The Land Rover Range Rover was first introduced in 1970 and was the first to feature four-wheel drive. It has served as the top-of-the-line model in Land Rover’s lineup.
The Range Rover was initially designed as a luxury SUV for wealthy customers but has since become more popular among off-road enthusiasts. Range Rovers are well-received among consumers looking for an SUV that performs well both on- and off-road.
However, like all vehicles, the Range Rover is not without its share of common problems. Let’s take a look at some of the most common Range Rover problems reported by owners and what you can do to fix them.
1 – Differential Failure
The most common problem owners have reported is with the differential unit. The differential is a set of gears that transmits engine power from the wheels to the drivetrain.
While driving their Range Rovers, many owners have claimed that the differential unit suddenly locks up without any warning beforehand. For some, symptoms of a failing differential included clunking or grinding noises. The transmission fluid may also show metal shavings when drained.
This is a huge problem and, unfortunately, has resulted in many people being stranded or getting into accidents. These reports were most common with models from the mid-2000s, but there have been some recent reports from newer models, as well.
How to Fix
If you’re experiencing this issue, take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible. They will likely need to replace the differential unit in order to resolve the issue. For newer models, this should be covered by the drivetrain warranty.
2 – Transmission Faults
If your Range Rover experiences transmission faults, you’ll likely hear grinding noises coming from the transmission itself. But that’s the least of your worries. When fully functioning, the transmission is able to change gears smoothly and without any issues.
However, when it starts to fail, you may notice that your Range Rover is struggling to accelerate or that it’s hesitating when you try to change gears. In some cases, the transmission may even slip out of gear entirely. This is extremely dangerous and should be addressed as promptly as possible.
If you have a Range Rover produced before 2006 or after 2010, you probably don’t have anything to worry about. But if your vehicle falls within that range, it’s best to take it to a mechanic and have them take a look. There have been reports of people being able to get their transmissions replaced or repaired under warranty.
How to Fix
If you’re experiencing transmission issues, the best course of action is to take your Range Rover to a mechanic or dealership for service. They will be able to diagnose the problem and, if necessary, replace the transmission.
3 – Brake Issues
Range Rover brake problems aren’t widely reported among the SUV’s many owners. However, there have been enough to prompt concerns.
Symptoms of a problem with the brakes can include a grinding noise when the car is braking, vibrating while braking, or a feeling that the brake pedal is “spongy.” Moreover, you may notice the dash lights for traction or ABS faults coming on.
What causes these problems is less straightforward. There are a few potential culprits, including worn brake pads, contaminated brake fluid, and seized or malfunctioning calipers.
How to Fix
Fixing a braking issue should be a high priority, so take your vehicle to a qualified mechanic as soon as possible if you suspect there’s a problem. They will be able to inspect the brakes and determine what needs to be done in order to repair them.
If you’re comfortable working on your own brakes, you may want to try bleeding the brakes to see if that resolves the issue. This is a relatively easy task that even novice mechanics can accomplish.
You will need to replace the brake pads if they are worn. This is a more difficult repair but can be done at home with the right tools and know-how. Replacing brake pads is something that most mechanics recommend leaving to the professionals as it ensures that they are installed correctly.
4 – Loss of Power and Other Engine Issues
Another common problem with the Range Rover is that owners have reported a loss of power while driving, as well as other engine problems. This has been a problem with many different model years, from early 2000 models up to 2018 models.
The symptoms of this problem can vary depending on the severity of the issue. Some people have reported that their engines simply shut off while driving, while others have said that their cars lose power and then eventually cut out. You might also notice your fuel gauge displaying incorrectly.
The cause of this problem is often determined to be a faulty fuel filter or pump in the fuel tank. However, it can also be caused by other issues, such as a faulty mass air flow sensor or a bad oxygen sensor.
How to Fix
Replacing the fuel filter is usually the first step in resolving this issue. But if that doesn’t work, then you may need to replace the fuel pump. Other potential fixes include replacing the mass air flow sensor or oxygen sensor.
Check if the engine is showing any signs of an oil leak or coolant leaks. These are usually manifested by fluid stains in the engine bay or on the garage floor since leaking fluids can drip down into the floor.
However, it’s best to let a mechanic diagnose and fix the problem, as they will be able to properly identify the root cause, potentially saving you money and time.
5 – Windshield Leak
Based on data from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), windshield leaks have been reported by Range Rover owners. In fact, it’s one of the most common problems people have with their vehicles.
The problem seems to be most common in 2018 model year Range Rover Discovery vehicles, as well as 2015 to 2018 Range Rover Evoque model years.
Symptoms of this issue include feeling air or water coming through the windshield, noticing condensation on the inside of the windshield, or seeing water on the dash.
How to Fit
Since Land Rover issued a recall for this problem, the company will fix it for free. If your Range Rover is affected by this issue, simply contact dealers of Land Rovers to schedule an appointment.
6 – Electrical Issues
Some Range Rover owners have reported electrical problems with their vehicles. In particular, people have complained about issues with lighting. In some extreme cases, complete vehicle shutdowns have occurred.
This issue appears to be most prominent in 2019 to 2021 model years. So if you’re considering buying a used Range Rover, make sure its electrical system is intact and functioning properly. Double-check the Check Engine light and test to ensure no short circuit is present.
Electrical problems usually translate to costly repairs and a huge amount of labor, so it might be best to avoid a used vehicle that requires such extensive and expensive maintenance costs.
How to Fix
Land Rover issued a massive recall for the affected model years in order to resolve this problem. If you’re experiencing any electrical issues with your Range Rover, take it to a dealership to see if it’s covered under the recall. If not, you may need to replace some electrical components.
7 – Airbag Failure
One of the most serious problems that has affected Range Rovers is the airbag failure issue. In 2017, it was discovered that certain Takata airbags could explode when deployed, causing serious injury or even death.
As a result, Range Rovers from 2007 to 2012 were recalled, and owners were advised to take their vehicles to a dealership to have the airbags replaced.
How to Fix
If you own a Range Rover from this model year, it’s important to check and see if your vehicle is affected by the recall. If it is, you should take it to a dealership as soon as possible to have the airbags replaced.
Worth the Investment?
This is by no means an exhaustive list of issues with the Range Rover. Some owners have also reported issues with the air suspension system, where the rubber parts of the struts are prone to cracking or rotting. Sway bars and other suspension systems can also come loose which produce clunking sounds from the undercarriage, which can be worrying when you’re off-road.
The best course of action is to have a qualified mechanic check a Range Rover when buying one used. They’ll be able to check if the one you’re eyeing shows any of these common issues. Some problems can be a quick fix and Land Rover should honor issues covered by past recalls. But major repairs for the Range Rover can be expensive.
Now that you know about some of the most common Range Rover problems, is this vehicle still worth your investment? Despite a few mechanical issues, the Land Rover Range Rover is still one of the most popular and luxurious SUVs on the market. Its longevity and off-road capabilities are still among the best in the market, and its features and amenities continue to set the standard for other luxury SUVs.