looking at a block replacement, or at least a machining. Both are very expensive. Did you ever run your engine to the point of overheating?

If the block is not warped, an intake gasket shouldn't be more than $1200 or so. That $5800 estimate is for a new block.

Stephanie Williams (2006-03-11): Thanks Erik. My truck over heated like 5 times!! It's actually in the shop and you are correct...the mechanic is fixing my intake gasket leak and his fee is 1500.00. The 3 lights,I have been told) could be a computer problem and or the brake modulator thingy...lol!!! I need to get it checked out as well.

Mike L (2006-03-12): Erik, I have a 00 Disco and love it. I try to maintain the vehicle the best I can being I am far from a mechanic. I recently started smelling the distinct smell of steamy engine coolant after driving my Disco, I popped the hood and didn't see any visual leaks. however, I did notice my coolant level was down, I filled it back up, after a few miles it's low again and still smelling the coolant. Could you PLEASE provide some places to start looking?

Erik (2006-03-12): Mike, the first place I would check is the driver's side and passenger side footwell. Check for dampness. I'd give good odds it's a leaky heater core, which dribbles down into the footwells. It's the biggest pain-in-the-ass repair I've had to do on my truck!

Other than that, get underneath the truck and look for orange drips from all the coolant hoses and around the bottom of the engine block. Also, check around the air intake, where the black intake hose connects. I had that leak coolant too.

Jennufer (2006-03-14): I have a 99' Discovery, Series I. The check engine and ABS light is on. I took it to a "guy who specializes in LR's". I was told I need a valve replacement. The truck idles fine, but shakes upin acceloration. Whats' you opinion? The additional $3000 charge is not in my budget this month.

Erik (2006-03-14): Well, the ABS light has nothing to do with an engine problem, so you're looking at at least two problems. I have no way of knowing if a valve replacement will fix your engine problem.

mcaslan (2006-03-14): We have a 97 Discover I and this weekend noticed loss of power. On Friday there were about 3 times that we had stutters only at 60 - 70 MPH range and it was a momentary loss of power when I let up on the gas the engine returned to normal. 15 or 30 minutes later another episode of the same thing. Returning home yesterday the faultering was still intermittent but happened every few minutes sometimes a few times in a row sometimes with 15 - 30 minute spaces. The whole trip was 3 hours long each way and when I got home unloaded the vehicle and then drove it at the same speeds to a non dealer British car specialist. NOt once did the car faulter on that 45 minute drive and it only had been an hour or two earlier the thing had been sputtering.

Weather was hot on the trip home about 80 degrees in Maryland this weekend. Driving slower than 65 or faster than 75 the problem was much less frequent.

There is no Check Engine Light showing nor has it lit up.

There are 79,490 miles and we have been the only owner mainly servicing it at the Land Rover Dealer getting good service.

Joe (2006-03-15): My 24,000 mile 2004 Discovery SE7 just developed a tick and then a knock. Oil light came on. No oil in coolant or cooland in oil. Based on the comments above it sounds like a valve job. Thoughts?

Erik (2006-03-16): mcaslan, I'm sorry, but I'm not an engine expert. I'm not certain what your problem is.

Joe, sorry, same deal. I just don't know. I don't know why a valve problem would cause oil consumption though.

Tom (2006-03-16): Erik, Your problem is an ABS Sensor that has become unseated or unservicable. Very easy and inexpensive to fix. This probably happened after a brake job or off road trip. Your HDC and ABS cannot function if they do not get inputs from all 4 wheels. TOM

mechanoboy@hotmail.com (2006-03-17): To all people that read this note from me,I am a mecchanic,I have worked on many different makes including some of the best like rolls royce,I also own a 94 discovery,I bought of original owner in beverly hills with only 60,000 miles,It had a coolant in oil problem,after removing and pressure checking heads I found the block to be a problem,I tore down the engine to the bare block and pressure tested,one cylinder liner is leaking,I also machine parts and have many friends who do very extensive restoration work,we all agree these are a poorly built vehicle no matter what the cost or how they are rated,I now dont know how any one would want to own one,the electrical problems are also rediclous,I know vehicles well and please take it from me,get rid of your rover ,take your loss and buy something decent,they are not that great that you need to pay so much for the parts and I dont find them better than any other vehicle in any way for the extra cost,in fact there are far better vehicles for far cheaper,I really dont know how some people have some sort desire to own one,I am figuring a way to machine the block to hold new sleeves on my 94,I think maybe not just to fix the one I own ,but could maybe make a fortune off all the people who insist on keeping there gremlin infested truck on the road,Oh by the way Rolls Royce are not much better,the engines are better,but many other problems,take a work of advice,buy a vehicle that is common and made in high volume not so oddballif you want reliability and cheaper parts and then used parts are also more available

Roger (2006-03-28): Wow! Great site, VERY interesting reading. Kinda anti rover though. Am guessing that you don't read these sites until you have an issue... Bought new a 2000 Disco with 85k on it-had a few problems in 1st year-wonderful since then. Land Rover Dublin Ohio is expensive but they take VERY good care of folks. Valve cover gaskets are begining to leak, 1/2 qt per oil change. How critical is it to pay the $1700 to replace the gaskets? BTW-after 6 years I still love it!

Joe (2006-04-03): ENGINE NOISE UPDATE: Oil pump went out. Fried engine. Landrover replaced under warranty ($8700). Runs like new... of course it was nearly new before the engine died!

Erik (2006-04-04): Well, at least it was under warranty!

(2006-04-09): My Disco, 95, V8 36D, 184.000 miles pulled a 4000 pound trailer, plus 7 people and my dog from Seattle to Costa Rica. Yes, I blew 1 radiator hose in Mexico (12$ including new coolant). Check engine light came on once, but puling the fuel injection fuse for 5 seconds cleared that one for the resst of the trip. What a beast of a car! Phenominal!

Ga Rover (2006-04-22): I agree with mechanic boy. I just sold my 1996 Disco. It had 140,000 miles on it. The list of problems it had was endless, and over the 10 years of ownership yearly repair costs averaged about $2,000. Given the poor reliability of the Disco, there were many times I feared that treading off road or outside a major metro area meant being stuck in the back 40, or stranded on an interstate for hours awaiting a flat-bed tow to a shop. For the life of me, I can't understand how Land Rover stays in business given the fact they've been churning out poor quality vehicle since 1948, while brands like Toyota make exceptional off-road vehicles.

Zively (2006-04-22): Hi, I own a 2002 discovery series II and it just started leaking coolant about a month ago, to the point that the car was signaling overheating, we took it to the dealer and repaired it now it is happening again and we have been told it has to do with the lower intake manifold, tha warranty has just expired, any comments? Suggestions?

Dr Rover (2006-04-22): Zively. Unfortunately you are screwed. Could be a slipped piston liner, casting defect in the aluminum block. Your'e looking at a major engine overhaul. Recommend using Barrs stop leak, and selling. This is a common problem and again is rated to poor build quaility that is an overacrching problem with all Rovers. I wish to God I had better news, but sell it soon.

Erik (2006-04-24): Zively, where is the truck leaking coolant? Onto the ground, or internally?

Dr Rover, your opinion is welcomed here, but please refrain from suggesting dishonest practices, such as covering up a leak in order to sell a truck.

Nathan (2006-04-25): I also had a similar problem with leaking coolant. We found a small leak in the radiator to be the problem. My dad and I took it out and had the radiator fixed up and put it all back together. The leak stopped, but then came back again. It is a small drip that comes from the front of the car, and once the coolant resivior gets a little low, it stops. 01 Disco II, 52K miles. Any ideas of a common problem? Also, the engine recently developed a chirping noise that increases as RPMs increase. I don't think it is the serp. belt (I sprayed water on it). It may be a pulley? It sounds as though the noise comes from the drivers side and almost like it is coming from the manifold or inside the engine. Any ideas about this? Thanks.

MD Rover (2006-04-25): Bad news for anyone who thing=ks that newer Disco II's have fixed the engine sleve failure problem. Our 2003 with 34,000 miles on it suffered that fate. The dealer was very good about replacing the engine, but it took 4 visits for they to figure out what the problem was. At least they gave us a new LR3 for a loaner for the 2 weeks it took to replace the engine. In the process they found collant leaks and other faults they fixed as well. We are considering finding another car so we can sell this before the warranty expires. We have had multiple problems incluyding 4 trips for breaks and ABS, 3 trips for leaks through the windshield and upper rear windows, and whell hub problems. It is almost a new car now, but what a bad track record. When I drive it I just wonder what will break next?

Kenyon (2006-04-28): 97' Disco 1 / My LR is showing a code of P1179 Fuel Air Metering; also code P1316 Ignition System or Misfire. And finally code PO308 Cylinder 8 Misfire detected. My question is...are these related to each other and what steps would you follow to rectify the the problem?

Dr Rover (2006-04-29): Erik. Using Barr's Stop Leak is not a dishonest practice. If fact when you call Rovers North they recommend using Barrs Stop leak in all Rovers over 100,000 miles as all Rovers leak like stuck pigs. I've had first hand experince with the coolant leak problem described by Zively. Now Zively has a two choices: spend 2 grand on on an engine rebuild, or sell it. However, once repaired the coolant leakage problem will disappear, but new problems (power steering box, viscous coupling, transfer box, and hub seals) will and I MEAN WILL rear their ugly head casing him untold grief and financial heartache. I know as I owned a 1996 Disco. Believe me financial freedom came the day I sold my Disco (lovingly referred to as the Shit-Box), and bought a Lexus. Honestly, I cannot see how Rover stays in business. Hopefully the gas crunch will curb US sales and they will go the way of British Layland.

Zively (2006-05-02): Hi, back again. It was leaking coolant, all of it! It turned out the lower intake manifold had to be fixed, then change gaskets, just today we were informed it will cost 2,200 to fix it, at this time 11:12pm it has been fixed and paid, we did not take to the dealer, we had the bad luck that the warranty just expired, Rover Group has been our best bet. Now I have almost convinced my husband to get rid of the car. My husband loves it, he loves taking it to Baja! So you think more problems will arise? Appreciate all the comments and suggestions.

Erik (2006-05-03): Zively, it will have more problems. All cars have problems. You have to decide if it's too problematic for you.

Dr. Rover (2006-05-03): Zively. Dr. Rover missed the repair costs by $200 so that would make me a winner on the Price is Right. Rover Group will offer you nothing. I tried that route with my 1996 Disco and they fed me a line of bull that they couldn't verify that I properly maintained my vehicle despite that fact I provided all my service records from the Rover dealership!!! Zively, welcome to Land Rover ownership. Here is what you can expect over the next 2-years: leaking power steering box (repair cost $1,400), viscous coupling ($500), transfer box leak ($850 to remove and replace seals), numerous electrical problems ($250 to $1500), sagging head-liner ($300), window regulator failure ($280), transmission and oil coolant line replacement ($600-$800), replcaement of brake calipers and hub seals ($1500). Honestly, you need to sell. The analogy I like to use is that your husband is suffering from the same saying that abused wives use to protect their spouse "He'll change." Or it must be my fault. The fact is and this is very hard for me to say as I was in denial for a long time is that Land Rovers are by nature mechanical nightmares that will drain you dry. The only people who should own them are those that have more money than sense, or how enjoy the abuse. Your problems will NOT get better. Don't forget the Dr. told you so.

Lawn Chair (2006-05-10): This all sounds pretty bad, but I have 1995 Defender 90, 5 spd, very stock, and have 98K miles with only regular maintenance (oil change 3-6K) and 30/60/90K services. Certainly not as comfortable as a RR or Disco, but perhaps the basis of Land Rover's reputation for reliability that the other models are trading on. Get a Defender.

Dr. Rover (2006-05-11): Lawn Chair. The engine in your Defender is the same as a Disco, aluminium block and all, so the potential for mechanical problems is the same as for the Disco; however, the big difference is your electronic problems will be lower due to the simplicity of the Defender models. I do agree that a Defender you have been a better choice for me when I bought my Disco in 1996. At least the resale would have been better!!!!

MD Land (2006-05-24): I have a 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, and lately only when I first press on the gas, I hear fluid running sound coming from around the shifter. As i drive, i dont hear it anymore and nothing is out of norm, then ill come to a stop, and when i push the gas to go, again its there. any ideas?? im totally non-mechanical.

Erik (2006-05-28): MD Land, I'm sorry to say this, I really am, but that sounds exactly like the symptoms I had of the engine block cracks/holes. Check the coolant level, I'd bet it's gone down, having to release some after over pressurizing because of the exhaust from the engine leaking in.

Walter (2006-05-29): Have an 00 Disco II. One engine at 50k. 30k later rear main seal on new motor. Transfer case leak fixed twice. Valve cover gaskets leaking. ACE pump whining out of control. Pinion seals front and back leaking. Rear sunroof leaking like gushing. Love truck but wow, what a piece of shit. I will be taking it back to the dealer in the am and into the auto trader upon arrival from dealer. Thats my take.

1st timer (2006-06-01): Purchased for $7400 a 2000 Disco II on 10/2005 w/148K mi and now 160K mi as of 6/1/06. My power steering went out, paid $1800 to replace hose 2 months ago. I change my oil every 3-4K miles but my oil light came on and my brakes made noises. Took mine to buckhead dealer and found out that I need a new head gasket which will cost $2200 to repair. And I need new front rotors? Left Front Caliper?, new front and back brake pads which total to $1675. I also have this rackling noise while ildling located under the shift gears and it gets pretty loud when not moving?? Also, I have the same, noise from the dash board when I press the gas and it sounds like water is moving all over the dash board; but somehow it stopped? What are you thoughts? I just put in $1800. I was thinking of purchasing the parts and having a technician repair the problem. I do like my disco and enjoy the vehicle but I thought I bought at a reasonable deal not realizing that all of this would occur less than a year. I had a pre-own check-up at Buckhead Brittana prior to purchasing the vehicle. They informed of the pinion but it will cost me $700 and that it was not that important and the vehicle was never in an accident and was in good condition. Well, that's where I stand. Your opinion? Thanks. 2000 disco first time owner.

capthook (2006-06-04): Land Rovers don't suck. They just need to be properly maintained, especially after a new owner takes theirs through 2 ft of mud, snow and rock laughing all of the way... Remember guys, they are STILL the best 4x4s on the market

...and paying more for your parts, your gas, and your service is all part of the game. If you don't want a truck that cost $50,000 new, buy a friggin Chevy people. A LR is also more likely to 'let you know' it has a problem before a Chevy, Toyota, any other vehicle. They have sensors for everything, so if that idea scares you - don't buy one. I personally like the idea of knowing something has gone wrong instantly and being able to get the problem solved before it becomes something larger. I also service mine myself, so those of you paying $120 an hour at the dealer -- I feel for you. That sucks.

But again, you bought a $50k truck! Thinking you could repair / maintain it at the cost of a standard brand vehicle is insane.

The Word (2006-06-04): Caphook, sorry but you are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, and believe whatever your captors tell you. Rovers are the most problematic vehicles in the market place, just refer to JD Powers, Consumer Report, etc. Reports in the auto world indicate that despite robust Range Rover and Range Rover Sport sales, Ford may close Rover down by 2015 if quality does not improve. I know as I'm a major exec. within Ford.

Capthook (2006-06-04): I'm sure you're a Ford Exec, bashing a Ford product. That makes perfect sense. Saying I suff from stockhold syndrome is just unworthy of a response, since I have more experience than you on the subject of Land Rovers. I own nothing BUT Land Rovers. They are a quality made 4x4 with Bosch parts and like any other vehicle they have their 'kinks' which need to be ironed out. My DII had ABS problems, the ABS Modulator (made by Wabco) is a $1,200 part. This pissed me off, greatly. Did I ask for it when I bought a $50,000 truck that could go anywhere? Yeah, I guess I kinda did. The fact of the matter, is LR owns the market on their parts. If you call Wabco to order your ABS modulator, they'll tell you to piss off- because LR has contracts with all of them (bosch too) to only allow THEM to sell YOU the parts; at a huge markup of course.

