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Freelander Maintenance and Repair



  • 17tnt1717tnt17 Posts: 1
    Let me join the rest of you poor suckers who thought (like myself) that you were buying a "quality" vehicle when you purchased the 2002 Freelander. After reading many messages of the nightmares of the maintenance and repair costs, I might as well add my own lovely story as well. I bought my 2002 Freelander in 2004. It had previously been a leased vehicle with less than 17,000 miles on it-looked absolutely brand new. I loved my car. I loved the fact that I was driving a Land Rover and people would stare at it because there were'nt many of these on the road yet. I guess I could actually consider myself luckier than a lot of you since I've had less problems with mine even at 51,400 miles. The first thing to go was the sun roof. It took me two trips to the Land Rover dealership but they fixed it and it still works fine. I've only had to change the front brake pads once. Fast forward to 2008 and I get hit with the first blow. The car literally quits running on the road and I'm able to at least get it to the side of the road. I take it to my own mechanic and he proceeds to tell me that it's the transmission. So it gets taken to the transmission shop next door. I'm not about to take it to Land Rover since my warranty has run out and I'm not about to put out $7000+ to fix the transmission. Just the same, I get stuck with a $5000 repair. One month later, the coolant is leaking and it keeps overheating. Say goodbye to another $2600. Can't wait to see what's in store for me next because I know that it's just a matter of time. I still love my car, but I better sell it while it's still in running mode. I just e-mailed a letter to Land Rover North America. Have'nt heard back yet, but will let you know if there's any light at the end of this tunnel.
  • kbombakbomba Posts: 6
    Did you ever get any info on a lawsuit? It all just happened to me, never saw it coming. No engine, no repair, no sympathy from LR but I do still have a beautiful car loan without a car!!! PLEASE ADVISE to
  • Has anyone else had problems with their brakes wearing out too quick. I had mine replaced in January '07 & they said it was a manufacturers defect. Still made grinding noises and took it back in April 07. Said still had 90% life and was just "dust" making the noises. Continued grinding noises & I finally had someone else look at them. Rotors have big grooves & pads are about shot with only 19K miles on them. Dealership said they may very well be worn out as they are high-performance pad and made out of soft composite material. If they are made out of soft composite material, how can they cause such hard deep grooves in the rotors? In the shop now. Hopefully they will replace them free of charge. Seems brakes haven't been right since I bought used 1 & 1/2 ago with only 16K on it.

    Also, does anyone else constantly smell coolant? One of the Land Rover dealerships confessed they use cheap plastic parts and that's why you smell it so bad.

    And why does it cost $100 for just an oil change? I'm trading this car in as soon as my brakes are fixed before something else breaks. Sunroof motor was bad when I bought it, they replaced it but now I'm afraid to use it. This car has got to go. Thought this would be a quality car. I'll never buy another Land Rover or recommend to anyone.
  • sripleysripley Posts: 39

    Yes, the brake pads wear out fairly quickly on these Freelanders, I would wear through pads every 15,000 miles and the sales rep who sold me the car said it was normal as the weight of the vehicle was so heavy. I had to replace pads at every 15,000 miles and have the rotors re-cut at every 30,000 miles (rotors replaced at 50,000 miles).

    That smell of coolant that you mention is the more serious problem alot of people, including myself, have experienced. If you are smelling coolant, you seriously should check your oil cap to see if you notice coolant in the oil and/or you should also notice your coolant overflow level dropping slowly over a 20-30 day period, which is the Head Gasket Failure issue many, many of us have had.

    Once the Head Gasket Failure starts to happen, you will only get so long before it fails completely and the vehicle is done.

    I seriously would suggest trading it in now or as soon as possible and get a different vehicle while you can. Once the coolant/Head Gasket Failure happens, you might get another 9 months out of it before it completely over-heats and seizes.

    You are correct to never buy another Land Rover again. Get rid of it while you can!
  • ali6010ali6010 Posts: 3
    Yes, we had the same brake and rotor problems when we bought ours 13 months ago. The funky smell is also an issue for us once in awhile. And yes the oil change does cost almost $100. But, since it is synthetic you should only have to change it every 15,000 miles is what I was told.

    We are currently in a battle with an extended warranty company that would not cover the variable intake motor power valves that went out on the thing with less than 50,000 miles on it. We had to replace them to the tune of almost $700. We will probably never buy a Land Rover again either.

