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Hey all, I finally decided to give in and purchase a Range Rover. Problem is, I know absolutely nothing about them. I've heard several horror stories from friends and reviews about how terrible and unreliable these trucks are, but I figured the best place to receive accurate information would be a Range Rover forum. I'm leaving for college soon and will need this truck to last me several years and be able to drive from California to Texas several times a year without leaving me stranded. I will be buying a pre-owned one private party, probably about a 2000 or 2001. Naturally, it'll probably have higher miles. Assuming whoever is trying to sell me the truck will lie, what are some things I need to look for? Strange noises, leaks, etc. I admit, I'm not very mechanically inclined, and I do not mind spending a reasonable amount of money to maintain a car I'm crazy about, but I just don't want to be ripped off. Any and all tips are much appreciated, thanks!
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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626 Posts
If you're not mechanically inclined then after 6months to a year of ownership that will have changed for sure.
P38's get a bad rep usually from people who have never owned one themselves but anyone on here will tell you it is un-warranted.
Over heating is the killer for these rigs so more preventative maintenance is required than for your average Nissan pick-up truck but if you keep on top of it you should have a great vehicle as long as you're not afraid to get your paws dirty on accasion.
There are check lists on here and online of what to look for when buying one and obviously one with as low miles as possible and good service records should top your list.Either way whatever you choose this forum will become your bible or go to place to find solutions to any problems you might encounter along the way.
One thing I'll say though if you're not willing to work on it yourself and want to take it to your LR dealership for every little issue then i'd stay away from buying one right now on a students budjet as it will cost you a fortune unless you've got Liberia's deficit in your skyrocket.
 

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My Range Rover is probably the most unreliable vehicle due mostly to HVAC and electrical issues I have ever owned, but because I like it so much (styling, interior ergonomics,and performance) am prepared to spend the time and money on it.

It is driven daily though and putting 40,000 kms a year on a now 16 year old vehicle is going to create problems.

Its like painting the Golden Gate bridge, by the time you think its finshed, the other end needs painting.

Dont buy one If you can just afford the purchase price and are left with no further funds for repairs.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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To me the term unreliable means its gonna break down,fail to start or leave you stranded in the backarse of nowhere.HvAC may be unreliable at times due to poor cog design in the blend motors etc but you have to take into account what you're driving.these are high end vehicles and need extra TLC but that being said outside of maybe a crank shaft sensor going bad and leaving you stranded ( which in fairness could happen on any vehicle) I'd have to say these are very reliable vehicles IMHO.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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I recently bought a 2002 P38 with 80,000 miles that was in great shape, or so I thought. Since I have bought it I have replace the airbags, shocks, brake rotors and pads, fuse box and misc. other things. I have had the dealer replace (I bought an extended warranty when I got the car) all of the engine gaskets, HVAC head unit, blower motor, rear diff and multiple other things. I have easily spent as much on repairs as what the car costs. Most of it was covered under warranty so I was not out of pocket. However, as everyone is pointing out, unless you have plenty of reserve cash and/or want to become a mechanic, you probably should stay away from them for now. On the other hand this is by far and away my favorite car I have ever owned, and I have owned plenty of cars over years. Their is just something special about these trucks that other cars don't have and that includes the new versions. I have not looked in the Dallas market so not sure what is available, I had to go to Phoenix to get mine.

Best of luck in your search and let us know what you decide.

Cheers,

David
 

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To me the term unreliable means its gonna break down,fail to start or leave you stranded in the backarse of nowhere.HvAC may be unreliable at times due to poor cog design in the blend motors etc but you have to take into account what you're driving.these are high end vehicles and need extra TLC but that being said outside of maybe a crank shaft sensor going bad and leaving you stranded ( which in fairness could happen on any vehicle) I'd have to say these are very reliable vehicles IMHO.
Mine has let me down on a few occasions Tom.

No start (starter motor)
Breakdown (Alternator)
Catylist damaging missfire (coil packs)
Overheated in traffic on 401 express in Toronto (36 degrees C , auxillery fans failed to come on)
Countless times sat on my drive whilst waiting for EAS and other parts to arrive.

Is it a good vehicle for a college student to own , NO.

As for the HVAC not being classed as unreliable, having no heat in a vehicle when its -30 degrees C outside is no joke.

If I didnt have the Toyota Tundra for me and the wife to drive when Im fixing the Range Rover, I would be screwed.
 
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