But no one ever talks about how much they ENJOY their DII's, Range Rovers, Etc.. They are still some of the most enjoyable vehicles on the market. And it's a truck that we USE. I don't know about you folks, but mine keeps up fine with 100k on the clock and this is offroad more than on road. Maybe people shouldn't go from a Honda, to a Rover.

Capthook (2006-06-04): On the subject of the Valves, Running Sea Foam works about every 30-40k mi to get the carbon out of these 4.0 v8s. They are actually Buick 318's, and prone to carbon build up around the valves which causes the ticking noises

LR also has a valve cleaner they put in your truck every 10k mi now and has eliminated alot of the valve problems

Sarah (2006-06-06): Having read this web page I have just returned my new LR3 to the dealer (after numerous problems with the computer system), and am buying a Toyota Land Crusier. Thank you all for saving me $$$. It is truly ashamed that Rover just can't get it together. The Ford Exec must be right as sales I just read sales are on the decline. I am truly sorry Rover is sinking. I hate to see the marque vanish.

manny (2006-06-20): 00 disco- Noticed exhaust leak on passenger side #8 cylinder (just under 2nd spark plug from rear. It is coming from the block not the manifold. (loud ticking noise) Can anyone tell me what I may be in for? Verified exhaust leak coming from side of engine. (burned finger) note: Prior to this no problems at all

Capthook (2006-06-21): Try discoweb.org for your problems. They are full of LR techs, and people like me who like to toy with their Rover's. I agree (Sarah) that LR's quality has gone down hill since the Ford take over, as well as service from the dealers. What did we expect from the Land Rover takeover ? It's FORD afterall, and I've had more problems with that brand than any other in working on vehicles. Buying a 'Yoda' or Toyota seems to be the best route right now with where gas prices are going too.

One of the reasons Rover can't get it 'together' is because no one has owned them long enough to do so (besides maybe BMW). I have one of the trucks built when BMW owned them, and it's not bad in terms of build quality and I almost never have problems. I think they had a more rigorous equipment test program then; but to be completely fair to all - when you add more bells and wistles, you are asking for problems.

The LR3's are great trucks. However, they are PACKED with electronics and 4x4 accessories that allow you to beat the pants off of the other brands:

" In Australia, the LR3 managed to be awarded '4WD of the Year' by virtually all of the 4WD press, impressing the often conservative journalists of the 'hard-core' magazines when it effortlessly ambled where the traditionally highly-rated Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol had to scramble. It was widely hailed as the first time that electonics actually out-performed trusted mechanical systems, although most sounded a note of caution about long-term reliability and serviceability. Despite these reviews, and a price tag very similar to the LandCruiser, it did not set the market alight. "

Only problem is, it breaks down alot more than that Land Cruiser because of all those goodies ; so if you are willing to pay to be the best, and you have to be because of where you live -- then a LR is for you.

I personally don't have major problems with mine - it's driven like any other 4x4 and goes up North to go play in mud, snow, water, etc.. and it takes it all effortlessly. These are truely the best consumer 4x4's, and likely one of the most advanced. I cannot find features that are on LR's on other brands, try to find a Toyota with 3 levels of lift - I don't think so. The LR is ALL about 4x4ing. If you don't 4x4, DONT BUY ONE. They have too much tech installed for it not to be used as a real 4x4 and the LR3 isn't even high enough to use it. Thanks Ford. Wouldn't buy the LR3 but again I am very happy with the Discovery II and haven't had major problems

Capthook (2006-06-21): And if Ford stops making the LR, it's only because Ford dicked around with a good thing that could have been better. The Defender model was THE best LR, puts all others to shame. If LR had made the Defender cheaper (which, technically it's a stripped down LR, shouldn't it be?!) then they would be an American icon like they are in pretty much all of Europe, where Defenders are still as cheap as a Ford Taurus. Here they are upwards of $30,000 used, and I cannot get one with the Diesel engine, only the big petrol V8 in the states. The police in Africa & Europe ( Italy, Germany, England, France) wouldn't drive the diesel LR defenders if they weren't reliable. They are - when your mechanic knows what / when to work on that truck to avoid future problems. Discovery's are the same way -- Such as the one guy on here was hearing water flowing in his dash -- that's a problem (rubber drain plugs are clogged under the truck to the A/C system) that's pretty common if your truck isn't serviced properly and is actually quite simple to fix with a flat head, working the mud out of those outlets for the A/C. Otherwise your dash fills up with water. A properly serviced LR makes all the difference.

also for Dr. Rover to say the Defender is the 'same' as the Discovery because of the 4.0 v8, he's wrong, wrong wrong, so wrong. Get out more Dr.Rover. Go overseas - you'll see numerous 4cyl diesel Defenders which get great gas mileage and go on forever because as a Rover owner I know the 4cyl diesel is a better engine than the buick v8. They are very reliable machines, not sold in the US.

As for us stuck with the v8 models. There is nothing wrong with them so don't let ignorant people tell you that. They eat gas for breakfast, which is the biggest downfall of the 4.0 v8. If you have a Bosch or even GEM managed 3.8-4.0 v8 they are good engines. The 3.8 in my 92 Range classic is still very strong because I took care of it properly. With the right amount of TLC and following your LR service book allows you to enjoy your rover, without problems. But ignore a service trip, or sound its making - and you could end up having a love / hate relationship with your Rover like some of these fine folks. It's just life, and how the previous owner(s) took care of your truck too. Remember, some of these are just BOMBED (i've seen it) before the next owner recieves them, and they always 'look' ok on the outside but have been taken across the moon, etc...


anonymous (2006-06-21): Why would 'Drive across the world' choose the Discovery II as their ride if they are so unreliable? Numerous expeditions are made in Rovers, simply because they are the best 4x4xfar


Capthook (2006-06-21): Yeah, and they took SEVERAL of them around the world. Not one.

Dr. Rover (2006-06-25): 1994 through 1997 US Disco's and Defenders have the same AL=block V8s. It is true that Defenders and Discos sold outside the US had diesel and MPI engines as well as the V8.

capthook (2006-06-25): I sorry Rovers are bad cars.

jax (2006-06-25): I own a 2004 Discovery SE7 and have had the brakes fail 5 times. This will be the 4th time in for service and I can guarantee they won't find the source of the problem. The vehicle is a death trap at this point and am afraid to continue to drive it. I'd appreciate any direction on trying to deal with LRNA or dealorship????

Erik (2006-06-28): Jax, how did your brakes fail? Did they fail to stop the truck, or did the ABC/TC/HDC lights just come on?

LR Owner x3 (2006-06-29): Having owned now three LR's a 97 Disco II a 2002 Freelander(LR North America Bouth this on back under Lemon Law) and still own a 02 Disco II with 70k on it. It is currently in the shop getting a new head gasket. In my opionion Land Rovers are maintinece nightmares(time bombs waiting to blow up) don't buy em.. I'm a 3 time owner(sucker) I will NEVER purchase another LR--they are all crap!!!!

Mark (2006-06-30): Are there any general insturctions on how to remove/install a 2002 Freelander Transmission ?

Erik (2006-07-01): Mark, you can buy a workshop manual for the freelander at your local dealership. It'll have every possible repair task in it, including a transmission swap.

Capthook (2006-07-21): Also on the subject of workshop manuals, I suggest getting a RAVE Land Rover repair CD, on ebay for under $20. The manuals on there are extensive, and cover everything for all DIIs, Range Rovers, and Defenders.

Capthook (2006-07-21): jax : I would raise hell at Land Rover for that 1. Brakes are serious, get in their faces and demand that they either replace your truck with another or fix the problem for the last time

MadMike (2006-07-26): I have to agree with most of the posts. I have a 03 Discovery with 70,000 and it is the biggest piece of junk Ive ever owned. The vehicle has been in the shop so many times, i just dont feel like picking it up anymore. I have a 2001 Dodge Ram with 145,000 and never had a lick of problems. Its not just me either, most LR owners Ive talked to hate their vehicle too

The World (2006-07-29): Moral of the story? Buy a Toyota Land Cruiser next time. Or a Nissan Patrol. Or a...well, anything NOT English.

Truth (2006-07-30): Capthook Are you instructing yourself to buy a book??? Poor grammer = poor advice= poor quality cars. The only Rover that has a chance at being worth something is the D90. Look around, you can buy a used 1996 Disco for $2,500 and promptly spend $6K in repairs. Rovers truly are at the bottom of SUV pool when it comes to quality, and toughness. Folks there are much better choices Toyota, the new Jeeps, Lexus, etc.). Please observe that almost all the responses on the website as well as others are complaint pages; there are very few (other than AA-Betty Ford Clinics (sorry I meant LR Clubs) that sing praises to these mechanical nightmares. Capthook and a few other feel strongly about Rovers, because they're either stuck with one, too proud to believe they made a bad (and expensive) purchase, or simply enjoy flushing hard earned $$$ down the drain. LR needs to understand that leaking oil, fualty electrical, etc, are not endearing qualitys that should make one proud to own a LR. WAKE-UP folks the history of Land Rover can be written in two words POOR QUALITY.

mike g. (2006-08-15): erik. thank you for your column. effective decisions about repairs like replacing engines can only be done by agonizing reevaluation of whether i belong in such an expensive ride. so here goes.

i have a 01 disco 2 with 90k. heads replaced at 77. 35 valve was sticking and the service engine soon light came on. the truck started running rough. so roverland 4x4 in virginia replaced the heads for considerably less than the dealer. the light continued to plague me. replaced the air flow meter. replaced the crank shaft sensor. replaced the coil pack. replaced the wires (arking spark from #5 when sprayed with water; i have no idea whether a healthy wire will do that, but i trust). losing a little coolant, so replaced some of the secondary hoses and fittings.

main current system is that damned light. it occasionally goes away like today when i mistakenly pushed the plus button instead of the premium at the pump. within a mile the light was off. weird, huh. the other symptom is the cold start- exhaust appears to be fogging mosquitoes but is completely gone by the time i get my starbucks and stays away the whole day.

current shop diagnosis is #5 coolant sleeve has slipped a matter of a few milimeters, but enough to let the coolant slip down and fill the chamber and create the misfire code.

i doubt the octane level of the gas making the light go away has anything to do with this condition.

the compression is only 165lb compared to 190 on the others.

the price on the cylinder #5 rebuild is enough to make me wonder whether i should spring for a new block, which would double the repair but give me a fresh start on 8 cylinders rather than just 1. it might also improve my dismal gas milage, which never gets above 12 and is usually at a depressing 10mpg.

this is the kind of dilemma that i have been reading about in your blog, and i am hoping that you or some of your readers have some experience with my symptoms and can lend perspective.

oh, and finally, i commend you on your continued faith in the discovery. the jackels may bark, but the caravan moves on. cheers.

Erik (2006-08-15): Mike, I'm not a mechanic, but your symptoms sound an awful lot like mine, which twice was a hole into one cylinder into the coolant. It means a whole block replacement. However, when they get the heads off, you'll be able to see if those holes are there, and you won't have to go through it twice, if that's the problem.

Good luck!

mike g. (2006-08-16): erik: could you possibly elaborate about the symptoms you had prior to realizing that you had a hole into one cylinder into the coolant. and which cylinder it was. my symptoms are so hazy we don't know what it could be. lobed cam, slipped cylinder coolant sleave, or many others. they just can't say. the hole makes sense to me, except that the coolant leaks into the plug chamber overnight and burns out first thing. then is fine all day to the point that the misfire code light goes out. thank you, again. your information on this site is really helping this process. i am almost completely convinced i need the block, with only a small doubt remaining. cheers.

mike g. (2006-08-16): erik. please disregard last email, unless this sounds totally wrong- mechanic says not hole in piston cuz i'm not losing enough pressure or anti-freeze. sticking with shifted anti-freeze piston sleeve theory. new block imminent. same old story- another new block for another disco. but, what am i going to drive. an element? cheers.

Erik (2006-08-16): Well a new block will fix either one of those problems. Good luck!

mike g. (2006-08-20): erik: i wonder if i might run this scenario past you one more time, as i keep getting inconsistent info from the shop. says no problem fixing #5 coolant sleeve down the road. but, exhaust is coming through the piston and pressurizing the coolant, which does sound to me like the hole in piston you mentioned. i am utterly confused. can you lend insight. understand if no time for going round and round on this. thanks, again. mike

Erik (2006-08-21): Mike, I don't mind helping as much as I can, but I'm not a mechanic, not by a long shot, so take my advise with a lot of salt! First, a question: Has your shop taken the headers off and actually looked in there? If so, they could tell the difference between a slipped liner and a hole.

My other question: Have they talked to you about cost? My mechanic told me that even if my problem had been a slipped liner, they'd still have to remove the block entirely for machineing anyway, so you might as well just get a brand new block, since the cost is almost the same.

mike g. (2006-08-23): erik: thanks. shop owner has not removed the headers. he runs diagnostics on the computer and does compression tests. he smells the exhaust and looks at the coolant. what he did find is that the coolant is pressurized by the engine running. and, in the a.m., it burns off anti-freeze for a few minutes. re Q#2, he wants to machine #5 and rebuild the piston assembly for 2k, or rebuild the whole engine for 3800, or replace with american british rebuilt for 5500 (the short block is 4k). he says that he has never seen a crack or whole in the block, so he is not worried about rebuilding my engine. but, i think the extra $1,700 for a new short block might be worth it. i am going to drive this 1200 miles in 100 degree temperature at 70 mph as is, which might just clarify the situation. needless to say, wish me luck! thanks again, michael

Erik (2006-08-24): I tend to agree with you, it's best to err on the side of caution, especially if you have the money to do so. Go for new though, rebuilt anything worries me!


BMP (2006-09-12): Here it is. MCM's got it. Rover V8 engine blocks are aluminium, sacrificing strength for less weight.?.? They are and always will be prone to cracking or becoming porous around the cylinders. There is also a gap at the bottom of the liner which allows the liner to slip when coolant leaks through a crack in the block. The liner may also crack. This is why you might have white exhaust smoke at a cold start up and misfires until it heats up and burns the coolant out of the cylinder. The warm up will also help the slip by expanding the liner back into the block.
Now. The pressure caused by combustion will force the exhaust gases through or around the slipped liner into the coolant pressurising the cooling system causing the overheat, also the gases in the coolant do not heat the thermostat like which closes, therefore leaving exhaust gases to cool the block not coolant and resulting in violent overheating which will only cause more serious damage. So... If you buy a new block there is a very high chance the same will happen again, and again. Most garages will go for the head gaskets first cos' thats what they know, but its expensive and so is doing all the other nonsense they like to charge lots for. But it will not fix this problem. So if you are going to spend money on ripping the engine apart just pull the whole thing out and get the block and heads pressure tested, this test does not cost alot-dont get ripped off-and will diagnose any block, or head problems once and for all.
Right - What to do. New block? new engine? sure but you'll be back spending more money, and I'm sure the garage wont complain. Instead get a good engine machining place to fit heavy dutty top hat liners, hard to find yes but worth it. these will not crack like standard liners and due to the lip at the top will never slip or move, the head will also help hold it in place. The other advantage to some of these liners is that they stand a bit proud of the block helping to seal the cylinder gaskets saving future failures.
Costs will vary but you will have a sound block that will last along time. If you want to get serious you could get a new engine or block and fit top hats.
The other option as MCM says is a different engine, eg cast iron block v8 or diesels, japanese, or .... 300tdi.
I think thats it, GO HARD MCM find those liners!
These are new developements don't expect all garages to know about them, and don't just let them keep sending your vehicle back saying they have changed this and that costing you loads of unnecessary cash. its the block get it sorted once and for all, dont just keep falling into the trap of buying new engines and blocks, they will fail and you'll be back where you started. top hat top cat he's the black cat.
Thanks one more thing if you have banging noise like a loud tappet noise it probably the liner banging up and down in the cylinder. Bye Bye

Erik (2006-09-13): Excellent post BMP, thanks for the information!

