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Land Rover Discovery and Discovery II



  • It's good advice to be careful when buying a service loaner, but the same advice applies to any vehicle with more than 0 miles on the odometer.


    Unless you are the first person to drive your Land Rover, how do you know how well or poorly it was treated?
  • If you bought the car "As is", I'm afraid you are pretty much stuck with it. To me, seeing "As is" on a car for sale is a huge red flag I stay away from. Not to say it is bad for sure but I think it's just too much of a risk. I suppose that's why dealers came up with certified pre-owned programs. At any rate, going back to the dealer with a mind that is already set at not accepting a repair as an option will just make a bad situation worse. You already know you are stuck with your purchase. If I were you I'd just try to be as nice to the dealer to get them to fix the door but get some kind of paper work saying that if it goes bad again you can take it back for further repairs for free. The alternative would be bumping heads with the dealer which might make them back out of fixing your door. You will end up with a whole lot of aggravation plus payments on a truck you are not happy with. Compare this to a fixed door that you can always take back for future repairs and enjoying your new purchase. Just a thought.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    No, that isn't a normal sound for a Rover. When it's cold out I get a little belt noise sometimes, but it's just a very mild squeak like there's a mouse under the hood. It's -26F outside right now and when idling Anuqa sounds like a healthy idling V8 ... like she's supposed to.


    Rarely, when I start her after sitting overnight I'll get some noise from the power steering pump. It's not a squeal, more of a mechanical whirring sound. It's not the Enormous Sucking Sound made by the fan and viscous coupler... it's a mechanical pumping/whirring. If I turn the wheel a bit right/left and rev it a couple times it quits. Those are the only sounds you should hear from the belt (and the whirring really shouldn't happen at all).


    With the engine off have a close look at your belt and the driven components. Get in close and LOOK at it. All pulleys should lie in the same "plane" and their axles parallel to each other. If they are, they'll run quiet.


    It may be that the bearing on the belt tensioner is wearing out. Mine just failed on the wifemobile and that was one spooky drive home with the seized pulley and smoking belt. It was a cinch to replace (hers is a Ford Windstar) and the tensioner was $48, a belt was $20 and the tool was $15. Piece of cake. Listen to the source of the squeal... does it come from one place? You can likely pinpoint the component making noise. It may be the alternator (doubt it) or power steering pump (doubt it) or tensioner. Just give a long close listen (do not get your hair caught in the belt!!!) and it will become clear.


    If the belt is bad it will have cracks in the ribs along its inside face. Better replace it. It's a cinch to do, you'll need one of those long serpentine belt tools. I once bet my mechanic he couldn't replace the belt in 5 minutes, and I lost.


    A word of warning, my Series I Disco uses automatic transmission fluid in the power steering system. Make sure you're topping yours off with the right stuff! And don't sweat the leak... keep the hose clamps under the reservoir tight and remember "if it's not leaking, it's empty".


    Best regards, -Bob
  • peeetepeeete Posts: 136
    I brought my Disco in for its first waranty service, dead radio/nav, misaligned body parts etc.


    I was given a new LR3 with 300 miles on it. woo-hoo I thought. After driving it on the highway, city streets, and over some hard packed snow (sorta moonscape), I came away feeling good that I had the Disco and NOT an LR3.


    The good: lots of power (too much really) I got rid of my sports car for that reason. THe Disco has plenty for around town.


    Great driving position & comfy seats. This is the Disco's biggest shortcoming, so nuff said.


    The Bad: Its butt ugly, and that was the comment I got from people.


    Interior has way too many buttons, and the plastics and "touch" is far inferior as compared to the Disco.


    Doors are tinny when closed.


    Body feels much less solid then the Disco. Mine always feels like a rock. The LR3 had a lot of flex and shaking.


    When the service advisor called me to tell me to keep it over night, he asked how I liked it. I told him the follwoing:


    Power: Great

    Interior: cheap. Advisors response: we get complaints constantly from people about it.


    Body: shake and not solid feeling. Advisors response: we get the same complaints, much less solid due to the construciton and change in axels.


    He also told me that the demand for Discos is INCREASING now that they are all gone. He felt that they will be in high demand for years. THe serious off-roaders are spurning the LR3, at least for now.


    That made me feel good:)
  • gppgpp Posts: 13
    I have similar feelings about the LR3 and suspect the demand for used discos is going to be much higher than it has been now that you can't consider buying one "in a few years". In fact, this was a motivation in my 04 purchase as well.


    Given a better interior finish, the LR3 could seriously hurt Range Rover sales though.


