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Freelander Maintenance and Repair

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  • ydtrydtr Posts: 1
    I have replaced the coolant with three full bottles in the past month. I took the car to the dealer on Monday to have the window regulator replaced (2nd time, first time it was on the driver rear, now it's the passenger rear. I told them about the problem with the coolant and they seem to think that I am going to take the car home and drive it since they put some dye in the coolant. They are now requesting vehicle maintenance reports. I purchased the car in July used. It is still under the original manufacturer warranty. They have called me all week telling me the car was ready. Today they called to tell me that they only cover the rental car for 4 days so I needed to pick my car up or pay for the rental my self. I took the rental back and left that POS at the dealer. I am contacting an attorney as well as all the news stations and the better business bureau. Enough is enough with them. I did some research on the problems I was having with my car before taking it in so I knew what the problem was, now they are acting like that don't have a clue as to what is wrong with the car. It is my understanding that the only way to fix the problem its to replace the engine. There needs to be a class action suit against them. I will be pursuing that also.
  • Yes, Land Rover Mechanics are fully aware of the problems with this vehicle, in fact one told me the problem (at least 1 honest mechanic that works for Land Rover) and told me to trade it in or sell it as quickly as possible. Please be sure to file a claim/report with the NHTSA, in the other Freelander Forum (has 1404 posts) has the link for that.

    You may want to find out what the seller was aware of prior to selling the vehicle to you, not sure if there is any liability to that person.

    The coolant leak is actually a failure of the Head Gasket, and you should check the oil screwoff cap and should see emulsified engine oil mixed with coolant like a paste stuck to the cap. If you are filling the coolant 3 times in a month, your next problem will be the engine service light intermittantly coming on & off as the pistons misfire due to the emulsified oil-coolant clogging the pistons. Your engine will have alot of piston-knocking and then you will need to get more and more frequent oil changes just to keep the thing from stalling/not starting at all. Lastly, the head gasket will eventually completely fail resulting in over-heating and then oil filling up your coolant overflow cannister. That is when the car is completely dead.

    There is some talk of a Howard Getman in NJ pursuing a class action lawsuit, however this attorney told me a few months ago that he could not do anything for me but sue if I decided to replace the engine (at a cost of $7000-$10,000 if any engines were even available).

    My suggestion would be to see if you can throw it back/sue the seller, that the seller likely knew the coolant leakage resulting head gasket failure. Otherwise, see if you can trade it in for any value at all, if you financed it, tell your financing company the vehicles problem. Nothing about this is easy, probably the most aggravation I've ever had with a vehicle.
  • Hi everyone. This is my first post. (I feel like we all need therapy for what we're going through.)

    I bought a 2003 Freelander, 32K miles, one year ago. When I drove it off the lot, the "service engine soon" light was on. I called the dealer (Tempe Mitsubishi, which has since closed its doors) immediately and he said their service department had just done the standard pre-sale maintenance and that they probably just forgot to reset the light and that it could be done at the next oil change. The light actually went off the next day so I didn't think anything of it. It's been engaged and disengaged numerous times since. Finally, when my car overheated at about 50K miles and it was clear that my anti-freeze/coolant was disappearing, I brought it to Land Rover to investigate in August 2008. While it was there, I had them replace the recalled brake switch, fix the inoperable rear door latch, repair the inoperable sunroof and resolve the "service engine only" light and the "T/C DHS" intermittent light. Of course, with the exception of the recalled brake switch (which was also the cause of the T/C DHS light), nothing was covered by my extended warranty. And I was advised that I needed to replace the coolant resevoir and cap. In addition to that, I had to replace the intake manifold and the vacuum inserts at at cost of $2,000. I was told this was not urgent and that it would only affect performance such as pick up etc.

    October rolls around and my registration is expired. I try to renew and find that I need an emissions test in the state of Arizona because my car is now 5 years old. I go to emissions and am rejected because the DLC cable behind the dash (to the Onboard Computer) is not secure enough to proceed with the test. I go to Land Rover and have the bracket tightened. They tighten it without question or charge and I return to the line at emissions. I'm in line when my temperature gauge spikes again for a brief period of time. I get off line and return to Land Rover. They advise me that the heating coil need to be replaced (in addition to the intake manifold and the vacuum inserts) and that the service engine soon light will remain on until those items are fixed. My predicament: In the State of Arizona, they will not pass you through emissions with the "Service Engine Soon" light on. It's an automatic fail. So, now I can't pass emissions and I can't register my car if I can't pass emissions.

    Following this realization, I go online and discover all of this is happening to all of you. Now I just want to unload this piece of dung even though it will probably cost me $10,000 to do so.

    Here's my question: Will a dealer accept this car as a trade-in if it isn't registered?