Mark (2006-09-13): Hi All, I just wanted to jump onto the LandRover chat here. I just purchased a 99 LR Disco2 this summer for about 1/2 of its book value it has 213000 km / 127000 miles on the clock. I have owned many vehicles before including my tough old 92 Range rover. When I purchased this discovery it was from a guy who wasn't a mechanic, and did what the dealer told him, well it was driving weird where it would kind of miss under load, and the valvetrain was a little noisy. This guy took it to his LR dealership, and they charged him 350 dollars to look over the truck and come to the determination that it needed a complete valve job costing thousands. Well I have always wanted a discovery, so I bought it from him knowing it needed a bit of work (I like to wrench on stuff). Limped the discovery home 400km on about 5 cylinders.. once home I popped the hood and noticed all of the plug wires in the dark were glowing with each cylinder fire!. Seeing that I hooked up a generic code reader (from auto parts store) and it gave out a bunch of codes which after cross-reference told me cylinder 1,3,7 misfire, and another for random misfire detected. I went to the local supplier and picked up a set of wires for $45.00 and spent the 2 hours installing them. Once installed I started it up, and it runs like a top!!..... Why could the dealer not have figured this out??.. For $300 they just photocopied the last quote of a valve job from the last guy. It's not the vehicles that are the problem here, its these dealerships that think they are "elite" and don't give customers the same "Heritige" style service like they maket their vehicles to be. I am currently working on finding the root cause of the valvetrain tick (most likely carbon buildup inside) because engine runs fine, just a bit noisy up top.

The Kid (2006-09-19): yea , i dont know much but i came on here to see if anyone else has oil leak problems with their Disco. I have an 02 with 57k on it....been on a road trip for 4 months (philly to Portland) and its been in the shop 3 times! The problem now is the leaking of oil i noticed so i took iy in and they are saying its leaking from the transfer case,and something about gaskets/cylinders....its under warranty but im like shit , is this going to be more problems in the future? Ive owned the car a year an actually love it, but this going to the shop all the time is lame.What gives people????

Jeff (2006-09-19): I have 98 Disco I have owned since new. I have kept it well maintained but have spent my share of cheese on major repairs. It now has started doing crazy things like when you put the truck in reverse the transmission does not engage. Put it back in park and try again and it works just fine. Same goes for drive, it doesn't get going for 20-30 yards and then it starts going like normal. Once going it seems to be fine. Any thoughts> Thanks

Mark (2006-09-26): Okay, I have tried fuel injector cleaner, intake cleaner, oil treatment, water injection, new wires, plugs, cleaned PCV... everything!... I still get codes coming up saying random misfire & Cyl# 5,7 misfire. I get a metallic noise from top end on hard acceleration (only after engine is warm)... I dont want to take this engine apart... Anyone else have any suggestions to possibly clean off the exhaust valve stems?.. I dont really notice a misfire while driving tho.. just the computer seems to see it.

Erik (2006-10-07): Sorry, no ideas here. Good luck!

Kit (2006-10-09): I have a '01 LR Disco and at 44k replaced the plugs and wires, 47k replaced a cracked manifold, at 55k replaced the radiator, and at 108k now replacing all gaskets and a busted valve. I have replaced 7 ABS sensors since new (get a mechanic that can rebuild the sensors and install for about $100, otherwise it's $750 a sensor at the dealer). BTW, all rovers leak oil from the gear box and at $700 per reseal, even most dealers will tell you to shine it and let it be as it never reseals properly. I have learned a few things mixing my ex-wife with a LR: always use 91, ALWAYS let it warm up at least a minute past the sump kicking off, and LR's are a dog so don't stomp on it at a green and expect it to take a corvette. Let her accelerate at her own pace and you'll have less problems. Also, the '01 does not have a serviceable gas filter (its in the tank) so TONS OF FUEL TREATMENT and INJECTOR CLEANER is a must. In short, I have a '00 Ford Excursion that has been the most releiable and cost effective (short of fuel costs) vehicle I have owned. Next time I think I will stick with a non-LR option. Good luck to you Fellas!

Sara (2006-11-02): Hi I have a 99 LR Dicso II. I am currently having a problem with it not starting. A few hours later it starts. What could be the problem? I have had it towed to the dealer and by the time it gets there it starts. They said they could not find anything wrong with it because it started. They also said that it could be the security system not allowing the car to start??? Not sure what is going on with this. Any help would be appreciated. I also have the ABS/TC downhill light on also. The LR has 96k. Thanks

Pavel (2006-11-06): Mark, your misfire might be simply due to corrosion in the spark plug wires. Pull them apart, one at a time and check for a build=up of powdery stuff. Another trick is to watch the engine running at night (completely dark) and look for a glow around the plugs.. As to cleaning the exhaust valve stems, tell me how! Short of taking off the exhaust manifolds and getting a nanorobot into each exhaust port to chip away the encrustation on the valve stems, how do you do it?

Kalkan (2006-11-18): I have a 01 Disco Vogue, in Dubai, I love the way it drives. Lately the three warnings lights have gone on (TC, ABS, DHC), I turn the engine off, and the lights don't go on again for another two weeks. The other problem is when I turn on the car, and the A/C, i hear a belt screeching when i turn the wheel, but the noise goes away after a few minutes. The third proble, which is not mechanical, is the roof lining that is falling. what is the cheapest way to fix these problems?

Kimber (2006-11-21): I have a 01 Discovery and have had it for a year and a half. The SRS light comes on and off. Most recently the service engine light just came on last night. On my way to have it checked. Warranty expired. Any suggestions for the soocer mom and questions to ask so I'm not taken???

Erik (2006-11-22): Kalkan:
1. TC/ABS/HDC: This is usually a computer glitch. The dealer will have to reset it. It can also be a bad ABS sensor, or even the ABS modulator. Both are costly. :-(
2. Screeching: You might need a new serpentine belt, or power steering pump, but you'd have to narrow down the source of the sound to be sure.
3. Roof lining: Dunno. Superglue?

Kimber: I don't know about that one, I did a little googling and the only thing I could come up with was some mention of wiring shorts.

lee (2006-11-30): Sara, I had (yr.2000 LR Disc II with 80k miles now) exactly same problem then it happen to be start motor.

by the way I'm thinking to get an extended warranty from Auto Advantage (http://www.autowarranties.com) . Any body has experience with them? It sounds pretty good to have. I got quoted about $1k (4yrs 100k miles) for basic power train coverage one. Any feed back about extended warranties, much appreciate. Thanks.

Rich (2006-12-03): I have 2 1999 Discovery II vehicles. I reside in Portland Oregon. I have had my share of rover catastrophies but both are up and running very well. I have leaks. IT rains alot (a real lot) here in Portland. I have replaceall four door rubber seals on one of my rovers adn the passenger seat belt still leaks. On the other rover I had leaks in in the roof right abve the dash. This lead comes and goes. Both leak at the rear skylights. I guess I will have to replace the skylight rubber seals. Anyhow, one person blogged in about here car not startign adn then starting OK. THere is a inexpensive switch (about 4 dollars) under the brake pedal. IF it is broken or shorting out, your car will not only not start, you will not be able to move the shift from park. You must have your foot on the brake to reove the shift from park to drive. IF this happens, then its that little switch.
As far as teh fuel goes. Land Rovers are very sensitive to the octang level. The CPU had to calculate and store inmemory youyr combustion settings using many electronic sensors, the air flow, fuel injection, and fuel quality level. The air flow, air temperatur, and air quality are measured by sensors, then the CPU (there are 3 separate control units - ECU, ABS/Slabs, and some other one) has to send siglas to teh fuel injection on how much air and fuel tomix and the timing of the injection. THis all effects the timing and performance of the engine. The CPU will adjust and re-memory poorer/lower octang levels of the fuel and save these setting in memory for controlling the air/fule/injection settings but it takes some time. LR settingare originally set for 94 octane,but so 91 is a readjust and re-memory of all the settings. Consistency in what type of fuel you use becomes important.

The 3 amigos, or the christmas tree as I have heard it called, is a problem for everyone and is almot always realted to a bad wheel sensor. THe stock ODBII scanners only give you a generic code, they do not tell you which sensor is bad, using a milltimeter on a sensor while manually trying to spin the wheel will usually tell you each sensor if fine - because you are not getting a good enough reading by manually spinning the wheels on a jacked up car. You have to dislodge teh SLABS ECU from teh right hand underside of the passenger's front seat compartment, let it dangle, have someone drive the car while you insert the multimeters 2 prongs into each of the slabs/ABS ECU pin compartments (one for each multimeter prong) related to each particular wheel sensor and get the reading this way as you drive. It takes 2 people. THis way you will be able to detect which one of the 4 wheel sensors has the problem. The sensor itself is 182.00 for the part from the LR dealer. The LR dealer has a 150,000.00 scannner which when plug into your car tells them exactly which wheel sensor is the problem sensor. But if you have to do it yourself, this is the way to do it. The ABS wheel sensor is just a magnet. That's it, it is just a frigging magnet with a psositive and negative wire coming out. IT receieves no electricity to itself. IT sends back an ecletrical signal each time the rotating wheel "Senor Primer" (which is contained inside your wheel hub in a confined chamber wrapped by the metal hub) has one of the metal prongs pass by the magnet on the wheel sensor. When it does ti sends a signal (electrical generated by the magnet coming into contact with a mettal prong onteh primer wheel) back to your SLABS/ABS CPU this tells teh CPU how fast that wheel is spinning, your wheel speed. This wheel speed is compared with teh other wheel speads to see if they are spinning at different speeds. It uses thsi info to trigger your traction control, Anti lock brake system, and down hill descent settings and adjustments. When the wheel sensor reading is considered by the SALBS/ABS to be out of acceptable range (never gets a brewak in the signal) then you get the generic ODBII reading on the scanner P1500 inplausible rough road signal. IT means that your whell is not just going over a rock and spinning on a larger diameter rotation from teh wheels that are not, it means that the signal is not believeablem it is so far out of th range on a constant bad range basis that eh CPU can no longer consider it a viable reading. When one of the 4 wheels goes out as a inplausible reading then the ECU cannot get all 4 wheels in its computations for controlling the 3 amigos, Down hill decesent, Anti-lock braking, and 4 wheel drive tracktion control. All 3 lights come up and your Land Rover had lost these systems. You can still drive, everything is OK, but these 3 systems can no longer perform the balancing act required because 3 wheels does not balance your LR during thsoe few critical seconds when these systems are supposed to give you supported handling. YOu can still drive hough and your breaks still work, just not the same way.

The air flow sensor is also something that goes out on you. Not relacing your ari filter during tuen up will cause dirst to damage your mass air flow sensor. The LR ari filters are almost impossible to find, you just have to get it at LR for the outragesous price.

Mis fires on the spark plugs. LR has that funky type plug wire. IT has a ceramic eliment on the end that plugs in the hotbox/cylinder. There are 2 hotboxes with 4 plugs each. It is impossible to see them. You must have the schmeatic to even replaoce your sparkplug wires, a job that usually even a woman can do. But on a LR, at least the Dsic II, you must get a 1/2 or 3/4 inch piece of plywood about 1 foot by 2 feet and lay it over the top of the engine with the hood up. You must not lay it on the rubber hoses that coem in or out of the engine manifold as you will snap one of these off where the plastic connector meets the aluminum metal intake hosuing. Then you must palce "yourself" your frigging body face down o the board to kee the uppoer manifold from hurting you as you work, giving yourself a true flat surface upon which to set your stomach and other body ares. place your face (face down) past the engine, between the backof the engine and just before where you face the dash, your legs are hangling out the front of the engine and your are face down looking into teh front window facing looking thru the window thru the drivers area towards the back of the car. You now place your hands down into the place where the spark plug wires all go. I buy the LR spark plug wires because they are the right length and have numbers on them. You must remove just teh wire for the cyclinder that is misfiring and replace it with the new one. THis must be done by feel as you will never get to see the hotbox where the spark plug wires go. IF you were in teh drivers seat facing forward and you could see the 2 hotbox/ignition coils there are 2 a left box and a right box, the sparkplug wires in teh left coil are (we will consifer these boxes/coils to have 4 corners each lt (lefttop), rt(right top), lb(left bottom) and rb(right bottom. So if you are facing the coils the left coil/box holds spark plug wires #1(lt), #6(rt), #7(lb), #4(rb).
if you are facing the coils the right coil/box holds spark plug wires #5(lt), #8(rt), #3(lb), #2(rb). Now make yourself a pciutre diagram of these two sqare coils and make each of the 4 corners of each coil box with thes spark plug wire numbers. Your are ready to change your spark plug wire. Remember that now you are on your stomach on top of the wood board laid on top of the engine. At this point you have to ask "what jack ass designed this ##$#$ car". Answer: The British. If the paper diagram you created is on see thru paper you're all set. Your are in back of those coils and not facing them. You must feel with your hands ro remove the plug wire and replace it.

Enough of that. See how easy it is to work on your Land Rover. This spark plug replacement is one of the most difficult to learn things for a new LR owner. And the spark plug wires are one of the most breakable parts on the car. Take an old spark plug wire, Look at its ceramic end that goes into the coil. The design and materials make it a very hard wire to get from a US parts store. Some carry it. Thake that old sparkplug wire and cut it in half with a scissors. Look at the middle of the wire, it does not have a real wire, no steal or copper. It is just black. If you take some of the center out of the rubger and fell it in your fingers, it crumbles in your fingers. The electricity is tramitted over a carbon based composite, that black flaky sutff. So LR spark plug wires melt inside themselves, they "Arch", or short out, they can be broken without showing any outward sign of damage. So when you replace your spark plug, often you damage the plug wire. The number 6 wire is damaged on a regular basis because it has to cross over a the hot engine to get to its coil (the lfet coil) on the opposite side of the engine. The heat from the hot crank case damages the corbon center of the cable. Again - who designed this car? Why do you move the cable across to teh other side of the engine compartment? ????

Buy the full workbook orginal LR manual. You can get one from England including the full electrical manual with the ODB II code number to explanations for 21.00 dollars on a dvd. The Land Rover is a complex and truly an "off the beatenpath" vehicle. Get the manual, acutally read it, buy about 800.00 in tools, scanner, and other equipment, get some experience and you may acutally be able to keep your Land Rover. I am sorry to read about all the problems on this blog about new engines and how your have to get the tophat cyclinder selves in order to get a good engine. I will be looking at getting a 2 new engines to keep my Disc IIs going. I really love them. THey are great when they perform. Don;t belive evrything you hear and see about their dynamic off road abilities. Unless you remove the standard tires and replace them with heavy tread snow tires or mud tires, you do not want to try any real off road driving. I have "top centered" one of my rovers. This si whre all 4 wheels grind into the mud leaving your 6000 lb LR resting on its frame wit the wheels rotating in theri ruts. Have a winch or second rover with you. Had I nad on real off raod tires I probable would have been able to avoid this frustrating ride in the country.

