Land Rover Discovery 2002+, Things to look for?

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by Speedy, Nov 13, 2009.

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  1. I'm looking at buying a 2002 (or more modern if price permits) Discovery, and just doing a few checks.

    1. Is there any major problems with them?

    2. What feature packs or models should I look out for\avoid?

    3. Most versions are now high milage (90,000+ miles) and I'm only looking at spending £7000-£8000, is there anything that a new cam-belt and major service can't solve I should be aware of?

    I was looking at getting a Lexus RX300, but they guzzle fuel and are automatic only, and their off road performance is minimal, so some of the palces I visit in the Lakes and Pennines are out of the question with it. Anyway, does anyone have one and are you happy with it?
  2. Is there any particular reason you want a Disco?
  3. Interior space and layout. I currently have a Renault Scenic RX4 (the 4x4 Scenic) which is great for the kids as they get travel sick in saloons such as Volvos and Mondeos, and the scenic has a fantstic interior, it's just mechanically, a pile a junk! I've spent LOTS on repairs and had enough! I do most of my travelling with the family on board and in quite hilly, mountainous terrain and want something rugged, comfy, versetile and childproof!
  4. Get one. You will not (oops) regret it but thats the nature of the beast. Mines a td5 ES Auto 2000my with 75000 and love it. Trailer houses no problem!! For 7 to 8K you should get a great one. Get an Auto if you can. Usually comes with the toys anyway. Look long, hard and don't pay over the odds. Get it a proper service.

    Minor(?) problems. Avoid sunroofs!!! (easy fix). Air suspension (again easy).

    Read the various forums but dont forget, these are people with problems.

    In all a top motor!

    Edited to add - The wife has a scenic!! I know where you're coming from!!!
  5. Regret it! I own a Renault, I already have years worth of regert stored up in that motor!
    Seriously though, why would I regret owning a Discovery?
  6. I have 3 Landys just now..just sold my last Disco to get a Volvo C30 :oops: hopefully I can point out a few issues...

    Things I would look for...

    Full LANDROVER or SPECIALIST GARAGE service history...walk away if it does not have. Too many Disos are bought for the wife, and serviced on the cheap at Kwik Fit type garages. The Disco is not a car, it needs more fluid changes (Engine, Transfer Box, Gearbox, both axles etc.) and an understanding mechanic who knows what to look for.

    Always buy on condition, not age. Some old Discos have been well maintained and are bullet proof. Newer ones can suffer from stingy owners who dont spend money on them.

    Make sure you go for a test drive, making sure you take in motorway (check for wobbles, excessive whine from the gearbox, braking from speed) country roads (check for vague steering, knocks and bangs from suspension and steering and excessive body roll) and somewhere you can try out difflock/lo ratio gearbox if fitted. A carpark is fine for this, as long as everything engages properly.

    Diesels have had a few problems with overheating so check the engine oil for water, just incase it has a cracked cylinder head gasket.

    V8's have had issues with liners moving..again will result in water contamination in the oil.

    Check for excessive oil leaks. Its a landy, it will leak..but excessive oil is a problem.

    Check ALL electrics..all pretty expensive to replace...especially the alarm.

    Check under the carpet in the boot. older discos leaked like a seive and water gathered on the boot floor and quietly rotted it away. Some newer models still do this.

    To tell the truth..there is a heap to be careful with, way too much to write in here. They are a classic vehicle, but they can be expensive to keep on the road. If you are handy with a spanner, then that will save a lot. Have a look on Loads of info on there and a good bunch.

    So far I ahve had to totally re chassis two of my Defenders, and replace a gearbox in a Disco, along with things like suspension, altanators, bearings etc etc..BUT, I do use mine heavily off road, so no supprise there really.

    Just keep them clean, serviced and polished and they will serve you well. :) [​IMG]
  7. I would suggest, as with any 4x4 try to establish what it has been used for. If it has been a Chelsea Taxi it should have fewer problems than one that has been used 'off road'.
    I only have third party knowledge of Discos but the issues I am familiar with relate to manual boxes failing.
    As with any 4x4 check that all the 4x4 system works ie diff locks engage properly etc.
    Land Cruiser is worth looking at if you fancy looking 'outside the box' and solidly made.
  8. Right, there are loads of issues with Discovery 2's but most of them can be avoided by buying a mid 2001 onwards model, many of the common roblems were rectified by then.
    I've had mine for just over a year now and asides from operator abuse its reasonably reliable.
    Things to beware of-
    Buy one with ACE and rear air susension, its just so good you don't want one without it. ACE hydraulics pipes do corrode and are a pain to replace.
    TD5 Manual is the way to go, earlier ones can have problems with the flywheel, clutch and flywheel replacement comes in at around 650 quid.
    Make sure the header tank contains pink anti-freeze mixture and not blue, if its not pink walk away.
    Pull the dipstick and check the oil does not smell of diesel, if it does you are looking at £1500 to repair
    Watch for vague steering, front axles do wear and repair is very costly.
    On the odd one chassis rot is a problem but you will be able to see it easily
    Sunroof will leak, all of them do.
    Check function of all electrics, the eectrical system is quite complex but works well, check the floors in the front are dry. it is common for the swindscreen to leak which causes a lot of electrical problems behind the dash.
    Expect 26ish to the gallon in normal use.
    Unless you actually need the extra seets don't bother payingmore for the 7 seat option.
    If its got 18inch alloys tyres aren't cheap!

    They are very good at what they do, mine is off road a lot and they are highly capable. you want a GS upwards, not the base model without any of the goodies.
  9. Thanks all, very handy to know. As for Land Crusiers they are rather large although I did spend a large amount of time on Granby driving them and know they are quite solid machines!
  10. I'd always wanted one so some years ago I bought a '97 Disco and it was one of the worst cars I've ever had.

    It was anemic going up hillls (and I live in Hong Kong so that's a major consideration) and the electric windows packed up along with many other minor niggles. I flogged it and bought a Nissan Pathfinder, which is Les Balles de Chien and probably the best car I've ever had.
  11. Yeh but the Doscovery 2 is a comletely different vehicle despite appearances.
    The only major component the TD5 and the TDi share is the gearbox and thats modified!
    It does depend what you are going to do with it though, as a driving machine the Discovery 2 is way ahead of it contempories both on and off road.
  12. Have to say I do not like the air regularly. Replaced mine with springs. Having said that, I do use it for what its designed to do so it was rarely on tarmac :)
    I prefer the TDi because its easier to work on but the TD5 is much more refined and torquy. :)
  13. Got to be honest, I wouldn't have a TD5 wthout the air on the back (not the ACE)
    Mine is off road a lot and the air suspension works very well, especially when heavily laden.
    the suspension is lifted on mine a tad too, an inch taller springs on the front and the computer set to lift the rear about 2 inches over standard.
    The ACE handles the lift fine and keeps excellent road manners.
    There is also a winch and steel bumer on the front and the suspension handles the extra weight without any noticable effect on handling.

    The TD5 engines are more comlex and thirstier than TDi's but make for a far better car!
  14. I got a manual 2001 TD5 ES with all the bells and whistles. Its pretty standerd and has, so far, done all i've asked of it. Although looking at the torrential rain out my window and knowing what me and car will be doing shortly i think this may change.........

    The only other thing i will suggest is check the wheel bearings. You have to replace the whole hub when these go (£180). Easyish to do if the drive shafts come out of the spline ok.