    Also, if I file a complaint with NHTSB, I have to enter my VIN number. If I enter my VIN on this complaint, will it appear on the CarFax for my car? I have no intention of selling it party-to-party, just unload it as a trade-in and get SOMETHING for it. I'm just not sure if it will appear on the CarFax and affect my trade-in value.
  • Get rid of the vehicle now! This is exactly what happened to me. 4 months after the coolant incident which included a new cam shaft seal, the timing belt and engine went out. The car was dead. I owe $4000 on a vehicle that had 52,000 miles on it and no longer own. I am glad to be rid of the hunk of junk. Never again will I buy a Land Rover. I love my Acura, it is dependable and has 94,000 miles on it!
  • It's unfortunate that the dealership closed, you may want to speak to an attorney and see if there is any civil action that could be brought against the owner of the dealership, just an idea.

    For your question, the trade-in value for the vehicle is already diminished due to the fact that so many of these Freelanders have the head gasket failure (which is your coolant disappearing, periodic over-heating and service engine light soon issue-- and you can quickly check you have that problem by just unscrewing your oil cap and looking underneath for coolant colored [non-permissible content removed] stuck under the oil cap-- that would be the emulsified coolant & oil mixture). So, as long as you own the vehicle and can pass clear title to the next dealership should be sufficient (as registration is required to be able to drive the vehicle but not necessarily sell the vehicle, hell you could decide to sell it to someone as the really big paper weight it actually is!). If you owe money on a loan on the vehicle, you seriously want to weigh all options, and contact the finance company on the issue. But if you just paid cash for it, then you can mix it in as part of a trade for a new vehicle, some dealers won't want it since they know it's junk/scrap metal, but others say, bring your vehicle in ANY condition and that might fetch you $1000 or so.

    Absolutely report it to the NHTSA, which does ask for a VIN #. I do not know if it shows up on Car-Fax however this vehicles problems are so well know nowadays, it really wont make a difference. Most in the industry know this vehicle is crap and should never have been allowed to be sold to consumers.

    This vehicle is a lose-lose proposition, weigh all your options, but dont try to fix the thing.. it just is not worth it. Better to spend the money on your next vehicle. Good luck!
  • Well, the money is a big problem for me. I only bought this car last year for $15,000 (+ extended warranty), taxes, etc....totally $17,000. I still owe about $15,000 on the car. Kelly Blue Book definitely reflects the devaluation. Last year it read around $14000. Now it reads $5000. So I was hoping to get at least $5000 on trade-in and eat $10,000 on the deal. (I'm sick to my stomach about that. I could stand on the corner and give away $10,000 to strangers and at least get reactions of joy in return. I get NOTHING for this.)

    I've seen people on here say to tell the finance company about the issue. What does that do though? It's not like they are going to help me with my payments. I'm still obligated to them for the loan.
  • That was what I was afraid of, that if you have that large of a loan on the vehicle, telling the finance company at least makes them aware of the situation (even if they refuse or cannot help, it's always better than having them think nothing was an issue, just in case you ever ended up suing any of the parties or whatever).

    I would really suggest talking to a lawyer about any and all options. That rapid devaluation and everything else about this whole mess just screams bad business and only through the legal channel will you be able to find any relief (correct, the loan company probably wont release you of the loan). I was told by the one attorney I spoke with to get all my service paperwork from the time I bought it, but in the end he couldn't do anything for me unless I paid the $7000-$10,000 to replace the engine (and he would try to recoup that cost in court). You bought the car used, so I would hope there would be some lemon law, liability issue on the dealer's owner (even if the dealer closed, there has to be some standing to sue), some means to go after the extended warranty company, or some other way the attorney might be able to help you. One person recently posted that CarMax who provided their warranty eventually settled on the vehicle after nearly 12 months of battling over the mess, maybe that is a possibility the attorney might suggest.

    The only other ways out of the mess that I know all will destroy your credit, including voluntary repossession by financing company or bankruptcy.

    I do wish you luck and hope you can rid yourself of the vehicle for some value without ruining your credit or resulting in being obligated for $15,000 on something that doesn't even work. This was the worst experience of my life, and I couldn't sleep for months because of it.
  • There is a lemon law that covers used cars in Arizona. Unfortunately, you need to keep the car until a settlement is agreed to. I can't register the car because of the emissions issue so it's stuck in the driveway and of no use to me. I can't maintain the loan on it and purchase another car (debt:income ratio will probably prevent me from getting another loan for another car anyway). What am I to do to get back and forth to work (a 35 mile roundtrip drive) until the dispute is settled? I'm in between a rock and a hard place. I think I'm just going to try to dump the car on a trade-in. In today's car market, I think I have some advantages since dealers are desperate to sell cars. I'll insist on 5K for the car on trade.

