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Land Rover Freelander common problems (1997-2006)

Land Rover Freelander

Back in the 1990s, Land Rover was a bastion of the rugged farm set, with a bit of posh Range Rover throw in for more monied clients. Cool it was not. But cool was where the money was, so Land Rover needed to come up with a car that would appeal to the masses. The Land Rover Freelander was that car. Small, funky with a hint of toughness, and pretty cheap to buy and run, it was quite the landmark machine.

However, as everyone knows, Land Rover’s record for reliability is… well, let’s just say there’s room for improvement. However, the good news is that the Freelander Mk1 isn’t actually that bad, and this reputation makes it cheap to buy and exceptionally cheap to run if you do the work yourself. And that’s precisely where Haynes can help.

Any Land Rover Freelander is going to have glitches, but we can help you to isolate any problem, and we can show you how to sort it all out yourself. Just buy a Haynes Freelander manual, dust off the tools, read the procedure and away you go.

You’ll be saving hundreds of pounds on labour charges – labour charges that could otherwise have rendered your car uneconomical to run. So you’re actually extending the life of the car by sorting it yourself too. Save money and be green with Haynes.

Land Rover Freelander

What recalls has the Land Rover Freelander been subject to?

The Land Rover Freelander has been subject to a number of recalls over the years.

For starters, more than 21,000 cars were recalled because of the potential for stress crack in the plastic fuel tank. This needed to be replaced.

Then 9834 cars were recalled because the child lock in the left rear door could fail, allowing the door to be opened from the inside. Locks were replaced by dealers.

A number of cars left the factory with incorrectly sized rear subframe mount weld nuts, and the subframe mounting bolt was missing.

Suspension link welds caused another recall, because they could break.

A faulty deflector panel in the passenger airbag module forced another recall, as did a dodgy diagnostic connector socket. A front seat that might not latch properly after being tipped forward forced another trip back to dealerships.

Land Rover Freelander

What common problems does the Land Rover Freelander have?

It isn’t unknown for drivers of the Land Rover Freelander Mk1 to see their ABS/ESP warning light illuminating every time they touch the brake pedal, which would be quite concerning in an emergency stop.

Some owners have reported that their Freelander can suffer an issue that causes it to run roughly, and for the engine to surge when at idle.

However, some owners have had it worse, because their Freelanders have failed to start when they turn the key. The engine will turn over, but won’t fire.

And of course, the Land Rover Freelander’s EGR valve can be prone to becoming blocked, with expensive consequences.

Land Rover Freelander

Why is my Land Rover Freelander ABS/ESP light showing?

Seeing a warning light flashing up every time you touch the brake pedal is definitely going to be a worry. After all, it’s annoying enough when you’re just bring the car to a slow, controlled stop in traffic, but what about if you have to perform and emergency stop while swerving around an obstacle? That’s definitely something to be fixed sooner rather than later.

Your first task is to plug in a fault-code reader. If it comes up with the code C1222, then you can breathe easier – the fault isn’t too serious. It’s simply a brake pedal switch that has gone on the blink.

We’ve covered how to remove and replace the brake pedal switch in the Haynes Freelander manual, so just read the procedure then get into the driver’s footwell and replace the switch. Easy.

Land Rover Freelander

Is your Land Rover Freelander performing roughly?

The Land Rover Freelander is known to suffer an issue in which it runs roughly when being driven, and the idle speed can fluctuate when the car is sitting still.

No fault codes are displayed either, which means you can trace the fault to damaged ignition leads. It is quite common for these to chafe against the cylinder head bolts due to the way they are routed, and over time this can cause them to become damaged.

It’s easy enough to invest in a new set of leads, and the Haynes Freelander manual will show you how to replace them, but it’s also important that you reroute them once fitted, to avoid the possibility of the fault reoccurring in time.

Land Rover Freelander

Why won’t your Land Rover Freelander start?

If there’s one thing that’s pretty fundamental to every journey in your Land Rover, it’s that it needs to start. However, some owners have reported that at times this is not a given. The engine might turn over with gusto, but it won’t fire.

All the clues are that fuel isn’t getting from the tank to the controlled-explosion bits inside the engine.

The problem most commonly lies with the connections for the low-pressure fuel pump, which is accessed by tipping up the rear seat, and removing the inspection panel.

If the connections are okay, then the pump itself is at fault.

Your Haynes Freelander manual will demonstrate how to remove the faulty component, and how to replace it with a fully operational one. Just read the procedure and there should be no hitches along the way.

Land Rover Freelander

Does the Land Rover Freelander Mk1 have EGR valve problems?

Back in 2006, Land Rover issued a technical directive that the EGR valve on the 2.0 Td4 models should be cleaned out every 12,000 miles instead of every 48,000 miles.

Now, it’s fair to say that a great many owners display selective memory loss when it comes to this, because it represented, in effect, a four-fold increase in cost. However, the cost of not carrying out the work can be a great deal more, because if it becomes blocked, oil will be forced out of the dipstick hole, and if you don’t notice this in time, then the engine can run low on oil, leading to significant damage.

However, the removal and replacement of the EGR valve is fully covered in the Haynes Freelander manual, so spend a little time cleaning it up and your wallet will thank you in the end.

Land Rover Freelander

Won’t your Land Rover Freelander let you in?

Remote locking has been around for decades now, and it’s one of the more commonly used convenience features.

So, it’s going to come as a bit of a shock to find that your key and your car have had a tiff, and aren’t talking to each other. You can still get in by using the old-school, stick-the-key-in-the-lock method, but that’s hardly the point, is it.

First things first, change the battery in your Freelander’s key – this is a quick and easy fix if it works.

If, however, it doesn’t, there’s a procedure you need to follow.

Firstly, you need to disconnect the battery completely. After a minute, reconnect the battery.

Then you need to insert the key in the front passenger-side door lock and turn it anti-clockwise. Keep it turned for 20 seconds. Then turn the key all the way clockwise, and keep it there for at least a minute. After you’ve done this, use the key to turn on the ignition within a minute. The car and key should be back in sync.

Land Rover Freelander