Range Rover L322 / Mark III  Problems and Fixes


RRIII
Introduction
Manuals, Instruments and Tools
ABS Sensor Dislodgment
Air Suspension
Armrest Crumpled
Battery Drained/Dead
Brake Switch
Climate Control Problems
Cooling System: Low Coolant Light on
Condensation in Tail Lights
Diesel Turbo-Intercooler Hose
Diesel Turbo Noises
Differential Failure
Door Seals Leaking
Drivetrain Vibration
Electrical Gremlins
Headlight Alignment
Idle Speed Too Fast
Mirror (Exterior) Problems
Navigation System Quirks
Oil Filter Leaks and Broken Mounts
Radiator Leak / Overflow Tank Leak
Radio Resets to "No Station"
Rattle in Front Suspension Off Road
Rattle from Rear on Rough Roads
Rattle Under Vehicle
Satellite Radio Malfunction (2006 models)
Seat Bottom Squeak
Sound System Problems
Squeaking Noise While Accelerating
Starting Problems
Steering Column Tilt/Telescoping Problems
Steering Vibration
        At Highway Speed
        At Standstill
Steering Wheel Problems
Stereo System Issues
Suspension (Air) Problems
Suspension Clunking
Tailgate Latch Problem
Tire Problems: Noise, Uneven Wear
Towing Peculiarities
Transmission Shifting Problems
Turbocharger Whine (TD6)
Turbocharger Whooshing Noise (TD6)
Vibration Problems
Whining Noise
Winch Availability??
Window Control Trim Peeling
Windshield & Front Vent Vibration/Buzzing Noise
Windshield Wiper Bangs on "A" Pillar
Extended Warranties
Parts Sources
Other Information Sources
 
 

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Introduction

Like its predecessors, the new Range Rover has its share of mechanical and electrical peculiarities. In spite of the periodic news from Land Rover that their famous quality control problems are solved, they still appear to lag behind other manufacturers in this field. Here we attempt to address some of the commonly encountered problems, based on the personal experiences of owners as well as information gleaned from professional Land Rover mechanics and other sources. It is hoped that passing on these experiences may make it easier for future enthusiasts to deal with them without going through the RRIII ownership learning curve.

Until about June 2005, most North American RRIII's were under factory warranty, so few details emerged on do-it-yourself solutions and repair operations. Meanwhile, this page has tried to help with issues that owners have identified but which Land Rover has not yet officially acknowledged as problems needing widespread attention. Also, information you as an owner supply here will help other owners identify the sources of the various teething problems and alert their dealers to the needed repairs. Later, after warranties have expired on the new models, and owners gain experience with performing their own repairs, more complex repair, overhaul and upgrade operations will be covered in the Repair and Upgrade Operations How-To section of this site.

 

Manuals, Instruments and Tools

To my knowledge manuals for the latest model Rovers are no longer available in paper form, unfortunately. They have to be ordered on CD. On the good side, the new documentation is more comprehensive than the old paper manuals, and the expense is well worth while. 

Computer Code Access/Testbook Equivalents: To access the fault codes and other information for such systems as the air suspension, cruise control, transmission, ABS/traction control, and other non-engine systems the (expensive) dealer TestBook/T4 is now available to non-dealer buyers as a standard Land Rover part. Cheaper substitutes in the $2,000-10,000 ballpark are the Autologic Diagnosis System and the Rovacom system, both from the UK. In the US, Atlantic British sells the Autologic system -- see this page on their website. There is now an economy version of the Rovacom system (about $2,000) that uses a standard notebook computer. For more info, see our Range Rover Scan Tool page.

 

OBD-II Code Scanner: These are now available for under $200 and plug into the 16 pin connector under the passenger side dash. Although it will not tell you everything the dealer's "Testbook" does, it can give you a lot of information about the  engine and transmission fault codes specified by the OBD-II standard -- for example it will tell you why that pesky "Check Engine" light has come on. The Lowest Price I have seen for a full function hand-held OBD-II scanner is $114.99 for the Equus 3100 at Partsamerica.com. It works on all US and foreign vehicles. For more information on OBD-II scanners, see the Range Rover Scan Tool page.

Regarding tools, the new Range Rover should be modern enough to use entirely metric bolts so carrying both metric and SAE wrenches should not be necessary. However, since the whole vehicle is dominated by electrics, a multimeter is essential to trying to do your own diagnostics.

ABS Sensor Dislodgement

I heard a scary story from Peter Vorwerk about a friend of his who owns a RR Mk III. He was on a trip in Tunisia and suddenly couldn't get more than 30 km/h. He had an error message telling him something about slippery ground conditions. The local garage could not help at all, due to the computerized nature of the vehicle, so he had to limp the next 500 km with a maximum speed of 30 km/h. Because the throttle is also electronic, he couldn't go any faster.

When he eventually made it to a dealer, they found out that an ABS sensor on one wheel got loosened by the rattling of the desert trails. The system diagnosed this as slippery condition (ice !) and disabled the car (protected the driver from himself) going more than this famous 30 km/h.

Stories like these make us wonder if Land Rover has really thought through the predicaments that real off-road users encounter. The pervasive computerization of the vehicles has led to a "mother hen" approach which definitely works against us when something goes wrong out in the field.  Even on the 4.0/4.6 models, when an ABS sensor gets dislodged, as it does periodically, it does not actually disable the vehicle in this draconian manner.


Air Suspension

For more details see the Mk III Range Rover Air Suspension Pages

The Mk III air suspension is a further developed version of that pioneered on late model Classics and the entire model run of the 4.0/4.6. The system seems to be somewhat improved in reliability, and I have heard fewer reports of problems than with the earlier model. However there are still plenty to go around! For quick diagnosis and repair, see the page on Mk III RR Air Suspension: Diagnosing and Fixing the Most Common Problems.

Banging and Clonking Noises Off Road:
The RR III suspension makes very loud banging and clonking noises when traversing rough terrain at anything faster than a crawl. These noises, although highly irritating, seem to be "normal" and appear to be caused by the suspension bottoming (or topping) out when coming off bumps or dropping into depressions.  The 4.0/4.6 also did this to a lesser extent. The problem seems to be related to overly stiff spring and shock settings combined with inadequate bump stop and extension stop compliance. This "feature", which the Classic Range Rover certainly never had, was finally eliminated in the Discovery 3/LR3 suspension design which gave a much smoother and quieter ride over rough terrain akin to the original Range Rover ideal as expressed in the Classic.

Sinking to  the Bump Stops:
The most annoying feature of all Range Rover air suspensions is the tendency for the ECU to declare a fault and lower the vehicle to the bump stops at the slightest provocation -- and the fact that to recover from this condition (even after you have replaced a leaking spring or whatever else caused the problem) requires a trip to the dealer. The nearest dealer may be a very long way away if you are using your vehicle off pavement as intended. A vehicle intended to be driven far from civilization should be designed to make it easy for owners to overcome malfunctions in the field due to minor faults. Indeed, the new design is a significant improvement in this important respect; if you manage to diagnose and repair the problem in the field, the suspension will return to normal operation, unlike the previous model which still had to be taken to a dealer to reset the computer. Also, its failure mode is more often the "Air Suspension Inactive" message accompanied by the system being frozen at normal height, which is nowhere near as bad as on the bump stops.

Unfortunately in spite of these improvements I have heard a fair share of horror stories. One owner in North Africa had a several hundred mile drive to the nearest dealer on the bump stops.  Soren Svenningsen reported that at 21,000 miles, his EAS completely failed and went into bump stop mode twice. First time at midnight in a  snowstorm, all lights (ABS, EAS etc.) and warning messages came on, the car slowed to a crawl and settled on the bumper stops. Flat-bedded to the dealer, the service computer showed several faults and the air suspension ECU was replaced. 3 days later, the system failed again exactly as the first time. With the R.R. is again back in the shop, the tech's analyzed all sensors (ABS etc.) including  the cut-out rollover switch, which can cut all systems out if malfunctioning. Compressor, pressure etc. were totally normal, no leaks. The problem turned out to be the brake master cylinder malfunctioning and sending signals to the computer telling all the ABS, EAS systems etc to shut down. (See "Faulty Brake Switch" below).

Freezing at Normal Height (with "Suspension Inactive" Message)
I have had a number of owners reporting faults causing the suspension to freeze at one height. Richard Conway reports "In the last month I have had 3 occurrences of  the "Air Suspension Inactive" warnings. Each time it needed resetting from the dealer. On each occasion it stayed in normal height mode but wouldn't let me lower or raise the vehicle. I noticed each time that warning alert happened was when it was a freezing cold morning. The dealer said that on each occasion no specific fault information has been found in the ECU and that the suspension is okay". John Zawada had the same problem with his 2005 model, and the dealer tried to fix it by updating the software with an upgrade ("Disk 19"). One owner wrote in to say this problem was initially cured by replacing the compressor, but a year later recurred and was finally resolved by the dealer replacing the pressure switch, a recall item. The causes of these problems have since been recognized by Land Rover, as follows:
1. The pressure switch (ANR3902) is subject to intermittent sticking, producing a false Testbook diagnosis of "inlet solenoid valve sticking".
2. Compressor overheat signals can be produced by the early air suspension ECU software (up to VIN number 4A155162), storing code 41 "Compressor Temperature Rises when Static". The software can be updated using TestBook to allow higher operating temperatures. If this does not fix the problem, the problem may lie elsewhere such as a bad compressor or temperature sensor.
 

Freezing in High Profile
Freezing in high profile is another favorite trick of the new model's suspension. One owner's suspension had a fault which kept it stuck in high profile from the day he received the car -- it took the dealer a month to figure out the cure.  Two other owners of 2004 models had the "Air Suspension Inactive" message associated with the vehicle freezing at or deciding to pump itself up to high profile without being told.  If you get this message be careful on getting out of the vehicle in case you are at a higher height than expected!
One owner reports "When we parked, she (the elderly passenger) went to get out of the car, and FELL, yes, FELL out of the Rover as it was jacked up about 6 inches".  One owner reported the vehicle becoming very unsteady in turning or manoevering; this could indicate riding at high profile or possibly even that the cross linking mechanism on the air suspension is stuck open. She also reported it becoming lopsided.

