Old-ish Land Rover: Range Rover/Discovery Help


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Jan 8, 2007
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Recently I've taken to the idea of buying an (old-ish) Land Rover Discovery 1999/2000 and wondered what peoples opinions on them are. I have max budget £4500 and ideally would like a 7 seater.

I notice alot with 100,000+ miles on them, 130, 150 etc and some with 200,000+ is this something to look out for? I know there is a stigma that land rovers are very unreliable but does this hold true? Or is the higher milage just a testament to how long these things live for.

Anything worth noting, I have been told a disel is the one to go for but have seen a couple of LPG V8s.

Also, whats the difference between a discovery and a range rover, which should I opt for?
I had a 1999 discovery TD5 and ran it for 2 years. I spent a long looking for the right car and ended up with an ES model with full leather, twin sunroofs, cruise control etc.
In the 2 years I had it, it needed the following.
New ecu wiring loom, new steering box, leaking sunroof repair, new rear diff, new ignition barrel and a new bottom coolant pipe.
Now, I know a bit about cars and none of these faults were evident when I bought it. I did the repairs myself so only had to pay for the parts but this still came to over £1000.
I had thought about getting a p38 RR but was told by various people that these are less reliable. I was also a member of a land river club and various LR forums and all the faults I had are very common (apart from the diff).

Don't do it.
Oh, I forgot about the thermostat and starter motor that needed replaced/repaired and the heated front seats that stopped working.
Agreed. Don't do it.

A mechanic friend of mine ran a 51 plate for a couple of years, never stopped fixing it.

A massive bag of nightmares.
Well, I run a 1994 Range Rover Classic Vogue SE V8 with 138,000 miles under its belt as a daily driver and have done for three years. In that time it has never broken down, needed nothing more than a tyre for its last MOT and the major work it has required is as follows:

- Three air suspension airbags - my own fault. Although I researched the issues with the pump/compressor system whn I bought it, I forgot to check what the blatantly obvious signs of knackered air bags were...:rolleyes:
- One exhaust system
- One transmission oil cooler (walloped by a stone through the radiator grille on the motorway)
- About 8 switch illumination bulbs!

Heck, if it wasn't for the 15mpg thirst, it would be perfect!

My advice would be to NOT buy on age or mileage. Look at the service history, the bills for work done and the condition of the vehicle. They do rust - this is a fact, but if you check all the known spots (bulkhead, inner sills, C pillar and wheel arches) it should be obvious if there are any issues and if work has been done.

Both V8 and the 200Tdi/300Tdi engines will cover 200,000 miles with minimal fuss if they are looked after and serviced regularly and to Land Rover's specification. If nothing else, change the oil every 6000 miles. Walk away from any that have proud claims of newly fitted engines or gearboxes - the drivetrain should be pretty much bombproof and if something of this ilk has had to be changed then the car is probably a duffer.

Finally, for the age you mention, you'll be looking at a P38 Range Rover. I don't like them as they are over-complicated and marked the first introduction of new technologies for the vehicle that have been simplifed and made better and more reliable since. When the country's largest Land Rover magazine says about them "We really can't rcommend buying one unless you particularly like spending money" you get the impression they should be given a wide berth!

I can sum it up in a piece of advice that was given to me when looking for a Range Rover Classic, but it applies to the Discovery as well:
A bad one will be a constant source of annoyance, frustration and depression, and a bottomless pit to throw money into. A good one will be one of the best cars you will ever own.

This advice would be for a disco 1 or RR classic, the age of vehicle the op is looking for would be a D2 or P38 RR. You would be very lucky if you can find a rust free RRC or D1 and equally lucky if you can find a reliable D2 or P38.
Driven a Range Rover from that era have we ?

Wobbly , ponderous , expensive if you cant fix anything yourself . Regarded as seriously un cool ! in some areas !

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