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Land Rover Freelander



  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    Just got mine out of the shop today with a New Transmission and Transmission Control Module. In addition, the back seat middle seat belt failed(it had never been used) the dealer had to completely replace the belt. While the dealer was working on the transmission they informed me that my front brake pads needed to be replaced--the car only has 23k on it. I am fearful that the car will continue to have problems. My camera will continue to be at my side to document any and all problems. The dealer I'm working with has bent over backwards to help me get the car fixed. If anyone wants to include me in some sort of group discussion with Landrover, please feel free to email me at
  • I posted a few msgs ago about all my troubles with my Hippo. There have been more sice then!
    LR is buying back mine for what I paid, no $ lost. (After all the problems I have had & the way my dealer has treated me, I did not want another LR). I am taking my $ and buying reliable! (Lexus or Acura!)
    My advice would be to write them a clear & concise letter of what the problem is & the resoloution & get the BBB involved. I was set for arbitration but have now come to an agreement. Or, simply file as a lemon under your state's lemon law. LR will most likely settle before it has to go to court.
    Please feel free to email me if you would like to see a copy of what I wrote to them. Good luck.
  • Hi - I'm in the Los Angeles area, and it's now time to get the brakes done. Very expensive. Does anyone have any suggestions on mechanics OTHER than the dealer?

    For what's it's worth, we seem to be having the minor version of the warning lights problem. They flick on and off radomly. Sometimes its the HDC light, sometimes seatbelt, sometimes brake. We mainly ignore it.
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    I've posted several times and once again(8th) time my Freelander is in the shop for the HDC error light issue. Spookypff please send me your letter I can be reached at
  • kbowenkbowen Posts: 58
    I posted a similar message on the Discovery site. My son owns a 2002 Freelander with 16K miles. While his wife was driving it, it began to make a roaring metallic noise. The dealership told her that the front brake pads were so badly worn that they had "ate" into the rotors and have to be replaced at a cost of $600 plus. She is adamant that the pads never made any type of squeaking noise to indicate they were low. The only prior problem was that the brake warning light kept coming on, but the dealership could not find a problem. They never told her when it was in the shop beforehand that the pads were low. And 16K seems awfully low mileage for total brake pad/rotor failure. I have a 2001 DII with 37K and the pads are only about 1/2 down. I read that there are problems with some Land Rover rotors that are being fixed under warranty. Does anyone have any info or suggestions?
  • retlef: I will email you the file on Friday, I have to get it off my home computer & I am on business right now. Make sure you have everything documented & copies of all your sevice records. Also, look at what the lemon law requirement is for your state. Some states require you to file with BBB Autoline before bringing a Lemon Law suit, some don't. You have more leverage if you can file all 3 at once!

    bigshotla: If you live in Orange County I might have a good place.PuuuuurfectAuto in HB (stupid name, but they are good). However, every place I went wanted the same or MORE than the dealer wanted to do the brakes. There aren't any aftermarket pads for the FL yet. And you will probably need new rotors, LR uses the crappy throw-away rotors that can't be shaved/turned. I had to do my brakes at only 20k. $575 was the deaer cost, & I got Puurfect auto to match that. DON'T IGNORE YOUR WARNING LIGHTS! At least get it into the dealer and document it (my personal advice and experience).

    kbowen: Some Fl pads are defective - too big of metal in the pads. They eat into the rotors. LR will not do anything about this. You can argue till you are blue in the face. I had 1 dealer admit to the problem, but LRNA will not recognize it, no matter what I did I couldn't get it covered. Putting new brakes on the FL every 15-20k is considered "normal wear and tear." I filed a complaint with NHTSA over it. I still had to pay to get new brakes. Mine gave no prior warning either. Good luck!
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    I too had to replace the front disk brakes at 23k with no warning other than the dealer telling me the pads needed replacement.. I found some after market pads which I ordered from The pads are made from Kevlar and are called Kevlar EBC's and apparently last longer than the OEM PADS. I did the brake job myself and noticed the rotors were also bad. I brought this up with Landrover and they could care less. I also recommend looking at this site for information on how to change your own pads(it was pretty easy).
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    Take those lights seriously!!! Those lights have led to a new transmission, control module, entire shifting assembly and a wiring harness in my 02 SE with only 23K freeway miles on it.
  • Thank you for the concern, at first we did take it into the dealer for every flicker, but it got stupid. Every time was just some minor electrical thing, and half the time they'd just shrug. (Oh, if we could only charge for our time spent....). Case in point is that the car is fine, except for needing the brakes fixed.