Good luck. I hope I fair getter with my rovers. I have done my head gasket adn the plenum gasket replacements and with 120K on one of my rovers she is running very well and I have been very happy with her. She has never had any value job or any of these other problems. Her performance is excellent. Her first 57K was not in LA and her owner did alot of desert of roading. Her last miles have been in the mountains, woods, with alot of snow and a wole lot of heavy rain. But when I am in real low temperature adntrying to get out of heavy snow in teh back woods I am real glad to see her with her heated seats and gas gusling V8 engine. IT burns alot of gas but it also generates alot of heat and her 6000 lb weight keeps my traction good in teh snow. '
Happy driving.

lee (2006-12-07): I got 3 amigos problem and took my car to dealer then they said it's ABS modulator, abs sensors all o.k they told. Is there any place rebuild abs modulator? new parts really expensive, $1700. thanks.

GeekMonster (2006-12-10): Sara, or anyone else who might have this problem. I also have a 99 Disco II and had the same exact problem with mine. Disco would cut off with no warning, just like your flipping a switch, and within about an hour would crank back up like normal. I did'nt know what it was, thought it might be the fuel pump. Turns out it was the crank sensor, and I had to tow it to a mechanic to find out. Your stealership should have known this. The part cost about $88 and it was another $130 to have it installed. If I had it to do over again I would have bought the part online and installed it myself. I think it's located low on the drivers side of the engine and should probably just screw in. For anyone out there who is considering buying a Land Rover as you can see by these post, they are riddled with problems. Mine only has 85K a runs like it has 200K on the clock. Almost all of them have the same reoccurring problems that can only temporarily be fixed, and its usually expensive to do so. When the christmas tree lights up (it eventually will) your 4wheel drive system won't operate properly and will send all the power to the two spinning wheels and will be worthless. I was stuck twice in mine from the system failing. I regret ever getting mine and I'm thinking about trading it in towards something else.

Topstrong (2006-12-11): I own a 2002 Disco II with about 76K on it. Just got the humbling news that its leaking oil and anti-freeze from both the cylinder head gaskets, the front timing cover and the oil pan gasket. LAND ROVERS ARE FAKE!!!!!! I have taken care of truck but, look at the extremely disappointing durability and workmenship!!! Should of went Japanese. I think I will! So much for English products.

Tyler (2006-12-13): I own a 99 Disco II. Purchased it in 2003 with 70K miles on it. Ran fine for about 10K miles, then valves sticking, that will be $3K. Now at 110K miles, it's getting an entire new engine b/c or coolant in the cylinders. I understand that any car can go back no matter who the manufacturer is, but i'm telling you, GET A TOYOTA OR A NISSAN. LAND ROVERS FUCKING SUCK!!!!!!!

jcannon (2006-12-14): yeah i got an 03 disco and the plug wires are behind the engine can someone tell me how do i get to these to replace?

Erik (2006-12-17): jcannon: All my reading and talking with other indicates that there are only two ways to get to the coil pack to replace the wires: Have small hands, or... Remove the intake manifold.

MNrover (2006-12-18): First time post, long time 99 Disco II driver with 87k on the clock. Just started to get cylinder mis-fires. My vehicle has never overheated - change the water pump, thermostat and all hoses at 60k. Not sure why I am getting the mis-fire codes. Mechanic recommended valve job. Been reading about slipped sleeves and getting kind of worried.

Pete (2006-12-19): Guys, I can't speak for the other model years but my 99 D2 is nothing but a total pain in the ass. At 80k those misfire codes started coming up. I changed the plugs and O2 sensors, no better. Weeks later the head gasket blew on the right side. My buddy owns a garage servcing land rovers and he told me that once the vehicle over heats the sleeves inside the cylinder most likely comes loose and to just replace the engine for the tune of 7k. Not believing that to be the the case I ventured to tear this beast down infront of my house and fix it myself. Let me tell you, if you are planning this be prepared, as the head bolts will not come off with any degree of ease. There is a reson they advise you to replace them when you do the job. They come out rounded over and in poor shape. Have a breaker bar and a blow torch ready! I sent the heads out to be re-plained. Great place in Florida if you are in need, only 250 per side! The places here in NY wanted alot more than that! An important Note!!! 99 Discoverys have only 10 head bolts, which they changed to 14 in the later model years! Why? because there were insuficient bolts on the head. The place that did the heads stock they because they see so many of these come in . Anyway, I have pics on this job for those interested. Should be wrapped up in a week on so. Be advised the instructions for the torque on the head bolts suck! The pattern is fine, but they don't give the final setting in ft lbs but in degrees. I like to meet the retard that wrote the manual. No Slipped sleeves on my vehicle from what I could see. They were all the same level when I took the head off. More to come!

lee (2006-12-29): Does anyone knows how to replace shutter valve inside abs modulator for Disco II?

Erik (2006-12-29): Sorry Lee, my workshop manual only covers the complete replacement of the ABS modulator.

Adrian (2007-01-07): I have a 2000 Disco II and just recently I started experiencing the 3 amigos problem (ABS/TC/HDC lights). I noticed that as I turned a corner, all three lights came on. Once I turned the vehicle off and then on again, the lights went away. About 1 hour later, after making another turn, the lights reappeared but went away once I turned the vehicle off and on again. So far it has been a day or so and the lights have yet to reappear. Since the lights are not consistently on all the time, could this be the ABS modulator problem as well? Also, it was rainy outside when the lights came on and in dry conditions they have seemed to stay off. Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Camilla (2007-01-15): My husband recently changed the back rotors on my 2001 Discovery. Since then the ABS, TC and HD lights have stayed on. Is this something he can fix himself? Also for about 18 months we have had the sound of swishing water in the passenger side fo the vehicle, any ideas? It sounds like one of those rain sticks as it swishes back and forth! There is no water under the carpet.Can't understand why the people who hate Landrovers so much don't just cut their losses and sell them! We have two, I guess you either love or hate them.

Patti (2007-01-15): I have a 2001 DII w/45K miles (this is not my commuting vehicle). I am the original owner and have the intermittent ABS/TC/HDC issue. I had a diagnostic at the dealership - and was told the ABS modulator needs to be replaced. I already had them flush the brakes and it came on again. This dealership wants to charge $2750. Says the modulator alone will cost me $2000. Sounds like maybe a recall is in order.

Erik (2007-01-15): Camilla, it sounds like your husband may have upset the ABS wheel speed sensor, but it also could be a coincidence. Those fail all the time. The only thing you can do is replace the hub, and you need the special Land Rover computer to even find out what hub it is. Regarding the bubbling, that could be low coolant, or a hole somewhere in the cooland loop, letting air in. It was also my first good indication of the above engine hole problem.

Erik (2007-01-15): Patti, welcome to the club. If the ABS modulator does need to be replaced, that's what it costs, though $750 is a _bit_ much for the labor.

Ben (2007-01-16): I would like to see what type of progress Pete has made on his project. I have a blown head gasket and has the same codes he had. I was actaully on the way back from the parts store with a new O2 sensor when I happened. I did however have to change my water pump when it gave out on me and the plug popped on a road trip last July 4th. I was wondering why they say change the head bolts. Did you use a composite gasket or a steel shim? I hear there is a compression loss issue with the composite gasket, but I would rather have the thing sealed up well.

lee (2007-01-16): Some information for those with 3 amigos (ABS/TC/HDC) issue. It could be some other issue but this (shuttle valve) was what I've been through.

I went to dealer then it was hefty estimate (over $800 to fix shuttle valve or replace whole modulator for over $2500) so I decided to fix myself (found great comment here, thanks so much to http://www.discoweb.org) Bought a shuttle valve replacement kit but non of dealer will do it otherthan their high price to replace nor non of service location (even it was recommended by other LR owners) will do other than replacing whole ABS module. Wonder how they got good reputation from other owners when they just ignoring replacement kit instead convince me to replace whole unit.

Anyway this it how. Buy Shuttle valve replacement kit ($50)
Need 11 & 13mm to disconnect 6 brake lines into ABS modulator. 10mm (3 places) to takeout abs modulator itself. 4mm hex (3 places) to replace shuttle valve (bottom of modulator). It's very very simple job (less than 30min) but watch the brake fluid when you disconnect brake lines. Now no more warning lights.
I am very happy after fix but upset about all the LR dealers & other service shops just rip customers off with hugh service charge.
So people watch out!

Rovergrl (2007-01-17): Another common reason for the ABS/HDC/TC lights to come on all at once is the brake light switch. 15 bucks or so from the dealer.

QuitComplainin (2007-01-17): Just wondering about everyone who's complaining about all the problems they are having with their used Rovers. Sounds like buyers remorse to me. Did you do any research before you bought the truck? These are expensive trucks with expensive problems, no doubt, but these websites were around BEFORE you signed on the dotted line.

Adrian (2007-01-17): No complaints here....just after info. Obviously it pisses people off when things break though.

stevo (2007-01-30): I own a TD5 99 disco no real problems so far 160,000kms or 100,000miles been abused off road plenty of times do most of my own maintenance as dealers are a rip off replace instead of fix seems to be their motto,due to the cost of petrol here most of us have the diesels which seem to give less trouble and as for other brands not having problems well the nissan engines are only good for about 100,000miles before giving up the gearbox's in the toyota and the nissan's are not that strong and the front end in the toyota's are weak and if you have the ones with indepentend front suspension they are weak and prone to breaking,there are people who cut those out to put in a normal front diff in and the ford's attempt at a 4wd why would you run drive shafts through the chassis and limit the wheel travel,every model has it's problems and landrover needs to get it's shit together and I had a toyota driver ask me about my car the other day I told him the problems that I have had not to many and he told me that he has had nothing but trouble with his toyota head gasket,gearbox rebuild and front diff plus is very heavy on fuel(diesel).it is great off road beaten alot of toyotas and nissans off road and the only thing I have done is a 2" suspension lift and better tyres also the "ford exe's" comments about shutting down landrover only applied to the english factory as the quality control out of that place was shocking and they were told that if they don't get there act together they will close down them down which is fair enough

Sharon Malloy (2007-01-30): Hello- Ok I have read every ones comments on Land Rovers- Well today I parked my Rover and white smoke came from the engine- It didnt overheat- and coolant came spraying down onto the floor. Any suggestions - the nearest dealership is 1 1/5 hours away and the cost would kill me. Any comments would help. It is leaking from I think the intake manifold. Thanks

Andy (2007-01-30): I have just replaced the Shuttle Valve Module as well as the Brake Light Switch, but the TC/ABS lights still come back on. Is there a reset for this? I shall be grateful to your comment. Cheers,

Erik (2007-01-31): Sharon, it's probably not the intake manifold, but rather the throttle body. Look where the plastic hose from the air filter connects to the engine body. This is the "throttle body", where the accelerator cable opens and closes a big valve, letting air in. The throttle body has two hoses circulating coolant around it, to warm it up in cold weather. These hoses often leak, and did on mine. The white smoke is then probably coolant hitting something hot, like the exhaust manifolds.

Sharon (2007-01-31): Thanks I'll check.. That's a relief..

Wallace (2007-02-01): Anyone know how to reprogram the keyless remote for a 2000 Discovery II? Dealer wants $55 CDN and I would rather not have to pay them...thx.

Erik (2007-02-01): Sorry Wallace, I don't.

skybeats22@msn.com (2007-02-01): The leak is coming from the the back of the intake somewhere. The water is running down and dripping off oif the left valve cover. I put a rag on the back side of the valove cover and the leak stopped. I did not have a mirror to see exactly where it was leaking. Is it hard to replace the intake manifold gasket that is in the rear of the manifold?

Erik (2007-02-01): Well, the intake gasket is a biggie, not really something I'd be comfortable doing myself, unless I had a knowledgeable friend and a couple of days. Probably four-ish hours of labor at a mechanic.

jekyldad (2007-02-05): I have been reading through all these entries looking for guidance in changing the MAF device in my son's 97 Defender. It has been enlightening. This defender while having been reliable has never given me that warm fuzzy feeling about travelling long distances. For that reason, if I'm going somewhere that I need real reliability, I take my 1969 Series IIA. With a tool box tha size of a shoe box you can fix practically anything on it. I think Land Rover has lost their way.

Brian (2007-02-08): Back to the Three Amigos. I just ran into yoru site and am grateful for the comments. I purchased a 2002 LandRover Discovery last summer with 68K on it. No rpoblem sso far, but while hitting ice last week the TC light came on. It works! is ehat I originally thought. Today the three amigo popped up ( the truck on a tilt with exclamation being the thrid Iguess?, and I am guessing I will have to get it serviced. So - Am I rigth to note that we expericne has shown $2500plus ABS modulator jobs, $800 shuttle valve replacement jobs, $50 shuttle vlave kits, and $15 brake light replacements as being potential problems? Shall I take it in and get a quote , but be prepared with this ammunition?


sharon (2007-02-08): Erik I took my 200 Disco into the shop unfortunatley I live too far to have taken it to Landrover so I took it to a Ford dealership the only one in town who would even touch my car. I was qouted a price of 890- the kicker is the parts could take up to 10 days to come in. I was always told if you buy a Land ROver be prepared to pay high repair costs. Is this a normal occurrance?

Ryan (2007-02-10): Just wondering if anyone knows what the diagnosis may be on my 2000 discovery 2 with 100,000 miles on it. I get a fault code P1035 and P1034 (O2 sensor) and there is a slight rapping noise coming from the top end. We had new head gaskets and a valve job done at 56,000 and the car has been babied the whole way. High octane gas and regular oil changes.
Should I increase my oil change frequency to every 500 miles and try to clean the valves a bit to avoid another valve job?
What is the best way to test for sure if the exhaust valve is sticking? and is there any way to clean exhaust valves without removing the head (cleaning solution etc.)

Fred (2007-02-11): There seems to be a longstanding group of contributors to the subject of land rovers here, so I hope some opinions will be available to me regarding my circumstance. My neighbor has a 96 Discovery ll SE with approximately 100k miles on it. She bought a bigger vehicle and has left the Dll sit for 8-10 months. I asked if she might want to sell it and she said she would, but........the check gngine light came on and she could not passed the required emmissions test. She took it to the local dealer and paid for an inspection. As many of you would have guessed, I assume, the intake manifold gasket has a small hole in it. This vehicle is a 2 owner vehicle that I am sure has never seen more dirt than a couple of gravel driveways. I was considering buying it for a mechanically inclined 23 year old who has more time time than money. My question/s..(1) How would you approach the repair? dealer or let the kid work through it? (2) Knowing what you know what value would you put on the vehicle? It has no damage, just minor wear and tear. From what I have read here and other sites I might be opening a box I might not want to look in, especially after sitting for a few months.

Erik (2007-02-11): Brian, get a quote, but keep in mind how often you need ABS/TC/HDC vs. how annoying the lights are. Mine have been on for months due to a bad shuttle valve switch. I just don't care.

Paul, that sounds pretty fishy to me, but then I have zero experience with diesel engines and what happens to them if you try to run gasoline/petrol.

Sharon: $850 for what? A intake gasket replacement? If so, that's about in the ballpark I think.

Ryan: I don't think changing the oil every 500 miles is going to help. If you have valve sticking, and it's due to dirty valve stems, I think the cleaners won't help, since they seem to to be most effective at prevention, rather than correction.

Fred: Don't buy a rover, especially an older one, unless you're ready and willing to work on it. If you're willing and able, go for it, just be prepared. That seal will cost a few hundred, and it's a major pain in the ass to replace. Sharon above seems to have gotten an $850 quote for the replacement, and I'm sure that's almost all labor costs. You have to take most of the damn engine apart to get in there. On the plus side, I don't think a Disco sitting for a few months will hurt anything but the battery. Change the oils, coolant, check the tires and battery and I bet it's just fine.