    I am going to speak with the Better Business Bureau and see if I can't at least get them to have the parent company of the dealership refund me my extended warranty cost. That will give me another $1000 or so.

    I have to pick up the car from Land Rover today. I am going to talk to my service guy, tell him what I know and see if LR can work out something with me...compensate me somehow - either by agreeing to a buy-back (not likely, I know, since they didn't sell me the car, even though they did manufacture it.) I might have to agree not to pursue the class action suit but I do plan to threaten them with it to see if I can get something back. If they refuse, I will proceed with the class action suit. I do know one thing: I will not agree, under any circumstances, to a new engine replacement. I'm done with this car and don't need these problems to renew themselves once the new engine starts acting up.
  • I think I found something that might help me and others, initially. As I mentioned, I am unable to pass emission in Arizona because my Service Engine Soon light is engaged, which is an automatic fail in Arizona. My Land Rover service team tells me that the only way to clear that light is to repair (for $2,000) by replacing my intake manifold and vacuum inserts. My extended warranty will not cover it.

    When I picked up my car today, the cashier asked me to sign a group of documents that didn't match the document that I received as a receipt. I asked her to make me a copy of what I was signing and brought it home. It contains all the history on my car....back to the original owner in Oregon. Included is the following details:

    Warranty Cover
    Policy: Expires: Distance:
    Corrosion Warranty 14 Nov - 2009 999999
    Federal Emission Warranty 14 Nov - 2011 80000
    Paint Warranty 14 Nov - 2007 50000
    Standard Factor Warranty 14 Nov - 2007 50000

    I looked up the Federal Emission Warranty here:

    http://www.epa.gov/oms/consumer/warr95fs.txt

    It states that my intake manifold should be replaced at the manufacturers expense.

    Can someone else read over this and confirm that I am not reading it incorrectly??

    I have 53,000 miles on my car.

    Anyone know what a P002K code is? It appears as a Field Service Action at Land Rover Scottsdale 3 months before I bought the car.

    I also now have the name of the original owner as well as phone number. Would it be inappropriate to contact that owner and find out if there was a particular mechanical reason he got rid of it only 1 year after buying it?

    I still plan to get rid of the car, but I'd LOVE to see Land Rover have to pay the expense to fix those things before getting rid of it!
  • I guess the most important question is: Does the Federal Emission Warranty cover the intake manifold for the vehicle's first 24,000 miles/24 months of life or first 24K/24 Mo of ownership? I bought it used one year ago and haven't gone 24K miles yet.
  • After lots of research on a sturdy vehicle for my high school senior's first car, we purchased a used 03 with 64K on it. Stupid me, the ONLY thing I didn't research was repair record. It's got 70K on it now and we honestly haven't had any problems (except rear window just died) but I know it needs a new serpentine belt...
    Problem is, I'm in Bakersfield CA and there are no dealers here. Could anyone recommend a dealer in Valencia or Pasadena CA?
    From everything I've read, we should consider trading this in and buying something else..but in the meantime, I know I need to do the required maintenance.
    Any advice is welcomed. thank you! My son's car (my checkbook)
  • cyd68cyd68 Posts: 9
    I have a situation, I have a car note on a 2003 freelander. I can't make the payments on it anymore due to the cost of the repairs. I want to let the lien holder take it back. I do have a co-signer on the car, will that leave her liable? Also I wrecked the car, should I pay the deductible to get it fixed, it will cost me $500.00. My credit score is not good, would you suggest trading it in before I let the bank come and repo it. How much are you getting on the trade ins? I need advice. I don't want to hurt my co-signers credit. :mad:
  • If you let the vehicle go back to the bank they will come after the co-signer for the money, that's sort of the point of a co-signer. You should fix the car and try to either make your payments or trade it off for something else. A year ago, I got rid of my Freelander and paid about $4000 to get out of it. The amount a dealer was willing to pay for the trade-in was +/-$1000 less than various pricing guides stated as the trade-in value, so you may not be able to rely on those values.

    My maintenance experience was similar to many others who have posted messages on this board...new transmission 500 miles out of warranty, windows that quit working, cooling system issues, etc. I got rid of it when it was having a good day.
  • For the new 03 owner, you really should consider selling or trading it in soon, the Rear Window Regulator will cost you around $500 to fix and the repairs on this vehicle will only get worse if you are already at 70K miles. Please check the coolant level, if the head gasket failure occurs, that is how you can tell that problem is occuring. These vehicles were designed-flawed and every! one of the engines will eventually experience that issue, let alone the multitude of other issues. You really want to get rid of it as fast as you possibly can!

