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Its powerful turbocharged engine, plush interior, and great off-road capability make the Land Rover Discovery an excellent choice for a midsize SUV. But just like any other vehicle on the market, it may develop issues as it racks up mileage. If you own a Land Rover Discovery or plan to buy one, it helps to read up on its reliability ratings and the common issues other owners encountered with theirs.

Are Land Rover Discovery SUVs Reliable?

The Land Rover Discovery has a fair reputation in terms of reliability. J.D. Power gave the 2021 model a quality and reliability score of 72/100.  Older models also have similar ratings. For instance, the 1994 model has a 3.9 out of 5 reliability rating on Kelley Blue Book’s consumer review page.

Land Rover Discovery Common Problems

Just like any other SUV on the market, the Land Rover Discovery is not perfect. Some of its parts may fail or develop issues as it racks up mileage. Here are some of the most common Land Rover Discovery problems across its model years:

Rear Cargo Door Latch Failure

Some owners have reported that they had difficulty entering their Land Rover Discovery. Upon inspection, mechanics determined that internal failure on the rear cargo door latch caused the problem.

The issue is a common complaint from owners of the 1994-2004 model years. Luckily, there is no shortage of aftermarket latches and actuators available online. So if your SUV has this problem, finding a replacement latch will be a breeze.

Leaking Head Gaskets

Land Rover Discovery 1997 2003 Wikimedia
Some owners of the 1994-2004 Land Rover Discovery vehicles have experienced engine misfires and engine performance issues alongside leaks. Image source: Wikimedia.

Several Discovery owners also complained about leaking head gaskets and/or failed engine cylinder liners. Many drivers experienced engine misfires and engine performance issues alongside the leaks. According to reports, this type of issue is common in some Land Rover Discovery vehicles from model years 1994-2004.

Don’t hesitate to take your SUV to an auto repair shop once you notice the signs of a coolant leak. To know more about the risks of a blown or leaking head gasket, you can check out this article.

There are many aftermarket head gaskets available online in case you need to have yours replaced. However, take note that the labor cost for this type of replacement can reach $1,400 to $1,800.

Leaks in the Throttle Body De-icer

Reports show that a damaged head gasket is not the only part that can leak coolant. Several owners have complained that their Discovery lost coolant because of a faulty throttle body de-icer. The coolant usually passes down the engine towards the rear before it reaches the ground. This issue is commonly seen in some units of the 1994-2004 model years.

Sticking Windshield Wiper Switch

Some Land Rover Discovery units may develop windshield wiper problems, especially during cold months. Several owners have complained that their SUV’s wipers moved slower than usual, prompting them to have their vehicle checked. Most of them learned that they have a faulty wiper switch. This issue is most frequently reported by owners of the 1994-2004 model years.

Sticky Ignition Switch

A sticky ignition switch is a commonly reported problem across several Land Rover Discovery model years (1994-2004). According to some owners, their vehicle’s ignition key got stuck because of this problem. In some cases, the ignition key broke completely.

Labor costs for an ignition switch repair can amount to anywhere between $60 and $100. If you’d like to know more about bad ignition switches and what to do with them, you can read this article.

Faulty Window Regulators

2003 2004 Land Rover Discovery Wikimedia
Power window failure has affected some units of the 1994-2004 Land Rover Discovery. Image source: Wikimedia.

Power window failure also affected many 1994-2004 Land Rover Discovery vehicles. There are many possible reasons why this happens, but a worn regulator seems to be the leading cause of this issue on Land Rover Discovery vehicles.

Good thing replacing the faulty window regulator can easily correct this type of problem. Take note that the labor cost for this type of issue is around $100 to $130.

However, keep in mind that a failing window regulator isn’t the only issue that can cause power window problems. You can read this guide to learn about the parts that can cause your car window to get stuck.

Front Differential Failure

Several owners of the 1994-2004 model years have reported that their front differential failed. This is a serious problem because it can cause a “no drive condition.” This can place the vehicle in gear even though it doesn’t move.

The differential controls the engine torque being sent to the drive wheels. Without it, the wheels won’t be able to turn at different speeds without skidding. Because of its crucial function, it’s important to address any differential issues right away.

Rebuilding and replacing a differential assembly can set you back $2000 to $3000 on repairs.

Clogged Radiator

Radiator issues are also seen across several Land Rover Discovery model years. If your ride’s radiator is clogged, it can cause your engine to overheat. This may damage its surrounding components if it’s left unresolved, so it’s best to address the issue right away.

In most cases, cleaning up the clogged radiator usually fixes the issue. You can learn more about cleaning a clogged radiator by reading this article.

Main Bearing Failure

Some 1998 Land Rover Discovery owners have complained that the main bearing of their vehicles failed, causing a decrease in oil pressure. If this problem is left unaddressed, the engine may overheat and damage other components over time.

To fix the issue, mechanics usually replace the failed bearings. This may involve pulling the engine and re-grinding the crank. Repairs for this type of issue can reach up to $3,500.

Being aware of the possible issues with different Land Rover Discovery model years can help you decide which model year to buy. If you’re buying a used SUV, make sure that the seller has cleared everything before sealing the deal.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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