1997 Rover - Austin 400 416i from UK and Ireland - Comments

15th Sep 2002, 05:04

Well said. It is these people who are wrecking Rover's image by getting worked up at a one off mistake. How many times has the new BMW Mini been re called? but no one says that is a bad car?

30th Jun 2004, 18:35

I'm a mechanic of 4 years and rovers are terrible, they are awkward to work on, powerless, unreliable and ugly. I can't think what would posess people to buy one.

Mg are no better, same rubbish engine and interior in different bodywork. rovers are a true automotive mistake, even rover dealers are clueless as to what problems are half the time. one in our garage everyday.

One rover is worth buying, a honda.

28th Nov 2004, 17:28

I have a Rover 400 - 1.6CC - 1998

I started to have problems at 47.000 Km's, engine don't start, strange noises from engine. The car was repaired, and so far I have no more problems. The car is comfortable, maybe a little to soft, and I like the car.

But one thing is sure, there are something wrong with that engines. They fall too many times.

18th Oct 2005, 07:39

I owned a Rover 400 on P plate “97” drove it for three years without any problems (even though I was told by my brother in-law not to buy one because the head gaskets always blow and I thought he was wrong), well then my problems had just started, even though it had a full service history and had only done 58,000 miles the head blew, radiator replaced, water pump replaced, thermostat etc, brake sensors replaced, drivers side electric window stopped working, accelerator cable stuck on a few occasions (not good when approaching junctions) in all I spent well over £1,000 in the last few months of ownership and only got £400 when I sold it with 12 months MOT & 4 months tax. cheap to run, cheap to buy, expensive to fix.

31st Oct 2005, 05:20

HI everyone! I think that Rovers are very good cars they have a lot of power, but the head gasket is prone to blowing I have jus blown mine, but hopefully I will be able to repair it easily. They are very nice cars to drive when everything is working well and we should stay patriotic and buy British cars!!!

7th Nov 2005, 04:56

Just reading all the posts above has really cheered me up. I own a Rover 25, 38,000 miles and my head gasket has gone. Thing is when they took the head off they found it had 2 gaskets, so chances are it went before I bought it which was a year ago at 24,000 miles. Rovers really are bad, I was warned, I never heeded the advice, and now I'm paying the price. But at least I'm not the only one. Even the Chinese were afraid to buy Rover.

19th Dec 2005, 15:33

Think you should all stop, take a breath and try again! Every car, and I do mean EVERY has its issues! I've owned my Rover since new and the only issue I've had is a gearbox bearing go at 84k.

As for having no power, I can only fear that you must all own 'supercars' as well, you show me another family saloon that will quite happily spin the wheels up in the dry in second by just coming on the power, and I don't want to hear its 'cause of the chassis/suspension, its not a Cav!

But hey, carry on slating them if you must as it only serves to drive down the price so I can buy another one, got my missus an S reg for £300, not a single issue... You lot have fun now!

30th Oct 2006, 14:37

2.0 diesel was the ultra reliable and tough L Series engine, originally developed by Perkins Engines, Peterborough.

The K Series petrols are well known for head gasket problems, particularly the 1.8 fitted to the Freelander, MGF/TF and a number of other Rover models including the 75.

24th Nov 2006, 14:26

Today I just bought my second rover I have owned, A rover 416SLi (1997) Previously had a 420SDi which was a great car, but missed a few services and was therefore unreliable. In between my 2 rovers I've owned a ford fiesta (stalls when warm, rusty as hell) and a Vauxhall Astra (leaks all over the place, but otherwise OK). The rovers trounce both these cars in every department. They are more powerful, roomier, comfier, classier and they are dirt cheap! Whats the problem, if it's faulty bin it and get another one!

9th Sep 2010, 08:06

I had a 1997 R reg Rover 400 1.4 petrol engine from February 1999 until a couple of weeks ago.

In the 6th week I had a big fat motorcycle smash into the front end causing £4,500 worth of damage. I thought it was a write-off. The car was on a machine for about 11 weeks being straightened at a shop.

I was told to get rid of the car when I had it returned but I didn't. I had it for 11 and a half years and traveled about 79,000 miles.

Only on 3 occasions did it fail to start, once the battery was duff, the second the starter motor burnt out, the third time there was nothing wrong as it started as soon as the nice man from Britannia Rescue arrived.

I had a rear end exhaust replaced, an alternator and a full set of tyres over the years. For about 4 years the clutch had a rattle which the garage recommended replacing but I didn't and after the 4 years the noise disappeared. 2 years ago the garage changed both bulbs in my sidelights because they were no longer clear. There was a small amount of rust on the rear wheel arches.

Those are all the problems I have had over 11 years. I hope my latest car, a Meriva, is as reliable. I will certainly miss Rover cars.

18th Oct 2010, 16:38

Rovers since the 1960s have always had head gasket problems.

The idea is to check your oil, water and the rest of the fluids weekly; also checking under the oil car for a milky sludge. Don't let the car over heat.

It's not the engines that are the problem, it's either the head bolts or the gaskets themselves.

Look after your car, and it will look after you.

24th Oct 2010, 07:49

I've had my 1998 Rover 414 for almost 5 years now. It has over 160000 miles. I'm the second owner.

I bought it for 300 euros because it had immobiliser problems. I fixed this by buying an ECU and immobiliser module at a local junkyard for 300 euros.

So, including car, repair, towing, dealership, registration paperwork and etc. expenses, I bought the car for a total cost of almost 1000 euros. I've had people year after year tell me how unreliable and crappy Rovers are.

Well, here are my facts... In the last 5 years, all I've had to do to the car is change the water pump because it started leaking (new, generic part: 150 euros), change the driver side window mechanism (new, generic: 175 euros), change the front brake pads (new, Brembo: 27 euros), replace the clutch (new, generic + labor: 400 euros). That's it.

I asked at a local Rover dealership, and there are records of only 2 service intervals having been done to the car since the first owner bought it in 1998. 200 euros each, one in 2000 and another one in 2002. The guy happens to live in the neighborhood, and he says the only repair he did was the distribution belt at 100000 miles and the regular oil and filter changes at local garage shops.

Summary: looks like in the last 12 years, a total of let's say about 2000 euros (in case I or the first owner have forgotten something) have been needed to maintain the car in good shape.

The head gasket blew on me 3 days ago at over 160000 miles. It'll be a good 500-600 euros repair. That's a total of about 2600 euros spent on the car on repairs over 12 years, which comes to an average of 217 euros per year.

The rest of the car is in good condition given its age; even the A/C is blowing blissfully cold after 12 years. It has one of the most potent (103CV) naturally aspirated 1.4L engines you can see in similar cars of the time... most 1.6L and many 1.8L engines are under 100CV! It also has a lot of nice features far more expensive cars don't have, like the wood trim, remote trunk opener, rear wiper, etc.

For comparison purposes, I have a friend with a 1999 BMW 325 that after 11 years had to replace the A/C evaporator, the A/C compressor, and have the brakes repaired. It all came to 2000 euros. And this doesn't include other repairs and maintenance expenses over the years.

You do the math... Parts are expensive and the initial head gasket/bolt design is certainly flawed, but I'd say Rover 400s are not bad cars, it's more like people don't know/care to take good care of them.

Sorry for the long write, hope it helps.