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Freelander Maintenance and Repair



  • I'm happy and relieved to announce that I'm no longer the owner of a 2003 Freelander. Amen!

    I am now the proud owner of a brand new 2009 Scion XB. It will be my personal mission in life to make sure nobody I know ever owns any vehicle ever made by Land Rover.
  • Important Money Saving Advice for those of you who choose to trade your Freelander in at a substantial loss. Remember, if you still have anything left on your extended warranty or GAP insurance, you need to contact your issuing dealer (person who sold you the Land Rover) and request a refund. If there is still a leinholder, they will pay the leinholder. If it has been paid off in the trade, you need proof and they will issue a refund to you. I traded my Freelander in with 52000 miles on it (I had purchased an extended warranty one year ago for 36,000 miles/3 years). I received an extended warranty refund in the amount of 39.83 % of the original purchase price ($2,399.00). The refund came to $995. Considering I lost $9,000 on the trade, that $995 refund is $995 less lost on this POS car and I got it back in cash since the vehicle was paid off when I rolled the original loan into my new car loan. I haven't processed it yet, but I believe I'll get a GAP insurance refund of around $285 as well.
  • cyd68cyd68 Posts: 9
    Im all for the letter to the Attorney General, Consumer Affairs, Better Business Bureau, Land Rover North America or to anyone that can bring someones attention to the problems we are all having. Someone out there has to care!!! I will start working on a rough draft today. I think the letter is a great idea, I've called LRNA on numerous occassions and they don't seem to care, even though I have pointed out the obvious. But, one person is not going to get there attention, thats why we need everyone to work together on this. I will get started on it today and would like feedback, or if you desert child would like to write up a letter I will gladly start filling it out and passing it on to other Freelander owners.
  • I just read your email - I, too, am the unfortunate owner of a 03 Freelander who's engine just blew. Drove it to the deal for a 3rd visit for a coolant problem, and ended up having it towed to my personal mechanic. Dealer blamed me for engine, saying timing belt should have been replaced. However, upon inspection, my mechanic said the camshaft is locked so can't rebuild. He stated that happens because the car is extremely hot (ie, they ran the car trying to find the coolant leak and blew the timing belt). They appallingly rude and disrespectful being that I'm a customer and had no regard this was the 3rd visit for the same problem. I wouldn't be in this situation had they fixed when they had the first 2 opportunities. Any class action going on on the West Coast? LR needs to be held responsible. :cry: :lemon:
  • hi,I hate to say that I am in the same situation ,and I have spent more than 5k on top of my extended warranty which cover only about 11,800.00 and land rover did not renewed because I waited untill I had about 600 miles left on the warranty before the expiration date . I belive it is unfer and something needs to be done.
    If you are planinig to go ahead I will join you
    Ps. my fuel pup just went out. estimate aroud 1000.dollars :sick: :mad: :confuse: :cry:
  • OMG - you're definitely in my same nightmare. But at least you still have a car to drive (barely). I actually have been contacting attorneys here in California trying to get some feedback. I'm trying to get enough people to get a class action lawsuit going here on the West Coast - where are you located? Do you know anyone else that's a Freelander owner having the same problems? I'm going to the various websites and responding to emails to hopefully get in contact with other owners. I'm sure you've seen them all - there are quite a few others having the same issues. Let's keep in touch. Thanks for responding.
  • cyd68cyd68 Posts: 9
    That was the letter I received from the attorney in mid December. Please contact him if you havent already. Also, I urge you to log on to the NHTSA website & document every single problem that you have had with your freelander, putting a major emphasis on SAFETY, how unsafe this car is to drive, not only for the driver, but passengers also. I actually think we are getting somewhere with this, so I need all of your support. Power in numbers;) :lemon:
  • My daughter purchased a 2002 freelander.I was researching to see if I find out what might be causing the problem she is having,when I found this blog.she will be drivg along and the car jerks and boggs down,won't go over 35mph.engine light comes on.She stops the car and restarts and it runs fine.Anyone know what the problem may be ? (besides being a piece of junk)
  • I had a similar issue with the one I had. When I took it in to LR they told me the motors for the cold air intake were bad and needed replaced. That ran around $300. The next winter the problem started again and I decided to make due having spent more on maintenance for the vehicle than I really wanted to. I did find a way to avoid the problem most of the time. I found that problem typically occurred if I didn't give it enough time to warm up in cold weather conditions. When I let it sit long enough for the temperature gauge to start moving - usually 3-5 minutes - it was fine. Usually, I found that when the problem did happen, I could restart and the problem went away as you mentioned, but the light sometimes stayed on for a day or two.
  • As the other person also said, we had the same problem and replacing the variable intake motors fixed the problem. I believe the parts cost over $150 each plus labor. Not cheap! Just like all of the other problems with these vehicles. I do believe Land Rover has tarnished their reputation with the Freelander. I will personally never ever buy another Land Rover.
  • jax290jax290 Posts: 2
    I had the same problem many of you have had with my Freelander overheating. I purchased my Freelander new in 2002. To date I have few problems with it outside of the coolant loss. As with most overheating problems I always start with the easiest and least expensive fix. I replaced the thermostat. I found that this was a "dealer only part", like almost everything on this vehicle. The thermostat is encased in a plastic housing with two intake ports, one port feeding directly into the engine block and one feeding to the water pump for a total of 4 ports. A second plastic tube installs directly adjacent to the thermostat housing feeding a separate coolant flow. Both the thermostat and coolant tube are a plug in design, with a single 10mm bolt holding both in place. The engine block ports on both parts are held in place with a single O ring, and the bolt only stabilizes both units jointly without holding them stationary. Here in lies the problem. Neither unit is securely held against the engine block, so vibration can cause the O ring seals to allow fluid to escape by and out of the system. I replaced my Thermostat and coolant tube with a new unit, and still had the coolant leakage problem, I took the thermostat out and installed it twice without successfully resolving the leakage problem. So, I purchased from NAPA a product called "Right Stuff", a rubberized gasket compound and essentially glued the parts into their proper locations. This cured the leakage at this location. Now I had to deal with the coolant reservoir cap failure. The cap is designed to hold pressure to 16psi, apparently LandRover found that the 2002 model reservoir cap was faulty, so they do not make a replacement. I had to buy a new tank and cap. Bottom line, the above fix cured my coolant leakage and overheating problem. Those of you who still have coolant leakage problems might consider doing the same thing I did, or your engine overheating problem could result in a warped head and coolant leakage into the oil system, as so many have mentioned prior. Hope this helps.
  • I also have a coolant leak, the dealer says they can't find it. It is apparently leaking into the engine, is this a common problem?
  • Yes, the coolant leak into the engine is the Head Gasket Failure issue widely reported. The problem you are experiencing is a terminal-catastrophic vehicle failure issue and you seriously need to consider trading in the vehicle and I do not recommend spending any money whatsoever on trying to repair it. The dealer will say only a replacement engine will fix it, the problem with that is the engines were discontinued and any refurbished engine from a salvage yard, etc would have the same design flawed engine resulting in another failure, at a cost of $7000-$9000.