    Let us know if anyone knows anything about a lawsuit against Land Rover for their crappy design of this vehicle!
  • I have a 02 Freelander. When it was first purchased I was exhilarated, after all I finally became a Land Rover owner. I liked it because it always stood out and there wasn't very many of them seen on the road. Unfortunately, now I know why they are an extremely rare find on the road. I took care of the car always trying to keep it running at its best; however, preventive maintenance is irrelevant, when it comes to this vehicle. I have become accustomed to the "service engine soon light". One week it will stay on and another week it will go away. At around 50,000 miles, I finally took it to a Land Rover dealer which is very far from where I live. I was informed that there was a vacuum leak in the engine, and that it needed a replacement of the intake manifold inserts, etc etc. At first, although costing thousands of dollars, I was happy knowing that at least the problems were solved and my rover was running normal again.

    The engine light warning was gone and I had a pleasant long drive home. The next day the service engine light soon light came on again. They must of missed something with their 99 point inspection. That obviously was disappointing beyond belief, considering the fact that the whole point of taking the vehicle their was to make sure that anything involved with that warning light was supposed to be corrected. I now have to make another long trip back to the dealer, and I am not too impressed with their service anyway. I thought Land Rover was the best. At the dealership, well at least mine, they expect me to just shell out thousands of dollars with no remorse. The employees were rather rude, and I noticed that none of them drive a Land Rover, Jaguar, or Volvo; although they are the brands that are sold and serviced there. Even my 07 loaner was a lemon as well. At the dealership they try to calm me and pamper me with free food and refreshments. All the free food at the dealership will never compensate for being without my car. After all I did not go there to eat, and all I want is my car fixed right, if that is possible with this thing.

    Personally, I will never buy another Land Rover. They are like German tiger tanks from WWII. They are big, intimidating, and sophisticated, yet they are impractical, over-engineered, and inefficient. My car may look nice, but what is the use of it, if I am not able to drive it.
  • sripleysripley Posts: 39
    That smell of burnt coolant didnt occur until the later stages of my vehicle's head gasket failure. I would seriously recommend checking that further, as that problem will leave you without the SUV in a very short amount of time.

    The Freelander was discontinued in 2006 and there are no more engines produced, so if you do have a Head Gasket Failure, they would be trying to fix basically a piece of [non-permissible content removed] engine, at a cost of $4000-$5000. None of this is worth the money.

    I will tell you, I did get those synthetic oil changes, but it made no difference at all, didnt help prevent the Head Gasket Failure one bit. If you are doing that to meet warranty requirements, ok, but once I had the Head Gasket issue, non-synthetic oil at Jiffy Lube for the last few months I had the vehicle worked just fine.

    I was told by the Land Rover mechanic at my nearby dealership to simply Trade In the vehicle as soon as possible. I couldnt do so due to a loan that had another year and 1/2 on it at the time.

    An attorney I spoke with said I could sue for costs incurred, but I found it better to not waste the money trying to replace the engine and incur more than the $3000 I already had spent. I bought a different car subsequently, a small sedan that serves me just fine after this horrible experience.
  • btriddlebtriddle Posts: 2
    Hello Bridget,
    If the lawsuit is still going on, you can count us in on being a part of the suit.
    Brandon & Ruben
  • btriddlebtriddle Posts: 2
    Let us know we would be in on the suit as well these cars are nothing more then a money pit. :mad:
  • I've owned this vehicle for a year and it has been a money pit to say the least it has 74k miles on it, I bought it with 67k. I use it as a spare car for teenage son, trips in town no real commuter driving so the usage is very low. In this short period of time I've replaced head gaskets ( which was under warranty I dodged a BULLET on that repair ), radiator fan control module, water pump, coolant leak (and still leaking imagine that?) starter motor and a few more things that I can't think of at the moment. Price tag for these repairs well over $5000 and still counting. Whom ever at Land Rover that designed this vehicle should have been FIRED and whom ever the VP of Quality Control should as well. They all new what type of product they had, this vehicle should have never seen the Light of Day.
    I called LR for help, the customer service rep said ther is nothing they can do about the POOR Quality of their product, CSR suggested that I take the car to the nearest dealer so that I can be hosed again for problems they can't fix. I will NEVER buy another Land Rover product and will tell all about the Poor Quality, Workmanship and Service that I received from the company and vehicle. As I read all talking about a Class Action Law Suit we will be OLD and GRAY or DEAD before we see any JUSTICE. :lemon
  • wildroverwildrover Posts: 18
    Land Rover sells junk. My truck had 6,000 miles on it when i bought it and i went through endless amounts of repairs and more than enough times vehicle-less due to the numeral times it was in the shop. My tranny went at 51,000. That was after the engine had went and just about everything else. The last straw was when the back window motor went at 52,000 miles on our family vacation and we had to drive home 950 miles with the back window down and all it did was rain. The wind and rain ruined everything we had up there to protect our luggage and belongings. It was such a nightmare. When we returned home I called around for the part and was quoted $500 not including labor.
    That was it for us.... we had already put way too much money into repairs for this crappy truck - so we gave that truck back to the bank (repo). UGH!!