    I'm not sure I've got the ability to change my own pads!! And, if we're under a lease, can I actually use those kevlar pads? Thank you so much for the advice. My husband found Land Rover mechanics that will do the brakes for under $500 - I'll post which one we use after we check it out.

  • who makes the engine in this vehicle? is it just a dressed up ford? i know the twin is a ford escape....but how much of the content in the land rover is actual british content and how much is detroit?
  • tincup47tincup47 Posts: 1,508
    The Freelander has no commonality with the Escape. The current Freelander was developed when BMW owned Land Rover, not Ford. Freelander has been in production since 1997 but was not imported to North America until 2002. The engine in this vehicle is a Rover designed V6 that was (and still is)in the Rover 75 sedan. Virtually all content in the Freelander (except the Japanese transmission)is from Europe.
  • That is good news to know. I have seen a texas dealership selling a demo 2002 Freelander for $20k. looks like a good price to me. i just did not want to overpay for ford cache, but its legitimately rover product, i think it might be a great deal. Thanks again.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025


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  • I got a new transmission about 6 weeks ago, after the hill descent failure light came on, and the gears failed. I wasn't satisfied with the ride after picking it up at the dealer. I turned right around and took the mechanic for a ride with me. He also felt the bumpy ride, put my 2002 back on the computer and found no technichal malfunctions. They told me to drive it for a week...that the new transmission had to get used to my driving style...yeah, right? After a week, I was still dissatisfied. I called them, and said it was a little better, but I think I just got used to being jerked around...both literally & figuratively speaking. After another 2 weeks, the hill descent light came ona again, and the gears failed. I brought it back to the dealership. They kept it for a few days, & ended up replacing the shifter. After picking it up, I told the receptionist that I was going to drive it around the neighborhood to see if the jerking was still occuring. Of course it was OK...until I drove 25 miles to my home, and then it started again. I drove it right back that same day. 2 days later they called me to tell me that they found nothing wrong, computer-wise. Now it's a week later, and I hate driving my car. I get physically ill driving it. My head actually jerks when the engine is shifting into 2nd gear. I'm about to start writing letters to corporate..any advice??? I'd love to read spookypuff's letter. Am I qualified for the lemon law in NY? HELP! Lydia
  • Anyone know when the 2004s hit the states?
    In showrooms etc.
  • They are offering 2003 FL SE3 for 6000 below MSRP. My wife likes the fact that you can take
    the top off for the summer months and is AWD and I like the price.
     After reading the posts I am a somewhat apprehensive to purchase a FL.
  • I emailed you a copy of the letter I sent.

    Ripple4: It's up to you if you want to purchanse one. I loved my 2002 freelander.. when it ran. It seems like the quality of the 2003s may be better than the 2002s. I don't know. Unfortunetly, I found customer service to be lacking with Land Rover, if that is an important factor for you,I would get everything in writing on what the dealership will give you (in terms of loaners, etc). Good luck with whatever you decide.
  • jad68jad68 Posts: 1
    I own a 2003 Freelander S with tinted windows and a roof rack, both installed by the dealer. I've had it since last February and I am already on my 3rd windshield! Both other windshields had stress cracks starting at the roof line, on opposite sides of the vehicle. They have replaced both under warranty, but have given me a hard time. They say I've been unlucky to get 2 pieces of glass with minor flaws around the outside, which is made worse by living in a cold weather climate, but I wonder if I've gotten a vehicle with a frame design flaw. Has anyone had similar problems?
  • lackofdave...The 2004 Freelanders were supposed to arrive around November 12, then I heard mid-December from a dealer in Willow Grove, PA. Well, here we are in mid-December, and not a word yet. Should be any time now.
  • Just received a call this morning. The 04 Freelanders have arrived. It's a big upgrade from the 03 in my opinion, i.e. much better styling and lower prices. I'd buy it, but have decided I am better off driving an X-Type for a while longer.
  • I am very interested in a Freelander, however, as I read this site and other material, I have serious questions regarding the reliability of this vehicle. Are there serious reliability issues with this truck? I only have experience with Japanese products and have had nothing but positive things to say. My vehicles seem to just run without any concerns. How many miles might I reasonably expect to get out of a Freelander? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps wait until the 2005 model comes out? I understand a major redesign is in the works. Thanks.
  • They need to take the Free out of Lander 2004 edition. Just by shear unluckiness I had the chance to drive one of these hunk of junks around Denmark. I found the petrel usage unsatisfactory and the idea that this was an awd with some type of computerized thingamajig was an evil diabolic plot by the engineers at Rover. I have driven 1984 pintos on the Sudanese desert that have performed better than this 04 hunk of junk.

