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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #1
I had some form of serious electrical failure on the way home from work yesterday in my 2003 V8 L322. Just driving along at around 50mph when I felt a small jolt (presumably the transmission selecting 4[SUP]th[/SUP] gear for limp-home) followed by no response to the throttle pedal (engine was ticking over erratically, hunting up & down while I’m still coasting along at 40mph or so). I pulled over to the side of the road, turned the engine off, and when I tried to restart it I just got engine failsafe, transmission failsafe, HDC & air suspension faults all coming up on the message centre one after the other – oh, and the coolant gauge just went immediately to maximum. No response whatsoever when I tried to turn the starter.

Called out the AA. Their guy tried for nearly an hour to find the problem, including disconnecting the battery, using his power pack across the battery, etc. but couldn’t find any fault so they had to call for a recovery truck to get me home. Once home I tried to plug in my Faultmate but it said the battery voltage was too low to read the fault codes. I’ve taken the battery out to charge it (it’s around 3 years old) – though I guess the low voltage could possibly just be through it being sat there at the side of the road with the hazard lights flashing for over an hour?

My question is : could a battery failure be as instant as this and would it cause the symptoms I’ve described, where everything fails in a moment leaving you stranded? I had a replacement alternator fitted (by a LR dealership) less than a year ago and, when it failed, the battery light came on and I was able to drive to the dealers (approx. 20 minutes away) on what charge was left in the battery. Quite different symptoms to this time.

Any advice gratefully received!

Phil
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Hey Phil,

A month ago I would have responded "no". But a couple weeks ago I had a battery fail almost instantly, like you are describing. It was about 3 years old also, but had been totally drained a couple times previously.

The car was running great when I hooked it up to tow behind our caravan. It get's charged while it's hooked up, so I know the battery was not being drained. 10 hours later we unhooked it, and all we got were error messages and no start. 30 secs later it was completely cold, with no lights or anything. A jump did not help. I think something had to short internally within the battery. Previously I always had batteries that gave some warning before getting this bad. We had to push the old girl to the side of the drive.

Funny thing is I had to pull the battery and call a taxi to go to the parts store for the swap. I have looked at the battery from the top for years, but never knew how large this thing is! It's huge! I think LR knew this car is sensitive to low voltage and wanted to be sure it never gets low.

Anyway, the battery swap fixed everything...best of luck with yours...
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Phil from the info provided it does sound like a battery issue or a bad connection.
Since the BMW engine truck has so many connections it would be a good idea to check them all,
from the battery to the alternator and the wires that go to the starter as well as the ground wires.

I have noticed that the battery terminals can be overtightened and then they wont grip as tight ,
so the battery terminals should also be tested to see if they are infact tight. try twisting them after they are tightened.

At 3 years old, fitting a new battery should cure the issue,
also check the alternator output at 1500 RPM it should be about 14.2v,
if its less than 13.5 then you have a bad diode and the battery will slowly go dead.

I also recommend to get some 3M strip caulk and a sheet of shower curtain,
and fit the caulk to the fire wall above the battery then stick an edge of the curtain to it,
then drape the sheet over the top of the battery, this will reduce water and corrosion issues.
Water can sometimes rinse down the top of the battery and the resultant acid wash will rinse down into the wire harnesses,
and air suspension lines.;
To add more sheeting remove the battery tray and cover the systems below the tray as well.
I use clear shower curtain and the 3M caulk works well

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CFIQFjAE&url=http://3mcollision.com/products/sound-deadening/3m-strip-calk-08578-black.html&ei=GdLvUcm6DOiOyAGIlIHICw&usg=AFQjCNGuVH2L8xxXIRm28drnin8uFzwbTg&bvm=bv.49641647,d.aWc&cad=rja
 

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I doubt it.

The main thing that I read above was that the coolant gauge was pegged. This only happens after it gets hot enough to throw a fault, or the IP cannot communicate with the ECM.

Considering that even with a jump box attached, it still acted the same, I don't think you're looking at just a battery. I would start by checking power to the ECM, the small fuse block in the E-box, and take a look at the wiring going to the t-stat heater.

I have also seen the pyrotechnic built into the positive battery cable 'accidentally' go off, which will cut power to a decent amount of the vehicle, including the ECM, but most interior and body functions still work fine.
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all for your contributions.