    The above poster is correct that certain head gasket repair compounds such as Blue Devil and similiar products have on certain occasion corrected the problem temporarily, however those products will result in failure of the thermostat if not properly dont by a licensed mechanic. Blue Devil will also not cure any of the related issues with the gasket failure, such as warped piston head and the further emulsification of the coolant and oil which inevitably will result in the overheating issue as the gasket leak becomes a complete failure, the final failure having engine oil completely fill up your coolant overflow cannister and throughout the radiator system.

    I do not recommend the gasket repair products, as they may temporarily correct the problem, but even state on the product cannister results may only last 6 - 12 months. Your best bet is to trade in the vehicle or discuss selling/legal or credit options to rid yourself of the Freelander. I understand a previous poster was successful in temporarily curing the gasket failure but it is like putting glue on broken cork, inevitably it will fail again.

    Good luck.
  • If it is in fact leaking into the engine a quick check is: remove the oil filler cap and check the underside of the cap. If you have a glob type gray matter, somewhat like snot, then you most likely have a head gasket failure. This is most commonly caused by an overheated engine. If you haven't overheated the engine, and you don't have crud under the cap, then most likely the leak is what I discribed, and the is the same as I indicated. What I didn't mention was that the part of the thermostat that inserts into the engine block and the second tube were badly decayed when I removed the old ones. A quick check to see if the leak was the same as I discribed is: remove the air filter cover, that big plastic cover on the engine. If you look with a flashlight down between the intake tubes you can see a flat part of the engine block, with a black tube going from the thermostat housing to the back of the water pump. Directly under that system you will see either fluid or crud from evaporated coolant. If you have this then your thermostat system is leaking, and it needs to be fixed.
  • I have a 2004 Freelander SE, bought brand new off the lot in 04. I currently have about 54k miles on it and in the last week have noticed coolant leaking, causing the over heating light to come on. I have read on this forum about the 2002 and 2003 problems, but I'm not reading much about the 04 model having the same problems. I have it in the shop now being looked at and waiting to hear what the verdict is. My question is... can any one tell me if the 04 model is doomed to what appears to be a major quality issue with the earlier models? While I'm here... is it common for the rear differential to go bad at 52k miles? I had that fixed about 2 months ago. I want to figure out how much more $$ to put into this thing or if I should off load it sooner than later. Thanks!
  • I am in for any lawsuit that can be filed. I live in MI, own a 2004 Freelander SE with 54k miles on it and was bought new off the lot in 2004. The rear differential went out 2 months ago (replaced for $385) and currently in the shop for a thermostat issue... $630 to get fixed. Of course the warranty was up at 50k. I will be looking to offload BEFORE the tranny issues start. Hopefully I can get a decent trade in for it...still owe $$ of course!
  • I bought a brand new 2004 Freelander and it started leaking coolant at 61,000 miles. The service department at my dealership could not find the cause, They told me to add the orange Dexol or whatever. I did so and it helped for awhile. Then it got worse. I brought it to a local service station and they found a small crack in the water pump. They said that the crack was in a weird place (it was probably a flaw in the manufacturing, in my opinion). I had the water pump replaced and so far I've added 16,000 miles and it's been fine. I just had to add a little bit of the coolant but not more than 8 ounces mixed with water, of course, after about 10,000 miles. So far, so good. I've had two door latches replaced over the years and just recently the plenum intake and the wire harness (it's had electrical quirks since I bought it). It drives well and is very comfortable so I'm sticking with it for now. I hope to get at least 100,000 miles plus (at least until 2011).
  • kpencekpence Posts: 11
    Hello All,
    Is there any new news about a class action law suit? I will join one if there is one filed.
    I am actually going to Carmax today to see if they will buy my 2002 Freelander
    for anything reasonable. I don't drive it anymore since getting the engine replaced among all of the other repairs for fear of the replacement engine going out and the thing being worth nothing at all. Anyone having any luck selling to Carmax?
  • mpw3mpw3 Posts: 2
    I took my 2004 Freelander in for a parking light problem and was told there is a recall on the fuel pump. You should contact your dealer since it doesn't seem that Land Rover is sending out any notices on this.
  • driver68driver68 Posts: 3
    I need some help, someone had posted an idea about getting together some kind of list in regards to the freelander & the problems, we the owners have had. So I just kind of threw this together & Im definitely open for ideas. You can copy and paste and add whatever you think will make it simple, for us to fill out. Also, I need input on whom we should send this too. Im not sure if this will help or if anyone is interested in the idea. I just turned my 03 flander over to the bank. My credit is ruined & I still owe $8000.00. I am without a vehicle as of now and unsure of what is going to happen in the near future. Read over it & let me know what you think.

    Dear Freelander owner, please take a few minutes to fill out this questionnaire. In an effort to compile evidence based on owning a freelander and your experience.

    What year did you purchase your Freelander

    What year was your Freelander

    Did you purchase your Freelander from a Land Rover dealership?

    If you did Purchase your Freelander from a Land Rover dealership what was the location?

    How many miles were on your Freelander, at the time of purchase?

    Did you lease your Freelander?

    What was the purchase price on your freelander?

    Was your Freelander under the original factory warranty, when purchased?

    Who financed you Freelander?


    Timing belt
    head gasket
    coolant leaking
    brake light
    head light
    brake light switch

    Did you purchase an extended warranty thru another company?

    If yes, which comapny.

    Did you contact land Rover North America

    Number of times your vehicle was taken to the LR dealership, due to engine light coming on?

    Do you have documented proof of the times your car was at the dealership?

    Did they fix the problem on the first visit?

    If not how many visits?

    Did you contact the NHTSA?

    Did you replace the engine in your Freelander?

    If yes, what was the mileage?

    what was the dollar amount quoted to you to repair the engine?

    Was your Freelander under original factory Warranty?

    How long did you have to wait for an engine?

    Did they provide you with a rental car?
  • Wow - I thought I had problem - so sorry to hear your end result. I still have my car (without an operating engine) and still owe $5000 but hired an attorney here in Los Angeles. They are trying to sue under the Lemon Law. They're not pursuing the case based on my situation (dealer blew engine) because the car is too old. But because I took my car into the dealer for repairs while it was still under warranty so many times, they are going with that. It's only been 3 weeks since attorneys sent letter to LR North America. So we're waiting to get a response. Or you can contact Howard Gutman in NJ who is an attorney handling many of these cases. Maybe he can do something for you.

