Range Rover Problems – Is This Automotive Giant Reliable

by Conner Mckay

The Land Rover Range Rover or commonly knows as the Range Rover has been popular since 1969. Range Rover is a 4×4 motor car produced by Land Rover, a marque and sub-brand of Jaguar Land Rover. With 4 generations of Range Rovers produced and a few unique models, the Range Rover has become a symbol of luxury. But there is a twist, Range Rover problems are more common than you think.

Due to its safety features, status symbol, and style, the Range Rover is still sought after by many people around the world. Which frankly, is a great segue into why people still buy Land Rovers even though they offer the same level of durability as convenience store electronics. The Range Rover problems are so bad it is not a car an average person can handle.

The Range Rover problems are everywhere. From small oil leaks to major suspension issues, the Range Rover is now known for almost every problem in the book. With numerous recalls over the years, the company has been sued multiple times regarding its reliability. Unlike many other vehicles, Range Rover repair costs are sky high as well. With expensive parts and frequent breakdowns, it is not an easy ride to manage.

History Of Range Rover

The Range Rover has been named as one of the top British cars of all time by Classic And Sports Car magazine. So how did Range Rover come to be?

The initial idea for a Land Rover series was originated in 1958. It was shelved for a long period before it surfaced as the Range Rover. The prototype was built in 1967 and commercial production was finalized in 1969.

In 1972 specifically modified Range Rovers were used for the British Trans-Americas Expedition. This was the first vehicle-based expedition to travel the Americas north-to-south.

The first Range Rover, also known as the Range Rover Classic, did not get its name until 1994 because it was the only type of Range Rover in the market. Surprisingly, although more up-market than Land Rover, the Range Rover was designed to be more convenient than to be a status symbol.

BMW acquired Range Rover around 1994. This was the launch of the 2nd generation Range Rovers. During the 2nd generation, the new model came with a lot of new trims and equipment. This is when Range Rover took a turn towards manufacturing luxury SUVs.

The 3rd generation Range Rover saw more influence from BMW. It shared a lot of components with the BMW 7 series. The internal electronics was based on the BMW 5 series. This generation was more upmarket and Range Rover completely dropped their manual transmission option.

Lately, Range Rover has been juggled a bit between Jaguar and Ford. During this period the 4th generation was released in 2013. More models like Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque were also released in the 21st century.

Are Range Rovers Reliable

This means leaks, breakdowns, and various other mechanical issues and unusual malfunctions. So if you thinking of buying a Range Rover new or old, you might be concerned about their reliability. No doubt you’ve heard tons of horror stories when it comes to the reliability of a Range Rover. What about the old days?

The last century and the early years of the 21st century are the golden age for Range Rovers. During the golden ages of off-roading, Land Rover designed the Range Rover and even Defender series to go into uncharted territory. They were built like tanks due to this. If your SUV gives out on you in the middle of nowhere, undoubtedly, you are going to be irate.

For this reason, the Land Rover company made the Range Rover withstand anything nature can throw. They built in a way that they’d withstand absolute hell, whether it be water, sand, or any other obstacle. They were strong but were they durable and reliable?

Unfortunately, no. They weren’t known for their reliability. Though the body was decent, the internal components weren’t as much.

Reliability Of Modern Range Rovers

Fast forward to the modern Range Rover, it is built for luxury more than off-roading. Yet, that hasn’t taken anything away from what it is capable of, it is still a beast off the roads. Reliability, not that well known for. With the introduction of features like anti-roll bars and air suspension, problems down the road multiplied.

Range Rover Problems - Are they reliable?

It’s hard to put an exact date on when the Land Rover Range Rover went downhill. But part of it is because of the involvement of many other car companies. Land Rover’s financial issues took a toll on the Range Rover. The cheap investments in the testing and production of the Range Rover stained the name and brand.

Now, these are models are referred to as “typical British engineering”, which means leaks, breakdowns, and various other mechanical issues and unusual malfunctions.

Problems With The Range Rover

As we mentioned, there is no limit when it comes to Range Rover problems. Range Rover has been the best seller for the Land Rover company. Even though the Range Rover is respected as one of the most popular brands, it has its fair share of problems. Here are the most common problems associated with the Range Rover.

Chattering Noises From The Engine

This is probably the most usual issue with the Range Rover. This happens mostly while traveling at higher speeds. The engine makes a chattering noise that is hard to ignore. In most cases, this happens due to the uneven drive belt idler pulley, as inspected by the engine experts.

The root cause of this issue is the breakdown of the drive belt idler pulley. With a working drive belt pully, the problem will be solved. Replacing a drive belt pully is not going to be much costly. The issue should be solved when the driver belt pulley is replaced.

Rough Idling

Rough idle could be caused by one of the many problems in the engine, transmission, or any other component. It is hard to pinpoint the problem but the symptoms are always the same. While some damages are major and much costlier to fix, in most cases it is not a costly repair.

If you are experiencing rough idling, it will not be hard to find out. While your SUV is not even doing any heavy work, during idle, you will feel vigorous vibrations.

