This page is an ongoing work in progress. Please email us with any additions.
Manuals, Instruments and Tools
Bonnet/Hood Flying Open
Brake Calipers Seizing
Check Engine Light
Coolant Level Warning
Engine Quits due to Fuel Pump Failure
Engine System Fault Message
Front Diff Failure/Lockup of Front Wheels
Fuel Pump Failure
Hood/Bonnet Flying Open
Nav System Voice Interferes with Phone
Power Loss at Highway Speeds
Transmission/Gearbox Rasping Noise
Vibration Felt in Steering
Vibration from Loudspeaker
Other Information Sources
The Range Rover Sport shares most of its structure and mechanicals with the Discovery 3 (or so-called "LR3" in North America, a name apparently chosen to try and escape the Discovery's unreliable reputation). Consequently, many of the same issues occur in both vehicles. While we keep hearing hopeful announcements from Solihull indicating that build quality problems are over, unfortunately the brand remains stubbornly at the bottom of quality and dependability surveys. (Part of the problem is that improvements have been made, but the competition has improved more). For example, the Range Rover and LR3 were not long ago rated by Forbes Magazine as the "Least reliable luxury cars". Here we attempt to address some of the most common problems, based on owner experiences and information gleaned from professional Land Rover mechanics. We hope that passing on these experiences may make it easier for future enthusiasts to deal with them without going through the learning curve. Please write in with your experiences so we can share them with other owners.
Until 2009 most RR Sports were probably
under factory warranty, so few details emerged on do-it-yourself
solutions and repair operations. Entries from that period on this page
attempt to help with issues that owners identified as teething problems
so readers can alert their dealers to the needed repairs.
Now that warranties are expiring on the older models, owners are beginning to gain experience
their own repairs. If you are one of these, please take pictures and
notes and email me so we can write them up in the Repair Operations
How-To section of this site to help other owners.
Manuals, Instruments and Tools
To my knowledge manuals for
the latest model Range Rovers are no longer available in paper form,
unfortunately. However Land Rover has provided an online alternative called
TOPIx. 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. 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 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 Sport and D3/LR3 should
to use entirely metric bolts so carrying
both metric and SAE wrenches should not be necessary. However, since
whole vehicle is dominated by electrics, a multimeter is essential to
to do your own diagnostics.
In July 2008 a recall was issued in the US for 37,000 Range Rover Sports and LR3s (2006-7 models) . According to Consumer Reports, "The relative motion between the steering wheel hub and/or steering column cowl with the clock spring, which contains air bag circuitry, could cause a fracture in the driver-side air bag wiring connection. The SRS warning light will illuminate to alert the driver that a repair is necessary, but if a driver ignores the light and gets into a crash, the air bag may not deploy properly.
Dealers will make the necessary repairs to fix the alignment. Owners may contact Land Rover at 1-800-637-6837."
Bonnet/ Hood Flying Open
Elliott reports "Just picked up my new RR sport Friday, driving
down the motorway today and the bonnet came open ! it did not fly up as
the safety catch caught it but it was very worrying on a brand new
vehicle. Have you heard of this on any other RR Sports?"
Roderick Anderson reports a similar issue on his mechanically similar Discovery 3 (LR3). "I had the same exact problem happen with my Discovery 3 when it was almost new. Same thing, the catch caught it, but the thing was almost to fly open at highway speeds, so I had to pull over immediately. I put WD-40 on the surfaces where the catches slide, and from that point forward has never happened again."
Brake Calipers Seizing
Matt Hughes reports a strange incident whereby his rear brake calipers seized up in the "on" position. The vehicle had to be taken to the dealer on a truck to release them and have the discs and pads replaced after releasing the calipers. I was reading your site details on the RR Sport and came across the seized rear caliper paragraph. Robert Lane reports that although he has not had this problem himself, he has heard about it from the off road LR team. The shoes in the drums shed the material which turns round and jams the brakes on. Using Hill Descent in low range and stopping on a slope can cause brake to stick on. There is a manual release for the brake which is located under the small tab plate under the drink cup holders. Remove the cup holders, release the plastic cover in middle to get to cable release.
reports (Feb 2010) "I have had similar issue with my 2010 Sport with
miles. While driving on highway at about 65 mph, I began feeling the
vibrate excessively to the point the I thought I had a flat tire. I
and noticed that my right rear tire was smoking and the rotor was
and everything smelled of burnt rubber.
Coolant Level Warning
Apparent coolant leaks (early models through 2006) may be due to a faulty coolant level float absorbing coolant and sinking.
