Land Rovers are increasingly popular, with their uniquely tough and luxurious feel. Many people assume that a premium vehicle like this will require less maintenance than a cheap ride, but that’s not necessarily true.
In fact, Land Rovers were recently ranked as 15th most expensive can to maintain on a list of 30 car brands, with an estimated $8,800 in maintenance over 10 years. Because it’s a luxury vehicle, you can expect to pay more for maintenance and repairs. Not because of mark-up, but because Land Rovers are full of features and complex systems, and they can be in need of skilled care. They also use uncommon parts that your mechanic may have to get from a dealer.
Land Rovers and Range Rovers don’t have to be serviced at a dealership because of their special needs. Here at Lafayette German Car Repair, we have all the proper skills, diagnostic and service equipment to take proper care of your Rover.
Here are some service areas where Land Rovers can be special:
In the mid and late ’90’s, there were numerous engine problems with Land Rover’s V8 engines. These engines have cylinder liners that sometimes fail. Not often, but when they do- you have to replace the whole engine. They can’t be readily machined like a lot of standard V8 engines can. Then, in the early 2000’s Range Rovers tried a BMW V8 engine in some models. Unfortunately, those engines don’t age really well, and develop expensive oil leaks and coolant leaks. Today’s Land Rover engines are much better, but people are still driving vehicles with these older engines today.
Land Rovers have great suspension, allowing drivers to raise and lower the vehicle to match the terrain. Each corner of the vehicle has sensors, and there’s an air bag in each corner, which acts like a giant spring. Eventually the air bags leak, and the air compressors that fill the bags will fail for various reasons. The air compressors are in a vulnerable spot underneath the vehicle, and eventually suffer the effects of exposure, despite being protected by a weather-resistant box. You can expect this system to fail after 6 to 10 years, leaving the Land or Range Rover awkwardly sagging to one side. Many owners replace the air suspension with traditional coil springs after that. Whether you decide to repair the air suspension or replace it, your Land Rover still has many years left in it.
For an average vehicle’s transmission service, we normally we take the pan off, clean it, put a gasket on, put a filter in and flush it. But with the LR3, that’ can’t be done. The transmission pan is a complete assembly of pan, gasket and filter, which costs hundreds of dollars to buy as a complete piece. Plus, it wasn’t designed to be removed easily, so it involves plenty of labor. This makes transmission service not inexpensive, but still important to do every 6 years or 170,000 miles.
Land Rover Freelander
The Freelanders sold in North America use a different engine than the European version, with it’s uncommonly designed V8. This engine uses cylinder liners held in place with an adhesive. Within about five years the liner fails, or the glue fails, and the cylinder liner starts flopping around. That causes the head gasket to leak. Nobody can rebuild it, nobody can fix it, and a new engine from Land Rover is the only solution. These can rarely be found used, so it usually means buying a brand new engine.
Land Rovers are complex, fully-featured, luxurious and rugged vehicles. They have a lot of intricate and unique systems that offer their owners amazing utility. But keeping all that amazing technology in working order is important, and not effortless or cheap. For all your Land Rover needs, contact Lafayette German Car Repair. We know what to do, and we do it at a fair price.