CARIE (2007-02-12): ERIK, Please can you give us the benefit of your experience? I'm Paul's wife. What conditions would give the results described? Neither of us have put petrol in the vehicle - we've even had the local gas stations cctv as proof!!! Help us, please. This car is our pride and joy, we don't want our dream to end due to sabbotage - because they said it's down to our insurance if we say there's petrol in it, it's down to them if not.

Erik (2007-02-12): Carie, I really don't know what would "shatter" a diesel injector, let alone cause it to leak fuel all over. But if you have proof that you didn't put petrol in it, then at the very least their assertion is incorrect, so either they put petrol in it, or something else caused the problem.

DiscoGuy (2007-02-13): Hi Rover experts - considering an 03 Disco (newer 4.6 engine) with 55K miles on it. Took it for a pre-purchase inspection to an independent Rover shop and the guy said the head gasket is starting to leak oil. I'm willing to spend some money to get that fixed. Any ballpark estimates as to how much this could be? Is that a deal breaker, considering the price is around 13K?

stevo (2007-02-14): I have just done the shuttle valve in my disco but it was not the switch at fault it was the plug on the modulator that was faulty I had to pull the side off the modulator to get to the plug,file the plastic down carefully to reveal the circuit board where the two pins stick through I found no solder on the pins to connect them to the circuit board I soldered the pins properly and no more lights I wonder if this is the reason why replacing the switches does'nt always work or might work for awhile because when the new switch is plugged in it reseats the pins for awhile before vibration works them loose and the lights come back on,it is a design fault that wabco must know about but make plenty of money selling new ones,I fixed mine and saved a fortune

Peter B (2007-02-15): I have a 2000 model td5 which I bought new. It has now done 170000km. I am a mechanic and do all my own maintenance and servicing. In that time the vehicle has had so many component failures, some common to the model and some others that just seem to happen to only various vehicles. The list is horenduous and I am sure will never stop. No matter what Land Rover site you go to, the tales of woe go on and on and on.So if you want to own a Landy, one thing is for sure, it's gonna cost ya, it's gonna cost ya heaps and more (maybe your sanity)!!
I reckon Land Rover must be the only vehicle manufacturer in the world, where the new vehicle that supersedes the previous model is always worse. How long can they go on like this for.
It doesn't matter who owns the company, BMW or Ford, the product just doesn,t seem to cut the grade.
My advice to any "must have" Land Rover owner is, make sure you have a good reliable second car like a Toyota Camry.
You will definitely need it, as sure as the sunrise!!
I still have my landy, and I will always have a love- hate relation ship with it.
The vehicle has the ability to go absolutely anywhere with ease, BUT will it get you home?
And by the way, Land Rover will never admit to any faults. In fact, the staff are so well trained to respond to any problems with absolute amazement, as if you are the only poor unlucky bastard in the world to have had this happen to.

kelly (2007-02-18): my 1996 LR has such a bad oil leak that Walmart does not want to change the oil. My truck has a lift on it but at 50mi it starts to swirve side to side. Pretty scary, thedelaer says it the tires and says the aixle is damaged, needs to be repalced $2300.00. Is this worth it for 154,154ml ride

(2007-02-24): how do you check your timing chain and be able to tell if it needs replacing????? my disco 4.0 v8 chain is very slack its not supposed to be like that

Elias (2007-02-24): Ok, who's the jokester who hid the Transmission dip stick on my 2001 Discovery?

Erik (2007-02-24): Kelly, both your oil leak and swerve problem sound very fishy. I seriously doubt there's anything wrong with the axle. It's probably a loose suspension component, or worn out shocks.

Erik (2007-02-24): Elias, welcome to the club. No dip stick. All you can do is drain and refill.

Vickie (2007-03-07): Not sure if this is a major issue or not, but my brakes always seem to stick when braking on snow at slow speeds. When I press the brake it seems to lock so I have to take my foot off the brake and re-apply pressure until it unlocks itself....meanwhile the abs is working as I can feel the brakes pulsating.....just wondering if this is a major cause for concern....its scared me a few times though the brakes have never locked in a critical situation...thanks!

Erik (2007-03-12): Vickie, when you say the brakes "seem to lock", and yet the ABS is activating, are you saying that the ABS system is not working, in that it doesn't release the brakes correctly? If so, it needs to be serviced. If you're just seeing the ABS system come on, and are surprised by that, you might want to slow down on those icy roads!

Vickie (2007-03-13): Thanks for the input Erik....what I mean is that normally when you press the brakes, the pedal depresses and the brake is applied. Sometimes on slippery surfaces when I apply the brakes, the pedal locks and I cannot move the pedal. It is then when I feel the pulsating of the abs, and, when I apply major force to the pedal, the brakes apply with the help of the abs, but not without the vehicle sliding a bit before the brakes decide to work. I guess what I want to know is whether this is common (for the brake pedal to lock on slippery surfaces) or whether this signifies a potential problem...thanks.

Erik (2007-03-14): Vickie, I'm just not sure. That doesn't sound like how my truck acts when the ABS system kicks in, so it might be a problem. However, without seeing it happen, I can't be sure, so when you take it in, just be careful and get a full explanation. "We had to replace the modulator" isn't a reason, it isn't even an analysis, but probably will be the first thing out of the mouth of the dealership tech. Good luck!

jbt (2007-03-14): Stevo:

Which "plug on the modulator" are you referring to ?

Adrian (2007-03-16): Hello, just got a 1997 LR Disco SE7 (my first LR) but no owners manual. Please help, and any advice would be apreciated.
Thank you .

Adrian (2007-03-19): just got the coolant leak on my 00 Disco II diagnosed as a head gasket failure....$1600 plus taxes from a private garage....I feel like crying about the $1600....would shudder to think about what the dealer would want to do the job.

Jon (2007-03-21): Adrian-just had the same. Dealer wanted $2k private garage $1600. I would have thought there would have been more of a difference.

Finished (2007-03-21): I sold my 1996 Disc0 1-year ago for $5,500 and bought a 1993 Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I should have done it a long time ago as the Jeep ROCKS (more power, better handling, quieter, and yes better off road). In one year of Jeep ownership I've spent $500 in repairs versus $2,500 /yr for my Disco.

Adrian (2007-03-22): The garage said both the intake and the head gasket had developed leaks....I saw the intake and it was basically falling apart....was sad to have to spend the money but glad that my engine is in much better shape now (as I was told it is extremely clean and valves, spark plugs, and ignition wires are all in great shape)....I guess using super premium 94 octane religiously should keep the engine pretty clean.

Adrian (2007-03-22): Jon - that difference actually isn't too bad....I know that the garage where Im having the work done is 85/hr labour and the dealer is 110....seeing that the job is basically all labour, the extra $400 makes sense actually when you compare the 85/hr to the 110/hr......the figures are all in Canadian....eh!

Adrian (2007-03-26): I need a owners manual for a 1997 Land Rover Disco. SE7. Were can i find one?

Adrian (2007-03-27): check ebay...sometimes you can purchase the actual copy and they also have workshop manual CD's which have the owners manual on there as well....hey, nice name!

stevo (2007-03-28): to jbt,the plug I was talking about is the one that the shuttle valve switch plugs into

Lexus-Lover (2007-04-01): I just want to say, I've never owned a Land Rover. I used to think the 1988 Jeep Grand Wagoneer that I bought was a troublesome car, but it's a reliable vehicle compared to these Land Rovers, with probably the same capabilities offroad. I bought a Lexus LX-470, a very good car.

Adrian (2007-04-04): I think most people that purchase land rovers are thinking with their heart and not with their head....theres a certain mystique around owning one....something that goes beyond performance and reliability....people just love their rovers....I would pay whatever I had to, to fix my Discovery....I just love my vehicle. (Just spent $2K to replace the head and intake gasket...was sad for about a day, and then got over it....the love affair continues).

Dawn (2007-04-04): My 02 Discovery has developed a ticking noise from the engine I was told that this is a problem affecting 02-04 models and that the rocker arms and lifters need to be replaced-Has anyone heard about this before? Is this a problem Land Rover might cover/do a recall on?

ollie (2007-04-05): Just had my water pump replaced on my 1999 Discovery II 2 weeks ago after discovering leak. Yesterday red light came on and car overheated. Filled with 1 1/2 gallons of coolant and took to shop in late afternoon. Next morning mechanic filled with 1 gallon of coolant which leaked dry in 1/2 hour. On visual examination without taking off front timing cover, mechanic believes the gasket between the timing cover and block is leaking. Don't know if this if just the start of never ending problems, ie intake or head gasket, or if this is a costly repair in itself. Already put $500 into Rover 2 weeks ago, don't know if I should stop the bleed and just get rid of Rover now and call it an expensive lesson. What is expected cost of fixing the existing leak and the costs of replacing an intake gasket and/or head gasket on a Rover? I believe I am at between 90,000 -- 100,000 miles.

Adrian (2007-04-05): just replaced both head and intake gasket 2 weeks ago and I paid $1900 Canadian after taxes.....I had the repair done at a private garage....if you take it to the dealer expect to add about 4-500 dollars on to that price. Originally I was hoping it was my water pump, but my worst suspicions were realized....your story sounds like exactly what happened to me. Vehicle developed a slow leak....pressure tested twice and was told nothing was wrong (which is impossible if car continues to leak). Car began to overheat one day and I stopped immediately and filled a few litres of coolant. Colling system sucked it dowm within minutes....filled another two or three litres...gone within minutes again. I think that the coling system only pulls from the reservoir when it is pretty much empty. The slow leak you had went eventually emptied most of the coolant out of your system. If add in total about 7 or 8 litres in total in the reservoir I think that the vehicle will be driveable (if the leak isnt too major)....basically you have to replenish the lost coolant and once the system has enough it will stop pulling from the reservoir. My advice would be to just get it fixed though....if not you will have to be adding 8 or 9 litres of coolant every few months...and if you overheat the engine too much, other more costly problems could occur....its a sad state of affairs....look at my comment 2 or three posts up (right after "lexus lover".

Adrian (2007-04-05): my 2000 disco II was at 110K KM when I replaced the gaskets, but the problem goes back to at least 10-15K KM before I eventually had it fixed....I have heard that you can expect at most 100K miles (160K KM) on your original head gasket....you actually did much better than me.....I believe the gasket failure is a result of a manufacturing defect and will eventually occur on every Disco II....land rover is aware of the problem but they just dont care...how nice.

ollie (2007-04-05): The disco is at the shop so I was estimating mileage, but the more I think of it the approximate mileage is more around 84,000 -- 87,000. My mechanic won't even touch disco if it is a head gasket issue and believed if I have future problems with the intake gasket it would be around $800. So I am at the cross roads now, do I fix existing problem drive the car for another year, hopefully more, with $1,000 invested and use disco for a trade in at future date? Or, is the writing on the wall for more expensive repairs within the next year? I do know that I may have a U joint issue as well -- believe that will be around $200 to fix.

Adrian (2007-04-05): my mechanic initially said that if it was just the intake gasket, it would be better to replace the head as well while the engine is already broken apart....it turned out to be leaking from both the head and intake....my advice would be to replace both the head and the intake at the same time...even if the head gasket isnt leaking, it most likely will develop a leak sometime in the near future if it hasnt been replaced lately. You can basically trade it in now and cut your losses or invest the $1500-2K and keep the vehicle....if you plan on trading it in, in the near future, my advice would be to just trade it in now and leave the problem for the dealership to fix....if you want to keep the vehicle, I would invest the money....it all depends...how much do you love your Disco?

Aaron (2007-04-13): the person with the brake problem needs to get that checked out. the ABS ECU was recalled way back in the day. also, the wires that open up the manifold (acceleration cables) have been recalled to some extent. as soon as I'm done replacing my god awful leaky cruddy oil pan gasket and valve cover gaskets i'm getting my brakes and acceleration lines redone for free. also, a belt pulley was recalled which means free belt change too. sweet.

Desmond Rabinowitz (2007-04-18): I have a 2003 Disco11--the oil pump failed at 46,000 miles and Land Rover replaced the engine under warrenty--now 9,000 miles later used 3 plus quarts of oil (half the oil) on 400 mile trip--Land Rover says valve gasket leaked and the replaced it undre new motor warrenty. My concern is that the engine over heated / was under lubricated and the bearings / head gasket were damaged. This vehicle has a iron block and an aluminium head. Any experience with this problem???

Joe (2007-04-21): Bought my 2001 DII SE7 2 years ago with 79,000 miles. Now at 110,000. Runs great, but replaced alternator at about 85,000--alternator bracket broke at about 105,000--replaced timing cover gasket, valve cover gaskets, oil pan gasket, serp. belt at 108,000. Goes most anywhere I want.

jonathan (2007-04-25): land rover's Q.C. is shit that about sums it up .I've have 3 discos and know. also whats up with the ugly ass bitches that work the counters? the nail called lr3 will close the coffin is presume. whatever i still drive the piece of shits, trade the d2's for a 94' or 95' 3.9 they run the best one more thing Mob.1 fluids are a joke

mike (2007-04-28): I am looking to buy a 99 range rover 4.6, my question is do range rovers share the same problems as discos? one thing i did notice upon inspection, when i pulled the dipstick while the engine was running there was light smoke coming out of the dipstick tube which appeared to be more like an oil vapor. Has anyone had a problem like this if is indeed a problem?

Adrian (2007-05-04): well....what a nice surprise for a friday morning....just got my head and intake gasket done at a cost of $2K and now the nagging three amigos problem seems worse than ever before. I have had the three lights come on at least 6 or 7 times in the past 6 months, but all I would do is shut off and restart the vehicle (2000 Disco II) and the system would run its check and the lights would disappear....this morning, I could clearly feel the abs working, although when I turned the corner to go into the parking lot, the dings suprised me as well as those three bastards on my dash....I turned the vehicle off and on and to my dismay the three lights remained on....so now they seem to be on permanently....I will be damned if I'm gonna spend another $2K for a new modulator....if the brakes are working fine, should I just ignore the three lights, or take it in to get looked at?

Buffalo Disco II (2007-05-07): Three Amigo's (HDC!, TC and ABS) - My 2000 Disco II just lit up like a Christmas Tree right after I did my front pads - the dealer read the codes and declared a hub assembly to be bad ($700!) - then the lights went back on 3 days later (!) I bring it back in tomorrow......

Adrian (2007-05-22): My 2000 Disco II has the three amigo's and I had it diagnosed.....bad shuttle valve and 2 failing front speed sensors was the diagnosis. I can get the modulator through the dealer for around 2800 cdn or I can get it online direct from the UK for around 600....the problem is finding someone to install it. Most places won't do it unless I buy the part from them due to liablity issues (as the braking system could fail and they would be held liable). Is it better to just suck it up and get a good used part from a LR shop or take the chance and buy new online and have a non LR mechanic install it...also....I would need the abs system tested via LR testbook (which non LR shops wouldn't have)....I'm in a confused state.

Erik (2007-05-23): Welcome to the confused party Adrian. I'm in the same boat. The shuttle valve sensor is often not the problem in these cases, but more likely a bad electrical connection. I've replaced my shuttle valve sensor, and checked and cleaned the connectors, but I still intermittently get the warning lights. I just don't care enough to pay thousands of dollars to replace parts willy-nilly hoping it'll go away.

late again (2007-06-07): I have a 2004 4.6 disco with 45,000 miles, all maintenance has been done at the dealer (no charge. As of yet, I have not had one problem with this truck and I do love it. However; at 50,000 miles, I will no longer be covered under the factory warranty. Should I sell this truck or hold on to it. I really do like it, how reliable is the 4.6 engine? Thanks!

Erik (2007-06-08): late again, every disco is different, if you have had little problem with it, it'll probably continue being ok. Nothing's for certain though, and you didn't pick the most cheap vehicle to maintain, even in the best of circumstances!

