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18 Unavoidable Problems Of The Land Rover Discovery

18 Unavoidable Problems Of The Land Rover Discovery

The Land Rover Discovery is a medium to large premium SUV designed to be the best family SUV with a Land Rover badge. The first Discovery was introduced back in 1989, the second generation came out in 2004, and the third generation came out in 2017. In this article, we are going to focus on all the issues with the latter two generations. So, if you want to know everything that is wrong with the Land Rover Discovery, be sure to read this article!

The last two generations of the Land Rover Discovery suffer from the rear drive shaft falling off, the air suspension system compressor, air springs, and valve blocks failing, wheel misalignment, rust issues, water leaks, cracked dashboards, a failed oil pump, timing chain issues, lag during acceleration, crankshaft issues, a host of electrical issues with six separate recalls and three additional recalls associated with fuel leaks.

Now it’s time to go in-depth about all these issues and tell you what causes them and how you can fix them!

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Suspension Issues

Suspension-related problems seem common across older generations of the Land Rover Discovery, partly because some people stay clear of early Discovery models. These include issues with the rear drive shaft, the air suspension system, and wheel misalignment.

Rear Drive Shaft Issues

The 2004 Land Rover Discovery seems to be experiencing issues with the rear drive shaft, which can fall off the car unexpectedly and even cause an accident.

One owner stated that his car started making loud knocking noises accompanied by intense vibrations, which stopped at a point when something heavy fell off the car. The owner said that it felt like he hit something with his car as the object flew underneath the car and caused drivers behind him to swerve away to avoid hitting the shaft.

After much back and forth, the driver noticed that his Discovery is missing a rear driveshaft completely. He managed to get off the freeway with a locked differential by going three mph. It is rather apparent how serious this issue can be, and the only way to repair it is to replace the driveshaft completely, which can sometimes cost more than the car is worth.

Air Suspension Issues

Issues with the air suspension system are prevalent with 2005-2008 Land Rover Discovery models, while some post-2008 models can also experience similar issues. Many things can go wrong with the Discovery air suspension system, so we will list the most common air suspension issues below.

Issues With The Air Springs

The air springs are covered with a rubber material known to deteriorate over time and thus can cause the system to leak, mostly on 2005-2008 models. Moreover, many owners have also reported issues where the struts somehow manage to puncture these rubber covers and also cause leaks. This prevents airbags from filling up, making it difficult for your car to keep a leveled height.

If you come across a leaky spring, be sure to replace it immediately, as this can cause your compressor to overwork and inevitably fail. A complete air spring replacement can cost up to $1,600.

Faulty Air Compressor

As previously mentioned, your air compressor can fail due to overworking to fill up your airbags, punctured by the struts, or due to the material on the springs deteriorating and causing leaks. Besides that, the air compressor on these older 2005-2008 Land Rover models is expendable, which means that it tends to fail at least once during a car’s lifetime. You will also need to replace it to repair this issue, but a new compressor can cost up to $1,300.

Broken Valve Blocks

The 2005-2008 Discovery also suffers from broken valve blocks, which can cause issues in two different ways. One owner reported that these could cause air leaks which lead to your car sagging and later overworking your compressor, which can also cause the compressor to fail. However, a few other owners complained that the valve blocks could spend too much air into the compressor and thus destroy it completely.

Wheel Misalignment

Quite a few owners of the 2005-2010 Discovery complained that the Discovery came from the factory with severe wheel misalignment. One owner of a 2005 Discovery reported that his car came out with improper camber and bushing settings which caused the rear tires to wear out incredibly quickly. One owner of a 2006 Discovery reported that tires got worn to the cords after just 8,000 miles on the odometer.

He also points out that this has happened three times already, and the car only had 32,000 miles when he had to buy new tires for the third time. Understandably, to fix this, you will need to do a complete wheel alignment and later buy a new set of tires.

Structure Issues

Structure issues are common mostly on older cars as the modern-day car industry is much more precise and delicate with how they build cars and the materials used to make them. Understandably, this means that only the older generations of the Discovery suffer from these issues. These include problems with rust, water leaks, and cracked dashboards.

Rust Issues

Rust-related issues are only common on 2004 Discovery models as Land Rover did make numerous changes to how they manufacture their cars with Series III and beyond. The 2004 Land Rover suffers from rust in a few distinct places. First of all, the frame is known to rust, which can be a significant structural issue and must be dealt with immediately.

A few owners also reported rust building up on the roof and over both rear doors. One owner said that the entire chassis of the Series II is known to rust, while a few noted that the rear wheel wells are especially vulnerable. Rust is a complicated problem; if it spreads to more areas of the car, it is not financially feasible to repair it.