Faulty Brake Switch
One owner had a "no dsc no air suspension" computer dash display on her first day of ownership; the problem turned out to be a faulty brake switch. This is probably the same as the "Sinking to the bumpstops" problem noted above.

Faulty Compressor Overheat Sensor:
Joe Gormley reports Faulty sensor readings on the suspension compressor which show overheating. This disables the off road, motorway and low settings on the suspension but doesn’t affect normal driving much. This is the same problem as outlined above under "Freezing at normal height".

Sticking Pressure Relief Valve
The pressure relief valve will often stick open in temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius, preventing the system from reaching normal ride height. Normal operation resumes when the vehicle warms up and thaws the valve. Interestingly, Land Rover's solution for this is not to get a better relief valve design, but to modify the ECU software to work around the problem.

Noise (Clunk) from Front Suspension:
Jimmy Fang reports "I get an interesting sound coming from the front end suspension when making turns at low speeds.  Sometimes it take hitting a bump to trigger the noise but not always.  It’s happens mostly when slowing down to pull into a parking lot for instance.  It’s been there since I’ve owned the vehicle but the dealership has never been able to fix it.  They’ve heard it.  They thought it was something to do with the power steering but turns out my truck is not in the VIN range for that problem so now they’re at a loss again.  It has not affected the performance of the truck but after the differential problem, I’m just waiting for something terrible to happen.  Also, oddly, the sound happens much more in wet weather than dry."

After about 40,000 miles and a lot of tightening of bolts, the dealer noticed some things weren’t wearing properly. So they replaced the following: Lower Control Arm, Lower Strut and Lower Ball Joint. These replacements apparently fixed the problem.

Anir and Nathalie Dhir report (September 2004) "Like Jimmy Fang, we also have the intermittent clunking noise from the front suspension. The dealership has fixed this on several occasions by tightening up the sway bar bolts, but it always comes back.  We do use the car off-road about every 2-3 weeks (mild use)."

See also the section on "Rattle from Front Suspension Off Road" below.

Front/Rear Imbalance
Earl Thiel reports: "My '03 Range Rover from the beginning (I now have 43k mi) has had a problem with the EAS in that it will intermittently raise the front of the car and not the rear.  No idea why.  Could be parked-I get in and start and it will pop up-leaving the rear down so the car appears to "squat".  At the dealership now for the fourth time to try to get them to fix this problem.  Their latest idea is to replace all 4 height sensors.  Upon measuring, the front end has over 2 inches greater clearance than the rear when this phenomenon occurs." This problem can be caused by excessive pressure in the system leading to premature failure of the rear air bags. A service campaign was undertaken (April 2003) to address this by installing a pressure relief valve (MAV500010K) between the compressor and the air tank on vehicles 3A101029 to 3A106310. However, this valve in turn could cause its own problems -- see above.

Rear Air Bellows Leaks
Cold weather can cause leaks in early build rear air bellows, causing the vehicle to settle to the bump stops when left at rest. This may also be one cause of the front/rear imbalances noted above. Land Rover initiated a service campaign (January 2004) to rectify the affected vehicles (VIN
3A101029 to 4A156147) by replacing the rear air springs with the later design and also update the ECU software to get around the sticking pressure relief valve problem mentioned above.

"Suspension Inactive" Message
This message is produced in conjunction with several of the faults above.

(For more details see the Mk III Range Rover Air Suspension Pages)


Armrest Crumpled
It is fairly common for the driver's side door armrest to become crumpled after a year or so of use; this happened on my 2004 model. It was replaced by the dealer under warranty. For more information on this see the L322 Interior Trim Problems & Solutions page.

Battery Drained/Dead
Drain due to RF Interference
I have had two problem reports that are reminiscent of those on the P38 when the battery seems to run down for no apparent reason, particularly in parking garages where remote key transmissions from other vehicles may occur.  Jimmy Fang reports: "I left the truck in an airport parking garage for 2 weeks in very cold (below freezing for some days) weather and came back to find the battery drained.  In checking with the dealer, I was told the electronics are so extensive on the car that it continually drains battery and that in a parking garage, each time someone of any car make hits a remote key, the truck “wakes up” and drains more battery.  They just seemed resigned to this being a problem with the vehicle citing previous models had similar issues.  Major problem with this one being it does not like to be jumped and needs to be towed simply for the dealership to recharge the battery.  This happened with about 5000 miles on the truck."  Chris Gianniny relates a similar experience:
" I left my '04 in my garage for 2 week trip to the islands and returned to a dead battery.  The dealership said if I had locked the car with the remote it would have gone to sleep and not drained the battery. However your scenario of other remotes waking up the electronics is news to me. They have an engineering fix requiring 2 relays to have to be spliced and added into to the main wiring harness to disable the electronics form waking up and draining the battery.  This is an embarrassing problem especially in a parking lot situation as you have had happen.  I am now concerned about other remotes possibly waking my unit up....oh well sometimes the cure is worse than the problem". Another variant of the battery drain problem was reported by Mark Smith: "Just went flat for no apparent reason after being in garage for 2 days.  When to dealer first time, but they found no problems, they just recharge the battery.  When it happen a second time, they noticed a wire in the battery system had come lose, causing battery to drain itself.  They tightened and duct taped it up very well and since then, about 6 months of perfect battery!"

 

Drain Due to HEVAC System
Another possible cause of mysterious battery drain on the new model is the HVAC system -- there is an official 2003 technical service bulletin on "Range Rover HVAC Quiescent Battery Drain".
Mark Johnson reports: "I had the battery drain problem. I believe the dealer said it was a cooling or air circulation fan in the battery or engine compartment area that was nor shutting off as it was supposed to. It is supposed to cooler the area after the engine shuts off and then shut down itself. Wasn't do the shutting down by itself part. After a bit of digging the dealer found that it was a known occasional problem that Rover was trying to find a remedy for."  Mark Pablo reports that in August 2004 "My dealer stated that this is a common problem with the '04 when I complained about the battery dying twice. The said that there was a software upgrade and a wiring harness change that they made, took less than an hour, I have only 3800 miles."  Chris Gianniny confirms this information after talking to a L/R dealer in October 2004 who told him there is a TSB162 out to install a relay which will knock down the HVAC system from activating roughly every 20 minutes. "This has been a known case for battery drain over a couple of days. The effect that when opening doors I hear HVAC motors running is proper. It seems the relay kills any non-critical climate controls systems when the vehicle has been locked. I am in the process of trying to get a copy of the TSB and decide whether or not the cure is worse than the problem. Sounds like it is just a plug and play relay into the main wiring harness." Jeff Rualo reports the same problem -- after 3 days of no use the car would not start.  In fact, after 2 days of no use, the battery would register a reading as low as 12 volts (when it should be 12.5+) and the car had a hard time starting. He confirms Land Rover issued a Service Action BD 162 v2 around February 2004 in  which they diagnosed as a quiescent battery drain brought about by a fault in a relay in the HEVAC system. In Jeff's case the cure involved installing a relay and harness kit (YNI500040K) which took them about 3 hours to do.

Other Causes
Andrew Prete reports
a dead battery after being overnight in the garage at home. "I noticed that the gear selector indicator, the section behind the shift level that shows "P - R - N- D -2 -1" remains lit and the red light that shows that the car is in park, stays lit.  Also, the window lock button on the driver's door panel has an orange light which lights up when the lock is engaged.  This light is also staying on all night causing the battery to drain".  

Brake Switch

Australian owner Laurie Wadman reports that on the first day of ownership of a new 3 litre Turbo Diesel HSE, the computer dash display came up with a message announcing "no dsc no air suspension". The dealer diagnosed the problem as a faulty brake switch.

Climate Control Problems
Some owners have reported their air conditioning will work perfectly for about 1/2 an hour and then gradually the airflow will reduce so that the interior just gets hotter and hotter. Manually increasing the fan speed has no effect. The fan sounds as though it's working OK but there is very little air coming out of any of the vents. If you stop the car, turn off the ignition, wait a couple of minutes and start again then everything is OK. Dealers do not seem to recognize the problem. Similar problems have been reported on BMW 5 series vehicles that share the same system (see this link). Apparently in high humidity areas the control software turns off the A/C prematurely to prevent ice forming on the evaporator. For BMWs a service bulletin was issued on the subject and there is a software fix.

Some owners have also noticed that the air coming out of the righthand side is slightly warmer than the lefthand side and changing the thermostats makes no difference. After a while it seems to eventually balance itself out.

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Cooling System

Low Coolant Light On: Some examples of the Mk III RR have been reported to exhibit strange behaviour of the coolant level warnings. Bernard Green experienced the problem of constant reminders that the Coolant Level and W/S/Washer water levels are LOW........his local dealer have said that it is the same system as BMW and that does the same thing "just keep putting a pint or so in it and it will be OK".......He wonders why they have bothered fitting such a large reservoir and how inconvenient in the Kalahari Desert!!! Another owner reported that within the first 200 miles of service the low coolant light went on.  Jimmy Fang the low coolant signal shortly after the 15,000 mile service.  He was in Charleston, and took it to the dealership there and they topped off the fluids.  Same light came home 2 days later on the trip home.  Jimmy took it into the local dealership and they said the Charleston dealership must not have topped it off very well b/c they had to refill it.  He now has 37,000 miles onm the vehicle and has not had the problem again since.

Paul Levens reports he had similar problems with the BMW 540i he had previously, which seemed to have a very sensitive coolant level sensor (most likely the same one used on the new RR?) which generated several false "check coolant" warnings.