    Good luck. :(
  • I would love to check the transmission fluid myself however I am unable to find the transmission dip stick. I am also unable to find the cap I would remove to put more transmission fluid in should I need it. Any advice?
  • awise003awise003 Posts: 3
    Hello - I recently noticed a fluttering noise coming from the engine compartment while at idle, but even more so when accelerating. The Land Rover dealership assessed the issue and diagnosed the problem being with the upper intake manifold being internally worn and that my vehicle needs an upper intake manifold plenum. The quote to fix the issue was $1900, which seems extremely high to me. Has anyone had any experience with this? Do you think a qualified mechanic could fix the problem for less? Thanks so much!
  • awise003awise003 Posts: 3
    Hi - I've recently experienced a rattling from my engine and the dealership advised me I need to replace my Upper Intake Manifold Plenum. Would you mind sharing how much that repair set you back? I'm curious as to what a repair like that costs.
  • Sorry to hear about your car problem - I actually had my mechanic (who I've known for 10 years) tell me to have that checked out 2 years ago. I never did, then a coolant problem began that lasted for a year because of no resolution. Then my engine blew. I called an atty who got LR North America to buy back my car. These cars are problematic. Whether you bought it new or used, if you took it into the dealer for repairs while it was still under warranty and there are issues that were repaired more than once, the car is considered a lemon.

    I can probably teach classes on Lemon Law at this point... :) Good luck with your car.
  • cwoolnercwoolner Posts: 16
    Tacoma Jim:

    I felt the same way you did until my warranty expired last August (at 50k miles) and not even 2k miles after that the rear differential had to be fixed. I've had it in the shop more times in the last 6 months than I ever had it in there for the 4.5 years I've had it now. I have a 2004 SE with just over 59K miles now and the service engine light has been on for 2 weeks. I need to take it in but I'm scared of what the "problem" will be this time. I'm just counting down the days to build up enough money for a down payment on another car to trade this is before the engine goes (as seems to be the case with our trusty Landy's). I wanted to keep this truck for a long time... but the maintenance costs are just way too expensive!

    I hope yours stays good and trusty. They are very nice trucks other wise!

  • moe71moe71 Posts: 11
    This is so frustrating reading all of this. I too have the coolant leak, now it is a major coolant leak. I was told by LR Bedford that it wasn't headgasket that it is most likely a hose. My ex-husband is a master Subaru mechanic and is currently trying to fix it. I need to fix it so I can trade the piece of crap in. I can't afford to take it to the dealership because it will drain me. I was told that there is now a fuel pump recall out for all of you who might be experiencing fueling issues.
    I owe more than what its worth and I can't imagine any dealership wanting to take it as a trade after reading these forums!
  • cwoolnercwoolner Posts: 16
    Well took the LR in to the shop today after having the service engine light on. I was driving into work and the temp guage spiked up and then went back down again. Just got the call that the coolant has mixed in with the oil... they can't specifically say it's the head gaskets yet because they have to tear into the engine to diagnose it... Then if it is, after 10 hours of labor and an estimated bill of $1937 it would be put back together. Worst case scenario: the engine sleeve is slipping... resulting in a new engine needed. The service guy also mentioned the heater core was leaking coolant. Any suggestions on that?? Is it related to the head gaskets?

    I mentioned to the technician that this is a common problem with the Freelanders. His response?? "Yes, we have had to repair several Freelanders for the same problem." I asked if LRNA was doing anything about it, recalling the vehicles and he said No.

    Is anyone going forward with a class action lawsuit? What kind of attorney should I try to seek out for professional guidance? It seems that what I've read on here the only time action gets taken is once the engine actually fails.

    Please advise if you can. Thank you.

  • My problem started with the coolant leak that lasted for 1 1/2 yrs that my mechanic nor dealership could resolve. When it began, my mechanic installed 2 thermostats and when the car continued with the leak, he told me to take it to the dealer because he couldn't figure it out. After taking it to the dealer 3 times with no resolution, they blew up the engine on the 3rd visit after I in fact drove the damn car on the lot! All in all, I finally got my resolution yesterday when I drove to my Lemon Law attorney's office to pick up the check from LR North America, who agreed to do a purchase buy-back and gave me $19,995, wrote a seperate check to pay off my loan which was $6,200, and wrote yet another check to my atty for their fees (which is the law).

    I encourage you to call my attorney - not sure where you're located but really helped me when no other atty I spoke to would. They have offices all over the country as well - check out their website at

    Consumer Legal Services, LLC
    (888) 435-1474 - Nick Nita (handled my case)

    I truly mean this when I say I wish you luck with your car. I know exactly how you feel. :)
  • cwoolnercwoolner Posts: 16

    Did the engine have to blow BEFORE you can claim it's a lemon? Did you pay to have anything fixed or what happened after they blew the engine for you? Was the fact they blew the engine the key to your success?
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