  • I have a '01 Disco Se7 with about 42k trouble free miles. During the last 3k miles or so i have noticed that when i back out of my driveway straight and i turn to the right and proceed to go forward i hear and feel a strange sound. The sound is coming from the front end and it is like whining/vibration/rubbing/moaning sound and i actually feel it through my steering wheel. When i proceed 500 ft and stop the car and try it again it will not always do it. And it only happens turning to the right...never to the left. If i let it sit for about 10 or more minutes it will usually repeat. It seems to do it less when the truck is warm. I took it in to my so far excellent dealer and they could not reproduce it.


    My question is whether anyone has any experience with such a thing or does anyone have an idea what it could be.


  • I have a '01 Disco SE7 as well with about 35K trouble free miles as well. Mine has something similar. I experience the same symptoms you described but typically only when I make a rolling right turn without hitting the brakes (of course when I do this I am not going fast and am sure I'm doing it safely). I have taken it to dealer and they weren't able to reproduce it too. It seems that on mine it only happens when I don't hit the brakes before turning right. Other than that I don't get the symptoms at all. The only problem is it is not consistent. Is this something I have to worry about?
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    How bizarre. Okay I'm not very up to speed with the Series II Disco but if I remember right it does not have swivel balls like the Series I, instead it uses yokes and universal (Hookes) joints to drive the wheels at the outboard ends. The universal joint is the first place I'd look, along with its mount in the yoke. If there is play in the bearings/cups then one of the 4 arms could conceivably get eccentric (off-axis) in a turn, and remain that way when put under load. This eccentricity would relax and the pieces would fall on-axis again more often if it was warm out (thinner lubes) and if you stop and take the strain off the joint it may let it fall back into place. To check it you'll have to jack and brace the truck, remove the wheel, and get in there and really work the joint with your hands and look for *ANY* play in it.


    Of course if the Series II doesn't use universal joints in the front axle hubs then I'm barking up the wrong tree. Mine uses swivel ball housings with grease and CV joints inside.


    Another thing to check: if it's only to the right, on the indside of a turn, then the pinions in the front differential are letting the axles turn at different rates. Assuming you do not have a limited slip diff installed you may have something screwy with the diff. A bad pinion shaft?


    Also if you have traction control the ECU may be having a brain cramp thinking the dissimilar rotation rates between the front tires means it's spinning its tires, so it has to apply the brakes to the right wheel. I believe your SII is like my SI with a 4 channel independent ABS / TC system... it is possible to actuate one wheel by itself.


    Another vague consideration, how does the tire tread look? If it's cupped and nasty then rotate the tires front to back and see if it helps. Watch your pressures.


    Good luck! I hope this helps.
  • Thanks for your insight Nanuq. Unfortunately, I am one of those mechanically challenged folks which means the things you described was like hearing a foreign language to me. It is not all wasted though because I will take your suggestions the next time I go to the dealer so they can do what you described. By the way, all four of my tires are starting to show signs of being cupped. Hard to believe but when I asked the dealer what can be done to prevent it from getting worse the response I got was "Range Rovers does the same thing". I took that as "learn to live with it". By the way, I did ask them to rotate the tires the last time I had service done. They said they don't recommend rotating tires. I wonder why.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Now THAT is bizarre! To even out the wear you should always rotate them. On your Disco swap them front-to-back (on the same side). This will delay the cupping. Rover specifies radically different pressures for the front vs. rear tires so double check your pressures when you're done.


    For what it's worth I went with Nokian Hakka LT10s on my Disco and I love them for all but the deepest nastiest gnarliest conditions. Their max pressure is 85psi and I run them at 55psi front and back. No cupping after three years.


    We're getting DUMPED on with snow today! YAHOO!!
  • peeetepeeete Posts: 136
    You might want to take a look at Tire Racks' user comments for the tire you have. The goodyear tires that came with my 04 Disco are generally panned, and cupping was a major complaint. I have no idea if this is due to the vehicle or the tire, but I recall that people commented that changing the tires to a different brand improved the situation.


    Mine are fine but the vehicle is still too new.
  • Nanuq, thanks once again. The tire rotation I have done myself but I stuck with the recommended tire pressure based on the manual. I just thought since I had the dealer perform service might as well have them rotate the tires as well. The thing that stood out in my mind though is how the service rep made it sound like the cupping is a common problem. Oh well.