According to official Land Rover Technical Service Bulletins issued in September 2003 and March 2005, the low coolant light coming on even when the coolant level is correct if the coolant specific gravity or viscosity is incorrect, causing false readings on the sensor. The correct specific gravity of a 50% coolant mixture of the approved coolants (see below) is 1.07.

Note also that earlier models had Texaco AFC coolant, LRN6024 (orange), while later ones come with BASF G48 coolant (blue). Note that these should not be mixed -- or premature corrosion of the cylinder heads could result.

Radiator Leaks: Sometimes, the problem is due to an actual radiator leak. Nicholas Tan reports his RR had about 15,000 miles on it when he started experiencing recurrent "low coolant" warnings. The cause turned out to be a leaking radiator, but the dealer found that the coolant loss only occured between certain pressure limits, so it was a slow loss over the period of about a week. In December 2005 Andrew Elmore reported his 2004 model had the check coolant light coming on frequently, each time needing at least one quart of coolant to top off the tank. "Even though it is winter here the problem seems to be getting worse, that is, more frequent. I called the dealer last week and the service manager said, "oh, that type of coolant evaporates, so don't worry about it," but I do not think a quart of coolant in a closed system can evaporate in the winter in less than a week". Andrew persisted in posing the problem to the dealer, and at last they replaced the radiator, which they said had a "small leak at the seam." Alex Johnson had a leaking radiator twice on his 2003 RR, the second time conveniently 13 months after the first so he had to pay for the replacement.

Summary: Thus it seems like in some cases there is a coolant sensor problem leading to a false "Check Coolant Level" message; in other cases there is a genuine leak in the radiator or elsewhere in the system -- usually the coolant overflow tank (see "radiator leaks and overflow tank leaks" below). In yet other cases (the only ones officially recognized by Land Rover) it is all your fault for putting in the wrong coolant mixture!

Condensation in Tail Lights
Another common problem is the appearance of massive amounts of condensation in the rear tail light housings. A Technical Service Bulletin 86/06/05/NAS was issued on July 25, 2005 covering this issue for 2003-2005 models up to VIN ***5A186201. The preamble to the TSB tries to convince us that condensation is normal, but it then goes on to admit that water can enter the breather tube "under extreme conditions" (this is Land Rover-speak for normal conditions). If water is pooled in the lamp assembly, or the condensation on the lens does not clear when the lamps have been on for 30 minutes, it is advised that replacement lamp assemblies are called for, as follows:
XFB500360..............Lamp assembly RH rear NAS Qty 1
XFB500370..............Lamp assembly LH rear NAS Qty 1
The lamp assembly replacement procedure is rated at 0.3 hours of labor.

Door Seals Leaking
A number of owners have reported water getting in between the inner and outer seals on the rear doors. For example, one owner reports "After heavy rain when I open the rear doors water will pour out where it has got trapped between the inner and outer door seals. At the moment it does not leak inside." The dealer tried to tell him this is normal, but it is not. One owner had his vehicle inspected by the factory where the cause of the problem was identified as rear door misalignment -- after correctly realigning them the problem was solved. In March 2006 Land Rover produced a Technical Service Bulletin on the problem as follows:
Service Bulletin Num: 501012.  Date of Bulletin: MAR 14, 2006
NHTSA Item Number: 10019760
Component: STRUCTURE:BODY
Summary: POSSIBLE CAUSES AND RESOLUTION OF WATER INGRESS - PASSENGER COMPARTMENT.

Diesel Turbo-Intercooler Hose

Diesel RRIII models are not immune from the occasional problem. Australian owner Laurie Wadman reports that her new Range Rover 3 litre Turbo Diesel HSE is a great vehicle, but she had to get it transported to the dealer at 2000km when the hose from the turbo to the intercooler fell off. The vehicle would not do more than 40 km/hour. Laurie was relieved she was not in the Simpson Desert when this happened! Those of us who have been stranded by our Range Rovers at one time or another can identify with her trepidation!

 

Differential Failure (Front) (2003-2005 Models)

For more detail see the Front Differential Problems and Solutions Page and the Front Diff Recall Page in the Repair Operation Details section

Many owners of 2003-2005 Range Rovers (with the BMW-derived drivetrain) have written in to report failures of the front differential, completely immobilizing the vehicle. Note: If it happens all you can do is try to get the vehicle safely to the side of the road. If it happens on a hill, you have to use the handbrake to hold the vehicle still once stopped -- shifting into "Park" won't do it.

In 2008 after investigations by the vehicle safety agencies of several countries a "Service Action" campaign was finally introduced to replace the front drive shaft on the 2002-2005 models with  redesigned parts incorporating a CV joint at the front end as well as the existing flexible joint at the rear. This brought the design into line with the one used on the 2006 & up.  For full details of the 2008 service action, see the Front Diff Recall Page.

The information below was originally compiled when the diff failures started being reported, and was an effort to assemble existing knowledge on this problem and how to solve it. Since there has now been a permanent solution implemented by Land Rover, much of the information herein is of historical interest only.

Several readers have reported it happening twice, the second time happening after Land Rover implemented their latest "cure" for the problem in April 2004. It is well-known that some past BMW vehicles have had problems with drive shafts (propeller shafts or "prop shafts" in Queen's English) being misaligned causing spline wear and breakage in the differential. Since the new RR was designed by this manufacturer, it is possible that a similar issue is at work here. Indeed, in 2004 Land Rover issued a special jig to dealers for aligning the front diff and supposedly eliminating the problem. (It is not clear whether this did solve the problem -- see later reports below). It might be a good idea for owners suspecting this problem to have the alignment of their drive shafts (prop shafts) checked.

Early Reports: One reader reported in with the news that his front diff failed in September 2002 after only 12,000 miles. Another said his RR was immobilized for 2 weeks with no parts seemingly available. Jimmy Fang had the problem in 2003: "I was left completely stranded on the highway with the nearest dealer about 90 miles away.  Incidentally, Rover road side assistance, while very friendly, is not particularly helpful when outside the dealer network. Anyhow, the car started making a lovely grinding sound, went into transmission safe mode and then completely died.  I managed to get it to the side of the highway (which was a good thing) b/c nothing would engage.  Even in park, I had to have the hand brake on to keep it from rolling.  The dealership described the problem exactly as you have reported it.  A misalignment causing spline wear in the differential.  A replacement prop shaft and differential later, the vehicle has been fine.  This happened at 20,000 miles." by April 2004 Jimmy's dealership alone had reported 6 or 7 other Range Rovers coming in with the same problem since his incident.

April 2004: Land Rover initiates a service campaign to check and align the front diffs of all 2003 and early 2004 Range Rovers when brought in for their next service. Meanwhile the failures continued,  an example being Huw Morgan, who wrote in to say "I have just had the front diff and propshaft on my November 2002 Vogue replaced. I noticed that another of your contributors had the same experience (a total loss of drive) so hope this isn't going to become a familiar story. This work was done under warranty, but I am sure it would have cost a packet and is a worrying possibility with the model starting to appear second-hand without warranty."

May 2004: Clive James reports the same problem: "I discovered a small oil leak a couple of weeks ago, and the car was taken in to check it out. It was confirmed that the torque converter seal was leaking and needed to be replaced. So, in order to do so, they had to remove the front differential to get to the transmission. While doing so, they discovered the broken splines. My Land Rover Dealership in Flatirons, Colorado, USA, is, and always is, fantastic. They always supply me with a New Discovery loaner vehicle while in for service/repair, etc.  They encountered the same problem, no parts availability. It took them at least two to three days to have Land Rover Warranty get a part on order, and another week to have the part delivered to the Dealership. The front differential (complete assembly) had to be shipped from Europe for this repair. Once received, it was installed and delivered the same day." If the torque converter seal had not gone the problem might not have been detected until it got bad enough to fail completely.

June 2004: Tim of Scotland reports that his dealer has now had to fix 14 front Diffs, and are getting plenty of practice at it. "Just as well I only live 15 miles from the dealer and have another Land Rover I can use, also that I have 5 years VIP cover......... ££££££££££££ saved!"

July 2004: Andy Cunningham reports that Land Rover has now issued a special jig for aligning the front diff to try and prevent recurrences.

September 2004: Anir and Nathalie Dhir report "We've now had it changed under warranty by the dealer twice - once at 17,300 miles (left us stranded on the highway) and most recently at 26,300 miles.  For the first fix, they took a front differential from another actual car on the lot, so we might have received a pre-recall defective unit.  The second time, it was checked and an impending failure caught secondary to the factory recall."

January 2005: In theory the April 2004 service campaign should have caught pretty well all the problems by now, but it seems like the problem has still not been licked. An owner just wrote in to say his front diff has now failed for the SECOND time!!! This was less than a year after the first incident. The only indication of the problem was a small clunk when moving off from a parked position. The dealer this time said they did a "modification" to it (presumably referring to the alignment and end shaft drilling specified in the service campaign).

Update April 2005:  Andy Parsons reports his SECOND front diff bites the dust, indicating that Land Rover have still not mastered this problem yet. His first one failed at about 30K miles. It was replaced with a supposedly modified and improved version, but he just recently noticed the tell-tale clunk again and had the second diff replaced at 62K miles. Andy suggests that maybe they should make the front diff a service item due for routine replacement every 30K miles!!

December 2005: Mahoub reports front diff failure on his 2005 Range Rover (24K miles) while 250 miles from home in a dangerous stretch of road in Scranton, Pa. The tow truck driver said that a stranded car was hit on that stretch of road 2 times last month.....really really dangerous spot. The dealer was surprised to see it in a 2005....

July 2006: Steve Gardiner of the UK reports that his td6 lost drive in the middle of Germany. As the car is 52 plate the warranty was out, but when you think these cars cost over £56,000 you would hope to do more then 50,000 miles before you transmission gives up. After making some calls he found this is a very common problem -- the splines on the front drive shaft strip and does damage to front diff. Interestingly Steve found the parts costs are
 as follows:
1/ Propshaft £435 now reduced to £65.
2/ Differential £500 reduced to £162.
He reports that these prices have been reduced so the bills at the main agents do not cause people to complain to Land Rover.

