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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,
I am new to the forum and new to Range Rover ownership. I am currently four years into the rebuild of my 1969 Land Rover Series 2a, 109 Station Wagon, and I needed a vehicle that I can use to tow a trailer, pick up parts and also safely transport my young family.

I fear I may be going over well-trodden ground here so please forgive me. If solution are already written and someone can send me the links it would be greatly appreciated.

Vehicle information & known history:
Last week I look ownership of a 1997, 4.6 HSE P38 which also comes with a 4.0 parts car. I know little about the vehicle other than the owner before last suffered a rear suspension fault which flicked the vehicle into "limp home" mode. That owner sold the car to my friend as they lived in a regional location (I live in Western Ausralia) with no dealership nearby to address the issue. My friend has several P38s and never actually got to working on this one as he has so many projects, so after it sitting for a while I decided to try to save it. My friend did drive the vehicle to his house, but after sitting a while all the batteries went flat.

So what am I asking exactly? Can any one help me get the car started so I can find out what exactly is wrong with it, and evaluate if it is worth saving:

What I have done so far:
- Fitted a new battery to the vehicle,
- Fitted new batteries to the key fob, and
- Requested EKA from local dealer after reading some posts. (I assume the car is still immobilised and key fob is not sync'd)

What is happening:
- Key fob is flashing a red light, central locking doesn't work
- Ignition comes on but car won't start
- Information Centre lists lots of things such as Window Set, Sunroof Set, ABS Fault, Gearbox Fault.
- With key left in ignition and nothing touched for a few minutes, the ignition lights all go out and car is totally lifeless

Again, purely going on what I heave read most of the alarms seem typical once a new battery is installed and most of these functions are governed by the Becm but I have noticed the ABS rely is missing in the car so hope that might be the issue there, and I have read that the gearbox fault alarm could be a bad earth.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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359 Posts
Try to sync the FOB.

You probably want a Nanocom too..

All the messages are the result of a flat battery, battery taken out.

Window and roof set; open window, keep button pushed a few seconds after it's at it's end, then up, also keep button pressed a few seconds after it's completely up, "Window set" will appear in the display.
Do this with all windows.

There is also a change the BECM in your car isn't stock, so there's a change your EKA doesn't fit the BECM

Won't start you say, does the check engine light comes on? If not, you need a Nanocom, or does engine disabled comes up in the display?
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter #4
There are no check engine lights and the information centre doesn’t mention the engine. The ignition lights are on ok, but the last statin on the ignition doesn’t seem to do anything which is why I thought immobiliser perhaps. I have spoken to my local Land Rover dealer and they sent me the info from their system that says the EKA is “ not authorised”, same for the Lock set bar code, could that indicate non stock BeCM? I was going to take the BeCM to a local company that can unlock them, is this advisable?
 

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Premium Member
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1,333 Posts
When you try to start the car (last position of the key), do the other warning lights go out? If they do, look at the fusebox in the engine compartement. Is the starter relay working?
If nothing happens when you try to start, the BECM is not allowing a start, so you need to look there.

Filip
 

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2,077 Posts
Resetting adaptive values won't do anything if it doesn't start, that only gets the engine ECU settings back to standard in case it has been run with a fault and caused them to be miles out so it runs like a dog. No check engine light on a GEMS (pre-99) means the BeCM and engine ECU have lost sync. Usual way of getting them to sync is the enter the EKA although I understand Australian spec cars didn't have it enabled, which would explain why it is not on the print you got from Land Rover. But not authorised and no lock set bar code either suggests that whoever checked isn't authorised to be given the info by Land Rover. Was it a main dealer or an independent Land Rover dealer? Land Rover will usually only give the information to the registered owner upon sight of the documents proving he owns the car. On a car with no EKA, you can sometimes sync things by going through the EKA initialisation process (4 turns to lock in the drivers door), other times it will sync purely by unlocking the car. Otherwise you need diagnostics that allow you to manually input an EKA, if you have one. Ignition going off if you leave it switched on is wrong and suggests a dying underbonnet fusebox or a very bad battery. Gearbox fault also suggests a bad battery, or at least a bad connection so the gearbox ECU is seeing a low voltage.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The information I was give was from the Perth Land Rover dealership. I have changed the battery in the vehicle to a stronger one and the Gearbox Fault went away, still no attempt to crank though. I have booked the car to go for diagnostics, hopefully they will be able to identify the cause of the fault(s) and get the vehicle running.
 

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Premium Member
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1,333 Posts
If you're planning to ask an official dealer to look into electrical problems on a P38, I fear you might be in for an unpleasant surprise... With the help of the vast technical database on this forum, most owners manage to solve problems by themselves and avoid big repair bills for what is often a simple problem.

Filip
 

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Registered
1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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359 Posts
To fix with Nanocom:

Plug Nanocom in,
Ignition on, to Position II
On Nanocom:
Press R-Rover P38 ->
Press GEMS ->
Press GEMS ->
Press RH Green Arrow to go to second page ->
Press UTILITY ->
Press LEARN SECURITY CODE

It should come up with a message saying it's told the ECU to relearn security code or something like that. You can now press OK, and then the red X at the bottom right corner to exit out and then power off the nanocom.

Turn ignition OFF

Wait few seconds, and turn ignition back to Position II

On power up, the ending ECU will receive the code from the BECM and store that as it's new security code for the immobiliser.

You should now get the CEL on the cluster, and be able to start the vehicle.
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Since you obviously do not have one.......A Nanocom is a type specific diagnostic tool for P-38.
It will set you back about 500 bucks and if you are going to keep this or any other P-38 in your neck of the woods, then by all means get one, or find someone who has one and borrow it.......
Dealership will set you back a LOT more than that if they need to "look into a few things".
You also have the option of installing a "Moli-lize" from the good folks on your other coast.

http://www.labtronx.com.au/mobi-lize.htm

This eliminates the alarm system's ability to disable the engine. Completely. A bargain for a Gems owner who may want to drive out to Whoop Whoop occasionally! (And come home in the same car:thumb:)

(TH: Please keep yer claws off my parentheses.)
 

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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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7 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hi all, with the help of a friend I spent today doing a bit more fiddling. We went through a lot of the car and worked out what does work and what doesn’t. I was really happy that the list of working was a lot longer than the list of not working. I did get a new message on the message centre that says “ignition key in”, so I am assuming the key is being recognised by the car, but it still won’t start.

So what DOESN’T work:
- the alarm horn doesn’t toot when the battery is connected, nor does the alarm sound or indicators flash
- car won’t start
- central doesn’t work with key or fob
-windows
-mirrors
-sunroof
-right side indicator switch (all lights work with hazard lights)
-left horn button on steering wheel
-courtesy lights don’t work with front doors
 
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