I’m hoping you can help find a solution to the veritable heatwave I’m enduring in the footwellsof my 2013 Defender 110 2.2 TDCi.
On motorway journeys, doing 60-70 mph, with two adults, two children and luggage (not a heavy load), after 30-40 minutes the heat in both front footwells becomes unbearable. The area between the seat and the cubby box is extremely hot, with heat radiating from around the gearlevers and handbrake. The seatbelt bracket becomes untouchable and all the kids’ sweeties in the cubby box melt!
I’ve looked at some online forums for answers, but found no conclusive solution. One post suggested not opening the driver and passenger windows, as this sucks up the heat, so we’ve taken to switching on the air-conditioning to cool our feet down. It’s become such a problem that I bought a thermometer; outside temperature on a recent drive in France was 28°C – and inside the footwell measured an insufferable 46°C!
The only way to cool the footwells down was to stop regularly, lift the bonnet and open all the doors.
The Defender is in with the dealer, but I fear they won’t have time to drive sufficient distance for the heat to build up.
Any ideas what might be causing the excessive heat? I have limited mechanical knowledge/skill, but is there anything I can do or use to reflect heat from the transfer/gearbox?
Michael Jackson, Wigston, Leicester
I confess to not having encountered this issue before, so can only apply some logical thought rather than the benefit of my experience in this case. From your description, it does sound as though the levels of heat being emitted are excessively high, and the area it seems to be coming from suggests the problem may lie in the transmission region.
To this end, I suggest that you check the oil level of the gearbox carefully; if it were low, the gearbox would get hotter than it should. When the transfer box is drained of oil, what colour and consistency is the oil? Is there any whining or abnormal noise coming from that area? Is the handbrake seizing or binding?
This workshop advice appeared in the December 2015 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.