Land Rover Generations & Common Problems
Through several generations, the Land Rover Discovery remains a favorite among foreign luxury car enthusiasts. The Discovery is known for its luxurious features and smooth handling. If you are considering adding a Discovery to your collection, read below for common maintenance needs outlined for series 1-4 of the vehicle.
Series 1 Discovery (1989-1998)
The Discovery was introduced as an affordable luxury SUV. Initially a three door vehicle, five doors were later introduced in 1990. The Series 1 is also notable for being the only Discovery model with a four-cylinder petrol engine.
Series 1 Common Problems
The Series 1 Discovery has a few common maintenance needs. One of the most commonly reported issues is the rear cargo door latch failing, and thus preventing the door from opening. Leaking head gaskets is another commonly report issue- this can result in low coolant levels. Sticking windshield wipers may cause delays in wiper operations. Sticky ignition switches may cause keys to stick or break.
Series 2 Discovery (1998-2004)
The Series 2 Discovery was introduced as a revamped version of Series 1- with Land Rover promoting 720 purported differences to the vehicle. One of the key changes was the introduction of the Td5 engine. The aesthetic design was also revamped to look more luxurious and smooth.
Series 2 Common Problems
One of the common maintenance needs for the series 2 are the Td5 head gasket head’s stock plastic dowels. These stock plastic dowels can break and lead to the head gasket shifting. Check your Td5 and if the plastic dowels are in place consider replacing them with metal and new bolt heads. Another common series 2 issue is rear air suspension failure due to the air springs wearing out. Broken road springs, leaking diesel in the fuel pressure regulator, and fuel pump issues are some other commonly reported maintenance needs for the series 2.
Series 3 Discovery (2004-2009)
The Discovery Series 3, the LR3, was rolled out with a new layout known as the Integrated Body Frame (IBF). The LR3 also featured updated suspension with the integration of full independent suspension (FIS). The LR3 was equipped with a V6 diesel engine, with most vehicles featuring six gear manual transmission (though some variations featured V8 automated engines as well).
Series 3 Common Problems
The Series 3 air suspension was much improved, but like many other vehicles air suspension remains a common maintenance issue for the LR3. Additionally, front/rear suspension arms, anti roll bushes, hub and bearing, differential, and suspension tie bars are common troubleshooting issues.
Series 4 Discovery (2009-2016)
The Discovery Series 4, the LR4, took after the same IBF layout as the LR3, but integrated a revamped front grille and bumper. The engine for the Series 4 was a TDV6 Gen III. Updated six speed transmission was also utilized for the LR4.
Series 4 Common Problems
Due to their similar designs, the LR3 and LR4 share many of the same maintenance needs. In addition to the troubleshooting outlined above for the LR3, be mindful of the following for the LR4: brake discs and pads can get worn out over time with the LR4 due to its suspension and weight distribution. Replacing discs and pads every 32,000 miles is recommended for optimal driving and safety. EGR valves, locking wheels, and hand brake screeching are also common maintenance issues for the LR4
A Timeless Classic With Proper Maintenance
The Land Rover Discovery remains a timeless classic for foreign car enthusiasts. The first four editions retain their nostalgic appeal while maintaining high performance. This makes the classic Land Rover just as enjoyable to look at as to drive on all terrains. With a basic understanding of some of the troubleshooting needs outlined above, you will be equipped to enjoy your ride for the long haul.