This LRO reader emailed LRO.firstname.lastname@example.org to ask David Long about his Freelander running roughly.
My KV6-engined facelift-model Freelander 1 is my daily driver. I love the car.
However, a couple of days ago it began to run badly. There was noticeable power loss, and the orange engine warning light illuminated and stayed on - it pulsed now and then. to me, it felt a bit like fuel starvation. There was severe engine vibration.
The local garage's diagnostic computer revealed a misfire on piston 3 - the technician thought it could be a spark plug - then all of a sudden during the diagnosis, the engine started running sweetly.
But a couple of miles up the road on my way back home, the same rough-running showed up again. I limped back home, changed the spark plugs and examined the connectors on the coils - nothing suspicious there. Despite the brand-new spark plugs, the engine continued to run as badly as before.
Do you think that one of the coils may be at fault? Whatever the cause may be, I'm getting exasperated by it and would seriously appreciate your help. The Freelander is a 2004 model, chassis code FALLNAAG25A455584, and it has only 115,000km (71,000 miles) on the clock.
Robert Muijsson, Voorst, Netherlands
Having read your detailed description of the problem you have been experiencing, I suggest you look at three areas, one of which I'm confident will provide you with the answer.
1. This could possibly be cylinder head gasket failure. A symptom of this would be coolant loss, so check the level.
2. Possible coil pack failure.
3. There could be a problem with the upper intake mainfold - it's quite common to find sticking valves in the plenum chamber.
My recommended first course of action is to find a specialist dealer with Land Rover-specific diagnostic equipment (Autologic is the most common and effective system) and with knowledge of the marque. They may be able to pinpoint the problem more specifically than a local non-specialist garage.
This workshop advice appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.