    Peeete, when one of my tires got an unrepairable puncture right at the corners where the sidewall and the tread meet I used my spare to replace it. After that I went shopping to replace my spare. I did go to Tire Rack and saw the comments for the GoodYears. I just went ahead and bought another to replace my spare since I heard it's not a good idea to have different tires. I'm just waiting for the time to replace all four. When I do I'll do some homework to find better tires. I'm just disappointed that LR chose the GoodYears as stock tires. It doesn't appear to be the cost since the price is very comparable to others. Perhaps they just got a better deal from GoodYear.

    By the way, should I worry about the tires cupping? I know that it causes a little bumpiness on the ride and at certain speeds it causes some vibration on the steering wheel but then goes away. Does tire cupping have other bad side effects other than what I already am experiencing? Is it something that can do some damage to my Disco?
  • thanks Nanuq.


    I have printed a copy of what you wrote and am scheduled an appointment for service.


    I will post what the outcome is.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    No, the cupped tires can't do any damage to your truck. It's just a nuisance. When it gets really bad you'll start to hear a "wow-wow-wow-wow" sound as someone drives your truck past at 30mph or more. The tires' cupping begins to produce a non-circular overall shape and that sets up a funny sound from the tires.


    It seems like the Goodyears are REALLY prone to cupping. I bought Nokian Hakka LT10s and they too have a "blocked" shape to the tread but I've got no cupping.
  • That gives me some peace of mind. I've always wondered if cupping had a bad effect on the car. I tried searching the internet unsuccessfully. I will definitely switch tires when the time comes to replace the original. Thanks again, Nanuq.
  • discomandiscoman Posts: 110


    I recently had to get 4 new tires for my 96. I ended up getting 4 Toyo Open Country A/T's They are ranked up there by Consumer Reports, and I have had a much better road feel than before. They are supposed to be pretty good on the snow too. Don't know if they can compare to Nanuq's Nokian's, but, then again, I don't live in the Tundra like he does. The Toyo's are much better than the ones I had before in the rain too. It does do that a lot in Seattle.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Here are some suggestions for replacement tires (whoops "tyres") for road to offroad use:

  • Thanks for the tips. I jot them down so I can refer back to them when the time comes to replace my tires (whooops "tyres"). Made the same mistake. :-)
  • Hi All,

    I am planning to buy 2001 Land Rover Discovery II SE7 with 71000 miles for about $15k with extended warranty. I have read various great and bad comments about this SUV and am confused.

    I really like this car offer because of the price, power, and features but am not sure because I dont go off-road and I need a family car.

    Also, I dont know how to check if I am getting a good deal. I cheked for prices but I cant find anything on web that will help me evaluate/inspect the car.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


    PS: This is my first post here.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    That sounds like a good vehicle. At 71k miles it's been used enough to demonstrate it doesn't have any chronic "issues". The extended warranty is good, but being a cheapskate I'd try to knock the price down a little. I think there are price charts here at Edmunds you can look up, or try

    If you want to really get a close look at it, schedule a service at a Rover dealership. Have them go over it with a fine tooth comb and also provide you a vehicle history (available by VIN). Be prepared to spend a couple hundred bucks. You might be able to negotiate that amount off the sales price should you decide to buy?

    It will be a great family car but it will SUCK gas driving it on errands. My wife loves my Disco and prefers it over anything else she's ever driven: Mercedes, Passats, Volvos, you name it.

    I've used mine to haul some horrendous loads and it has performed flawlessly. How about 36 cartons of 18" slate flooring in one trip? No sweat. That was well over a ton of stone. 45 cartons of wood flooring in one trip, again no sweat. I've used mine extensively for offroading and hauling my Scout troop around since 1997 and it has never failed (once I got it past some initial "issues").

    You'll love and hate this truck... it's the nature of the beast. Good luck!

  • Just a note of thanks for the information and occational laugh. I just bought my first Disco. 2001 Series II SD with 69k miles. This group was a great resource on what happens in the real Rover world.


  • Hi Bob,

    Thanks a lot for the information. Although I am not buying this beast for off-road, but I am sure it will be fun for long drives.

    I really appreciate your suggestions and will try to follow each of them.

  • I am trying to assess the cost/value difference buying a Ford Explorer and the Discovery II. I have leased 3 Explorers and know what I buying, but Land Rovers are new to me and it's hard trying to figure out if it will be more expensive to maintain than I want. The one I'm looking at is listed at $13950 w/ 66400miles. It also has the performance package w/ 18inch tires. the dealer is offering a 2yr/30000 for $450 or a 3yr/45000 for $550. Help, the info in Discovery's is very conflicting.
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    I don't know if my opinion is valuable to you, because I buy vehicles with the expectation of driving them "forever".