Range Rover Sport SVR 2

In the Range Rover, the common cause for rough idling is the intake vacuum leak. This will lead to low performance from your engine. It is a major repair to get it fixed.

Even though it is going to cost a lot to get the car fixed, you must get it fixed as soon as possible. If it sits for too long, it could cause irreparable damage to the engine of your car.

Crankshaft Oil Leak

This is an issue that has received many complaints over the years. Engine oil leaks should never be overlooked. A sudden drop in oil levels could significantly decrease engine lubrication. If an engine runs without lubrication for a longer period of time, it will lead to a seized engine.

In case the oil gets into the transmission, it could easily damage the transmission as well. Fixing a seized engine or transmission is going to cost thousands of times more than fixing a simple oil leak. In case you see oil leaking from your Range Rover, get it checked immediately.

Lower Crankcase Oil Leakage

This is another Range Rover problem in the department of oil leakage. The crankcase is a fundamental part of the engine block. Oil leakage from a crankcase seldom gets to the transmission, but it can still harm your engine.

Here is the bad news. If the source of your oil leak is the lower crankcase, you got a substantial problem on your hands. Obviously, you need to get it replaced, but it is not going to be cheap. To replace the lower crankcase, the whole engine block needs to be removed. It is going to take a highly skilled mechanic and a lot of hours under the labor tab.

The crankshaft oil leak and the lower crankcase oil leak are known to start before registering at least 60,000 miles under the hood.

Engine Misfires

Engine misfires happen when fuel is not burnt during the cylinder compressions. During that compression, there will be no power generated by the engine and the engine will misfire.

The cause could be either ignition or fuel-related problems. Chasing this problem is something very problematic and it requires huge attention. The most common cause is defective intake valves. It could be either connected to the air intake or the fuel intake. The same is the probable cause if your Range Rover is misfiring.

Range Rover Vogue 31

Getting them replaced is not much of a burden. The repair itself is fairly simple and parts are abundantly available.

Ignition Misfires

This is another common Range Rover problem. Ignition misfires happen when the ignition coil of the SUV breaks down. If the ignition coil barely holds up, it will perform poorly, but a total malfunction is possible.

Several complaints have been reported regarding the ignition misfiring and the root cause of this issue is the breakdown of ignition coils. The most common symptom is, noises similar to a rubber band breaking are heard from under the hood.

There is not a lot of options for you if your ignition misfires. The only thing you can do is to change your ignition coil and hope for the best.

Air Suspension Problems

The state-of-the-art air suspension of the Range Rover, though adds a lot of value due to its comfort, it is not the most reliable.

The problem arises just after a few years of usage. It is hard to find the root of the cause. The only agreeable explanation is that the quality of the air suspension itself is poor.

What is worse is repairing the air suspension. To replace the original air suspension with the traditional coils is going to cost thousands of dollars.

Electrical Problems

The Land Rover Range Rover was also plagued by electrical problems. Again, it was not just in one area. Many reports of software problems and electrical system failures were reported over the years.

Many complaints surfaced about how the indicators shown were always misinterpreted. This includes seatbelt warnings, airbag warnings, and door locks. Some even complained that locking the door was no longer possible.

Infotainment issues, electrical glitches, software problems.

Electrical failures were caused mainly due to faulty wiring. The wiring often short-circuited, causing total electrical system failure. In severe cases, these electrical short circuits were known to cause internal combustion that led to severe fire damage to the internal components.

Sunroof Leakage

This is another common issue when looking at the Range Rover. The sunroof leaks were known to start as early as 60,000 miles. The problem occurs due to the sunroof drains. The pinched drain design is probably a major design flaw. After this happens, it is just a matter of time until water finds its way inside the car.

Sunroof drains are opposed to take any water that makes its way through the sunroof and directs it outside via the body of the car. The drains not working properly ruins the interior of the Range Rover.

Other than water stains in the carpets (which you can fix by knowing how to get water stains out of car seats), which themselves are unpleasant they can also cause molds. With sunroof leaks, water leaks inside the car is an obvious issue.

Steering Problems

Steering shaft issues are a common Range Rover problem. Owners constantly complained about the steering wheel making noises while turning. Often, the cause was a malfunctioning steering column but it is not limited to that.

The problems will start with clunking or rubbing noises coming from the steering wheel. With time, it is going to become worse and worse. What started as noises will later end up in a stiff steering wheel. You will have to put a lot of effort to turn the steering wheel. If left unchecked, it will lead to steering system failure.

Faulty steering column, shaft, and hard steering.

Another problem with the Range Rover steering system is rust. The bearings and joint are known to rust. Whenever rust finds its way into your car, you are in trouble. The same is true with the steering. This can easily be avoided if it’s regularly topped up. The power steering fluid lubricates the components inside your steering system and protects them from rusting.

Parking Brake Failure

The parking brake failure is an issue many Range Rover owners have faced. It starts with loud sounds while using the parking brake. With time, the parking brakes move out of alignment. This causes a parking brake failure.