Dave (2007-06-22): Hello experts! I am really glad that I found this website. I need help and advise regarding me beloved 2003 Discovery.
We purchased the car in February 07 with 44,000 miles (The Disco is under extended warranty). We drove it for a month then the engine developed a ticking/knocking noise. I took it to the LR dealership (later I found out their reputation is not that great) in the beginning of April. Two and a half months later, we got it back. They dropped in a brand new 4.6 tripped engine because “cylinder #6 has low compression”. The service manager said the tripped engine includes “the block, piston, connecting rods, camshaft, oil pump, front cover and oil pan”. I noticed the ticking/knocking noise is still there but a lot more quite. The service guy said ticking and knocking is a “character” of the rover engine. I am not buying what he said. It is a new engine, how could it tick and knock? The only reasonable explanation I can come up with is they did not give me a new engine, they only cleaned my old one. I took it to an independent LR service shop in town to have them take a look, they looked at it for 10 minutes and could not determine if the engine is new. They said in order to drop in the new engine; the front clip or the hood has to be taken off. But there is no sign of that. The serial number on the “new” block looks dirty. On the other hand, the oil pan and front cover is really shinny and looked new, and the Disco is consuming a lot more fuel which could be a sign of a new tight engine. The independent shop said the only way to tell is taking the engine apart. Since my extended warranty repair has to be approved by APCO, I called them to require some information. APCO said they only approved an engine repair, not replacement.
I guess my million dollar question is “how do I know the engine is really new”?
Thanks in advance.

Brian O (2007-06-22): Just had my 2000 Disco II in for service and found coolant leaking from the head gasket. $3,700 dollars later it is still leaking coolant and now I have to bring it back to the dealer. Very distraught... Love my Rover.... All else good but engine.. Any sugestions? briano_1@comcast.net.

Peter B (2007-06-22): Since my last post on the 15 of Feb, the sh*t has really hit the fan. First, my roof lining has started to fall down due to the foam disintegrating, then my keyless entry system has started to become intermittent, and NO.. its not the battery in the remote, both remotes are fine.
Then the famous 3 amigos have started their act, i.e. the HDC, the ABS and the traction control failure.
But, the cherry on the cake is when my oil low pressure light came on resulting in catastrophical engine failure.
Now, you can go on to any post and find that the oil pump failure is common TD5 motors due to the oil pump sprocket holding bolt coming loose, which is a bad enough problem.
However in my case, the oil pump bolt is still tight, but the sprocket is spinning on the oil pump drive shaft.
how poor is Landrovers design and materials used for such an event to even occur?
And once again, Landrover accept no responsibility.
I think I too am switching to Toyota Landcruiser.
I will have more time to get on with the things in life that I want to do, instead of being taken up by Landrover repairs.

175 lb dane (2007-07-09): I have a great dane ... I need a big car that will fit him. I'm selling my Infinity FX35 and was thinking of buying a used Disco off of craigslist.org reading these comments worry me. Perhaps another car would be better... any suggestions?

Erik (2007-07-10): A great dane would fit very well in a Disco II, but might be a bit squeezed in a Disco I. You would want to get the dog guard though, as he could easily jump over the back seat.

Adrian (2007-07-13): my girlfiend's airedale terrier enjoys the back of my disco II....I have the dog guard in there and she must think of back there as her very own little fort.

Donna (2007-08-08): We just purchased a 2004 Dicovery Se with 30K miles...engine misses and has a ticking/knocking noise. My husband did a compression check and #6 cylinder is 20# under. Bothe LR Encino and LR ThousandOaks state there is no problem with the car. All Land Rover make noise. Does anyone know what the compression reading should be or how we can get LR to honor their warranties?

Donna's husband (2007-08-08): Dry cylinder compression tests results:
Dry: 120 psi for cyls, 1,2,3,4,5,7,8 and 90 psi for
for cylinder # 6
wet test results where roughly 180 for cyls 1,2,3,4,5,7,8 and above 150 below 160 for #6
I'm personally going to be rebuilding this engine.
I'm actually quite anxious to get started but I need some rest tonight. Right off the bat without disassembling it, is the air injection tubes. right on cyls 3,5,4,and 6 these are cyls. people are having problems with. 88 camero Iroc has the same problem. the solution is restrictors in the air tubes. Too much air thrown on the back side of the exhaust valves is never a good design except for emmissions. this oxidizing effect will add excessive heat the valve was never engineered for.
Remember this vehicle was not targeted nor engineered for the US smog laws, it looks to me like they just added it with little concern. I believe what I'm going to find in this engine is inferior valve material, and seats as well, also the retained integrity of the valve springs. The valve guide material may be an issue too. I'm also concerned if the hydraulic lifters are " pumping up " sort of speak and not allowing the valves to seat properly against the seats for heat transfer. Talk to you soon and best wishes

Brian aka Donnas' Husband (2007-08-09): To clarify the air injection tubes I'm referring to the EGR tubes

Brian aka Donna's husband (2007-08-11): Wow!!!!!!!! ok tore the heads off on this 04 disco and wow is the word.......
I havent seen this since the engines of the dark ages, even before me!
What I'm seeing in all exhausts valves, in cyls. 3,5,4,6 is that these are the cyls. with air injection and the air filter in the electric air injection pump is either not adequate or needs frequent servicing, I could feel dirt blowing onto my hand when I hooked it up to the batt. This is blowing dirt into the valve sealing area, (basically directly into the engine), and when the valves close on this it is compromising the seat/ valve face areas.
There is also a huge problem in that the valves, Both intake and exhaust DO NOT ROTATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't mean spin like a top but slowly rotate to keep the sealing surfaces uniform 360 degrees. No dealer is going to fix this for you, or admit to it. This is something you or your mechanic will have to get done through a machinist.
I see no signs of valve material problems,actually the air injection system has it's own restrictor system through the allen wrench hole through the part that srews into the head.
By far the biggest problem I'm seeing with the heads is that the VALVES DO NOT ROTATE !!!!!!
I'll be back soon..... Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-11): Ok I just pulled the other head off and out of 16 valves only one rotated slightly and is the best sealing one of all I'll be back....... goood luck........... brian

Adrian (2007-08-13): anyone know how to get creases out of tan leather seats? My 2000 Disco II has a couple creases (both at the backs of the front seats). Things that were loaded into the back seta must have been pressing against the leather and within an hour or so drive the crease formed. Its been a few months than the creases arent seeming to lessen.....any thoughts? Thanks.

Erik (2007-08-14): Wow Brian, you've made a big job for yourself. Good luck!

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-14): Ok after tearing this thing all the way down I think i finally got to the bottom of things. My engine has many signs of being overheated. The prior owner to the party I bought it from probably overheated it. This explains the new water pump clearly to me. The temper and tension in the piston rings has been compromized. Oil consumption in the intake is exccessive.
About the valves and valve seats: I believe the materials are sufficient as in my previous writings. Since most engines have non rotating valve systems I'm planning on leaving mine stock. I do believe where the real problems rise in Land Rover engines is by using cheap fuels, You want to buy the highest octane available for this engine. Octane is the burning speed of fuel basically. The lower the octane the faster it burns, and the higher the octane the slower it burns. You want the slowest burning fuel you can get for this 9.5:1 compression ratio engine. I'm CC ing these heads to match each other. I'm also using adjustable pushrods to aid in lifter preload. I think that the stock non adjustable pushrods are a joke. I like to set my own preload to as minimum as possible. This might explain some lifter pumping issues, hint hint. And for my engine I'm lowering the compression ratio to
9:1 instead of 9.5:1 and this should drastically lower detonation. I'll keep you posted
Good luck ttyl.... Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-15): Hello Again, I've found one interesting detail about this engine. Thin amounts of unburned black oil on top of the pistons. And it's all coming from the pcv hoses and being distributed evenly among all cylinders. Also not one pcv valve works correctly, there is 2 total. Oil build up like this will definetly cause detonation, and I'm seeing alot of discoverys running like this. same thin black sludge in the combustion chambers. Hint Hint......... ttyl......... Brian.

J&S owners orf the rover pit (2007-08-16): Well here we go don't get me wrong we love our truck 2003 disco currently with 57,000 miles, but, wow we have had some problems.Started off under warranty had transfer case problems rear seal leaked on road trip.Brought to trans shop just to see(middle of road trip)There opinion was rear seal,spoke with our LR shop of Palm Beach They said take to LR dealer so we did.They determined plug leaking even after told them of trans repairs diagnosis.Also had rear boot blow which spread much fluid evertwhere.Long story short brought truck to LR dealer 4 Times before they diagnosed rear Differ seal leak.Since not under warranty--Front differ. seal replaced,coolant leak fixed,Faulty plug wires replaced,Master air flow sensor replaced..Warranty was great to have and should of sold it before warranty was up..While under warranty to many problems to name but they were all covered so wasnt a money issue.Since warranty has expired cost is about $4000.00 so anybody considering a Rover keep in mind Rover parts are not cheap............
As Ive seen Erik say nothing compares to a Rover off road..We do love our Money Pit though..

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-16): Hello again .......... In about a week I should be geting the heads and block back from the machine shop. Although they won't get the block till tomarrow. The piston rings are thin, great for a race engine, but poor choice for a off-road high torque engine, unless you're in a off road race that is. I measured my top compression ring and it is .046" thick and the secondary ring is .059" thick. Once these are compromised your engine is done!, and there's not much to compromise. I've contacted a piston ring manufacturer, perfect circle in Haggerstown Indiana, about the issue and they'll design a set for you that is 2.5 times thicker and a better oil control ring. all for a small briefcase of money. Design your own and save $$$$$. Well, now it's all about waiting for the engine.... Now I get to clean parts and grab a cold NEWCASTLE out of the fridge........ Lifes good... Ttyl Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-19): Well, perfect circle is nlib ( no longer in buisness....... I had to contact Hastings and also Total seal Total seal is working win conjunction with Toyota and have made great advances in ring design. Total seal even produces a new gapless ring design. Hats off to these guys.
perfect circle being nlib explains why there was no response except through the mailer damon.
I've sent an e-mail to both Hasings and Total seal
in hoping that there is some resolve to the Landrover ring design.
Contact at Hastings is: dhill@hastingsmfg.com
Contact total seal is: edl@totalseal.com
I'll keep ya posted as events fold.
good luck I'm opoening another Newcastle. Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-19): Also sealed power is a division of Federal Mogul who I didn't contact. it is best contacted if you like by going to thier site:


hope this helps....... ttyl.. Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-20): Hello, i just got ba reply from Mr Ed Law from Total seal corp. and i'll just copy and paste what he wrote me and let you make your own assuptions.

"Thinner rings can last just as long or longer than thicker rings. The
key is how the cylinder is finished. I do not know too much about
this engine design. But I can tell you all the import cars are using
much thinner rings and they will go 2000000 miles with out any issues."

And I only have one comment to his reply and that is, " as long as the composition of the rings and cyl bore are correct, and adjacent materials are not in conflict and cause out of round or stress issues."
As for me I'll pay a lot of attention to the cylinder crosshatch pattern and depth of the abrasions from the hone, and the smoothness.
Total seal also offers a ring break in dry lube for rings, hint hint.
One area of interest I see is how the pcv valves are located almost level where they dump into the plenum, this is one way how the oil was getting into my cylinders, ( I also had an overheat issue with a prior owner which is why the rings failed), and explains the even distribution through all 8 cyls. I've attained a a small serviceable box that both pcv lines go into and a internal sponge catches the droplets allowing them to return to the crankcase by a steel line tapped into the oil pan. I'll have pictures shortly of how I did this, it does require a oil pan baffle and check valves.

Time to open another New Castle and sit in the swing.... ttyl.......... Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-24): Hello again I just got Dawn hills response to my letter and here it is, you can make your own assumptions, I'll take Dawn Hills:

Brian Hastings does not recommend changing the ring belt on the piston.
Ring set 2C4998 94.0mm bore rings 1.2, 1.5, 3.0 Tension avg 11 lbs
should be very sufficent to control oil for your engine.
The thinner oil rings should not wear out any faster than the thicker oil rings.
Three pc oil control rings are designed to offer a certian amount of Unit
Presure on the cylinder wall. That presure is calulated to control oil in the
engine the rings are used in.
Determine the cause of the ring wear before altering to accommadate a wider

Dawn Hill
Ring Engineering
Ph 800 776 1088
ext 1359

Interesting comment I found between both ring manufactures was They're not interested in ring thickness, actually the thinner the less friction. But with the new materials available the direction is thinner with better materials. Uniform tension is important as well as the bore finish.
One thing I am hearing through a lot of machinist in my area is that
They’re seeing a lot of this ring failure in the 4.6 liter Land rover engines
Which usually causes valve and head gasket issues later on. A theory of mine is that not too much of a safety factor was implemented in the design of these rings, being either material or thickness. I do believe there is room for improvement here by Land rover.

My advice to all is do not overheat your engine, maintain it’s cooling system and tune ups. And please use premium fuel, it’s for your benefit.

I was supposed to get my block back today but the machinist I am using had problems in the person he used to make the jig to hold the block.
In short it looks like a good weekend for tree planting around the house, and dig and install some new irrigation lines…………. And maybe catch an episode of Paul James the gardener guy on HGTV…… Oh yeah, I almost forgot, time to go to the store and buy a few more cases of NEW CASTLES. Hint hint.

Ttyl Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-08-29): I did some research on the landrover disco II and it appears the original designer of the 4.6 V - 8 engine was buick. It is the old Buick 215 cid engine they sold to landrover years ago, after they had no further interest in the engine.
Also the cylinder sleeves are some of the best in the buisness, a very high quality steel, not cast iron.
Some resources were :
Tim @ British pacific in Valencia Ca.
and Huntington service in Valencia Ca.
both in the Valencia/ Newhall area. previously called Saugus Ca.
Oh no! it's got buick blood in it!!!!!!!!

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-09-02): I got the block back Friday and it's all together.
I wouldn't recommend this engine for a beginner, this actually has very tricky issues and one is the manual. I will admit the manual falls short on
on many issues but one is imminently Catastrophic. I took a good look
how the head gasket is designed and it comes with a sticky adhesive on the
composite part of the gasket. This will work beautiful if both surfaces are left
perfectly dry, i.e. lacquer thinner, and use NO OIL PERIOD! You’ll regret it
if you do. You see the oil you put on the threads, like the book tells us to,
will push off the threads as you thread it into the threads of the block and
get between the block and or head next to the gasket ruining the effects of
the adhesive on the gasket.
What I did and this works well was I put 2 layers of Teflon
Tape on the threads of the head bolts and a small amount of grease just under
The bolt head. What this does is not let the bolt head gall into the head and lubes The threads into the block without any oil. I believe this is an area where a lot of people have got themselves into trouble, and they followed the book.
This would probably cause gasket failure in a few thousand
Miles and would probably be blamed on the mechanic or machinist, when it is
A procedure problem. Use the Teflon tape the bolts run in nicely and life
Is good.
Ttyl Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-09-02): Also the manual doesnot cover alot of simple questions like, showing what position to mount the
camshaft thrust plate, etc. etc. etc. so take alot of pictures during disassembly for your reference. And the thrust plate is mounted like a cup holds water. ttyl Brian

rvrdrvr (2007-09-07): Early 89 Classic with 181K - original 3.5, no leaks - injection working fine - freshly rebuilt transmission - recent radiator - all electrics work fine - needs pads/rotors, and the right front CV is going. Paint is very shiny and the interior is quite nice. BFGs all around, and a serious roof rack. Not too bad for a 181K truck of any make/model, especially for $900! Bought it on eBay and drove it home 950 miles. I suggest that the older ones are the better ones, and that a prospective owner needs to have basic mechanical knowledge even if they don't plan on doing any work themselves. When you pull into a repair shop's parking lot in one of these things, dollar signs appear in the proprietor's eyes - if you can talk a little of that good car talk, they may fade a bit. I've been fixing cars for money on the side for about 20 years. Rovers are excellent vehicles, but they are more complex than many 4x4s and they don't like neglect or bodged repairs - do your homework and get a good one.