    Regardless, here's my take on it: you can lease another Explorer and when the lease is up you still won't own a vehicle. For about the same money you can buy a Land Rover. I'm guessing it's about the same money or it wouldn't be a hard choice, correct?

    A Rover is designed to be durable. It will still be in service long after the Explorer has outlived its design parameters (some would call it planned obsolescence). For $14,000 you can own a vehicle that will last longer than you want it to. What does this mean? You won't be leasing any more Explorers. When the $14,000 is paid off you have no more payments. The savings then is the money you DON'T have to spend to keep a vehicle in your garage.

    If the Disco is over 60k miles then it likely doesn't have any chronic issues. The dealership can give you its history, retrievable by VIN. That will reveal any problems that just won't go away.

    If you do buy the truck get the longest warranty you can. 3yr/45000 for $550 is a BARGAIN. That will take you over 100,000 miles which is when things begin to wear out, like alternators and power steering pumps. Each of those will cost what that entire warranty does. An ABS pump will be twice that.

    Rovers are a love/hate thing. You are embarking on an adventure. Over the course of 5 years you will be money ahead with the Disco. Those 3 reasons can argue for the Rover... if they fit with what you expect from a vehicle.

    From personal experience my Disco has been BY FAR the most reliable, trouble-free vehicle I've ever owned. And I use it hard, regularly. It lives a hard life here in Alaska and it thrives. I personally can't imagine NOT owning a Rover the rest of my life. I expect this one to last me another 10 years easily. Can I say as much of any other vehicle I've owned? Not hardly.

    Good luck in your decision, -Bob
  • Thanks Bob,
    but I plan of buying one or the other. I did want a change from the Explorer. However, the person who is selling the Disco put me in touch with a service person who went I talked to him doesn't recommend them. He says people spend an avg of $1000-3000 on repairs a year. He mentioned problems with radiator leaks, electrical failures/malfunctions, and engine problems. This was not encouraging. I did have my heart set on getting one but I don't want a money pit. After reading your response I will ask the dealer what the warranty covers and what it doesn't. I've been actively looking for a SUV for a month now and thought I was done.

    If you have any other insights let me know.
  • OK, I've had my new (2001) Disco for about 6 hours and I've noticed a chattering (grinding) in the left front tire area when the ABS or Traction Control are on. I was on snow and ice and noticed it both when I brake hard (ABS) and when the tires began to slip (Traction control).

    Other than the noise and added vibration things seem to be operating normaly. I got a 30day 1000 mile warranty and don't want to wait if this is somthing serious.

    Any and all. I appreciate you're input!!!!

  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Welcome to the world of Rover ABS!

    It's perfectly normal. Look beneath the bonnet (I love saying that) and you'll see the ABS module bolted to the firewall right in front of where you're sitting. It's a VERY sophisticated 4-channel system and when you slide (or spin) a wheel it will react by bleeding off brake pressure to the wheel in question. On my Disco it sounds like a ball in a tube sitting on top of a spring and the ball bounces up and down very quickly letting brake pressure bleed past.

    The traction control system uses the ABS system to detect differential wheel rotation rates (slip vs. spin) and then to apply braking power to the one spinning wheel, thus sending power across the axle/differential to the nonspinning wheel. Likewise when it detects a sliding wheel it reduces braking pressure to THAT ONE WHEEL until the wheel begins to roll once more.

    It's a great system... what you're hearing is normal. Try it on bare pavement and it won't happen I betcha.

    Enjoy your 6-hour old truck!! -Bob
  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Another bit of advice:

    You've purchased a used vehicle, correct? My advice is to change EVERY fluid on the truck pronto. I mean everything. You'll want to do:

    * Differentials
    * Swivel housings (I doubt you have these)
    * Transfer case
    * Auto trans
    * Engine oil
    * Power steering fluid (note on my Disco this is ATF)
    * Brake fluid

    They say "oil is cheaper than metal" and they're right. It can be a pain but if you do this religiously your truck can last nearly forever.

    Hint: to change the power steering fluid use a turkey baster and run the steering back and forth stop-to-stop while you suck it out of the reservoir. It takes awhile. Count on using up a liter or so of ATF.

    Best regards, -Bob
  • mnrovermnrover Posts: 52
    I think I have seen a posting about this before - after highway speeds and after she sits for about a half hour - she has a hard time starting back up. Called the dealer and they thought it might be the fuel pump. Just had the pump replaced a year and half ago. Any sensors that anyone can think of that may be going bad? Thanks in advance.

  • nanuqnanuq Posts: 765
    Look back thru the posts for comments about the fuel rail in the Vee of the engine. That's where my problems have been.

    Good luck!
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