Aftermarket Permanent Cure, November 2006:  a permanent cure became available -- not from Land Rover but from a custom driveline shop in California.  Drive Line Service of San Leandro has come up with a replacement front drive shaft with a U joint at both ends, curing the factory design flaw that does not allow the shaft to flex at the front and destroys the splines. Scott Colison, the designer, is making his complete custom replacement front driveshaft kit available to RangeRovers.net readers for $700, with a 3 year warranty. For full details see the RR III Custom Front Driveshaft Replacement Page.

February 2007: Reports continue to come in. For example, Dennis reported his third failure (fourth diff for the vehicle) on his 2003 model. As in other recent reports, Land Rover  is no longer offering to pay.  Another owner recently recounted his all-too familiar experience at 66,000 miles: "Neither the dealership nor Land Rover North America would provide any out of warranty assistance or "goodwill" knowing that this is a common problem for 2003 RR's. I am amazed that Land Rover is WELL AWARE of this quality and safety problem, but it refuses to cover the costs of replacement." His resulting cost was $2,700. Meanwhile, another owner wrote in about a later model (which we thought was immune to this issue): "We have an 06 Range Rover Sport that had front diff failure. At 65mph with no warning signs the front tires locked up putting the vehicle into an uncontrollable skid. We were almost rear ended twice and had a difficult time getting the vehicle off the highway. This incident almost caused us a real serious accident. The dealer replaced with identical parts. We reported this to the NHTSA."

March 2007: A dealer source unofficially informs us that "The 2004 models have started coming in droves for this. I think we got three in one week!"  This makes sense as most 2004's are now reaching 30-40K miles. Also in March we received word that the NHTSA is finally starting a review of the problem based on the reports it has received (see below -- if you have not reported yours, you should do so).

July 2007: Reports continue to flow in unabated. One owner had the front diff fail on a test drive during dealer service. Another, David Ballard, had to pay $2,300 for front diff replacement on his 2003 HSE. It was checked in May 2004 (22K miles) for a grinding noise in the front diff - splines were lubed and he was sent away.  In November 2004 it was inspected again due to the service bulletin. In July 2007 during a routine service he was told the "front differential and drive shaft are ready to shear", even though nothing was noted during the previous service 6,000 miles ago (while still under warranty).

August 2007: A UK owner, Norman, reports on his second diff failure: "Mine failed at 67K; Feb 2002 registration (UK). I didn't know anything about this until it happened and I found this site...and my LR dealer then claimed ignorance! The dealer was useless: having read up on this, I knew the score: I asked the dealer to approach LR for a goodwill coverage of the cost - £1300.  They could offer £237.24 – expecting me to pay over £1000. So I approached LR direct*.  Do your homework, be polite but be firm.  Call them on the phone.  They opened a file and got back to me with some questions.  After less than 24 hrs, I had my result.  NOTE: get them to dig out the full service record. They could see that it had been part of the 2004 service bulletin, and indeed the diff was faulty then and had been replaced at approx 28K miles.   Since it failed again after less than 40K miles, they agreed to cover the full cost as a goodwill gesture – while still denying it is a repeating fault."

November 2007: Increasing numbers of 2004 and 2005 models are now showing up with the front diff failure, proving that the earlier fixes did not work. An owner from Reading, UK reports: "We have a Dec 05 Range Rover HSE 3 litre diesel which broke down yesterday on the M4  with failed front diff. The car is with Lancaster Land Rover Reading for repair... I am frankly appalled that there has not been a recall." A 2005 Overfinch Range Rover owner also wrote in recently reporting his first diff failure. Another owner reports having now experienced 4 diff failures on his 2003 model. Gerald from North Carolina recently purchased a 2003 on which LRNA acknowledged all scheduled service had been done, but immediately experienced a diff failure at 47,000 miles, and was quoted $2800 for the repairs. He opened a case number with Land Rover USA and hopes to get help paying for it. As he points out, "These are very expensive vehicles. You'd think they wouldn't have these problems this early in their life."

December 2007: A UK owner reports that the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has recently completed an investigation to establish whether or not the defect was attributable to a design or construction deficiency, which was liable to cause a significant risk of personal injury or death. Their finding was "inconclusive" as to whether or not such a deficiency exists, but they are now exploring, with Land Rover, whether the performance of this part of the transmission can be improved and expect this exercise to be completed in mid - 2008. Meanwhile, our reporter in the UK encourages any UK owners who have the problem to continue to report it to VOSA (see contact information below)  - the more who report it, the greater the chance of remedial action.

January 2007: An Australian owner reports that the Department of Transport and Regional Services (DOTaRS) is now conducting a preliminary inquiry into the front diff failure problem.

February 2007: An Australian owner receives a letter from the Dept of Transport stating that Land Rover is planning a service campaign to replace the front diff and drive shaft assembly in 2 or 3 months time. Could this be what we are all waiting for?

Official Recall, May 2008: Finally in 2008, a permanent official solution to the notorious front diff failure problem was implemented by Land Rover in a worldwide recall campaign. After many customer complaint incidents, service bulletins and investigations by the vehicle safety agencies of various governments, a redesign of the front driveshaft was offered to solve the problem. Full details of the official solution and the recall campaign appear on the Front Diff Recall Page.

For more information on how to diagnose and cure the problem, see the Front Differential Problems and Solutions Page in the Repair Operation Details section.  Meanwhile, it certainly seems advisable to at least get the splines checked for wear at regular intervals (30,000 miles?) as a preventive measure, even if you have to pay for an hour of labor to do this.

 

Filing Failure Reports: Since failure of the front diff can be a safety issue, it is important to file reports with the appropriate agency in your country if this happens to you. If you live in the US and have had this failure, you should file a report with the NHTSA to help get the ball rolling towards a recall campaign to retrofit all 2003-2005 Range Rovers with a more permanent solution such as a redesigned front driveshaft from the factory.  In the UK, you can file a report with: Vehicle Safety Branch, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, Berkeley House, Croydon Street, Bristol, BS5 ODA. Tel: 0117-9543300  http://www.vosa.gov.uk.

Land Rover Customer Service Center (UK):
Call 08705 000 500 or write to Customer Relationship Centre
Abbey Road, Whitley
Coventry CV3 4LH

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Drivetrain Vibration
Brian in New Zealand reports feeling bad vibration in the drivetrain. Land Rover agreed it is a recognized problem with the drivetrain, not only in the Diesels but in the V8s as well. The problem seems to be worse when the suspension is in low (access level) but Brian reports that his groans quite a bit at normal levels. The local agent has advised Brian that new improved drive train parts (axles etc) have been developed to fix this problem and have been ordered from Land Rover. This may be a separate problem from the steering wheel vibration reported below. Richard, whose previous vehicle was a GMC Yukon Denali, noticed that on switching to a 2004 Range Rover, "at take off from a stop light, the motor/transmission is not as smooth as I would have suspected from a RR. My previous car was a 2001 Yukon Denali. In the RR, I notice a slight vibration in the gas pedal when the car takes off from a stop, or when the car is “under load”. Feels like a roughness to the right of the gas pedal as well, probably a drive line or transmission thing. It doesn’t sound like something is wrong, but I’m not sure what to expect from a RR. I just know that I didn’t have the same “roughness” under load in the Denali".

Update 12/8/03: Brian reports that Land Rover have fixed the vibration in transmission of RR Mk 3. "It took them 1 year but (touch wood) it has now been 4 weeks with no problem. They replaced axles / drive shafts with re-designed units from LR Factory. I now love the vehicle most sincerely and am glad I don't have to go look at Porches, VWs, and Audi's etc."

Update 12/05: Colin Lewis of Sutton Coldfield reports (December 2005): "The vibration felt at low speeds is most defiantly the drive shafts that need replacing. Range Rover issued a bulletin in May 2005. My driveshatfs were replaced and now there is no more vibration."

Other symptoms of the faulty driveshafts or "CV shafts" are the rattle from front suspension off road, and vibration felt in steering.

Electrical Gremlins

Like the Classic and the 4.0/4.6, the new model appears to be subject to the occasional inexplicable attack of electrical gremlins. One owner wrote in with a report that 5 times over the previous month, when driving at highway speed, for no apparent reason the emergency flashers turned on, the door locks went up and the interior lights went on.  He could turn off the flashers but the interior lights stayed on and the dashboard switch to lock the doors would not work.  Each time this happened he parked the car, turned off the ignition and locked the car with the remote.  Sometimes the car would not lock but usually did after a second attempt.  After a restart, the car drove normally.  One dealer agent said that he's heard of this problem and that it could be fixed by "flashing the computer". However after leaving the car at the dealer for 2 days they weren't able to duplicate the problem. A second agent said there was a problem with the VCM (Vehicle Control Module) and encouraged the owner to wait for a fix from England. After a few more trips to the dealer it emerged that the problem was definitely a faulty Vehicle Control Module, but it was not possible to get a new one from England for several weeks.
 

Headlight Alignment

The RR III has a motor-driven mechanism that changes headlight alignment according to vehicle height and trim. headlight leveling ECU. On 2003 models up to VIN 3A117631 the ECU software was faulty and caused strange headlight movements. For example, Philippe Geerts of Belgium got his new Range Rover in May 2002. He had a problem with the adjustment of the xenon lights; when he switched them on, the left light aimed too high. A simple adjustment by the dealer fixed it. Joe Gormley first reported the software fix for this problem, which he said became available in Nov 2002.  Simon Davies of Surrey also experienced dipped headlamp alignment problems, particularly the L/H unit. Richard Siegler reports the same problem on his 2004, even after the dealer attributed it to a computer problem and allegedly adjusted them. The latest service bulletin on this issue (SB104, June 11 2004) attributes it to calibration problems, with symptoms including the headlamps performing "reference" movements to different positions at turn-on, or perform slow movements out of alignment. It specifies the full calibration procedure which has to be carried out using the Testbook/T4 or equivalent. This was adopted as a service campaign on the affected vehicles.