Engine Quits due to Fuel Pump
I have heard several reports of the engine quitting due to fuel pump failure. In two cases the engine suddenly shut off completely while driving on the highway in brand new RR Sports. In both cases the problem turned out to be failure of the fuel pump. One owner was told the fuel pump was not 100% true and as it was running it would get too warm, causing something to expand and bind up the pump. The fuel pump binds up and boom no fuel pressure -- and the engine either starves or the ECU shuts it down. Barry Zucker reports "I bought my RRS and the end of Dec 05' and 3 times it had the exact symptoms described on your website. I brought my car back and it was determined to be both the fuel pump and gas tank that needed to be replaced. I love the car and I know that cars in their first year could have problems, but I have to say I'm somewhat disappointed". More recently, Jim Adams had his fuel pump fail on the first day of ownership -- his Sport then spent three weeks in the shop (in the US) waiting for the parts to arrive from England.
"Engine System Fault" Message
also Power Loss section below). Some
owners have experienced a false "Engine System Fault" message
coming on, limiting the maximum speed to 50mph (80kph). It can be reset
when you stop and remove the key, but will often recur. Typical is the
experience of Angus Wade of the Czech
Republic -- he has the had
system fault" message 7 times, having to stop and restart the vehicle
to reset it. After two trips to the Czech dealer and one in England,
the problem still persists.The false
message is apparently caused by an over
stressed gearbox or rear-end wiring loom that has been incorrectly fitted on the
production line, resulting in bad connections. One dealer diagnosed
it as faulty rear wiring looms off the catalytic converter, causing the
engine to read faulty oxygen levels and hence the 'amber' engine light. It was fixed with a software download and
tightening of 02 sensor connections. Another owner, Anita,
reports "I was on your forum and read about the engine
quitting. Well mine has happened 4 times on a LR3, which has the
same components and chassis etc. as the Rover Sport. Anyway, they
had replaced ground wires, but that didn't work. Now they have
replace the ECU, so we will see if that works. Also, what is odd
is that my LR3 was experiencing fault problems and wouldn't turn
on. (No cranking of the engine) Have you seen these
problems? They replaced the fuel tank and these things still
2006 a TSB was issued on this problem for the RR Sport Supercharged. It
was admitted that the problem may clear itself (temporarily or
permanently) when the ignition is turned off. The problem seems to be
in the engine control software -- in the words of the TSB "A software
calibration sensitivity issue may be the cause. If the
software incorrectly detects a difference between the values generated
by the two methods used for calculating engine
torque, the vehicle engine will enter a
'limp home' mode. Action:
Should a customer express a concern regarding this situation, ...
update the Engine Control Module
In 2008 I received a report from Switzerland about this message appearing in a new Sport with the 3.6 litre turbocharged diesel engine.
"Check Engine" Light On
All the Rover models with the new Jaguar-derived engines (Sport, LR3/Discovery 3, 2006 & up Range Rover) seem to have a problem with the "check engine" light coming on randomly for no apparent reason. Sometimes it goes off by itself and sometimes not. (For more details, see the Check Engine Light section on the RR III Common Symptoms and Fixes Page). In the case of the Sport, Christine reported her check engine light comes on for no reason and simultaneously disables the voice command, radio and nav. system. Initially it was thought by the dealer to be the cam sensor having signal interruptions because the harness was loose. However correcting this did not fix the problem -- the next day when the engine was started the nav sys., radio etc. were inoperable again. Currently (May 2006) she is waiting for a new ECM software update supposedly being checked out by the dealer before trying it on customer vehicles.
(August 2006) we keep getting a steady stream of reports about this
problem, so no effective cure seems to have been found just yet. David
Scott Levaton, for example, has been experiencing this problem for the
past six months without the dealer being able to fix it. He reports
that it comes on intermittently, and has affected the shifting. After
reading the information here, he now attributes some of the other
electrical problems he has been having (such as the nav system
intermittently shutting down) to the same source.
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Front Diff Failure/Lockup of Front Wheels
By the time of the introduction of the Range Rover Sport, Land Rover had switched over to Jaguar-based drive trains and redesigned the front driveline to incorporate flexible joints at both the front and the rear of the front driveshaft, rather than just at the rear as on the 2003-2005 Range Rover which experienced so many problems with the resulting failures. The new design seemed to greatly improve the situation, but in February 2007 I began hearing from Sport and LR3 owners who experienced even more serious front diff failures in which the front wheels entirely locked up.
was from an owner who reported the problem on his 06 Range Rover Sport:
"At 65 mph 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."
experienced this same set of symptoms on his 2006 Sport when it reached
16,000 miles, with the front wheels locking up at 120 kph (75 mph).