I took Dave’s advice and first checked the small grey fuse block in the E-box, where the engine and transmission ECUs live :



The fuse block consists of five 30A fuses which provide live feeds from the battery to the following :

Fuse 1 – Engine ECU and transmission ECU
Fuse 2 – Camshaft position control
Fuse 3 – Front LH heated oxygen sensor
Fuse 4 – Engine ECU
Fuse 5 – Ignition coils relay



Fuses 1, 2 & 3 take their power from the same feed, supplied by the engine ECU relay (the blue one in the first photo, to the left of the fuse block).

Lo and behold, for whatever reason, my Fuse 1 had blown - which would explain why the engine and transmission controllers had suddenly shut down together.

I replaced the fuse and the engine started straight away. The Faultmate showed that neither ECU had stored any faults. Everything seems to be working perfectly again!

Clearly I still have no explanation why the fuse blew but at least I now know which circuit to work through to hopefully trace the origin of the fault.

Thanks again RoverGuy7 `8)

Phil
 

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Premium Member
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No problem...

Fuse 1 has a splice in the circuit that powers ECM, MAFS, T-stat heater, and purge valve. By far most common issue is the t-stat heater. To prevent you from needing to do a good amount of re-wiring, or replace the entire engine harness if it gets bad enough, unplug the t-stat heater itself, deal with the MIL being on for a little while, and replace the t-stat when you get a chance.

The power feed to the t-stat is far too small of a wire for a full 30A, and can melt, and short out a fair amount of the harness before the fuse blows. The splice where the power splits after the fuse is located in the e-box, 5 decent gauge blue red with blue wires. Take a look at it for any signs that its been getting hot(wires, not the splice itself)
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #7
Dave,

All panned out exactly as you predicted.

As you say, not only does Fuse 1 in the E-box power the engine and transmission ECUs




but the wire is spliced to also provide a 12v feed to the purge control valve, the MAF sensor and the heated thermostat




I inspected each of these in turn and, when I got to the heated thermostat, I really struggled to remove its connector. When I did eventually get it off there had clearly been a short as there was a lot of melted plastic and the thermostat heater terminals came out along with the connector.


Melted connector



How it’s supposed to look
 

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LEGACY VENDOR
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Discussion Starter #8

Remains of heated thermostat plug


A new Behr/Hella OEM thermostat (PEL000060) costs around £50 from aftermarket suppliers over here – or £95 from Land Rover.

I have checked the wiring from the connector back to the E-box and it appears to be undamaged






Fortunately I picked up a second-hand engine wiring loom off eBay years ago (I wanted the transmission connectors off it) so I have a spare thermostat connector that I can replace the melted one with, though I’m not quite sure where best to perform the snip & join yet (a new wiring loom YSB001370 costs the best part of £1,500!)

Hopefully, therefore, a permanent fix will have cost £50 - so not quite the disaster I thought it was going to be. Many thanks for all your help.

Phil
 

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2002-2005 Range Rover MkIII / L322
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Dave great call on the solution.
Thanks for spending your time here assisting everyone.
 

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Good to hear it worked out this way for you, and the fuse did its job. I've seen some bad ones before, worst caused a fire, the fuse blew but shorted itself out in the process.

I usually try and cut the wires so that the solder joint so that they will not be at a bending point in the harness, so really, closer to the t-stat is better, try and keep it away from where it gets clipped in place with the other wires by the valve cover.

For those that don't have spare harnesses lying around, this connector, and many others under the hood, is a generic fuel injector connector, that can be found and purchased without too much trouble, but yes, the correct wire gauge, and color are obviously a better option if you have it.
 

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Well thank God for this post!!!! We were travelling from Northumberland to Noth Devon when a few miles from Doncaster the rr just bumped and died! Came up like blackpoool illuminations on the dash. AA man had no idea. OBD could not find ecu and whilst the starter solenoid clicked in but did not turn over.

Checked the symptoms in google for a 2002 4.4 litre Range Rover vogue L322 of trans failsafe. Engine fail safe. Hdc inactive. Air suspension inactive. Abs inactive. Battery light and found this wonderful thread. I’ve mentioned everything again to help anyone else find this in google.

Low and behold the plug on the stat had melted.

I routinely carry all tools in the RR so whipped off the ecu cover and found a burnt out fuse.

Replaced the fuse with a spare and cut off the stat plug and taped everything up.

Reconnected the battery and vroom all working.

Left it running and didn’t seem to overheat.

Still got it recovered being 100’s of miles from home and not wanting to risk the stat or head gasket problems and will properly investigate the other end
 
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