Idle Speed Too Fast
Several owners have reported idle speed problems, particularly after having an engine ECU software upgrade related to an electronic thermostat problem on the BMW-derived 4.4 engine. change. Upon startup the engine idles very fast for a minute or two before settling down. In some cases the final idle speed is also too high (about 900 rpm instead of 600). This sounds like a software problem as the base idle speed and related adaptive settings are all done in software in the ECU.

Richard Stankl reports his 2004 model idles too fast (just below 1,000 rpm) ONLY when it is snowing!. Also in these same conditions my windshield wipers alternate slow and fast, EVEN if it is on the fastest setting.  All of  these things only happen when it is cold and snowing, and it seems that they happen concurrently.

 
Mirrors, Exterior
The exterior mirrors on early build RR III's seemed to be a weak point. One that I was looking at in a used car lot had the passenger side mirror loose and free to hinge in all directions. Curt Anderson reports "The mirror fold in option on my Rover ceased to work after about 1.5 months. It has yet to be repaired as apparently the model and version of the mirrors for my vehicle are not available as a replacement part as of yet! They tried putting on mirrors for a 05 and they are just significantly different that the option to fold in the mirrors does not work. Now they will fix it but it has been over 6 months now (July 2005) and the replacement mirrors have not arrived!"

Robert Dashwood feels that the external rear view mirrors are hopelessly small. He finds the vehicle great otherwise, but feels that putting mirrors from a BMW X5 on something rather larger hasn't helped. He has had to use add-ons which look ghastly.

 

Navigation System Quirks

The off-road enhanced navigation system supplied with the 2003-2004 models seems to be a notorious trouble spot, with one owner reporting it failing within the first two minutes of ownership. The system is basically the same as the BMW Mk III nav computer. A number of owners and journalists have complained of its ergonomic design, while many have experienced specific operational problems, described below.

Ergonomic Shortcomings: A number of owners have written in to report that the nav system is an "ergonomic disaster". As one example, Don Anderson would appreciate finding out how to switch from radio back to navigation without having to go through the entire navigation menus again!!?? Tyler Berding reports that the solution for this is to use the right side of the “Mode” button. This will accomplish the switch without going through the whole system. However, he agrees that the navigation system is ergonomically challenged, and is hoping Land Rover will be able to release new software for it soon, as the hardware is probably all right, but the software is completely wrong. It would take a new CD with upgraded software that allows more intuitive use of the computer controls. Another owner reports that the program lacks a simple zip code lookup, even though zip codes are available on the CDs, and other owners confirm the computer program is a pain to use.
Update 2005-7: The new touch screen system introduced in 2005 addressed all these problems, but is not an available upgrade for earlier models due to its totally different wiring using fiber optics. However, the original system fitted in the 2003-2004 models can be upgraded to the BMW Mk IV computer, an easy swap which also enables a number of other upgrades to be made to the entertainment and information systems (MP3 player, Bluetooth, back-up cameras, TV display, etc). See the Nav Computer Upgrade page.

Inaccurate Readings: Tyler also reports that the GPS sometimes does not locate his vehicle with enough precision to accommodate the maps. The result is that it shows a block away from where the vehicle actually is. Michael Williams reports that his GPS always (since he got the vehicle in 2002) placed him about a half mile away from where he actually was, and it took the dealer 3 attempts to cure the problem (it was finally fixed in April 2004). Another owner reports the 2001-2CD batch supplied with his 2003 car is missing entire cities like West Los Angeles and is from blocks to a mile plus off on addresses on such roads as Santa Monica Blvd (which has not changed the block numbering for decades). Land Rover simply tells him it is a NavTech issue, and NavTech says he has to buy a new CD if he wants this accurate. Michael Katz reports that the "True North" indicated on his nav system is actually nowhere close to North and therefore the navigation directions are never correct. Joseph Romanello reports " My navigation only functions correctly about 25% of the time.   Of course, the local Land Rover dealer said they could find no problems when they hooked it up to their diagnostic computer.  NavTech (who makes the CDs) claims it is not a software problem.   Anyway, it rarely seems to connect to the satellite, as evidenced by the incorrect time being displayed.  When I program my current location, it usually has me facing the wrong direction ( a gyroscope problem?) and therefore fails to direct me properly.  Hopefully someone who views your website will have a suggestion.  Thanks."

Volume Settings: The Navigation system has 24 volume settings, and one owner reports indicate that none of them are loud enough to be heard at highway speeds.  At the highest setting (+12), it is even difficult to hear the instructions while driving at back road speeds.  If the radio is on, it is even more difficult to hear. When he went to make a service appointment, he was told that what he was describing was a common complaint and one for which there is no fix. Steve Gurney reports that the system is exactly the same in function and use as the top end BMW system fitted to 545's and M5's. The only addition is the Off-Road Navigation feature developed by LR and Nav-Tech (x Philips Cariin).  He reports that the complete system can be reset by removing 30 Amp fuse no. 49 for ten seconds.

Another owner reports his local dealer had received a service bulletin on this problem, with a correction procedure as follows: Under settings, turn the nav volume to + 12. The dealer diagnostic computer then must adjust the minutes setting to +8; this can only be done with the dealer diagnostic computer. PROBLEM SOLVED. It is almost too loud now!!!!

Yet another owner reports that the volume is too loud and cannot be turned off while navigating.

Static Crackle: Another Nav System quirk reported by Don Anderson is static crackle when the word "AHEAD" is spoken. Michael Williams also had this exact problem in 2002, and reports that his dealer did manage to fix it but the repair also changed the voice of the GPS.

Display Disappears on Cold Mornings: Simon Davies , Hilary Basely and others have reported the Sat Nav display (2003/2004 models) often disappears on cold mornings. Hilary's local dealer in Switzerland had 10 to 15 RRs with this problem. In November 2003 and April 2004 Land Rover issued Technical Service Bulletins acknowledging this can happen on all Range Rovers (4.0/4.6 and MkIII/LM) up to VIN 4A153286 (mid to late 2004 model year). The solution is a software update using the latest navigation CD (which as of April 2004 was LRL0568 Edition 3). As far as I know these update CDs are not available to owners but the dealer should have them available. The process only takes a few minutes.

No Map Updates Available: Several owners have reported inquiring about updates to the 2002 Navtech CD-based maps used in the 2003-2004 system. Unfortunately neither Land Rover nor Navtech has any plans for updates.

Upgrade to  BMW Mk IV Nav System: All the above problems can be eliminated by upgrading the 2002-2004 Range Rover's BMW Mk III nav computer to the DVD-based Mk IV computer. Fortunately, this is a simple plug-and-play swap. I have heard from several owners who have tried this upgrade and all are delighted with the results, which include updated DVD-based maps with one disk for the entire US (or Europe), moving map display, faster response, improved graphics including 3-D display option. The upgraded computer also has provision for adding other options such as TV/DVD display on the nav screen, Bluetooth integration, upgraded CD player with MP3 capability, backup camera, etc. For more details see the nav computer upgrade page.

Oil Filter Leaks and Broken Mounts:
It is not unheard of for nearly all the oil to leak out of the engine due to failure of the O-ring seal on the oil filter housing. This happened to me recently when I noticed oil literally pouring out of the bottom of the engine area on to the ground. A quick investigation under the hood revealed the source to be a major leak around the top of the oil filter housing. the cause turned out to be failure of the O ring seal around the lid of the housing. A common related problem is failure of the oil filter housing mounts. For more details and pictures, see the Oil Filter Problems and Solutions page.

Radiator Leak / Overflow Tank Leak
Ross Abaya reported in with a leaking radiator, with less than 19,000 miles on the vehicle. Curt Anderson reported the same problem when his RR was 2 months old --the dealer had to replace the coolant overflow tank (also called the coolant expansion tank) "and it was fixed but what a pain!" This radiator overflow tank seems to be a weak spot and I have since heard of a number of owners who have had it leaking. Sometimes it develops a hairline crack. If you see a pool of coolant near the front on the right side, chances are that is what happened.  On the good side, a replacement only costs $40 (see the RR III parts sources page), and is easy to install.
Just snap on hoses, add coolant, done. I even heard of a dealer who advised carrying a spare overflow tank in the cubby box in the trunk, just in case. The bad news is that these engines need special coolant, as specified in the owners manual, and it is extremely expensive -- I paid $50 for a gallon of it once, and I have heard of others paying $70.

Cooling system leaks seem to be continuing with the 2006 models using the Jaguar-derived engine. For example,
Husni Gama reports (regarding his brand new 2006 model, produced March 2005): "My radiator started leaking at 10,000 miles. They changed the reservoir and sensor and a hose under the engine cover. At 15,000 it leaked again, they changed the reservoir and sensor. At 18,000 it leaked again, they changed reservoir and sensor. At 19,000 it leaked again, changed reservoir and sensor. At 19,500 it is still leaking. I don't know if its the car or Land Rover has no clue how to fix coolant leaks".
 

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Radio Resets to "No Station"

Problem: Several owners have reported radio problems. Don Anderson reports that his radio rests to "no station" (87.7) and gets just static when left for more than a few minutes. Laurie Wadman reports the same symptom happening sometimes when she first turns on the radio. Tyler Berding reports the same problem when he starts the car -- but in his case it also happens in AM mode, in which case the radio resets itself to 530, no station.

Solution: I am reliably informed (May 2003) that this problem can now be rectified by the dealer using TestBook, and changing the customer personalization "radio preset to key" option.

