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19 Common Problems Of A Range Rover Sport (L320/L494/L461)

19 Common Problems Of A Range Rover Sport (L320/L494/L461)

What kind of problems does a Range Rover Sport usually have? In this blog, we’ve outlined the most important things you should watch for when you’re in the market for a Range Rover Sport. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll tell you how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!

Common problems of a Range Rover Sport are door handles that won’t latch or unlatch (2014-2016), a leaking sunroof (2005-2009), and failing crankshafts (2009-2015). Furthermore, air suspension leaks are widespread, as well as non-functioning Park Assist due to faulty sensors (2013-2022).

However, that doesn’t tell the whole story. In the rest of the article, we’ll discuss every single problem in detail. Furthermore, we’ll let you know how to identify it, fix it and how much it costs to fix. Read on!

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Interior Issues

1. Defective Door Locks

In 2019 Range Rover recalled more than 65,000 Sports models for an issue with the door lock. The problem has been reported in model years 2014-2016. It is an issue that can result in a severe accident and is a safety hazard.

The keyless latching system malfunctions and does not activate, and the door remains unlocked even though it appears to be locked. As a result, the door or doors may suddenly open while the vehicle is moving.

There is every chance of the open door colliding with other vehicles, or items may fall off the car onto the road posing a hazard or a safety issue for the passengers in the backseat.

This issue resulted in a vehicle recall, and in case of a problem with your Range Rover Sport, immediately contact Range Rover. The affected vehicle’s keyless entry software will be updated, and all necessary repairs will be done for free.

2. Cabin Creaking Noises

It has become the most irritating and unpleasant yet common problem in most vehicles. The Range Rover Sports is no exception and has its fair share of squeaking and creaking noises. Finding the source of cabin noise is no mean task, and it requires a very good ear to discern between normal cabin sounds and disturbing noise.

In general, unwanted cabin noises can be categorized into those coming from the dashboard and other accessories and trims in the cabin, such as an ashtray, cabin light, glove compartment, doors, and leather/plastic.

3. Dashboard Rattling

Amongst the most common noises inside the cabin of the Range Rover Sport is the dashboard’s plastic rattling noise. It could result from a trim not being reinstalled snugly or adequately back into place after a repair job or maybe a result of fasteners that have become loose or unscrewed because of the vibrations. In the video below, you can hear what this sounds like.

For DIY types, try to pinpoint the area from where the noise is originating and then verify that the screws involved are, in fact, tight, or else take your car to your auto mechanic, who might have to replace some hinges or screws.

4. Noise Due To Loose Fixtures

Cabin trims such as an ashtray, cabin light, and glove compartment are frequently opened and closed and are the most likely sources of cabin and noise and should be among the initial places to investigate. The hinges or other moving elements in such trims can become loose over time and contribute to cabin clatter and rattle.

Another noisy source is the fixtures in the doors, which become loose due to vibration or have not been adequately put back after maintenance.

Open the door closest to the source of noise and check if the knobs are not loose, the window is not properly running within its guide, or the door trim is not fixed correctly. Take apart the door trim and check for noise; perhaps there is a loose screw, damaged trim fastener, or some other part rubbing against the door interior.

If it is a loose screw, tightening will solve the issue, or if some part is rubbing against another, some padding will muffle the noise.

Exterior Issues

5. Water Leaking From Sunroof

Leaky sunroofs can cause extensive damage to your car’s interior, which can sometimes be very costly to repair. The Range Rover is notorious for water leaking from the sunroof, especially for the L320 (2005 – 2009) model. This issue is well documented and highly reported by Range Rover Sports users.

Several factors can lead to a leaky sunroof. These include problems with the cracking or shrinking of rubber seals that hold the glass and drainage issues such as clogged drain trays and lines.

Clogged Drains

Sunroofs have drains that are used to gather rainwater. The water is then collected and drained using tubes found at the corners of the sunroof housing. Rainwater is finally drained into the ground via plastic tubes within the body. If these get clogged by dust or some small pebble, the water begins to drip into the car. In the video below, you can see how to find and fix this problem with a quick and easy method.

Loose Rubber Edges

The sunroof has a rubber seal around the edges of the glass that is meant to be watertight when the roof is closed. Heat and sunlight can damage rubber seals, and when this happens, it is no longer watertight, and water then begins to leak into the car.

It is advised to seek expert help to fix this problem as soon as possible because once the water starts dripping into the interior, it will damage the upholstery and can cause massive damage to the electronics.

Engine Problems

The Range Rover Sport has had its share of severe engine problems. Engine issues are rarely trivial, and the repair costs are often very high. Our advice is to be vigilant about engine issues and proactively refer to an expert mechanic at the first sign of trouble.

6. Failing 2.0 SD4 Engine

Almost all the Range Rover Sport 2.0 SD4 Engine equipped cars from 2017 and 2018 has the same problem. Critical oil pressure lamp turns on while driving and after that the engine is seized or crankshaft bearings are seized due to lack of oil lubrication.