Water Leaks

One of the weirdest issues with the Land Rover is that the car can leak water through the sunroof, around the windscreen, or the doors. What is immensely strange is that these issues are commonly reported for Series III (2004-2017). However, after further investigation, a few 2017-2019 Land Rover Discovery owners also complained about this issue.

To make matters worse, water leaks can also cause rust spots to form on some of these parts, with can create massive issues when it comes to repairing these areas and sealing them properly.

Cracked Dashboards

The Series II Discovery (2004-2017) is known to suffer from cracked dashboards as well, and it seems like this issue is most common with the 2005 and the 2006 Discovery models. A few owners said this issue is down to sun damage, prompting many to install special mats on the dashboard during the summer months.

Others have said this is a hazardous issue as it affects how well the airbag can deploy. Most reports state that the cracks occur on the passenger’s side and can sometimes be as small as a fingernail but can also span across the entire length of the dashboard.

Engine Issues

Most people would agree that a car’s engine is an essential part of the car’s overall mechanical palette and that engine-related issues are some of the worst problems you can face. Sadly, the Discovery also has severe engine issues, including a failed oil pump, engine timing chain issues, lag during acceleration, and issues with the crankshaft.

Failed Oil Pump   

Failed oil pumps can be a massive problem as they can cause sludge to build up in the oil pan and block the passage. The pump becomes rather starved and tends to run dry, which eventually fries the entire motor. This is a common issue on the 2007-2008 Discovery, but some have reported this issue on both older and newer model years.

Older 2004 diesel Discovery models were also prone to this issue, but for a completely different reason. It is said that the 2004 Discover does not come with Loctite on its pump bolts which can loosen the bolt and cause quite a bit of damage in the process.

Timing Chain Issues

Issues with the timing chain are serious and tend to happen with certain luxury brands, one of which is Land Rover. The failure of the timing chain system is thankfully not all that common, but there are instances where timing chain issues took place on some newer generations of the Discovery, including 2016, 2017, 2018, and the 2021 model.

Lag During Acceleration

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery seems to be suffering from peculiar lags while trying to accelerate from a near standstill. A few owners complained about the car traveling just a few miles per hour and then suddenly lunging forward after waiting for about 2-4 seconds. It is said that all of these were equipped with the supercharged V6 engine.

Crankshaft Issues

Our final issue with the engine department is associated with the 2019 Land Rover Discovery. Its crankshaft pulley bolt can fracture and lead to a complete engine failure. This prompted Land Rover to recall specific 2019 Land Rover Discovery models in January 2019 (19V040000) due to problems with the crankshaft pulley bolt on some of their V6 and V8 engines, which can cause terminal engine damage.

Electrical Issues

If you know a thing or two about Land Rovers, you know they have a certain tendency towards having various electrical issues. The Series III has the highest number of problems, including small niggles and nuisances such as broken interior switches, electronic handbrake failure, the windows failing, the door latches failing, issues with the windshield wipers, the navigation system, and the A/C.

However, we will list all the recalls Land Rover did to the Discovery that were caused by electrical issues. These go as follows:

  • 06V131000 – Land Rover recalled specific 2005-2006 Land Rover Discovery models in April 2006 due to the car enabling you to take the key out of the ignition when the car is not in park.
  • 15V214000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2014-2015 Land Rover Discovery models back in April 2015 due to the car’s control systems failing and increasing the chances of ending up in an accident.
  • 20V143000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2017-2018 Land Rover Discovery models back in March 2020 due to the trailer lights not working and increasing the chances of ending up in an accident.
  • 20V694000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2019-2020 Land Rover Discovery models back in November 2020 due to the car losing all electrical power from a loose ground stud and thus increasing the chances of ending up in an accident.
  • 21V117000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2018-2020 Land Rover Discovery models back in February 2021 due to the high beams coming on without notifying the driver and thus blinding upcoming traffic.
  • 21V457000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2020-2021 Land Rover Discovery models back in June 2021 due to the car losing all electrical power from a loose ground stud and thus increasing the chances of ending up in an accident.

Fuel System Issues

To finish off our list of the most common Land Rover Discovery issues, we are also going to mention that the 2005 and the 2006 Disco can suffer from fuel tank leaks which prompted a few recalls which go like this:

  • 05V376000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2005 Land Rover Discovery models back in August 2005 due to fuel tank leaks.
  • 07V011000 – Land Rover recalled certain 2005-2006 Land Rover Discovery models back in January 2007 due to fuel tank leaks.

The 2010-2016 Discovery also wasn’t free of fuel leaks which is why Land Rover issued another recall (21V635000) for certain 2010-2016 Discovery models back in August 2021 due to fuel leaking out of the outlet flange.

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