The dealer replaced the diff.
Ristine had the same problem on his brand new 2006 LR3
(mechanically almost identical to the RR Sport). He elaborated on the
symptoms as follows: "We were driving down the highway at 60 to 70 mph
when I heard this
whining noise so I slowed to about 55 when all of a sudden the front
wheels locked up and we came to a screeching halt in the middle of
nowhere. We also had some difficulty getting the vehicle off of
October 2009 Dan Isham
reported: "This happened to me yesterday
thankfully I was able to pull
off the free when it actually locked up. The crapper for me is the
it would cost $2900 to fix since my warranty lapsed on my 06 Sport at
On December 26, 2009, Richard Stewart had the same issue on his 2006 LR3, while exiting from the Interstate; the vehicle had to be towed 100 miles to the dealer, who found that the pinion had a half inch of end play. Richard had previously noticed the transmission seemed to jerk into gear, a symptom that disappeared after the front diff was replaced.
January 2010 I
continue to get reports of this happening on the
Sport and the LR3. Matthias Greillerhad his front
wheels lock up at highway speed on his 2007 Range Rover Sport TDV6 at 60 mph -- fortunately he is still alive
to tell the tale. He was driving at approx. 80km/h on a Swiss
"Luckily it was so late at night that no traffic was behind me -
otherwise this could have ended badly." The symptoms:
suddenly a cracking noise from somewhere in the gearbox
- immediately after a blocking of the front wheels, short phase of slipping
- afterwards grinding noises plus a sound as if something is twisting around in the gearbox
- burnt smell
If you experience this problem you should probably file a report with the NHTSA (in the US) or equivalent agency in other countries so they can keep track of the number of incidents to determine whether it is a significant issue worthy of investigation.
On early production models I started hearing reports of a rattle that seems to come from the rear of the gearbox. In one case the entire engine was replaced, and the owner heard there were 35 other Sports in Europe with this problem at the time (late 2005).
During 2006, some owners of the
mechanically-identical RR Sport and Discovery 3 / LR3 have been
experiencing this or a similar transmission noise. For example, one
owner reports that in May 2006 his started making a “chain or
rasping sound” from underneath the car just after taking his foot off
gas pedal. The dealer said they had a software fix for
it was a noise happening in third gear. Unfortunately, the noise was
actually in all the gears at various speeds, and the software fix did
work. On a test drive with the
area Land Rover technical support representative and a representative
from ZIFF transmissions, after initial denials they confessed
that they knew about this noise problem and that ZIFF
were working on a fix. As the owner said, "More and more customers are
coming in with this
and it appears to have happened after we all had a “software upgrade”.
In fact, Land Rover have told me that the new RRS and Land Rover D3 are
coming out of the factories making this noise (obviously because they
latest software loaded on them). We are told that the
noise is not damaging the car (though
they do not know what the noise actually is, but suspect it is coming
transfer box) and that ZF are working on a fix for it. The
only solution for it at the moment is to turn up your
stereo, air-con and keep the windows up as you probably will not hear
Update February 2007:
Another owner experiencing this problem described it as a "rasp" noise
during and after acceleration. The dealer admitted that most Sports
have this problem and that ZF is still working on a fix. It is thought
to be a hydraulic clutch problem and it is not yet clear whether it
will be a parts or software update that is needed to fix it.
Update January 2010: Calin
of Rumania reports this problem on his 2005 RR Sport. "I HAVE THE EXACT PROBLEM, THAT NOISE LIKE
A RATTLE, coming from the gearbox, after the engine is warm. The noise
is not continuous, but keeps coming and going when I lift my foot from
the accelerator. When I shift in S mode it barely can be heard. The
mechanic opened the
gear box and told me the cost will be 3500 euros to replace some used
components together with the drum. When he opened the gear box only 2,5
liter of burned oil came out. (Normally they said the box has 6-7
It is possible that this noise may be the same as a noise (clunk) when the throttle is released and applied on models up to 2007. It sounds like driveshaft play, but is actually caused by the 4.4L engine power train control module program which must be flashed.
Fuel Pump Failure
See "Engine Quits due to Fuel Pump Failure" above.