7. Failing Crankshaft

2009 – 2015 Range Rover Sport model years had a problem with engine stalling due to a failing crankshaft. This was a significant problem for the TDV6 engine but was also reported for the SDV6 engine. The main problem was that the crankshaft was just too thin, to begin with, which meant it would snap. The video below is a more in-depth investigation into this issue.

8. Chirping Type Noise From Engine Area During Idle

Another common issue reported for Range Rover Sports models is chirping noise from the engine when idle. Range Rover did issue a technical service bulletin for the 2010 – 2013 models with 5.0L gasoline engines and 2013 – 2016 models with either a 3.0L or 5.0L gasoline engine.

A faulty drive belt idler pulley generally causes the noise. It happens because the pulley bearing is no longer smooth, and its rotation causes the metal to grind at high speeds. The pulley bearing is no longer smooth because, as Land Rover stated: “It’s caused by dust and/or water ingress to the accessory drive belt idler pulley bearing“. If this happens, you must have this issue addressed urgently.

Delay in changing it can cause it to be dislodged or result in the drive belt slipping off. It will cause the component it drives to stop functioning; for example, if the idler pulley is attached to the alternator, it will no longer work. In worst cases, the pulley begins to wobble, causing the belt to slip or come off entirely, which can be hazardous.

Depending upon which belt breaks, the resulting consequences may vary. For example, if the power steering belt or the air conditioning compressor belt breaks, the drive will become unpleasant. If the engine radiator fan belt breaks, the engine might heat up, causing further damage.

The average cost for a Land Rover Range Rover Sport drive belt idler pulley replacement is between $237 and $258, out of which the parts cost $153, and the rest is labor cost.

9. Faulty Parking Brake

The most widely reported problems for Range Rover Sports 2006-2011 and 2013 models are faulty parking brakes. The parking brakes in these models tend to develop screeching noises and eventually fail. The average mileage at which this issue pops up is around 91,000 miles. The culprit is either a parking brake cable out of adjustment or failure of the parking brake actuator.

The average labor cost for a Land Rover Range Rover Sport emergency brake cable replacement is between $546 and $689, while the cost of parts is $518 for a total cost between $1,064 and $1,207.

Transmission And Drivetrain Problems

10. Clunk Type Noise From the Drivetrain

The drivetrain is the part of the vehicle that provides the power to move the wheels. People sometimes use powertrain and drivetrain interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference. The powertrain consists of the engine that powers the drivetrain.

Owners of the Range Rover Sports have reported clunk-type noise from the drivetrain. This noise is pronounced when throttling up or down. The average mileage at which this issue is observed is around 88,000 miles, and the affected models are primarily from 2007, 2008, and 2016. This issue is resolved by updating the powertrain control module (PCM) software.

The powertrain control module is the brain of the engine, a microcomputer that monitors and controls the engine’s operations in real-time. It is connected to an extensive network of sensors and other electronic components to send and receive information to enable the vehicle to operate at peak performance.

Failure of PCM can lead to a lot of issues, such as PCM making erroneous calculations and failing to operate and interpret data correctly. PCM failure leads to persistent failures of other subsystems triggering the check engine. In the worst case, the vehicle will either not start or fail to stay running.

It is pretty easy to access and run diagnostics but depending upon the issue, the diagnostic time can vary between several minutes to a few hours. So if the PCM is not entirely done, it can be repaired, but in the case of replacement, the average cost is between $1366 and $1382.

11. Disengaging Driveshaft

A significant problem with the Range Rover Sports that led to a recall is the disengagement of the driveshaft from the transmission during operation. The driveshaft is the longitudinal shaft that runs from the front to back, and depending upon the type, it transfers torque from the engine to the wheels and essentially moves the car.

Drivers have reported loud grinding noise without warning, followed by a complete loss of power. Imagine how catastrophic it could be if it happens in the middle of a busy highway. The vehicles that develop this problem must be towed to a mechanic. Some owners have experienced this issue more than once, even after repairs.

This problem has been reported most commonly in models from 2006 – to 2010. The cost of repairing a driveshaft is quite a bit, with an average cost of $890, out of which $614 is for parts and $275 for labor.

12. Harsh Downshifting

Range Rover models 2006-2007 and 2016 are known for harsh downshifting issues where the transmission exhibits a harsh downshift from second to first gear. Users have complained about forceful clunks when in stop-start traffic or when slowing down to stop. When these issues are first experienced, the average mileage is close to 47,000 miles.

The probable cause for these issues is outdated transmission control module software; in most cases, an update resolves the problem.

13. Clunk Type Noise From Steering

Another widespread issue in Range Rover Sports is the steering shaft. The steering shaft controls the movement of the car by controlling the wheels. The onset of the problem is indicated by loud noise accompanied by vibration of the steering wheel while turning.

Several model years starting from 2006 have been plagued with this issue, and the average mileage after which this problem usually pops up is about 70,000 miles. If the problem is left unattended, it becomes aggravated, and the Sports become increasingly difficult to steer, which can pose some serious issues on the road.

This issue stems from the intermediate steering shaft, and a modified intermediate shaft is available to correct this issue.