    Land Rover sells crap :mad:
  • I had a 2004 Freelander that started leaking coolant in March. It happened like clockwork (right around 50K). I was naive and thought that Land Rover would step up and do the right thing to fix the situation. Everyone admitted that the Freelander was junk -- my service specialist, the Land Rover North America customer service representative I spoke with, even the salesperson that I bought the car from. They all told me to trade the car in as soon as possible. But when it came down to help, there seemed very little that they were willing to do. They wouldn't even talk to me about a trade-in, unless it was for an LR3. This is the second Land Rover that died on me within 3 years of ownership (I had a 1999 Discovery II before this, which died within 2 years), so buying yet another piece of junk was out of the question. I haven't even seen a single Freelander on their lot (Bellevue Land Rover) since this all began.

    Without boring you all with too much detail, it took two months of fighting with Land Rover and with Primus to finally get a new engine installed. It cost me about $1000 out of pocket, even though I had an extended warranty. (Primus is getting very good about finding things not to pay for).

    A (reputable) local car dealer was cool enough to take a trade-in on my Freelander while it was still in the shop. I lost a lot of money in negative equity on this car. I made the investment hoping that I would have this car long-term. But I figured that it is better to spend the money to get out of it now rather than spend 7-10K on a new engine a few years from now when the second engine dies and I'm out of warranty.

    My advice is to trade in this vehicle at the first sign of a coolant leak. Don't feel as though you're passing off the problem on to someone else -- you'd be surprised at the number of people who love these cars and are willing to put up with the trouble they cause.

    Land Rover is very aware of this situation, and they are very prepared in how to fight customers that are facing this. They will not help you. Cut your losses and buy a more dependable car -- a Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen, or Subaru. I went with the Subaru Forester, and I'll agree with the Rav4 owner in a previous post, it was the best thing I ever did.

    What disappoints me most is that Land Rover is not accountable to anyone for the cars that they manufacture. They supposedly discontinued the Disco and the Freelander in favor of the 'improved' LR3 and LR2. If you do a bit of research you'll find that these cars are money pits just as their predecessors.