    For the co-signer issue, yes if you stop paying on it, they will go after the cosigner for the payments and impact that persons credit. If you trade it in, I've read posts saying anywhere from $1000 (damaged vehicle) to $5000 (if it is in pristine condition, and the word is out on these vehicles, so Kellys Blue Book and other valuators dropped these vehicle values to next-to-nothing. You may want to see if the cosigner can be removed from the loan with the lender, sometimes they will allow that if you've made payments on-time and then you would be able to do what you planned. Otherwise, these vehicles are a legal fiasco waiting to happen and I dont know any easy ways out, other than consulting a lawyer for possible legal issues with the dealer or whomever sold you the Freelander.
  • Am I correct in assuming GAP insurance would only be applicable in cases of theft, accident or fire? I mean, if my engine seized and the car could be claimed a "total loss" as a result, could I collect the gap insurance?

    If not and I trade the car in, can't I also cancel my GAP insurance and my extended warranty and get a prorated refund on both the GAP insurance AND my extended warranty? (Remember, I only bought the car a year ago. I paid $600 for GAP and $2300 for a mid-grade 36K/36 mo extended warranty that has covered next to nothing.)

    (People can knock GAP and it doesn't make sense for cars that keep their value but I know three people who were virtually saved from financial ruin because of GAP insurance.)

    ~ Kelly
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    You should pose that question in the Gap Insurance discussion.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I live in Bakersfield CA (roughly 110 miles northeast of Los Angeles) - the new owner of an 03. No dealer in our city. Anyone recommend a dealer in Valencia or this side of LA?
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,910
    Check out this Edmunds Answers thread while waiting for responses in here.
  • Ok, I appreciate the advice. I'll need to fix the rear window first, but then I'll make tracks to sell it or trade it in. I did notice today that the coolant level was very low. It does smell a bit in the car when you turn on the a/c or heat - does that mean the head gasket has already gone??
  • Okay, just an update. As I mentioned, I owe $14,800 on my '03 Freelander and I'm trying to unload it by trading it in. I found an '09 Toyota that I want to buy, sat down, worked out a $5800 trade in (they would give NO MORE even though they have a 2002 Freelander out on the lot selling for $14,000. Crooks). Despite having a FICO in the mid 700's, I'm being told I need to put $6-8,000 down on the $20,000 car I'm buying because of the negative equity on the Land Rover. Apparently, these days, lenders are being so overly cautious that they will not loan more than 120% of the book price of the new car for someone with a mid-700 credit score. :confuse: So, essentially, I'm having to pay off the LR to get the new car. Argghhh! I won't be able to come up with that money until the end of December when I get my Christmas bonus (which isn't even guaranteed in these times). So, needless to say, I didn't drive away with a new car. Still have my Land Rover and terrified to drive it in case something worse goes wrong with it before I can trade it in at the end of December. It sits in the garage and my boyfriend and I intend to commute in his car until the end of December.

    On that note, reading these forums I see all the talk about the Class Action Suit. Nothing has been formally been submitted on that yet, has it?

    Wouldn't it be more productive, in the meantime, if we created some kind of standard form letter that owners can fill out and submit to their state's respective consumer advocacy groups or Attorney Generals? I think the sheer NUMBER of similar letters they receive in the same format would have more of an impact than individual personal letters here or there. They would see a more organized group of affected consumers. The form could include a list of all related repairs that are epidemic on these cars (i.e. disappearing coolant, intake manifold, sunroof, engine replacement, transmission replacement, etc.) Each owner can check the boxes of those problems they experienced that are specific to this car. Each form would contain a field for vehicle model, purchase date, mileage at purchase, purchase price, extended warranty cost. Another section would include "Out-Of-Pocket Repair Expenses" and "Warranty Covered Expenses". Total Damages for purchase, repairs, etc. It would also contain a field for "Voluntary Repossession", "Negative Equity on Trade" or "Estimated Loss of Value". It would contain another section for mental anguish (loss of sleep, stress during operation,etc.), "Income Loss". A section for "Land Rover Relations" (Customer service issues), "Land Rover Acknowledgements and Recommendations" (Admissions by Land Rover representatives of Engine Defects and their Recommendations ("trade it in"). LR owners would attach receipts, additional comments and copies of correspondence with other agencies, lawyers and Land Rover. Maybe we can create a "committee" of sorts to design the form and post it online for people to download by State, with instructions for where it is to be send for that state, etc?

    I think it's important that all of these forms be sent to the SAME person for each state....the Attorney General and copied to the equivalent Federal counterpart. I think that we would be more effective if we were more organized. The Class Action Suit is a good step but timely.

    Of course, you should also submit a report to the NHTSB complaint site as well.
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