1998 Land Rover Discovery XS 3.9 V8 from UK and Ireland


Fun, but so typically unreliable


Intermittent loss of engine power.

Erratic engine idle.

Failure to start on several occasions.

Engine cut out twice and wouldn't at first start.

Auto box wouldn't kick down.

Cruise control didn't work.

Rear door lock didn't work.

General Comments:

I bought this on a whim as it was a reasonably low miles Disco, with a good body and in a really nice Frost Blue metallic that you don't see much. It was one of the last of the Series 1 Disco's.

It was never bought as a main car; just something to take the dogs to the fields and have some fun!

When I test drove it, it drove fine.

However, not long after getting it home, it became apparent it had serious engine issues. It would pull away fine, start up fine, then as soon as you got up to any sort of speed, it would start to hesitate and the engine revs would become very erratic. Under any sort of load was when it did it. Driving it ended up being a case of flooring the hell out of it everywhere to try and get past the hesitation, which sort of worked, but that's not the best way to get decent MPG out of a 3.9 V8!

It went several times to my local garage who supposedly "know Landies, and especially the V8's", to have several vacuum tubes replaced and a clean bill of health after being road tested, only for the problem to start up again.

I drove it 90 miles to a mate's in Swindon once; the whole way there it was fine, and the whole way back, it did it! That's how intermittent it could be. As you can imagine, this totally did my head in, and as I had no idea how much money was going to be thrown into this black money hole of a problem, I got rid of it, sharpish!!

Such a SHAME, because it looked great, sounded like the devil roaring, even at idle, and was great to swan around in at eye level with all the Transit drivers. I would've considered doing a bit of mud plugging in it too.

When it was driving OK, I found it extremely comfortable, more responsive steering wise than I would've thought, and loved the fact it cornered like a Sealink ferry, so much fun! OK, it did about 15-17 MPG, which is absolutely terrible, and had the build quality of a child's Lego house inside, but I loved its truck like feel.

However, this just confirmed my suspicion, that I had when I bought it, that old Land Rover's are money pits and unreliable as hell.

Do buy one, it'll put a smile on your face, but... be prepared for lots of heartache too!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd July, 2014

1998 Land Rover Discovery LSE / 50th Edition 4.0 gas from North America


Discovery 98, I am a new fan, gas? Well it's 8 cyl


Since purchased, the 8th lifter was making a knocking noise. I had it diagnosed, and it was a quote of 1800 to replace all lifters, under the warning it would be more if anything else failed or needed replacement (which at an auto shop it always is). They also said it could keep running for a long time or just a few more miles. I risked it and keep on driving it. I figure if it lasts a year, it would be worth it.

After 5000 miles driven, the water pump gave out. I replaced it myself, so about 90 dollars invested, including belt replaced.

Then finally the head gasket gave out; I blame it on the additives that are supposed to help seal any leaks; before I added them, it was fine.

I found a street mechanic with Land Rover experience. Got the parts online, and he did the gaskets and the lifters for $600.00 plus parts ($400). So $1000.00 for all; not bad. I also did the trans service, since no shop will touch it with that many miles. Same mechanic, $130.00, filter included.

General Comments:

Recently passed emissions in WA, no problems.

I have the rebuild kit for the transmission, all ready for when it happens. I know it will be sooner than later, and being prepared makes it easier on the wallet. I also bought the alternator.

With time to shop online, you get great deals; rebuild deluxe kit (all you need included) $200.00, and an alternator refurbished for $75.00. Shop around and see the real prices; $700 plus for both.

I am happy with it. Always wanted one; it still looks good and I intend to make it look better; mud tires and rims are next. Regular maintenance at least. Better yet, do it slightly more often, and after mud use, clean it. They can't clean themselves. Read a lot about your car, and the more you know preventive stuff, the more it will serve you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2013