I am looking to buy a low-mileage (50,000-70,000 miles) Range Rover P38 4.6-litre V8 of 2000-2002 vintage. Do all engines suffer from overheating, cracked cylinder blocks and liner problems? How should I check for possible problems?
Robert Edwards, Truro, Cornwall
There are many horror stories about slipped liners, porous blocks and overheating, which can be a problem with the V8 engine. These problems don’t occur
in every engine, and lower-mileage and well-maintained engines are less likely to suffer.
Take great care when buying (no different to any other vehicle, really) but pay particular attention to service history and check for any sign of previous or current cooling system problems. Water marks indicating leakage from the block, heads, hoses, header tank and so on are a real prompt, so walk away. The same applies to discoloured coolant, particularly if it shows signs of leak stopper additives (thick brown staining to the header tank).
If the vehicle has a good service history, looks well cared for, hasn’t spent its life pulling a three-tonne trailer and has a clean header tank, then it looks promising.
If possible, buy from a Land Rover dealer or specialist and get a warranty included in the deal.