    If you've had a similar experience, write your state Attorney General, Land Rover North America, and your local Land Rover dealer. Let them know how disappointed you are with Land Rover products and service. :lemon:
  • natebnateb Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Freelander SE. Love the car, except for all the problems, and high service costs. I bought it new, and it started out fairly well. Been taking it in regularly for scheduled maintenance. More problems towards the end of the factory warranty, including most of the things listed here, such as sunroof replacement, rear seat hinges, windshield wiper switch replacement, front brakes, passenger door lock actuator, window motor, check engine light (mass airflow sensor, upper intake manifold chamber,) and of course the coolant leaks!!! I'm in for the 3rd time on coolant leaks now, and they can't find anything this time. Other times, they've replaced the thermostat and hoses. I hope they find it, as my extended warranty runs out soon!
  • Did you ever sue? Is their a group law suit going? I would like to join. I have a 2003 Freelander that is now dead, of course right after the warranty expired. we bought it used with 21,000 miles and complained constantly always bringing it in. imagine they only found the real problems after the warranty expired and now it will cost $12,000 to fix it. The engine, transmission, drive shaft, coolant system, etc. is gone. We have always taken it to the dealer as did the prior owner. They even called landrover for us to see if they would help. Of course the answer was no. I will take legal action after I call them myself. There seem to be many many people complaining about this car and the dealer told me they took it off the market for awhile and then built a new freelander that is much improved.
  • :sick: I have a 2002 Freelander land rover, that I am trying to find a picture that will show the timing setting. I have had more problems with this piece of cramp. It has been off the road for seven months now and I am about ready to call the bank and tell them to repo it. I own over 12 thousand on the piece of junk, never will buy another one.
  • I would like to join in a lawsuit as well. They should provide the information that you need to make repairs on the cars.
  • October, 2008
    I have a 2004 Freelander HSE with more than 73,000 miles. I bought it brand new. My vehicle was leaking coolant (at 60,000 miles) and I brought it back to the service department where I purchased the car. They couldn't find anything wrong with it. I had to keep the orange coolant in my car at all times. Finally I went to a local mechanic and he took a long look into the vehicle and found that the water pump had a crack in an unusual place. It had to be replaced so I had to spend approximately $1500.00 for the pump, thermostat (which got damaged from the leaking coolant) and labor. My vehicle was no longer under warranty. Perhaps you should have your water pump checked. Perhaps there was a flaw in the original water pumps in some of these models. If this stuff leaks out too much it can destroy the engine.
    I have had weird electrical problems from day one. The car would short out starting with the directionals. The dealer tried to fix them but they recurred over and over until I got stuck in Myrtle beach, SC (I live in NY). A local stereo installer couldn't find anything but a tiny piece of plastic that broke off in the ignition switch box. Voila! I have not had that problem since. How weird is that?
    Last year the car stalled and ran at about 1 mile per hour. I couldn't get it going faster. I was near the same local mechanic so I left my car on his lot. He said that the ground wire came loose. Now, a year and a half later the same thing happened and it was not the ground wire. It is still unknown. This is rather troubling as it happens without warning while you are moving.
    I hoped to have this SUV for 200,000 miles but now I'm considering getting rid of it.
    If there is a Class Action Suit against Land Rover, USA I would like to be a participant. I would like Land Rover to compensate me for the problems and repurchase my vehicle.
  • sripleysripley Posts: 39
    atalexa - I believe most of the coolant leak failures are resulting from Head Gasket Failures, occuring at anywhere from 30,000 miles on up (mine happened at around 50,000 miles). Thats interesting the water pump failed, that one of the things that happened on my 2003 Freelander HSE was the head gasket failure eventually led to engine oil throughout the vehicles coolant system.

    The landrover service technician who checked and diagnosed my vehicle said to check the oil cap and you will notice the gel'd up green [non-permissible content removed] which is the emulsified coolant w/ engine oil. He said there is no fixing of the problem, that only a replacement engine (which are not available) can be done to correct the problem. Replacing the head gasket only will result in another inevitable failure, as the design flaw is what is causing these failures.

    Its unbelievable the number of vehicles resulting in these failures, one would think that would be evidence enough to the NHTSA that these vehicles are lemons.

    I hope something comes out of all of our shared aggravation. We deserve our money back!
  • cyd68cyd68 Posts: 9
    Does anyone know if they have recalled the rear passenger window motor??? I was driving the car with my 3yr old in the backseat when the window dropped down into the door, it was snowing & I was on the highway and could not pull over in a timely manner to move her over, I was just thankful it didn't shatter all over her. LR quoted me $500 just for the motor, not including labor. My car is not under factory warranty anymore, Ive put way too much money into this POS and I refuse to give LR anymore money. :lemon:
  • No recall on the Rear Window Regulator, I had the same thing happen where the wire/plastic mechanism broke inside the door frame, causing the window to not stay up. Only the brake light switch has ever been recalled on this vehicle.

    Just for reference, I had Land Rover fix this repair at a cost of $480 which included labor and the new regulator (I had this before the Head Gasket Failure caused the inevitable destruction of the vehicle months later).

    My advice, do not spend $1 on repairs for this vehicle and trade it in as soon as you can for another vehicle, if you can. These minor repairs, which I had Gas Filter Assembly replaced, Window Regulator replaced, Air Filter assembly replaced, Replaced brake Rotors twice, etc, all are a complete waste in the end when the Head Gasket inevitably fails and coolant is mixed in with the engine block.

    Get rid of the vehicle if you can, as soon as you can!
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