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-09-08): Hey congratulations rvrdrvr sounds like you got yourself a great bargain.
My wife wanted one with more amenities in it. And she loves the discovery 2
Looks. It just has that look that is a cut above and I agree with her. As far as
As your comment about being a mechanic if you own a land rover this is
Good advice and I agree totally with you. You either have to be a mechanic
Or filthy rich and the later doesn’t hurt.
The disco 2 we bought had only 29k on it and it was
Overheated, the tension in the rings was compromised and the cyl bores
Were a little less than perfect, however it cleaned up nicely in a sunnen hone
Machine. The rings miced about .016” gap well within spec. and the liners didn't slip.
As far as finding a good mechanic, I find this about as challenging as going to the supermarket and buying a ripe juicy and flavorful
In rebuilding mine I found a few things I like and dislike about the engine, but then again you prefer the older ones, and this may attribute to your success with them, plus your a mechanic…….
I wish you well with your new Land rover ttyl Brian

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-09-09): Well it's 09 sept 07 and 9 : am
and the engine runs super. a little extra time and experiance paid off. It has whole lot more horsepower and torque. I actually did quite a few changes internally and it looks like it paid off.
ttyl........ time to go shopping for some more NEWCASTLES !!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-10-04): And it still runs awesome

Adrian (2007-11-06): Just wanted to break the string of consecutive days without a post

Erik (2007-11-06): Hey all, many complain about their trucks, but I just replaced the water pump gasket on my truck, and in doing so eliminated the last fluid leak I had! 157,000 miles, and still going strong!

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2007-11-16): During one of her daily classes, a teacher trying to teach good
manners, asked her students the following question: "Michael, if you were on a date having dinner with a nice young lady, how would you tell her that you have to go to the bathroom?" Michael said, "Just a minute I have to go pee." The teacher responded by saying, "That would be rude and impolite. What about you Sherman, how would you say it?"

Sherman said, "I am sorry, but I really need to go to the bathroom. I'll be right back."
"That's better, but it's still not very nice to say the word bathroom at
the dinner table. And you, little Edward, can you use your brain for once and show us your good manners?"

"I would say: Darling, may I please be excused for a moment? I have to shake hands with a very dear friend of mine, whom I hope to introduce you to after dinner."
The teacher fainted...

T. McCain (2007-12-20): Hi, I am too a Land Rover Disco II owner. My 1999 has 118,000 miles. I have had most of the major problems affiliated with the vehicle. I plan to trade it in within the next few months. My current dilemna is that now THE BASTARD WILL NOT LIFT UP! I've been researching the internet and I can't find anything that describes the problem with the hydraulic lifters. Does anyone know what I can do? I've had the truck for the past four years and I can not wait to be driving something else. The honeymoon wore off many moons ago. Please help.

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2008-01-15): More than likely if the lifters don't pump up, the oil pump is bad

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2008-01-15): could also be a clogged pick up tube, or it has a leak and the pump won't catch prime.

cim (2008-01-16): Hi all, about 2 years ago I had the head manifold gasket replaced. Shortly after that a right front hub assembly and now Its having a timing case cover gasket replaced as we speak. I have done some work my self. New brake pads and rotors, window regulators, door lock actuators. BTW I have a 2002 disc0 II. I do love the thing but am coming to the end of my tether. I am just sick of hearing "thats a common problem with land rovers". I mean come on Land rover has been around for a long time now, fix these common problems please. Most of the owners of land rovers dont even drive off-road and thats probably a good thing. Just think of all the "common" drive-train, suspension and steering issues you could havIm sorry, I love the car but enoughs enough.

Erik (2008-01-17): T. McCain, by "lift up", do you mean the suspension?

cim, I'm at 160,000 miles, thousands of which are on some of the nastiest roads you've ever seen. I've spent thousands of dollars in repair bills, but if I had taken a lesser vehicle on all those roads, it'd be a pile of broken bolts and rust by now. I don't recommend people buy a Land Rover as a daily driver, but for an off-road capable vehicle that won't give you whiplash like a Jeep, landies are great.

Tim (2008-01-27): I have a 97 Discovery with the seemingly common "stuck in park" problem. I can't find anything that really talks about how to do-it-yourself fix it. I am pretty handy with a wrench and poor so paying for a tow then a shop to do whatever isn't really an option- but I want my truck back!

All my fuses are good. From what I gather there are two sensors mounted above the brake pedal- one for cruise one for the actual brakes that can fail and cause this problem (note: cruise control doesn't work either- the light doesn't even come on when you hit the button) but I don't know how to isolate which unit failed.

If it helps- the problem was intermittent for a long time before it decided to stay good and stuck.

Any help would be appreciated.


Erik (2008-01-28): Tim, you know as much about the problem as I do, I'd dig into those switches, and see if they can be fixed or replaced.

Tim (2008-01-28): I believe they can both be replaced. I need a way to isolate which one to replace. Any suggestions?

Tim (2008-01-28): For what it is worth- I just called Land Rover thinking to get price quotes on both parts and the guy said, "Its always the brake"

DieselGUY (2008-01-30): 1999 Land Rover Disco II 4.0, 53,000 miles, ticks when warms up, tore it down, noticed timing lose, water pump leaking, not sure yet, looks like the sleves in the cylinder, but taking a break, I have owned 4 Discos, 2 range rovers, 1 defender, and can say my older rovers had blown head problems, to sensors, i think im going togo back to owning a Jeep, just as good in off roading, but engine lasts longer then any rover, Rovers do look nice and when they run u love them, but in quality, i would say ALL British cars look nice, and do a nice job in leather but in the engine department, think the british cant build a engine if there life depended on it. : ) I think if i can escape from my disco 2, maybe even use it as a trade in, to get the most out of it, would rather make payments on a hyundai then worring about the rover problems... Hyundai has a 100,000 mile, 10 year warrenty, hehe, dont need the car, but would rather use this disco for a trade in then have it sit in my driveway and nobody wanting it. as for my old range rover, prob will put a mercedes diesel motor in it, and throw away the british pile of shit. May all of you escape from your rover without falling into the money pit of english technology ...

Tim (2008-02-02): Update: When I went to order the part I spoke with a different guy who insisted that if the brake lights work, and they do (okay, one does), that it COULD NOT be the brake switch. He said the only other thing it COULD POSSIBLE BE is a solenoid in the shifter assembly. I sort of wanted to pop off the two sensors on the brake mount anyway, as if some arbitrary physical inspection would yield something, but can't see how to get them off without breaking them. The lower one (the one with the vacuum tube) can be rotated but there wasn't (as far as I could tell) a "sweet spot" where it would pop out. I don't want to force it. The upper (vacuum hoseless) one has some pretty clear latches but even with them depressed it seemed stuck pretty good. If all it takes is some muscle I can apply it- but both parts are plastic and I don't want to snap something off just to prove I can...

Anyway, re: solenoid vs. switch, any suggestions Erik? The first thing I tried to look at on my own was the shifter assembly and it looked like I would need to dismantle the entire interior of the car to get to it.


Robin kirk (2008-02-03): Buying a Disco 2 with low miles in Cherry Hill, NJ. Is there a good LR independent mechanic in the area?

Lawrance (2008-02-09): To Brian aka Donna's Husband, thanks for your excellent writeups. I have a question re the two PCV valves - you mentioned a small serviceable box that both pcv lines go into and a internal sponge catches the droplets allowing them to return to the crankcase by a steel line tapped into the oil pan. Can you email me some pictures or post them up on a free photo hosting site like www.photobucket.com? I am most interested to see it. How would you check to see if the pcv valve is working?

Thanks in advance,

Lawrance Lee
'99 Disco II 4.0 v8 with slipped liner,
now rebuilt to a 4.6 v8 with top-hat liners
Melbourne, Australia
email: tempestv8 @ yahoo.com.au without the spaces between the @

Roger (2008-02-12): Roger (2008-02-12): Disco 2 with 118,000. Swishing sound heard in cabin. Low radiator fluid in reservoir. Has always leaked oil. Ideas? From the sounds of others maybe push it off a bridge?

Erik (2008-02-13): Roger, check your floor mats, and carpet underneath for coolant. Problem is likely a leak in your heater core. A total pain in the ass to replace, but not too costly, if you do it yourself.

JZ (2008-02-15): I need an opinion. I am thinking of using 89 or 87 octane instead of the 91 I have been putting in the tank. What is the down side (short term and long term). Its a 2001 Disco 2. Thoughts anyone. I'm sick of high gas prices.

Erik (2008-02-19): JZ, I've read a lot of people who run lower octane fuels. It's a gamble, like everything. The engine should be able to correct, that's what the knock sensor is for, but it might reduce the lifespan of your valves... or, it might not.

Casey (2008-02-27): "mcaslan (2006-03-14): We have a 97 Discover I and this weekend noticed loss of power. On Friday there were about 3 times that we had stutters only at 60 - 70 MPH range and it was a momentary loss of power when I let up on the gas the engine returned to normal. 15 or 30 minutes later another episode of the same thing. Returning home yesterday the faultering was still intermittent but happened every few minutes sometimes a few times in a row sometimes with 15 - 30 minute spaces. The whole trip was 3 hours long each way and when I got home unloaded the vehicle and then drove it at the same speeds to a non dealer British car specialist. NOt once did the car faulter on that 45 minute drive and it only had been an hour or two earlier the thing had been sputtering.

Weather was hot on the trip home about 80 degrees in Maryland this weekend. Driving slower than 65 or faster than 75 the problem was much less frequent."

Did any one ever find an answer to this post? My 98 Disco is having simular problems, only it does the power loss thing every time I drive it, no matter the outside temperature the warmer the engine gets the less power it has, cutting out and bucking, let off the gas, and it idles fine. Let the vehicle sit over night and it runs like a champ until it starts warming up and then the problem starts all over again. No warning lights, fuel pressure good and exhaust back pressure less than 1 lb. anybody have a clue? I wonder what it took to repaire the vehicle above, or if it ever got repaired. Please help!!

Adrian (2008-02-29): Erik....question for you. I recently had my alternator rebuilt and they put in a voltage regulator that fit my 130 amp bosch alternator for my 2000 disco, but the voltage regulator was actually manufactured for a vw passat. The regulator works, but since it is calibrated differently, the altrnator kicks in at a higher idle rpm than if the regulator was calibrated for the disco. My disco idles at 750-800 rpm while the passat I have been told idles at 900rpm. The issue here is that in extremely cold temps (-10 C and below when the vehicle has been sitting overnight) I get the battery light coming on. As soon as I hit the accelerator the light goes out because, what I have been told, the rpm reaches the level at which the alternator kicks in, and also the engine warms up enough to allow the alternator to kick in. My question to you is, is it ok to leave the passat regulator in my alternator? Its been cold here in Toronto this week so the light has come on the past few mornings, but earlier in the week when the weather was warmer I didn't have any issues with the light. I anticipate conditions condusive to the light coming on will happen maybe 15 or so times per year. The light is midly annoying but I can live with it if no other damage is being done to my vehicle. When the battery is running the car for the first few seconds to a minute, can this lead to potential alternator/battery problems or worse? Thanks.

Brian aka Donna's Husband (2008-02-29):

Lawrence: I'm actually on antoher website if you'll look here, I am known as chongo. I have many writeups on this, and it is a serious issue, unfortunatly I dont spend too much time here, Eric has an awesome site, but i was able to help far more people over here. Sorry for the late reply......... Chongo

matt (2008-03-08): Well thankfully I was able to rid myself of a vehical that wasn't worth spitting on. 96' disco v8, oh the oil leaks, loose piston sleeves, cracked fuel tank. It is a real pity I wasted any money on it at all. I would suggest that if you don't have deep (very deep) pockets, steer away from one of these british pieces of s#@t!

Adrian (2008-04-09): but you do feel like a king driving around in one!

Erik (2008-04-18): Adrian, not a king, but very comfortable.

Adrian (2008-04-18): hehe....I guess high up like a king's throne....but very comfortable indeed Erik.

Christian (2008-06-06): I've owned a RR 4.6 HSE 2000 for 2 years andput 20k miles on it. After about $10K in repair bills the engine block is now cracked as per the note above! This has been the biggest POS car I've ever owned and will NEVER buy LR/RR again. Everyone stay clar of these overpriced, useless crap trucks!

Paul (2008-06-12): Add me to the list of people who think LR's are overpriced POS. 67K and the motor goes. Fully maintained for the life of the car. Now the dealershit wants $13K for a new motor LRNA won't do a thing.

Ginny (2008-12-03): I have a 2000 Discovery II (95k miles) and have been using regular unleaded for the last 7 years. No problems. The door sticker says "premium only" but the newer models say "premium recommended".

Tim (2008-12-16): I'm the 2nd owner of 2000 Disco II. Got it w/ 35K miles. Now it has 225K miles. All it knows is 87 octane. Engine now showing mileage stress as coolant is leaking more often. Appears to be head gasket issue. Will repair ASAP. Until then, I keep it topped off.

Jeff (2009-04-03): I've owned two Landys, a '97 DEF90 (bought new), and an '00 DISCO II (bought used with 39k). I never experienced problems (not one) with the Defender, perhaps because of the low miles; but the Disco is an entirely different beast. When we first bought it, the O2 sensor went out after about 3k, the seats adjustment and heating elements both went out. Now at 63k, I can't renew my tabs because the DMV says I have a "code P0304" warning. I hope to god that it's a bad wire, coil, or plug because we can't afford to do anything else, but still need transportation. I used to be a LR brand whore, but no longer. I'm very surprised they have been allowed to rip off U.S. (and other) consumers this way. You'd think they would be banned from import given their poor record. I mean, even Yugo had a better maintenance record than this!

