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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry, but there is so much back story to this issue which MAY be pertainent, this will be a lengthy post. Read on. At the very least, I assure you, you will be glad this is my problem and not yours.

1997 Range Rovor 4.0 SE
84000K mi
Purchased Aug 27 2007. LO-JACK installed at dealer 3-4 weeks later.

During Test Drive, the lever that adjusts the tilt/telescope on the steering wheel broke at a stop light and the steering wheel sort of collapsed in my lap. I should have walked away right then. The dealer repaired it before delivery.

IN SHOP: 10/5/07 Passenger door panel fell off after LO-JACK installed. Tech reports fasteners missing. Repalced fasteners. NOTE: Left "knee bolster" also damaged after LO-JACK installed or tilt/telscope lever replaced, but new part was a long time coming on order.

There was an existing trailer wiring harness plugged into to factory plug behind the right tail light. There was no voltage to the actual truck-2-trialer plug, so I was checking for voltage at the harness behind the brake light. I probed a 12v source and the dash beeped and started displaying all sorts of faults. After driving I could detect no issues.

IN SHOP: 11/30/07 New left "knee bolster" installed. After LO-JACK intsalled, vehicle cranks a long time before starting, then starts and promply dies. All dash warning lights went off. Restarts. Poor fuel mileage and raw fuel odor. Customer charged battery and re-scurred loose Negative Terminals. Tech found fuel press at 281lbs., unable to find fuel leak, started vehicle several time through day, started right up each time.

IN SHOP: 3/7/08 Sunfoof not set warning came on. Sunroof will open and close by itself at times. Tech unable to duplicate. Ran T4 tests on sunroof and all ok. Cruise Control inop.....disengaged while driving. Tech checked for faults in the PCM and ABS control Module. No faults found. Checked for leaking vacuum lines, damaged or leaking actuator. All OK. Cruise control system road tested and checks all ok.

IN SHOP: 4/11/08 82500mi service. Tech found/replaced leaking oil cooler lines and o-rings. Brake light out--replaced by tech.

Total Costs: $683.05 As of the last IN SHOP of 4/11/08, the CC still does not work, and the vehicle will not crank sometimes. Like, drive 5 miles to the store, go inside for 15 minutes, then battery is totally dead. Local shop says alt ok. Sunroof opens and closes, but everytime you open the door, message center says "Sunroof Open".

Additionally climate control display faded out alot. I have sinced replaced bulbs and it seems to be fixed.
A few other gremlins, i.e. pass window not wanting to go up when it was down, or down when it was up. Sadly there were a few other electrical gremlins (Sorry, I can't remember specifics) that the dealer recommened LO-JACK check to see if it was causing problems. Threir report..no issues.

Then fuel prices went through the roof and I had allready spent $680.00 for nothing in 8 months. And I as still have some electircal issues. So we parked it in the yard and agreed to sell it to a neighbor kid on payments.

It sat for several weeks, only being started but not driven about once a week. Then, after about a month it went 3-4 months without being started. When I tried to start it, the battery was really dead. I took to battery to autozone to charge. They said it was bad. They sold me a knew one. It was 2/3 the size of my old battery. Also I was too short for the battery cables when placed in the tray. I went to NAPA. The battery they sold me was 2/3 the length of my old one, but the height was ok. Started the rig and it won't come out of park.

Brake lights were all working. Replaced brake light switch anyway. Didn't help. Took the center console apart and found shift lock solenoid was not releasing when the brake pedal was pushed. (Took this opportunity to replace leds in Climate Control Display...looks great now.) Threw a cover over it and it sat for months and months....like nearly a year. Went out and tinkered with it hear and there but gave up in frustration as other failure messages would sporadically appear. How do you have a tracion failure when it's not moving? Did lots of research in the web, talked to mechanic buddys. Considered shoving over a cliff or setting on fire. Left it sit for more months.

Recently dug back into it. Sunroof does not work at all. When you open the door with the key in your hand the message center says "Key in Ignition". (Neighbor kid, fully aware of these issues, for some reason has been prompt with every payment and will pay it off this month. Also, he is a good guy and I am not wanting to screw him.)

I talked to the owner of Lamorna Garage in Ballard WA about my issues. He and his staff were really cool and offered several suggestions as to what could be causing these issues. I promised him when we give in and take it to a shop it would be his shop. He suggested I start with getting a new battery. Specifically they recommened Interstate 29H-VHD, which is the same style that was in it when I bought it.

So, I cut up an old license plate and slid a small piece between the shifter and the shift lock solenoid pin so the vehicle can be driven. Put the dash back together. Needed 1.5 quarts of tranny fluid. At first the climate control screen showed a snowflake and -40 degrees, but fixed itself after driving about 5 miles. Everything seemed ok, but it is still getting about 10 miles per gallon. I used some Lock Graphite to free up the lock. The "key in ignition" message usually doesn't display anymore, but the Steering Wheel Lock Mechanism thingie does not pop out when the key is removed. If you turn the key sort of perpendicular to the key slot and tap it abit it will pop out. Then my wife drove it at night and told me the dash lights are not working. I checked the fuse but its ok.

Other than everything else that anyone would like to comment on my question is.......

When I turn on the headlights there is a buzzing sound behind the instrument panel. I pulled the bezel off then instrument panel and used and old vacuum line to try to pinpoint where the sound is coming from. I seems to be from behind the upper left side of the instrument panel. It does it with the key on or off and only when the rotary switch is all the way to headlight. There is no buzzing sound when it is just turned to park. Also, the message center displays the mileage with the park lights on, but goes dark when moved to headlights and the buzzing starts. All the exterior park/brake/headlights are working.

Please. Help. Please.

· Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
866 Posts
Sounds like there's alot of issues with this one.

I would presume the new owner would be a techy kinda guy, if so would it not be ideal for him to do repairs as listed
as you mentioned he is awre of these things needing attention, pass him this site for further info.

Buzzing sound, are you sure its not the interior temp sensor, little fan in grill below clock
Dash lights can be dimmed via the one stalk levers, little unlatched switch on top
Interlock sounds like a bad solenoid or switch

Bad starting sounds like MAF sensor needs cleaning or crank shaft sensor
Correct type of battery is important on these vehicles, leaving it too stand for so long could have attracted rats to start chomping at wires, just a guess.
Always disconnect battery if its going to stand, as the battery goes flat weird things start to happen.

Resetting windows and sunroof load settings is relatively easy, refer to hand book.
High fuel usage should improve, onboard computing is not that great but other factors like wrong spark plugs, bad HT leads do cause this problem

Overall I'd say the vehicle needs a good going through for a complete inspection as it was standing so long
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