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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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I'm the original owner of a 2004 Range Rover HSE with 49,022 miles. It is now driven only a few thousand miles per year, carefully maintained and garaged. I've read about timing chain guides disintegrating allowing the chain to jump time and inflict damage to the engine. Is this more likely to occur with significantly more than the 50,000 miles or is it an age of vehicle issue? Is there any preventive action I should take at this time?

2017 RR Sport HSE Stone Exterior & Expresso/Ivory Interior
2006 RR HSE - Sold
2004 RR HSE Zambezi Silver Exterior, Navy/Navy Oxford Interior, Luxury Interior Package
2000 Audi A8L - Sold
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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It would be extremely unlikely to have an issue with your timing guides at this mileage. Most issues occur well over 100k mi mark and in some cases past 200k. You can extend the life of your chain guides by changing oil every 3-5k mi (in your case, annually) with high-quality synthetic variant (I prefer Liqui Moly) and just drive the car more.
P.S. Alternatively, you can sell your Rover to me, I'd love to get another low-mileage M62-powered truck. :)
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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I'm fairly certain you're not driving an actual 2004 Rover, but a unicorn shape-shifter masquerading as a 49K mile L322. That's the only logical explanation. :)

The BMW M62 engine does a problematic plastic timing chain guide, something I looked into before buying my 2004 M62 a year ago. In a cruel irony, the part is only a hundred bucks or so, but convincing it to attach to an engine block costs about $4,000 in labor costs, or something like that. As to your question, I've only seen references to it being a mileage and wear related repair, rather than age-driven (like a window weatherstrip exposed to sun). I've found online references to the M62 guides failing at 105K miles, 160K, 170K, 180K, and 230K miles, for an average of 170K miles / 275K km. But you never hear about the guides that DON'T fail, so the average lifespan is likely higher than 170K. The website for Roverworks, an Aussie shop, recommends having an M62 engine inspected for timing chain issues at 140K miles / 225K km. A rattling, slapping or "diesel engine" noise, often worst at cold start-up, are said to be common symptoms.

Timing chain/gear problems, in any make of engine, are often caused by either high vehicle mileage or compromised lubrication, namely old or inappropriate motor oil. From the Robison Service website, a larger Rover shop: "2003 Range Rovers were advertised as 15,000 mile oil service....that is way too long to run the motor oil, even a good synthetic. Engines that have been run that long will often have sludge, and you'll see evidence of crud in the oil filter housing. I suggest changing the oil on these rigs annually, or at 7,500 mi to 10,000 mi intervals at normal use. Do that and these M62 engines will last forever." (Keep in mind that with a large 9.6 quart sump, longer oil service intervals are justified, but 15,000 miles is a bit much, a number that was likely as marketing driven than engineering driven.)

FYI, I'll send over my German Shepherd to pick up your 49K mi L322 tomorrow, and look forward to using it as a tow rig for my camping trailer. He'll leave a case of India Pale Ale in return. Don't worry -- he's actually a pretty talented driver, but he does have a few road rage issues he needs to work through. Hopefully your Range Rover is insured.
 
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