What to consider when buying.
Here are our top tips on things to consider when buying a Range Rover. Discuss prospective buys on our message boards and for the definitive view, get an LRO buying guide. See below for details.
Whining. The turbochargers on some Td6s whine, indicating it’s time for a new turbo.
Oil leaks. The oil filter O-ring seal has been known to fail. Check for leaks.
Exhaust. Does it sound tinny or rattle? The catalytic converter might have broken up; an expensive replacement
Gearbox failure. A reluctance to shift gear or the illumination of dashboard warning lights are obvious clues. Not all garages will rebuild the auto gearbox – but K Motors in Lancashire (01772 299811) does, for about £2000.
Low range selection. Check low ratio engages properly. The motor that moves the linkage can seize up if it doesn’t get used enough. Costs about £1000 to fix.
Front differential. Many were recalled for checking and any problems should have been fixed - but worth paying attention. You might get a warning from a knocking sound on full lock at low speed
Air suspension compressor. When test-driving, raise and lower the suspension a few times. The compressor for the air tank should be barely audible but if it’s grinding away it’s going to need replacing.
If an error message appears on the dashboard, the compressor may be weak or an air spring may be leaking, and need changing soon. This is a common failing, but is relatively inexpensive and straightforward to replace, so don’t let it put you off ownership.
Perished rear hub bushes. These connect the hubs to the wishbones and the usual symptom is a clonking sound from the rear suspension when travelling over bumps. Can be difficult to replace, and require special tools to push the bushes out, which means DIY replacement is not feasible for most.
Worn brakes. The hefty L322 is heavy on its brakes. Check service history carefully and be prepared to replace discs and pads at 30,000 mile intervals.
WHEELS AND TYRES
Kerb damage. Check the edges of the alloys for damage.
Low profile tyres. Avoid vehicles with 22in wheels and low-profile tyres altogether: they affect the ride adversely and are prone to puncturing through being pinched between the rim and the kerb.
Broken mirrors. Chrome mirror covers may look fancy but are often used to cover a broken mirror.
Lighting. Headlights are expensive, so check the glass carefully for stone chips
Parking sensor failure. Can be costly to change: replacement components range from £30-£80. They can be checked very simply, by holding your hand over them one at a time while they are active and listening for the warning beeps.
Bodywork. This is an expensive vehicle and should have been cherished. If the bodywork is tatty what else is wrong?
Dashboard warning messages. If the voltage drops below 12 volts at any time, this can cause glitches with the warning messages on the dash so the battery should be kept fully charged. All warning lights should illuminate when you switch the ignition on, and then go out within a few seconds of the engine starting. If anything stays on, there’s a problem, but you should watch for anything not lighting up when the ignition is switched on. Dodgy dealers have been known to remove bulbs to disguise a potentially expensive problem.
Fault codes. The cost of a pre-purchase diagnostics call-out (about £50) will be recouped during ownership and is well worth it. Have it plugged in and read, then take it for a long test-drive and plug it in again. Google any codes that appear - some are trivial, but don’t buy unchecked as it’s easy to make the faults disappear short term.
Satnav updates. These cost about £150 so ask for the update from the dealer when buying.
Adjustable column. The steering box doesn’t usually give problems, but the reach and height of the adjustable column does due to drive motors failing. Quantifying the cost of dealing with these problems is harder as it is wholly dependent on which electric fails. However, there is no shortage of the necessary parts available.
General condition. Should be in excellent condition. If it's not look elsewhere.
Seats. Do all the electrical adjusters work as they should?
WHAT TO PAY
For detailed pricing info see the latest issue of Land Rover Owner International magazine.
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