jfall (2009-05-16): I want to thank Erik for creating this board and keeping it running. I do agree with Erik that Land Rovers are worth the time to keep them properly serviced and if so, will last a long time. I bought a brand new Discovery I in December of 1997 - as such this is a 1997 Discovery.
Truck has gone from 1997 until May of 2009 with no real issues until now.
I took the Discovery to Land Rover of San Jose and for the first major service - I was charged $1,200. I figured that was pretty high, so after that all the work myself.
In California, I learned, when you take a car to most garages for a Land Rover - the goal seems to be to charge at least $1,000 to the customer get the car back, for whatever reasons. Profit goals or such.
As many folks are casting horror stories about their Land Rovers I can say - this has been a very good value for the money.
The Discovery now clocks in at 133,000 miles.
I always change the oil around 3,000 miles and have always put the regular cheap gasoline into the truck.
When I first had the truck, I took it to the dealer to fix a gas gauge problem of the gauge not registering any fuel.
The computer in the Disco was reprogrammed at no charge in Vancouver, Canada when I was visiting that city and country from the States.
At around 50,000 miles the truck would miss at speed. No codes. For a cost of 1,200 a garage local to San Jose replaced an O2 sensor and a speed sensor and that cleared up the problem.
At around 80,000 miles I replaced all 4 O2 sensors to gain better milage and avoid problems. I also replaced a working fuel pump assembly - that had not gone bad yet.
From that point - 80,000 miles to present - 133,000 no real breakdowns ever or problems. I did notice a gradual loss
of coolant and would refill the coolant tank.
At around 129,000 - alternator noise. Replaced the alternator with a brand new alternator bought from British Pacific. This was a new Denzo for $299 and the recommended replacement.
I did find there are leaks from the radiator where the
oil cooler pipes come into the radiator - antifreeze leaks out from the retaining bolts on the radiator fittings.
I read about how Dex-cool will help aluminum survive and as I figured the whole engine and heads are aluminum, I put in Dex-cool by Prestone at probably 50,000 miles.
Interestingly, at now 133,000 miles - the original water pump is still in there. No play in the pulley. I pretty much changed out the Prestone Dex-cool every two years.
Probably from 128,000 miles to currently 133,000 miles
lots of water used by engine and filling the tank. last few months - 131,000 to 133,000 probably a large beer glass of water added to coolant tank every two weeks.
Finally, I added Barr's leaks and the coolant usage pretty much stopped. I kept Barr's leaks in for a few weeks and then changed the oil.
When I changed the oil - I found a lot of copper or brass in the oil and suspected coolant had gotten into the oil.
This put me into panic mode and parked the truck in the garage and started to pull the engine apart. Removed the
intake manifold and found the valley gasket to be crusty but no obvious leaks. Removed the passenger's side cylinder head and found back most Cylinder was looking pretty crusty and valves looked black as others looked white. Thinking the back of the head gasket was allowing some coolant into the cylinder. But, all in all the gasket was a lot better looking then I would think at 133,000 miles. I pulled the other head on the driver's side and that gasket was even better - almost new looking. I had bought new head gaskets from British Pacific - after they assured me that these are the correct gaskets. And, they are - same vendor as the original Land Rover Discovery gaskets.
So, I put on the passenger's head first - torque to 15 foot pounds. Follow diagram and then 90 degrees all around and then 90 degrees again. For the last sequence - you need to take a large pipe and tighten it.
I had problems with one bolt - it would skip and catch when intalling it. I attribute that to not enough oil on the bolt before I put it in.
I did the driver's side head the next evening. Soaked the bolts in a pot full of Mobil 1 synthetic.
I have never had much luck with head gaskets, so the outcome will be interesting.
There was a lot of carbon in the cylinders and on the head, so I removed all that.
I have yet to put the intake manifold on and I will follow a TSB out - that tells of a 4 stage tightening sequence.
I'll put some Hylomar on the water jacket parts of the intake valley gasket.
So, I am hoping the Discovery will go back together. I am not a professional mechanic and did not get my cylinder heads shaved or valves redone. I just want to get 30,000 more miles from the engine - or one to two more years.
This 1997 Discovery - leaks all over the floor. I just park it on cardboard. I don't really care about all those leaks.
As long as I top the oil. I need to top the transfer case as I have only changed that oil once. I have changed the diffs a few times in the past and have drained transmission oil out probably every 30,000 miles - about 4 quarts and put in new fluid to keep it sort of fresh. So, I have not replaced the filter in a long time.
At around 127,000 I replaced the catalytic converters with such from Atlantic British. The stock rover converter was to cost $2,200 for just the part from Land Rover dealer in Livermore, California. For about $500 delivered, I had an aftermarket. I installed that and reset the Check Engine light with a code scanner and took the truck in for emissions testing. It passed.
Now, the light keeps coming on - Bank 1 emissions efficiency problem with cat convertor.
Researching what can make a catalytic converter go bad -too rich mixture - I seem to have that from pulling the heads and seeing all the carbon. And, the code scanner says my Long Term fuel trim is 8% instead of 0, so the ECU is dumping more fuel into the engine for whatever reason.
I figure- antifreeze was burning in cylinder 8 and maybe a bit in cylinder 7 and maybe that destroyed the new catalytic converters. Or, too rich fuel.
So, after putting the engine back together and if the newly installed head gaskets are fine, then bypass the throttle heater *as advised on this board - thank you for that*
and I will replace the O2 sensors and see if the long term fuel trim improves on the code scanner. And, put in the Prestone Dex-cool again (never GM Dex-cool)- I was running Dex-cool at about 70% Dex-cool to water for protective properties but maybe not smart - will go to 50/50
So, I feel it will be a miracle if the truck runs again. It wsa running perfectly when I took it apart, but was running on the graces of Barr's leaks and it had antifreeze in the oil. Thinking Valley Gasket - new gasket will solve the water in the oil issue. Best of luck to all readers. Yes, other brands are more dependable or not. But, I feel the Discovery I is quality built.
I keep hearing nightmares about Discovery II (1999) from this board. Thank you Erik and all for posting.

jfall (2009-05-20): My 1997 Discovery went all back together after head gasket replacement. I forgot to put in the Valley Gasket end gaskets. I just put Hylomar on the engine lip and the valley gasket is right on that.
I do now have a very small oil leak which is dripping on the Drivers side (USA drivers side) from the engine. One drop every minute or so. Just enough to make a horrible smell at a stop light. There is a downward flange or casting on the engine and it is dripping from there.
Used a mirror and can't find a leak yet.
So far:
1: Coolant leaks all eliminated by soldering the radiator ports where the oil and transmission coolers are.
2: Seems not to use coolant or put coolant in oil now. Still under observation.
3: Less oil on the ground.
Watching coolant levels every day and engine oil level and color.

elie chaab (2009-05-31): witch mobile phone can i use with my range rover 2005

Erik (2009-06-09): I am unaware of any range rover/cell phone compatibility issues.

Kbear (2009-07-17): I've had my 1997 land rover for just over a year -- we've encountered our VERY FIRST problem with it so far.... Did the very first oil change/tune up on it in the 9,000 miles I've had it and now I'm having charging issues/alternator wiring issues.... Not sure of the connection yet.

This 1996 Discovery has 211,209 miles on it and it runs strong. I love this truck and have felt it to be very reliable, dependable and worth every single penny.

Terri (2009-08-19): We have a 96 Land Rover love the car but now we're having alot of starter problems this is a very sound body car 130,000 miles nice! Had it hooked up to the diagnostics machine and the mechnic said the heads were sticking...... Oh NO !!!!!! Do anyone know someone that buy used land rovers maybe for body parts? email me at thm1970@yahoo.com

Sara (2009-10-24): Unbelievable how many problems with LR Discovery. I have a coolant problem and I think an electrical problem. The heated seats don't work as well as the cigarette lighter as a charger. Any advise as to what I can expect in terms of costs to fix. It is a 2004 LR Discovery with 80,000 miles.

dw (2009-12-27): Local Land Rover/Jaguar shop has this to say about the coolant leaking into the cylinder problem:


Seems more likely than the aluminum being porous theory. This isn't the only aluminum engine out there. I've read some posts that look like someone is just throwing money at problems. Do your research, properly diagnose each problem, and then fix it. Land Rovers have problems just as any other vehicle. The mysteriousness of the problems are due to people without proper knowledge trying to fix them.

Jeff (2010-01-01): I was helping a friend with his 1997 Range Rover SE/4.0
and we got ourselves confused about which hose goes where on the Air Intake Plenum Chamber. There is a short fat hose and a far longer, skinny hose that both have coolant in them. Any help would be greatly appreciated. It has 158K miles on it! Fascinating, lively discussion here! Thanks.

Erik (2010-01-02): Jeff, I don't know of those hoses specifically, but Land Rovers Only.com and Discoweb.org are good places to ask.

c los (2010-01-29): i have a 2000 lr discovery 2 with 157000 miles.
i notice a burning smell everytime i would stop my truck,
so i open the hood and notice a drip of green coolant coming from behind the engine and making it's way to the exhaust pipe. where it would burn up.. i tried to find a hose, but nothing around.. help

Teresa (2010-02-23): My 02 Discovery is sitting in the shop right now in Laguna Niguel with a $2100 valve gasket leak. Apparently it has multiple leaks. It has about 73,000 miles and I bought it 30 days ago! Oh what fun! At least we had a great time up in Big Bear with it two weeks ago!

Will D. (2010-03-04): I just bought a 2003 Disco II - thi sis not encouraging. Found out the valvel gasket needs replacing, in addition to the ABS and some other gaskets. I have wanted one for a long time. I hope it was'nt a bad decision.

Patty (2010-05-10): i have a 1996 Range Rover that I was first told need a head gasket. Now I have been told that all I need is a valve job. Personally I just want to sell the vehicle for 3000.00 or best offer. If anyone knows of someone that would like to buy this awesome vehicle and believe me it has a new green paint job brand new michelins new radio it is sharp but I think I would rather sell it than to pay more to get it fixed. Any help you all???

Patty (2010-05-10): I forgot to put my email. It is booboo426@gmail.com Thanks Any help would be appreciated

jfall (2010-07-26): Update to the post I made on: jfall (2009-05-16):
The 1997 Land Rover Discovery I is still running after replacing the head gaskets and putting Barr's leaks in the cooling system. Just turned over 150K on the truck now.
Oil is getting really dark after only 1,500 miles now and not too happy about that. Not losing any antifreeze.
I did put up a lot of pictures and a blog. My website is up at times and down at others. But, here is a link to the blog to help anyone fixing a Discovery I with a 4.0 engine.
I am glad Erik's land rover is still going too!

ReasonableOne (2010-09-28): Just finished the "job" on my 2004 Disco. I went the DIY route, but I am more than an advanced shade try mechanic. The only caution I would offer is make sure you have the right tools, or you'll do more damage than fixing. You'll need a good 1/2 inch drive, 12 point metric and inch tool set, and a torque wrench. Except for the 36mm fan clutch wrench, and a 9mm hex socket, no other specialty tools are required..parts will run about $350-$400 for new plugs, wires, a full gasket set, including intake plenum, and a new thermostat. Farming out the heads will run you another $400 or so.. Good Luck, mine took about a week working part time on it.

Joe (2010-11-06): I have a 2000 Disco II that I purchased new (so it's a one-owner). We have put all 127K miles on it. Maintained at LR Tampa for a long while. Now just have oil done at local quickie-lube joint. Runs great; valves have a metallic, ticking sound now-a-days - it that a sign that it needs a valve job?

Erik (2010-11-08): A little ticking could mean a lot of things, most of them not too bad, or immediate, in my opinion. If you're worried about it, take it to your mechanic and have them take a listen. It could be an exhaust leak, noisy SAI valves, or worn lifters.

Zim (2011-04-19): I bought a 2000 Land Rover Discovery 2 weeks ago... Ran fine for a while, but then it started overheating...
Finally found out that Cylinder 8 is leaking into the cooland system (leak down test)... Im not sure if its a cracked cylinder, a head gasket, or the liners (yes, the truck overheated quite a number of times before I stopped it once and for all)... Any advice before I start taking the engine apart? Someone here posted a link that said if the liners were overheated, the gaskets on them become damaged, and that can only be fixed by changing the whole engine... I hope that isnt the case.


Erik (2011-04-19): Chances are, it's just the head gasket. If it was a cracked or porous cylinder liner, it probably wouldn't have lasted 10 years. Good luck Zim!

KnightOwl (2011-09-13): Great "heads-up" reading so I know what to expect of My 2000 LR Disco. 103000 miles to date after buying it used for $8K and only putting new tires and pressure plate in so far. I located a salvage yard that seems to get quit a few of this year model in and have bought seats, brake disks, pads, shifter, and many other parts for a tenth of dealer prices and will continue to do whatever maintenance I can do myself. This production year pretty much BMW underneath and as with all German cars, you get to pay for them twice if you don't at least try to learn to maintain them. Mine was out of warranty when I bought it so that has been my attitude from the start. There is an entire shop manual on the web (over 800 pages) ... a great learning resource.

Erik (2011-09-16): Great buy KnightOwl! If the engine's got 100k miles on it, I doubt you're going to have trouble with a porous block. I'd guess next on your list are going to be: Engine mounts, idler pulley, alternator, maybe radiator. Make sure you did a full fluid flush after receiving it from the last owner. It's probably over-due for transmission fluid.

Marsha (2011-12-29): I have a 2002 LR Discovery I'm trying to get some repairs done. It has coolant and oil leak, it overheats and makes a horrible sound when I press the gas. A mechanic said he would charge 2k to fix. Is this a fair price or am I being cheated. Can I find a cheaper price, please reply ASAP. Thanks for your help. Marsha

Frank (2012-01-02): I have been working on cars for over 25 years and in saying that the last 5 have turned that passion into a bordering hate. It all started at the time we purchased a 92 landrover disco, 3.5 litre guttless piece of shit. We have seriously rebuilt the thing and have kept all oils, lubricants, etc, fresh at more than decent intervals. Now, spending well over 8 grand on it, resale value, $1500 NOT POUNDS BUT DOLLARS and the thing is just starting to overheat giving us new peoblems. I WILL NEVER, EVER recommend this make, brand, what ever you want to call it (I DID NOT KNOW THAT ANYONE COULD BRAND A PIECE OF SHIT AND MAKE BIG MONEY ON IT, I AM SPEWING ABOUT ALL OF THE ONES I HAVE FLUSHED AWAY OVER THE YEARS, I COULD HAVE RETIRED AT 30!!!), these manufacturers are ROGUES OF THE WORST KIND!!! The english DO NOT KNOW how to build a middle class car, i can go on for days but nomatter how long i go on, i will never be ablt to express the hate i have for it, it has taken a love of my life and turned it into a burden (working on cars). STAY AWAY FROM THESE PIECES OF SHIT!!!

Gene (2012-03-10): To FRANK: You are COMPLETELY RIGHT ABOUT ROVERS! I have owned 5 of them (3.9, 4.2 LWB, 2 X 4.6 and now a 2003 HSE) and the ONLY ONE that was even CLOSE to reliable was the 2003 Range Rover, which as we know is really a re-badged BMW!!! I restore cars for a hobby and I can honestly say that my 1950's Cadillacs were INFINITELY more reliable than ANY Rover I ever had (except the 2003 HSE which again, is really a BMW. YES, I LOVE THESE CARS AND YES, THEY ARE TOTAL PIECES OF SHIT!!!!! I am a GREAT amatuer mechanic and have shown and won awards at major Concours d'Elegance. I KNOW CARS. In terms of reliability and durability, the Rovers ARE TOTAL PIECES OF SHIT!!!!!

Dean (2012-09-03): Love all the info from this page, I to have been wrenching for 27+ yrs and I recently repaired a 2003 4.6l disII for a head gasket leak as I thought, it can to me with an axpantion tank leak and rough idle at start up, cumbustion test showed exhaust in the cooling system at 102k miles i elected to do a complete valve job, new hose's, t-stat, w-pump, wires and plugs all LR parts. I drove it for 105 miles before releasing it to cust and they drove it for 250 miles and check engine light on cylinder 6 miss fire, I found wetness in the cylinder intermittantly, so I have put some GM cooling system seal tabs and after 110 miles no miss fire. Weather it was there before or after the valve job any other LR that come in will get a notice to customer if in dought about the leak replace the entire power plant or be warned about have to tear the engine apart and spend more than the original estimate.

Tom (2013-08-09): I have disco 2 ,one owner since year 2000,that is 13 years in this time never had any problems with a car,only changed air suspension rear bags
Last year. When car was on warranty I did not agree to dealer junior mechanic to experiment and stuffed my car . There was lot of leaks they said, water pump need replacing etc.
I never replaced apart from oil and brake pads anything , and stayed away from service, when they do unnecessary corrections just to have some work done so they can make money.if nothing is broken do not open and service parts. I had the same problem with my Ford, when always after service more problems where created, I have never taken car to a dealer , and had it for 16 years with no problems at all, till my wife smushed it on brick wall.
My Land rover disco 2000 model is still in top condition , but only because I did not allow apprentice mechanic to fiddle with it.
Do only main things , and do not believe mechanics watch the closely what they doing. Diving to a dealer , he will make sure that you will keep coming,
I am not very good customer , they not making money on people like me.

See also: Some People's Comments, Land Rover Mileage


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