Maintenance Operation Details

RR at Darwin
Brake Bleeding Shortcut (Pre-ABS Classic)
Brake Bleeding (ABS Models)
Brake Pad & Rotor Replacement P38
Brake Caliper Guide Pin Replacement/Repair P38
Handbrake / Parking Brake Adjustment Procedure P38
Parking Brake Adjustment  P38

Pollen Filter Replacement P38
Serpentine Belt Replacement P38
Sunroof Drain Maintenance (All)
Spark Plug Replacement P38
Swivel Pin Housing Service (Classic)
Transfer Case Oil Change (Classic & P38)
Transmission Filter Change (Classic)
Transmission Filter Change P38
Transmission Filter Change (Mark III 2003-2005)
More Information


The pages on Common Range Rover Problems and Fixes, and Range Rover P38 Problems and Fixes cover "how-tos" on many of the routine service operations and things that frequently go wrong. This page is intended to give more detail on specific routine maintenance operations, with tips supplementing the shop manual. (Photo: "I wonder if we could borrow some parts for the Range Rover?")


Brake Bleeding Shortcut (Pre-ABS Classics)

This is traditionally a messy and tedious job that takes two people. Stuart Goggin suggests a much easier way; he has successfully used gravity bleeding on both of his Range Rovers. His instructions are simply to open up each bleed nipple on a caliper and drain until no bubbles appear. Then, pump the pedal a bit with the nipples closed to force the pistons against the disc and repeat. He feels there is no need for a pressure bleeder on a Range Rover as the master cylinder is much higher than the bleed nipple. It takes him about five minutes to completely bleed a caliper using this method.


Serpentine Belt Replacement (1993 and later models)

Late model Range Rovers use a single serpentine belt to drive the water pump, fan, alternator and power steering pump, instead of the four separate belts used on the Classic up to 1992. The belt should be changed as soon as any sign of cracking is seen or even a slight squeal is heard. The water pump and fan are driven by the smooth back side of the belt, which can slip fairly easily. I have experienced this (with accompanying coolant temperature rise) on the 4.0 under severe desert conditions with the A/C on, especially when four wheeling or idling. Normally, the viscous fan coupling only engages about 5-10% of the time, but more often at high ambient temperatures. When it does, it imposes a significant extra load which is enough to make a worn belt slip.


Instructions for the P38:
Fortunately, replacement of the serpentine belt is much easier than for any one of the single belts on the older models. The shop manual, however, makes the instructions hard to find by opaquely listing the operation in the Electrical section under "Alternator"  rather than in the section on the Cooling System.

The belt is tensioned by a sprung tensioning pulley. To release it, remove the top fan shroud on the radiator by releasing the two clips (one on each side). Then all you need is a 15 mm wrench to engage the tensioner pulley shaft and pull it in towards the water pump shaft. (Adam Rochlin simply used a ratchet wrench (set to tighten) with a piece of old pipe for leverage extension. He provides the following additional advice here:  Note that the 15 mm nut is simply a hold to release the tension on the belt  spring arm, and is not meant to be loosened or tightened.  Adam also mentions there are two notches on the spring arms' hinge that should be lined up when the tension arm is moved into the right position, just be careful of the snap-back should you slip!)

The belt then slips easily off all the pulleys. Because of the way it is threaded, with the smooth back side driving the water pump and fan, the belt does not encircle the water pump/fan shaft axis. Thus, it is not even necessary to get the belt past the fan blades during removal or replacement. Instead, simply slide the entire belt below this shaft before wrapping it around the various pulleys.

Swivel Pin Housing Service (Classic)
Topping up or replacing the oil in these housings is a vital part of maintenance. Unfortunately the fill plug seems to be specially designed to e hard to remove, as a nearby bolt head interferes with access to it.  Jan Michael Jacobson reports a new technique to get the plug out: "I removed a very stuck swivel housing level plug on the front axle of my 1991 Rangie quickly and easily in the following way: simply place the 1/4" square drive hole of a 3/8" 1/4" drive socket over the 1/4" square end of the level plug. Then use a 3/8" Allen wrench to rotate the socket and the plug. Quick, and all tools are readily at hand."

In the last years of Classic production Land Rover introduced a special grease that can be used in the swivel ball housings instead of oil. Theoretically this eliminates the need for periodic replacement of the oil. However if you use your Range Rover for water crossings, water will still get in and it is much harder to drain them with the grease in them than with the old fashioned oil. Brad Tottman uses Morey's engine oil stabilizer known in the US as Lucas oil) in his swivel balls and his CV joints have lasted 500,000 km.

More Information

Our pages on
Common Range Rover Problems and Fixes, and
Range Rover P38 Problems and Fixes cover "how-tos" on many of the routine service operations and the things that most often go wrong. The pages on
Repair Operation Details
Mechanical and Electrical Upgrades,
RR Suspension Details and Mods,

Other sources of info:
Air Suspension Problems (Classic)
ATP Electronic Developments Ltd (Remanufactured EFI parts)
P38 BeCM Symptoms  by Car Electronic Services
Coolant Renewal (Spanish Trail Rover Club)
CV Joint Replacement (Classic) Spanish Trail Rover Club
East Coast Rover (Coil spring conversions, ECU upgrades, new & rebuilt engines)
ECU/Airflow Meter Symptoms (Range Rover Register)
EFI Diagnostics and ECU rebuilding (Car Electronic Services)
Emergency Procedures (Some info from ETS Manual, from LR Club of Luxembourg)
Fuel Filter Replacement (Spanish Trail Rover Club
Great Basin Rovers (Differential gear sets)
Hub and Axle Repair Details (1990 Classic) by Greg Haugen
MAD Mechanic (Motor And Diagnosis) a lot of useful diagnostic info for modern vehicles.
Rear Axle Leaks (Rovers North Tech Tip)
Robison Service (Range Rover service)
Rovers North (Parts and Service)
RPI Engineering (New and Rebuilt Rover V8 engines, 3.9 to 5.2 liters)
Service Bulletins  for Range Rovers (Listing by Alldata)
Shop Manuals available from
Tech Tips (Rovers North)
Tech Tips (Classic RR) from Atlantic British
The Care and Feeding of Range Rovers (Andy Dingley)
Wheel Bearing Maintenance (Rovers North Tech Tip)
Wheel Bearing Replacement (Spanish Trail Rover Club Technical Section)



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Page revised February 9, 2012