Nav System Voice Interfering with
Several owners have complained about the fact that the nav system voice does not mute when talking on the phone. In the words of one owner, "If I am on the phone the stupid navigation voice will not be muted. It is very disconcerting to try to talk on the phone with "Bernard" in the background blaring directions." Another owner reports: "I complained with Land Rover about this issue already, but unless enough people do the same I doubt they will come up with a fix, which I bet could be done with a simple software update. Ideally, they should at least include an option under the Settings menu to mute navigation voice while on a call. As you have probably figured out by now, you can reach for the volume knob when "Bernard" starts yapping to manually lower the nav voice while you are on the phone. Nevertheless, it is an annoyance".
Until Land Rover acknowledges and fixes this
design flaw, one work-around for this problem is to press the home
button while in map mode. There is a setting at the
bottom to turn the voice on and off. That makes it only two clicks away
you are in map mode. However, you have
to raise the volume of the nav voice (or cancel the mute) after hanging
at Highway Speed
Many owners have experienced power loss at highway speed, usually coupled with the Engine System Failure message (see above). For example, Sarah reports: "On several occasions I have had loss of power. The "Engine System Failure" sign came on. Power came back. I went into dealership. Land Rover technical said to update the ‘computer’ system. I am sure you know the right phrase I am so wear of it all that I cannot think straight.
possibly related service bulletin (NASF TSB #LTB00041, Rev 2) entitled
"Reduced Power Under Load" appeared, affecting the supercharged
versions of the L322/LM and Range Rover Sport/LS Sport vin numbers
6A901924 to 7A109767) The symptom was described as reduced power and or
a misfire at high engine
loads and road speeds, with the possibility of Diagnostic Trouble Codes
(DTC) P0096 and/or P2601 stored. The source of the problem was
described as follows: "The electrical harness power supply
and ground for the auxiliary coolant pump may be cross connected in
connector C3006. The pump will run backwards causing the Engine
Control Module (ECM) to reduce power to prevent damage because the pump
flow is low. The auxiliary coolant pump will be degraded under these
Action: Should a customer express concern, modify the wiring at connector C3006 to the correct positions:
• Cavity 1 connected to "-" pump connection Black (B) Brown (N)
• Cavity 2 connected to "+" pump connection Brown / Purple (NP) Red / White (RW)
Install a new supercharger coolant pump as part of the repair if either
the fault codes or the incorrect wiring
is discovered following the repair."
Update January 2010: Owners continue to experience this problem. Peter White reports his recent experience with his Range Rover Sport Supercharged HST (late 2006 model): "Engine fault warning when accelerating/overtaking on motorway. Happened 3 times in one month. Immediate power loss to limp home mode – very dangerous! Temporarily solved by stopping the vehicle, turning off and removing the key. Dealer suggested software upgrade but later suggested both a software upgrade and replacement supercharger coolant pump and associated wiring following a diagnostic check."
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Problems with the air suspension seem to be less frequent with the Sport than in previous Range Rover models, but they still do occur. One owner reports "Whenever my RRS is lowered to "access" level a suspension system fault message appears.". Another reports " Had the RRS back less than 2 hours and another "suspension fault." Also kept receiving messages that the vehicle is raising slowly and vehicle will raise when system cools. Couldn't even drive because it wouldn't raise out of access mode. Anyway, back to the dealer. Picked the RRS up again today-dealer said the EAS compressor was faulty and replaced it. So far everything is ok." Overall, most of the problems seem to be related to bad suspension height sensors or bad compressors. Angus Wade of the Czech Republic had his suspension light come on when in Germany; it started yellow and then red, then disappeared when he stopped and restarted the engine -- and has not happened since. His dealer said they have seen this a bit.
Weak Compressor: An official
Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) LS-204-004 addresses "ELECTRONIC AIR
SUSPENSION (EAS) WARNING MESSAGE AND LAMP ILLUMINATION". This deals
with the warning message "Suspension Fault – Normal Height Only"
message appearing with the Air Suspension Warning Lamp on. Computer
diagnosis shows pressure increasing too slowly or unable to
pressurize, with no air leaks. The usual problem is the compressor
exhaust valve sticking, causing an internal air leak when the
compressor is active. The bulletin recommends renewing the air
compressor (RQG500090 is the latest specification air compressor with a
stronger exhaust valve return spring) and installing and updating the
air suspension control module software using WDS disc 13 or later.
Suspension Fault Message (random):
One owner reported getting random suspension fault messages on his
brand new RR Sport purchased in June 2006, well after the fix was in
for the weak compressor. His suspension Fault message and Suspension
Warning Light (Amber) came on after 5 days of ownership. He stopped and
restarted the car, which caused the light and message to disappear, but
they came on again after 5 minutes. Later the same day, the warnings
I have heard that on 2006 models, EAS fault messages can be caused by an internal leak in the Air Suspension compressor exhaust valve. The fix is said to be replacing the compressor updating the software.
