2000 Land Rover Discovery ES 4.0 V8 petrol
Awesome, amazing, brilliant, none of these words are powerful enough. One Life, Live It
Usual wear and tear items. Brakes, shocks, tires.
3 bumper bars due to 4wding.
About 4 windscreens. They catch everything, being rather vertical.
Driver's heated seat pad stopped working. A common issue.
Rear ACE pipe near actuator. I ran over some wire which wrapped around the driveshaft. Ended up slicing through the pipe. It was a PITA job to do, but easy enough.
Roof clear coat issues, due to being parked outside.
Headliner was sagging when I bought it. Still is.
Rear door seal leaks.
Both O2 sensors died. Not sure when it happened, but it doesn't seem to affect anything too much. Possibly fuel economy.
Around 130,000km - Engine replaced by previous owner. I believe it came out of a '02-'03 Disco, as the ECUs don't acknowledge the CDL being engaged as a fault and keeps the traction control operational. I'm guessing they were towing a caravan around Australia during their ownership based on the towing setup it has.
219,000km - Radiator developed a leak. Mechanic repaired it, but it still leaks. I've yet to replace it, I just keep it topped up.
222,000km - One of the motors in the driver's seat died after I lent it to someone. I suspect they lowered it to its lowest setting then jumped into the car, as it is a lot higher than their own. I ended up nudging it back into place and haven't had to move it since... or lent it out for that matter.
227,000km - The Three Amigos. One of the wheel speed sensors occasionally gets water in it and produces the error. It is intermittent so I haven't bothered fixing it.
232,000km - LPG converter clogged. Had it replaced. Not the car's fault so much as it was the gas system's fault. Ran on petrol fine.
238,000km - Uni-joint on front driveshaft snapped. I engine braked while towing a 3 tonne generator. I heard the pop, but didn't notice the arm on the uni-joint had a crack in it. It ended up breaking completely when I was out 4wding. It still managed to drive home (I was close, so why not), though it was quite a bumpy ride through the steering wheel. Replaced it with a genuine Land Rover part and haven't had a problem with it since.
241,000km - The clips on the negative battery leads ended up snapping and melted the wires on the exhaust manifold. Ended up shorting the system and blowing a couple of engine fuses before we found what it was. Did a bush mechanic repair on the wires which got me home, but not before the next thing happened:
241,000km - Catalytic converters clogged, causing one of the exhaust manifolds to burst open. Again, happened while 4wding, not long after the fuses blown. Ended up driving home with no working instruments, being gassed and deafened by the exhaust, and in bad weather at night to top it off. To the car's credit, the engine didn't miss a beat and drove home fine somehow.
That was the only time I ever needed a car to get me home. The entire group raced out of the forest leaving me to find my way out with no GPS, phone signal or CB as it was on a fuse that died. I guess that's what is to be expected when tagging along in a large 4wd group and being the last car in the convoy. To all those people out there that say a Toyota will always get you home, I wonder if they've ever been in a position where that was needed. I sure have.
242,000km - Rear door latch doesn't open every now and then. A common and well documented issue. Requires a clean of the mechanism every now and then.
247,000km - Front ACE actuator boot broke and began leaking. Replaced with a part sourced from a wreckers. Easy enough job to do.
Probably a bunch more, but I cannot remember.
This thing is amazing! By far the best vehicle I have ever owned. It can do everything and nothing seems to bother it.
I remember once I loaded it up with stuff, drove it 100km, unloaded the stuff at a hall for a party. Then I went around to see friends of mine who decided it would be a great idea to go out clubbing. Crammed 7 drunk people into it (why do the tall people like to sit in the back seats?) drove it through the center of Melbourne, went clubbing, drove back, dropped them off, went back to the party and slept in the back of it. That morning I packed it full of electrical equipment, hitched the 3 tonne generator onto it and dragged it to a guy's house to store it there. Unloaded it, went back and loaded a moving trailer full of tables and whatnot. Put the trailer on the back of it, drove that into the city and dropped it off. Went back to the party and repacked everything I had bought down, then went home. How many vehicles do you know that can do that? I guess there's quite a few actually.
It has taken me all over Victoria, from the horrible sticky mud and over snow covered mountains (heated seats were great for that), to the center of Melbourne in peak-hour traffic. It is not without its faults however. I can barely ever find a garage or multi-storey parking garage that it will fit in. The fuel economy is atrocious, though on par with its larger rivals. Parts can be a little difficult to come by, occasionally. The build quality is meh, not bad, not great, just meh. However the materials used are good quality, they feel far better than the Japanese cars it goes up against.
I was led to believe that these things are horribly unreliable. I have yet to see it. It has its issues, but maintenance is a big part to keeping these things going. If you're not prepared to look at the fluid levels once or twice a week, then a Land Rover is not for you. I bought it as I wanted something I could work on. Alas, this was not that vehicle and I am constantly searching for stuff that needs fixing on it in hopes I will find a leak somewhere. I ended up buying a mid-90s Defender to compensate, but despite its breakdowns on the first 5,000km trip I taken it on, that too has proven to be quite reliable. The last trip I taken it on was around 2,000km and the only thing to break on it was a light on the roof due to the trip leader taking us down an overgrown track. I think I'll have to buy a P38 and have three Land Rovers.
Would I recommend one? Probably not. The thing is, if people buy them and run them for 40,000km on the same oil, drive it without any form of mechanical sympathy and bash them against curbs because why not, it's a 4wd, it can handle it, then these are the people that will scream that these are unreliable and terrible to own. If, however, you're happy enough to keep the levels topped up, check for leaks, service it on time, and don't let problems go too far without replacing parts, then this vehicle, or any of the Land Rover vehicles are for you. It is a car that will do anything for you, if you'll do anything for it.
Then there is the cherry on the cake, you get the best slogan ever: One Life, Live It.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd March, 2017