 

Other Sound System Problems

One owner reports that his speakers have gone out twice, and produce crackle with the radio. His CD player also went out. After replacing the CD player, amplifier and radio/computer, he is still experiencing some problems.

Rattle Under Vehicle
One owner reported a rattle noise under the vehicle before the motor really warms up. It turned out to be a broken catalytic converter (the honeycomb material inside had broken apart). Thankfully, the dealer replaced under warranty, (a $900.00 job).

Rattle From Front Suspension Off Road
The first time I took my 2004 model off road I detected a heavy rattle/clonk coming from somewhere in the front suspension whenever I would go over a rock or bump. It was worse when the suspension was set at off road height. After getting home I put the front of the vehicle up on ramps so I could get underneath and apply force to various components to see what was amiss. There is a TSB about this type of noise being caused by a loose anti-sway bar. Mine was tightened without result. I later noticed the left hand axle CV joint at the inboard (diff) end was very loose and could easily be moved laterally by hand. The right hand one was loose,  but less so. After replacement of these parts (sometimes called front driveshafts) by the dealer, the steering and ride felt tighter and more secure, but the problem was still there. Since then various other front suspension parts have been replaced including the steering rack, lower ball joint, and an entire strut on one side. None of these fixes cured the problem.

Other variations on this theme are the drivetrain vibration problem noted above, and the steering vibration felt at standstill mentioned below. Also see the suspension noise/clunk entry; I am not sure whether this is the same problem or not.

I have recently heard form another 2004 model owner with the same problem. Like me, he found it hard to demonstrate to the dealer because it only happens on rough roads.

Rattle From Rear on Rough Roads
HB reports: "I've recently noticed this noise from the rear of the car when I go over rough patch of road. Can't quite put my finger on it. It seems like there is something lose under the car which makes a creaking or clocking noise." A Land Rover tech tells us that this problem is caused by the rear control arm bushings, and there has been a run on them. He advised us that to identify the problem, you should have someone jump on the rear bumper and get the truck bouncing. You can isolate the noise from there.

Satellite Radio Malfunction (2006 models)
One of the additions in the 2006 model year update was the Sirius satellite radio system. Several owners have reported malfunctions where the display fails to show the correct channel when you turn it on. One owner reports: "Every time I start the car and turn on Sirius, the display will show channel 184, the weather channel, but the audio will be playing the last station that was on". Another owner reports his display shows channel 203 when he turns it on, even though the audio (correctly) continues from the station last set.  As of September 2006, owners were still hoping for a software upgrade that would fix the problem.

Seat Bottom Squeak
Peter Zavaletta reports that his "otherwise bulletproof and flawless" '04 Rangie has developed a squeak in the seat bottom cushion whenever the car takes a sharp turn or otherwise there's a shift of weight on the seat. He can duplicate the noise when at a stop pressing down on the corners of the seat bottom. Seems something needs to be lubricated. I have heard of this problem from other owners also -- for example in May 2007 Todd Koch reported the same problem in his 2003 with the luxury seat option -- he said there is no fix found for it yet. 

Seat Control Panel Side Cover
Jason Braun points out that one common issue which he has noticed on nearly every single model with 40k miles or so is that the seat control panel cover is too close to the seat itself and easily wears - especially when heavier passengers cause the seat to depress below the plastic itself (in some cases then it will break the plastic)...not cool when you open your door and the plastic seat finisher is dangling by a cheesy plastic clip...kind of takes away from the luxury factor and always gives Land Rover naysayers (Chevy Tahoe drivers) a good laugh. I had this problem on my own 2004 model as it approached 30,000 miles -- initially the panel was loose from drivers getting in and out of the vehicle, then the rear attachment came off altogether, and the dealer tightened it. This cure only lasted for a short while, however, and soon the plastic around the attachment screw was broken away and the entire panel had to be replaced.  I do not know of any permanent cure to this problem yet, as the mere act of getting in and out of the car deforms the seat cushion enough to put pressure on the side panel cover.

 

Squeaking/Squealing Noise under Acceleration

Ross Abaya reports that his '03 Range Rover with 19,000 miles has a squeaking noise at times...typically after the car has been driven for sometime. The sound is similar to that of a scraping against the rotors...odd thing is that it only happens upon acceleration.... Mike Griffiths reports that his 4.4 V8 had the same problem which was solved as follows: "All were supposed to be recalled for a propshaft modification which involved drilling a hole in the propshaft itself to prevent pressure build up chasing all the lubricant to one end. For some reason, mine missed this and started squealing badly. My dealer removed the propshaft, drilled it and regreased and refitted it. The problem has not reoccurred".

 

Starting Problems
Joe Gormley reports that  on the diesel TD6 models, low fuel pressure problems can cause difficulty starting the engine as the system is common rail diesel. Andy Parsons confirms that he too experienced this problem, particularly after the engine had already been running. The problem turned out to be the secondary fuel pump. This is located under a plate on the left hand side of the vehicle just in front of the axle. Apparently the original supplier of these pumps has now been changed due to these failures, and the new part seems to solve the problem. An owner in Jamaica recently (February 2005) related the same problem and solution.

 

Steering Column Stuck

(For more complete details of these problems and how to solve them see the Steering Column Tilt Mechanism Page and the Steering Column Telescoping Mechanism Page) in the Repair Operation Details section of this site.

Problem 1 (Tilt Mechanism):  A very common problem is the adjustable steering column sticking, especially in the highest position. A LR technical services supervisor told me (April 2004) they have encountered many cases of this problem. For example, Don Anderson reported his sticks in the up/down mode, and he has heard of several others with this problem. The telescoping however works fine. Don had noticed this on a demo at the dealership, and on his RR it only surfaced after about 3 months of use. He heard that LR was working on a fix. Shawn Noel reported March 2004 that he had experienced this problem intermittently ever since about 6 months after purchase in July 2002. Soren Svenningsen purchased a new RR in December 2002, and after 2 months had steering column tilt failure. Land Rover replaced a burnt out motor under warranty, and it has worked fine since. In April 2003, Harold Sogard had this problem on his brand new Range Rover, but the dealer immediately fixed it. In April 2005, another owner reported "The steering wheel suddenly fell down on my thighs whilst driving. Now the steering wheel won't move. The only way of getting out was move the seat back until I could free my legs."

Problem 2 (Telescoping Mechanism): Ross Abaya reported (March 2004) that the steering wheel telescopic feature froze up on his '03 model with 19,000 miles. Another reader reported (June 2004)  having both vertical and telescoping movement frozen on his RR at 36,000 miles, and after the dealer "fixed" it there was an inch of free play in the telescoping direction!  On my 2004 model, the telescoping mechanism stuck in the retracted position and had to be replaced.

Solutions: There are now official solutions to these problems. The tilt mechanism is like a seat adjustment motor and operates via a screw style shaft and nut.   The nut on the spindle shaft tightens up excessively as the column reaches its end of travel and if the driver does not release the adjustment switch immediately, it tends to lock the spindle and no further movement in the opposite direction is possible.  The problem can be temporarily fixed by adjusting the tension or introducing a second nut after the original nut and lock the two together, reducing the tendency of the two interlocked nuts to rotate any further. The more permanent solution specified in a service bulletin (April 2003) is to install a new specification steering coloumn tilt motor kit (Part number QME500070). However, I have heard of the occasional case where failure recurs even after replacement of the tilt motor. Andrew Prete's failed again in April 2006 after being replaced in March 2005, and the dealer refused to pay for the second repair.  

Jamming of the telescoping mechanism is officially addressed in an April 2005 service bulletin.
Occasional jamming is addressed simply by lubrication, but if operation is noisy the telescoping motor (reach motor) has to be replaced.

2006 Recall:  In mid 2006, a recall was issued to deal with the steering column problems, affecting all Mk III Range Rovers through 2006. A totally new steering column mechanism was specified (different part numbers for 2003-2005 and 2006 models). Having been fixed previously, mine was working fine at the time but the recall work was done as specified. When I got the car back, the steering column tilt mechanism was so loose that you could freely move it up and down by hand when in the extended position. Fellow owner Andrew Prete found that after having the recall work done, his steering column lasted 6 days before the tilt mechanism became stuck again. Evidently Land Rover still has some work to do on this one. 

Complete details of these problems and solutions are now written up on the Steering Column Tilt Mechanism Page and the Steering Column Telescoping Mechanism Page.

Steering Vibrations

For the first year of production, owners have been writing in about mysterious vibrations felt in the steering. After many owner reports, it appears that the problems are mainly from two separate causes. At least one owner has experienced both. These vibrations have been the subject of a whole series of technical service bulletins from Land Rover as they try to figure out the causes and cures.

1. Vibration at Highway Speeds
Problem:
Various owners have reported steering wheel vibration anywhere from 50mph (80kph) to 100 mph (160 kph).  It was initially thought the problem may originate from the Goodyear Wrangler 255/55R19 tire that is standard equipment. Land Rover initially recommended a force thrust balance on a Hunter 9700 machine to determine the problem. This is apparently the only machine capable of doing a proper balancing job on this wheel and tire combination. However for any warranty claims from Goodyear you must apparently go to a Goodyear company owned store -- although stores with equipment to balance a 19 " wheel are scarce in some areas. However, it is doubtful whether this was really the root of the problem, which is still being experienced by some owners of models as late as 2005, suggesting there is a flaw in the steering gear design. For more information, see the page on Official Tire Balancing Procedure for the RR III.

Solution:
3/22/03: One owner reported the problem finally identified and solved on his vehicle, after 7200 miles and 6 attempts at balancing the tires, including replacement of the front ones. It emerged that the problem has nothing to do with the tires -- it is caused by a valve in the steering rack that controls the amount of fluid to the variable speed steering. Owners with the vibration problem reported that if you accelerated slowly from a dead stop, the vibration did not occur. If you floored it, vibration every time. It appears that the valve could not keep up with a rapid change and malfunctioned (55 mph is where it is programmed to make a major adjustment in steering tension). The defective steering would then shake the car out of balance explaining why it would drive well for about a week after balancing, then vibrate again. The fix was a replacement part for the defective valve in the steering box.