Vibration Felt in Steering
Many Sport owners have noticed a vibration felt through the steering, especially but not exclusively with the bigger (20 inch) wheel size options offered. This was particularly the case with early build Sports. It was usually manifested as a shimmy at 50+ mph throughout the steering and the entire vehicle. Some owners have had vibration at 5-15 mph as well. Before the end of 2005 Land Rover recognized the problem and issued a technical bulletin on this problem. It was fixed with a new steering rack design incorporating a vibration damper. Click here to see an official Land Rover diagram of the difference between the old and new steering rack designs, and here to see how to inspect yours to see if is the updated design.
Continuing Problems: In spite of the official "fix" above, I am
getting a steady flow of reports of this problem (throughout 2006),
making me wonder if
it is really fixed. For example, in April 2006 Oliver Reiner
same problem on his January
2006 - delivered Sport with Stormer wheels. In He reported:
"Furthermore when I drive
around at 20 to 40 km/h, and turn the wheel from side to side, I have a
horrible clonk sound from the steering". Tom Secodi was
experiencing the problem in May 2006 on his October 2005 build model,
even though it had the standard 19 inch wheels. It is particularly
noticeable at 40km/h and then between 50-60km/h. It feels like
something is out of balance in the drive train. It has recently
developed the vibration at highway speeds (100+ km/h). The dealer says
his is a 2006 model and should already have the steering rack mod. In
July 2006, John Ryan reported the
problem on his Sport, and David Wigham's Supercharged
Sport (with the new rack already fitted) seemed to be getting worse
rather than better (especially between 50 and 70 mph) after several
other dealer attempts to fix it involving a new wheel and new discs
and brakes. He also has the "Glonk" sound referred to above, and
reports experiencing pins and needles in his hands on long journeys.
He was told the problem is being worked on by Land Rover engineers.
Stephen Kitchen bought his Sport TDV6 HSE new in March 2006 and the
dealer has tried several times to eliminate the vibrations being
transmitted up to the steering wheel and to the pedals. Eventually he
was told these vibrations are a common characteristic of the model,
although h did not feel them in the two test vehicles he drove before
purchase. Another dealer tried replacing the lower steering column
assembly with an "upgraded" part, but this only made the vibration
worse. Stephen reports that fierce acceleration from rest is now a
rather unpleasant experience!
Tire flat spotting a contributing cause?
A Land Rover tech ("Bert") confirms that many owners make multiple trips to the
dealer, and can't get the vibration problem fixed. The stock 19 inch
Continental tires always seem to be involved. They seem
to flat-spot when parked for as little as an hour, causing vibration
when you start up. The problem is
even worse with larger wheel sizes. Accordingly, the
Road Force Balance method that is now the state-of-the-art must be done
when the tires are
hot (i.e. just after driving 10 miles or more). The
internal adhesive weights should be used. If necessary, the tire should
be rotated on the wheel to provide the
lowest road force. Tire position on each vehicle
corner should be based upon the measured road force
of each wheel. (see the Range Rover tire
balancing page -- the same methods apply to the Sport). Bert
has also noticed several vehicles whose tires were mounted incorrectly
by the factory. These are asymmetrical tires, marked Outside and Inside
on the tire side walls. This must always be respected, or the tire will
be rolling in the wrong direction.
Vibration from Loudspeaker
Some owners have noticed the plastic tray that sits under the front door speaker vibrates when there are low bass notes. It seems there is only one screw that holds the piece against the door (toward the opening and inset in the plastic). After tightening this phillips screw to its limit, there can still be annoying vibration. Bish reports there is now reported to be an official fix for this problem in the form of a better connector and 'padding' installed at the dealership.
Due to the considerable
expense of proper maintenance and repairs
the newer model Range Rovers, and your dependence on the dealer for
electronic-related problems, extended warranties can be very
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
Most aftermarket parts sources do not yet have many
parts for the Sport, but as this situation gradually improves I am planning have
started a new page on parts and accessory sources specifically for the Range
Other Information Sources
Range Rover Sport Forum
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)
Technical Service Bulletins for the RR Sport
Extended Warranties for Range Rovers (Pros and cons, and a great deal from a sponsor)
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If you have corrections, comments or suggestions, email us.
Page revised February 10, 2012