14. Air Suspension Issues

Although generally used in heavy vehicles, air suspension has replaced the conventional suspension system in modern cars, including Range Rover. Air suspension is powered by an air pump or compressor, which pumps air into flexible bellows. The air pressure inflates the bellows and raises the chassis from the axle. Air suspension aims to provide a smooth, constant ride quality.

You are not alone if you have experienced suspension issues on your Sports because Range Rover has had quite a few problems with the Air Suspension, including complete failure. All air suspensions have a limited lifespan, and some issues are easily identified because the vehicle sags to one side or the other. Another common problem has to do with a noisy compressor or one that runs for too long.

The video below explains how to find these leaks on an LR3, but the process is the same for the Range Rover Sport.

For Range Rovers that have been on the road for a while, it is advisable to frequently check for any suspension issue by doing a “bounce test.” Push your car down at each corner; the suspension is in good shape if it pops up immediately. On the other hand, if it takes a while to get back up, that suspension has become weak.

The most common issues reported by the Range Rover Sports owners are listed below.

  • Completely punctured airbag.
  • Worn-out ride height sensor located in each wheel. These sensors constantly evaluate the amount of air that needs to be inflated or deflated from the system.
  • Worn out compressor or punctured or torn airlines or dysfunctional control module and the issue with these is that once these components wear out, the result is a complete failure of the whole system.

The fact is that an air suspension breaking down is not a matter of if but when. In other words, it is inevitable, and this is true for air suspension in all vehicles. Note that air suspension parts are not cheap.

The compressor replacement would cost between $1,463 and $1,489, with parts being $1,363 and labor between $100 and $126, while replacing the active suspension air spring is between $244 and $308 while parts are priced at $1,541.

With such a high maintenance cost and the possibility of air suspension issues propping up more than once, sometimes Range Rover owners opt to have it replaced with a more robust, simpler coilover strut.

15. Electronics Issues

Modern cars are all about microcomputers, sensors, transmitters, and solenoids working in tandem to monitor and make fine adjustments to your vehicle’s systems to provide a smooth ride and raise the alarm in case of a failure or onset of failure of a system or subsystem.

Do the following to check if the basic electronics are up and running.

  • Checking the horn
  • Rolling the windows up and down
  • Adjusting the side mirrors.
  • Checking for operational air conditioning and heating systems.
  • Checking if headlights, indicators, and tail lights are working.
  • Check all gauges are functioning, especially the check engine light.

Every car has its share of electrical problems, and Range Rover is no different from its bagful problems. Most of the electrical issues are not severe, just irritating. However, a few are a cause of concern because these impact the safety of the car occupants. Below is a list of common electronic issues with Range Rover Sports.

16. Fuel System Problems

The fuel system is an essential part of the car’s engine. Major components of the fuel system are the fuel tank, fuel pump and lines, fuel filter, and carburetor.

One common issue with Range Rover also found in Sports is the defective fuel gauge indicating a low fuel level when it is not. It results in a check engine light indication. Additionally, a malfunctioning engine management software intermittently shuts down the engine. Engine failure in Sports is followed by power brake assistance failure.

This issue was reported in models from 2003-to 2006 and 2017. This and other fuel issues in Range Rover Sport 2017 models resulted in a recall in 2018.

Sport Fuel Level Sending Unit replacement labor costs are between $203 and $256, while parts are priced at $1,024.

17. Side Mirrors Failing To Fold-In And Out

Safety on the road is all about being aware of what is happening around you. Rear and side-view mirrors are essential elements used when changing lanes or braking. Failure of side mirrors to fold in and out can be a severe issue if the failure occurs once the mirrors have been folded in. Getting it fixed as soon as the problem is detected is vital.

The root cause of this issue is generally a dislodged micro switch in the mirror assembly. It is recommended to take your Sport to a reliable technician to check the microswitch before replacing the mirror assembly.

18. Faulty Display Unit Showing A Blank Screen

It is another common electrical issue faced by Range Rover owners. The first recommended thing is reboot the display by following the simple steps below.

  • To reset the device, simultaneously press the Power on and Volume up button for 10 – 12 seconds.
  • The device will power down and then automatically reboot.
  • The device will now power on, perform and charge as expected.

19. Park Assist Not Working

The Park Assist feature is used to assist the driver in helping to back up or assist in parking. It provides a complete rear view, including the area you cannot see while using the rear and side-view mirrors. Failure of Park Assist is quite common, and the general complaints regarding this are blurry images or poor resolution, or in the worst case, no image when the car is shifted into reverse. This is mainly a problem for some 2013 – 2022 models (the L494).

If there is an issue with the image, the first thing to do is check the camera lens to see if it has some debris or is damaged. In case of no image, in the display menu, ensure that the park assist camera option is turned “on.” If these simple fixes do not solve the problem, it could very well be that the parking sensors are faulty. Watch the video below to see how to identify this problem.

In general, the cost of park assist camera replacement is between $1,564 and $1,581—out of which the labor costs are estimated to be between $64 and $81.

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