January 2006: Unfortunately, as far as I know this cure has still not been officially adopted -- no Technical Service Bulletin was ever issued incorporating this fix. The last relevant one I know of (February 2004) addresses the problem by more tire rebalancing, which many owners have found does not work. The TSB specifies a very tedious (if not ludicrous) process. Step 1 is "match mounting" of the tire to the wheel so the low point of the tire is matched to the high point of the wheel. (The Hunter 9700/9712 balancing machine can perform this procedure). Then, a 15 mile drive is specified to heat up the tires to operating temperature and eliminate any flat spots. Next, road force balancing has to be performed on the specified Hunter machine, using a specific type of centering sleeve.  Only Land Rover-specified two-piece rim weights are supposed to be used. Finally, the tires (if non-directional) have to be re-mounted in order of increasing Radial Force Variation on the front left, front right, rear left and rear right hubs. To me, the fact that such an excessively tedious balancing procedure needs to be used (try getting your local tire shop to do it!!) indicates an underlying design flaw somewhere in the vehicle's running gear that makes it sensitive to extremely small amounts of imbalance. For more information, see the page on Official Tire Balancing Procedure for the RR III.

 

Other updates:
4/5/03: Philippe Geerts of Belgium felt vibration in the steering wheel, starting at 100 km/h (62 mph) and stopping at about 160 km/h (100 mph). At low speed there were no vibrations. The garage balanced the wheels again and everything was ok for a few weeks. But then it started all over again. Thanks to the information posted above about the valve, he planned to have it replaced. Filip Mottie of Belgium had the same problem on his 3.0 TD Vogue, but reported that Land Rover Belgium said they had no solution as yet (4/8/03).
6/5/03: Another reader reports experiencing the steering wheel vibration beginning at approximately 50 mph on his '03, with the original 19" wheels as well as the 22" Momo/Pirelli  replacements. Keep an eye out to see if there is a recall related to this issue!
7/4/03: Another reader confirms that Land Rover now has a fix for the problem with a replacement part.
10/23/03: An owner in New Zealand reports a vibration in the drivetrain -- this may be a separate problem (see drivetrain vibration section above).
10/30/03: Mark Scheberies has a 2004 model and reports a different cause for the vibration in his steering: "At highway speeds there was a distinct vibration in the steering wheel.   It felt like an out of balance tire.  With less than 500 miles on the car, I took it back to the dealer. It was discovered that one of the bearings in the left front hub would not seat properly, and that one of the bolts that holds the hub on the car had already broken.  The dealer replaced the left front hub assembly". A month later the fix still seemed to  be working.
12/2/03: Ralph, a potential buyer, reports: "I was about to purchase a 2004 Range Rover when I learned that there is a vibration problem in the wheels at 50 mph that Rover knows about, but can't fix....The dealer says there hasn't been a recall because they don't know how to fix the vibration."
12/8/03: I was informed by a Land Rover dealer tech that the "official" cause of this steering wheel shimmy at highway speeds is improper road force balance of the wheels/tires. The resolution is to re-road force all 4 wheels. There is a bulletin from LRNA and it was sent to all dealers in the US.
5/20/04: Jimmy Fang reports his vibration problems (in both the body and the steering) on his 40,000-mile-worn-but-still-good-tread Goodyear tires were solved when the tires were replaced at the dealer's suggestion, after they swapped the wheels and tires out for a test. The Michelin replacements were not available so he opted for Pirelli Scorpions, and has had no further problem so far. After all the problems owners have reported while using the OEM Goodyears, it will be interesting to see if replacement with another brand leads to a long term solution.
10/15/05: Another owner was told that since the tires on new rovers in the USA have been changed from Good Year, there are no more vibration problems. He heard there was a class action lawsuit being prepared against Goodyear for those tires. However based on other owners' experiences it appears highly dubious that this was the real or only cause.
2/12/05: Ross Greenberg reports the same problem on his new 2005 RR -- "55mph steering wheel shake to stop. I too had the problem of excessive shake from 55 - 70 MPH. I had all 4 wheels high speed balanced 3 times, and even put Nitrogen in the tires. No Luck. After printing off some of the fixes published on your site, I shared them with my dealer. He e-mailed LR and with great difficulty and lots of pressure, he was able to get a new front axle and steering column. The new front axle did very little to solve the problem, but the new steering column (and I assume new steering box) fixed the problem entirely. It is now a completely different vehicle- it rides and steers so great!. It was very difficult for my dealer to get the parts- it took almost 4 weeks, but the fix is incredible. LR should upgrade all 2005 and newer models with the improved unit. I understand that the new steering column may have been manufactured at a different location hence the difficulty in obtaining the part."

For more information, see the page on Official Tire Balancing Procedure for the RR III.

2. Vibration felt at Standstill or very low speed
Problem:
A number of owners including  Don Anderson report feeling the vibration through the steering column when in drive, with the foot brake applied and the wheel turned slightly either right or left. This does not happen if the shifter is in "park". It only happens when stationary or moving at no more than back-up speed. Bernard Green gave another typical report of this problem, experiencing vibration whilst standing with gear in Drive and either Hand Brake or Foot Brake on, also when standing with steering wheel locked on (turning right on an incline). As others have found, when engaging Neutral the vibration stops. As of spring 2003, Land Rover were aware of the problem and were "working on it". Bernard's local dealer thought it might be due to his recent upgrade to the 19 inch wheels, but he first noticed it when he still had the 18 inch wheels. Simon Davies also reports a vibration coming from the front of the vehicle when moving slowly which seems to be only present during every half rotation of the road wheels. This is not noticeable at speed.

Solution: This vibration now appears to be a separate issue from the valve problem mentioned above. This became evident in late July 2003 after another owner reported vibration on his brand new RR he just picked up (build date April 2003): "I get vibration through the steering wheel with the car in Drive and my foot on the brake pedal.  There is no vibration when I take my foot off the brake or switch into neutral or park.  The vibration worsens a little when the car is warm and is lessened somewhat when the AC is turned on and the idle RPM increases".  A day or two later, after a successful trip to the dealer, he was able to report that "It appears that the base idle speed (without the AC turned on) was set too low from the factory.  The idle speed has been reset and the vibration now seems normal. Turning on the AC now only causes a blip in the RPM as opposed to a jump.  I compared the fix to a new RR which exhibited the same problem which they will be fixing".

Another cause of low speed vibration is the driveshafts -- Colin Lewis of Sutton Coldfield reports: "The vibration felt at low speeds is most definitely the drive shafts that need replacing. Range Rover issued a bulletin in May 2005. My driveshafts were replaced and now there is no more vibration." For more details on this variation, see the "Drivetrain Vibration" section above. 

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Steering Wheel Problems
Tim from Scotland reports having some minor issues on his TD6 with his steering wheel, and that the "suede" effect trim on the little arms joining the wheel boss to the rim comes off. He reports that LR are fitting new steering wheels to the vehicles.

Stereo System Issues
Chris Waters reported his stereo started making a crackling noise from the tweeter in the front door and the speaker behind the rear seats after the battery was changed. The amplifier was stripped and signs of corrosion were found in it; the dealer was unable to repair it but when they replaced it the problem disappeared.

Tailgate Latch Problem
Curt Anderson reports "T
he hatch lock on my vehicle came loose recently. Now it will close only if you try and tighten down the two allyn wrench bolts on the tailgate. However, you need to do this every time you open and close the hatch as they come loose. With them loose the hatch closes but the trunk light will stay on. Tough when you have the rear compartment cover on as you cannot tell if the light has gone out when you close the hatch."

Tire Problems: Noise, Uneven Wear, "Cupping". 

A large number of owners have reported problems with the tires, especially the Goodyears fitted as OEM equipment in 2002-2004 (2003/2004 model years). Typical is tire noise after 5 or 10K miles, with uneven wear or cupping evident on the tires. Most have reported that replacement with another brand (especially Pirellis) seems to fix the problem. You should also get the wheel alignment checked to see whether that is a possible cause.

For example, one owner reported a "whup; whup" vibration that could be heard, felt thru the steering wheel, corresponding to road speed, evening out at higher speeds. In his case, the rear left tire had a rippled, alternating wear but the other 3 tires were good. Another owner reports that Land Rover knows about the problem and have now changed the 19" tires to Michelins. However if you have the Goodyears, Land Rover won't replace them as tire wear is not covered under warranty. Goodyear will replace them on a pro-rated basis, but only with more  Goodyears, so you will probably end up with the same problem.  Marshall Cole reported  a similar problem with excessive tire noise on his 2004 RR with Dunlop tires. It began about 10,000 miles and became very bad at 14,000. Sultan Al Mahmood had the same problem but it went away when he replaced the tires with Pirellis. He also recommends rotating the tires (diagonally) every 10,000 km to avoid a recurrence.

Towing Peculiarities

This model has an odd trailer hitch arrangement, which is recessed 11+ inches behind the rear bumper.  Tom Cirillo reports that when he first got his new model Range Rover and wanted to tow a trailer with it, the dealer did not know how to hook up a conventional hitch ball to the receiver. It transpires that this requires a 'Range Rover trailer kit', which is nothing more than a long extension for the ball mount. One has to question the mechanical wisdom of an arrangement requiring the ball mount to be cantilevered about a foot out back of the hitch receiver, but I am sure it has been thoroughly tested. However, I would be wary of using aftermarket hitch extensions in case they are not strong enough. The official kit also includes a trailer wiring harness, which is relatively complex due to the sophistication of the electrical system on the new model. Ron Beckett reports that it sends a signal to the vehicle's BeCM.

