This LRO reader emailed LRO.firstname.lastname@example.org to ask David Long about gearbox issues with a Land Rover Freelander 1 V6.
My Freelander V6 has given me lots of problems, including an overheating engine, power loss and premature gearbox failure. Most worrying are the failed gearboxes: issues have included jumping out of gear, an unpleasant knocking sound while changing gear – or even seizing while trying to shift. Each time, I’ve found that the clutch is worn. Apart from a bad VCU, what else could be causing all this damage? Finally, what can I do to prevent overheating?
Lrf Njogu, Kenya
You’re absolutely right when you say that a malfunctioning VCU (Viscous Coupling Unit) can cause premature gearbox failure. But the IRD (intermediate reduction drive) unit is the most likely cause. You should also ensure that you’re topping up the gear oil to the correct level, and that the oil you’re using is ATF402 – using the wrong oil will cause gearbox failure.
With regard to overheating, the source is often the inlet manifold. Check all gaskets and hoses for coolant leaks. Check the engine cooling fans are working, and that the water pump and radiator are working correctly.
This workshop advice appeared in the March 2016 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.