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Land Rover Discovery common problems (2005-2017)

Land Rover Discovery

The first two generations of Land Rover Discovery were cars aimed at people who wanted rugged ability but who didn’t want or need a Range Rover. But as it turned out, a lot of people wanted rugged ability combined with luxury approaching that of a Range Rover. Hence the third-generation Discovery, which was a high-tech go-anywhere machine that had the posh looks and kit to fit in at the local polo match. No matter that most never saw the countryside, let alone traversed it.

However, the Discovery Mk3 was a car not without glitches, and reliability concerns became commonplace, with the engine and transmission frequent sources of concern. Still, the ‘Disco’ has now reached the stage where it is well within the realm of the home mechanic, and spare parts are plentiful and not that expensive.

And the best way to keep down your costs is to fix the Discovery yourself. So, simply invest in the Haynes Discovery manual and we’ll help you through every repair.

Land Rover Discovery

What recalls has the Land Rover Discovery been subject to?

The Land Rover Discovery is not unfamiliar with the inside of the brand’s dealerships, because it’s been recalled a few times.

To kick off, a faulty parking brake interlock system forced a recall, then it was found that fuel could leak from the fuel pump front bearing, with the potential for fire. After that, 77,262 cars were recalled because oil could get into the brake vacuum pump, causing a reduction in braking ability.

Then in 2012 833 cars were recalled because of faulty bonding for the panoramic glass roof, which could become detached.

A faulty crank position sensor could cause the engine to suddenly cut out, or not to start in the first place, so 11,290 cars were recalled to have it replaced.

A software update for the ABS system caused one recall, then 926 cars were recalled because the wheelnuts were not to the correct specification.

Another software was required to meet emissions regulations, and a faulty driver’s airbag assembly forced another recall.

Land Rover Discovery

What common problems does the Land Rover Discovery have?

A number of owners have reported that there’s an untoward noise from underneath their Discovery Mk3 when driving along. A faulty propshaft centre bearing is the cause.

The drivetrain is the source of another common fault. The alert ‘Transmission fault’ appears on the instrument display, and the air suspension often lowers to access height.

It’s going to be a bit of a worry if you’re driving along and suddenly the vehicle flashes up a message to say that your bonnet is open, but that’s what the Discovery can do.

And while the Disco can deal with just about any kind of puddle, you don’t want it to start any puddles of its own. Unfortunately, a leaky crankshaft oil seal means that all-too-expensive oil can end up on the road instead of doing the job it’s meant to. Annoying.

And finally, the Land Rover Discovery is prone to the odd squeak from the steering. The issue is a faulty oil seal in the steering rack.

Land Rover Discovery

What’s that noise from under the Land Rover Discovery?

Driving along in your (usually refined) Land Rover Discovery, only to hear an untoward whirring or grinding noise from underneath, is going to cast a dark cloud over your day.

The issue is a faulty propeller shaft centre bearing, and the solution is to replace the rear propeller shaft (part number: LR037027), which includes the centre bearing.

The good news is that we’re way ahead of you, and we’ve covered the procedure in depth in the Haynes Discovery manual. So, all you need to do is purchase the replacement parts, then follow the steps one by one.

If you do that, you’ll be back on the road, with no untoward noises, before very long.

Land Rover Discovery

Why is your Land Rover Discovery showing a transmission fault?

On occasion, the Discovery can suddenly flash up a ‘transmission fault’ message, and at the same time the suspension sometimes lowers itself to access height.

First thing to do it plug in a fault-code reader. If this shows the codes P186D, P080D or P0806, then the issue is a faulty rear differential electric motor.

However, while this sounds like a major task, it isn’t actually that difficult to remedy. All you need to do is raise the car and set it on axle stands, then disconnect the battery, unbolt the motor from the rear differential, and disconnect the wiring plug. Then fit a new motor in the reverse order.

The full procedure is contained in your Haynes, Discovery manual, so fear not!

If you want to change the front brake pads on your Land Rover Discovery, check out our FREE video below.

Is your Land Rover Discovery bonnet open?

At standstill, a ‘bonnet open’ message is A Good Thing, because you can shut it before driving off. If it happens when you’re at speed, you’ll want to slow down very quickly, for fear of the bonnet opening and slamming against the windscreen.

And this situation has faced Discovery 4 owners on a number of occasions.

Unfortunately, the problem is that water has got into the bonnet lock, which has caused the lock to flash up the warning message. The solution is to replace the bonnet lock with a new one (part number: LR125366), and the procedure is one that shouldn’t take very long at all.

Just look up the bodywork and fittings chapter of your Haynes Discovery manual, and you’ll be away.

Land Rover Discovery

Does the Land Rover Discovery have oil-leak problems?

Walking up to your Land Rover Discovery and seeing a puddle of costly looking liquid on the ground beneath it is not the stuff that dreams are made of.

Unfortunately, the problem is a faulty oil pump, so you’ll need to replace the pump and the oil seal (part numbers – oil pump: LR041095, oil seal: 1102415). But worry not, because this entire procedure is covered in depth in the Haynes Discovery manual. It’s a long job, but just set aside the time, get the bits and follow our lead. You’ll soon be back on the road, and you’ll have saved hundreds of pounds (and possibly more) in labour costs.

Land Rover Discovery
Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery has squeaky steering. Why?

A number of owners have reported that their Land Rover Discovery’s steering system has developed a squeak. This is noticeable from both the outside and interior of the vehicle, so is both annoying and embarrassing.

The issue is that the oil seal for the input shaft gearwheel has failed, and lubrication is somewhat lacking.

First thing you’ll need to do is to remove the steering rack from the vehicle, which is covered fully in the Suspension and Steering chapter of your Haynes Discovery manual.

Once it’s out, you need to remove the sealing cap, remove the seal, clean out the area, add lubrication the refit the seal, before refitting the steering rack to the vehicle. Again, refitting the rack is fully covered in the Haynes Discovery manual.

Land Rover Discovery