Bernard Green reports having a Range Rover Factory Tow Bar & Wiring fitted by his local agent in Sheffield........ the work was carried out in the day, as
complicated as it is. He reports: "The vehicle tows my 23ft caravan like a dream.........on this one STICK TO GENUINE GEAR......IT WORKS, no problems
in hitching up, the swan neck ball works fine. Cost £700 though."

Laurie Wadman reports that Hayman Reece, an Australian company, has manufactured a tow coupling for Rover Australia, to adapt the original factory hitch receiver to the lower height used in Australia.

Roy Sherlock of Ireland reports "I had a genuine RR removable tow bar fitted to my TD6 - the adjustable type, not the swan neck type. When towing an empty trailer, the assembly makes an infernal banging noise as a result of 'play' between fixed and removable sections of the tow assembly. RR say nobody else has made such a complaint. It is obviously a design fault and is unacceptable on such an otherwise quiet jeep."

 
Transmission Shifting Malfunction
Simon Davies reports (April 2004) a new problem we have not come across before -- "When going up steep hills it decelerates - prompting me to depress the accelerator more and more with very little/no effect. Then it suddenly revs excessively and picks up. It seems very all or nothing." In May 2004 Simon was able to elaborate and provide an update of the problem: "My concern is about the RR going up steep hills. Strange throttle response, plus a degree of transmission backlash when decelerating at the top (rather akin to feeling like the rear axle is shunting the front). My local dealer went to a great deal of trouble taking me to a steep hill and allowing me to transverse the same hill in their own 4.4 as well as mine, for comparative purposes. They were just the same. It seems that the RR electronics take inputs from a number of position and load sensors; when the vehicle is pointing up steep hills, and the energy required to move the car alters, adjustments to the normal engine response are made. These account for the non linear throttle. I guess they also account for the driveline shunt at the top because the management electronics can't detect that I can see the end of the slope and back off. I'm very happy with the dealer (Testers of Edenbridge, Kent), but (as usual) less happy with LR as I feel this makes the car a little less refined than I'd expect."

Update October 2004: Another owner reports a similar problem and has found the cause: "There is a sensor connected to the radiator that malfunctions and sends a wrong signal to one of the computers that makes the transmission shift incorrectly. They have to replace the entire radiator because the sensor is permanently connected to it; brilliant engineering huh. Mine has been replaced twice. Hopes this helps others!"

Yousuf found a similar effect when he drove his RR 4.4 in the desert. The reason in his case was that he did not disable the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), which kept decelerating the car in the RPM range above about 1,500. Thus he advises that for any sort of off-roading in the RR 4.4 the DSC should be disabled.

Transmission Hesitant to Shift:
Adam Loera reports his 2004 model revs up to 3500 or 4000 rpm before shifting up to the next gear.

Vibration Problems

The most common problems I keep hearing from owners of the new model have to do with vibrations felt through the steering, brake or gas pedal. These are dealt with in the following sections:
Steering Wheel Vibration, above.
Drivetrain Vibration, above.

Brake Rotor Vibration:
Another vibration was reported recently by Hayel, who purchased his new Range Rover in March 2003. He says the car is otherwise perfect, but he has had to have his brake rotors changed 3 times due to vibration. The car only has 24,000 km on it.

Whining Noise from Turbocharger (Diesel Models)
The turbocharger on some TD6 vehicles seems to be faulty and produces a whining noise. Steve I. who has a TD6 model in Ireland reported: "At 1300 rpm at approximately 30 to 40 mph you can hear a noticeable engine whine coming from the right front side. So far my local dealer has not been able to offer any suggestion. During a 3 week stay the dealership replaced drive shafts, which cured a vibration when turning to the right. They replaced the injectors. They also replaced the turbo unit, still no change, and the whining continued. Land Rover Ireland sent their top people to have a look at the car, and they said that everything that could be done had been done, and it was just one of those things. Thankfully as I have been a customer of this particular dealer for years, their chief mechanic as a last resort decided to replace the new turbo. Guess what, the whining is gone!"

Bernard Green of England had the same problem, which was also cured when his dealer replaced the turbo. Similarly, Andrew Neville had a strange whistling noise from his TD6 (purchased in late 2003) at about 2,500 rpm,, especially at about half throttle and under load. Andrew reports (February 2005) that after it had become really loud, it was finally cured when the turbo was replaced. Martyn in the UK also had this noise, which he said some call the 'Singing Turbo Lady'. His sounded like an ambulance siren when the rev's rose between 1,000 & 2,000 RPM. The main dealer (reluctantly) changed the turbocharger and the noise disappeared

Whooshing Noise from Turbocharger (Diesel Models)

One reader who purchased a used 2003 Range Rover TD6 SE found that when accelerating reasonably hard she got a whooshing noise( not to be confused with turbo whine) from under the hood. "The fault/ noise was traced to a hole in the turbo intercooler sited just below the radiator just by the front tow hitch. It had been hit by a stone and split for approximately 3 inches. I have repaired the split with liquid metal and the noise has gone. NOT TO MENTION THAT MY FUEL ECONOMY HAS GONE UP IN THE BARGAIN!"
 
Winch Availability

At the Range Rover launch I was told by the resident off-road instructor that Warn was not going to make a winch mount for the Mk III Range Rover as it did for the 4.0/4.6, due to the difficulty of airbag compatibility etc. This seemed like a feeble excuse, as the same applied to the 4.0/4.6 for which a great mount was produced -- which I have personally and has saved me on several occasions). I was extremely disappointed by this "news", but then heard from an alert reader  that Yes!!!, indeed, one was being developed by Warn.

Steve Gurney was at Eastnor Castle (Land Rover's traditional proving ground) early in February 2003 and they had just returned the first prototype to Warn after testing. It was rejected as it protruded out too far - seriously affecting approach angle. According to one of the guys it was much worse than the winch mounting for the 4.0/4.6 which I have (that one, which I have, does admittedly stick out too far in the front but on the good side does give excellent access to the cable drum and has skids welded onto the protruding parts).

However, Warn are now producing a new prototype that will fit into a cut out in the bumper and be recessed into it. They were hoping to get this back for testing in Feb and March to sign off in time for the G4 event to show it off. Steve reports that these RR's will first be used in Australia, but will be present in US and South Africa for press purposes.

Personally, I waited before purchasing my 4.0SE until a winch option was available, so the availability of one for the Mk III will make this model all the more irresistible!!

Window Control Trim Peeling
The rubber coating around the power window buttons on the front driver side door is prone to peeling off. Hakan Durag of Istanbul experienced this effect on his 2003 RR -- he was told this was a common problem and the dealer changed the entire rubber coated casing that surrounds the power window switches. I have also experienced slight peeling of this trim, and decided to wait til it was bad enough before reporting it to the dealer.  (Hakan reports (2006) that now the rubber material covering the steering wheel columns have started peeling and he plans to ask the dealer to replace this on his next visit). For more information on this see the L322 Interior Trim Problems & Solutions page.

 

Windshield & Front Vents Vibration / Buzzing Noise

One reader told me that on the two new Range Rovers he has driven, both had a windshield vibration. Another owner, Steve Gurney, had this problem on his Mk III Vogue. It occurs at speed over 50 mph and loudness is dependent on wind speed/direction. It is to do with the air vents and the windscreen mounts. Steve reports that production has changed the internal vent design and the windscreen mount is now wider. There is a back-log on these parts as all initial supplies were being diverted to production cars. The new windscreen design was introduced from approximately late November 2002 onwards.

Another case of this vibration was reported by Earl Thiel who tells us that on his '03 Range Rover he experiences "the Vibration coming from the windshield area-intermittently at 40-50 mph."

Of course apart from Land Rover build quality issues, one of the problems this highlights is that Land Rover has been caught up in the American Madison Avenue method of model year dating so the 03 models are really 02's. This is also annoying when it comes to buying a used RR -- to determine what year it really is, look at the build date on the rear of the driver's door.

Another owner recently reported a leaking windshield which was later sealed by the dealer.

Windshield Wipers Banging on "A" Pillar
When using the windshield wipers, the left front one can hit the left "A" pillar at highway speeds (not evident at lower speeds). When I first reported this problem on my 2004 model, the dealer gave the familiar answer of "not being able to replicate the problem "because it wasn't raining. I later figured out that you can replicate it by driving at high speed with the windshield washers activated to simulate rain. In 2008 Andrew Elmore and I both happened to get our dealers to have another try at this problem, and by that time they had encountered enough instances of this issue to know that it is due to the wiper being set to the wrong position on its shaft. The design allows the wiper blade to be fitted in several orientations or "notches", and a simple adjustment of this setting cures the problem.

Extended Warranties

Due to the considerable expense of proper maintenance and repairs for the newer model Range Rovers, and your dependence on the dealer for many electronic-related problems, extended warranties can be very attractive. Click here to find out more about the pros and cons of aftermarket warranties for Range Rovers.

Parts and Accessories Sources

Most often the local dealer is the best bet for parts for the later models. If you patronize yours frequently, they may give you a discount. Most aftermarket parts sources do not yet have many parts for the Mk III, but I have found a few and have started a new page on parts and accessory sources specifically for the Mk III Range Rover.

Other Information Sources

Range Rover III Forum
Repair Operation Details: Beyond the Shop Manual (Please send in your contributions for Mk III model)
Parts & Accessories for the Range Rover III
Outfitting the Range Rover III
Owner Experiences with the new model
Model Year Details for the Range Rover III
Alldata repair info, Rover tech bulletins etc (As of Feb 2003, not yet available for 2003 RR)
EFI Problems, Diagnostics and ECU rebuilding (Car Electronic Services)
MAD Mechanic (Motor And Diagnosis) a lot of useful diagnostic info for modern vehicles.
Recall Listing for Range Rovers
Service Bulletins for Range Rover (Topic listing by Alldata; contents available by subscription)
Extended Warranties for Range Rovers (Pros and cons, and a great deal from a sponsor)

 

 

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Page revised February 10, 2012