This is a serious issue as many owners get out of the vehicle after putting it in Park, without realizing their parking brakes have failed. It takes time before it starts to move, so if you are in a hurry, the chances of you missing it is high. Many accidents have happened due to parking brake failures with the Range Rover.

With all these problems staining the Range Rover, it is hard to state the Range Rover as a reliable car.

Worst Year For Range Rover

The Range Rover has been on the market for a very long time. So has its problems. While some years or generations were alright, some were really bad.

The 3rd generation of the Range Rover has the most issues piled up against it. This is Range Rover manufactured in the early 2000s. The year 2003 and 2004 were the most problematic years when it comes to Range Rover problems. Since this was the launch of the 3rd generation, there was a lot wrong with the SUV. But over time it became better.

The 3rd generation Range Rovers were tormented by their issues regarding the powertrain. To be more specific, they were encountering a lot of blown head gaskets. Suspension issues and electrical issues were also present. But at the time, they were not as sophisticated as today’s technology, so they were minimal.

Airbags were the most serious problem with the 3rd generation Range Rover. These were known to explode when inflated. Even during the smallest crashes.

4th Gen Problems

The 4th generation of the Land Rover Range Rover was launched in 2013. The problems have decreased on a large scale between the 3rd and 4th generations. The problems with the 4th generation were less in numbers as well as severity.

One of the major problems that the 4th gen Range Rover was known for is the faulty emergency brakes. These were often known not to work. What is worse is that the indicator lights were not known to turn on either. This was a major safety hazard in the Range Rover.

Talking about safety hazards, another Range Rover problem associated with the 4th generation, came in the form of door latches. Many complaints were issued that the latches do not lock the door firmly when the door is closed. Some users even mentioned that the doors would fly open while driving. They called in over 66,000 SUVs two years ago due to this issue.

With the 4th gen problems, there is good news and bad news. The good news is these issues are relatively cheap to fix. The bad news is that the danger that comes with these problems is not worth the risk.

Range Rover Problems With Different Models

Is Range Rover generally bad or are there some really cool models that are worth buying? This might be something you are questioning.

With Range Rover spanning in a few different models such as the Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque, and the Range Rover Velar, you might expect at least one of them to be a success.

Here is the deal. Even though there are a lot of models of the Range Rover, their skeletons are the same. With different names, they offer a few different features and different styles. But the major internal parts are still the same.

That being said, most of the Range Rover problems mentioned above are still applicable for all these models. Looking at the ratings, all the different models of the Range Rover are rated below average.

Range Rover Problems: 10 Need-to-Know Facts

  1. Range Rover is a luxury SUV with a reputation for prestige and off-road capabilities but is plagued by poor reliability.
  2. The air suspension system, which offers a comfortable ride, fails often and leaves drivers stranded.
  3. Differential issues arise due to oil starvation, causing whining, grinding, and teeth shedding.
  4. Engine problems are common, with overheating, catastrophic failures, and radiator, timing chain, and manifold issues.
  5. Brake failures are often caused by worn handbrake shoes or actuators, ABS, and Traction Control module failures.
  6. Electrical issues are frequent, from switch failures to full-on vehicle shutdowns, with each model year having key faults.
  7. Range Rovers are prone to leaks, with oil leaks from various parts of the engine, and coolant, fuel, and water leaks.
  8. Steering concerns arise from steering column complaints, steering motor failures, airbag error messages, and stereo and Bluetooth button issues.
  9. Lack of power is common in diesel and petrol models due to blocked valves, split hoses, low boost pressure, and faulty parts.
  10. Build quality issues exist, especially with early models, with trim and interior pieces being loose or faulty. Depreciation is steep, and maintenance costs are high, making them a money pit for some owners.

Buying A Used Range Rover

If you do decide to buy a used Range Rover, a lot is going on behind it. It’s fun to drive. It has great power. Visibility is good. The styling is classic and luxurious. An advantage it possesses in the used car market is its exterior. The Land Rover company uses the best paint in the market for the Range Rover. The paint rarely ever rusts or chips away. The paint fading is never heard of. Other than the paint, they spend a lot on a special clear coat for added protection.

With all these features to maintain the style, it is hard to ignore a Range Rover. Even an old SUV will look brand spanking new with a proper car wash. This often ends up fooling people as well. The problems go unnoticed as many people believe that the car is in pristine condition by only looking at the exterior.

The million-dollar question, is it worth buying a Range Rover?

The answer depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a luxury drive that you are not going to get a ton of miles on, the Range Rover is fine. Before committing to buy a Range Rover it is best to have some knowledge about doing small repairs on your car, cause you will need it. Also, you should have enough money to spend on it. The amount you spend during the purchase is just a slice of what you will be spending on the car.

Overall, if you buying a Range Rover brand new, it is acceptable and the newer the better. Buying a used Range Rover isn’t the best idea, given the issues. The problems can easily get out of hand. Your best bet is to check out the competition at first.

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