    I have always been quite quaint with LR however this bastardized version does not even deserve a matchbox hot wheel made in its image.
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    I too had only owned Japanese cars and never had problems after 100's of thousands of miles with those vehicles. What I can tell you is, if you research the net you will find many Freelander owners with problems from England to the U.S. to Australia, New Zealand. The new 04 Freelander really only has a face lift no other changes under the hood or infrastructure(electrical, brakes, transmission etc...)It is an 02 with a nose Job!!!I have had so many problems with mine I could not recommend this car to anyone. I'd reccomend spending your hard earned $'s on another Japanese or Korean product. You will be a much happier consumer.
  • Retlef...Thanks for your advice. I too have seen lots of negative info on these vehicles. It is great to hear from people who have actual experience with one. I will keep my eyes open as I continue to shop.
  • " this bastardized version does not even deserve a matchbox hot wheel made in its image."

    haha, now that is an insult!
  • C'mon, this is one of the best-handling and best-braking SUVs on the market. The Freelander also feels rock solid. I'll agree with you on the engine, though. Land Rover only offers the awful V-6 in the States. It manages to combine poor fuel economy with so-so performance, bad CO2 emissions and a little bit of buzziness. If they offered the TDI, I'd have been excited enough to buy it, but the TDI is not offered in America. I've read that a 4 cylinder and a 5 cylinder will be offered in 2006 here.
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    As an owner of an 02 Freelander SE--let me shed some clarity on this vehicle. The bottom line is that the vehicle has some inherent problems. Lets start with the braking system, rear drum, front disk.. The vehicle only weighs a few thousand pounds less than a Disco II, yet the engineers at Rover actually think drum brakes are better than disk for the rear. I wonder where they got this brake design maybe from a Ford Pinto or a Thunderbird or even an LTD. Great design Landrover Engineers!! As far as the rest of the vehicle it is a mix of parts from BMW, Lucas, Ford and whatever other leftover parts they found in the junk bins at BMW,Lucas and Ford. When my Freelander runs it runs well, the inherent problem though, is that it rarely runs!! It spends most of it's time at the dealer with electrical problems, transmission problems and yes brake jobs.. I in turn get to drive rental cars like Kia's and Hyundai's and Fords.
  • Sorry to hear the Freelander has been a source of headaches. That should be a concern for any potential buyer, although I've heard positive comments from owners, as well. This is probably not a car to keep beyond the warranty, unless it proves reliable.

    As for the rear drum design, as far as raw stopping power goes, the Freelander has fantastic brakes. Edmunds recorded 118 feet for the 60-0 stopping test on an SE3. The brakes, hefty steering and solid construction all gave me a positive impression of the drivability for the 2004.

    But as I said, I'm not excited enough to purchase the Freelander. Main gripe is the engine.
  • retlefretlef Posts: 17
    I had to replace the front disk brakes and rotors at 23k($650 at dealer) with no warning other than the dealer telling me the pads needed replacement.. The dealer said usually the brakes and rotors fail somewhere around 12k and that I was "a good braker" what does that mean? The pads don't even have warning sensors on them.. The rotors were shredded and could not be resurfaced. Apperently Landrover rotors on the Freelanders are made from a very thin material and cannot be resurfaced and must be replaced. I'm not real keen on brake jobs every few thousand miles. Though I agree the vehicle does stop well--but it eats rotors and pads. The new Kevlar pads none OEM part seem to be working very well with about 2k on them.

    I found some after market pads which I ordered from The pads are made from Kevlar and are called Kevlar EBC's and apparently last longer than the OEM PADS. I did the brake job myself and noticed the rotors were also bad. I brought this up with Landrover and they could care less. I also recommend looking at this site information on how to change your own pads(it was pretty easy).
  • Having to replace brake rotors at 12k miles is ludicrous, I agree. I'm not sure what a "good braker" is, either. I've heard of a "good shifter" before (i.e., someone who doesn't ride the clutch), so maybe it's someone who pumps the breaks and lets the engine do some of the braking, too. I rarely slam on the brakes because I anticipate stops well in advance.
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